Closed-back vs open-back headphones: which one is best for you?

Over-ear headphones come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but they can primarily be broken down into just two types: open or closed. Whether a pair of over-ears are open or closed isn’t always immediately apparent to the eye, but essentially it comes down to their structure and the resulting effect on performance.

Closed-back is undoubtedly the most common type, with virtually all wireless over-ear headphones being closed, and most wired over-ear headphones also opting for a closed-back design. Open-backs are less common and are mainly found in wired headphones (although Grado, king of open-back headphones, has uniquely applied the design to its GW100x wireless headphones).

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