Open back over ear headphones: Best open-back headphones 2023 | MusicRadar

HD 560S | Sennheiser

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Reveal the truth in your music.

$229.95$179.95Plus applicable sales tax – Free shipping

Natural and accurate reference sound

With linear acoustics tailored to extended listening sessions and smooth, gratifying bass performance, the HD 560S was crafted for the analytical audio enthusiast.

Features

  • Natural and accurate reference sound

  • All-new transducer with high-strength magnet effortlessly reproduces deep, defined bass and brilliant treble

  • New polymer-blend transducer membrane offers highly-linear excursion for superb control

  • Angled transducers recreate the optimal listening position every time, without the need for acoustic room treatment

  • Open earcups facilitate the natural expansion of sound waves

  • Superb detail retrieval with fast, clear bass response

Reveal the truth in your music.

Today’s audiophiles monitor their music with measured purpose on a wide range of devices from headphone amplifiers, audio interfaces, computers, and more.

Open earcups for open minds

The HD 560S features an open-back design that provides natural propagation of sound waves.

Signature sound

The HD 560S transducers are specifically tuned for accuracy, offering dependable A/B comparisons of components, remasters, and media formats.

Comfort is king

Although the HD 560S sound is rooted in the reference-level DNA of the beloved HD 660S, its comfort mechanics are based on the chassis of our ultralight HD 599.

It’s all about connection

Because audiophiles frequent a variety of sources, we developed the HD 560S to provide an exceptional experience regardless of the playback system.

“We have developed an all-new 120 ohm transducer, featuring a specialized polymer blend in its diaphragm for linear excursion and improved brilliance above 10 kHz. This makes the HD 560S accurate across the entire frequency spectrum, to reveal every detail in your music.”

Kurt Mick, Team Leader Acoustics and Transducer

“We’ve listened carefully to our customers’ demands for neutral reference headphones and have delivered on all fronts: accurate bass response, clarity above 10kHz, and a natural soundstage. Combined with an accessible price, the HD 560S represents a paradigm shift for open, dynamic headphones and invites you to discover the audiophile world.”

Jermo Köhnke, Product Manager Audiophile

Specifications

Article number (SKU)

509144

Wearing style

Over-Ear

Connectivity

3.5 / 6.3 mm straight

Audio connection

3.5 / 6.3 mm straight

What’s included

  • HD 560S headphones
  • 1.8 m cable with 3.5 mm plug
  • 3.5 to 6.3 mm adapter

Downloads

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The Best Open-Back Headphones in 2023

Open-back headphones offer a listening experience that’s different from the more common closed-back style headphones most of us are used to using. As their name implies, open-back headphones don’t have a backplate, which means sound from its drivers will hit your ears, then reverberate into the space next to your head. When listening to music on closed-back headphones, sound will come at your ears, hit the back of the headphone, and reverberate back toward your head. For some listeners, closed-back headphones can cause discomfort during long listening sessions, as sweat builds up around their ears. Open-back headphones don’t have this issue because they’re constantly ventilated.

Some listeners describe the experience of listening to open-back headphones as more similar to hearing music on a pair of speakers, which may make your favorite tracks seem more enjoyable. Other folks enjoy open-back headphones because they tend to be lighter — there’s literally less material necessary to make them — than closed-back headphones. If you’ve never tried a pair of the best open-back headphones, we highly recommend giving them a chance because they offer a dramatically different listening experience.

— Best Overall: Hifiman Ananda
— Best Budget: Sennheiser HD 560S
— Best Earbuds: Sony LinkBuds
— Best for Comfort: Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X

How We Picked the Best Open-Back Headphones

Our best open-back headphones surround-sound system recommendations are based on a mix of research and hands-on testing. Below are the factors we considered most highly when deciding which headphones to include in this buyer’s guide.

