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7 Best Open-Back Headphones for Gaming

7 Best Open-Back Headphones for Gaming

Games in themselves are great with all the amazing visuals, graphics, characters, storylines, and stunning audio, but without suitable equipment and gear, the gaming experience loses a lot of its charm.

Apart from having a good Graphics Card, Monitor, Headset, etc., having good quality headphones are essential for optimum gaming experience, as sound forms a major part of how we perceive things before us and our overall involvement in the game.

So here are 7 best open-back headphones for gaming. But before I get on with the list, let’s start with a basic question – why go for open-back headphones?

Why Go for Open-Back Headphones?

Though you may have heard dissenting opinions about Open-Back Headphones vs. Closed-Back and how one is better than the other, in this section, I am only going to highlight the positives of open-back headphones because if you are here reading this, it means this is what you are interested in knowing more about.

As the name goes, open-back headphones have a more open build; this means that they allow more air to pass through, and your ears don’t heat up even after having the headphones on for long hours. 

Moreover, the sound doesn’t echo inside these kinds of headphones because of the lack of build-up pressure, and the sound comes out more natural and clear.

Though open-back headphones do have some shortcomings like any other gear, for example, they don’t block noise from outside and don’t prevent sound from leaking through them, making it inconvenient to use these headphones outside and in noisy places, they are actually a great option when it comes to playing games at home or in a relatively closed space.

Here are a couple of  advantages of using open-back headphones for your consideration:

  • They are best while listening to high-quality audio files as the sound distribution is great. Also, owing to their open design, the sound isn’t confined and is more freely distributed, resulting in high-quality natural sound.
  • Also, long hours of gaming with closed-back headphones can be quite uncomfortable as the heat is trapped, and the ears bear the brunt of the heat and lack of ventilation. With open-back headphones, you can play for hours straight without hurting your ears or getting uncomfortable.

Best Open-Back Headphones

Now that we are clear on why open-back headphones are a good choice when it comes to gaming, let’s take a look at 7 best open-back headphones that every gamer must check out! In no particular order, they are:

Philips SHP9500

Philips Audio Philips SHP9500

This wired, over-ear open design headphone from Philips comes with 50 mm drivers that are engineered to fit the “ear’s natural geometry” if one goes by the company’s words. 

Well, they certainly are comfortable with a light build, double-layered headband cushions, less clamping force, and breathable ear cup cushions. Durability is a plus factor, too, when it comes to this product, and the steel-reinforced headband makes for a secure fit.

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You can connect it to any source via cord or bluetooth, and the sound is just as high quality and well-balanced; the bass is quite good too, given that this is an open-back model. 

Outstanding frequency response, but it’s midrange centric, and the bass can be inconsistent. The imaging and directional sound are good, and the headphone’s ability to pick up subtle sounds is above average, so if you like to play games similar to Call of Duty, these might just be what you are looking for.

Pros:

  • The package comes with a detachable 3-meter cable with gold plated connectors and an adapter.
  • An economical and durable product, good value for money.

Cons:

  • It has non-replaceable ear pads.
  • It has an uneven treble, can be harsh or grainy at times.

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Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X

Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X Audiophile Open-Air Headphone

One of the most pocket-friendly headphones, and it has all the features necessary for a good headphone, whether it’s the design or sound quality. I mean, if it wasn’t up to par with its competitors while being on the more economical side, why would it even be on this list? 

Of course, it does have more expensive and slightly different variations as well, but for now, let us take a look at the distinct qualities of this easy on wallet model.

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Wired headphones with 53 mm drivers and CCAW voice coils that ensure natural yet quality sound with good vocal projection. In regards to design, it is comfortable to use with lightweight aluminum honeycomb casing and flexible ear pads that don’t burden the ears and have good durability.

The cable quality is alright, and the connectivity options are on the better side. Though they are not good for noise cancellation because of being open-back, the bass is still above average, and the overall sound quality makes it a great addition to your gaming gear.

Pros:

  • It is great for FPS games, and the sound quality is good.
  • It is comfortable to use with cloth ear pads and lightweight built.

Cons:

  • The design might be uncomfortable for people with small stature as they are not really a flexible fit.
  • The headband is not properly secured, and the headphone might slip down while in use.

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Astro Gaming A40 TR X-Edition

ASTRO Gaming A40 TR X-Edition Headset

With an adjustable fit and rugged construction, these headphones are perfect for long gaming hours. Perhaps the best thing about this particular headphone is that you can change it to closed-back and open-back as per your convenience, via a mod kit, which makes it versatile and easy to use no matter where you are.

So if you want a natural and clear sound for gaming or noise cancellation features for when you are out and around people, this headphone can be used for both the situations with minimum hassle. It also comes with a uni-directional microphone, which is removable and able to minimize background noise.

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Comfortable, durable, high-quality audio, and versatile in use, these headphones have detachable cables and can be easily personalized with speaker tags. If you are an intense gamer, these might just be the headphones you were looking for!

