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Do open-back headphones need a seal?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I wear glasses with relatively thick rims and find it's nearly impossible to get a really good seal with full-size circum-aural headphones.  Does this have any impact on the sound of open-back headphones, or does a seal really only matter with IEMs and closed-back headphones?

post #2 of 7

Measurements show that it does still matter.  Some headphones more than others.

post #3 of 7

Seal will matter even for a open-back. Most of my open-back headphones are supra-aural though so I'll wait for someone else with appropriate gears to chime in.


Though I'd reckon it still does affect the sound, since the open-back design does not relate directly to the sound going towards your ears.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'm inclined to accept that it does make a difference, but still curious.  With open headphones, unlike closed, the sound won't be bouncing around in the cups so it seems like the location and angle of the drivers would be the only thing that affects the sound significantly.

post #5 of 7

Not as much with some.


With my HE-400's, there is a gap behind my ears. If I push them towards my head to make the seal better there isn't a significant change in sound.


These are some of the most open headphones out there though. It's likely different with others.

post #6 of 7

maybe you could try to wear them with and without your glasses to see if you can hear any differences? thats the only sure way to find out, but i guess that it would to some degree, most probably cause a more tinny sound and less bass

post #7 of 7

I'm honestly not sure if my Q701's are really sealing around my ears. If it is sealing then it is a very light seal, because there are a couple spots that seem like very small gaps are left. If anything, this would effect bass, and I have no complaints about their bass.

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