Headphone Style: All headphones can be broken down into three distinct styles: over-ear, on-ear, and earbuds. Each headphone type has its own advantages and disadvantages, which you should keep in mind as you decide on the right pair of open-back headphones for you.

Over-Ear Headphones: This is the largest style of headphone, which means it offers the best audio quality. Over-ear headphones have large drivers (the part of a speaker or headphone that produces sound) that can deliver both volume and fidelity.

The ear cups on a pair of over-ear headphones wrap completely around your ear, creating a more ideal listening environment. The tradeoff to using over-ear headphones is dealing with the fact that they’re bigger and bulkier than the other headphone styles, which makes them far less portable.

On-Ear Headphones: This style of headphone occupies the middle ground between two extremes, offering better audio quality than earbuds, with less bulk than over-ear headphones. The padded ear pads used for on-ear headphones sit directly on top of your ears, and completely cover them. If you tend to sweat more, or don’t like the physical sensation of having material touching the skin around your face, this is something to consider.

Earbuds: The most pocket-friendly style of headphone comes with one compromise: audio quality. There isn’t enough space in earbuds for a lot of equipment, which means the fidelity of their sound suffers. That said, headphone manufacturers have taken advantage of improvements in technology (mainly the miniaturization of core components) to shrink that gap.

Wired vs. Wireless: Most open-back headphones are wired, which means you need to physically connect them to your device with a cable to listen to music. There are some wireless open-back headphones, though, which will connect to your devices over Bluetooth.

Using a pair of wireless headphones will mean accepting a loss in audio quality because the digital sound file you’re listening to will be compressed on its way between your source device and the headphones. Wired headphones offer uncompromised audio quality, but require you to literally tether yourself to your source device.

Connector: If you choose a pair of wired open-back headphones, it’s important to know which connector its cable terminates into. Some open-back headphones terminate into a 1/4-inch connector, which is larger than a traditional headphone jack, but allows them to be directly connected to a headphone amplifier. Other open-back headphones terminate into the typical 1/8-inch connector, so you can plug them directly into a computer or tablet.

Sound Leakage: One of the biggest differences between open-back and closed-back headphones is the amount of sound they leak. Open-back headphones leak a ton of sound, which means the people near you will also be able to hear your music. If you typically listen to audio in a shared space — the office, plane, train, or living room — open-back headphones may annoy those around you.

Best Open-Back Headphones: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Hifiman Ananda

Uncompromised Sound. HIFIMAN

Why They  Made The Cut: Hifiman designed its Ananda headphones to sound as high-quality as possible without compromising aesthetics or repairability.

Specs:
— Headphone Style: Over-ear
— Wireless: No
— Connector: 1/8-inch

Pros:
— Large ear-cups
— Detachable cables
— Standard connector

Cons:
— Cost
— Weight

Hifiman is considered by some to be the preeminent open-back headphone maker, and the Ananda are one of its most accessible premium headphones.

Yes, they’re an investment, but the headphones use detachable cables, which means you can easily swap them out once they fray. This shouldn’t happen for several years, but it’s nice to know you can make this repair yourself for the cost of a cable. The Ananda also terminates into a standard 1/8-inch connector, so you won’t have to buy an adapter to plug them into your computer.

If you do prefer listening to music through a DAC (digital-to-analog converter) and headphone amp, the Ananda’s detachable cable design comes in handy. You can easily swap out the cord Hifiman includes with these headphones with one that terminates into a 1/4-inch connector. Using a dedicated cable instead of an additional dongle means you won’t have to worry about how two pieces of gear will fit together.

If you’re new to the world of higher-end audio, you may be wondering why the Hifiman Ananda headphones have a 1/8-inch connector on each ear cup. That’s because these are balanced headphones, which means audio coming from your source (a phone, tablet, computer, etc. ) will be routed to each ear cup individually. This means electronics don’t need to be routed between the headphones ear cups through its headband. Again, when it comes to reparability, balanced headphones are actually a better bet. If the Ananda’s headband snaps (this should never happen under normal listening conditions), the electronics inside the headphones should remain unharmed.

