Best open back headphones for gaming in 2023
In this article, we take a look at 5 of the best open-back headphones on the market.
Whether you’re a beginner in the gaming world or you love nothing more than streaming your favorite videos in 4K on your PC, we’re sure that you’ll be familiar with open-back headphones, which are a coveted alternative to standard-design headphones.
Unlike the majority of gaming headsets, open-back headphones are able to create a more sensory and immersive listening experience due to their more audio-focused design. As they’re able to create surround sound, they’re extremely popular with gamers and content creators, the only problem? There are a lot of choices out there, and not all of them are good.
Fear not, because we’re here to lend you a helping hand! Here at WePC, we’ve been keeping our ears to the ground in search of good open back headphones for gaming throughout 2023. so here’s our list of recommendations!
01Editor’s PickSennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System
Sennheiser HD 800 S
02Solid runner upPhilips Fidelio X2HR, one for the enthusiast
Philips Fidelio X2HR
03Mid Range PickA mid-range champion
BEYERDYNAMIC DT 990 PRO
Best open-back headphones: Things to Consider
Before we go any further, we first want to run through some of the most important factors that you should consider before making a purchase.
By far, one of the most important factors to consider before making a purchase is the comfort level. Just think about it: you’re going to be wearing your headphones for long periods of time, so it only makes sense to purchase a pair of headphones that are going to offer you the very best comfort, right? The best open-back headphones should feature thick padding that will be able to take the impact of the pressure of the headband, allowing you to enjoy the fantastic sound without any pain.
How much do you plan on spending? This one should go without saying, but before you make a choice, it’s important that you make sure that you identify your budget so that you can stay within your price point. It’ll also mean that you’ll be able to shortlist your options more easily, not to mention being able to make a smarter spending decisions.
As we’re sure you’re already aware, headphones come in different styles and sizes, hence why it’s an important factor to think about when making a decision. Though it might be tempting to go for a big pair of headphones in the hopes of achieving better sound quality, keep in mind that this is hardly ever the case. On the contrary, small to standard-sized headphones tend to offer the best sound, not to mention being more lightweight, which means that they’re easier to wear for long periods of time.
How we choose
Here at WePC, we make sure that we only ever recommend to you products that will not only offer you the best performance but the very best value for your money, too. We also understand how confusing and complicated selecting a PC-related product can be (especially with all of the options on the market), which is why we ensure that we only recommend products that we ourselves would use – if we don’t already have them, that is!
With regards to the best open-back gaming headphones, we have made sure to take into consideration numerous factors, including performance, value, and comfort, which brings us to our next section.
Best open-back headphones: in-depth review
Sennheiser HD 800 S
Removable cable and earpads
- Comfortable design – large ear cups, padding, and microfiber fabric will help to keep you comfortable and sweat-free.
- Cable included – these headphones come with everything you need to get going, as soon as it comes out of the box!
- Exceptional sound quality – thanks to their design, these headphones will achieve an ‘out of the head’ sound experience, time and time again.
- Expensive – may not be within everyone’s budget.
Kicking things off we have the Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System Open Back Headphones, which have become well-known for their immersive sound quality and comfort.
After amassing a 5-star review after a 5-star review, it didn’t take too long for us to single this one out as a winner. Made better than ever, the 800 S features an innovative absorber technology that will be able to isolate your sound and absorb any unwanted resonance.
Thanks to this, you’ll be able to enjoy a more immersive experience, as the sound will not only sound less congested, but you’ll also be able to pick up on smaller details more easily, too. In addition to this, the HD 800 S Headphones will also be able to offer consistency in sound at multiple frequencies, particularly high.
For comfort, these headphones also feature an open-backed design with angled earcups. The open-back design will be able to provide exceptional and spacious sound, while the angled ear cups will help to direct the sound directly to your ear, for an immersive listening experience like no other.
In addition to this, these lightweight yet spacious headphones feature large ear cups that will fit around your ears snuggly, while microfiber fabric will allow you to enjoy your gaming or work session for long periods of time without experiencing any discomfort or sweat.
Philips Fidelio X2HR
4.33 x 7.48 x 9.06 inches
Item model number
1 CR2 batteries required.
- Comfortable – these open-back headphones feature deluxe memory foam cushions that will allow you to wear them for long periods of time without any discomfort.
- Precise sound – featuring powerful 50mm neodymium driver magnets, these headphones will be able to deliver crisp and well-balanced bass, all while picking up on precise sounds.
- Bulky design – large design may not be suitable for everyone.
On the search for the best pair of open-back headphones that will provide a vast yet precise sound? If so, then the Philips Fidelio X2HR should be on your radar.
Offering a truly authentic listening experience, the Fidelio X2HR headphones will allow you to immerse yourself in crisp sound details and a comfortable design that will allow you to focus on your listening enjoyment.
Built to deliver a vast yet precise sound, these headphones feature 50m drivers that utilize neodymium magnets that will be able to offer a well-balanced sound and bass across multiple frequencies, including high.
In addition to this, these open-back headphones also feature layered motion control drivers that each contains a layered polymer diaphragm that contains layering gel. These will be able to form a flexible coating that will be able to dampen out any frequencies, in order to reduce the level of distortion.
