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8 Best Open-Back Headphones for Gaming

Sometimes Blocking Out Ambient Noise Isn't a Good Thing!

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8 Best Open-Back Headphones for Gaming
Short on Time? Here's a Quick Recommendation

Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset

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So, what are the best open-back headphones for gaming? If you’re always on the go, noise-canceling headphones are a must, but what if you just want to play a game in peace? You can still hear your environment clearly while using your audio using open-back headphones. We have compiled 8 of the best open-back gaming headphones currently available.

Every gamer should have open-back headphones. In addition to enhancing your listening experience, the ambient-sound-allowing features provide an advantage.

The top 8 best open-back headphones are a worthy investment for any gamer, whether playing in a competitive setting or simply chilling with friends.

Roundup of the Best Open-Back Headphones for Gaming

Overall Best Open-Back Gaming HeadphonesDrop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset
Most Lightweight Open-Back Headphones for GamingAudio-Technica ATH-GDL3BK Open-Back Gaming Headset
Most Comfortable Open-Back Headphones for GamingMassdrop x Sennheiser PC37X Gaming Headset
Best Budget Open-Back Headphones for GamingEPOS I Sennheiser GAME ONE Gaming Headset
Open-Back Gaming Headphones With Most Powerful SoundAudio-Technica ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones
Open-Back Gaming Headphones With Best DesignSENNHEISER HD 599 Open Back Headphones
Most Durable Open-Back Headphones for Gaming:EPOS Audio H6PRO Open Acoustic Gaming Headset
Most Versatile Open-Back Headphones for GamingPhilips Audio Fidelio X2HR Over-Ear Open-Air Headphones

Things to Consider When Buying Open Back Headphones for Gaming

Here are the things to consider when buying open-back headphones:

Frequency Response Range

Frequency response range is the frequency range your headphones can reproduce, from the lowest to the highest notes in Hertz(Hz). Human hearing typically operates between 20 Hz to 20 000 Hz. A larger frequency response range means your headphones pick up even the most slight sounds. However, to hear low frequencies accurately, headphones need a frequency response of at least 12000 hertz.

Style

Style
Style

There are two primary types of open-back headphones: classic and semi-open. In the classic design, each ear cup has an open grille for the driver. In contrast, in the semi-open design, the grille is joined by a panel that hides the driver’s back. When used in a peaceful setting like a library, this semi-open panel will help keep unwanted noise out. For example, suppose you want to use headphones for gaming or listening to music at home. In that case, this semi-open panel is less of a concern since the device will release ambient noise.

Construction

Construction
Construction

Your headphones’ performance might be affected by their build quality. Hence, pick headphones with a sturdy build to avoid sound leakage and distortion. You may need to look around before you find a pair of open-back headphones that are well-made and affordable, as most of them tend to be quite pricey.

Price

Price
Price

The highest quality open-back headphones may be rather pricey, but that is no guarantee of a better listening experience. If you know what to search for, you can find several reasonably priced alternatives that provide excellent sound. Avoid choosing a cheap model since it may not last long or have good sound quality.

Driver Size

Driver Size
Driver Size

Although bigger drivers are standard in more costly headphones, you can find several decent 1-inch versions at more reasonable price points. The loudness of your device and the precision of the sound it produces are both affected by the size of the driver. Hence, keep that in mind while buying. You don’t require more than 40 mm of speaker space if you use your headphones just at home.

Comfort Level

Comfort Level
Comfort Level

You can move freely using open-back headphones since they fit snugly on your ears. Some individuals, however, feel that the headphones become unpleasant after a while. To wear the headphones for long periods without them falling off, you need to pick a pair that is both comfortable and well-fitted.

Top 8 Open-Back Headphones for Gaming

1. Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset

Overall Best Open-Back Gaming Headphones

  • Incredible range and depth in the audio quality
  • A microphone that is simple to use and muffle
  • Great design
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to wear for extended periods
  • A bit pricey

The PC38X is the overall best open-back headphones on our list due to the exceptional sound quality and brilliant noise canceling.

The quality of the sound produced by the PC38X is exceptional. Being open-back, we knew the sound would be spacious, but we were still amazed by how clear and roomy it sounded at first. As we write this review, we’re giving the PC38X another try, and it sounds great in any genre.

