9 Best Open Back Headphones of 2019

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Are you in the market for the best open back headphones, but with the number of choices you are confused which ones you should buy? Then you need to do figure out your requirements and select a model that has the key features to match that. In this guide, we will explain the top buying considerations when selecting the right model.

We have taken a look at the best open back headphones and found the top options below. We present you with the best options across 3 price categories. This means that you can find a great product regardless of your budget.

Philips SHP9500
Cable length 1.5m
10.6 ounces
Audio reproduction is excellent and Durable build.
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Best Value
AKG Pro Audio K702
Cable length 3m
1.8 pounds
Excellent audio quality and A choice of cable types.
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Top Pick
Shure SRH1840 Professional
Cable length 2.1m
4.4 pounds
CLightweight build and Industry leading audio.
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Do you even need to buy the best open back headphones? Below we will share with you the target market for this product so that you’re able to figure out if buying them is worthwhile. It’s a great idea to read through this section if you have never bought open back headphones before and need to decide if they are for you.

Top buying considerations to make

Who should buy open back headphones?

Top 9 Open Back Headphones Comparison Table

Make and ModelWeight Cable LengthPrice
Philips SHP950010.6 ounces1.5mCheck Price
Audio Technica AUD ATHAD500X0.52 pounds3mCheck Price
Grado SR80e8.3 ounces3mCheck Price
Superlux HD 6814 pounds2.5mCheck Price
AKG Pro Audio K7021.8 pounds3mCheck Price
Fostex T50RP MK31.8 pounds3m and 1.2mCheck Price
Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO13.4 ounces3mCheck Price
Shure SRH1840 Professional4.4 pounds2.1mCheck Price
HIFIMAN HE-400I0.82 pounds1.5mCheck Price

Best Open Back Headphones By Budget:

Click below to get detailed information on each Headphone by price.

Best Open Back Headphones Under $100

Are you in the market for a budget option that has all the features you need to have an enjoyable audio experience? Then the under $100 category is where you should be looking at. Here you will find a selection of the top product in the marketplace that represents a great deal. It goes to show that you do not need to put a huge dent in your wallet to enjoy a good quality audio experience.

Pay attention to the quality of the audio and the comfort level of the product here. Because this is a budget category, there will be some features that will need sacrificed – typically the durability.

1. Philips SHP9500

Philips SHP9500View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

Are you in the market for a budget open back model that provides great audio and a comfortable fit? Then the Philips SHP9500 should be towards the top of your list as the value for money here is excellent. Read more to find out why this product made our list of the best open back headphones.

The audio of this headset is accurate and the level of reproduction is excellent. However, the bass quality is not as good as some competitors. If you’re used to headphones that deliver excellent bass that’s powerful, then you’ll feel as if something is missing here.

However, what is appreciated here is the massive soundstage, which contributes to a rich sound. This is what an open back design is all about, but make sure you use the headphones in a quiet environment. That’s because the open acoustics allow sound to leak in and also leak out.

The impedance is 32 ohms, the sensitivity is 101 decibels, and the frequency response is 12-35,000Hz. This means the quality of the audio experience is great and competitive in the budget open back headphone market.

The 1.5m cable isn’t the longest on the list, but good enough. Also the double layered headband is comfortable to wear. Another advantage of an open back design is that air ventilation is not a problem. This means sweat and heat build-up is not going to be a problem after multiple hours of use.

Philips is a reputable company and has already released some of the best budget headphones on the market. Therefore, they have experience in the industry and this product represents years of innovation.

To summarize, the Philips SHP9500 is an excellent budget option for those of you that have been struggling to find a pair of headphones that gets the job done at a relatively low price. The combination of a comfortable design and excellent audio reproduction means you’re getting a great deal. The only problem with this product is the implementation of the bass – it lacks the power you might experience with competitors.


Tech Specs
Weight: 10.6 ounces
Cable length: 1.5m
Wireless: No
The Pros
Good value
Comfortable to wear
Audio reproduction is excellent
Durable build
The Cons
Bass could be better
Bulky design

2. Audio Technica AUD ATHAD500X

Audio Technica AUD ATHAD500XView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

Audio Technica is a reputable brand that can be trusted to deliver a great product, and this headphone model will not disappoint you. The combination of the flexible raised fabric earpads and newly designed 53mm drivers are just some of the highlights to pay attention to here.

