Best Closed Back Headphones you must consider [2020 Reviews]
“Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul” – Plato
Well said! The statement holds true but what if there are noises around you, stopping your music to scrawl into these secret places and reach your soul? No, I’m not kidding. Okay, if not soul, what about your ears? There are times and situations when you just cannot enjoy your music even when you’ve put your best headphones on and even when you’ve turned the volume to the fullest!
It is frustrating, especially when you don’t have the best closed back headphones. Offices, crowded places, buses, trains, planes, and even parks get so loud sometimes that it is hard to focus on your music because you’re listening to so many other noises besides your music.
Well, you’re not the only one who has faced this issue. We have all been there and to find a cure to our discomfort, the experts put their heads right and came up with a groundbreaking technology – ANC!
ANC is short for Active Noise Cancellation and as our surroundings became uncontrollable noise, this technology took birth and saved our day! Now that it has spread throughout the sound industry, the technology is not just limited to high-end brands like Bose and Sony but has been widely adopted by almost every brand out there. The results are amazing and now users can have a suitable ANC-enabled headphone at every budget.
WHAT ARE CLOSED BACK HEADPHONES ?
There is a great variety of headphones available in the markets. The difference can be found in terms of connectivity, ear-cup type, sound quality, features, budget, brand name, and what not! So, picking the best headphones is not at all an easy task, especially if you’re a professional or an audiophile.
I have been through the same dilemma over and over again and through my personal experience and a bit of research, I have found out that people have quite a tough time selecting the best closed-back headphones. But what are these headphones?
If you’re looking for one, you must be aware that these headphones have ear cups or cans that are completely sealed at the back. This enables them to deliver noise cancellation and prevents the leakage of sound out of the cups when you’re recording.
So, noise cancellation is made possible with the help of the closed-back headphones. In this category too, there is a wild variety available in the markets. Lucky for you, I have picked the top 10, based on what users are saying about these headphones. Let’s have a look at these beauties:
1. Bose Quiet Comfort 35
Let’s start from the boss of sound, yes, the Bose! These headphones are one of the best options in this category. These wireless headphones allow you to enjoy music and just nothing else – all thanks to its three-level noise cancellation feature. So, even if you’re at a crowded place during a rush hour, no noise can be an obstacle between you and your music.
With high sound quality, the headphones are also enabled with Bose AR and easy one-button push for Alexa voice control. So, you have an easy access to music and other information. You can easily connect these headphones through a handy Bluetooth pairing feature using the Bose Connect app. There is a lot more than the app allows you to explore!
- Perfect noise cancellation with no white noise
- Intuitive Bose controls
- Truly comfortable
- High-quality microphone
- Updated firmware might hinder connectivity
- Noise cancellation may not work while calling
- Bluetooth connection might frequently drop for some devices
2. Audio –Technica ATH-M50x
If you’re looking for something professional, these are a great option for you. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x has been praised and recommended by a number of sound engineers and audio reviewers. So, you can rest assured that they will give you an exemplary performance. The aperture drivers of these headphones are about 45mm in size and have rare earth magnets, and the voice coils that are made of aluminum wire, clad with copper.
The over the-ear design contour of these headphones is very comfortable and facilitates high-quality sound to reach your ears with excellent voice cancellation or sound isolation. So, these are a perfect pick when you have to listen to your music in loud surroundings.
The ear-cups can easily be swiveled up to 90 degrees for comfortable one-ear monitoring, when you’re working on your music. The sound is very clear and crisp along with a comfortable fit that allows tireless usage for hours. These headphones come with detachable cable and can be used in studio as well as for personal use.
- Critically acclaimed sonic headphones
- True-to-performance audio quality
- Excellent build quality
- Super comfortable
- Clear, accurate, and detailed sound
- Great noice cancellation
- Not the best-quality bass
- Poorly designed hinge component
- High tones are harsh
- Not comfortable for all users
3. Mixcder E9
Another master of noise-cancellation, the Mixcder E9 is an ideal option for those who are looking for something way less expensive as compared to Bose headphones! These headphones can be easily paired with Bluetooth devices for wireless usage and also come with a 3.5mm aux cable for wired connectivity. With 30 hour playtime plus the aux, you don’t have to worry about turning your headphones off because of a drained battery.
The excellent noise-cancelation feature helps you listen to your favorite tunes, anywhere without any interruption. So, whether you’re on a train, in a bus, on a plane, or just in your chatty office – these headphones are the perfect way to listen to your music.
The headphones have 40mm aperture drivers, balanced mid-bass, and high-quality treble. They are extremely comfortable – all thanks to their design and build quality. The headphones also come with built-in microphone that allows uninterrupted calling. Easy controls right on the ear-cups.
