Review-comparison of the best closed-back headphones
Now the market has a lot of models of any type and there is a question: how to choose the best closed back headphones. The price plays important role there: lower price – lower quality, but nice models are in each category. Those who cannot choose, it is worth looking at a models under 300, where the optimal price-quality ratio. However, I have an opportunity to make the review of closed-back headphones and help to decide which one is the best.
The best closed back headphones under 100
Sennheiser HD280PRO provides comfort with dynamic sound
Headphones look strictly and qualitatively. The frame is made of high-quality plastic, the headboard is upholstered with soft fabric trim, filled with foam rubber, which allows tightly fixing the headphones on the head. Sennheiser HD280PRO has a sliding headboard, swivel cups that can be folded. The headphones are made for work with formats without compression (FLAC or ALAC). These formats are the best way to reveal the whole picture of the sound. One can’t say about the predominance of any specific frequencies in the sound spectrum. All of them are present in the sound picture and together they create a unique composition. Headphones have a soulful bass and its middle frequencies are enough. The presence of a decent soundproofing and wide dynamic range makes this model a candidate for the role of the best closed headphones for a home use.
Sennheiser HD280PRO pros:
- Completed a mini Jack adapter. Connector for headphones with a thread. The same thread is on the adapter, which allows you to fix it and not be afraid of disconnecting the cord.
- Really lightweight, only 0.62 lb.
Sennheiser HD280PRO cons:
- The HD280PR have an impedance of 64 Ohms.
- It should be noticed that these headphones are developed for listening at home, not for listening on the go.
Sony MDR7506 — impeccable quality since 1992
The headphones and headboard are made of metal, the headboard is covered with artificial leather, the ear cups are made of vinyl. The design is complex. The noise isolation is not bad, despite the slight pressure on the head and ears. The sound of headphones has excellent detail and tonal balance. Feels the depth of the bass. The dynamic range is wide. The mid-range is soft; even the smallest details of the compositions are heard. The stereo panorama is wide enough, and for closed headphones – and just luxurious, there is the effect of a small depth of the scene.
Sony MDR7506 pros:
- The cord is very long and allows a freedom of movement. The spiral cable is not tangled and it is more durable
- The headphones are equipped with a carrying case and an adapter with a 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm connector.
Sony MDR7506 cons:
- Noise isolation could be better. As for the Underground, headphones will not work, but for noisy rooms and streets, the option is not bad.
- High demands on the source.
Edifier H840 — real Hi-Fi sound
Edifier H840 are closed back headphones with 40-millimeter drivers and reinforced neodymium magnets. Model Edifier H840 has a nice design and excellent ergonomics. The plastic headband has a completely standard design. However, the cups themselves are fixed on hinged mechanisms with several degrees of rotation. The sound of the H840 is not bad as for the budget closed back headphones. The bass is fully present. It is legible and structural. Voices and many musical instruments sound more expressive than they really are. The sensitivity of the Edifier H840 is average.
Edifier H840 pros:
- Headrests from natural leather with the steel reinforced headband.
- EDIFIER H840 does not have a control panel. The produced sound is cleaner; this is a plus, for fans of high-quality sound.
Edifier H840 cons:
- H840 headphones have absolutely no noise canceling effect, maybe it depends on the headphones position on the head, but I heard everything around me.
- The lowest frequencies go into the hum and the sound depth is practically absent.
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x — entry-level studio headphones
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x are positioned as a studio closed back headphones under 100 with a modern and stylish design. Modern construction and high-quality materials guarantee comfortable use and effective noise insulation. It has soft fixed leather ear cups, an adjustable headrest. ATH-M20x are equipped with 40-mm speakers with neodymium magnets. The ATH-M20x offers a very balanced, detailed sound of excellent quality. The sound is clean and dense, with slightly overpriced low frequencies. No unnecessary noise or an artifact in the sound of headphones, the volume margin due to excellent isolation is impressive.
