Do you feel possessive about your playlist? Do you find it annoying when the stranger sitting nearby is trying to pick the title of your song, thanks to beats that your headphones seem to be leaking? The world won’t let you enjoy your music all by yourself and in peace. Right?
And you might as well be (unsuccessfully) trying to come to terms with this situation, thinking you can’t probably help it. Well, allow us to brighten up your day; you can! The problem is solvable!
Yes, you can enjoy your favorite with the highest volume without having to include others. Just you and your favorite tracks! Amazing. Isn’t it?
But how exactly? The title says it all; closed-back headphones!
In case you don’t already know what these beauties are, here’s a quick definition:
Having a completely sealed housing, or you could say, a sealed back, these headphones block out all the ambient noise and keep your music from leaking out.
Now, you know what they are, it’s time to get straight to the business, i.e., find yourself the best closed-back headphones. But here’s a warning beforehand; you’ll find a massive variety out there. And the selection process can become a bit too challenging and hectic.
So, we decided to help you out with that in the most practical way possible by crafting this list of the top 10 best closed-back headphones of the present times. Along with the list, we have also provided a complete buying guide to help you choose the best.
Audio Technica ATH-M50x
Focal Stellia Closed
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
Sennheiser HD 569
Mackie MC Series
V-MODA Crossfade M-100
Status Audio CB-1
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4
- Top 10 Best Closed-Back Headphones
- 1. Audio Technica ATH-M50x – Top Rated
- 2. Focal Stellia Closed-Back Circum-Aural Over-Ear Headphones – Premium Pick
- 3. COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones – Budget Buy
- 4. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
- 5. Sennheiser HD 569 Closed Back Headphone
- 6. Mackie MC Series Professional Foldable Monitoring Closed-Back Headphones
- 7. V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone
- 8. Sony WH-1000XM4 Closed-Back Headphones
- 9. Status Audio CB-1 Closed Back Studio Monitor Headphones
- 10. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 2nd Generation Over-Ear Headphones
- How to Choose the Best Closed Back Headphones?
- Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
- Final Words!
Top 10 Best Closed-Back Headphones
1. Audio Technica ATH-M50x – Top Rated
Audio Technica almost seems to win the game when it comes to creating the most durable and functional headphones for all categories. Be it, closed-back headphones, or open-back. The brand seems to have committed to producing only the best of all. And that too, at economical prices.
ATH-M50x by Audio Technica features a robust hard-plastic exterior that aims to cater to the needs of professionals. So, no matter whether you’re monitoring audio or listening to songs for even 8 hours daily, these will still last for a good while.
The earpads, however, may sometimes interrupt your listening session. They might not feel as breathable and plush as most others, especially if you are familiar with the more comfortable varieties of ear pads. But the headband and weight are admirably comfy.
This sturdy model is more prominently known for its sound performance. It promises a very powerful bass with ultra-clear vocals and midrange frequencies. The soundstage is as immersive as it can be, which is the biggest perk of these mid-range headphones. Additionally, the closed-back design seals the music to your ears only. Hence, amplifying the joy of good, soothing music.
2. Focal Stellia Closed-Back Circum-Aural Over-Ear Headphones – Premium Pick
Well, if you’re seeking the best of the best, then Focal Stellia Closed-back is worth your consideration. They belong to the elite class of headphones. Thus, they feature flawless drivers and build that enables it to reproduce breathtakingly powerful sound.
You will feel it booming at the right places and reproducing the exact and accurate silky flow of music where need be. Its pure beryllium 40 mm, M-shaped drivers promise a dynamic performance. With these on, you will feel the entire sound spectrum unfolding before you.
Plus, the exterior has a class of its own. The brown-colored Focal Stellia circumaural over-ear headphones feature top-notch quality metallic frame padded with soft and plush memory foam &, leatherette material. Without a doubt, they feel classy, comfortable, and durable.
However, the use of high-grade material made this masterpiece slightly heavy than most. And so, you will most definitely want to take a break every 2-3 hours or so.
3. COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones – Budget Buy
In case you’re nervous and hesitant with your very first purchase of closed-back headphones, then COWIN E7 might be a great pick for you. Costing only under 100, these happen to be the best budget closed-back headphones. And it’s not the price of this headset that makes it the best budget-friendly option in this list of best closed-back headphones, but the phenomenal quality and looks.
The COWIN E7 possesses a rather sleek look with a glossy silver exterior and plush leatherette ear cups. Although they’re a bit heavy, the weight distribution is ideal and equal. So, within a 3-4 hour long listening session, these would not feel uncomfortable. However, if you’re listening to music for straight 6 to 8 hours, they may cause neck strain or head pain due to the heavyweight. So, we recommend this to students, commuters, and aspiring audiophiles who listen to music for a relatively shorter time.