We’re fans of the Hifiman Ananda headphones’ design, but the company’s focus on audio quality is equally as important. The company says the Ananda’s mix of premium materials, ear cup shape, and the outer grill all contribute to both excellent audio quality and comfort during everyday use. The most significant difference between the Ananda and its competition is Hifiman’s decision to design an ultra-thin diaphragm — a component connected to the headphone’s driver, which creates sound. Reducing the physical barrier between the headphones and your ears — even by the tiniest amount — can make a difference in the tone and clarity of the music you’re hearing.

In many cases, you’ll have to choose between the most technically advanced gadget and the one that’s easiest to use, but that isn’t true with open-back headphones. If you’re okay with the Hifiman Ananda headphones’ price, you won’t need to look further.

Best Budget: Sennheiser HD 560S

Plastic but Fantastic. Sennheiser Consumer Audio

Why They Made The Cut: Sennheiser’s HD 560S sound better than they have any right to, given their sub-$200 price.

Specs:
— Headphone Style: Over-ear
— Wireless: No
Connector: 1/4-inch

Pros:
— Audio quality
— Detachable cable
— Price

Cons:
— Plastic design

After testing them for several months, we feel comfortable recommending Sennheiser’s HD 560S headphones to anyone who wants to try an open-back pair before making a big financial commitment. Don’t mistake the HD 560S’ cost-conscious price as a sign that they aren’t excellent-sounding headphones, though, because nothing could be further from the truth.

In our experience, the HD 560S are among the best over-ear headphones under $200 in any category — and that includes wireless pairs. We’ve enjoyed every track we’ve listened to using the headphones, and have been especially impressed by their bass response. The design of open-back headphones makes them naturally better at reproducing sounds in the midrange frequencies, so vocal, acoustic-heavy, or live music sounded especially good. The HD 560S’ ability to clearly reproduce vocals also made them great to use while watching movies or TV shows, listening to podcasts, and hearing colleagues on video calls.

We were also happy that Sennehsider decided to design the HD 560S headphones with a detachable cable, which terminates into a 1/4-inch connector. We’d typically ding wired headphones that don’t use the standard 1/8-inch connector, but Sennheiser includes an adapter in the box, so it’s not an issue. The one tradeoff Sennheiser made when designing the HD 560S was choosing a rigid, plastic shell that looks uninteresting and feels kind of cheap. Don’t get us wrong, the company’s prioritization of audio quality and repairability over aesthetics should be celebrated, but there’s a big enough disconnect between form and function that we had to mention it.

Overall, Sennheiser’s HD 560S are an easy pair of headphones to recommend, given how little they cost and how great they sound. Our only hope is that newer generations of this hardware look and feel a little nicer.

Best Earbuds: Sony LinkBuds

In Ear and Open Back. Sony

Why They Made The Cut: The LinkBuds have a totally unique design that allows you to clearly hear the outside world without substantially sacrificing the sound quality of your music.

Specs:
— Headphone Style: Earbuds
— Wireless: Yes
— Connector: None

Pros:
— Audio quality given their size
— Unique design
— Microphone performance

Cons:
— No noise cancellation

Sony’s LinkBuds are the only pair of open-back earbuds we feel comfortable recommending, and their unique design needs to be seen to be appreciated.

The earbuds come in two parts: the traditional, circular bud, which fits into your ear, and a “sound ring” that lets ambient audio in. This two-piece design skirts the line between open- and closed-back headphones, but the features afforded by the open sound ring made it eligible for this story. Rather than using the earbuds’ microphones to let outside noises in, the ring allows sounds around you — like cars, birds, or people — to filter into your ears naturally.