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x pros:
- Thanks to the mechanism of the headboard, headphones can be very easily adjusted to the desired size.
- In the kit, there are two additional 4 and 10 ft. long cords and an adapter with a mini-Jack to Jack.
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x cons:
- The cumbersome design makes it difficult to use headphones on the go.
- As for the closed back headphones under 100, these headphones have weak bass.
ANC and wireless – it is COWIN E7
COWIN E7 are the wireless headphones with 40mm large-aperture drivers. The headphones have a pretty design. Ear cups are made from plastic and the hinges and fasteners are made “in metal style”, but they are also plastic. The headboard is soft and covered with leatherette. There are controls stylized to a silver triangle, NFC point, ANC toggle, mini Jack, and microphone on the right ear cup. NFC works great. It is only necessary to attach the phone to the headphones, the connection occurs instantly.
In terms of sound, the headphones are very pleased as the best closed back headphones. The sound is very loud, confident bass, the upper and lower frequencies sound normal. There are no Bluetooth delays. E7 have a built-in 600 mAh battery that provides more than 5 hours of working with Noise Canceling Technology.
COWIN E7 pros:
- Noise Canceling Technology. This technology completely suppresses external noises. Built-in microphone captures sound from the external sources, inverting it in antiphase and fed to the speakers. This feature can work both in wire and wireless mode.
- COWIN E7 can work as Bluetooth headphones and as wired ones. The sound is great in both modes.
COWIN E7 cons:
- Problem with a material. The plastic feels cheap and the button design looks not so well.
- Bluetooth is limited to roughly 33 ft. and it is enough for using with a phone but at home, this rage seems less when I listening to music from my receiver or PC.
The best closed back headphones under 200
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x makes studio level sound accessible
This model is positioned as the headphones for sound recording and monitoring. M50X has not an incredible design. It is simple and strict and it was developed for long and comfort work. Headband and cups are finished with artificial leather. Thick, soft ear pads rotate in two directions. Clamping force – moderate, soundproofing effective, ear cushions comfortable. In general, the sound of the models was impressed by an even, neutral feed with a careful drawing of the finest details. The bass is served smoothly and fundamentally. The middle is natural, lively, and very legible, the vocals are not sharp. High – transparent. The stereo panorama and the volume of the scene are very good for closed headphones. Voices are very clearly positioned.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x pros:
- The left cup is equipped with a special connector (TS plug) for detachable cables. In a set, there are three kinds of cables and adaptor from mini-Jack to Jack.
- The headphones have 45-mm drivers with magnets from rare earth metals and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils that provide great sound.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x cons:
- Bass can be over-emphasized a bit and in case of work with audio, bass correction can be wrong.
- plastic construction and for someone it can be uncomfortable.
The studio legend Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80
The model looks like a working tool. The headboard is made of metal and covered with soft leatherette. Plastic bowls on the texture resemble leather, velour earbuds. Despite the large size and weight, the model turned out to be convenient. Velour ear pads are soft and completely cover the ears. The sound is very pleasing. The music in these closed back headphones under 200 sounds in 360 degrees. The mids and highs are great but nothing outstanding. Basses may seem dry. I can not distinguish the genre predisposition of the model, it plays absolutely everywhere when listening to electronics or with alternative rock.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 pros:
- Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO are available in three versions, which differ in resistance – 32, 80 and 250 ohms. Each of them is designed to work with different types of devices.
- 2-year manufacturer warranty.
- The wire is thick and elastic.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 80 cons:
- For good sound of 80 ohms model, you need a powerful amplifier.
- The frame of the headboard is tight and can create discomfort with prolonged use.
Natural sound experience is possible with Sennheiser HD 598 SR
This model is made of high-quality plastic, the headband is made of foam plastic and leather, the cups are made of fleece. The fleece cups feel very comfortably on the head, feel very light, the soft headband also did not cause discomfort. Black glossy inserts perfectly combined with leather headband, look great. The headphones Sennheiser HD 598 use a jack for a removable cable. A TS jack allows connecting to all external sources.