During our review, we found the bass response to be quite powerful. The signature Sennheiser clarity is plenty at the treble end, and the headphone’s well-defined response extends down to the bass end.

The PC38X is a powerful gaming headset. 

The microphone on the PC38X is a clever addition to picking up sound. The mic arm can be flipped out of your face and out of the way of any potential obstructions when not in use, which is a nice feature to have. It’s also flexible, so you can adjust its position slightly to get the most comfortable fit.

In conclusion, the Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset is an excellent choice for those who want to play their games like a boss. The PC38X fits perfectly. Moreover, thanks to its foldability, the boom mic picks up your voice even in very busy settings. In addition to providing a practically latency-free gaming experience thanks to their wired construction, the headphone also provides a pretty immersive passive soundstage.

View on Amazon: Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset

2. Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3BK Open-Back Gaming Headset

Most Lightweight Open-Back Headphones for Gaming

  • The bendable, removable mic is incredible
  • Having only two cables means you can use the headset with any computer or current-gen gaming console
  • High-quality sound
  • Quick and simple settings adjustment
  • Replaceable ear cups and pads
  • Cheap material

The Audio-Technica ATH-GBL3BK gaming headset offers a revolutionary open-back design that allows users to enjoy games without interfering with their spatial attention. Also, the Audio-Technica ATH-GBL3BK is the most lightweight open-back headphone for gaming because it is surprisingly light and doesn’t even feel that it is there. This design also localizes sound, which helps the user enjoy the game more. Moreover, the ATH-GBL3BK can offer high-fidelity audio thanks to its big 45mm drivers.

The ATH-GBL3BK weighs just 220g, making it very light and comfortable to use for extended periods. So you get excellent sound with a flexible boom mic. This microphone is detachable; you can move it out of the way when necessary. Nevertheless, there is no padding on the headset.

On the left earcup of this headset is a volume control dial and a mute button so that you can change the settings. The ear cushions of the ATH-GBL3BK include a substantial amount of padding, which helps to minimize perspiration while also improving ventilation.

During our testings, we discovered that the ATH-GBL3BK features a high-quality, detachable wire that is 9.8 feet long and has a 3.5mm connection for PC. Additionally, it contains a 3.5mm TRRS socket that easily connects to gaming consoles. The ATH-GBL3BK is built to last and has easily interchangeable earpads.

In conclusion, The Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3 is a great choice to consider for gamers seeking a headset that looks good and delivers on sound quality. The headset is extremely lightweight and has a detachable wire and a flexible boom mic. If you buy this headset, be certain to get the most lightweight open-back headset for gaming.

View on Amazon: Audio-Technica ATH-GDL3BK Open-Back Gaming Headset

3. Massdrop x Sennheiser PC37X Gaming Headset

Most Comfortable Open-Back Headphones for Gaming

  • Velour earpads
  • In headset controls
  • Excellent comfort
  • Lightweight
  • Sound quality
  • Limited availability

All plastic construction and an open design characterize the Sennheiser PC37X. Contrary to most items on the market, the Sennheiser PC37X is intended for gamers despite its lack of flashy highlights, colorful LEDs, and geometric shapes. The Sennheiser PC37X is the most comfortable open-back headphone for gaming due to the way Sennheiser has made it. The objective was to create something you could wear for hours without becoming uncomfortable.

The earpads of these headphones come generously padded with velour and have a thick velour cushion on the plastic band. The plastic construction of the headset makes it comfortable to use for extended periods, and the open-back design of the headphones eliminates the risk of overheating. Also, even if you wear glasses, you won’t feel discomfort.

Reviewing the PC37X, we found that the headset is made entirely of plastic, yet it doesn’t feel cheap or fragile. Moreover, you can adjust the headband for a custom fit. The headset clamps down securely without being painfully tight. That, plus the twistable headphone hinges, make for a comfortable fit. Isolation would likely be nice if the headset didn’t have a see-through rear.

In terms of gaming, the Sennheiser PC37X is a favorite. Our testing should have convinced you that it is ideal for extended use because of its low weight and pleasant feel. The angled audio drivers on this headset are a standard characteristic of gaming headsets and contribute to the headset’s ability to simulate a natural environment. 

