Best open back headphones for gaming [2020 Reviews]
Gaming has taken over the world in a big way, with plenty of innovations making it the most expensive market in the world. With revenues expected to hit $230 billion by 2022, games and their related accessories are always going to improve to the highest standards of quality possible. Whether its CPUs being upgraded to the highest levels or even keyboards, the world’s seeing the greatest technology innovators come to the fore.
Headphones are no different. Gamers depend heavily on headphones to communicate and if you’re an ardent gamer, you’d know. From having to be completely engrossed in the game to immersing yourself into the experience, headphones can help teleport you entirely. There’s nothing like clear audio quality to relay your messages across and get the game up and running.
Open back gaming headsets are all the rage now as they offer a slew of benefits, including audio quality, comfort, wearability and an overall immersive experience unlike any other. For those timeless sessions staring at the screen, your ears need to feel comfortable and these headphones let you do so. It allows the sound out and in of the earcups, along with air to keep your ears feeling less moist. It also surrounds the sound rather than keeping it in your head, allowing you just the right amount of ambient noise.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best open-back headphones for gaming, with which you’ll be able to enjoy some amazing online matches. Each headphone comes with its own set of pros and cons, so go through the list in detail to understand better:
TOP RATED OPEN BACK GAMING HEADSETS
1. Sennheiser Game ONE Gaming Headset
The Game ONE headset looks cool and is definitely one of the best value for money headphones you can get. The cups that go over-the-ear have a red trimming to give it that edgy, gamer look. While the cups are larger than required, they provide a great experience overall, so it compensates. The headphones are coated with velvet to inside to make it a comfortable fit overall.
As far as gaming is concerned, the headset more than gets the job done. It does not come with an amp or software, making it harder to tweak sounds, but the high-quality audio is crystal-clear, allowing it to tackle any game genre with comfortable ease. The high clarity and fidelity also allow you to hear that (sometimes unnecessary) battle cries from your teammates with no problem at all!
The headphone proves that there isn’t a real need for equalization in gaming if the base audio quality itself is so good.
- The adjustable volume knob and mic make the audio quality as clear as you’d like it to be
- The stylish look adds to the overall aesthetic of the headphones
- It works great without the option to change the equalization
- The headphones are a little larger than required, making it tougher to carry around
- It may feel uncomfortable to wear for longer periods
- Those who are hell bent on equalizing their sound might find it harder to adjust
2. Audio Technica ATHPDG1 Open-Air Premium Gaming Headset
When headphones are made with Audio Technica’s trusted Japanese quality, you know you’re in for a good ride. While these electronic giants are known for their studio equipment, their gaming accessories don’t lag back. The ATHPDG-1 comes at just 225 grams, making it a lightweight headphone, perfect for traveling. It also allows you to turn the headphones the other way, a la DJ style, though this won’t have much use in the gaming sector.
The light unit comes with ample cushioning that will ensure you don’t feel the loud jarring sounds of the surround sound. The headphones are fundamentally sound, with great clarity and adjustability. The ATH-PDG1 offers cross-platform capabilities for gaming and comes with in-line audio to mute the mic. However, there is no way to control mic volume independently. Even the sound from the headphones tends to distort when played above 70%.
- The slick look make it one of the better-looking gaming headsets out there
- Audio Technica’s robust design makes it comfortable to wear
- The lightweight headphones are easier to carry
- The bass tends to be completely or nearly obsolete, affecting the game experience
- The design doesn’t support great sound, and it can be heard out loud
- It isn’t as immersive as it claims to be
3. Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm Headphones
A part of the “old-guard” style of open-back studio headphones, Beyer is known for its amazing sound quality and robustness, with their DT990 Pro epitomizing the same. It is a staple for many studios and its quality for a mid-price point studio headphone does make it a great option if you’re looking to find one that suits your gaming purposes.
The headphones have a good channel balance though it does come with a slight discrepancy when it comes to the highs. You might find yourself concentrating harder to hear as the noise moves up. The headphones are super comfortable however and rely on the clamping force to stay on your head. The large ear-pads ensure that the clamp is distributed properly throughout.
For gaming, they are a good choice if you’re just starting out as they can help you get the right value for money. Good mic quality and adjustable knobs make it a great choice.