- Amazing noise-cancellation
- Long-lasting battery
- Simple and easy features
- High-quality finish, build quality, and design
- Intuitive control buttons
- Excellent sound quality
- Chunky design
- Not a popular brand
4. Sony WH1000XM3 - Best noise-cancellation headphones
If you go out and try to research about the best noise-cancellation headphones, the two leading brand names that you will come across are Bose and Sony. So, here is our option from Sony in this list. The Sony WH1000XM3 are the perfect noise cancelling headphones in a high budget range. These wireless headphones offer connectivity through Bluetooth and audio cable for wired connection.
The headphones claim to offer industry-leading ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) that gives users a very personalized listening experience, especially in loud surroundings like offices, planes, trains, buses, etc. The headphones are Alexa-enabled for fast and easy access to music and other information. With the quick attention mode, when you have to make a conversation, just cover the right ear cup to instantly turn down the volume of the music. The ambient sound can also be adjusted to control the noise cancellation according to your requirement. The headphones are also pretty comfortable to wear and come with easy touch and voice controls.
- Premium sound quality
- The trust of Sony
- 30 hours of playtime
- Light in weight and comfortable
- 4X better noise reduction
- Connectivity with Sony App
- Sound quality degrades during calls
- Too heavy bass
- Difficult controls
- Problems with firmware and connectivity
5. OneOdio Studio Monitor Headphones
In our list of the best closed back headphones under 250, the OneOdio Studio Headphones are the most budget friendly monitor headphones. These headphones have 50mm aperture drivers and neodymium magnets. They are designed to deliver powerful bass, crisp high tones, and clear vocals. In short, the headphones claim to offer the best sound quality at this price.
The headphones are comfortable for hours of listening and the 9.8-foot long cord helps you stay put at your favorite spot while you’re plugged to a system, TV or stereo. With a 90 degrees swivel, you can easily use the ear cups for single-side monitoring. The headphones are compatible with a number of devices and make a great investment.
- Best bet for personal use
- Amazing sound quality for the price
- Clean and crisp sound
- Good build quality
- May be uncomfortable for long use
- Look cheap
- No noise cancellation
6. Status Audio CB-1 - Best Soundstage Headphones
These closed back headphones are again a pair of monitor headphones, recommended by top musicians and sound engineers. They are claimed to be industry-standard headphones, ideal for professional usage.
The headphones come with 50mm drivers and deliver a wide soundstage to produce high sound quality. The padded headband and over-the-ear cups make these headphones quite comfortable for longer usages. They come with a 9-foot audio cable and a 3.5mm audio cable. The design is quite minimalistic and aesthetic. With their features, you can say that these are the best soundstage headphones in this price range.
- High build quality
- Highly durable
- No leakage of sound during vocal recordings
- Clear highs and mids
- Very comfortable
- Not for audiophiles
- The cord lock is very hard
- Sound can be muffled and mixed sometimes
7. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO - Best closed back headphones under 500
Another great option from the best closed back headphones under 500, these are one of the most trusted studio headphones. Ideal for professional sound work in studios, these headphones make a great investment. With their high-resolution sound, you can also use them for the purpose of recording. These are 250 ohm headphones with a closed construction and a comfortable fit. The ear cups are circumaural and replaceable, cushioned for comfort.
The design and build quality is marvelous, making these headphones a durable piece of your equipment. While the 250 ohm variant is the best for mixing desks and audio equipment, the headphones are also available in 32 ohms for personal use with smartphones and computers and 80 ohms for studio. It is a trusted brand and the quality of these headphones is great value for the price!
- Very clear and neutral frequency response
- Great quality
- Replaceable parts like the headband
- Great bass and mid-bass
- Very comfortable and perfect fit
- Rich warm sound
- Highs can be too sharp
- No detachable cord
- Very bulky and big
8. Shure SRH440
Another pair of professional studio headphones, the Shure SRH440 come with a great build quality and a collapsible design. These headphones are closed-back and circumaural, delivering an enhanced frequency response. The headphones are optimized for studio recording as well as usage at home. The headband is adjustable and the headphones come with a collapsible design for handy carriage.
They also come with a detachable cord that can be secured with a bayonet clip. This pair of headphones provides superior isolation and is a great pick for noisy environments. They are very durable, comfortable, and portable, ideal for everyday use. At half the price, these headphones are known to compete with all the expensive closed back headphones are quite a durable and high-quality variant if you’re on a budget.
- Comfortable on ears
- Amazing sound quality
- Detachable cord is easy to remove
- No leakage of sound
- Perfect bass
- Great noise-cancellation
- Heavy cans
- The hinges can be a problem
- The cord is heavy and difficult to handle
- Not a flashy and stylish design
9. LyxPro HAS-10
These are professional-grade headphones ideal for mixing and live monitoring. Available at a very affordable price, these headphones offer a true value for beginners and those who are running on a budget. The headphones deliver an instant dynamic response driven by its NdFeB Magnet System. The build quality of these headphones is also quite good and the ear-cups can swivel up to 180 degrees.
