7+ Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming of 2022 (ranked)
Open back headphones for gaming are a great choice because they allow the sound to come out of them freely for that open and spacious sound profile. This means that you can hear what's around you while gaming, which is perfect for multiplayer and shooting games.
The open design also allows more air to flow through the ear cups, which helps keep ears cool during extended gaming sessions. Nothing is more annoying than having tight and closed headphones with sweaty ears.
In this blog post, I review 7+ open back models and rank them based on sound quality, comfort, and price. I also include a few studio headphones that are close back so you have options if the open back isn't your thing. Let's get to it!
What Are The Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming?
Here are my top picks for the best open back headphones for gaming.
1. Philips Fidelio X2HR
Best overall open back headphones for gaming
The Philips Fidelio X2HR is a great all-rounder open back headphone for gaming that delivers excellent sound quality across the board.
It has an over-ear design with memory foam earpads and headbands, which makes it very comfortable. The open-air nature of this model means you can hear what's going on around you while still getting fantastic audio immersion during games, movies, or music listening sessions.
This open-back pair offers exceptional clarity in both directional sound reproduction as well as spaciousness to get lost in your favorite game worlds.
If you are looking for one of the best open back headphones at an affordable price then I recommend grabbing these ASAP!
Premium look and feel
High comfort factor for long gaming sessions
The sound profile is well-balanced
Great spatial effects
Open and natural soundstage
Lacks a bit of low-bass
Low to no distortion at all
The Philips Fidelio X2HR is a great open back headset that delivers fantastic sound quality and comfort at an affordable price point of $149.99.
2. Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X
Best lightweight open back headphones for gaming
The Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X open back gaming headphones are a lightweight option that delivers great sound quality.
They have an open-air design with 50mm drivers, which helps deliver excellent audio range and clarity in both games, movies, or music sessions.
This model is comfortable to wear for extended periods of time because it's not over-the-ear but rather on the ear cups. This makes them very light and easy to put on/take off without having any discomfort from the weight, sitting on your ears for hours at a time.
Lightweight design makes it comfortable to wear
Has great dynamics with plenty of detail
Clear sound and very spacious
Above-average sound fidelity
Focuses more on the mids making it a little unbalanced
The Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X headphones are a great option for gamers looking to get open back headphones that are on the lighter side. They deliver great open sound with clear mids and highs without distortion at around $139.99 on a discount.
3. Sennheiser GAME ONE Gaming Headset
Best studio headphones for gaming with a microphone
The Sennheiser GAME ONE open back headphones are a studio headphone style open back option that is great for gaming.
They have an over-ear design with memory foam ear cups and headband padding, which makes them very comfortable to wear for long periods of time while playing games or listening to music.
They also come with a detachable cable system so you can add any custom cables if needed without the hassle of buying new open headphones from scratch.
This model has excellent sound quality across the board but excels in detail retrieval on all frequencies, especially the high-end range notes where some headphones tend to drop off quickly making it hard to distinguish sounds like footsteps and other subtle details when they fade out too early during gameplay sessions.
A studio headphone with a mic that filters out unnecessary noise!
Great sound quality and balanced sound reproduction
Lightweight and breathable design for those long sessions
Better sound soundstage than other headphones
The Sennheiser GAME ONE is a great open headphone option for gamers looking to get studio headphones with a mic built-in without the hassle of dealing with extra cables and having them get in your way during gameplay sessions!
This model has excellent sound quality and comfort at an affordable price point of $129.
4. Sennheiser HD 800 S
Best high-end open back headphones for gaming
The Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones are a high-end open back option for gamers looking to get the best spacious sound quality with super detailed mids and highs that reproduce every note, instrument, or sound effect in each game.
The open back design lets you immerse yourself in the game by hearing all of the subtle details that other closed back headphones may not be able to reproduce.
This model is great for FPS gamers who need to hear their surroundings while playing FPS or any other open-world game where it's important to keep an ear out for potential dangers lurking around corners and behind closed doors!
High-end headphones with exceptional sound quality!
