Closed-back headphones are every audiophile’s choice because they offer an incredible listening experience. They often have noise cancellation functionality or at least sound isolation, which allows you to focus on the quality of the sound.
If you’ve gone through the options and gotten even more confused, you might want to take a look at this list I’ve tailored after having tried plenty of options and even owned some of them. Without further ado, let’s delve right into the best closed-back headphones on the market today!
Top 3 Best Closed Back Headphones
|Best Overall||Best Overall||Audio-Technica ATH-M50x||
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|Runner-Up||Runner Up||Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro||
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|Best Cable||Best Value||Sony MDR7506||
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10 Best Closed-Back Headphones in 2020
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x – Best Overall
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is the choice of every audiophile as it’s ideal for mixed usage and suits pretty much every purpose, yet comes at a relatively affordable price. This pair’s construction is robust and durable while the fit is comfortable, and the sound quality is just superb.
Being wired is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, this somewhat increases the volume’s concentration and clarity. Still, on the other, it reduces how flexible the headphones are and how convenient they could be in terms of portability, especially that they’re a little bulky.
I would say the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x’s strongest suit is how they produce neutral sound. The pair offers a balanced reproduction with just the ideal amount of bass. What’s more, their mid-range is also pretty balanced and consequently, so are the instruments and vocals.
Despite all of that, the treble isn’t recessed or too sharp, so you’re definitely in for an authentic experience. And though the sound stage might be a little limited due to the closed-back design, the sound quality doesn’t fail to mesmerize.
Since the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x doesn’t have noise cancellation unlike these best noise cancelling headphones under 150$, but rather isolation, the noise is blocked passively, and that’s why they’re not the best choice for traveling or commuting in loud or noisy environments. Not to mention, they’re not the most compact option either.
Also, despite feeling comfortable enough for sports, they felt a little too bulky when I was doing jumping jacks and feeling their weight fall back on my head with every hop into the air unlike these best 300 dollar headphones.
I’d say the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is the ideal pair if you’re not shopping for the best Closed Back Headphones for a particular purpose but rather just want headphones that produce great sound and fit every situation moderately.
- Top-notch audio production
- Balanced sound
- Well-built and sturdy
- Value for the money
- Some leaks due to lack of noise cancellation
- Lacks audio control options and buttons
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones aren’t packed with features like other options, but they’re a very good pick if you’re looking for a pair for general purposes at a reasonable price.
2. Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro– Ultimate Comfort
If you’re looking for a super comfortable pair of headphones that suit home or studio use, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro would definitely suit you. The earpads are covered in soft velour cloth, shall I say more?
Not only does this make the best closed back headphones incredibly soft like these best headphones for 200$, but the texture also provides a sense of security since the headphones remain in place while you go about your business. The pair offers the ideal combination of durable and hard-wearing design.
As for the sound quality, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is quite hard to beat. They offer great reproduction while the sound is crisp and clear. Mix that with their ability to excel with high frequencies to create detailed sound, and you get a pair that’s ideal for mixing and studio use.
Moreover, the headband is well-cushioned and provides excellent padding for a luxuriously comfortable listening experience. If you run hot or have larger bone structures, you’ll appreciate how adjustable the headphones are and the fact that you can remove the headband pad altogether.
However, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro isn’t a very good choice if you’re looking for something to travel with as they’re a bit bulky. Not to mention, being a wired model makes them more suitable for stationary activities rather than vigorous ones.
- Sturdy construction
- Durable design
- Clear sound
- Large and soft earcups
- Not foldable
- A little bulky
If you’re looking for crisp and crystal clear sound, especially for studio use, or you want a pair of headphones you can enjoy in the comfort of your home; the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro would definitely live up to your expectations.
3. Sony MDR7506– Best For Studio Mixing
Professional studio mixing requires a pair of sturdy and heavy-duty headphones, and that’s exactly what you’ll be getting with the Sony MDR7506.