The LinkBuds break the one rule of earbuds: making a tight seal around your ear to create the ideal listening environment for your music. It’s true that the LinkBuds’ audio quality — bass, specifically — suffers because of their open design, but the pros outweigh the cons. These are the ideal pair of open-back headphones for working out, especially running outdoors, because you won’t have to worry about missing a car’s beep, or a passerby’s warning that there’s an obstruction in your way.

When you crank up the volume, the LinkBuds can still create enough noise that you can focus on your music unless there’s a loud noise around you. The biggest feature you sacrifice by choosing the LinkBuds over other wireless earbuds is active noise cancellation. A tight seal around your ear is required for this feature to work, and the LinkBuds weren’t designed that way. The earbuds do have microphones, though, so you can use them for voice calls. The microphone performance is pretty good, and the LinkBuds’ open design allows you to safely take a call during a run — if you have enough breath.

We were afraid that the LinkBuds would feel weird to wear, but that was never the case. The inside of our ears had enough room to accommodate the earbuds’ two-piece design, and both parts sat comfortably during long listening sessions. If you’ve typically had trouble keeping earbuds in your ears, the LinkBuds’ design may actually work in your favor.

If you’re OK with giving up noise cancellation, Sony’s LinkBuds are the best open-back option in the wireless earbud category.

Best for Comfort: beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X

Easy on the Ears. beyerdynamic

Why They Made The Cut: beyerdynamic designed the DT 900 Pro X headphones for professional audio engineers and serious music listeners; we think they succeeded with aplomb.

Specs:
— Headphone Style: Over-ear
— Wireless: No
— Connector: 1/8-inch

Pros:
— Audio quality
— Comfort
— Detachable cable

Cons:
— Cable uses proprietary plug on one end

If you’re the type of listener who wears headphones for several hours a day, beyerdynamic’s DT 900 Pro Xs are the open-back pair for you.

We tested these headphones daily for several weeks, and never experienced the familiar feeling of fatigue that comes with wearing over-ear headphones. This is due, largely in part, to the amount of padding beyerdynamic used for both the ear cups and headband. There’s enough material for your head and ears to feel comfortable without making the headphones too heavy. This was a delicate balance to strike, and beyerdynamic nailed it.

The company bundles the DT 900 Pro X headphones with two cables: One terminates into a 1/4-inch jack, the other terminates into a 1/8-inch jack. We like that beyerdynamic offers you the choice of which cables to use, but couldn’t help feeling a little annoyed that the connector that fits into the headphones is non-standard, which limits your ability to swap out cables inexpensively. This shouldn’t be an issue if you handle your headphones with care, but it’s important to know before you pick up a pair of DT 900 Pro Xs.

When it comes to audio quality, we’ve been completely satisfied with the DT 900 Pro X headphones. Music sounds crisp, dynamic, and almost surprisingly life-like. These headphones do a great job at recreating the experience of being at a live concert when listening to live tracks. beyerdynamic says it developed these headphones for professionals mixing and mastering music, and they sound so good that we can definitely recommend using them for those tasks. After countless listening sessions, we can sum up the DT 900 Pro Xs’ sound in a single word: full. We never felt that sounds in the bass, midrange, or treble range sounded underrepresented or lacking.

One design choice aside, the beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro Xs are an incredible set of headphones that any music lover will be able to instantly appreciate.

Things to Consider Before Buying Open-Back Headphones

Noise Cancellation

One feature you won’t find on open-back headphones, whether they’re wired or wireless, is any type of noise cancellation. That feature requires the headphones to have a closed back, because your entire ear needs to be completely surrounded to physically block out noise.

Musical Taste

Open-back headphones don’t offer the same level of bass response as closed-back headphones because they don’t create that tight seal around your ear. You’ll still hear bass frequencies clearly, but they won’t be as prominent as they would be on a closed-back pair of headphones. This is something to strongly consider if you prefer bass-heavy genres of music

FAQs

Q: How do I responsibly dispose of my old headphones?

If you’re replacing old headphones with a new open-back pair, we recommend reading our guide on how to responsibly dispose of e-waste.