Moreover, featuring a wireless design and quick recharge capabilities, the COWIN E7 promises impressive portability. You can carry this headset to your work, gym, park, or even to your flight! The battery life of these headphones is as long as 30 hours, so you won’t even feel the need to recharge it during a single flight.
Also, for the best of experience, remove the headphones for 15 minutes after every 2 – 3 hours. That’s because being on-ear closed-back headphones, they may build slightly unsettling pressure.
At this price, one would usually expect something low-grade and flimsy that you could use for like 5-10 times at most. But this one breaks records, as it does not only last for years, but also comes with a jaw-dropping warranting of about 18 months!
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO is for you if you need something with a heavy studio performance but with a lighter price tag. You know what we mean!
Well, this robust pair of closed-back headphones feature a metallic body for most of the frame except for ear cups, which comprise durable, hard plastic. Given this, and the resistant plastic covering the 3.0-meter long cable, DT 770 offers the best durability and lifetime for their price. They are particularly suited for the use of music creators, gamers, and super-enthusiastic audiophiles who want something they can trust while they vibe without a worry. The long length of the cable will allow you to move around your studio too.
Moreover, it comes with a velour headband and leather-covered ear cups, which promise immense comfort, especially for those wear glasses! The placement of the padding and structure of these circumaural headphones is such that they won’t interfere with your spectacles.
Also, despite being at a lower price, you will not find them producing that annoying squeaking sound like most low-cost headphones does. Hence, they happen to be the most comfortable closed-back headphones you can find at only under 200.
However, as much as the over-ear design adds to the comfort, it also adds to the weight – only slightly. For longer listening and recording sessions, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 may not be the best fit. It may require you to take short breaks every once in a while.
In terms of sound, these will provide you with a rich and balanced sound. The music will sound crystal clear, and of course, retained to your hearing range only. It’s only the high-pitch vocals that may not meet your expectations at times. But we repeat, only in a few select cases.
For acoustic instrumentation professionals who have long been dealing with open-back variants, but would now like to try a hand at closed-back headphones, Sennheiser’s HD 569 is an excellent mid-range choice. It promises rich and detailed sound, especially of the acoustic instruments. The sound has a sparkling clarity with just a bit of warmth. Hence, even if you only happen to have an insane love for acoustic music, we highly recommend this pair to you! It’s rich, organic, and pure when it comes to sounds.
Externally, the looks may not impress you. But they’re doable. The grey exterior with oblong, full ear-covering ear cups seems to be rather geeky than the cool designs that you might be seeking. However, in terms of durability, these will most likely win your heart. Despite being under 300, they come with a 2-year long warranty. Plus, the ear cups are replaceable. Thus, adding to the life of these headphones. The detachable cables further add to the ease of use.
6. Mackie MC Series Professional Foldable Monitoring Closed-Back Headphones
Are you seeking closed-back headphones that offer good sound quality, compatibility, and usage at a reasonable price? Well, then these Mackie MC Series Professional Foldable Monitoring Headphones are idealistic!
With a professional design, the headphones have a soft and padded structure that adds comfort to the wearer’s experience. It has an ergonomic, adjustable construction that fits all head sizes easily. You won’t have to struggle to keep the headphones on when listening on travel.
Apart from being aesthetically-pleasing, the headphones have a rugged build that offers it immense durability. Unlike other cheap headphones, these won’t shatter on the steepest of falls. Plus, it’s collapsible so you can take it to any place conveniently.
As for the performance, the Mackie MC Series Professional Foldable Headphones features 50mm drivers that deliver even the lowest of frequencies accurately. Its mic-150 delivers some punchy bass and crisp notes. However, some audiophiles complain against the harsh highs that can reduce the fun.
7. V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone
The VMODA Crossfade M-100 lives up to the brand’s well-established reputation by offering a feature-rich profile and outstanding aesthetics. Its black-colored matte body is simply gorgeous, which is a major pro for people with preferences in fashion.
It has a high-grade metallic frame that offers immense durability. Unlike other headphones at this rate, these closed-back headphones will never bend or snap into two pieces. These will maintain their original shape as long as possible.
Plus, the compact design is also portable and collapsible. You can fold it into a small structure and store it easily. Also, you can take it along your journeys!
While the VMODA Crossfade headphone’s design is superb, it lacks comfort. The ear cups tend to be a little smaller than usual, making it challenging to wear for long periods. However, people with small ears might get an advantage.
