There are hundreds of different headphones on the market with prices ranging from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. It can be very difficult to know which is the right set for you.
That’s why you need guides like this to illustrate to you the 8 best closed-back headphones.
Of course, if you’ve made it this far you’re probably already aware that a closed-back headphone is especially effective at muting outside sounds and should provide you the ability to hear all the different tones in the music.
That’s why closed-back headphones are often chosen by professionals in the music industry. In fact, they can be an acquired taste for the casual music listener.
Let’s take a look at what’s currently on offer, you’ll find it interesting, especially if you’re in the market for new headphones.
8 Best Closed-Back Headphones 2020
It has to be said that these are not the cheapest headphones on the 8 best closed-back headphones list, but they are potentially the best.
Of course, Sennheiser is a well-known and respected brand, that certainly helps.
- Over-ear style
- 2 cable options
- Frequency response 10 – 28,000 Hz
- Impedance 23 ohm
- Sound Pressure Level 115dB
- Weight 11.8oz
These headphones come with a 3m cable that has a 6.3mm jack on the end of it, that’s perfect for attaching to your home stereo system and relaxing with. But, you also get a 1.2m cable with a standard 3.5mm plug, this will allow you to connect to almost any other device you can think of.
Not only does this ensure you can connect to anything, but you’ll also appreciate the 1-button remote built into the 1.2m cable.
The Sennheiser has soft and dense fabric around the ear cups and on the headband, this ensures the headphones remain comfortable even when wearing them for extended periods of time. It’s also worth noting that the ear pads are large, ensuring they will sit comfortably over your ears.
This is a well built and comfortable pair of headphones.
- Sound Quality
Considering their position in this list it shouldn’t be surprising that the sound quality is excellent. You’ll hear the trebles, the mids, and enough bass to keep you happy. At the same time, the closed-back style ensures you have great balance between your ears
Unfortunately, these headphones don’t fold up which means they are a little on the bulky side to carry around with you.
These over the ear style headphones are really designed for studio usage and not style. However, they do provide excellent sound quality at an affordable price, making them a serious contender on your shortlist.
- Single-sided 3m cable
- Adjustable padded headband
- Replaceable velour ear pads
- Choice of Gray or black
- Includes 6.3mm adaptor
- Weigh 1 pound
- Build Quality
The plastic used in the cups seems to be soft and durable, this indicates you can use them for a long time before they start to crack. This is backed up by the steel frame, helping to give the headphones strength and rigidity, while ensuring they’ll last for years.
The noise cancellation is excellent, you can hear others and they can’t hear your music. The headphones are often described as having a neutral tone but this simply means you’ll be able to hear all the nuances in the music and focus on the detail you need to hear.
In short, you won’t be disappointed with the sound range and quality.
With replaceable velour ear pads it’s clear that Beyerdynamic is working hard to ensure your headphones aren’t just comfortable when you put them on, they will also remain that way for the future.
In addition to the replaceable pads, the headband is well padded and adjustable to give you the best fit, while the ear pads are soft enough to feel soothing and allow you to focus on the music
- Cable Can’t Be Removed
Unfortunately, the cable can’t be removed, this means you must use the adaptor to connect to your phone and other devices. This is a shame as you’ll find the connector can be a little bulky when attached to your phone.
The top 3 on the 8 best closed-back headphones list are all exceptional choices but, it has to be said that the Audio-Technica wins on style. The design is elegant, precise, and looks right in any situation.
- 45mm drivers
- Contours around your ears
- 90° swivel ear cups
- Bluetooth adaptor
- Weighs 2.8 pounds
- Excellent Sound Quality
The 45mm drivers are accompanied by copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils and the combination is impressive. You’ll hear every note throughout the frequency range, allowing you to enjoy the music or make the best possible professional decisions.
You’ll be surprised an impressed by the deepness of the bass, considering the clarity of the top end.
The fact that they are closed-back means you’ll be able to keep the sounds to yourself while keeping the outside world at bay. That’s a benefit in the studio or on the commute.
