The Different Types Of Headphones (Closed-Back vs Open-Back)

People are curious about which types of headphones are best for them? Which headphone type should they buy? What are good headphones? These all are the common questions asked by the people in order to get the world’s best headphones. Finding the best headphones is not an easy process at all and it is sometimes very messy.

In order to help you out in finding the perfect headphones, we are discussing the different types of headphones here so that you can buy according to your desire. Different headphones have different and unique qualities but all are the best in their own ways. We will be discussing eight types of headphones here that are as follows. 

Types of headphones:

Closed back headphones

Types Of Headphones

Closed back headphones are best for those that do not want any peripheral noise while using their headphones. This closed back design helps you to enjoy your music by blocking the outside excessive noise.

Regardless of the environment, they work best and by creating an isolated audio experience, you can hear your desired sound as well.

Those who want to fully indulge themselves in listening experience and those who want to hear every minute detail of music, closed back headphones are best for them. 

Most of the musicians use this type of headphones during their recordings. This is because they block all the noises that are present in the environment and they hone in on the notes in the instrument.

One important feature of these headphones is that they do not let the sound leak into the surrounding environment. These headphones are also very popular among people who want to listen to music in private or those who do not want to disturb others while listening. 

These headphones are available in two different styles, one is over-ear style and the other is on-ear style. Over-ear style covers your entire ear, whereas on-ear headphones fit on top of your ear.

They are designed in such a way that you have to wear them on your head and they are a little bulkier than most of the other types of headphones. They produce excellent high quality sound and they will surely give you an amazing listening experience. 

Open back headphones

Open back headphones

Open back headphones are designed in such a way that they allow some sound to escape into the external environment because they are not closed and have open ear cups.

In this way, they produce the most airy and open sound and you will feel like you are listening to any speaker in your room. Now the question arises why people use this type of headphone?

These headphones are mostly used by those people who are mixing and mastering in a studio setting. They prefer these headphones because due to their open design and construction, audio engineers usually prefer their leakage to allow the mix to remain accurate and because unlike closed back headphones, they avoid build up of certain frequencies.

Those who prefer this headphone need a flat sound without any embellishment and it makes them more confident and trust in what they are hearing. Many audiophiles also prefer to buy these headphones as well.

If you want to hear music in private and do not want to share it with people then these headphones are not for you as they will escape some sound of whatever you will listen to in the external environment and other people will be able to hear it as well.

If you have no problem in sharing your content with others, and then you might think of buying these headphones, otherwise do not pick them as they will ruin your privacy.

Instead of privacy, these headphones are very comfortable to wear because they produce less pressure on your ears while wearing and you can wear them for a longer period of time.

Like closed back headphones, open back headphones are also available in over ear style and on-ear style. They have a one rare type as well which is named as semi-open headphones.

Semi-open headphones have a unique design as they leak only a small amount of noise but they also offer isolated sound at the same time. 

On-ear headphones

On-ear headphones

As the name says it all, on-ear headphones rest on top of the ears and go over the head. They are very nicely designed and rest on your ear in a very comfortable way.

These headphones are also known as supra-aural headphones and their design is slightly like open-back headphones and allows some sound from the outside environment to exist.

You can wear them comfortably for a longer period of time and they have a quality of not producing sweat as most other headphones do. They do not produce pressure on your ear and rest on your ear nicely and comfortably. 

Unlike over ear headphones, they do not block external sound too much and they are lighter and their top band produces less pressure on your head as well.

They produce high quality sound even in a hot and sweaty environment. Due to their swear reduction technology, you can use this type of headphones during gym, running, exercise or doing activities that might cause sweat.

They are better to use for sports and running in comparison to over-ear headphones. 

Over-ear headphones

Over ear headphones are designed in such a way that they have a headband on the top and they fit over your ear. Their design has a quality of noise reduction and they help you to maintain an intimate, private environment between you and your sound.

They do not allow the sound to leak and keep all the sound in and separate the external sound from the inside sound. Over ear headphones have a model of open backed design that allows sound to go in and out.

But their closed back designs have noise cancellation technology and they produce a high quality of sound. 

Unlike on-ear models, their cups are made up of velvet and they are very comfortable to wear because they do not let your ears crunch. When very little air circulates between in and out, there are chances for you to cause sweat but it is not much damaging.

