The 15 Best Closed Back Headphones (Review & Comparison) Of 2019
Anyone who has worked at an high fidelity audio shop will know that one of the most common questions customers ask is, “What are the best type of headphones?”.
There are so many types of headphones, and closed-back headphones are just one of them. They eliminate outside noises and allow for more personalized listening.
We’ve created a top 15 list of the Best Closed Back Headphones. This list has been carefully selected from years of expertise in the audio equipment field. We’re certain you’ll find something you’re happy with.
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The Best Closed Back Headphones
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1. Beyerdynamic T51i
Weight: 6.1 Ounces – Wireless: No – Noise cancelling: Yes – Type: Closed back – Rotating Cups: Yes
If you haven’t heard of Beyerdynamic they’re a German brand and have been in business for 95 years. They’re known for creating audio products with very fine quality. The Beyerdynamic T51i being one of their best selling products.
I’ve recommended these headphones as number one because they cancel outside noise effectively, provide crisp sonic detail and best of all are affordable.
These headphones have exceptionally good bass, which stems from the newly incorporated Tesla technology in Beyerdynamic products. That’s probably why the return rate is almost non-existent because customers are more than satisfied with their purchase. The upper frame doesn’t provide the best comfort but that doesn’t matter. When it comes to clean sound with low distortion they perform.
If you’re looking for a newer model of headphones, with the latest technology but don’t have a fortune to spend then these are for you. As one of our best selling pairs you cannot go wrong. They’ll stand the test of time and compete with more expensive headphones.
2. BeoPlay H6
Weight: 8.2 ounces – Wireless: No – Noise cancelling: No – Type: Over-Ear – Rotating Cups: Yes
The second most recommended headphone is the BeoPlay H6. They’re about the same price as the T51i, but have an audio range to 22,000Hz which is just slightly less. That’s why they rank number two, even though they’re more comfortable in my opinion.
Chances are you’ve not heard of the brand BeoPlay, that’s ok they’re more well-known in Europe. They’re a high-end Danish luxury audio manufacturer and have been in business since 1925, only rivaled by Beyerdynamic. So either brand will be a good choice for you.
Made with real leather these headphones are sleek in design. Some customers have told me in a hot room these headphones can make you feel hotter because of the leather. However when it comes to sonic detail the drivers are angled to enhance the bass and create a premium sound. Comfortable and lightweight combined with great audio is why they rank as number two.
If you want a quality pair of headphones to use at home to enjoy music than these are for you. I don’t recommend them for mastering or mixing, for professional purposes you’re better off with something which offers higher sound pressure levels.
- Natural sounding and best when used with a hi-fi sound amplifier.
- Well-built and durable. Leather won’t crack unlike cheaper pairs.
- Expansive soundstage especially for closed back headphones.
- No frequency spikes and accurately reproduce the correct sound.
- Two year warranty because B&O stands by their products.
- Comfortable but the leather in hot summer days can get sweaty.
- Not really meant for professional studio mixing and mastering.
- 10Hz to 22,000Hz Audio range.
- 91dB Sound pressure level.
- 40mm Drivers with neodymium magnet.
- Non-foldable design with authentic cow leather.
3. Sennheiser Momentum 2
Weight: 9.17 ounces – Wireless: Yes – Noise cancelling: Yes – Type: Over-Ear – Battery life: 22 hrs
You can never go wrong with Sennheiser as it’s German engineering at its finest. The Sennheiser Momentum 2 is more costly than our number one and number two but for the price it’s quality is excellent.
These wireless headphones are ideal for anybody wanting to invest a little more and be done with it. If you have the mentality of buy it once and get the best, these will beat out the rest. Unless you’re planning on investing a lot more these are the best mid-priced range wireless headphones in my opinion.
Most people looking for headphones usually ask about Sennheiser. Given their specific situation I either recommend them or something more ideal to their scenario. For example, if you’re a DJ you’ll want something different with rotating capsules for single ear listening. However if you’re an at home listener or gamer than I would suggest the Momentum 2.
This model incorporates noise cancelling technology. All three closed back headphones do a good job at blocking out noise, but the added noise cancelling technology in the Momentum 2 makes for the most personalized listening possible. If they were slightly cheaper I probably would have ranked them as number one.