Though its frame is made of plastic and it’s not packed with padding, this pair does provide you with plenty of value for your money. There’s no trouble with extended periods of operation, especially that they’re wired.
The Sony MDR7506’s strongest suit is that they hit all the frequency response ranges just right. Forget about emphasizing lower frequencies or not providing the needed definition for midrange or higher frequencies; the sound that this pair produces is natural and rich, and that’s why they’re a perfect fit for studio mixing just like these best headphones for bass.
Speaking of fit, they’re also pretty comfortable to wear and use for long periods. And if you want to travel with them, you can easily make use of their foldable design and rest assured that they won’t suffer damage thanks to the rugged construction.
- Sufficient soundstage
- Ideal for studio mixing
- Lightweight design
- Excellent for both high and mid frequencies
- Doesn’t suit non-studio purposes
- Substandard bass
If you’re looking for a pair of headphones that fit your studio mixing needs, especially if you want them for professional use, then the Sony MDR7506 are the best ones you can opt for at their price point.
4. Mpow H10 Hybrid – Budget Choice
If you’re looking for budget-friendly headphones ideal for commutes and have noise cancellation, you can’t possibly find a better option than the Mpow H10 Hybrid. They’re versatile enough for daily use and come with decent sound quality and reliable battery life.
What makes them ideal for commutes or even use at the office is their ANC (Active Noise Cancellation). However, you might want to be a little careful packing them and moving them around as their construction isn’t the most robust. They are a budget-friendly choice, after all.
Being wireless, the Mpow H10 Hybrid was quite easy to move around with, even though they’re a little bulky. They have the edge over wireless options because they don’t have as much latency, something Bluetooth headphones are well-known to suffer from, and that’s why they’re great for watching videos.
The battery lasts around 23 hours, takes only 2.6 hours to charge fully, and you can use the headphones while they’re charging. Having a standby mode means you can save power when you’re not using it. You can use the included ⅛-inch TRS audio cable to enjoy a wired setup if you wish to.
In terms of padding, the Mpow H10 Hybrid is comfortable and no hassle to wear for extended hours, especially that they’re lightweight and best closed back headphones. The only reason they don’t suit sports and activities is that they’re bulkier than the average and tend to trap heat, causing extra sweating.
- Fits comfortably
- Great sound quality
- Excellent battery life
- Might leak with higher volumes
- Subpar build quality
If you’re on a bit of a tight budget, but you’re still looking for a choice that’s a bang for your buck, the Mpow H10 Hybrid would be it. They’re ideal for commuting and travel, and they produce great sound with ANC.
5. V-MODA Crossfade M-100– Best For Quiet Environment
If you’re looking to enjoy incredible sound quality in a quiet environment with over-ear best closed back headphones, the V-MODA Crossfade M-100 are the ones for you. They sport an incredibly stylish design that speaks volumes of the incredible performance and soft comfort they have to offer.
These wired headphones are a good choice for someone who doesn’t commute a lot and mostly hangs around quiet places where they can enjoy focusing on what they’re listening to, be it music, a podcast, or a video. This is because the V-MODA Crossfade M-100 may leak at higher volumes and don’t come with noise cancellation.
Like the ATH-M50x, neutral listening with this pair is bliss as the bass, instruments, vocals, and soundstage are all well-balanced and competent just like it is there in these best bluetooth headset for truckers.
If you practice yoga or static stretches, you could easily listen to your favorite audio files with the V-MODA Crossfade M-10. However, they’re a little bulky and retain heat for more vigorous exercises. You can still wear them during runs or jogs as the flat earcups on your ears keep them secure and steady.
And though the V-MODA has a sturdier metal frame, I’d opt for the ATH-M50x if rugged use isn’t necessary since they produce better sound quality and feel more comfortable.