They are bulky in design and they will carry a space for storage. If you want to save some space, do not go for them. Due to being heavy, they can cause fatigue on your head and it may be difficult for you to wear them for a longer period of time.

You cannot use them while gaming or in studios. However, they will give a cushioned feel to your ears and they will provide an excellent quality of sound.

You would have an amazing listening experience while wearing them and you would be able to maintain an audio-intimate environment. 

In-ear headphones

Nowadays, in-ear headphones are the most portable and popular style of headphones being used by many people. They are very user friendly and this type is very fastest growing in the headphone industry.

Models of in-ear headphones are better than the on-ear and over-ear models because the more the device is small, the more high quality sound it produces.

They are also known as canal phones as they go deeply into your canal and rest in the area that is closed to ear drums. 

They are very much comfortable to wear and they have sound isolation technology and thus, provide a high quality of sound. There is very little leakage of sound and they separate the sound inside your ear from the outside noise present in the environment.

In order to provide protection and more comfort, they usually have silicone ear tips. Due to the presence of this ear tip, it lets the sound enter directly into your ear and keep most of the sound out from the surrounding environment. 

These headphones are best for those people who have a habit to listen to music in their leisure time and those who travel frequently. You can also use them while running, jogging and gym.

As more people are concerned that these headphones might damage their ear canal but it is not a fact because they provide protection and there is no danger if you listen to music at a reasonable level of sound.

If you want to keep the level high, you will be okay with a headphone amplifier and you are free from any danger. 


You can consider earbuds as small speakers that rest on your outer ear. Unlike in-ear headphones, earbuds do not tend to penetrate your canal. They are actually large circles that tend to press against your ear.

As they rest on the outer ear, they allow external sound for the environment to enter as well. They produce a flat sound because they allow leakage of sound as well.

Like in-ear headphones, earbuds are very compact and portable. Some higher level models of headphones have advanced technology in them and they provide more high quality sound with accuracy. 

One disadvantage of having earbuds is that they do not grip your ear tightly and they may often fallout from your ear while running or jogging.

If you are going to use headphones for gym, running or various outside activities, then earbuds are not for you, go for in-ear headphones as they grip your ear very well.

They often have one size which makes them uncomfortable for most of the people out there because of having certain ear shapes. But some brands are offering different ear tip sizes so that you can replace or fit by yourself.

If you are looking for a compact model that is easy to carry, then these headphones are designed for you. 

Bluetooth headphones

Types Of Headphones

Wireless electronic devices are growing very fast around the whole world. People are demanding wireless headphones more than anything else.

Headphones connect wireless to the various devices through radio transmitter technology, some headphones use radio waves, and they have their own channels to connect with a certain amount of available frequencies. 

Bluetooth headphones have a small computer chip inside them through which these headphones connect to the devices on which you want to listen to music.

By having Bluetooth headphones at your side, you would be able to listen to the music endlessly and without the hassle of any cords or wires around you.

You can use Bluetooth headphones everywhere, inside or outside of your home, during gym, exercise, while running, jogging, walking etc. 

Just like the corded headphone models, Bluetooth headphones also provide a high quality sound.

Because of having advanced technology and features in them, they are quite expensive than the other types of headphones because this technology is relatively new.

They have also introduced Bluetooth on-ear and Bluetooth over-ear headphones. This type of headphones requires charging and they need to be in sync with the devices you are using.

If you don’t mind charging them every now and then, and you have some extra money, then these wireless headphones are great for you. 

Noise cancelling headphones

Noise cancelling headphones have a special technology in them that actively reduce the outer sound in order to provide you a quiet environment to listen to your music or sound.

They work in a way that their little internal engine measures the lower frequencies of the surroundings and create an equal but an opposite frequency in order to cancel out that sound that the microphone picks up.

These headphones are growing very popular for air travel because they block all noises that are present in an external environment and people use them to block excessive noise of passengers and plane engines.

They give a room for privacy and you can listen to your music privately by shutting out all the surrounding noises. By having these headphones, you would be able to listen to your music without any distraction from the surrounding world.

If you can afford them, buy these headphones because you will have an amazing listening experience.