- Wireless headphones allows convenience of no cabling.
- Noise cancelling technology for more personalized listening.
- Foldable design for compact traveling.
- Audio is well-balanced and highly detailed to capture every melody.
- True audiophile headphones for those on a budget.
- Is not possible to turn off noise cancelling during wireless mode.
- Some feel it’s not comfortable at first and have to be worn-in.
- 16Hz to 22,000Hz Audio range.
- 113dB Sound pressure level.
- 22 hours of battery life. 3 hours to charge.
- Foldable design meant for compact travel.
4. Sony WH1000XM2
Weight: 9.8 ounces – Wireless: Yes – Noise cancelling: Yes – Type: Over-Ear – Battery life: 30 hrs
The earlier design of Sony headphones were very faulty and not worth recommending. However over the last few years they’ve really changed things around. Like the Momentum 2’s, the Sony WH1000XM2 are also wireless. It’s also a lot more expensive at nearly double the price which is why it’s not ranking higher.
One of the biggest benefits of having wireless headphones is not just convenience but the lack of feedback from an attachable cable rubbing against surfaces. Battery life is also important and these are king with over 30 hours of life per 3 hours of charging.
These headphones feature the newest technology with touch activation as well as digital noise cancellation. Just hold your hand over the right earcup to temporarily turn down the music and quickly engage in conversation before going back to your music.
If you’re someone who likes to have the newest technology available then these headphones are for you, hence why the price is more expensive.
- Wireless headphones featuring 30 hours extended battery life.
- New technology like touch activation and digital noise cancellation.
- Contains all the bells and whistles that money can buy for headphones.
- Many think the noise cancellation is even better than competitors like Bose.
- Very high quality audio with range up to 40,000Hz.
- The headband is notorious for cracking if dropped. Be careful!
- Sony isn’t the greatest company at handling customer complaints.
- 10Hz to 40,000Hz Audio range.
- 98dB Sound pressure level.
- 40mm Drivers with neodymium magnet.
- Wireless foldable design for compact travel.
5. Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Weight: 8.3 ounces – Wireless: Yes – Noise cancelling: Yes – Type: Over-Ear – : Alexa enabled: Yes
Everyone who’s been to a large mall has seen a Bose shop. Their products are carried by almost every major retailer like Best Buy and more. This is due largely to how much they invest in their marketing efforts. It doesn’t make them the best though.
Yes, their products are great but there’s hidden brands which are far superior. Not to take anything away from the, Bose QuietComfort 35 II, these are still my favorite headphones from Bose and for good reasons. They have Google assistant and Amazon Alexa built right in with voice activation.
Choosing your music has never been easier. Simply issue the voice command and select what to listen to next, giving you access to millions of songs. Aside from voice activation they are wireless and feature noise cancelling technology, but only have a 20 hour battery life.
If you want highly recognizable luxury name brand, wireless audiophile headphones then these are for you. The price is up there but isn’t that the case for all Bose headphones?
- Voice activation technology for access to Google or Amazon Alexa.
- Wireless with respectable Bose noise cancelling technology.
- Choose between different levels of noise cancelling.
- 10m Bluetooth range which is above average for most brands.
- Lightweight and sleek in design with memory foam comforting.
- Frequency range is much smaller and worst of the top five on this list.
- Bose can be overpriced because its a popular brand name.
- 10Hz to 20,000Hz Audio range.
- 90dB Sound pressure level.
- 2 hours and 25 minute recharge time.
- Wireless foldable design with black and silver color selection.
6. Beyerdynamic T5p
Weight: 12.3 ounces – Wireless: No – Noise isolation: Yes – Type: Over-Ear – Rotating Cups: Yes
I personally love Beyerdynamic because they create not just mid-priced range headphones, but all ranges. From budget prices at less than a bill, all the way to the most luxurious money can buy which cost a pretty penny. These headphones are one of their most expensive and one of their best models available.
If you’re capable of spending a sizeable investment on headphones without flinching these are right for you. Not for someone who’s on a budget, but rather those wanting to go all in and buy the best available. It’s truly worth it as it’s an experience much like driving a Lamborghini. The best at what it does but that’s why the price is what it is.
