5 Of The Best Open Back Headphones For Gaming (2020 Reviewed)
Just like you, I have also had a problem looking for the best open-back headphones for gaming. Nothing is wrong using the closed-back one if you prefer it, but I found the open-back headphone more neutral. The voices in the game are more precise.
Thus, it is easier to know what is going on in the game.
Because I like gaming, I did my research on which open-back headphones are suitable for gaming. I found out that comfort, sound quality, and design are the top considerations, which are not surprising because of the long hours I spend in gaming.
To save you some time doing your research. I listed all the products that I think are the best for gaming.
My 5 Best Open Back Gaming Headsets
I came up with these lists considering comfort, sound quality, and design as criteria.
1. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro
The Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro is in one of my best open-back headphones for gaming because of its remarkable spaciousness. It offers three-dimensional audio production and stereo image, which make this useful device headphones for audiophiles.
This headset’s earcups are comfortable because of the soft fabric used. The cable is non-detachable, but it does not tangle due to its ergonomic location. Because it is an open-back, you know that you can hear even the slightest sound in the game.
- Neutral audio
- Quality soundstage
- Enhanced lows and highs
- Not durable enough
- Cable not detachable
- Mediocre mids
- Piercing high (others like it, though)
- The single-sided cable, though not detachable, is on one side. Therefore, wearing it on or off is easy without causing the cord to tangle.
- It has an impressive depth in tones that can hear even slight changes in the sound source. In gaming, hearing even the most minor sounds gives us a clue about what we should do next.
- The soft ear cups feel suitable to wear. I do not feel my ears get warm, which can distract me for extended hours of use.
- The flexible headband fits almost any shape of our heads. Because of this feature, we are sure that the headband can fit securely.
- Impressive spaciousness in the sound makes the bass, and treble lovers love this feature. It boosts the treble and bass to produce a beautiful and harmonious sound that is clear and precise, but not pitchy.
2. Audio-Technical ATH-ADG1x
The Audio-Technical ATH-ADG1x is a gaming headset that has a 53-mm driver. The sound quality it produces is perfect for playing games. Although it is unlike some gaming headphones that produce colorful blinking lights, it is a decent headset. Gamers like me love the two most important features it offers, which are excellent comfort and sound quality.
This open-back headphone allows users to hear natural sounds. It comes with a microphone that lets us communicate with the other players while in the game. Whether we use this headphone for gaming or not, it is remarkable for me.
- Available extension cable
- No distortion to the mids and lows
- Quality microphone
- Simpler than its competitors
- A headband can be uncomfortable on first use
- Sounds may leak
- The responsive microphone allows us to talk to our friends in the game as fast as we speak. This microphone is handy, especially in games with fast-paced gameplay where there is no room for lags and delays.
- Easy-to-reach volume controller. The placement of the volume controller can be distracting at times when it is in the hard-to-reach areas. Reaching for the volume controls can affect our gaming performance because the hand searches for it instead of using it to be at the game all the time.
- The 3D Wing Support Housing Design ensures that this headset can fit our head no matter what the size is. This feature is especially useful for long hours of gaming.
- The 2-meter extension cable is convenient if we think that the headset wire is short for our comfort.
3. Audio-Technica BPHS1
The Audio-Technica BPHS1 is one of my favorite headphones for gaming because of its 40 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response and 40-mm driver. This comfortable headphone focuses on the reproduction of sound that has clear sound quality.
The Audio-Technica BPHS1 has a spectacular build. It is flexible enough to adjust to the different sizes of the head. The earcups have padding and rotatable. The firm microphone attaches well and also rotatable.
The cables are thick, but standard in size.
The Audio-Technica BPHS1 makes use of a dynamic capsule, which prevents the background noise from being audible. It does not use a standard condenser that allows some ambient sounds to penetrate.
- Flexible rotatable headphone and earcups
- Durable build
- Muted background noise
- Clear microphone
- Undistorted mids and lows
- Can miss the highs
- Earpads feels warm extended use
- It has a comfortable design. The headphone is flexible enough to fit the size of our head. Its microphone is rotatable. Therefore, we can wear our headphones with the microphone placed on the left or right; it does not matter.
- The dynamic microphone allows the production of our voice to be crisp and clear, which is an essential consideration in gaming. We want the other players to hear what we are saying without repeating ourselves because of poor microphone build.
- The impressive sound isolation ensures that no background noise can distract us from the game.
4. Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision
I consider the Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision as one of my best budget open-back headphones because of its 50-mm driver. Although it is unlike the other gaming headphones with blinking colorful lights, this headphone still looks good with its well-padded earcups and headbands.
The Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision is comfortable to use because it is lightweight without sacrificing its durability. It has well-padded earcups and cushioned headbands. It produces a well-balanced sound of treble, bass, and mids with the spacious soundstage.
- Quality audio
- Sound leak
- Headband padding feels uncomfortable on the skin
- The angled 50-mm driver design fits according to the shape of the ear. It ensures that the sound goes directly to the ears for a better listening experience.
- The breathable padded earcups provide us prolonged gaming experience because they do not heat our ears even for long hours of use.
- The adjustable steel headband has a cushion that is durable enough to last a long time of use. It securely fits in our head, which does not feel uncomfortable for extended gaming hours.
- It comes with a removable cable. If you find the cord of Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision short, this detachable cable allows us to move more freely.
- Being an open-back headphone guarantees a natural and precise production of sound, which makes the high frequency sounds smooth.
5. Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR
The Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR is one of the best open-back headphones for gaming with 50-mm drivers. This model is a light improvement of the X2, which is a previous model.
The Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR has a steel-tube headband covered win leather. It also comes with a breathable mesh pad.
This headphone is slightly heavy, but it fits the head securely. Aside from the headband, it comes with a hammock that adds comfort to the head. It comes with a versatile cable that we can connect to almost everything, even to our PS4.
It has technology that filters excessive frequencies that do not sound good to the ear.
- Spacious soundstage
- Durable build
- Quality sound
- Awesome highs and vocals
- Lacks additional features
- Earpads not replaceable
- Leaks sounds
- Requires the ability to produce layers of sounds in the game
- Unbalanced treble response
- The open back high-resolution certified audio allows us to hear natural sounds by giving it much transparency. Therefore, the sounds effects of guns, cars, and the like in games sound clear.
- The angled placement of the drivers fit the natural ear’s position, which allows direct channeling of sounds for a better listening experience.
- The Layered Motion Control (LMC) contains layers of damping gel that soften extreme frequencies to create smooth, balanced, and pleasant sounds.
- The adjustable hammock under the headband and foam-cushioned earpads allow us to play for long hours without causing fatigue to the head and ears.
- The double-layered ear shells reduce vibration and resonance to create pleasant sounds that feel comfortable to the ears.
You might want to know how I selected the best open-back headphones for gaming I mentioned above. You also want to find the best headset for yourself, even if it is not on the lists.
I came up with these lists because of some knowledge that I researched and learned. With the info that I gathered, I found out which headphones to buy or not to buy for gaming.
Here are some of the things that you should know about selecting the best headphones for you.
Know the Difference Between the Best Open Headphones for Gaming and the Closed Ones
First of all, we should know the difference between the open-back and the closed-back headphones. Take note that I am not saying that the open-back is better than the other because each has its pros and cons. It is up to you to choose which one works the best for you based on your gaming style, platform, and environment.
For your information, headphones can be in the form of in-ear, over-the-ear, or on-ear. Open-back and closed-back are among the subtypes of an over-ear headphone.
The open-back headphones have grills behind the earcups, which allow sound and air to penetrate through the ear cups. It provides a different listening experience by mixing the ambient noise (the sound from your surroundings) to what you are listening to in your headset.
For this reason, open back-headphones provide better soundstage.
Meanwhile, the closed-back headphones’ primary purpose is for noise isolation. It does not allow the ambient noise to penetrate the ears to allow you to enjoy your music or whatever you are listening to from your device.
Top Open-Back Headphones’ Features You Need to Know for
Wired or Wireless
Like whether a headphone is closed-back or open-back, you can choose to use a wired or wireless headphone. One is not better on the other. What you need to consider first are your gaming habits.
What you need to consider with wired headsets is that they do not need charging, while wireless headsets do.
To learn which to choose, you should consider your internet connection network, places of devices in your room, or the Bluetooth connection. It is because wireless headsets can sometimes disrupt or slow down your Internet connection, which may cause delay or lag in your game.
What makes wireless open-back headphones ideal is that they are comfortable. They eliminate cable distractions, especially if what you are playing requires hand movement or when you are playing on a console.
Wired headsets are advisable for PC gaming and long hours of gaming. Take note that wired headsets do not need charging, which makes these kinds of headphones ideal for extended hours of playing.
Because gamers play for long hours, fatigue is possible not only because of prolonged sitting position but also because of the extended use of wearables.
If you compare them with the earbuds, the headsets are better options when it comes to comfort. Depending on the materials used on headsets, they are less likely to cause fatigue compared to earbuds.
Headsets with leather covering are advisable because even though it looks luxurious, it is worth the money. Remember that you will use one for long hours of gaming. A leather material does not feel warm and absorbs sweat.