- Comes with a microphone
- Incredible sound reproduction
- Foldable and portable
- Durable design
- Cables don’t have volume control
- Leak at higher volumes
Suppose you’re an audiophile that usually hangs around quiet places but still enjoys listening to their own music, podcasts, or the radio. In that case, you’ll love the sound quality and reproduction of the V-MODA Crossfade M-10.
6. Shure SRH1540– Premium Choice
Designed with luxury in mind, there’s nothing about the Shure SRH1540 that doesn’t scream premium. Including the price, naturally. These headphones provide you with smooth comfort and high-quality sound.
In terms of sound reproduction, the Shure SRH1540 has an exceptional response to flat frequencies, tight bass with incredible extension, open midranges, resonating treble, and delivers each tiny detail in the audio file you’re listening to. Perhaps the only issue I found with it was higher third harmonic distortion when it comes to the lower ends, but it’s not a dealbreaker.
With a 99dB sensitivity rating, 46 ohms of impedance, and a frequency response range of 5 Hz to 25 kHz, you’ll surely be getting the best technical performance there is on any closed-back pair of headphones.
I would definitely recommend this pair to anyone looking for professional-grade wireless headphones that will last centuries. The reason they’re so durable is that they use aircraft-grade aluminum alloy in the construction, but that doesn’t make them hefty, as aluminum excels at being lightweight and durable at the same time.
You can also be sure of this pair’s longevity as the package includes an additional cable, replacement ear pads, and a storage case with a zipper where you can keep everything secure and out of harm’s way.
Perhaps the only reservations anyone might have with these best closed back headphones is their hefty price tag. Otherwise, they’re pretty much without flaw.
- Incredibly comfortable
- Excellent bass with superb extension
- Natural midrange
- Detailed sound
- Relatively large
- Quite expensive
If you’ve got the money to spare, you should definitely opt for the Shure SRH1540. These headphones are high-end, quality ones, which bring out the details of your audio file and allow you to enjoy a premium-grade listening experience.
7. Bose QuietComfort 35 II– Most Versatile
Being the second pair of headphones that feature noise cancellation on our list, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II is simply an incredible choice for any audiophile. Though they aren’t the most affordable, they excel at noise cancellation, which makes them worth the price, in my opinion.
What sets these headphones apart is that they come with a dedicated button for Alexa or Google Assistant. You can also use that button to switch from one noise cancellation mode to the other. And yes, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II gives you various degrees of noise cancellation, which makes the “QuietComfort” in its name quite well-deserved.
Moreover, the headphones are very comfortable and well-built, so you can rest assured that you’ll be getting your money’s worth out of them. Being wireless, they’re quite easy to move around with and give you a wide range of motion for around 20 hours; quite decent for wireless headphones if you ask me.
As for the sound quality, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II gives you incredibly well-balanced output with a precise sound profile. There’s a good amount of bass, yet it doesn’t affect the vocals or instruments.
And in terms of comfort, they don’t sit too tight on the head, and their earcups come with enough padding to provide comfort for as long as you wear them. Not to mention, they’re lightweight enough not to bother you, but they’re not stable enough for vigorous exercise or activities.
The only downside is that the app doesn’t have any EQ settings, and the headphones may leak a little at higher volumes.
- Incredible noise cancellation
- The wireless design leaves room for maneuverability
- Well-balanced overall
- Hefty price
- App doesn’t come with EQ options
If you’re looking for a pair of headphones that integrate technology to provide you with a very convenient listening experience, you’ll love what the Bose QuietComfort 35 II has to offer. Though they’re a little pricey, they’re definitely a good investment thanks to their durability and comfort.
8. Sony WH-1000XM3– Best For Commutes
Everything about the Sony WH-1000XM3 is designed to suit a busy bee. From the incredibly effective noise cancellation that suits commute to the 5-hour playback that you get from a 10-minute charge, it simply makes enjoying your listening experience a lot more achievable and convenient.
With a robust build quality and incredible flexibility, both thanks to the construction of the headphones and to the fact that they’re wireless, you’ll definitely enjoy what the Sony WH-1000XM3 has to offer.