Just by looking at the audio range you can see reaching up to 50,000Hz and as low as 5Hz these headphones are a master at sound production. No other headphones in the top six comes close to what these headphones can do. However most can’t afford to spend this much on a pair of headphones which is why they’re not ranking higher on the list.
- Quality built even the packaging is built with care.
- Instead of listening to music, experience it.
- A treat to own. Rare exotic purchase once of a lifetime.
- Can be amplified easily with just a Mac or Iphone
- Pure embodiment of hi-fi audiophile headphones.
- The headphones need a few days to burn-in for best performance.
- Nothing negative to say other than they really are expensive.
- 5Hz to 50,000Hz Extended audio range.
- 102dB Sound pressure level.
- Tesla technology and automated harmonic tuning.
- 5 year warranty with foldable sleek design.
7. Oppo PM-3
Weight: 11.4 ounces – Wireless: No – Noise isolation: Yes – Type: Over-Ear
I’ve tried a lot of headphones in the past 23 years, but Oppo was one of those brands I hadn’t heard of until a few years ago. It’s a manufacturer from China, which currently sells the most smart phones in China. Recently they achieved world-renowned status and are now creating audio equipment as well.
In the audio world it’s common knowledge to trust in German and Danish engineering, but to be wary of products from China. Usually because the craftsmanship is of cheaper quality. It wasn’t until a friend let my try his Oppo PM3’s that I realized I was wrong about the brand. They really are creating unique audiophile headphones.
Like the Beyerdynamic T5p these headphones are also expensive, but just slightly cheaper. They’re meant for anybody who wants luxury sound at home, runs a professional studio, or are an independent artist looking to invest in their audio equipment for better sound.
If you need to improve your mixing and mastering or have a sizeable performance requiring better performing headphones then these are for you.
- The sound and design make the Oppo PM3 worth its price.
- For their price point there’s no competitors who rival.
- No bluetooth or noise cancellation just fine attention to creating superb audio.
- Captures the smallest sounds in your music which you might have not ever heard before.
- Bass response on low end frequencies sounds like actual speakers.
- Made with vinyl which starts to crack after a year.
- Vinyl is replaceable by Oppo but you have two weeks of downtime.
- 10Hz to 50,000Hz Extended audio range.
- 102 dB Sound pressure level.
- FEM-optimized magnet system with Neodymium magnets.
- Foldable design with white and black color selection.
8. AKG K550
Weight: 44.8 ounces – Wireless: No – Noise cancelling: No – Type: Over-Ear
The Austrian audio company makes some of the world’s best headphones in my opinion. This model is no different, a truly solid all round headphone.
The AKG K550’s are their entry point headphones and ideal for anyone. For being one of the cheapest headphones on this list they captivate and memorize with a resemblance of being much higher priced headphones.
If you’re on a budget and looking for cheaper headphones which capture the audiophile essence than these are for you. Obviously you can always upgrade in the future and pay more for better sounding headphones, but for their current price level these are the best in my opinion.
They’re built with 50mm drivers which already is larger than competitors at this price point, with a frequency range of 12Hz to 28,000Hz. Most competitors at this price barley reach 23,000Hz so these clearly are a great choice.
- Very comfortable can be worn for hours without fatigue.
- The high end to midrange sound clean, with large soundstage.
- Closed back really captures isolated audio listening.
- Excellent for studios on a budget needing good audio equipment.
- Sound is neutral with balanced presence.
- Bass doesn’t hit the hardest compared to competitors but the range is better.
- Doesn’t come with a pouch. At this price though wasn’t expecting one.
- 12Hz to 28,000Hz Audio range.
- 114dB Sound pressure level.
- 50mm Drivers.
- Foldable design extra padding on frame.
9. Shure SRH440
Weight: 24.8 ounces – Frequency Range: 10Hz-22kHz – Noise isolation : Yes – Type: Home & Studio Recording
Shure is more of a microphone and digital mixers company, but one of their product lines are headphones. Operating from Chicago, this American based manufacturer has been in business since 1925. Their main focus is to provide equipment for studios just like these headphones.