In terms of sound, the HD 598 SR is more suitable for fans of dance music, computer games, and movies. Bass is very bright and juicy. Lovers of the classics may not like a small loss of midrange frequencies, but the gorgeous upper frequencies are able to correct the situation a little.
Sennheiser HD 598 SR pros:
- Channel separation is perfect; you can identify any instruments party in any song.
Sennheiser HD 598 SR cons:
- Creaks with every turn of the head.
- For better sound, you better use with DAC/amp.
The best closed back headphones under 300
Sennheiser HD 600 — just good headphones
Headphones are designed for comfortable listening to music at home or for gaming. Drivers with neodymium magnets and lightweight aluminum voice coils provide excellent sound. HD 600 has plastic open back cups covered with a metal mesh. The headband is plastic, inside is covered with a fabric. The whole design is lightweight as for professional headphones – only 260 grams. Surprisingly soft and comfortable ear cushions from the fabric will enable you to listen to your favorite music without any discomfort for hours. Headphones provide playback of the entire range of the sound spectrum. Open cups let out an external sound, they can not be used in places with a high level of noise. The main function of these headphones is to listen to their home, connecting to a good amplifier, and not somewhere on the street.
Sennheiser HD 600 pros:
- Sennheiser HD 600 has a high-quality sound, which is not only suitable for listening to instrumental music but also for monitoring.
- There is a possibility to replace the cable and ear cups.
Sennheiser HD 600 cons:
- The resistance is high at 300 Ohms, this model is demanding to the powerful sound source.
- HD 600 has high-frequency sound of a poor quality when playing music tracks.
V-MODA Crossfade M-100 — outstanding sound and metal design
These closed back headphones impress with their design. Thanks to the metal frame they sit securely on the head. The headband is trimmed with a soft leather imitation. The same material is covered and ear pads. The ear pads are quite large and comfortable and cover the ear completely. Thanks to the use of 50-mm dual-diaphragm drivers, an optimal bass, mid-range, and high-frequency ratio are achieved. The headphones have rich almost physically perceptible bass, well-developed medium and accurate high frequencies. The effect of presence is also guaranteed, which should appeal to lovers of live vocals.
M-100 headphones are well equipped. In the kit, the owner will find two cables. The longest reaches for the audio input of a personal computer or audio equipment, short is suitable for listening to music from a smartphone or Hi-Fi player.
V-MODA Crossfade M-100 pros:
- On the back of the V-MODA Crossfade M-100 cups, there are removable metal panels. There are many variations of them. That will help make the headphones unique.
- The kit includes a hard carrying case, a headphone splitter, and a 6.3 mm adapter.
V-MODA Crossfade M-100 сons:
- The V-Moda Crossfade M-100 headband may seem too tight due to the metal base.
- The ear pads are too thin to complement the clamping force of the headband.
Bose QuietComfort 35 — folk wireless headphone
This is a wireless headset made in a minimalist style. The cups and headboard are made of plastic. Ear piercers and headband are covered with leatherette, soft and look good. The right cup contains controls: a multifunction button for answering a call, Play / Pause, rewind, volume buttons.
The sound quality is average. In QC 35 there is no detail or crystal transparency. The middle is lost behind the bass. These headphones are more suitable for watching movies or listening to podcasts, human speech is transmitted as if a person is standing side by side. The noise reduction mode works well, but some external sounds are still audible. The headphones can run for a long time from the battery – 20 hours of operation with ANC, with Bluetooth, and 40 hours of operation with a wired connection.
Bose QuietComfort 35 pros:
- Simultaneous Bluetooth connection.
- There is an opportunity to change the ear cups. It is very easy – pull out the cup from the latches and put a new one.
- There is a connection for NFC, you just need to bring the smartphone to the headphones.
