open-back vs closed-back: fidelity to input signal's sound stage and HRTF
Mar 21, 2020 at 9:21 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2

Drew Neilson

New Head-Fier
Nov 8, 2014
According to the headphone buying guide, open-back headsets and headphones have a wider sound stage while closed-back headphones sound more direct. I'm speaking broadly, and not about specific models. Do open-back headsets and headphones add more spaciousness than already exists in content being listened to (music, TV shows, movies, and other content)? When it comes to the sound stage, I don't want the sound that I hear to be wider than what exists in the input signal. I want to hear the sound as closely as possible to how it is recorded, preserving the acoustics of the input signal and, if I'm listening to binaural recordings or TV shows or movies with virtual surround sound, the HRTF of the input signal.

Is one category better than the other in those regards?
Mar 21, 2020 at 4:41 PM Post #2 of 2
It's generally true but there are exceptions. I don't think people would consider headphones with exaggerated soundstage or inaccurate reproduction good. But maybe some headphones made for monitoring/mixing would be a good start for you.

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