Open vs Closed Headphones | All You Need To Know

Each user prefers to listen to music through different devices: some prefer complete isolation from external sounds. Others like to hear what is happening around them and maintain a conversation with friends. Therefore, manufacturers are constantly improving different models, such as open headphones or closed, which differ in sound.

Many consumers confuse these models because they do not know their individual differences. To fill this gap in your horizons, read our article carefully – we will try to answer all the frequently asked questions by readers.


Open and closed headphones

Experts interpret openness in this way – it is small isolation on both sides when listening to music tracks, others hear the melody, and the user catches all the foreign sounds. These headphones do not have effective protection from external sounds. The outer part of their design is made in the form of perforations or mesh. The external sounds freely penetrate, and others hear the music.

Open headphones are most suitable for listening to works with an abundance of high and medium frequencies, i.e., for fans of classics. Closed-door devices are products with good sound insulation that do not let sound either from the outside or inside.

Therefore, closed-type headphones have such features:

  1. Equipped with dense earbuds to ensure full fit to the ears.
  2. The earbuds completely cover the ear in full-size analogs, creating a certain acoustic space inside for a more comfortable perception of sound effects.
  3. The outer part of the devices has no cracks and perforations, so the sound does not penetrate and is not heard by strangers.

These devices are attractive to rock or metal fans because the basses are listened to most tangible and clearly.


What’s the difference between them?

The difference between closed and open headphones can be imagined with these key points:

  1. Open does not have components that can provide complete insulation from outdoor noise, and the closed version, on the contrary, is equipped with reliable insulation from the penetration of sounds in any direction. The first option is ideal for classical music lovers, and the second – for metalworkers and rock fans.
  2. Open products are good for use in the home environment, and places where listening to your favorite tracks will not interfere with others. Closed devices, on the contrary, are suitable for public places and offices.

Only high-tech headphones can provide high-quality and complete insulation, and budget models provide normal listening only in enclosed areas with low and medium noise levels.

Combined models are produced – half-open or semi-closed type so that you can find for yourself any option.



All the basic parameters are specified in the passport on the product. We will not list them. They will be described specifically for each model in the special section below. It is worth noting that some products come with noise insulation, made in various ways. For example, it can be dense earbuds made of natural leather, which tightly cover the ear, not missing the external noise and not allowing sounds to seep outwards.

The design can be different, but the essence of one – reliable protection from foreign noise. In addition, some models are produced with noise cancellation of distortions and other sounds appearing during playback installed equipment.


Pros and cons

Open headphones

They are designed to allow the external air to seep through the slits or perforations in the cups to the speakers, which excludes the appearance of echoes. High-quality models of such headphones allow you to get a natural and clean transmission of sound playback.

This is possible only at home, where the minimum of foreign noise because the open form of the device does not allow to block external sounds effectively. In addition, the music listened to will be heard from the outside, which does not bring comfort to people around you, for example, in urban transport. In addition, they are more prone to wear because they do not have protection from moisture penetration – the eternal enemy of electrical and electronic products.

They are good to use only in such situations:

  1. Listening for analysis, for example, in journalism: a specialist listens to the speeches of various speakers and then makes the necessary conclusions.
  2. Listen to audio recordings with the Hi-Fi sign.
  3. Home use for different purposes.

They are not suitable in the following cases:

  • Daily transport trips to study or work;
  • Blocking outdoor noise
  • listen to music in public.


Closed headphones

Closed headphones

These devices have a design that provides the sound output exactly in the place where it freely penetrates the ear canal. Music tracks areas protected from foreign influence as possible, but the sound will not be so natural, and long use helps to increase the load on the ears – they will sweat.

For urban transport, as well as while traveling, such headphones are the best option. They will help in the recording studio. There are used monitor versions of these devices, providing listening with a minimum level of recording. Closed headphones are ideal for such purposes:

  1. Listen to any information every day.
  2. Autonomous listening to music in the office so as not to disturb colleagues and disturb the business atmosphere.
  3. Listen to music and news in urban transport.
  4. Studio use.

They don’t fit:

  • to cool the ears.

Closed products can also be overhead, i.e., snuggle to the ear, not cover it.


How to choose

Top-rated among the Russian consumer are famous companies: Sony, Samsung, Koss, Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser, AKG, and Philips, but other firms are not so famous and produce products with almost similar parameters. The design of the models has a fairly wide range, so each buyer chooses the best option for themselves.

Wireless headphones

Such products are particularly popular with the younger generation, as they are convenient to use during sports, trips in urban transport, and many other situations. Among these products, there are several options:

  1. Bluetooth support.
  2. Radio channel.
  3. Infrared range.

No matter how these audio transmission options are advertised, they cannot provide the same quality as wired headphones.



Closed or open options are acceptable to all users—the difference they have only in protection from external noise. The first option is used by musicians and sound engineers, and the second – music fans, gamers, and those users for whom the important condition is the sound quality indoors. Minus they have one at all – large dimensions and feature – a quite high cost.



  1. Full-size – they are equipped with a headband of durable material and earbuds made of leather or leather substitute, designed for stationary use.
  2. Models with the common name Street have a headband but are more resistant to environmental impacts, used outdoors. Provide the function free hands, work on Bluetooth, perfectly suppress external noises.
  3. Street mini – with a headband, but equipped with a speaker, which is located opposite the ear canal, an earbud made of foam, so that the sound gets immediately into the ear.
  4. Overhead devices without a headband or sports version – the mount is arranged so that it is safely held on the ear, and it is impossible to lose it while driving.
  5. Earbuds are the simplest headphones, in high demand for those who want to be constantly in touch and at the same time everywhere and everywhere listen to your favorite music tracks through mobile devices.
  6. Ear Bud is a literal earbud, similar to a liner device, but differs in that, not every ear shell can hold it steadily inside.

Before buying, do not hesitate to thoroughly check the product not to buy a cat in a bag.

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