For comfort, the Philips Fidelio X2HR features breathable velour cushions that will help to effectively disperse heat. Specifically chosen for its ergonomic properties, the deluxe memory foam ear-pads are carefully constructed within the optimized density velour to achieve maximum breathability. They also contain a lightweight hammock that can be adjusted to fit your head for a personalized fit – Philips has really covered all bases.
BEYERDYNAMIC DT 990 PRO
8.7 x 4.7 x 9.1 inches
Item model number
- Consistency across frequencies – these open-back headphones offers great tonal depth across all frequencies, including high, which will help you to pick up on all sounds while recording music.
- Spacious – featuring a circumaural design, these headphones will be able to offer a mild bass and treble boost for a tonal, balanced, and ‘vast’ sound.
- Designed for music producers – gamers may benefit more from a different pair.
Next up, we have selected the BEYERDYNAMIC DT 990 PRO Open-Back Headphones, which are a particularly great choice for those that are music producers.
Specifically designed with mixing in mind, the BEYERDYNAMIC DT 990 PRO headphones are the perfect choice for the aspiring music producer and professionals, alike. Offering plenty of durabilities, these headphones will be able to pick up on subtle sounds, all while achieving balanced tonal depth, allowing you to pick up on all sounds while recording.
Thanks to its circumaural design, these open-back headphones will also be able to provide fantastic spaciousness, without compromising on the quality of the tonal depth. Upon use, these innovative headphones will be able to offer mild bass and a treble boost, to ensure a balanced sound that won’t feel sharp or distorted.
BEYERDYNAMIC has also taken your comfortability into account, and this is reflected within the design. These headphones feature a strategically placed single-sided cable that will allow you to take them on and off without having to deal with the frustration of tangled wires, while the adjustable ear cups will allow for a comfortable and snug fit that won’t feel restrictive.
On top of this, the DT 990 PRO Headphones also feature a durable and robust spring steel headband design that will ensure that the overall structure stays in one place while you move around, while the foam padding will help to lower the chance of headaches. They’re a must-have for music fanatics.
ASTRO Gaming A40 Gaming Headset + MixAmp Pro
- Comfort features – this headset will allow you to wear it for long periods of time without any pain or overheating.
- Ideal for gamers and streamers – as this headset is specifically designed to cater to the demands of gamers and streamers, you won’t have to worry about lagging.
- Large size – the larger size of these headphones may not be ideal for all.
If a pair of versatile open-back headphones are what you seek, then the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 is a great choice that will cater to a variety of purposes.
If you weren’t already aware, these nifty headphones are a re-vamp of Astro’s flagship wired headphones. Ensuring reliability, Astro Gaming is a well-established brand that has become widely known as one of the best gaming headset manufacturers on the market, and these are certainly no exception!
As the Astro A40 TR Headset is open back, these headphones have been specifically designed to help isolate and create a ‘surround sound experience, so you’ll need to use them in a quiet room. Ideal for gamers and streamers, these headphones have been engineered with all the digital components required to ensure a lag-free experience, and even comes with Dolby Digital Surround Sound processing.
For comfort, the A40 TR Headset features a lightweight yet durable construction that has been built with premium materials. Thanks to that, you can be confident that this headset will be able to handle everyday use, all while making sure that you enjoy a pressure-free, non-restrictive fit that won’t cause any sweat Not just that, but the Astro A40 TR Headset even comes complete with Astro Command Center software, which will ensure you’re given enhanced control over your audio settings and sound. They’re a great choice for professional gamers and live streamers.
6.7 x 7.9 x 3.9 inches
Item model number
1 Lithium ion batteries required.
- Budget-friendly – ideal for those not wanting to break the bank, these durable headphones blend affordability with premium quality.
- Comfortable fit – featuring a double layered headband cushion, these headphones can be worn for long periods of time without any discomfort.
- Flimsy – some users have reported that these headphones break easily.
Last but not least, we have selected the Phillips SHP9500 Open-Back Headphones as our final pick.
Ideal for those on a budget, the Phillips SHP9500 Open-Back Headphones blend premium quality with an affordable price point. Rivaling some of the more expensive models on the market, the SHP9500’s features a rugged yet lightweight build that will be able to withstand the demands of regular use.
Built with 50mm neodymium drivers with integrated magnets, these budget-friendly headphones will deliver an exceptional Hi-Fi sound that will be well-balanced with very little distortion.
That’s not all, either! Thanks to the open-back design, these headphones will be able to eliminate air pressure build-up directly behind the driver, allowing the diaphragm to achieve more movement. This means that the sound transparency will be enhanced, all while smoothening higher frequencies.
Not only that, but thanks to their angled ear cups, these Phillips Headphones have been perfectly engineered to fit the ear’s natural geometry. By doing so, the ear-shells will be able to offer a precise yet vast sound, as the audio signals will be channeled directly into the ears for an authentic sound experience.
There we have it, we’ve made it to the finishing line! Still, need a little help choosing? All in all, our notable mention goes to the Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System. Out of all of our top picks, the HD Reference Headphone System not only offers the best performance quality but the best value for money, too.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading our guide to the best open-back headphones currently available to buy, just as much as we enjoyed writing it. If you have any questions or input you’d like to add, please feel free to share your thoughts with us over on our community forum, we’d love to hear what you have to say.
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