headphones

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A great set of headphones can elevate your listening experience. Closed back headphones allow you to immerse yourself completely in your music and pick up warmth and nuances that aren’t detectable with casual listening. The difference between high and low quality headphones is like the difference between watching a movie on a small television in a crowded room and watching a movie alone in an IMAX theater. The best closed back headphones allow you to tune out the distractions and focus on what matters the most.

The Best Closed Back Headphone FAQ

In this article we will test a group of the best closed back headphones available. To determine the best closed back headphones for you, you need to identify your listening needs. Individuals focused on gaming or internet use will prefer a different set of headphones to individuals who need their audio equipment for recording and mixing.

Here are some terms and concepts that you need to be familiar with in order to determine what are the best closed back headphones for you.

1. What Are Closed Back Headphones?
2. What Is Frequency Response?
3. What Is Impedance?
1. What Are Closed Back Headphones?

Closed back headphones create an immersive listening experience with noise cancelation features. Open back headphones, or on-ear headphones, allow sound waves to leak in and out. Closed back headphones eliminate noise contamination by blocking out external sounds. Closed back headphones are ideal for mixing but are not safe to use when engaged in activities that require you to pay attention to your surroundings.

2. What Is Frequency Response?

Frequency response is the frequency range that a set of headphones can replicate. The human auditory range for a healthy young person is 20 to 20,000 Hz. However, this range deteriorates over time because of age and hearing loss. High end headphones offer a frequency response higher than the auditory range to allow you to feel the high and low frequency range. This result in a sensory listening experience.

3. What Is Impedance?

Impedance measures the resistance in a circuit. Professional quality studio headphones have a high impedance to prevent any distortion from electrical hums. The trade off is that high impedance requires more power for operation. The best closed back headphones for portable devices should have an impedance rating of about 30 Ohms.

How We Reviewed

We reviewed the products in our list of the best closed back headphones on a variety of features. We examined the overall design of the headphones which included the comfort and ear cup size. We paid attention to portability and how compact the headphones fold down. Sound quality is of paramount importance, and we checked frequency response, impedance, and gave our overall listening impressions. We also included a list of pros and cons for each product. Finally we considered the price and overall value.

Overall Price Range

Our selection of the best closed back headphones features products ranging in price from $140 to $2,400. We included one expensive, professional quality set of headphones, the Sennheiser HD 820, to give us the opportunity to discuss the features of both low and high end headphones.

Professional quality headphones have a very high impedance, but it should be noted that high impedance makes headphones impractical for use with mobile devices. For most users, the best closed back headphones cost around $300.

Whate We Reviewed

  • Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones
  • Sony Noise Canceling Headphones WH1000XM3
  • Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
  • Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless High-End Stereo Headphone
  • Microsoft Surface Headphones
  • Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H6
  • Plantronics BackBeat GO 810 Wireless Headphones
  • AKG Noise Canceling Headphones N60NC
  • Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless with Active Noise Cancellation
  • Sennheiser HD 820 Closed-Back Headphone

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones

Black Headphone Product

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Freatures

Audio-Technica has created a high quality pair of wireless headphones. The battery lasts a long time and charging is quick with the included USB A to B cable. The frequency response is 15 to 28,000 Hz, which provides crisp high end tones and solid bass. The headphones collapse down to a manageable size, which makes them convenient for travel or commutes. The ATH-M50xBT is available at a reasonable price point that makes them among the best closed back headphones.

Pros

  • Good frequency response
  • Collapse to a small size
  • Long lasting battery

Cons

  • USB A to B instead of A to C
  • Cable has a poor quality mic

Price $

Sony Noise Canceling Headphones WH1000XM3

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Sony has long been an innovator in high-quality audio equipment and the WH1000XM3 is no exception. These are a very sleek pair of noise canceling headphones in an attractive silver body. The headphones do not fold down, but they’re very compact in their normal state.

One nice feature is you’re allowed to cover the right ear cup to turn your music down in case you need to have a quick conversation. With a frequency response of 20 to 20,000 Hz, these headphones provide great sound for people on the go.

Pros

  • Good frequency response
  • Compact
  • Cover right ear cup for instant volume reduction

Cons

  • Don’t fold
  • Expensive
  • Only available in silver

Price $$

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

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Bose has a reputation for creating compact, powerful speakers with a tremendous bass replication. Their technical prowess is on full display with the QuietComfort 35 II wireless headphones. The lithium Ion battery provides an astonishing 20 hours of listening time when fully charged.

These headphones are available in black, silver and rose gold. The manufacturer does not list the frequency response, but the sound is rich with crisp high ends and bass you can feel.

Pros

  • Long Battery Life
  • Available in several color options
  • Very good sound quality

Cons

  • Manufacturer does not list frequency response
  • Awkward fold design

Price $$

Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless High-End Stereo Headphone

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The Beyerdynamic Amron headphones feature German craftmanship to create a superior listening experience. With a frequency response of 5 to 40,000 Hz, these headphones give you a fully sensory and auditory listening experience.

