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Can you REALLY hear a difference between open-back headphones and closed-back headphones?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by double-a, Apr 27, 2013.
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  1. sonitus mirus
    Yes, my bad.  I can remove the wooden cups from my Denon D5K, which would probably be the closest thing to a legitimate test from a non-scientific consumer option.  The various, though subtle, FR differences found in recent Massdrop Fostex TH-X00 headphones should have been a reminder to me that cups both opened and closed, can make a difference in FR.  I was trying too hard to conjure up a situation where a combination of room environment and open headphones could be made to sound identical to a closed headphone.
  2. SP Wild
    It is generally accepted that closed backs will sound different to openbacks, because the theory is highly plausible, perhaps it is easily picked in a double blind test.

    I pose the question, can we look at a set of measurements from a dummy ear and derive from the data alone, with absolute certainty, whether the data was obtained from a closed or openback can?

    We are sending people to colonise Mars in the absolute confidence in our measurements.
  3. labfm1
    Just saw this thread pop up on the "recent" feed.
    I posted this elsewhere but will do here too. I bought both Audeze EL-8s, open and close to test out. I can say without a doubt that open sounds not only different to closed, but SIGNIFICANTLY better. More clarity, "fuller" sound, and more details in instrumentation. Closed sounded very "thin" comparatively....
    I was actually expecting them to sound fairly similar but they did not. I had both sets playing the same songs, going back and forth. Did this for a few days, swapping which cans I listened too first and playing various genres (alternative, indie, pop, r&b, funk, rap, reggae/dancehall, jazz). I had my wife listen too, and without any bias, she immediately noticed huge difference in sound and said keep the open ones.
    Not definitive as it's a small sample size and only 1 brand, but for me, difference was remarkable. Clear difference between open and closed. Obviously, closed got returned.
  4. SP Wild

    Bloody obvious right?

    Ability to decipher via measurement, not so...
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