In conclusion, the Sennheiser PC 37X is an excellent choice for gamers because of its premium comfort, high-quality sound, and undistorted microphone. The velour earcup cushions are a fantastic fit for glasses-wearing gamers. The low-volume microphone may be annoying, but if you just plan on using it for Discord, you can easily increase the volume.

View on Amazon: Massdrop x Sennheiser PC37X Gaming Headset

4. EPOS I Sennheiser GAME ONE Gaming Headset

Best Budget Open-Back Headphones for Gaming

  • Audio reproduction is open and clean
  • The fit is quite good
  • The microphone is of excellent quality
  • Superior sonic performance
  • A lot of sound leakages

The Senheiser Game One is the best budget open-back headphones for gaming because of the surprising price point it comes at.

The Sennheiser Game One headphones’ red and black color mix is eye-catching. A white/red/black color mix is also available. The headset is very high quality and sturdy. The package has two detachable cables: a 1.2-meter 3.5mm cable and a 3-meter cable with two 3.5mm connections (for PC and Mac).

During our review, we found the build quality of the Sennheiser Game One to be a major plus. It weighs reasonably little (10.5oz). The soundstage is wide, and air can circulate better thanks to the perforated earcup coverings. Also, the velvety covering on the cushioning of the cups and headband is comfortable. The Sennheiser Game One is not bulky; it is very soft and cozy.

The system of controls on the Sennheiser Game One is very user-friendly. You can adjust the boom mic or turn it off by flipping it up. However, there is no option to remove the mic. There is a readily accessible volume control on the left cup.

You can use these open-back headphones with any device with a 3.5mm audio output, including computers, Macs, and game consoles. Mobile devices like phones and tablets can use too.

Even though the Game One has a relatively low impedance of 50 and isn’t too difficult to drive, we highly suggest an amplifier for optimal performance. 

The headset has very impressive sound quality. The audio is dramatic and engaging. The expansive soundstage lets you pick up on your enemies’ movements and prepare for their arrival. 

Also, you can expect decent sound quality from the microphone. Even in hushed settings, it records your voice clearly.

In conclusion, the Sennheiser Game One includes a high-quality microphone that eliminates most ambient sounds and boasts a comfortable, ergonomic design for extended playtime. It is also inexpensive and offers superb performance for its price.

View on Amazon: EPOS I Sennheiser GAME ONE Gaming Headset

5. Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones

Open-Back Gaming Headphones With Most Powerful Sound

  • The sound is neutral without being boring
  • Understated, minimal look
  • Solid, strong construction that’s nevertheless super light
  • Great adaptiveness
  • Exceptional long session comfort
  • Small ear pads

In terms of perceived acoustic power, the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x is one of the most stunning headphones you’ll ever see. And that’s why it is the open-back headphone with the most powerful sound on our list. The upper bass and whole midrange will sound superb, extremely near to completely flat even before calibration, across a +/-1 dB width that covers an exceptionally wide range of 50 to 6000 Hz.

There are still two frequency bands where the ATH-R70x falls short. The somewhat dazzling high-frequency boost is the weakest point and is impacted by calibration. It’s not as severe as other competitors, like the Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro, but it’s still there and noticeable. 

As we were testing the Audio-Technica ATH-R70x, we were pleased with the headset’s level of wearability. The two pieces on top of the user’s head, known as the “3D wing support system,” do a fantastic job of evenly distributing the weight. The ear cushions are soft and adapt well to the wearer’s skull. You can use these headphones for long periods because of their comfort and light construction.

The ATH-“3D R70x’s wing support system” in place of a traditional headband gives it a distinctive appearance. However, it’s a straightforward design focused on minimalism, lightweight, and comfort during long sessions.

In conclusion, we’d advise you to get the Audio Technica ATH-R70x headphones. It stands out from the crowd by being comfortable to wear, easy to listen to, and having a pleasant sound signature while being lightweight and providing an excellent stage experience. It’s hard to overstate how relaxing it is. Although the wings seem silly, they serve a serious purpose by reducing the tension on the headband.