As for the performance, the headphones deliver crisp notes and precise details. The highs, lows, and Mids get reproduced accurately, which is a plus for audiophiles.
8. Sony WH-1000XM4 Closed-Back Headphones
Do you want to try some ultra-advanced headphones, equipped with sensors and innovative technology? Well, then try out these outstanding Sony WH-1000XM4 Closed-Back Headphones for yourself!
Modish yet minimalistic, the one-toned exterior of these Sony headphones is going to leave you dazed. And, these top closed-back headphones under 500 look even more aesthetic when you wear them.
Plus, the soft, cushion-like ear cups reduce the pressure on your ears. So, you can listen to the audio conveniently.
As closed headphones, the Sony WH-1000MX4 performs quite efficiently and amazingly. It blocks out all the noises and unwanted ambient sounds, making the listening experience smooth.
For further ease, Sony has equipped these with a dual noise sensor technology that identifies any non-audio voice and blocks it. But while this is a beneficial feature, it can become a problem if someone is trying to communicate with you.
These headphones have a speak-to-chat technology to resolve this con. It reduces audio volumes automatically during conversations. However, some users have complained about the headphones getting mute even if they sneezed.
There are also touch sensors on the ear cups. So, when you touch them, they automatically pause/skip/play music tracks. The sensors can also activate voice assistants, receive calls, and adjust the volume. With this headphone, there is no need to fiddle with the control buttons!
Also, Sony headphones have a massive 30-hours battery that makes long listening sessions possible. And, the quick charge feature saves the fun when the battery’s low!
9. Status Audio CB-1 Closed Back Studio Monitor Headphones
If you’re hunting for the best portable closed-back headphones under 300, then these Status Audio CB-1 Headphones are your ultimate solution. Aesthetic and feature-rich, these headphones are versatile in-studio and out-studio usages.
You can use it for audio mixing, recording, live tracking, and music production in the studio. Outside, you can rely on these headphones to serve as your audiophile playback and on-the-go music partner!
These CB-1 headphones feature huge 50mm drivers that offer a wide soundstage and make the most intricate details crystal clear. Hence, making listening to music even more enjoyable.
Plus, these closed-back over-ear headphones have a padded headband and soft, pillow-like ear cups. The over-ear cups block the ambient noises without applying too much pressure on your ears. Meanwhile, the adjustable padded headband fits accurately. So, you can wear this headphone for long periods without feeling discomfort.
In case you’re fond of using multiple gadgets, these headphones offer extensive connectivity options. These include two 9-foot audio cables and a 3.5mm audio jack that is compatible with all devices. The product also comes with a ¼ adaptor to connect with professional equipment.
Furthermore, the slim foldable frame of these headphones will never go out of fashion trends. Plus, you can fold and carry it anywhere easily!
10. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 2nd Generation Over-Ear Headphones
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H4 are over-ear wireless headphones that are ideal for all tasks, including; recording, monitoring, and mixing music. Although the headphones are slightly pricier, the premium build, performance, long-lasting battery, and extensive connectivity are an excellent combination. It is the combo any audiophile could ever ask for!
At a glance, the Beoplay’s one-toned black, matte headphones look stunning. However, underneath the gorgeous surface, there lies a lambskin leather headband, stainless steel sliders, and aluminum ear cups. All these materials make these headphones highly durable and aesthetically-pleasing.
Plus, the Beoplay headphones display an efficient wireless performance. With these on, you can go anywhere and still enjoy an uninterrupted listening experience. Even more, it has a massive battery that lasts for straight 19-hours on a single charge!
As for its performance, the Beoplay headphones deliver authentic and balanced music that has a wider soundstage. It enhances every audio to sound more pleasing and enjoyable.
How to Choose the Best Closed Back Headphones?
So, have you already picked your set of headphones? Or do you find yourself confused, or perhaps, feel like picking up every other of these top-notch sealed headphones?
Well, in that case, we consider it safe to assume that you’re fairly new to the audio industry. Or possibly, upgrading your equipment after a long, long time, not knowing what to do and where to begin.
For that very reason, here’s a comprehensive guide, exclusively for you. It covers all aspects that a buyer should inspect to determine whether or not the said pair of headphones meet their needs.
Wired VS Wireless
Choosing whether you want wireless or wired headphones is perhaps one of the first and most essential steps towards picking the best closed-back headphones. And that’s because it determines your mobility as well as audio quality.
Generally, wired headphones are known to offer better sound quality. They lower all the complication risks as well as the interferences. However, they keep the user bound to a certain area, nearby the playback device.