Bose QuietComfort 35 cons:
- The Bose Connect application only allows turning on voice prompts, select a language, but there’s no tuning of the noise reduction itself.
- The noise reduction mode works well, but some external sounds are still audible.
Bose SoundLink — wireless freedom
This is a wireless headset in on-ear format; there are two options – black with blue and white with beige. In SoundLink, the upper part of the headband is made of eco-leather, inside there is a suede type material. On the plates, the lining is made of plastic. Large cups cover your ears; you can wear them for hours without the least discomfort. The combination of matte plastic and lacquered rims looks very simple and very stylish. On the right side are the control buttons and the micro USB connector for charging. Passive noise insulation at a very good level, the cups completely prevent external noise from breaking through.
Headphones sound decent for both wireless. The bass is elastic, every detail is audible and the vocals sound very good. However, it seems that some word effects sound in the background or even from the side.
Bose SoundLink pros:
- The headphones have NFC, so you can quickly connect gadgets based on Android.
- The operating time is approximately 15 hours from one charge.
Bose SoundLink cons:
- The sound quality could be better for such a price segment.
- There is no support for the aptX codec.
Sennheiser RS 175 RF — more than headphones
These headphones are mainly aimed at remote synchronization with a home theater or audio system. The set includes headphones and a docking station. The station is quite light and small.
Headphones tightly adhere to the ears. The design of the headphones ensures reliable fixation due to the headboard. The headboard has a standard adjustable design, but it is slightly thicker than usual with headphones, due to the weight of the electronics and the battery.
The headphones RS 175 features a very balanced sound processing in movies and music. The model supports two sound modes: Bass Boost for volumetric and Virtual Surround, offering a more spatial and lively sound. To switch between them you can use the buttons on the right side of these best closed back headphones under 300.
Sennheiser RS 175 RF pros:
- The docking station is simultaneously a transmitter, a charger, and a stand.
- The ability to connect to the system a second pair of headphones HDR 175.
- The range of the transmitter is up to 30 feet. It’s more than enough to listen to the music anywhere in the house.
Sennheiser RS 175 RF cons:
- It is difficult to adjust the headphones to yourself. Discomfort occurs during prolonged wearing.
- The dock station is able to charge only one earphone one by one. Charging lasts up to 8 hours. With a pair of headphones, this charging scenario is not very convenient.
Beats Studio3 — bright and expensive
Studio3 is a closed-type wireless headset from a recognizable manufacturer. Immediately after unpacking, questions arise regarding the design of the headphones. They look cheap compared to competitors in their price category. The headband and other elements of the headphones are made of plastic with metal inserts, ear cups and headband backing – from eco-leather. Headphones are light and with prolonged wearing nothing hurts, does not rub, your ears do not sweat.
In terms of sound, Beats as the best closed ear headphones are not bad. Low frequencies sound well in these headphones, but here the high and medium frequencies are made so as not to distract from the bass. All thanks to the built-in Apple W1 processor. It is responsible for sound processing, noise reduction, and charge consumption. Noise Canceling System that is called Pure ANC works in the Apple ecosystem is configured on the connected device.
Beats Studio3 pros:
- Sync with iCloud.
- Beats Studio3 Wireless comes with a hard case that closes with a zip with moisture protection.
- Fast charge function FastFuel.
Beats Studio3 cons:
- Do not support the aptX codec.
- Can not connect two devices at once.
- Noise Reduction works only on new versions of the OS from Apple.