The Shure SRH440 are the cheapest pair of headphones on this list. That doesn’t mean they skimp on their engineering design though. Equipped with 50mm drivers they’re easily worth double the price they cost, considering their audio range is that of headphones which cost twice the amount.
These headphones are for anybody who needs the cheapest of audio equipment which can still provide a good enough performance.
- Extremely affordable being the cheapest headphones on this list.
- Containing 50mm drivers for its price its unbeat by competitors at this level.
- Ideal for a studio needing equipment which is decent but very cheap.
- The only thing going for them is they’re incredibly cheap the audio sounds like headphones two or three times the price.
- The cushioning is poorly designed and probably won’t last you longer than two years.
- 10Hz to 22,000Hz Audio range.
- 105dB Sound pressure level.
- 50mm dedicated drivers.
- Foldable design with bayonet clip locking cable in place.
10. Sony MDR-7506
Weight: 28 ounces – Wireless: No – Noise isolation: Yes – Foldable design: Yes – Rotating Cups: Yes
Another great pair of very cheap headphones are the Sony MDR-7506. They’re the second cheapest pair of headphones on this list.
Although their relatively the same price as the SHR440, the reason they’re not ranking in Shure’s number nine position is because they have smaller drivers at 40mm. The audio range is also less by 3,000hz with a top range of 20,000hz.
What they do have going for them is that they’ll last much longer than the SHR440 because their material is of better quality, More comfort and durability at the price of audio performance. However both headphones are meant for those on the tiniest of budgets and still better choices than your local grocery store headphones.
- Incredibly cheap but still better than grocery store headphones.
- Flat sound with distinctive high and mids performing well.
- Designed with better materials than other headphones this cheap.
- Like the SHR440 these headphones are cheap and basic entry.
- Will last you a maximum of around four years depending on usage.
- 10Hz to 20,000Hz Audio range.
- 106dB Sound pressure level.
- 40mm Dedicated drivers.
- Foldable design with protective storage.
11. Beyerdynamic DT-250
Weight: 8.5 ounces – Wireless: No – Noise isolation: Yes – Type: Over-Ear – Detachable cable: Yes
It’s no surprise to see Beyerdynamic ranking on this list again. This is a popular professional DJ brand, and this model is a great entry point pair.
They do a great job at blocking out ambient outside noise even though they don’t have noise cancelling technology. They do however have noise isolation technology which works great These are great for anybody who’s wanting to buy their first pair of Beyerdynamic before upgrading to a higher price point. So it’s most ideal for teenagers and college students.
- Good attention to detail for a cheap price. Durable and comfortable.
- Beyerdynamic creates excellent products and this is one of their most affordable available.
- Bring out true detail of your music at a very basic price.
- Audio range reaches up to 30,000Hz for its low cost.
- The clamp can be very tight and make your ears hot at first.
- 10Hz to 30,000Hz Audio range.
- 45mm Dedicated drivers.
- 16dB of noise isolation even though it has no noise cancelling technology.
- Non-foldable design with velour padding for good comfort.
12. Ultrasone Edition 8
Weight: 9.1 ounces – Wireless: No – Frequency range: 8-42000Hz – Type: Over-Ear – HD Ready: Yes
One the highest performing closed back headphones I’ve ever used. The Ultrasone Edition 8 are also the second most expensive on this list which is why they’re not ranking higher. These headphones create the highest resolution of audio while still being closed-back.
Traditionally, if you use open back headphones the vibration carries better, creating superior sound at the cost of outside ambient noise leaking in. When it comes to the Ultrasone Edition 8 they reproduce sound at a level better than 95% of the open back luxury headphones which I’ve tried.
If you have the budget or rather freedom to openly invest in the top closed back headphones than these are for you. They’re rare and captivate any user with sonic detail which feels light years ahead of its time. I wish everyone could hear the epic experience they create.
- Very high performing luxury closed back headphones.
- Attention to detail from the packaging, to design, and sonic detail.
- The best audiophile headphone offered by Ultrasone.
- 7 Year warranty which is the longest I’ve seen for headphones.
- Sadly the price point makes it accessible to very few people.
- 8Hz to 42,000Hz Extended audio range.