The ATH-M50x comes with a Bluetooth adaptor, allowing you to effortlessly connect to your phone, your car stereo, or countess other Bluetooth enabled devices. If you use the Bluetooth you can remove the standard cable. It’s a great feature, but, it’s not the only thing you’ll be impressed by.
The headphones are foldable to make them easy to carry anywhere with you, and the swiveling ear cup allows you to hear the outside world when necessary.
Well, padded ear cups ensure these headphones can sit on your ears for hours without you suffering from pressure fatigue. The adjustable band is plastic coated with more padding, you’ll barely notice it’s there.
- Bluetooth Issues
It’s worth noting that the early examples of these headphones had a few Bluetooth issues. However, Audio-Technica has been very supportive and helped customers deal with the issues. In fact, many people now say that the Bluetooth gives better sound quality than the cable, despite the headphones being designed as cable first.
4. Sony MDR7506
Sony has been in business for a long time and this is evident in both the quality and the style of the MDR7506. You’re unlikely to be disappointed.
These are designed as heavy-duty headphones, if you think you’ll be using your closed-back headphones a lot this is the pair for you.
- 40mm drivers
- 8ft cord with gold-plated plug
- 3mm adaptor included
- Frequency response 10-20,000 Hz
- Impedance 63 ohms
- Weight 8.1 ounces
Sony has kept the cost down by making the headphones entirely of plastic with just a little padding. Yet, despite the lack of padding, these headphones are surprisingly comfortable, even after you’ve been wearing them for hours.
The best way to describe the MDR7506 is as neutral, which means they are not bass-heavy. Instead, you’ll experience the full range of tones in every piece of music you play. That’s part of what makes them such a good job for professionals.
Not many headphones boast gold-plated adaptors, folding ear cups, an OFC cord, and 40mm drivers. It’s fair to say that the Sony MDR7506 does a good job of covering all the bases.
They look good and can be carried anywhere, which makes them a tempting offer; especially as the price is surprisingly attractive.
- Better for the studio
Although they are a great set of headphones you’ll definitely get the feeling they are designed for studio use. This is especially true if you like the bass sound, you’re not going to get enough of it with these headphones.
5. Edifier H840
This is the best budget offering you’re likely to find anywhere. The Edifier is less-well-known, as such they’re offering headphones at some great prices. But, what’s impressive is that they are still providing excellent sound quality.
- 40mm drivers
- Impedance 32 ohm
- Frequency 20-20,000 Hz
- Weight 7 ounces
- Dual wires
- Available in a choice of colors – black, blue, white, and black with microphone
The ear cups are covered with thick padding that ensures you won’t feel any pressure on your ears. This compensates for the lack of padding on the headband and actually makes the H840 a very comfortable headset, even if you have them on all day.
The fact that they are so light also helps!
These are the cheapest option on the 8 best closed-back headphones list, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. They may be budget-friendly, but they also offer good sound quality, durable construction, and they look pretty good.
That makes the worth considering.
- Sound Quality
The 40mm drivers and gold-plated audio plug help to ensure you’ll hear every nuance of sound. They also incorporate an electro-acoustic unit on the base of the coil, helping to provide life-like sounds that make these the perfect introduction to high-quality audio for the budget-conscious.
- Low impedance
The low impedance of 32 ohms means that the headphones are designed for low-level power input. Of course, this does come at a cost. You won’t get the same level of transparency in your music as you would with a higher impedance.
6. Shure SRH440
The Shure SRH440 is another budget-conscious set of headphones but they are still worth considering. You may not want to use them on the beach or at school as they don’t scream style. But, for canceling out other sounds and listening to your music at home, you could do a lot worse.
- Detachable cable
- Gold-plated 6.3mm adaptor
- 40mm drivers
- 8ft coiled cable
- Impedance 44 ohm
- Frequency range 10-22,000 Hz
- Weight 1.55 pounds
- Build Quality
Shure know how to put headphones together, the build quality of the SRH440 is excellent. You’ll find the padding on the ear cups acceptable although perhaps not the most comfortable option available. But, you will notice the frame itself is rigid, a testimony to the strength of these headphones and the fact they’ll last you for years.