Q: Are open-back headphones lighter than closed-back headphones?

Not necessarily. Although they’re made up of less material, open-back headphones (specifically over-ear pairs) can have quite a lot of padding. In some cases, the materials used to make open-back headphones are heavier or more dense than the plastic used for closed-back pairs.

Q: Why aren’t open-back headphones more popular?

Active noise-cancellation has become such a core feature of the headphone world that closed-back pairs have taken the spotlight. The fact that open-back headphones leak a lot of sound, limiting their usefulness in public areas, is another big reason.

Q: Are open-back headphones good for music production?

Yes. Open-back headphones will give you a better approximation of how your music will sound through speakers, which is one of the biggest benefits of using them. That said, most of your listeners will likely hear your music on closed-back headphones, so it’s important to make sure each track sounds good on that hardware, too.

Final Thoughts on Open-Back Headphones

Having tried both open-back and closed-back headphones, we recommend keeping a pair of each around if at all possible. Listening to music on both styles of headphones is different enough that you may find yourself gravitating toward one or the other based on the genre of music you’re listening to, or how many people are physically close to you. We generally found the comparison of open-back headphones and speakers to be accurate, and did like the more live-feeling sound open-back headphones produced. The only downside is that their sound leakage may limit your ability to listen to music everywhere you go.

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.

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Headphone types

We have already told you how to read the characteristics of headphones correctly. We hope you understand and take note of this information. Today we’ll talk about what headphones are, that is, we classify them according to various criteria.

1. According to acoustic design

According to the acoustic design or design, all headphones can be divided into three types: closed, open and semi-closed (semi-open).

  • The closed-back headphones have a driver that emits a sound wave only into the ear, they are sealed from the outside. Closed-back headphones are great for fully immersing yourself in the sound. That is, people nearby do not hear the music that is played in the headphones, but the one who wears the headphones does not hear external sounds. Such noise isolation is called passive.

Advantages:

  1. tight fit and excellent sound insulation;

  2. lack of hearing for others;

  3. juicy bass;

  4. detailed sound even at low volumes.

Flaws:

  1. insufficiently realistic sound compared to open headphones;

  2. not safe to listen on a busy street;

  3. prolonged listening may give you a headache.

  • In open-back headphones the driver emits sound in all directions. In them, the listener is not isolated from the noise, just as those around are not isolated from his music. Compared to closed-back headphones, open-back headphones will give you better sound quality because the sound is not distorted by reflections inside the sealed housing.

Advantages:

  1. the most realistic, uncolored and clear sound;

  2. safety, which consists in the ability to hear warning signals, for example, a car;

  3. comfortable ear pads when the ears do not sweat and the head does not hurt.

Flaws:

  1. low noise isolation, which does not allow you to fully immerse yourself in listening;

  2. irritation of others with the sound from the headphones;

  3. bass sounds worse than in closed headphones.

  • Obviously, semi-closed or semi-open (they are the same) headphones have partial noise isolation. These headphones have a closed cup with holes. Often, these headphones are purchased for professional activities, as they provide both some sound isolation and sound realism with the possibility of long-term use. However, you won’t be able to completely immerse yourself in the music, since they still miss a share of external noise.

Which headphones to choose? The answer to this question depends on the tasks and the acoustic environment in which the headphones will be used. If you plan to listen to music with headphones in noisy places (transport, studio while recording vocals or instruments), then it is better to choose closed headphones. When the sound from the headphones does not bother anyone (for example, at home or when you work alone), and external noise can warn, for example, of danger (outdoors), you can use open headphones.

2. By design

By design, fit, form factor, there are three types of headphones: full-size, overhead, in-ear and earbuds.