- 98dB Sound pressure level.
- High definition natural surround sound.
- Non-foldable design with cable connection to both ear cups.
13. Campfire Audio Cascade
Weight: 7.5 ounces – Wireless: No – Portable: Yes – Type: Sealed Dynamic
Campfire Audio is very new to the industry, having only been founded in 2015 just four years ago. They’re a rebel company with the motive of offering the same expensive technology as competitors for half the price. I really like what they’re doing, winning over a very dedicated fan base with their products.
The Campfire Audio Cascade is a luxury audiophile headphone but with a price point half of the Ultrasone Edition 8. If you were intrigued by the descriptive sound quality of the latter but needed a luxury pair of headphones not as expensive then these are for you.
Affordable for a luxury product, yet still pricey of course. It’s obvious why more individuals are asking if we review Campfire Audio. I personally have listened to their different models at a trade show and can say they’re superior for their price. Most definitely will be a company to last many years in the audio industry.
- Luxury audiophile headphones for half the price of competitors.
- Bass is high performing for a closed back headphone.
- The texture of the sound detail is clean and crisp with an expansive sound stage.
- New to the market their products are still hard to find at retail stores.
- 5Hz to 33,000Hz Audio range.
- 100 dB Sound pressure level.
- 42mm Beryllium drivers.
- Foldable design with cable connection to both ear cups.
14. Sony MDR-Z1R
Weight: 13.6 ounces – Wireless: No – Hi-Res Audio compatibility: Yes – Type: Over-Ear
These are the best closed back headphones I have ever used. They’re also Sony’s most expensive headphones being the cream of the crop. However they’re 25% more expensive than the second most expensive on this list.
The sound of classical music is so vibrant and alive. The detail to each note is like hand-crafted perfection. This is Japanese craftsmanship at its absolute finest. Being the most expensive headphones on this list is why they don’t rank as number one. Sadly, few people will ever be able to try them.
The audio range is superior to anything on this list or any other headphones available, with as low as 4Hz to an exceedingly high of 120,000Hz. Yes, that high. Its cables are coated with silver for transmitting the finest sounding music. It’s even made with sheepskin ear pads. Made for the wealthy, full of rich sound.
- Each listening session starts with a laugh because of how truly amazing they are.
- The headphones to replace all over headphones. The best of the absolute best.
- The ultimate headphones for listening. Crisp and just enough bass.
- 30 hours to burn-in the headphones to reach maximum performance.
- So expensive most people will never get the opportunity to use them.
- 4Hz to 120,000Hz Extreme audio range.
- 100dB Sound pressure level.
- Magnesium dome with liquid crystal polymer.
- Sheepskin earpads for true comfort.
- Titanium and leather frame.
- Hand-crafted directly in Japan.
15. AKG K872
Weight: 19.2 ounces – frequency range: 5Hz – 54kHz – Type: Over-Ear – Ear pads: 3D-shaped
Most products from AKG are meant for audiophiliacs with an obsession for audiophile. These headphones are no exception. Having a price tag only slightly less than the Sony MDR Z1R, they’re masterfully engineered Austrian headphones at their finest.
The AKG K872 is one of the brands newest, top models. I personally own a pair and can say they deliver on both comfort and quality. It’s the sensation of pure bliss as your brain releases endorphins of ecstasy as the expertly crafted audio smoothly massages your eardrums.
If you don’t want Japanese engineering like Sony or Campfire Audio and prefer German/Austrian engineering than these AKG are for you.
You could be like me and save up for a long time in which case any of the three brands will take great care of you. In my case I bought the K872 because of convenience and I could not be more pleased with my purchase.
- Audiophile headphones by AKG meant for true audiophiliacs.
- One of AKG’s best models with great mid-range and strong bass.
- Excellent for studios needs to do mixing, mastering and tracking.
- So comfortable you forgot they’re on your head after a while.
- For a closed back the wideness and projection is extraordinary.
- The price will deter most people from ever buying them.
- 5Hz to 54,000Hz Extended audio range.
- 53mm transducer drivers.
- 1.5 Tesla magnet system.
- 3D-shaped foam ear cups for closer fit.