The large earpads exert no pressure on the ears and you will feel comfortable after multiple hours of use. The aluminum casing is rather light and means you’ll be able to not be weighed down by a heavy product. You can also adjust the headband so that a comfortable fit is achieved.

The 53 mm drivers have CCAW voice coils that reproduce the audio at accurately. The bass will be impactful and the clarity of the audio at all decibel levels is excellent. You can enjoy superb audio regardless of what you are using this product for.

The weight of the product is 235g and the cable length is 3m. Furthermore, the sensitivity is at an impressive 100 decibels and the maximum input power is 500 mW. All of these specifications combine to provide an audio experience that represents a bargain at the price point.

To conclude, the Audio Technica AUD ATHAD500X is a top quality product for the budget buyer that doesn’t want to compromise on the quality of the audio. The 53 mm drivers and the comfortable fit means you’re getting a comprehensive product.


Tech Specs
Weight: 0.52 pounds
Cable length: 3m
Wireless: No
The Pros
53 mm drivers
Comfortable to wear
Bass is great
The Cons
Non-detachable cable
Audio can suffer at high decibels

3. Grado SR80e Prestige Series Headphones

Grado SR80e Prestige Series HeadphonesView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Another popular option in the budget category is the Grado SR80e Prestige Series Headphones that come at the price of just under $100. It’s got a clever design that will be appreciated by experienced headphone users and those fresh to the marketplace.

The soft vinyl headband is easily adjustable and makes contact with the top of your head with low pressure. This is a much appreciated feature because it greatly improves the comfort of wearing the headphones for an extended time. Also the large ear cushions contribute to the amazing comfort as they are over-sized and soft. Therefore, a minimal amount of pressure will be exerted on your head by the headphones.

Due to the sound leakage of the product make sure that you select an isolated environment as otherwise you might annoy people around you. However, the open back design leads to an immersive audio experience that adds a lot of quality.

What sets the Grado SR80e apart from the rest in the budget category is the quality of the audio at low, mid, and high tones. You can expect greater clarity and depth of detail when compared with headphones in a similar price range. It goes to show that you do not need to pay a premium in order to enjoy high quality audio.

However, the quality of the materials used and durability might not match higher priced headphones. It means you’ll need to sacrifice the practicality of the product for the great audio quality. Therefore, the Grado SR80e headphones are ideal for those who will be limiting their use to indoors.

To conclude, the Grado SR80e is one of the top choices for the budget buyers that interested in a top open back headphone product. The mix of the great audio and comfortable fit is all you really need that’s provided here. At under $100 you will struggle to find a better product that is capable of delivering an immersive audio price regardless of what type of audio you’re listening to.


Tech Specs
Weight: 8.2 ounces
Cable length: 3m
Wireless: No
The Pros
Comfortable to wear
Competitive price
Good audio clarity
The Cons
Not suited for outdoors

4. Superlux HD 681

Superlux HD 681View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

This is a semi-open back design, but it makes this list because of the excellent value for money. For the price of around $35, you’re getting good quality audio and a comfortable design. It’s designed for the budget buyer that doesn’t have a big budget but isn’t willing to sacrifice on the quality of the product either.

The self-adjusting headband is able to provide a great fit, but the durability of the headband is questionable. That’s because the materials used overall are not premium, but the fit is comfortable. Therefore, if you want to ensure this product is going to stand the test of time you need to be careful with it. Also the design is light, which means fatigue is not going to be a problem when you wear these for multiple hours.

The hi-fi quality audio is excellent and the bass response is great too. You’ll be able to enjoy a powerful sound, but also one that is not going to omit the various audio details other budget options do. The audio quality is excellent for the price point and you’ll struggle to find a better version at the same price.

Visually the product looks rather cheap, but if you’re not the type of buyer that cares about the aesthetics, then this is not much of a disadvantage. However, if you’re looking for a pair to wear while out and about, then you might want to look for another option.

To conclude, the Superlux HD 681 is an excellent choice for buyers that only have a budget for a cheap option. However, the comfort of the design and the quality of the audio does not let you down. The only problem is the cheap materials used as durability can become an issue sooner rather than later.