  • Over-ear headphones are also called wraparound, monitor or arc headphones. They have a headband, large ear pads that completely cover the ears without pressing them to the head. Rarely, but you can still find headphones without ear pads (for example, AKG K1000). Full-size headphones are comfortable to use, as they have a comfortable fit, but at the same time bulky, not for listening with a headgear. Over-ear headphones are versatile. Closed monitor headphones do not have the highest noise isolation, their sensitivity is insufficient for portable sound sources, so they require amplification. In this regard, monitor headphones are mainly used indoors, for example, in recording studios.

  • The on-ear headphones are more compact, making them more portable. The ear pads are tightly pressed against the auricle, the speaker is located closer to the ear, so the sensitivity of on-ear headphones is usually higher than that of full-size ones. On-ear headphones are ideal for short-term use due to the pressure of the ear pads on the ears.

  • In-ear (vacuum) headphones are inserted directly into the ear canal, creating something like a vacuum there, and are kept there thanks to silicone ear tips. Due to the close location of the emitter to the ear, these headphones can listen to music quietly while maintaining sound clarity. Such headphones are often used on the street, in transport, during sports, etc.

Advantages:

Disadvantage: When listening to music at high volume, you can damage your hearing.

  • Earbuds (tablets) Earmuffs that fit into the ear, not the ear canal. Most often they are open or semi-open, less often closed, but they still let in external noise due to a loose fit to the auditory canal. Of the advantages, one can note compactness and low price (with the exception of AirPods). The earbuds are convenient to use on the street, but in transport the sound will interfere with other passengers if the headphones are open.

3. By emitter type

There are five types of drivers in headphones: dynamic, armature, planar, electrostatic, and hybrid.

  • Dynamic headphones are the most popular, their technologies are constantly being improved and even at low cost headphones they produce high-quality sound. The dynamic emitter in the headphones works on the same principle as the speaker of the speaker. A magnetic coil is connected to the cone diffuser. When an electric current appears in the coil, a magnetic field arises around it, which comes into interaction with the diffuser. The diffuser vibrates when the field changes (alternating current), generating sound frequencies.

  • The armature headphones are rapidly gaining popularity due to the fact that, with their compact size, they provide high sound detail. These headphones are often used for sound monitoring at live concerts. Due to the compactness of the reinforcing radiators, several of them can be inserted into one earphone, while each of them will be responsible for a certain frequency interval: treble, bass and middle.

  • Electrostatic headphones are high-end, elite headphones. Sound is generated when an ultra-thin membrane vibrates in a magnetic field between two stator grids. This device is very expensive to manufacture, a powerful amplifier is required for headphones, but models with electrostats boast the most accurate sound reproduction and fast response, which is very much appreciated by professionals and music lovers who are willing to pay a high price for the opportunity to enjoy high-quality sound.

  • Planar headphones include two sub-types: isodynamic and orthodynamic, not much different in technology, which the average listener cannot distinguish by ear. Isodynamic headphones are similar to electrostatic ones in terms of operation: there, too, a membrane with a flat coil applied to it oscillates between the stators, but the signal is applied to the membrane itself, and not to the stators. Isodynamic headphones have the same fast response as electrostatic headphones, but lose them in sound detail.

  • The hybrid headphones are a complete solution, combining different types of drivers in one housing. Typically, hybrid headphones take the form of in-ear headphones, in which dynamic and reinforcing radiators are built.

4. By appointment

Depending on where and for what purposes you will use headphones, there are also several types of them.

  • Stationary earphones which are usually used at home. What are they? Most often full-size, open (rarely closed) and high-resistance, if there is an amplifier.

  • Monitor headphones used for studio work: full-size, high-impedance, for stage work: reinforcing in-ear headphones.

  • Gaming headphones for gamers look like this: full size with microphone. They are not suitable for listening to music, as their purpose is to sit comfortably on the ears for a long time and have a “bully” bass (for explosions, gunshots, etc.).

  • Portable headphones which are used to listen to music from a phone, player, etc. They are compact, low-resistance and highly sensitive. In this case, the form factor can be any, as they say, to taste and color …

  • Headset are compact headphones with a microphone that can even have one “ear”, used for hands-free conversations.

