Aug 8, 20188891 views

Interest Check: Closed Back Headphones


Hey guys,
We want to know what Closed Back Headphones all of you are into. We already source a variety of brands, types, and styles, but are always looking to stay in tune with the interests of the Audiophile Community.
· What do you look for in a closed-back headphone?
· What kind of strap/headband do you prefer?
· Are there particular brands you like?
Your suggestions and feedback are taken into account when we look for products to put on the site so tell us what you like, what you don’t like and any preferences you have in between.

Check out our past and current drops here:

Djnemoson, Thomas Downes, and 32 others

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With any headphone? Comfort. I don't care whatever special quality it has? If it's not comfy, it doesn't stay on the head very long. Controlled venting, so the phone doesn't become twin sweat-boxes is helpful. A phone doesn't need to be heavy. Or bulbous. I like to lean the head back and immerse with eyes closed. Many phones are like having twin planets in close orbit around the noodle. I like tone and dynamics as I listen to jazz and classical mainly.
The headband is padded, smooth and continuous. No pleats please. They dent the head.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO? Ask Sennheiser to make a closed 59X (or whatever). The 58X is a real deal and Senn (and Massdrop) would make bank.
Last time I tried to answer this I didn't stick to the sub questions. Let me try again...
- I look for sound quality, comfort, and isolation (I don't really care about leakage). I prefer a sound signature on the warm side of neutral, especially for closed headphones where bass is likely to be masked by noise.
- My favorite headband is suspension. Otherwise, something rounded in the normal direction and flat in the other, like on Beyerdynamic, Focal, Fostex, etc. The stuff Audeze uses on their non-LCD over ears is the worst (Mobius, EL-8). The curvature front-to-back on the 1000XM2 creates an unnecessary hotspot at the top of my head, though it's not unbearable.
- For travel use, I need ANC, which means Sony or Bose. Otherwise, my favorite is Focal. The LCD-2C closed is also very good. I'll refrain from crapping on the brands I don't like, though I will say I've pretty much tried them all (well, for high end stuff, anyway).
Closed back with a flat sound. Too much bass drives me nuts. Should be comfortable for 4 hours (I'm in radio), and preferably nothing above $300. Thanks!
I'm very interested in DT1770 pro. I have plenty high quality open backs, but no really good closed backs. And of everything I've tested there is only DT1770 pro that really met my criteria. There's a Denon that is good too, but is less useful in studio-work.
1. A clinical sound with meaningful detail and accuracy. A listening tool I can really pick apart music with. I want a headphone that feels sturdy and looks like it does a job, not win the ”hipster holier than thou” award. Something you can take with you from the home studio to the office. Relatively easy to drive, scales well with high end audio equipment, good isolation, looks and feels like a mature headphone, sturdy, and stands the test of time. Detachable cables are always welcome. A serviceable headphone with exchangeable parts and able to be modified. What it shouldn’t be or have- a. A headphone that makes you question why you bought it 10 years later b. A wimpy ass cord c. Excessive in any frequency range -too muddy and or sibilant, hell, even overemphasized vocals d. Too light a headphone that makes you question its value and durability e. Too heavy a headphone that bows and breaks your neck, making you look even more depressed at your 9-5.
2. A headband that supports well, is comfortable, adjusts well, and has excellent clamping force. I like a good seal. If I need it looser, I can bend it myself or break it in using a thick stack of books.
3. Brands? I’m always sticking to the tried and true, but I’m adventurous, I love new technology and innovation. I’m willing to try new equipment if there is independent third-party testing from credible sources/reviewers. That said: a. Beyerdynamic - the DT1770 Pro b. OPPO - the PM-3 c. Sennheiser- the 820 [the things I would do in a dark alley in Shibuya for this], but I’ll settle for a 599 sealed variant. The 598cs is fine too.
Haven’t tried NAD, Fostex, or V-Moda yet. I tried the ATH-M50X, wasnt my cup of tea. I liked the DT770 pro 250, but I want something a touch more classy. I own the HD58X, HE4XX, and Meze 99 Neo. If anyone has any great suggestions, I’m open to dumping money on my search for the holy grail of sealed sound.
