Open End vs Closed End Headphones
Feb 12, 2014 at 5:37 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7


Oct 11, 2012
......ok, here is the dumb question of the day (exposing my novice status). Is there a fundamental difference in the electronic components of a Closed End Headphone versus an Open End Headphone....... or is it simply the casing is designed differently.  I do understand that there is a difference between the two when in comes to quality..... but are the guts inside the same, and it simply is the shell that is making the differences???
(told you it was a dumb question)
Feb 13, 2014 at 5:17 AM Post #2 of 7
Some headphone's drivers can work well in both open and closed back cans, others cannot. Most headphones are designed around the driver, to achieve the best sound possible from them. There isn't a difference in quality between an open headphone vs. a closed one, MOST of the time the open headphone has a wider soundstage but not necessarily better. Closed headphones generally have most bass, because there is more back pressure behind the driver, but that isn't ALWAYS the case either. But yes, most of the internals are generally the same between the two. 
Feb 13, 2014 at 9:13 PM Post #4 of 7
Most closed headphones have some sort of filler material or dampening structure to reduce reflections. Most open headphones do not. This is probably the largest difference other than the cup being open and closed.
Feb 13, 2014 at 9:50 PM Post #6 of 7
As Casper mentioned some drivers don't work well in one type of enclosure or the other, so usually the driver's attributes are known before the decision to go closed or open is made and you go from there. The drivers themselves aren't really that different, but their behavior may be different enough to be enclosure specific.
Feb 14, 2014 at 2:53 PM Post #7 of 7
I appreciate this insight.  So subtleties in the electronics may make one design option better than the other, but not always necessarily so in all cases.
I know its a strange line of questioning.

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