Users should also consider that the headbands are flexible to make sure that the headsets fit the head securely. Choose headbands with padding to ensure comfort. As much as possible, stay away from headsets with plastic or metal headbands without covering.
Best open-back wireless headphones have decent microphones. Mics are essential for communication with other players.
Take note that some players dislike using boom mics. If you are this type of player, buy a decent headset without the mic. Use a clip-on microphone if you need one.
On the other hand, if you are the type of player who likes his or her microphone attached to the headset, choose a kind of mic that is unidirectional. This kind of receiver records the voice and produces it crisp and clear.
Cons of Best Open-Air Headphones
Even if you find the best open-back headphones for gaming, you will still find them annoying if you just buy them without knowing the cons.
The downside of the open-back headset is that it has poor sound isolation. If you dislike the ambient sounds, you might find them distracting as you play your games. It is because ambient sounds can penetrate your ears easily because of the structure of the headset.
Another downside is the possible leakage of the sound, especially if you are the type who likes to listen at full volume.
Using an open-back headset allows people around you to hear what you are listening to. It can be rude or distracting to other people.
For this reason, if you are going for an open-back headphone, be sure that your playing station is in a quiet place. Also, make sure that you play alone, and you cannot disrupt anyone.
How to Make the Most Out of the Top Open-Back Headphones
To make the most out of an open back headphone, make sure that your game station is in a quiet room, and you have the privacy to play in it. Make sure that no one around you will feel distracted or interrupted by the noise that can leak from your headphone.
No matter what the price of your selected best open-back headphones for gaming is, you do not like your money to go to waste. You want your purchase to last for years.
For this reason, it is vital to observe proper care. One consideration is to pull it by the end plug rather than the cable.
Also, avoid placing drinks near the headphone. You do not want to risk spilling liquids on it. Liquid and moisture can do severe damage to your headphone.
Therefore, it is also essential to keep it in a dry and clean place
The best open-back headphones for gaming will not be out in the market, if not because of the brands that manufactured them. It is helpful to know the right brands so that if you want to look for a headphone for yourself, you know where first to find it.
The Beyerdynamic came into the picture in 1924 in Berlin. The company started by producing and developing loudspeakers. It aims to manufacture, design, and engineer audio products with superior quality.
As for Audio-Technica, the founding of the company was in 1962. It developed and manufactured audio equipment that solved consumer problems. Now, it aims to create electronic products like wireless systems, audio, and sound equipment for personal and commercial use.
Philips is widely popular because of the varieties of electronics they offer to the market.
The complete brand name is Royal Philips. Gerald Philips and Frederik Philips founded the company in 1891. Their aim at that time was to manufacture electrical products like incandescent lamps.
Today, the company wants to innovate to make the world a healthier place to live and to improve the lives of billions of people.
Now that you know what makes an open-back headphone preferable from the closed-back one, you can pick the choice of headphone yourself.
I did not just pick the headphones I mentioned here randomly. I picked them based on my taste and criteria, and also because I like them.
All the headphones mentioned feel comfortable for prolonged gaming use. Some of them come with extended cables, which is an extra feature when the cable is short. Most of all, they have superior soundstage that produces the sounds coming in all directions in the game clear and crisp.
Some of them have microphones that record and produce clear sounds.
As for my recommendation, there are more expensive options out there. However, these best open-back headphones for gaming are already good enough for me, unless you opt for ones with high-resolutions.
Editor Side Notes: If you are looking for headphones that you can use for sleeping here is our guide on the best headphones for ASMR as we reveal what most people use at night and still can enjoy the music that they wanted to hear.
The answer is it depends.
As mentioned, some wireless devices can interfere with the Wi-Fi connection using Bluetooth with 2.4GHz frequency. For this reason, it can cause a delay in sound. It may also cause lags and delays while playing.
However, if you align all your devices properly, it does not happen.
If you already own the best open-back headphones for gaming that are wireless, you can still do something about them if they cause your games to lag.
Try to change the router channel or get closer to the router to keep the Bluetooth from overpowering your Wi-Fi connection.
If you have fluorescent light or microwaves in your gaming room, take them out.
Again, the answer is, it depends.
As mentioned, closed-back and open-back have their pros and cons. You will appreciate the best open-back headphones for gaming when you have the right environment, and you know their features.
Learn which feature is more relevant to you. Do you prefer noise-cancellation over a better soundstage? Do you live with people that you might probably interrupt when the sound from your headphone leaks?
You will appreciate your open-back headphone more if you prefer better soundstage than sound isolation. You will like it if it is alright for you to hear noises from your environment while you are listening to the clear sounds from the game.
Most of all, you will like your open-back headset even more if you have no one to confront you about the sound coming out of your headphone.