View on Amazon: Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Professional Open-Back Reference Headphones

6. SENNHEISER HD 599 Open Back Headphones

Open-Back Gaming Headphones With Best Design

  • Cable with a length of 3 meters
  • Very good looking
  • Replaceable ear pads
  • Nice sound quality
  • Available in two colors
  • Leak sounds a lot

Considering that Sennheiser created the first open-back headphones in the world, it’s not surprising that their HD 599 model also sounds great and is well-made. When you look at this headphone, you’ll instantly realize why it is the open-back gaming headphone with the best design.

One reason Sennheiser is so popular among gamers is that the company places close attention on user comfort. For example, the soft headband, large ear cup, and interchangeable earpad cushions of the HD 599 will make you forget you’re even wearing it.

Sennheiser is celebrating 75 years in the audio business with a limited edition pair of headphones sure to please any genuine audiophile willing to shell out the big bucks for them. However, the global supply of these headphones is exceedingly low, at only 650 units.

The HD 599 is almost entirely of plastic. Hence, the all-plastic construction can cause some customers to feel worried about their safety because of the HD 599’s vulnerability to breakage.

The Sennheiser HD 599 is surprisingly sturdy and long-lasting, can bend and stretch anyway, and is quite sturdy overall.

The headset’s sturdy plastic construction and thick leather ensure they will endure for a long time and sound great. The Sennheiser HD 599 is quite light and easy to wear.

As we reviewed it, we discovered that even after wearing it for long periods, your feet wouldn’t feel the headset’s light weight of 250 grams. Additionally, the inside has thick cushioning for comfort. The range of motion of the headband adjuster is sufficiently large that it should be able to fit the majority of wearers’ heads.

In conclusion, as far as soundstage performance goes, the HD 599 excels. The HD 599 is a great choice for competitive gamers because of its high-quality imaging and abundant detail. Purchase this headset and be certain to receive the best-designed open-back headset experience.

View on Amazon: SENNHEISER HD 599 Open Back Headphones

7. EPOS Audio H6PRO Open Acoustic Gaming Headset

Most Durable Open-Back Headphones for Gaming

  • Extremely comfortable for long gaming sessions
  • Attractive design
  • Very good sound reproduction
  • Great build quality
  • Removable cables
  • Wired connectivity

The Epos H6Pro is exemplary in both form and function. The construction is robust, and it has a sleek, high-quality design. We’ve used the Epos H6Pro for very long and it has truly showed us why it is the most durable open-back headphone for gaming. Another plus is that despite its low weight, it doesn’t seem fragile. It weighs just 309g as opposed to the 322g of the closed variant, making it much more convenient to wear.

The headset’s earcups are hinged to guarantee they may spin and tilt to cover the ear with superb clamping force. Moreover, the headband is padded and very flexible.

The Epos H6Pro’s earcups are an excellent fit for covering the whole ear. Unlike the closed model, which uses imitation leather for its earcups, this one uses a material with soft cushioning, allowing you to hear more ambient noise and your own voice without making your ears too hot to wear for long periods.

Since the H6Pro has an open back, the headset lets in some ambient noise but not as much as some others we’ve tested. It achieves a satisfying middle ground between providing an immersive audio experience and blocking out the world around you as you game.

We had a great time using this headset for various media. While it lacks surround sound, it produces excellent sound and a realistic environment, which you may compensate for by using Dolby Atmos or Windows Sonic sound. The game’s positional audio is also adequate if you perfect the controls.

In conclusion, the Epos H6Pro is a great choice because it can be connected to a wide range of devices using a 3.5mm jack and has a natural sound profile. It’s a great pick if you’re looking for something that hints at a closed-back design but yet has some open components.

View on Amazon: EPOS Audio H6PRO Open Acoustic Gaming Headset

8. Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR Over-Ear Open-Air Headphones

Most Versatile Open-Back Headphones for Gaming

  • Tilted sound plate
  • Hi-Res Sound certified
  • 50mm neodymium driver
  • Comfy
  • Versatile
  • Build quality could have been better

The Philips Fidelio X2HR is a fascinating option for anyone looking for affordable open-back headphones. It is simple and provides quality audio straight from your PC’s motherboard. The reason why it is the most versatile open-back headphone on our list is that it is highly adaptable to each and every situation. Compared with similar headphones, such as the HE400s and HE400i, the Fidelio X2HR provides excellent value for the price. Now, let’s go even further into the analysis.