Sony WH1000XM2 — headphones with premium noise canceling
Headphones have drivers with a diameter of 40 mm (dome type, voice coil CCAW) with a diffuser made of polymer. The design is strict and minimalistic. Ergonomic of headphones is excellent, the headband is regulated, ear cushions made of eco-leather, fit tightly and give good sound insulation. The headphones do not crush, they do not hang around on the head either. The controls are in the right ear cup. There is the touch panel instead of standard buttons. The buttons are moved to the side, but the mini Jack is exactly centered, which is also logical. WH1000XM2 headphones have bass and high frequencies at a high level. They are confidently coping with external noise. The effects of NC and Ambient Sound are controlled by a single key since most of the settings are controlled in the smartphone`s software. The proprietary DSEE HX technology for improving the digital sound allows correcting both blemishes mp3, and compression flaws in wireless transmission.
Sony WH1000XM2 pros:
- Putting hand to the right ear cup can mute the music and turn on external microphones.
- Application by Sony. A user-friendly application allows you to fine-tune each headphone function for you.
- Adaptive adjustment. Sony determines how they are put, analyze the position of the ear cups for better sound.
Sony WH1000XM2 cons:
- Due to the tight fit and eco leather, the ears begin to sweat.
- The ear pads can`t be replaced independently, the structure is monolithic.
The best closed back headphones under 500
Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) — the best from Bose
These headphones are an improved version of Bose QuietComfort 35, from which remained the design and quality of materials. Ear pads are made of eco leather and part of the headboard is made of fabric. Ergonomics is excellent, the headphones do not press on the ears, but some pressure is felt on the head. It should be noted that the Bose QC35 II is not for audiophiles. They were uniquely created for a typical modern listener – the emphasis is on low frequencies. Bose QC35 II brand is trying their best to impress with bass, which at times outshines all other frequencies. The middle frequencies sound clear, clear and without serious distortion what is expected from the best closed back headphones under 500.
Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) pros:
- The hardware button activates Google Assistant which works at times better than in competitor`s headphones.
- In the Bose Connect + application, you can reassign the “Action” button on the left side to control the active ANC, which is now adjustable on three levels: high, low or off.
Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) cons:
- The headphones, first of all, are made and tuned for listening to modern electronic music. Fans of classical music or rock will be disappointed.
- There is no support for LDAC and aptXHD, which are now the standard for sound quality for wireless headphones.
- Noise reduction for my impressions does not work well enough. Through the headphones, voices, and ambient noise are not audible.
Their style is beyond competition — Master & Dynamic MH40S2
The company positions this model as the flagship one. Moreover, the truth is that the headphones are distinguished by a thoughtful design, quality materials, rich and warm sound, and special attention to detail.
The headphones themselves are big and heavy. Finishing, materials, assembly – all this causes delight. There are stainless steel parts, aluminum cups, and a metal headband are sewn into the thick leather with a very pleasant texture. Cups completely cover the ears.
Inside the headphones, there is a customary driver with a diameter of 45 mm with neodymium magnets. Headphones sound as befits a flagship model: a saturated bass, pure sound at medium frequencies, pleasant high frequencies.
Master & Dynamic MH40S2 pros:
- Design of headphones. They are qualitatively distinguished against the background of many competitors because of the company’s attention to detail.
- Ear cups on magnets are easily removed, on the official site, you can buy new ones.
Master & Dynamic MH40S2 cons:
- Channel designations are barely noticeable; it is easy to confuse L and R.
HI-END — Premium quality headphones with brilliant sound
OPPO PM-3 — the best wireless headphones
Headphones OPPO PM-3 with planar magnetic drivers are capable to give out the sound of extremely high quality. The main feature of planar-magnetic drivers is an easy but simultaneously diverse, detailed sound, as well as a wide musical scene. PM-3 remarkably plays out the middle frequencies and very interestingly high: they are very sharp, but they do not cut a rumor. Sound insulation both internal and external on the verge of ideality.
PM-3 has a proprietary design Oppo, where the metal predominates. The bowls are made of structured aluminum, the holders and the arc are also made of metal, plastic is used only in the rim of the same bowls. The headband and ear cups are covered with soft leatherette.
OPPO PM-3 pros:
- Metal construction will serve long.
- There two different cords (for Android and iOS) in the kit.