Very nice sound balance with great details and mid-range
Comfortable for long sessions
A good amount of bass even for an open back design
The open back Sennheiser HD 800 S is a high-end option for gamers looking to get the best open sound quality with super detailed mids and highs that will give you an edge over other players in competitive games. And with that, you'll also have to dish out a premium price as well for around ~1599, not for the faint of heart.
5. Philips SHP9500
Best affordable open back headphones for gaming
The open back Philips SHP9500 headphones are a good mid-range option for gamers looking to get open back, studio monitor-style headphones that deliver great sound quality without breaking the bank.
They have an over-ear design with large ear cups and headband padding which makes them comfortable enough for long gaming sessions.
This model has excellent low-end bass response while still being able to produce clear mids and highs regardless of what type of music or sounds they're reproducing during gameplay sessions!
Great build quality from Phillips
Natural sound quality
Well balanced between mids, treble, and bass
Comfortable and durable design
Spacious soundstage with large earcups
The Philips SHP9500 is an affordable option that has a great open back quality.
It is just the right amount of bass and treble, making it very ideal for gaming purposes for only $79.99, which in the world of hi-fi headphones is essentially free.
6. ASTRO Gaming A40 TR X-Edition + MixAmp Pro
Best microphone performance
The ASTRO Gaming A40 TR X-Edition + MixAmp Pro is a great open back headset that has amazing sound quality and microphone performance.
The open backs on this pair of headphones allow you to be fully immersed in the game while also being aware of your surroundings when needed.
This open back headphone does not require an amp for optimal audio experience (though it massively benefits from one) which makes it very ideal for gamers looking for a device that doesn't take up much space but still delivers exceptional sound quality!
Trusted and well-reviewed headphones with great microphone performance
Awesome and warm sound profile for gaming
Not as comfortable to wear as other choices
Dated design and a bit bulky, still comfortable to wear
The sound is open and spacious
With the included MixAmp you can adjust and hear both game and chat audio
This open back studio headphone has a great sound quality and amazing microphone performance, making it ideal for voice chat or streaming/recording purposes for only ~299 with a dedicated amp included.
7. BEYERDYNAMIC DT 990 PRO
Best open back headphones for high fidelity listening
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is a open over-ear studio headphone that allows you to hear almost everything around you.
It does not have as much bass as many of the other open headphones on this list but if sound quality and neutrality are your top priorities then you really can't go wrong with these studio headphones at all!
Well balanced for high fidelity listening
Great sound quality with a natural soundstage
Premium design that's sturdy
Unfortunately, the headphones are tight on the head and leak a lot of sounds, even on low volumes.
These open Studio headphones are available for $175.00 and can be purchased at Beyerdynamic's official website as well.
8. Sennheiser HD 599 SE
Best open back headphones for gaming with extra bass
The Sennheiser HD-599 SE open over-ear headphones are some of the best open back headphones for gaming as they provide you with natural frequency response, great positional audio, and an extra oomph on the low end for that extra bass.
The design is lightweight, the HD-599 SE headphones are very comfortable, and they produce are overall a great pair of studio headphones.
Great premium designs that are very comfortable to wear
Well balanced sound profile with a little extra emphasis on bass
Natural, warm, and spacious sound stage
Overall a great piece of headphones for both audiophiles and gaming.
The Sennheiser HD-599 SE headphones are available for $169 and can be purchased from most retail stores.
What Are The Best Studio Headphones for Gaming?
Not everyone wants open back headphones as they leak a lot of sound to your surrounding. If you have a need for private listening or don't want to disturb people around you, then closed back headphones are the way to go.
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50X
Best studio headphones with a closed back
The Audio-Technica ATH M50X Studio Headphones are one of the best studio headphones on the market and have been for years.
They reproduce a very accurate sound profile, they're comfortable to wear for long periods at a time, and their closed design allows you to play games without disturbing anyone else in your vicinity.
They have very clear highs with nice mids and lows reproduction, and since they are close back studio headphones, you'll get a massive boost in bass compared to the open back alternatives. This of course comes with a tradeoff in reducing spatial awareness and reduced soundstage.
Great build quality and gorgeous design
Sounds as good as they look with crisp detail and separation
More emphasis on the low end and bass makes it ideal for gaming
Not an open back design which naturally lacks in the soundstage with the tradeoff for more bass
The Audio-Technica ATH M50X Studio Headphones are priced at $149.
2. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO
Best closed back studio headphones alternative
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO studio headphones are one of the best alternatives to open backs.
They provide you with great accuracy and detail, minimal sound leakage, comfortable design that can be worn for long periods at a time without fatigue, all while providing you with an amazing bass response along with high fidelity audio reproduction!
Excellent sound quality with a natural and well-balanced profile
Mid-range and bass stand out in these headphones
Stable and durable design
Can be a bit tight on the head, but delivers phenomenal bass and sound that doesn't leak out.
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO studio headphones are available for $149 and can be purchased from most retail stores.
3. OneOdio Over-Ear Studio Pro-10
Best closed back budget alternative
The OneOdio Over-Ear Studio Pro-100 is one of the best budget studio headphones for under $100. They provide you with an accurate and clear sound profile as well as their design is stable enough while wearing them.
The only downside would be the lack of padding on top which can press against your skull after prolonged use. It also doesn’t feel very premium with all the plastic, but that's what you'll have to deal with when going for a budget pair.
Great sound quality for the price, making it great value
A good budget alternative to the other headphones on the list
Looks and feels like a lot of plastic
Not as comfortable to wear for an extended period of time as other alternatives
The open back headset usually costs around $50.00 and may vary depending on the seller or store you purchase it from.
What are open back headphones for gaming?
Open back headphones are have open earcups covered with perforated grills in most cases. The open design allows for increased airflow to help keep the user's ears cool during extended periods of use allowing you to game without discomfort.
Open back headphones do not isolate external sounds as much as closed back models but provide a more immersive experience due to their open design for great dynamics, clear audio, and spacious sounds.
The open space inside of the headphones creates a wider sounding stereo image by allowing more natural environment sound into your ears from being exposed rather than confined within closed enclosures.
Worth noting is that the sound from an open back headphone leaks out which means others will be able to hear what you're listening to.
Why should you use open back headphones for gaming?
They have a design with large earcups, breathable fabric pads & headband cushioning letting outside sounds inside so you can stay aware of what's going on while gaming.
The open back design also creates a more spacious soundstage for your games giving you an advantage over other players who are using closed-back headsets.
These trap the sound inside and create virtual surround sound that isn't as accurate or realistic, but instead is just loud with boomy bass that reduces footsteps from being heard in FPS games.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of headphones is best for gaming?
This depends on the type of games you play, open back headphones provide a more immersive experience with clear details for open-world RPG's and FPS gaming, while closed backs are better suited for going all out with bass and enjoying sound effects and explosions.
The only downside with open earcup designs is that they leak sound out which can annoy others who may be trying to sleep nearby or if playing late into the night when everyone else has gone to bed.
Are studio headphones good for gaming?
If you are an audiophile or just love listening to music when playing games, open back headphones will be the best choice for you.
The open earcups let your audio breathe so the audio sounds more natural and spacious giving, it a much better soundstage than closed backed headphones with virtual surround features.
There are open back studio headphones that will be better suited to gaming than others, but there isn't one open-backed headphone, in particular, that is the best at everything.
With that being said studio headphones produce superior sound quality in a natural way, and especially open back headphones create awesome environmental awareness that's great for FPS shooters and the like.
It all comes down to your own personal preferences and how much you're willing to spend on a pair of studio headphones.
Some people might not like open backed headsets because they leak sound so others can hear what games you're playing, if that's the case then you can always go with closed back headphones.
Either way, with studio headphones you'll get a premium experience.
What headsets do pro gamers use 2021?
Many pro gamers use open-backed headphones because it gives them a better soundstage, they can hear sounds coming from all around them, and they can position themselves for the perfect ambush.
Ninja, for example, a Fortnite legend, has used the BeyerDynamic DT 990 Pro extensively and this headphone is on our top list for its high-fidelity qualities.
Open backed studio headphones have a great soundstage and open ear cups so you can hear what's going on around you which gives your team an edge over other players in multiplayer games.
I love them for the premium quality, comfortable wear, and natural sound reproduction, and you'll most likely be satisfied with a pair yourself, give it a try!