How We Chose The Headphones In Our List
We’ve worked with industry professionals and hundreds of individual customers to carefully choose the headphones on this list. Based off of recent customer feedback it’s easy to know what’s disliked and truly liked. That’s how we know you’ll be satisfied with your new DJ Headphones.
Although the list is numbered it’s not representative of one being better than another. Rather, it’s an unbiased selection of which headphones are best for their respective price point. So, whichever you choose you won’t be making a mistake.
Our headphones listed will provide you with the best of quality for their price point. The question to ask yourself is how much can you invest? Are you on a budget and only investing a small amount? Or do you have the financial freedom to buy the best of the best?
Regardless all of the headphones we’ve covered, each match a certain demographic.
Closed Back Headphone Buying Guide
Before you make a hasty purchase we want you to be fully educated and aware of what to look for. We’ve broken down the principal aspects you need to consider before making your purchase. This list gives you the essential tips for choosing the right pair for yourself.
If you spend more you get more, and you’ll hear sounds and details which you might have not heard before.
Are Closed Back Headphones good at Keeping out Noise?
Closed back headphones do a good job at cancelling out noise. If you travel on a train or are in the public often and don’t want outside interference, then noise cancellation features are right for you.
Headphone Frequency Range
Be aware of the frequency range. Most headphones are 10Hz to 25,000Hz, which is most commonly recommended. The higher the range the more sound detail you’ll capture. So the lower the Hz, the better it is at capturing bass, but the higher the Hz the more detail it will have. We’ve seen users very impressed with 5Hz to 50,000hz.
What To Look For To Get The Best Sound Quality
The larger the drive, the better the sound. It’s not always the case but the majority of the time if you’re using 42mm drivers, the 50mm drivers would sound better as they’re more powerful. So that’s another great tip to keep in mind when making your final decision.
The sound pressure is measured in dB, which is basically how loud your headphones can be when on the loudest setting. Anything less than 88dB isn’t worth it, and anything over 110dB is really loud and may be harmful to your ears if listening on full volume.
Wireless or Wired
The last detail is to decide if you want a wired pair or cordless pair of headphones. Even though cordless bluetooth connection has improved drastically over the years, it still does not capture the same level of detail as if you were to use a wired pair. We don’t think it makes that big of a difference but many audiophiles are very precise about their sound quality and insist on using wired.
What’s The Difference Between Open Back and Closed Back Headphones?
There are a lot of different headphones on the market, however there’s one main separation which is the open-back or closed-back headphone. The main difference is how the product is built which really affects the sound quality, which we’ll break down for you.
With open-back headphones the cupping is open with a mesh grill. This allows the driver to breathe and the vibrations to have room. It also helps for ventilation and reduces the feeling of having sweaty ears. Generally, many people consider open-back headphones to be superior but closed-back headphones do have their advantages.
The difference with closed-back headphones is that they don’t have open ventilation for the drivers. The cup is sealed which blocks out external noise from being heard by the user. Almost like noise cancellation technology without the added tech. The problem is the speakers don’t have room to create sound vibration so the sound quality can lack. However if you’re spending $1,000 on headphones, the build is made with such quality that you won’t notice a difference.
These are the main factors you should consider and understand before choosing a pair from our carefully selected list of headphones above.
Why Should I Choose Closed Back Headphones?
Closed back headphones prevent sounds from escaping, as well as blocking outside noise. If you need to edit sounds in detail, closed back headphones are the choice for you.
Closed back headphones are also great if you don’t want to disturb anyone. So if you was dropping some beats in your house you won’t have your neighbours knocking at your door, as they keep your sounds locked in the headphone.
Whenever you take buying advice from someone make sure they know what they’re talking about. We have spoken to DJ’s and other industry experts to bring you this list on closed back headphones, which makes us feel qualified writing these reviews.
It doesn’t matter if you’re planning to use just at home, as a gift for someone, or for a professional recording studio there’s a headphone listed here which will work for you. We made this list with integrity and the idea of recommending only something which we gained excellent feedback about.
Having gained feedback on each and everyone of the different models listed, I can safely say you’ll be pleased with the sonic detail and personalized listening qualities these fifteen closed back headphones will provide you.