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That’s a shame, didn’t know they went out of business, but it looks like they never fell of the map. They seem popular with a lot of enthusiasts. I also see a lot of complaints that the Oppo PM-3 was a bit boring. I found a used Mobius on Yahoo Auction floating around $200 USD after Japanese yen conversion. Do you think it’s worth it? I’m going to check it out at the local Yodabashi Camera to give it a listen. Thanks for the suggestion 👍🏻
The mobius only just came out, so it's probably only lightly used. Seller probably got it from the indiegogo campaign. So yeah, I think it's worth it. That said, sound signature of the "music" preset is not that far off from the pm3, but neither sounds similar to the 1770.
Have a few to choose from, I have to say my V-Moda crossfade wireless, by far my Favs.
I picked up the TR-x00 from Massdrop and they're great but it still leaks a bit of sound, not great for office use. I'd love to pickup something that has that level sonic quality and soundstage that has more isolation. Perhaps a BeyerDynamic T1 drop?
T1 is open. T5p is their closed flagship. I like mine, but it doesn't have a lot of fans, honestly.
Oh you are right. My bad. I agree the T5 isn't all that interesting.
What do you look for in a closed-back headphone? Something that is lightweight and comfortable. It needs to have a good sound while still being easy to drive from a smartphone $200 or less. · What kind of strap/headband do you prefer? Anything comfortable · Are there particular brands you like? Sennheiser, but willing to try something else
· What do you look for in a closed-back headphone? Recently, I've been trying to find 3 core elements: 1. Something Close to Portable. I'd like it to be something I could feel good about taking with me on a plane or commute, or even just lie in bed with my girlfriend at the end of the night without disturbing her. Something that looks nice in public, without being an obviously garish piece of high end equipment. A short cable or something interchangeable is a must. 2. Something Comfortable. I'd like it to be fairly light and breathable like Open backs or IEMs are. A lot of closed headphones make me so hot, and you ruin the pads in a flash this way. 3. Something That Wants More Power. I use my LG V30 and it activates the extra juice at 50 Ohms, and I have used some closed backs that suffer on this device at 32 Ohms, where I'm maxing out the volume because they are a little more demanding than their impedance lets on, but my phone isn't turning on the juice. Using sets that go anywhere from 50 Ohms to 150 Ohms, I've been very happy with what I've heard. Even Senn HD 650s at 300 Ohms have sounded gorgeous on the V30. To that end, I want something that will let me hear the fine details no mater what I'm doing, but still add a little punch in the necessary places, since all music recorded today (and in the past 30 years really) expects it. This is all probably asking too much, but God, I want it so bad.
· What kind of strap/headband do you prefer? Light but simple, not too alarming or elaborate looking. On this, I'm not too picky, as long as it's not ridiculous.
· Are there particular brands you like? I like Sennheiser and BeyerDynamics of course. For IEMs, I like Echobox, MEE Audio, and Phonak when they were still doing it. I've been allured by the looks of the Focal, Audeze, and Hifiman cans, though I've never purchased them for various reasons.
If I could find the perfect pair of closed backs for the LG V30 (or V40 that's come out recently, or any of those series of phones and DACs), I'd probably pay anywhere from $299 to $499 for it.
· What do you look for in a closed-back headphone? - For home or office use: Decent isolation, excellent sound. Price range up to ~$800, SQ is prioritized. Easy to drive is not important for me for this type of headphone. - For travel: Excellent noise isolation & cancelling, folding, very good or excellent sound quality., price range ~$350. Noise cancellation, portability, and SQ are prioritized.
· What kind of strap/headband do you prefer? Padded
· Are there particular brands you like? For home/office closed back: Denon AH-D7200 would be my first choice. For travel, Sony x1000 m3. (I do realize, not likely. But as long as we're asking... :-)
I would like a closed back with decent isolation while not having the clamp be too tight.