The wireless design means that the pair is easy to pack and move around with, while the 30-hour battery life guarantees it won’t suddenly die out on you or anything of the sort. And though the sound is already well-balanced out-of-the-box, the pair allows you to customize your own sound profile and provide an excellent EQ.
With an impressive 4 Hz to 40 kHz frequency response rate, you’ll get incredibly accurate sound. The headphones deliver plenty of bass and are quite good with vocals and instruments.
However, sometimes they can emphasize the high bass and end up sounding just a little too boomy. But you can fix any issues with the bass or treble thanks to the EQ available in the companion app.
What’s more, the Sony WH-1000XM3 comes with touch-sensitive controls that respond to swipe gestures, so you can control them easily and seamlessly. Plus, the ambient button positioned at the left cup activates “aware mode” if you toggle it, and you can reconfigure it to activate Google Assistant instead.
The only downside is that their latency makes them unsuitable for watching videos or gaming. Otherwise, they’re pretty much perfect.
- Sleek and appealing design
- Excellent app support and active features
- Effective noise cancellation
- Latency doesn’t suit videos
- Design is a little bulky
If you’re looking for the utmost convenience and for a pair of headphones that’ll help you get through your busiest days, the Sony WH-1000XM3 is the ideal choice for you. They’re not so affordable, but they’re definitely worth every penny.
9. Razer Opus Wireless– Best For Sports
The Razer Opus is one of the most stable closed-back headphones out there, and that’s why they’re one of the few options that suit vigorous sports and activities done with power. While this means they sit tighter than most options, it also means guaranteed security.
This pair of headphones comes with sturdy construction and one of the longest battery lives I’ve seen on any wireless option, lasting 33 hours on a single charge!
The fact that they’re well-balanced and with low latency levels makes them versatile and suitable for plenty of content. What’s more, the graphic EQ and presets in the sister app increase their versatility to suit whatever purpose you have in mind.
Finally, in terms of noise cancellation, they’re quite excellent and leave no room for the rumbling of engines, not even those annoying loud ones on a bus or train.
The Razer Opus’s physical buttons are quite easy to use and readily accessible, and I loved the fact that their case is a hard one; you can throw them in a backpack without worrying about them getting crushed.
- Incredibly effective active noise cancellation
- Versatile and well-balanced profile
- Simple and intuitive controls
- Superb value for the money
- Amazing battery life
- Subpar mic
- Don’t function while they charge
When it comes to providing performance for the price, nothing comes second to the Razer Opus. With well-balanced sound, excellent noise cancellation, and robust battery life, it’ll definitely give you a bang for your buck.
10. Marshall MID ANC Wireless– Most Lightweight Design
If you’re looking for a pair of headphones with a grand control scheme and suit mixed usage, look no further than the Marshall MID. Though their noise cancellation feature isn’t the most effective, they’re still suitable for most situations, even public transportation, if it’s not too busy.
The well-balanced audio doesn’t make the bass too recessed or too forward and is good for the vocals and instruments. If you like treble, you might want to opt for something that creates a better soundstage, however.
Since the Marshall MID have a lightweight design at only 8 ounces, they’re suitable for travel and commuting, though you might want to play your music louder for the noise cancellation to become more effective.
- Intuitive controls
- Lightweight yet durable design
- Decent audio reproduction
- Substandard noise cancellation
- Doesn’t suit treble-packed tracks
I’d recommend this pair of headphones for those seeking the average audio experience for an average price. There’s nothing too exceptional about the Marshall MID, but it’s a good choice for those who enjoy audio on a non-professional level.
Features to Consider Before Buying Closed-Back
Before you actually make the purchase, there are a couple of things that you have to take into consideration. In this section, I answer all your questions regarding what qualities make good closed-back headphones.