Pros:

  • It is Xbox and bluetooth compatible.
  • It can be transformed from open-back to closed-back and vice versa with the help of the provided mod kit.
  • It has a reasonable price for the features.

Cons:

  • The microphone isn’t the best, and the voice might sound muffled when using it.
  • It is not exactly lightweight and can be uncomfortable for some.
  • The cable is too long and not braided.

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Sennheiser GAME ONE Gaming

EPOS I Sennheiser GAME ONE Gaming Headset,

These can be considered one of the better options when it comes to open-back headphones for gaming. The sound quality is better than the most, clear, well-balanced, accurate, and it comes with bass extension. 

The microphone is flexible and minimizes background noise, and adding the smooth voice control to the whole package; this headphone does seem to be a good choice when it comes to gaming.

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The design is lightweight and comfortable with large velvet ear pads that result in minimum discomfort while in use for long hours. The headband is padded too and is durable in its build. It is wired and compatible with multiple platforms, whether it’s mobiles, Xbox, Nintendo, Tablets, Mac, and PC, among other options.

Pros:

  • It comes with a two-year warranty.
  • It is great for gaming, owing to its comfortable design and high quality, accurate audio.
  • It is good value for money.

Cons:

  • It might not be the best option for sound heavy games, and you might have to purchase a sound card and an amp separately for it to work well, or even up to the standard.
  • The mute option doesn’t work as intended at times.
  • The velvet cushion material, though comfortable, picks up dust easily, so the headphones can appear dusty.

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Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

Beyerdynamic 459038 DT 990 PRO open Studio Headphone

These headphones can be considered good value for money as well, given all the distinct features they have to offer. Starting with the design, it has a comfortable, light, and durable built and good workmanship. The replaceable ear pads are soft and do not feel uncomfortable after long uses.

Coming to the sound quality, it’s on the better side with precise bass and powerful treble and overall clarity. 3D sound reproduction and good depth perception make the audio quality even better.

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The ease of use of this product deserves some extra points. Because the cable is attached to a single side only, making it easier to move it around, and the headband is made of spring steel, ensuring a secure fit, the comfort level of these headphones is on par with the best gaming headphones presently available in the market.

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So when it comes to intense gaming and long sessions, these headphones do not disappoint in the least and are a good option to consider.

Pros:

  • It has a replaceable headband.
  • It is extremely comfortable and good value for money.

Cons:

  • Earpads are non-replaceable, which can be a bit inconvenient
  • Piercing highs that can be uncomfortable for some, and you might need to buy a compatible amplifier separately.

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Sennheiser HD 599

Sennheiser HD 599 Open Back Headphone

The first thing that drew me in about this headphone was the design. Maybe it’s just a personal preference, but the down-to-earth tones and matte finish feels pleasant and not at all flashy or distracting. The E.A.R (Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement) design does seem to be working well enough. 

The comfort points for this headphone are high too, owing to the padded headband and velour covered ear pads along with the initially lightweight structure. When it comes to sound quality, this headphone works quite well, and the sound is natural, clear, and powerful. 

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The manufacturer claims audiophile-level sound, and given that the low distortion and the efficient aluminum voice coils (proprietary transducer technology), the truth might not be that far from the claim. In the end, with the high-quality sound and extra comfortable design, this headphone is a good option if you are gaming for hours straight.

Pros:

  • It comes with a 2-year warranty.
  • It has multiple connectivity options.

Cons:

  • It is not the most economical choice if you are working with a tight budget.
  • The accompanying cables are on the shorter side, and you might need to get an adapter.

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Massdrop x Sennheiser PC37X Gaming Headphones

Massdrop x Sennheiser PC37X Gaming Headset

This headphone is an overall good product given its accurate and high-quality sound, convenient microphone, and comfortable yet simple design. It’s a relatively economical option too, if you don’t count all the extra adapter and y-splitter cost.

Starting from the audio, it has angled, audiophile drivers that aid in natural sound reproduction with good clarity. It offers locational accuracy and stereo imaging as well, making it a decent choice if you play sound heavy games. The microphone is noise-canceling and comes with a convenient mute action.

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The optimized headphones and microphone make it a good choice for serious gamers, while the extra-large ear pads made of velvet and the adjustable headband make it comfortable during long gaming sessions.

Pros:

  • It has easy volume adjustment, which minimizes distraction during gaming.
  • It has an adjustable headband.
  • It comes with a 10 ft. braided cable that can be detached.

Cons:

  • You will need to buy a separate adapter if you want to use these headphones on a mobile, Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft console, among others.
  • The clamping pressure, though good for securing the headphones, can feel a bit uncomfortable for some.

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Conclusion

And that’s it for this hand-picked list of 7 best open-back headphones for gaming. All the products mentioned here have their own distinct features and pros and cons, but they all are options worth considering when it comes to gaming for long hours.

Of course, no two gamers are the same, and the gear best suited for them differs too, so take your time going through all these headphones and choose the one best suited for you. 

Happy gaming!