- They are one of the better entry-level gaming headsets in the market
- As much as they’re inexpensive, they offer a great comfort level while you wear them
- The mid-level audio quality provided is much better compared to other brands
- The highs for sounds tend to get extremely aggressive, making it harder to game loudly
- The bass and treble add a bit extra force, which can be uncomfortable
4. HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset - 7.1 Surround Sound
The HyperX Cloud II is perhaps the perfect headphone for the average gamer who wants every feature packed into one robust case. The huge 53mm drivers, sound processing capabilities for surround systems, detachable microphone and more, make it a coveted headphone in the industry.
The headphones are ideal for gaming, with excellent sound quality and perfect designs just for this purpose. The luxurious touches it comes with make it an even better option to choose, with leatherette cushions for the ear, headphone adaptor for flights along with a carry case.
The sounds are just as excellent, with the headphones providing a fair assumption for things such as footsteps, bullets and grenades in online games. The overall quality and clarity is excellent too and it is as good as any other surround sound headphone available in the market. There isn’t any noise cancellation available, with the design ensuring a lot of outside noise is kept out irrespective.
- Excellent value for money, with power-packed features available in one device
- The removable mic allows for easier traveling
- Sound quality is excellent, making it the perfect accessory for gaming
- No detachable headphone cord
- The carrying case can be quite flimsy
5. SteelSeries Arctis Pro High Fidelity Gaming Headset
The Arctis Pro + GameDAC is one of the most stylishly designed headphones in the market, and comes with a digital-to-analog converter, making it simpler to enjoy audio files in high resolution. You can also tweak the EQ settings as per your requirements.
The slick design of the headphones is customizable, with magnetic ear-cup removers that you can change as you wish. As far as gaming sound is concerned, the headphones pump out an excellent surround sound for various genres with every sound clear as daylight.
It’s an excellent choice for a first-person shooter game and is definitely a choice you must consider. The hi-res audio quality is incomparable, with the slick design adding that extra bit of style.
- Booming sound effects, make it perfect for games
- Detachable ear-cups for you to customize your sound
- Slick all-black design
- The robust EQ makes it a niche product
- It’s a product that works best for desktop gamers and no other audiophile
6. BENGOO G9000 Stereo Gaming Headset
The BENGOO G9000 is definitely a headphone that will garner attention. A lot of it. The edgy, LED-lit headphone design, coupled with its colorful look is something to admire. It screams gaming headphones without even trying and thankfully, it performs like one too.
The flip boom microphone, 40mm jack and lights make it flashy but the sound effect actually lives up to its relatively modest price. The bass is extremely punchy and this makes it a great experience for those who love their explosions with a bit of oomph.
These headphones also come with a flip mic that captures speech well, ensuring you don’t need another type of mic.
- High-bass sound, amplifying each effect
- Long 49mm wire which allows you to move around well
- The chunky, flashy over-the-top design which may not sit well with seasoned gamers
- Poor audio feedback
- Small ear cushions can be uncomfortable when worn
7. AKG K240STUDIO Semi-Open Over-Ear Professional Studio Headphones
One of the telling features of the AKG K240 headphones are the varimotion technology that automatically lends extra bass response. The removable cable also makes it easier to utilize it wherever you please. The accurate transducer and venting structure produces a beautiful, natural open sound quality.
The device also comes with a self-adjusting headband with steel cable, making it easier to get that high-quality sound that comes with gaming. It is a great device to have on your gaming roster as it is sleek, with a removable cable that makes a world of difference.
- Serviceable, removable cable
- Enhanced bass supplied by the varimotion technology
- Impedance up to 55-ohm
- Flat response might not be well-received by all
- Poor audio isolation
8. Samson SR850 Semi-Open-Back Studio Reference Headphones
The design of the Samson SR850 might not be the best in the business, but that’s expected considering the price point it comes at. It comes with a 1/4 headphone adapter that can be used professionally. The design is pretty sturdy, with metal bands attached to the headphones, making them unbreakable.
As far as sound quality is concerned, the device comes with low impedance so you won’t need an amplifier to work it. It is loud enough to listen on your phone as well and it could damage the ear when played super high. The comfort level is pretty normal and it gets natural with a few wears of the device.
It won’t allow people to hear what you’re listening at a higher volume. The open-back design of the device, however, gives it a more natural and authentic feel. For gamers, the sound comes with enough volume, with proper bass and well-pronounced trebles. The sound can be a little low however and isn’t the greatest on games with a lot of surround sound.