The 38 Ohm impedance make these headphones ideal for professional and personal use. The fit is comfortable because of well-balanced contact pressure, but the headphones are large and not ideal for travel usage. The sound quality and craftmanship of the Amiron make these among the best closed back headphones.

Pros

  • Terrific craftsmanship
  • Excellent frequency response
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Large and bulky
  • Expensive
  • Long charging time

Price $$

Microsoft Surface Headphones

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Microsoft is a tech company, and these are a great pair of tech savvy headphones that are just as good for gaming and phone calls as it does for listening to music. The frequency response is 20 to 20,000 Hz which matches up with the full human auditory range.

The body is bulky and the gray color is bland, but these are a solid pair of versatile headphones at a reasonable price. These headphones are ideal for users whose needs go beyond only listening to music.

Pros

  • Good Frequency Response
  • Responsive touch controls
  • Good Microphone

Cons

  • Not ideal for mixing
  • Bulky overall design
  • Bland Color

Price $$

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H6

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These are an attractive pair of headphones that feature an old school design and are available in several dynamic color designs. The quality leather and aluminum body give these headphones an elegant look that is also durable and well-crafted. The detachable wire allows you to upgrade your cables or replace damaged cables. The frequency response is 10 to 22.000 Hz with strong bass.

Pros

  • Strong Bass
  • Aluminium and leather construction
  • Detachable cable

Cons

  • Not wireless
  • Don’t fold

Price $$

Plantronics BackBeat GO 810 Wireless Headphones

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The Plantronics are a nice pair of economical, high quality headphones that will provide a great listening experience for a wide variety of needs. These headphones are available in bone, black, and blue so you can choose a set of headphones that acts as a fashion accessory.

Flat folding, these headphones are great for travel or use for commuting. The manufacturer does not list the frequency response, but overall these headphones have great sound, although the bass is a little overpowering.

Pros

  • Economically priced
  • Convenient folding
  • Many color option

Cons

  • Overpowering bass
  • Long Charging time

Price $

AKG Noise Canceling Headphones N60NC

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The AKG N60NC are a nice pair of headphones that have two circular ear cups which swivel to make the headphones more compact for travel. The ear cups are smaller than what you find on some other models. You can get up to 30 hours of playback on a single charge.

The frequency response is 10 to 22,000 Hz, and impedance is 32 Ohms. These are some of the best closed back headphones for individuals on a budget who seek a good sound and portability.

Pros

  • Economically priced
  • Good frequency response
  • Good impedance level for portable devices

Cons

  • Small ear caps
  • Long Charging time

Price $

Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless With Active Noise Cancellation

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Sennheiser is one of the industry leaders in high-quality audio equipment. The momentum 2.0 Wireless headphones come with a classic, unique design that looks like it came right out of the 1960s. Available in both black and ivory, these headphones boast 22 hours of playing time on a single charge.

The 16 to 22,000 Hz frequency response provides crisp sound, and the 28 Ohm impedance means these will sound great when paired with any portable device.

Pros

  • Listen wireless or through detachable cable
  • Good frequency response
  • Ideal impedance for portable devices

Cons

  • Don’t fold for storage
  • Ear cups are a little small

Price $

Sennheiser HD 820 Closed-Back Headphone

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The Sennheizer HD 820 are a set of industry leading closed back headphones. Equipped with a unique glass transducer to minimize resonance, these headphones allow you to focus on the hidden nuances of your favorite music without adding any distractions or distortion.

The frequency response is 12 to 43,800 Hz and the impedance is 300 Ohms, making these headphones perfect for professional studio work. The high impedance means you won’t be able to use these with your portable players. These are the best closed back headphones when price is no object.

Pros

  • Fantastic craftmanship
  • Superior frequency response
  • High impedance

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Not for use with a mobile device
  • bulky

Price $$$

The Verdict

If you are a professional audio engineer, you will probably select the Sennheiser HD 820. The Sennheiser HD 820 offers a superior frequency response and high impedance which combine to create an accurate and overwhelming sound. The Sennheiser HD 820 will allow you to isolate aspects in your track that you won’t even be able to detect on lower quality speakers. However, these speakers are both expensive and limited to use with professional equipment, so they are not an ideal choice for most users.

We chose the Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless High-End Stereo Headphone as the best closed back headphones in our survey. The frequency response is tremendous, and the Impedance is high enough to protect your speakers against blowout, but low enough to use with a wide variety of players.

We liked the size of the ear cups, the comfortable pads, and the overall fit of the Beyerdynamic. The overall sound quality and craftmanship of the Beyerdynamic Amiron puts these headphones in a class of their own.

Consider your purpose and make a selection with the best features to accommodate your needs. Remember that getting the best closed back headphones for you does not require spending thousands of dollars.