Open back vs Closed back headphones for gaming
3 months ago
Gamers need to know the significant difference between the open back and close back headphones or headsets. The reason to recognize the difference will instantly help you to decide which kind of headset or headphone you need. You can also evaluate your current sound device based on this guide.
You will get many headphones in the overwhelming market, but do you know what types of headphones are? How do they sound? So, to find this stuff out of headphones and gaming headsets, you need to follow some basic steps.
Follow the guide What to look for in a gaming headset.
Open back vs Closed back headphones for gaming
Firstly, there are two types of headsets • Open-back headphones • Closed-back headphones • Semi-Open headphones
Open-back headphones are the ones that enable air to pass through the earcups. It means the earcups have not completely sealed, and while playing games, listening to music, you get the sound from all around. Despite this, while calling and listening to music, the Open-back headphones leak the sound out of ear cups as well. So, there is no privacy at all, and you will be exposed to the outer world. Sennheiser HD 598 is an example of open-back headphones.
Closed-back headphones are the ones that don't surpass air through the ear cups. They sealed your ears completely and provide great isolation. And that means you are unable to hear outside noise. These headphones are appreciable if you have surrounded by a noisy environment and privacy is your main concern, or you don't want to leak your sound in public; Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is the best example of Closed-back headphones.
Semi-Open headphones are a combination of open and closed back. They have considered the middle man having features of both headphones. But the expert says that there are no such headphones because companies used these terms as marketing gimmicks, and there is no such definition of semi-open back headphones.
Difference between Open back vs closed-back headphones
The difference between both of them is straightforward and easy to understand. As you know, an open back unable to block outside noise, and a closed-back is good for blocking surrounding noise. But there are other things also to consider that create the difference between them.
Open back headphone • Breathable ear cups • Wider soundstage • No heat accumulation • Best for long sessions • Natural sound • Bass boost is low • Unable to block outside noise.
Closed back headphone • Ear cups are closed • No flow of air • Closed sound stage • Chances of heat accumulation • Not good for long sessions • Bass response is great • Good at blocking background noise
Pros and cons of open-back headphones
No Heat accumulation
The first advantage of the open back headset is no heat accumulation. As the headset is known for exposed earcups So, there is not any chance of heat generation like the closed-back headsets. The reason is not generating heat because there is a natural flow of air between the earcups, and the earcups padding also breathable. So, in this way, there isn't any chance of heat generation, and at the same time, it releases the pressure and heat as well. So, they are excellent for lengthy sessions, and you can wear open-style headphones for 6 to 8 hours consistently.
The sound profile of open-back headphones is broad and natural. Due to the air circulation, the headphones sound natural, and there is no production of artificial sound. While gaming with the open-back headphones, it feels like the sound is coming from the great speakers from a distance. It is also satisfactory for audio cues like where your enemies are and where the sound is coming from. While wearing open-back headphones, it keeps you aware of your surrounding. For instance, if your phone is ringing or someone at the door. While talking to someone using a microphone, you can hear your voice as well.
Sound leakage might be an issue if you are inclined toward your privacy. If you are listening to music OR, You are playing games A nearer person can listen to a sound that came from your earcups. In this way, your close-by person might be feeling disturbed, OR might be you are disturbing because of privacy. In this way, open-back headphones are not ideal for outdoor usage and noisy environment. It is a fine choice for those who are living in a quiet environment.
Lack of bass
This is not a negative point because some users appreciate heavy bass boost while some don't like the presence of bass. If you like to use a bass-heavy headset, then you might end up complaining, there is a lack of bass. It isn't an issue though, as this feature varies from person to person. It is not the issue with the only headphone sound, but the mic also has the same problem.
Pros and cons of Closed-back headphones
As a matter of fact, sound isolation is also varied from person to person. It can be a matter of your personal choice, but it is ideal for those living in a noisy environment or who do not want to share the personal profile. There are headphones that provided complete isolation, and with that, even you are unable to listen yourself. For example, Sennheiser GSP 300 is insanely good at blocking outside noise. With that headset, if someone calling you or your phone is ringing, you can't hear anything. Admittedly, it also blocks you if you are speaking in a microphone, You can't hear what you are talking about in a microphone.
The sound profile of closed-back headphones is closed off. In the gameplay, you can feel that the sound is coming right beside you from the nearer channel. It is up to scratch for competitive games because it keeps you aware of the enemies' movements. Moreover, the gunfire sound and explosion feel more prominent and actual because of the bass frequency. The bass response in closed-back design is much more present than open-back design headphones.
Heat accumulation is an issue with closed-back headphones because there is no way of releasing heat. Most of the time closed-back headphones use leather padding, which isn't breathable at. To make the headphones breathable, you can use velour or mesh fabric padding, but only if the headphones padding is replaceable. Closed-back also not great for the long session due to heat problems. By taking breaks might be the best way to extend the sessions.
Are open back or closed-back headphones better for gaming?
It varies with the environment because open-back headphones are great for those who are living in a quiet environment. On the other hand, if you are surrounded by a lot of background noise, then going for closed-back headphones is a better option.
As a matter of audio cues, both can be better for this, and it varies with the headphones model. But open-back headphones that have a broad sound stage have slightly less bass.
Contrarily, the closed-back headphones have a smaller sound stage, but the bass is very much present. With that, the gunfire sound and thrust of the explosion feel boomy you can feel physically. So, you can decide which headphones better for gaming.
Are open-back headphones better than closed-back?
Open-back headphones did not block ambient noise because they have designed to create the flow of the sound inside and outside. But they sound more natural, clear, and open VS closed-back headsets. In an open-world game, you can get the idea of the vast or open sound stage An example of an open-world game is Red Dead Redemption 2.
Open back also adequate for music listening due to their sound profile because they did not create an article sound profile. They are also great for long gaming sessions because they are comfortable enough.
All the things mentioned regarding open and closed-back design headphones are useful in one or another way. It also depends on the preference because some game players like to use open back while others would like to use closed-back headphones.
Despite the fact the makes the long story short, if you prioritize comfort, natural sound, balanced bass without heat accumulation, then you should go for an open-back headphone or headset. But it did not provide noise isolation.
On the other hand, if you need sound isolation, private listening, and a competitive advantage in gaming, then a closed-back headset will be the best solution for you. Closed-back headphones are also comfortable, but they can generate heat well.