Tech Specs
Weight: 4 pounds
Cable length: 2.5m
Wireless: No
The Pros
Comfortable fit
Good quality audio
Budget price
The Cons
Cheap materials
Durability is a problem

Best Open Back Headphones Under $200

The under $200 category is where you should be looking to get a blend of value and quality. You’ll find professional studio grade quality but at a reasonable price. Therefore, you can make use of them for everyday applications like watching movies and listening to music.

Less sacrifice needs to be made in this category as you can always find a model that is both comfortable and provides a great audio experience. You’ll need to look at the frequency response, sensitivity, and quality of the sound drivers to determine the quality of the audio here.

5. AKG Pro Audio K702

AKG Pro Audio K702View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The K702 from AKG is one of their most popular open back headphones ever and for the price you’re getting an excellent product. The combination of the well-implemented features and quality of the audio means you will be pleased with the purchase.

The earcups have an extra big design, which means you can expect your ears to fit inside regardless of how big they are. Furthermore, the headband is great at keeping the head secure while you are wearing the AKG open back headphones. Also the earpads can be easily replaced once they have worn out.

The audio quality is excellent as the open back design here allows for a big soundstage. This means you’ll have an immersive audio experience that provides realistic sounds. The studio grade headphones use technology that creates an accurate audio experience. Over 60 years of research have been implemented in this product that you will not regret investing in. AKG has been granted over 1,500 patents, which is an indication of their innovation.

There is an option to use a straight or coiled cable to give you some freedom of choice. Furthermore, the cable length is 3 meters, which means you can sit back from your audio device and enjoy the experience – for example, watch a movie at a distance.

The sensitivity is 105 decibels and the frequency bandwidth range is 10 to 39,800 Hz. These values are highly competitive and indicate the overall audio quality of the product. Also pay attention to these little details when selecting headphones to get an indication of what the audio quality is like.

To conclude, the AKG Pro Audio K702 is an excellent choice for those that are demanding with regards to the audio quality. The combination of the comfortable fit and excellent audio level means you’re getting the kind of product that you’ll easily be impressed by.


Tech Specs
Weight: 1.8 pounds
Cable length: 3m
Wireless: No
The Pros
Comfortable fit
Excellent audio quality
A choice of cable types
The Cons
No storage case or travel bag is included

6. Fostex T50RP MK3 Professional Studio Headphones

Fostex T50RP MK3 Professional Studio HeadphonesView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Fostex T50RP MK3 is a popular option that delivers on the list of specifications that are given by the manufacturer. It makes this list of the best open back headphones because of the comfort and audio quality that will be appreciated by most.

A semi-open design is utilized to provide the best of both worlds, but you certainly get the benefits of the open back design. It’s a design that has been utilized in various sound grade studios across the world. The frequency response of the product is 15-35Hz and the sensitivity is at 92 decibels. This is highly competitive, but there are studio grade headphones that sound better.

From a comfort standpoint you are well taken care of. A detachable cable is included and there is a redesigned low repulsion earpad that will easily fit around your ears. Also the headband feels nice on your head without a lot of pressure.

There is a choice of using the 3m long cable and a 1.2m cable for portable use. You can use the latter when you are outdoors and do not want to deal with an extra-long cable. However, the headphone design here indicates that you are going to mostly be using these indoors.

To summarize, the Fostex T50RP MK3 Professional studio open back headphones provides a blend of great audio, competitive pricing, and superb comfort. It’s aimed at those that might want to use these from professional purposes, but the reasonable price point means it’s also a product that can be bought for general audio use.


Tech Specs
Weight: 1.8 pounds
Cable length: 3m and 1.2m
Wireless: No
The Pros
Choice of cable length
Great audio
Studio grade quality
The Cons
The accuracy at higher decibels could be improved

7. Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PROView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Another mid-range open back headphone product that’s worthy of your attention is the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO. There is a lot to like here from the fit to the awesome audio quality. It’s a studio-grade product that is also ideal for the average user who wants to enjoy music using great equipment.

The spring steel headband is excellent at providing a comfortable fit that will allow you to use them for multiple hours without getting agitated. The single-sided cable is also ergonomically designed as the cables will not get in the way.

The open design has an amazing soundstage, which means you can get immersed in the experience. However, when you use these in a noisy environment then the audio of the surrounding environment can get in the way. The bass is not too powerful as this product has gone for a precise and accurate audio tone. The treble boost is excellent and will not sound too sharp, which is a disadvantage in some of the competitors.

The Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO is an open back headphone product that’s ideal for the sound enthusiast and those who are casuals wanting to invest in a premium solution. If you’re getting an audio solution like this for the very first time, then you’ll be surprised by the quality that’s offered here.

The cable length is 3m and it is a coiled cable. Other headphones do not offer such a long length, which means it’s great if you need to watch movies at a distance from your TV or monitor.

To conclude, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO is one of the best products ever made by the company. It represents years of trial and error as it takes the best parts of the models that have come before it. The highlights here are the supreme audio quality, comfortable fit, and huge soundstage. You’ll struggle to find an alternative that provides more value.


Tech Specs
Weight: 13.4 ounces
Cable length: 3m
Wireless: No
The Pros
Sturdy build
Great audio reproduction
Good padding
The Cons
Sound leakage is significant

Best Open Back Headphones under $500

For those of you that are in the market for one of the top open back headphones out there need to look in this category. Here you’ll find studio grade equipment that requires an investment but also delivers in all categories.

Expect the headphones here to be durable, sound great, and be comfortable to wear. If you have the money to invest in premium open back headphones, then you will not regret the purchase as the level of audio is amazing.

8. Shure SRH1840 Professional

Shure SRH1840 ProfessionalView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

Are you in the market for one of the best open back headphones on the planet and are willing to make a big investment? Then the Shure SRH1840 priced at just under $500 is the option for you. The implementation of all the features here is excellent and fully justifies the high price point. Just make sure you’re an advanced headphone user that will fully appreciate the quality that’s offered here.

The 40 mm neodymium drivers contribute to an impressive audio experience that is unmatched by the majority of the marketplace. The industry-leading bass performance and clarity of the audio are what is to be appreciated here. You can also enjoy smooth sounds that really bring out the immersive factor of whatever you’re listening to.

The lightweight construction adds to the comfort level of the product as aircraft grade aluminum is used. It also means the level of durability will be excellent. You can expect the Shure SRH1840 to last for multiple years without breaking – even if you decide to use these while traveling. However, be mindful of the fact that this has an open back headphone design that leaks sound out to the surrounding environment.

The design is aimed at the stay at home market where the users want to listen to music for multiple hours at a time. The soft earpads will fit around your entire ear and will not exert too much pressure on your head. The headband is easily adjustable to fit nicely over your head.

There is an extra set of detachable headphones that can be used when your primary one has worn out. Shure is an audio company that is known for excellence and the Shure SRH1840 Professional will not let you down.

To conclude, the Shure SRH1840 Professional is an impressive product that meets the demanding expectations of the premium buyer. The lightweight construction and superb audio quality are what sets these apart from the rest of the competition. However, the high price tag of around $500 might be too steep for some.


Tech Specs
Weight: 4.4 pounds
Cable length: 2.1m
Wireless: No
The Pros
Lightweight build
Industry leading audio
Comfortable to wear
The Cons
Steep price


HIFIMAN HE-400IView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

One of the best open back headphones that you can buy today is the HIFIMAN HE-400I, which comes packed with some impressive features and has a great design. The price is on the steep side, but you’re getting one of the better options in the industry.

The audio quality competes with any option in the marketplace. The massive diaphragm has flexible treble and bass, which leads to a comprehensive level of audio. The open-acoustic design provides a huge soundstage. The reproduction of live sound and low levels of distortion is very much appreciated in this design.

The ergonomic design is great here as the ABS polymer ear cups have a nice glossy finish and the low-pressure design is nice on the head. You will not feel like comfort will be a problem after multiple hours of use. The large ear cups allow the ears to fit inside in a straightforward manner.

When compared with other full-size planar designs this option is 30% lighter. The planar magnetic design also contributes to a transient response, which means the sound quality will be excellent.

This product is great for the home user or if you need an option for the studio. The price of just over $200 might seem steep for some, but when you consider the quality you’re getting the price is fully justified.

To conclude, the HIFIMAN HE-400I is one of the best options out there when you consider the array of features included. The combination of the easy to wear design, excellent audio, and lightweight nature means you’re getting a product that’s competitive. It’s perfect whether you’re interested in watching movies or listing to music.


Tech Specs
Weight: 0.82 pounds
Cable length: 1.5m
Wireless: No
The Pros
30% lighter than most
Impressive audio
Comfort bale design
Planar magnetic
The Cons
Open back design leaks sound
The cord is relatively short