Does anyone prefer closed-backs?
Jun 14, 2015 at 1:39 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

TsukiNick

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I am wondering if anyone actually prefers the sound of closed-back headphones.  Like if you were in a quiet room alone would you use a closed back instead of an open-back?
 
 
Jun 15, 2015 at 3:49 PM Post #2 of 11

Sefelt103

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If you were in a quiet room you would choose open headphones. Open headphones are generally higher quality than closed backed headphones. There are some very expensive closed back headphones like Sony's MDR-R10 but most flagship headphones are open. Some will prefer closed headphones if they like plenty of bass as this is easily catered for in closed back designs. The difficulty with closed designs is to do with complex science in the form of resonances which with open headphones is much less of a problem. Open headphones mostly get improved clarity, detail and soundstage but as Sony demonstrates this can still be done in closed back form. Obviously if isolation is required closed back is optimal, it also prevents others from hearing your music. Some designs are semi-open like Beyerdynamics DT880 which are a compromise. One of my earliest headphones was a set of Sennheiser EH2200 which were really quite neutral pleasant high quality closed headphones.
 
Jun 15, 2015 at 4:15 PM Post #4 of 11

Music Alchemist

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Although open headphones tend to have better sound quality, some closed headphones have better sound quality than some open headphones. I am more picky with open headphones, so I like more closed ones than open despite the stereotype.
 
Jun 15, 2015 at 5:52 PM Post #5 of 11
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Closed headphones are nice when you want to get more bass presence, at least when it comes to lower-priced cans. Almost every open headphone under $400 has a significant bass roll-off. And I don't mean complete roll-off; Just a decrease in quantity as you go down in pitch.
In addition, though closed cans are great to listen to in noisy environments, they also benefit from being listened to in silence, just like open headphones.
 
I love my M50! But one reason I always go for my open cans, besides for their sound, is to feel the openness. The M50 makes my ears all warm and stuffy..and it makes 'em ring a bit also because of the seal.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 12:17 AM Post #6 of 11

DooberKnob

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I like closed backs because they are generally more tactile, i.e. you feel the bass rather than just hearing it compared to open backs where the bass can feel light even when you can hear it quite deep.  I have yet to try the large planar open-backs though, so that might be the best of both worlds.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 12:21 AM Post #7 of 11

Music Alchemist

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  I like closed backs because they are generally more tactile, i.e. you feel the bass rather than just hearing it compared to open backs where the bass can feel light even when you can hear it quite deep.  I have yet to try the large planar open-backs though, so that might be the best of both worlds.

 
Agreed. Not sure why I wasn't impressed by the bass of even the most expensive planar magnetic headphones when I auditioned them on a very expensive amp.
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 1:22 AM Post #8 of 11

Fearless1

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Agreed. Not sure why I wasn't impressed by the bass of even the most expensive planar magnetic headphones when I auditioned them on a very expensive amp.


Expensive does not = synergetic.HE6 has the best visceral, layered bass I have heard from any headphone off of my First watt amp (J2). I honestly could care less the price of the amp, it did not do the HE6 justice if it is not some of the best realistic bass you have heard(based on your inventory that we have all been exposed to in the 1000 or so post scattered throughout this forum).
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 9:27 AM Post #10 of 11

Music Alchemist

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  Expensive does not = synergetic.HE6 has the best visceral, layered bass I have heard from any headphone off of my First watt amp (J2). I honestly could care less the price of the amp, it did not do the HE6 justice if it is not some of the best realistic bass you have heard(based on your inventory that we have all been exposed to in the 1000 or so post scattered throughout this forum).

 
Yeah, I'm sure it will sound better from a good speaker amp. That's what most serious HE-6 owners use. I was just surprised that the bass wasn't phenomenal from the MOON Neo 430HA, since it has a maximum output of like eight watts into the HE-6! (Though I didn't crank the volume up all the way, obviously.)
 
Jun 17, 2015 at 1:27 PM Post #11 of 11

ubs28

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No, not at all. If it needs isolation, IEM's are better sounding than closed back headphones. So it's always open headphones for me.
 
edit: I simply haven't heard closed full sized headphones sounding better than IEM's yet. There might be some closed headphones that are really good though, but I just haven't heard them yet.
 

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