Open Vs. Closed Headphones

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by bdodds1985, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. bdodds1985 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2011
    I am wondering how people compare the two? What are some flaws of both and what are some benefits to both? I am wondering because I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD 598's to compare to my Beats Studios, but I realize that they are not the same kind of headphones at all and I wanted others opinions before I make my review of the two.

    Does anyone own professional headphones like Sennheiser that can compare a model of such to the Beats? And I would like to hear peoples opinions on which they prefer, open or closed.
  2. PAPO macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2009
    I do have a professional set of AKG Q701's but nothing as, overrated as the beats to compare to myself but I can give you open vs closed

    Open: almost always sounds better, has an "open" sound more like speakers than headphones, very little to argue here assuming you are talking a similar grade of headphone, that being said some people do tend to prefer one over the other either way.
    BUT, you will hear everything around you and everyone around you will hear your music.

    Closed: usually sounds inferior, but the up side is you can block out most sound around you and no one will hear what your listening to unless it is excessively loud
  3. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    Open, more natural sound decay, usually giving better separation within the layers of a soundstage and more instrument separation. Less bass impact and extension.

    Closed, more bass impact and extension, but easy to make the bass too boomy because of the issue of sound reverb within the sealed enclosure. Portable depending on the model.

    Now of course there's plenty of overlapping areas as far as different headphones are concerned, but those are the gists of it.

    I own one Denon and one Beyer-- each sporting their own smiley-curve.
  4. Papanate macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2011
    North Carolina

    We own a bunch of different models - acquired over the years.
    The basic info is this (IMO of course):

    Closed Headphone: Sounds tends to be a bit more focused ( you are dealing with a closed environment) ; stereo imaging is exaggerated; you get good privacy ( not annoying your neighbors on the subway); and outside noise is minimized (particularly if you get noise canceling phones). Which brand all depends on what you like to hear; and how much weight you can tolerate - or want to tolerate.

    Open HeadPhones; Sound tends to be a little more natural and possible not as coherent (minor but apparent to my ears); annoys most people around you since they can hear them; and doesn't shut out background noise at all - so there can be a lot of interference depending on where you listen. Again which brand is best is your best guess - as some Open Backs are heavier, may not sound like you want and have different qualities.
  5. bwhli macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Open earphones have a more natural presentation/soundstage. Downside is...don't use them for monitor when recording because they leak sound. They also don't offer as much isolation as closed earphones.

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