  • Sports headphones – most often in-ear, but lately they have been actively using overhead, namely AirPods, you can also find overhead ones among them. Requirements for sports headphones: securely stay in (on) the ears when running, without creating discomfort, have additional protection against water (headphones for swimming) and dust, be wireless. Sound quality is usually not given due attention here.

All characteristics of headphones, even those that seem to concern only design, affect the sound they produce. Choose several models that match your needs and tasks that you want to solve with the help of headphones, then compare the selected models with each other through live listening. Only your ears will tell you the right choice. Happy shopping, you won’t be disappointed!

Headphones

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According to the acoustic design, the headphones are divided into open and closed. Closed headphones do not let in any external sounds, while open ones allow you to hear the sounds of the environment. Although the acoustic design is a matter of taste, it is worth warning that open headphones give a clearer picture, while there is little resonance in closed ones.

Headphones can be divided into several types according to the way they are worn, or rather, the acoustic and physical interaction with your ears. They determine the appearance of the headphones and whether they fit you or not. Of course, the type of headphones greatly affects their characteristics.

Open-back headphones

Open-back headphones provide the most comfortable and high-quality listening to music, because their cups do not completely encircle the auricle and do not close it, allowing sound to naturally enter the auricle and ear canal. At the same time, all the sounds of the external environment are also audible. These headphones are more comfortable for long-term wear and do a better job of transmitting the sound panorama. On the other hand, open-back headphones are not suitable for listening to music in noisy environments such as streets and public transport. It is also undesirable to use them as monitors (for DJs, musicians and sound engineers), since external noise is practically not isolated and will interfere.

Closed-back headphones

Closed-back headphones, as their name suggests, completely surround and cover the auricle. They provide a certain degree of isolation from external noise, reducing it to a minimum. However, such isolation is not really complete; high frequencies are best filtered out. Closed-back headphones perform best when equipped with an active noise cancellation system that dampens low-frequency noise while also affecting the lower midrange.

In-ear headphones (in-ear)

In-ear headphones are a relatively new category that is becoming increasingly popular. They are placed directly into the ear canal. A similar solution is borrowed from hearing aids and monitor headphones that musicians use on stage. Like closed-back headphones, in-ear headphones act as earplugs, providing a high degree of isolation from external noise. They are almost weightless, so they are very convenient to use in tandem with portable media players. However, in-ear headphones are not suitable for those with sensitive ears. Another disadvantage is that a high degree of sound isolation from the outside world can be very dangerous, for example, you can not hear warning signals on the road. The sound quality is also often far from ideal, and most models have problems reproducing the highest frequencies. Finally, listening to music in absolute isolation from natural external sounds can cause a strange feeling that the sound comes from nowhere and lacks weight.

This category can be divided into “fully in-ear” and “half-in-ear”, depending on how far the earphone is inserted into the ear canal. Headphones that are inserted deep into the ear canal provide better sound isolation, but these headphones are not pleasant to wear for everyone, and they also need to perfectly fit the anatomy of the ear. Plus, the process of inserting and removing such an earpiece is not a simple operation. Half-in-ear headphones do not have these disadvantages, but they provide less acoustic isolation.

Earbuds

Finally, the traditional solution for portable technology is earbuds, which are simply put into the ear or held by a mechanical design that can take various forms (arms resting on the head or on the neck, clips). Headphones-“tablets” are usually just supplied with MP3-players. Even though some models of this type work quite well, they are still inferior in quality to other types of headphones.

Big or small?

If you prefer more or less traditional headphones, the only thing left to do is choose the size. With such a variety of headphones – “pills” that are inserted into the auricle; in-ear headphones that fit snugly into the ear canal; open, put on the auricle; closed, completely covering the auricle, with a headband – the sizes will naturally be different.