As we reviewed it, we found the build quality of the Fidelio X2HR to be rather high. The headset is composed of high-quality plastic with a metallic finish and does not make a creaking sound. 

The Fidelio X2HR is really comfortable to use for extended periods. It has thick, soft memory foam padding and a headband that you can adjust for optimal comfort. No uncomfortable hotspots will develop thanks to the mesh cushioned headband.

A V-shaped sound signature characterizes the Philips Fidelio X2HR’s reproduction of audio. It includes amplified lows and highs but a muted middle. The Fidelio X2HR features a powerful bass response for an open-back headphone. While its midrange is somewhat muted, it is otherwise quite consistent and detailed. Though similarly dominating, the treble is under tight control and displays a sense of equilibrium. The breadth and depth of the soundstage are good. Also, the soundstage and imaging of the X2HR are really impressive.

In conclusion, Philips has created an excellent pair of gaming headphones with the Fidelio X2HR. The ergonomics, comfort, and overall construction are all top-notch. It works well for music with a lot of bass, like hip hop and EDM, gaming, and viewing movies. The Philips Fidelio X2HR is a boom mic-equipped headset that can easily outperform its more expensive competitors.

View on Amazon: Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR Over-Ear Open-Air Headphones

Frequently Asked Questions About Open-Back Headphones for Gaming

Are Open-Back Headphones Good for Gaming?

Yes, when it comes to gaming, open-back headphones are one of the better options since they don’t interfere with your ability to hear your surroundings and yet deliver excellent sound quality. This factor is especially crucial for competitive gamers, who must always be aware of their surroundings. Being aware of your surroundings can also help you prevent any mishaps that may occur while you are playing.

In addition, open-back headphones provide a superior stereo sound closer to that of the real world, which is beneficial for competitive gaming.

What Is the Difference Between Open-Back vs. Closed-Back Headphones for Gaming?

The earcup design is where open- and closed-back headphones separate most visibly from one another. Compared to closed-back headphones, open-back models allow for the free passage of sound and air. The sound reproduction of open and closed headphones is distinct from one another, in addition to the obvious physical distinctions between the two. For video gaming, each of these layouts has benefits and drawbacks.

Open-Back Headphones
Let’s begin with open-back headphones. The sound quality is the key benefit of open headphones. Compared to closed backs, they reproduce sound in a linear, clear, and transparent manner while retaining a high level of detail. Compared to closed-back headphones, open-back headphones provide superior soundstage and imaging.

Also, the greater comfort is due to the increased airflow to the ears made possible by their open design. That way, you can stay cool for a longer period. However, there are some drawbacks to the open layout as well. Not being able to shut out the world is the biggest drawback. Since this is the case, playing games in a busy public space might be difficult. Instead, the sound may seep through, which is particularly annoying in more peaceful settings.

Closed-Back Headphones
We’ve noticed that most players prefer to use headsets or headphones with closed backs when it comes to video games. Passive noise cancellation is the primary benefit of closed-back headphones. Closed-back headphones achieve excellent isolation by combining many features, such as clamping force, earpad thickness, and earpad material.

Increased privacy allows players to focus more intently on their games without interruptions from the outside world. Most of the time, the bass is what stands out most while listening via closed-back headphones. Their deep bass reproduction is powerful; however, most only provide a narrow stereo profile with a poor soundstage.

Also, closed-back headphones trap heat within your ears. Closed-back headphones are more likely to retain heat than open-back headphones. However, this is also affected by the quality of the materials used.

Final Words

In this article, we’ve shown you the top 8 best open-back headphones for gaming in 2022. It’s important to know your frequency range before buying a pair. You also want something that will fit your head and be comfortable and durable enough to last a long time with regular use. We hope our list has helped make things easier for you regarding picking out the perfect headphone set!

We recommend the Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset as the best open-back headphone for gaming.

However, if you’re short on funds, the EPOS I Sennheiser GAME ONE Gaming Headset is your best bet.

Read Also: 10 Best Gaming Projector Options in 2022

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