- Decent sound system for the price
- Good, ergonomic design
- Gamers might find it hard to adjust owing to the lower impedance
- Quality may deteriorate with time
9. Corsair HS60 – 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound PC Gaming Headset w/USB DAC
The Corsair HS60 are "the gaming headphones", meaning they were built specifically for that purpose. While they are above-average in that sector, with critical listening receiving good sound, they do have a few drawbacks as well. We’ll talk about what’s good first -
The headphones come with a detachable boom mic and are well-built and comfortable overall. They are also wired which means they will come with console support when you’re using Xbox One and PS4 controllers. There isn’t any latency while gaming, ensuring they are a great fit for any gamer.
When it comes to the cons however, the first thing that strikes us is the fact that it doesn’t come with a detachable cable. It isn’t great for outdoor use as well, compared to the other gaming headphones available on this list. This lack of noise isolation can be cumbersome if you live in a noisy household as it can sometimes let ambient noise get in.
Also, the delivery of bass isn’t consistent throughout the device and varies noticeably over various platforms. This inconsistency could make it harder for you to choose one that works ideally across all conditions. It’s better to pick and choose the one you feel works best for your device across all platforms.
Overall, the sleek look and decent audio delivery do make it a good gaming headset, no doubt. However, if you’re looking for something better, there are many options available.
- Great, sleek design
- Good sound from an overall perspective
- The noise cancellation isn’t as great compared to some of the other devices in the market
- The weight of the headphones can sometimes be a differentiating factor as this lies on the heavier side of things
- The headphones are also sensitive to eye glasses and this can be annoying.
10. Razer Kraken Gaming Headset
For a gaming headset that retails at a low price, the Razer Kraken is actually good. While it, of course, comes with drawbacks compared to the other headphones in this segment, it is still a reliable piece of equipment that can make a difference if you’re just starting out.
The startling bright green exterior comes with an inconvenient non-detachable microphone. It sounds good, however, while gaming with a major focus on the voice work and trebles. It’s also comfortable to wear for hours and helps you realize how oversized the other Razer headsets are in general.
This is a good recommendation if you’re looking for a headphone that’s not too expensive. The device is light and has a plastic chassis all around with honeycomb designs.
The headset, however, is perfect for voice work, with music also gaining a strong prominence in them. It is a little light on bass, so don’t expect the best sounds on some of the more heavier shooting games. The functional aspect of directional sound was present but gunplay can sometimes lack the power you’re expecting.
- The headphone is comfortable and a good fit
- Good in-game sound for those who are looking for a budget gaming experience
- The stereo and surround sound aren’t too dissimilar
- The mic that cannot be removed or retracted
Things to consider before buying a VOICE AMPLIFIER
When it comes to open back gaming headsets, you’ve to consider a few factors which include the ergonomic fit over your ears, sound quality, durability, price and how easy it is to connect to your device. With these pointers in mind, we shortlisted 10 of the best studio headphones for gaming, making it easier for you to choose one that catches your fancy:
Thus, in our compiled list of the best audiophile headphones for gaming for you to try out, there are headphones are designed to make sound clearer and excellent for any online experience.
The platform you use plays a big role in determining the headphones you’ve to choose. There are certain headsets that are specifically designed for certain platforms and will give you an experience unlike any other. It’s important that you choose one that works well across all platforms, but if you’re restricted to one, then see which options work best for that one
Comfort and fit -
Another important factor is to ensure the fit and comfort of the open-back headsets are ideal for your ears. You don’t want to be playing a game where your ears are constantly hurting or sweating. Choose ones that come with good, plush earpads and keep your ears feeling smooth and comfy.
Also, these headphones need to be robust enough to fit into bags and not break. As long as you’re happy with the build quality, you can go ahead and purchase it.
Sound quality -
The sound quality is another crucial factor while choosing headsets. The driver size plays a big role in this, and a driver above 40mm should do the job. Good sound quality is the major differentiating factor between good and cheap headsets. Good “bass” should also be a factor because that adds to the immersive effect of the game.
Noise cancellation is another uncompromising factor for choosing the headset. It will ensure that others around you aren’t disturbed and you too, aren’t confused by ambient noise around you.
Your microphone should be able to hear your sound and not the music that’s produced by the headset. Microphones play the role of providing noise cancellation and the quality must ensure your voice is loud and clear.
Our final recommendation
With all that said and done, we’d recommend the Kingston HyperX Cloud II Gaming headset or the SteelSeries Arctis Pro. They tick most of the boxes in our list and provide great value for money, along with the greater sound of course. If you’re a seasoned gamer, go ahead and choose these and enjoy enhanced gaming sounds that will bring out the beast in you! Good luck!