Best closed-back headphones

Headphones

Properly wrapping up the cord for wired headphones can prevent damage to the connection and help the headphones last much longer.

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Closed-back headphones

Headphones come in all shapes and sizes. Each type of headphone has specific uses that can make them more desirable in some circumstances and less so in others. While closed-back on/over-ear headphones may be the most common, this type of device excels in particularly noisy situations better than any other type. That being said, even when just comparing different closed-back headphones to one another, there is still considerable variety to take into account. Choosing the right pair for any specific need can still be a challenge without knowing where to start.

Features to consider in closed-back headphones

Before buying a pair of closed-back headphones, there are several different features and considerations to make.

Open-back vs. closed-back headphones

Open-back headphones have no plastic covering on the back of the earcups. This can help a user be more aware of their surroundings, letting in more ambient noise and giving what some consider to be a truer sound. Closed-back headphones offer more focus on the sound without distraction from outside noises but can sometimes distort the sound just slightly. 

Wireless capabilities

For users who want a more portable and easy to move around in headphones, wireless headphones that can connect to a device through Bluetooth can be a great idea. Wireless headphones can often be more expensive and have a battery life that only lasts a few hours. 

Audio quality

Audio quality is always an important factor to consider, and it’s even more important for users who work in music or plan on using the headphones for editing sound or video. 

Noise-canceling technology

Noise-canceling technology can help a user focus only on the audio in noisy areas. By playing a frequency to eliminate other sounds, noise-canceling headphones help isolate the music for a better listening experience. Headphones with built-in noise-canceling technology can be more expensive. 

Use for headphones

Depending on the desired use, some headphones will work better than others. For users who plan to be on the go, wireless headphones that are more durable can be the best option. And for users who plan on wearing the headphones at home, a wired pair with better sound quality will be a better option.

Eight best closed-back headphones

Best of the best closed-back headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

What you need to know: These are over-ear headphones with some of the best audio quality available on the market for less than $200.

What you’ll love: The large ear cups and ergonomic design will make these headphones comfortable for hours on end.

What you should consider: They lack Bluetooth capabilities or an in-line mic making them more ideal for simply listening. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Best bang for your buck closed-back headphones

Sony ZX Series Wired On-Ear Headphones

Sony ZX Series Wired On-Ear Headphones

What you need to know: As one of the most affordable pairs of headphones on the market, these headphones still offer high-quality sound.

What you’ll love: The Acoustic Bass Booster technology delivers powerful bass in a lightweight, comfortable headphone.

What you should consider: They lack an in-line mic and some users report durability issues with the wire.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Honorable mentions

Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones 700

Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones 700

What you need to know: These wireless headphones have some of the best noise-canceling technology available. 

What you’ll love: You can answer calls easily and automatically connect to Alexa voice control with the built-in microphone.

What you should consider: This model is more expensive than most other options and has trouble isolating voice commands in windy areas. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless

What you need to know: These are comfortable wireless headphones with noise-canceling technology and multiple device connection capabilities.

What you’ll love: With up to 30 hours of playtime, these headphones are great for long days away from home with no need to recharge.

What you should consider: Some users complain about the reliability of the touch controls and audio lag for some connected devices.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

JBL Club One

JBL Club One

What you need to know: The JBL Club One is a durable and sturdy wireless headphone that offers incredibly strong audio and long-lasting battery life.

What you’ll love: The active noise-canceling technology improves listening and the available aux cord allows users to keep listening even if the battery is dead.

What you should consider: Users with larger heads have reported discomfort after periods of extended use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise-Canceling Headphones

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise-Canceling Headphones

What you need to know: One of the most affordable pairs of headphones, the Soundcore Life still offers high-quality active noise-canceling technology.

What you’ll love: Up to 40 hours of battery life per charge can help these headphones last an entire weekend on the road without interruption. 

What you should consider: They lack the same level of audio quality as many other headphones with poor equalization and no adjustability options.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sennheiser HD 450BT Wireless Noise-Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones

Sennheiser HD 450BT Wireless Noise-Canceling Over-the-Ear Headphones

What you need to know: Equipped with crisp audio quality and solid noise-canceling technology, these headphones offer good all-around features.

What you’ll love: The two-device connectivity allows for easy use on both a computer and a phone at the same time without disruption.

What you should consider: Some users report issues with the noise-canceling turning on at random and some discomfort with the headband. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sony MDR-Z7M2

Sony MDR-Z7M2

What you need to know: These are incredibly light and durable and offer some of the best audio quality on the market. 

What you’ll love: The ergonomic design allows for comfortable use even after hours of continuous playtime.

What you should consider: These are one of the most expensive options for headphones, yet they’re still only available as a wired option and have no in-line microphone for answering calls or voice control. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Tom Price writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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