The ear pads and headband are made of leather and the ear shells are made of high-quality aluminum. The 45mm neodymium magnet drivers help in hones and clean audio representation. No sound bleeding with a practical closed back, making these headphones ideal for studio recordings.
- Amazing noise cancellation
- No cracking of sound at high volume
- Long cable, ideal for studios, guitar playing, etc.
- Pretty comfortable
- Excellent sound quality
- Value for money
- The headset might seem tight
- Not the highest quality
- The material might wear off with time
- Size of ear cups might not fit all
- The long cable might hinder easy portability
10. COWIN E7
These headphones are another big pick in the wireless category! The COWIN E7 is a set of over-the-ear headphones, offering high-quality noise cancellation with its active noise cancelling technology. They are an ideal companion when you’re traveling in a bus, train, or a plane as they seal the outdoor noises and let you enjoy your music with great sound isolation.
The headphones have 40mm large aperture drivers and deliver clean, crisp, and high-quality sound with accurate bass response. The protein ear pads of these headphones are quite comfortable for almost every user and have a 90 degree swivel to facilitate single-sided monitoring. When you’ve connected your headphones via Bluetooth, they are claimed to give you a playtime of about 30 hours. So, no worries of draining your batteries, even when you are on a long journey.
- Amazing noise cancellation
- Easy and ergonomic controls
- 30+ hours of playtime on Bluetooth connectivity
- Fast Bluetooth connection
- Attractive design
- Comfortable to wear
- Command switch LED doesn’t go off
- A bit clunky
- Compression feeling with ANC turned on
- May give out distorted sounds
Things to consider while buying Closed Back Headphones
You have looked at the top 10 headphones with closed backs! Now, if you’re still confused which one is the best pick for you, let me help you further. Here is a short and precise buying guide for you to make the final call! Let’s have a look at the factors you should consider before investing in closed back headphones:
- Noise Cancellation and Usage
The first and foremost! The usage of your headphones is a very crucial factor that influences your decision making. Why do you need your closed-back headphones? Is it just for usage at home and for travelling? Or are you planning to use them for studio recordings, monitoring, and mixing?
Well, for the former, minimal to good noise cancellation would do but for the latter, you need to spend some extra bucks and buy the one with the best ANC technology.
- Build Quality
When you’re buying your headphones for monitoring and mixing or for studio purposes, they should come in real handy. This means, buy the ones that offer ear-cup swivel to 90 or 180 degrees. This way, you can comfortably perform single-sided monitoring.
For other uses, a headphone that has decent-quality material, fits perfectly, and offers the comfort is the best buy. When you pick an option, you can look for customer reviews to learn about the quality of material used, the look and feel, the damaged occurred, the reason of damage, etc.
- Sound Quality
The sound quality of headphones is judged by the size of their aperture drivers and their frequency response. An audiophile would surely look into these specifications before buying a high-quality closed-back headphone.
However, for someone who is not an audiophile, the headphones that offer decent quality sound that is clear, crisp, and balanced, will do well. If you have any other specifications to look for, put your search caps on and start researching about the headphones you want to buy.
- Size and Fit
Headphones can be too big, too chunky, and too comfortable. This depends on many factors like – material used for its manufacturing, the shape of earpads inside the ear-cups, the type of ear-cups (over-the-ear in this case), and the fit of the headband.
If any of these factors are not suitable for you, the headphones might turn out to be uncomfortable. For instance, if the headband is too tight, you might get a headache or your ears might start aching, hampering long periods of usage.
You must go for comfortable and adjustable headphones, especially when you’re picking the headphones for travelling or for using in your office.
Closed-back headphones are considered as the high-end type of headphones. While the ANC feature might cost its own price, people also demand other basic features in these headphones.
Connectivity is the major factor to look for. Bluetooth connectivity, wired connectivity, availability of detachable cord, length of the detachable cord, and the ease of detaching it, all factors must be considered to avoid any hassles of connectivity and plugging-in when you have your headphones.
If you pick wireless options, make sure they use the latest version of Bluetooth and look for reviews to learn more about the connectivity of the Bluetooth.
Once again, this factor can never be overlooked. So, do you have a Bose budget or that for Status Audio? Well, whatever you have on the table, we have the headphones in this list that will cover all normal budget ranges.
Just try and have a balance between your budget and requirements, if you don’t want to be disappointed. This is because in a highly professional setting, you cannot expect Status Audio to perform the way Bose would. So, here, we have to be a bit reasonable and do justice with our budget and requirements. If you pick the wrong budget for your requirements, you will either be disappointed with the price or with the performance of your headphones.
With these factors in mind, I hope you will be able to invest in the best audiophile headphones that you’re looking for. There are so many options available. Just pick what feels right! Cheers!