Closed-back headphones come with two noise cancellation techniques: active noise canceling and isolating sound. High-end options typically opt for active noise cancellation, but a more budget-friendly option would probably be unable to integrate it into the ear cup, and that’s why they rely on isolation.
Wireless vs. Wired Closed Back Headphones
A lot of people give themselves a headache wondering whether they should opt for wireless or wired headphones, but the answer boils down to this: how much maneuverability do you really need?
Yes, wireless headphones always seem appealing as they give you an infinite range of motion and don’t clutter your desk with cables, but those are two things that not everyone has to worry about anyway.
Plus, for those who want to get a full closed back listening experience with all the details of their audio files, wireless headphones won’t cut it as Bluetooth technologies aren’t enhanced enough to convey sounds as crisp as wired devices do. Yet, admittedly, for non-professionals, the difference may go unnoticed.
So, if you want premium sound and don’t want to miss out on any detail in your audio recordings, opt for wired headphones.
On the other hand, if you’re not planning on using them professionally, you might benefit more from the portability and ease of use that wired ear headphones have to offer. Just make sure to get ones with solid batteries and great capability to reduce signal loss; otherwise, the headphones would be as good as futile.
If you want a gadget that’ll last, be it closed-back headphones or anything else, you must pay close attention to the construction. The headpiece on high-end headphones comes entirely encased in a comfortable material, but budget-friendly ones might opt for a more rigid plastic.
Both aren’t very different in terms of looks, but the encasement makes the ear headphones more convenient as they’re softer on your ear. Generally, you want something that fits snugly but doesn’t cause or trap heat and sweat.
The more extras a pair of closed back headphones comes with, the better and more convenient. Some of these extras include cases, extra cables, replaceable earpads, interchangeable cables, and more. If you want to make your experience easier, opt for the headphones with most extras and accessories your budget can buy.
What Constitutes Closed-Back Headphones?
The number one thing that distinguishes closed-back headphones from their counterparts is the design of the back of their earcups. They’re entirely sealed on the back, which is why they concentrate the sound around your receptors and enhance the listening experience.
This is also why the most basic and affordable models come with at least noise isolation. Higher-end closed back headphones can integrate noise cancellation as well, and that’s why listening to anything using this kind of headphones is a bliss; you don’t bother anyone with the sound, and you get it all concentrated.
As long as you don’t turn up the volume too loud to the extent that it damages the speakers, you won’t notice any of the pressure that could build up in a pair of closed-back headphones. Although, make sure to check out our guide on can too much bass damage headphones?
Why Opt for Closed-Back Headphones?
Frankly, the aspect that sets closed back headphones apart is their noise isolation and noise cancellation capabilities. Since your ears are completely covered with the form-fitting earcups, your receptors can collect all the sound, and none of it escapes. It’s like creating your little bubble of audio with zero distractions.
And since people tend to know one thing by the opposite, let’s talk about how closed-back headphones don’t trap air within the earpiece like their open-back counterparts, which is why they’re ideal for bass-rich sounds.
Needless to say, with open-back headphones, you might end up bothering someone with the music you’re listening to, especially if you’re into loud music with plenty of bass.
Now that you’ve gone over the choices for the best closed-back headphones, I hope you’ve finalized your decision or at least narrowed it down to one or two. But if you haven’t, that’s okay! Let me narrow it down further for you.
If you ask me, I’d recommend the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x for someone who’s looking for a pair of headphones that suit every-day and multi-purpose use.
If you’re looking for absolute comfort, you should opt for the well-padded and soft Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro.
The Sony MDR7506 is ideal if you’re looking for something that suits closed back professional-grade studio mixing, while the Mpow H10 Hybrid is ideal for someone shopping for budget-friendly closed-back headphones with active noise cancellation.
However, if you’ve got money to spare, you should opt for the wireless Bose QuietComfort 35 II with active noise cancellation as its quality and performance are worth every penny. It’s a purchase you absolutely won’t regret making at any point in time.