I am partial towards beyers headband but am willing to try audio technicas offerings
For brands I would say beyer and audio technica, previously owned a hd 25-2 but got rid of it due to not liking the sound that much(probably a issue of source) would be willing to give senns a chance again
· What do you look for in a closed-back headphone? For closed-back headphones, at this point in the game, I'm looking for a chameleon, in that you take it on the go if you need and play it on your phone, or you can sit back at home and plug it into your DAC/amp combo and really let it ring. Different cord lengths for this, and perhaps a carrying case, is important, too. As for pricing, I'm in that grey area between $150 and $500, where it really just has to be my endgame for a while that will leave me satisfied until I go for the big boys.
· What kind of strap/headband do you prefer? No preference, just needs to be long. If there's a fro friendly headband out there, I'd pay top dollar for it. Until then, they're all the same to me.
· Are there particular brands you like? AKG's been the only brand I'm consistently happy with; Meze is interesting, but I'm open to anything
What do I look for in closed headphones? I look for ability to keep others from hearing what I am listening to (so as not to disturb family members), to block out external noise (e.g. TV or airplane), an airy response with open treble, similar to that from open headphones, and wearing comfort. I also like those that are efficient, easily driven by an iPhone and with an inline Apple-capable remote.
I have no partcular preference Tom headband type, just as long as the headband is both comfortable and able to keep headphones in place when I stoop over to pick something off the floor. Lighter headphones are easier to keep in place comfortably.
I have and love the Beats EP, Yamaha Pro 500, Sony MDR-Z7, and Ultrasone Edition 8 (Ruthenium). Also, for active noise cancellation and wireless operation, I have the Sennheiser PXC-310BT (comfy, folds to fit in shirt pocket, offers Apple controls, but not so great at isolation), the Sennheiser Momentum Over Ear, and the Parrot Zik (original version).
What do you look for in a closed-back headphone? 1. Noise Supression - I live in the city I don’t want to be completely cut off from outside sound just mostly cut off 2. Comfort - able to endure long long periods of wear 3. Sound - balanced soundstage. Crisp. As close to open as possible. 4. Portability/Versatility/Durability- I’m always on the go. I use multiple media products. And I’m hard af on my cans. 5. Detachable cord preference having one he a mic and adjustable volume control but this isn’t a must
· What kind of strap/headband do you prefer? 1. A comfortable one. 2. An adjustable one that can fit my tiny head in the summer and my tiny head wrapped in various accessories in winter
Are there particular brands you like? 1.My Sennheiser’s are my babies. 2. My beyerdynamic’s are a close second
I look for reasonable blocking of outside noise and brutal honesty about what is in the recording. Accurate even when it isn't pretty. I really enjoy my Sony MDR-7506 headphones. Not the smoothest and prettiest, but wonderful at exposing everything,
· What do you look for in a closed-back headphone? They block out exterior noise adequately, (Noise cancelling tech a plus.) Should be comfortable for extended use. In-line mic + volume control for phone use. (Cable should be swap-able) Should be affordable.
· What kind of strap/headband do you prefer? I don't have a preference really, as long as it's comfortable for extended use.
· Are there particular brands you like? Sennheiser, Audio Technica, Plantronics.
I prefer the sound of an open planar headphone - neutral sound signature from top to bottom, including tightly controlled and fully present sub-bass and low bass, and smooth, fully extended treble with no peaks. Suspended headphones, similar to most HifiMan headphones seem to be the most comfortable. The headband adjustments should have a quality, precision feel, like what the Oppo PM-3 had. At least two quality cables is a must. An included carrying case would be nice, too. I like HifiMan's headphones, but their quality control leaves a lot to be desired.
· What do you look for in a closed-back headphone? Isolation, comfort and an open-back sound. Basically the Audeze LCD-XC, but better.
· What kind of strap/headband do you prefer? MrSpeakers and Hifiman definitely make the best headbands, but the latest Audeze suspension headbands are very good too.