OPPO PM-3 сons:
- Mass of the device 0.7 lb (without cable).
- Noise isolation is good, though not up to the q-JAYS standards.
Work is possible everywhere with Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO
A distinctive feature of the DT 1990 PRO is the original design of the cups, which provides the headphones with their own unique look. Impressive materials of the case — a quality black metal, sewn headband with leatherette, and durable plastic matt. The outer surface of the cups has numerous slots. At a weight of 0.8 lb DT 1990 confidently keep on the head and do not tire the neck. DT 1990 pro headphones have dynamic drivers of 45-mm Tesla technology, which demonstrate a crystal and true sound. The multi-story and relief of sound are pleasing, which is very well felt on multi-instrumental compositions with a pronounced rhythm. Every little thing sounds so certain.
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO pros:
- There are 2 cables (twisted and classic), an extra pair of velour ear cups and a premium hard carrying case in the kit.
- Drivers are built on neodymium magnets.
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 PRO cons:
- 250 ohms resistance, no smartphone can cope with them.
- This is a big headphone solely an option for home / studio.
Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature — hi-end audio decision
These are expensive headphones which are positioned as a portable device.
The P9 brand uses genuine leather in all parts of the case. Thick leather on the headband with deliberately brutal corrugation and soft leather cups and lower headband, thick base metal, the cups are mechanically unleashed to reduce vibrations. Ear cups completely cover the ears.
The P9 closed over ear headphones are equipped with new 40-mm full-range speakers.They have light air supply of the entire high-frequency spectrum. The bass is fed elastically, without tension, without any effort, obviously shifted to the middle spectrum. In these headphones, the musical parts of each instrument are perfectly heard. The vocals are clean, listening is a pleasure.
Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature pros:
- With the weight of the headphones at 0.9 lb, they do not seem heavy.
- The proprietary suspension and driver diffuser system provides an incredible sound.
Bowers & Wilkins P9 Signature cons:
- Mid frequencies are not good enough compared to the quality of high and low.
- The noise isolation is not good due to the semi-closed back.
Beyerdynamic T5p — the new standard of pro tool
The Beyerdynamic T5p headphones are perfect for both portable and stationary use. They look solid and durable. Soft leather padding of the headband and ear cushions increases the convenience and gives them a stylish look.
T5p headphones are also good at every genre, sound brilliant with excellent tonal balance. The soundstage is large with precise imaging and excellent instrument separation even with the closed design. Sound can leak slightly at a high volume level, but the leakage is not noticeable in moderate and comfortable volume levels.
Beyerdynamic T5p pros:
- Wide frequency range – 5 – 50000 Hz.
- Good power margin with expressive and clear output sound.
Beyerdynamic T5p cons:
- The headphones are heavy -0.75 lb.
Closed back headphones – what is this?
This is the type of headphone with a closed back of the ear cup and they have noise insulation. For fans of diving into sound, it is preferable to choose a closed-type headphone. With them, you completely ignore the external noise and focus on music.
Closed-back vs Open-back headphones
There are closed-back and open-back headphones. The design of closed back headphones is the completely closed back of ear cups and dense ear cushion. These headphones are noise-proof and allow you to immerse yourself in music. However, they heat so quickly. The open-back headphones are the complete opposite in terms of design. The main difference between open headphones is that drivers are not closed of ear cups back. Such design allows hearing all the surrounding sounds and own voice.
Can others hear music in open back headphones?
When using open type headphones, it is inevitable that others will hear your music. Not clearly, but the noise will come. This is a feature of the design – the back of the cup does not have a wall, it is closed only by a grid. As an example, this can create discomfort for your colleagues in the office.
In this review, headphones for any budget are presented. The buyer only needs to determine how much he can spend on headphones. But it is worth remembering the correlation between price and quality. Indeed, for a good sound, you have to pay more. Those who do not know what to choose, I can advise a category of up to $300 where the optimal price-quality ratio.