On the contrary, wireless headphones offer a comparatively lower sound quality. But the depreciation of quality, here, is almost negligible. They best serve the needs of commuters, and people are always on-the-go. Note that they don’t bound you to a certain area, but they do have their limitations in terms of distance from the playback device.
Built & Design
Once you’ve chosen whether you want a wired pair of closed-back headphones or wireless ones, it’s time to evaluate the material and overall design of the headphones. And that’s a prime factor to consider if you’re investing a hefty amount. You surely want your expensive headphones to last longer. Don’t you?
To begin with, headphones that feature hard plastic and metallic frames last longer than most. However, the metallic ones may weigh heavier, becoming uncomfortable for some people. Also, they cost more than the hard plastic ones. On the positive side, they last the longest.
Internal components usually encase innovative technology in solid exteriors, such as that aluminum, brass, and other solid materials. They protect the machinery from adverse effects of weather as well as intensive usage. Hence, it’s always good to look into this aspect.
Usually, cheap closed-back headphones do not offer resistant and durable build. However, the ones that you’ll find in this list have been filtered from the heaps to bring you the best within your budget. So, they’re likely to last good, especially as mentioned in the review.
In terms of design, opt for colors that best match your taste and needs. If you have a rather rough schedule and usage, you might want to opt for darker colors. Or if you have professional studio use, involving broadcasts and recordings, you might want to opt for something classy, retro, elegant, or as suited to your taste.
To assess the comfort of a pair of closed-back headphones, check up its ear cups, headband padding, and weight.
On average, a regular headphone weighs around 250 grams. But you will find headphones weighing more or less than this value too, depending on the built. Ideally, you should look for a headphone that has its weight distributed equally. And to figure that out, you’ll have to wear the headphones and assess that. But since shopping online doesn’t allow that, you can check out for the reviews, such as those given above or of experienced users on the product’s actual purchase-page.
Now, for the headband, always check if the headphones you’re selecting have a thoroughly padded headband or not. If not, then they should at least have heavy padding in the center section. Otherwise, plastic or metallic headband can make the headphones very uncomfortable.
As for the earcups, we suggest you should seek the ones padded with memory foam and covered with faux, real, or suede leather. The size of ear cups is another primary concern, which we will be covering in the next section.
On-Ear Vs Over-Ear
The size of ear cups further classifies them into over-ear and on-ear types. On-ear headphones are those that are close to the size of your ear. These are portable, lightweight, and comfortable. Contrary to this, the over-ear headphones have bigger ear cups that engulf your ears. They are comparatively heavy and comfortable for those who frequently listen to music or have bigger ears. Given both are closed-back, over-ear designs will perform better at blocking out external noise than on-ear.
Lastly, look into the accessories that come with your pair of headphones. These may include extra cables, sturdy cases, etc. In this case, we’d recommend you to go with what they phrase as: the more, the merrier! (within your budget range, of course!) Also, it’s better to opt for the pair that comes with replaceable ear pads. It will allow you to use the headphones for a longer time.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
1. What’s the difference between open-back headphones and closed-back headphones?
Headphones get divided into two fundamental variants, which include open-back and closed-back headphones. The open-back headphones refer to the ones with holes in the ear cups. These tiny holes allow the air and sound to pass through the headphones. Hence, allowing you to listen to more natural and clear audio.
Meanwhile, the closed-back headphones are the ones that seal the ear cups. These block the sounds and retain them within the ear cups. While these offer portability, you will not be able to listen to a more naturalistic sound.
2. Can you mix it with closed-back headphones?
Yes, you can mix with closed-back headphones. These are particularly useful when you have to mix in a crowded room or noisy ambiance. However, the closed-back can make your ears sweaty when mixing over a long period.
3. What are closed-back headphones best suited for?
Closed-back headphones aim to become a barrier between you and the world. With them on, neither the world can intrude into your listening sessions or get disturbed by it. Thus, the best use of closed-back headphones includes recording and mixing. You can wear these headphones anywhere, anytime, without fearing disruptions.
Summing up, closed-back headphones are one of the best of innovative tech that you can gift yourself. Not only do they help maintain a sense of privacy as you enjoy your playlist, but they even provide enhanced sound quality. Plus, these headphones look much cooler than the open-back variants. Don’t they?
So, get one right away! If you feel like purchasing all of the models mentioned above, then rest assured; we feel you! And so, we’d recommend you to go with our all-rounder and a born-winner, i.e., the Audio Technica ATH-M50x! We hope you enjoy it!
Last Updated on January 28, 2021