- Noise Cancelling
Considering these are at the lower end of the price range you may be surprised by how effectively they block out the rest of the world, and they won’t be able to hear your music either. Even if you have them on high volume, (and risk damaging your ears), you’ll find that there is minimal sound leakage outwards.
These aren’t the cheapest option available but they are definitely toward the lower end of the scale and yet still offer excellent sound quality and build, which makes them worth considering.
- Comfort is an issue
With less padding than some of the more expensive sets, you won’t be surprised to realize that there is an issue with comfort, especially if you wear the headphones for an extended period of time.
Of course, if you only use them occasionally this won’t be an issue.
Take it up a notch now with the V-Moda Crossfade M-100, this is definitely aimed at the higher end of the market. It supports a unique and stylish design that allows the ear cups to swivel as much or as little as you want.
This particular offering from V-Moda is actually award-winning and patented!
- Patented 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers
- Compact design
- Hexagonal ear cups that swivel
- Available in shadow, white, and black
- Weigh 0.62 pounds
- Sound Quality
The 50mm patented drivers help to provide a full range of frequencies directly into your ear. The quality and definition of the different tones really are excellent.
- Noise Cancellation
You probably won’t find a pair of headphones that offer better noise cancellation. You won’t be able to hear the outside world and they certainly won’t be listening to your music. In fact, it’ quite impressive how these headphones can cancel the noise so effectively.
With a Kevlar-reinforced frame, hexagon ear cups, thick padding, and a snug but adjustable headband, these headphones aren’t just built to last. They’re built to be seen. The design is so distinctive that people will recognize them or ask you about them.
The good thing is that it’s not just for show the build quality is excellent, they mean even outlast you.
- Not For Professionals
Despite being at the top end of the price range this is not a headphone that professionals would, or should, use. The sound quality is good, so is the noise cancellation. But, there is just something a little military about them which is likely to put professionals off.
Of course, if you just want them for personal use you could do a lot worse.
If you want a pair of closed-back headphones that look like what was used in the studios 10-20 years ago then the LyxPro HAS-30 is the perfect retro headphone for you.
Just remember that although they look retro, the sound quality isn’t.
- Leather headband
- Replaceable ear cups
- 2 removable cables
- 3mm adaptor
- 180° rotating ear cups
- Frequency response 15-26,000 Hz
- Weigh 0.66 pounds
- Replaceable Ear Cups
You’ve probably come across replaceable ear cup cushioning but replacing the ear cups is a little less common. However, it’s perfect for the hygiene conscious and those who like to maintain maximum comfort for years of use.
Of course, the leather headband helps to ensure they stay comfortable.
The cups are also foldable, making it easier to carry the headphones with you wherever you go.
- Good Sound
The 50mm drivers help to ensure you get a good range of sounds when listening through these headphones. Although it portrays all the nuances well, it is lacking a little in the bass area, which may be an issue if you’re into bass-heavy music.
The sounds you do hear are crystal clear.
- The Bass
While these headphones aren’t as bass-heavy as you may think, they are designed to accentuate bass more than most others. This is great if you’re a bass head, but, if you’re not, you may struggle to really enjoy the sound quality of these headphones.
What Makes The Best Closed-Back Headphones
The key to a good pair of closed-back headphones is finding a set that offers excellent sound isolation. This is the primary reason why people purchase closed-back headphones. Good sound isolation allows you to enjoy your music without disturbing others.
But, it also ensures you can focus completely on the music, that’s particularly important if you’re a music professional.
As always you should pay attention to who the manufacturer is and check social media, as well as forums, to ensure that the headphones you’re considering perform as well as you expect.
If you’re not sure about closed-back headphones then try several different pairs and styles, this will help you identify the differences in the sounds and choose the right pair for your needs.
If you’re after a pair of closed-back headphones then you want to choose one of the pairs on this 8 best closed-back headphones list. Every option is available, from budget to top end, and from bass head to professional mixer.
All you have to do is choose which pair suits your budget, your intended usage, and your personal style/preference. Then you can enjoy your new purchase and the sound definition they provide.