Are open-back headphones better for gaming? (with pros and cons)

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It is a no brainer that headphones are mandatory for those who prefer a personalized, undisrupted and good-quality audio experience. With a myriad of brands and various models of headphones available in the market, open-back headphones are a very popular option. Many headphones that come with expensive price tags are open-back. With that said, are open-back headphones better for gaming? Let’s find it out!

Are open-back headphones better for gaming?  Open-back headphones are comfortable and have a natural sound. If you don’t have a problem with background noise or disturbing others, then Open-back headphones are a good choice for gaming.

Open-back headphones come with a design that has an exposed (or open) year cup. The speaker placed within the housing is not sealed. As a result, the audio is sent towards the wearer’s ears and out through the exposed back of the headphone.

This mechanism produces a clear acoustic sound when compared to the closed design. Open-back headphones accumulate less amount of heat within the ear cup. That is particularly because the ear cup housing has an open (which is protected with a mesh or grill) thus, the breathability is very high.

The wearer doesn’t need to vent the ears even during constant use. A hardcore gamer will find such characteristics as highly beneficial. Apart from the breathability factor, open-back headphones allow the wearer to enjoy the fullest ambient awareness. That means the user is aware of the physical surrounding even when they are in the middle of a game.

In addition to that, it can also prevent the user from speaking too loud while wearing headphones because they can hear their voice. Having considered all those aspects, open-back headphones can be considered as a very impressive option for gaming. 

Open-back headphones Vs. Closed-back headphones

Now, in this section of our article, we will do a comparison between Open-back Vs. Closed-back headphones. This comparison will give you a better idea of both types of headphones and which one is better for gaming. 

  • Open-back headphones

Open-back headphones are designed to allow sound to escape from the ear cups’ rear side. As a result, the user will not experience sound pressure building up. The user can experience natural sound because of this character.

In a nutshell, a good open-back headphone design will allow you to listen to the organic sound. However, there is not the best option to be used in public. Open-back headphones leak a considerable amount of sound so if someone sits next to you, he or she can listen to everything you hear. In addition to that, you can overhear the noises in the surroundings when you wear open-back headphones. So, if you are trying to listen to some good music in the public, open-back headphones are not the ideal solution.

Modern-day open-back headphones are manufactured in lightweight materials. So, you can use them for longer periods without noticing any discomfort. They usually come with larger cups to cover the ears and they are pretty comfortable.

  • Closed-back headphones

The main difference between open-back and closed-back headphones is the formation of the back of the cups. The cups of the closed-back headphones are closed (and that’s why there are called ‘closed-back’ headphones). These headphones don’t allow sound to leave the cups and keep external noise out.

The sound output of closed-back headphones, however, will feel like stuffy. If you are a recording artist, the best type of headphones you should use it closed-back. You will never experience sound bleeding into microphones so the recordings will not be ruined.

One of the most notable drawbacks associated with closed-back headphones is that they make the wearer’s ears sweaty. That is because closed-back headphones are not breathable at all. So, if you intend to use them for a longer period, you will have to get frequent breaks and allow sweat to go away. Besides, they can accumulate heat as well. 

Are there are open-back headphones with a mic? 

Headphones are used to listen to audio without disturbing the others around you and enjoy the best sound quality. However, in many cases, you will want your headphones to have a microphone as well.

This is particularly true when it comes to gamers. Most multiplayer games want players to communicate with other players during the game. In this case, the presence of a microphone is compulsory. With that said, do open-back headphones with microphones exist? Well, the simplest answer is YES!

There are plenty of open-back headphones with mic. Since there is no shortage of options to choose from, one must do the research properly before purchasing an open-back headphone with a mic. We have done the research work for you and we will explain some great examples later on. 

Pros and cons of using open-back headphones for gaming

Open-back headphones

In this segment of our article, we will explain the pros and cons associated with using open-back headphones for gaming.

Pros of using open-back headphones for gaming

  • They don’t accumulate heat

One of the most significant advantages associated with open-back headphones is that they don’t accumulate heat. This is due to the design of the closed-back designs. The back of the headphone is opened so air can pass easily without causing sweat and uncomfortable heat. Well, that’s the requirement of any hardcore gamer, isn’t it? 

  • They provide natural sound

The sound output of an open-back headphone is pretty natural. Thanks to the opened-back design, there is no stuffy sound produced by these headphones. 

  • They allow you to listen to ambient sounds

Having awareness of the surroundings while playing a game is a very useful option. You can hear if someone calls you, ring the doorbell or any other external sound while wearing the headphones and listening to the audio. 

  • They are lightweight

Open-back headphones are lightweight. When that lightweight is combined with the obvious breathability, you can wear it for a very long time without feeling any discomfort. If you are a gaming enthusiast, you will appreciate it a lot. 

  • They are very comfortable

Modern-day open-back headphones are manufactured focusing on the quality of the audio and the comfort of the user. They come with padded earmuffs and headbands to provide maximum comfort. As we mentioned, open-back headphones don’t retain heat and make you sweat. So, the overall level of comfort is very high. 

Cons of open-back headphones

  • They are “not so private”

Open-back headphones are not the best option for those who prefer a higher level of privacy. Since they are designed to be ‘open-back’, the ones next to you can hear what you listen to. So, you should not use them in public. 

  • They don’t cut external noises down

If the background noises are too high, you cannot expect the best results from open-back headphones. Just like the sound leaks out from these headphones, the outside sounds can come in because the cups are not covered. 

Important: In the modern-day market, you can find good open-back headphones that come with the noise cancellation feature. If you can go for such a product, you will be able to experience a better audio experience with minimal distractions. Mentioned below are two excellent products you can try as a gaming enthusiast. 

Recommended open-back gaming headphones

XHN Noise Cancelling Headphones for Gaming

XHN Noise Cancelling Headphones for Gaming

This is a highly sophisticated product that comes with an open-back. It is made to be compatible with PC, Laptop and even with your PS4. It has a noise cancellation feature as well to make it a great audio experience. The quality of the sound produced by this device is clear and sharp. This product is ideal for those who are prepared to tolerate a pretty expensive price tag. This is a durable, elegant design that gives the best value for the money you invest. 


As you might notice, open-back headphones come with unique characteristics. They are ideal for gaming enthusiasts who prefer comfort and want to be aware of what’s going on in the background. Although open-back headphones are not the best option to listen to music in public, they are perfect to listen to audio in a private space without that ‘stuffy’ feeling.

If you are a gamer, the best model you should go for is a one with a microphone. Such a device is compulsory when you need to play multiplayer games. In addition to gaming purposes, you can use these open-back headphones to listen to some music as well.

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