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Open Back vs Closed Back Headphones For Gaming. The Best One In 2022

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Being a gamer and not owning a pair of good quality headphones doesn’t sound right, does it?

No matter what type of headphones you are looking to buy for gaming, there are a lot of different products in the market to choose from.  There has never been a better time to buy a new set of headphones but some buyers might want to know a little bit more about the type of headphones before they buy.

So to make things a bit easier, we thought we would put together this quick guide and the main difference between open back vs closed back headphones for gaming.

The physical differences between an open-back and closed-back headphones are pretty simple but there are a few considerations that make significant differences in both the sound quality and how you are going to use them.

The difference between these two headphones lies in the venting of the drivers.

A closed-back headphone has the driver sitting isolated inside a closed-off ear cup. An open back headphone on the other hand usually has vents or grills to allow the free passage of air around the dynamic, electrostatic, or planar drivers. 

Each of these designs has its own unique advantages and disadvantages so let’s take a look at the key points in favor of each style of the music system.

What Is Open Back Headphones?

Open-back headphones are one of the types of headphones for gaming available in the market. And they are far less common than closed-back headphones. Why?

The lack of popularity isn’t down to a lack of sound quality. They actually produce a higher-quality sound. But the average person looking for a new pair of headphones for the gaming wants some noise isolation and minimal sound leakage, which open-back headphones don’t have.

Open-back headphones are more sought after by audiophiles, who make up for a much smaller proportion of the market. Audiophile-grade equipment typically costs more, and a lot of people are priced out of them altogether.

This kind of headphones prevent sound pressure from building up by allowing sound to escape through the back of their ear cups; the result of this is an enhanced natural character and improved clarity.

A quality open-back headphone design should provide you with an organic listening experience that feels like there’s space to breathe.

Open-back headphones won’t sound like a pair of studio monitors because they cannot produce acoustic crosstalk, but the two listening experiences are still reminiscent of one another and it will incredibly help to sound great in mobile or PC games which is a plus point in open back vs closed back headphones for gaming.

You don’t want to take open-back headphones out in public. They leak a tremendous amount of sound, so the person sitting next to you on the metro will be able to hear everything you’re listening to with an annoying level of detail.

Additionally, you’ll be able to hear everything around you, which will be problematic if you’re trying to produce music so they are only suitable for your gaming which won’t disturb you and allow you to hear every instruction in the game.

Something else to consider is that open-back headphones are very exposed to the elements. Light rain can seep into the ear cups and potentially cause damage.

Open-back headphones and public spaces don’t play nicely together; hang onto them solely for high-fidelity studio use, such as when you’re mixing and mastering your music at home.


  • Open back headphones always have better audio quality than any other gaming headphones.
  • It won’t let you experience sweaty ears.
  • These headphones come with more advanced driver options that improve the sound structure during gaming sessions.
  • They are more comfortable and light in weight.


  • Sound leaking and poor noise isolation.
  • They are not suitable for use in harsh weather conditions.
Philips Fidelio X2HR open back headphones in open back vs closed back headphones for gaming
Philips Fidelio X2HR Open Back Headphones

What Is Closed Back Headphones?

Closed-back headphones all have sealed ear cups. They all have plastic or metal covering the headphone drivers.

Between open back vs closed back headphones for gaming, the advantage of the latter’s design is sound isolation, outside noise doesn’t get in and the sound inside the headphones doesn’t get out.

The sound isolation that these headphones provide makes them a good choice for gamers, musicians or podcasters when recording because sound can’t leak out of the headphones and get picked up by a microphone.

The style of headphones of this kind is the most popular and most commercial headphones are made this way too.

Closed-back is the more conventional design for headphones. There is a physical seal in the ear cup that prevents sound from going in and out of the ear cup. This creates passive noise cancellation that helps make the music more engaging.

The closed-back design is seen on consumer-grade products such as portable and gaming headphones. They are, of course, also seen on professional products such as studio monitoring headphones. Just like open-back headphones, they have their strengths as well as weaknesses.

Due to the minimal sound leakage and passive noise isolation, closed-back headphones are the preferred design for monitoring headphones. The passive noise isolation makes sure that there is no external noise that can influence the sound.

This is especially important in live events and also during the gaming sessions which won’t interrupt you.

Also, in recording, closed-back headphones are used in recording almost every instrument. Since closed-back headphones don’t leak as much as open-back headphones, they are less likely to bleed into the microphone signal.


  • They totally isolate the outside environmental noise.
  • The bass quantity and quality are too high which helps the gamers to enjoy it throughout the session.
  • They are easy to carry and better portable than open back headphones.
  • Closed back headphones are better at blocking noise.


  • Airflow around the ears is quite minimal so your ears can get warm and sweaty.
  • Passive noise-canceling has a very minimal risk of sound bleeding.
Status Audio CB-1 Closed Back Headphones
Status Audio CB-1 Closed-Back Headphones

Final Words

Great applause for you. Thanks for sticking with this through the whole content. You are our motivator.

Gaming is an important factor in everyone’s life. It’s a way of enjoyment and a method to relax the mind from the day-to-day hectic schedule.

But it will be only effective if it’s enjoyed with headphones so that you can hear every graphics and structure of gaming audio. Then comes the question open back vs closed back headphones for gaming which should be preferred for a better experience.

It all depends upon the type of game you prefer, it also depends upon your budget. Both of them would be a perfect investment for your gaming component. Feel free to choose the ones that fit you as well as your needs.

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