· Are there particular brands you like? Audeze
-what do you look for in a closed back headphone? Well, for me its many things. Usually if I use a closed back its for out and about use, so easier to drive is appreciated. Also a neutral response is best (somewhere close the the harman kardon, I personally like it just slightly warmer in the mid bass, sometimes a little brighter in treble too) also comfort is a big thing for me too. -what headband style do you prefer? For me, it doesnt really matter as long as its comfortable. Oh, and as long as it doesnt look like the m1060 or the abyss, or the he1000 headbands (for aesthetic reasons, wont ever buy any of those headphones for that exact reason) -are there any particular brands you like? There are a few that I know are usually great. Sennheiser is my favorite over all, also ZMF, Mr. Speakers, Audeze, Sony, And Campfire Audio.
Sony mdr-1a/sony mdr-1am2 are both great for my preferences. Might pick one of the above up soon
· What do you look for in a closed-back headphone? Flat response. I want to 1. hear the music like it’s supposed to be heard a 2. be able to use it when playing an instrument, mix, produce etc. Comfort. I want to be able to wear them for extended periods of time without them becoming a nuisanc.
· What kind of strap/headband do you prefer? I don’t have any preference here, as long as it’s comfortable.
· Are there particular brands you like? Lots of brands. I find that the same brand can make both great and mediocre headphones. But I do like Bowers & Wilkins, Sennheiser and Audio Technica.
· What do you look for in a closed-back headphone? Comfort comfort comfort! Also, I like it when the cable only comes out of one can, not both. And a long cable. 9 to 10 ft. Durability is also big. Overly complicated hinges and slides made with plastic parts are always the weak point.
· What kind of strap/headband do you prefer? The strap I'm not so fussy about as long as it's comfortable all day long.
· Are there particular brands you like? Beyerdynamic for sound and comfort, GermanMaestro for tank-like build quality.
Go back to 10 foot interchangable cables. We "older" audiophiles like to sit back in a comfy chair or the sofa when we hook up, huh?? PLEASE! I would have bought your last variant Mr.Speakers but you 6foot cords! USELESS to us older (and usually more well-heeled) folks!
You seriously passed on a headphone because of a 6ft cable? The world is full of extension cables, which are necessary for those of us whose sofas are 12 ft from our amplifiers.
· What do you look for in a closed-back headphone? : Easy to drive using smartphone or laptop, balanced soundstage, imaging similar to open-back, light or comfortable enough for longer wear, non-sweaty, around $800 · What kind of strap/headband do you prefer? : Doesn't matter as long as it's comfortable · Are there particular brands you like? : ZMF
+ with microphone cable
Are there particular brands you like? Beyerdynamic
· What do you look for in a closed-back headphone? comfort and good isolation
· What kind of strap/headband do you prefer? MrSpeakers have the best one
· Are there particular brands you like? ZMF
Got your email and eventhough I'm not a closed headphones guy putting my 2 cents worth in:
· What do you look for in a closed-back headphone? Most important to me would be open sounding, as near to open back as possible. And lightweight.
· What kind of strap/headband do you prefer? As long as it's not Audio-Technica wings. In my experience no position on the head comes close to being acceptable for more than 5 minutes. I'd rather take extra weight or something.
· Are there particular brands you like? Partial to Audeze and one more vote for Massdrop 2CB or XC or a headphone yet to be made up?
Would be cool if you guys could get a better/higher resolution version of Soundmagic HP150/151 with dual entry cable. Such an underrated gem.
See if sennheiser will sell their new top-of-the-line headphones (now closed back!) on here for a discount :)
To answer all three questions, a dreamy mashup of the Beyerdynamic 770, Sennheiser 6XX, and LCD2 at $299.
Yes, lots of interest.
I have a Schiit stack at work begging for closed cans.
I want sound stage and non muddled bass.
Either as minimal a headband as possible like the Beyerdynamic DT-1350 or as wide as possible like the Hifiman HE series. What I dont want is a headband that will make my hair look dumb when I go to meetings.
Hi CyciumX, please update your bio with picture of your hairdo to recommend best choices... 😉