Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming in 2022

A quality gaming headset is indispensable for an action-packed gaming experience. Basically, a headset is a combination of headphones and microphone to actively participate in the gaming action. Online gaming with friends via Discord, Teamspeak and the like is even more fun than playing alone. You’ll find an almost limitless selection of different gaming headsets on the market. We’ll take a look in open back headphones and tell you what’s important when buying one.

What is an Open Back Headphone?

In an open back headphone, the housing of the headphone cup is perforated and thus permeable to air. Open back headphones are therefore lighter, which makes them more comfortable to wear. In addition, your ears are well ventilated and you hear a slightly open sound with very good spatial representation. However, the music is audible to the outside, and noises from outside are hardly attenuated. Therefore, it is recommended to use open back headphones rather at home or in undisturbed surroundings – and not on the bus or train, for example.

Open back headphone for gaming, not only let some of the gaming music leak out, but they are also permeable to sounds from your surroundings. Accordingly, they are less dominant than closed models and are characterized by the following features:

  • Natural sound
  • Realistic sounds
  • A lot of atmospheric depth

You may find it easier, for example, to locate opponents during the game. In addition, the air can circulate better at the ears. This means that you won’t feel uncomfortably hot even in summer. If you are not restricted by roommates or the like, you can also go for an open model. Many gamers also use open back studio headphones.

Other Types of Headphones

Closed Back Headphones

These headphones are completely closed, therefore less air-permeable and also somewhat heavier. On the other hand, external noise is attenuated much more and the music is usually not audible or only minimally audible to others. For even greater isolation of external noise, some headphones offer so-called active noise cancelling. A sonic difference to the open back variant is primarily noticeable in the bass, which can be heard even more powerfully in the closed back design. Closed back headphones should only be worn where you do not have to pay attention to ambient noise.

Semi-Open Headphones

These are a hybrid of the open back and closed back headphones. Semi-open headphones are less permeable to air and sound (both outwardly and inwardly) because they have different materials as well as a tighter fit. They are also more comfortable to wear than many of the closed back models. This makes semi-open designs a good compromise solution if you want to enjoy music in peace both on the go and at home.

Pay Attention when Buying a Open Back Headphone

Sound Quality

When looking for a really good open back headphone for gaming, you should first and foremost pay attention to the sound quality. If music, speech and sounds are muffled or distorted, it will quickly ruin your entire gaming experience. If you choose a high-quality model with excellent sound right from the start, you will enjoy intense sound and rich bass. In addition, ambient effects like gunshots sound much more realistic.

Comfort

As an enthusiastic gamer, do you spend several hours a day in the virtual world of computer games? In this case, you should make sure that your open back headphone for gaming fits comfortably. Look for a model with the following features:

  • Ergonomic and lightweight design
  • Soft ear pads
  • Movable joints
  • Comfortable, adjustable headband
  • Padded headband

So you avoid friction and pressure points on your head later on.

Jack Plug or USB

Jack plugs are widely used in gaming headphones. They plug directly into the ports of the sound card and can be connected to the following devices:

  • PC
  • Laptop
  • TV
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Console

In most cases, models with a jack connection are cheaper to buy. Note, however, that your PC should have a good sound card if you want to enjoy surround sound with a headphone with a jack connection.

USB gaming headphones, on the other hand, have their own sound card in order to produce an optimal sound independent of your installed PC hardware.

Wireless

Meanwhile, numerous wireless open back headphones for gaming also provide an excellent sound experience. With a wireless model, you benefit from the following advantages:

  • No plugs
  • No jacks

However, the battery life of wireless headphone is limited. For hours of gaming sessions, wired models are therefore the better alternative. They have the decisive advantage that their functionality is permanently ensured and they allow for an interference-free transmission.

Microphone

A good microphone is essential in gaming, but other then a headset a headphone has not an integrated microphone. Agreements with your team can make the difference between victory and defeat in the heat of the moment. Therefore, it must be ensured that they are transmitted clearly and distinctly. A high-quality, integrated microphone ensures that all players can hear your voice optimally and background noise is eliminated. If you want to use your gaming headset as headphones for listening to music for a change, you can simply remove the microphone on some models.

What is the Best Open Back Headphone for Gaming?

Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR

Best Overall

The open back headphones fit perfectly, the entire construction is extremely stable and excellently crafted. The breathable soft foam pads with velour enclose the ears firmly, but without uncomfortable pressure. To reduce vibrations, the ear cups have a double-layer design and can be tilted by 15 degrees. No matter the size of your head, the X2HR always fits and automatically adjusts to the circumference of your skull. Its weight is also no longer an issue; you don’t feel the Fidelio.

The headphones passed the listening test. They easily outperformed even higher-quality speakers. It is astonishing how broad the Philips’ spectrum is. It reproduces rich basses just as easily as clear trebles and perfectly accentuated voices. The sound stage is pleasantly wide. The X2HR copes just as well with classical music as with pop. Its precision and dynamics are pleasant. High volumes are no problem. For details, Philips has installed 50 mm drivers with neodymium magnets, and the drivers also have a multilayer polymer diaphragm with damping gel to eliminate frequencies that are too high or too low.

beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro

Runner Up

However, the DT 990 Pro has become a classic not because of the manufacturing and construction, but primarily because of the sound. Responsible for this are the dynamic, extremely light membranes, which provide an enormously balanced, beautiful sound across the entire spectrum. The 990 Pro really sounds good throughout and offers practically no overemphasis or dips in the audible range. The spatial staggering and sound imaging is correspondingly good, which also allows for a reliable assessment of the acoustic details despite all the beauty. Therefore, it is easy to understand why many gamers and streamers rely on this open back headphones when it comes to the final recording of their mix.

beyerdynamic TEAM TYGR

Set with External Microphone

The TEAM TYGR bundle consists of the Tygr 300 R headphones and the Fox USB microphone. The Heilbronn-based company classifies the set under gaming, which means it is aimed at the demanding gamer. But the set is also interesting for people who dub videos, do live streaming or run a podcast. The combination of microphone and headphones presented here is only available in this bundle, because while the microphone is also available separately, the headphones are only included in this bundle and cannot be purchased separately.

With the TEAM TYGR, Sennheiser has an interesting setup of a high-quality condenser microphone and audiophile headphones in its portfolio, which not only makes gamers’ hearts beat faster. In addition to a really good manufacturing, a complete scope of delivery is also convincing, which brings everything to create and listen to sophisticated audio recordings. Recorded voice files can be understood clearly and have only a minimal noise, which is only really perceptible at high volumes. The TYGR 300 R headphones offer a good resolution and make a good impression especially in games. This is mainly due to its pronounced spatial capabilities, which, thanks to the open design, lifts the sound a bit from the ear directly. It is rounded off by a solid treble and midrange as well as very precise bass.

Sennheiser HD 650

For Audiophiles

The HD 650 is based on the next smaller model, the HD 600. In the new version of the HD 650, Sennheiser rely on the tried and tested strengths of the model, but at the same time provide technical refinement. The design is in the tradition of its predecessor. In terms of sound, the open back headphones pick up where the HD 600 left off, but provide a much stronger midrange and offer even more reserves for bass and treble reproduction. This makes the HD 650 even more suitable for listening to pop and classical music and as a sound companion when watching movies, series and documentaries. Midrange-heavy audio signals, such as human voices and vocals, can always be perceived very well and differentiated, which is good for your next gaming session. On top of that, the HD 650 makes a super impression in terms of comfort and service-friendliness. The updated Sennheiser HD 650 is a convincing hi-fi reference with character.

Sennheiser GAME ZERO

With Microphone, not an Open Back Headphone

The traditional German manufacturer Sennheiser, which does not primarily develop for the gaming sector, now offers a new headset for exactly this area. The GAME ZERO is supposed to provide professional gamers with the right sound image due to its sophisticated design and very good sound, while noise is supposed to stay outside the ear cup at the same time.

On the one hand, the manufactoring of the simple design is flawless. On the other hand, the wearing comfort is also very good. Thanks to the generous ear cups and the adaptability, nothing stands in the way of longer gaming sessions. The included accessories in the form of a stylish carrying bag and the second cable were also convincing.

The GAME ZERO also passed the sound check with bravery. In our opinion, because Sennheiser has focused on the important area, namely the mids. The headset does not offer lush, almost annoying bass, but still shows a rich, balanced and neutral sound experience. The microphone, which fades out ambient noise very well, also does its job very well. If you are looking for a very good open back headset, mainly for gaming, the GAMZE ZERO from Sennheiser is the right choice.