Best Open Back Headphones For Gaming – Review

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If you are searching for the best open back headphones for gaming, then we are here to help you. Buying the right headphones for gaming is essential because the headphones with the best sound quality won’t do you any good if they’re not comfortable for long stretches. 

 

Philips SHP9500 Over-Ear Headphones

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The Philips SHP9500 is one of the best open back headphones for gaming; they have a pretty comfortable design and features a 1.5m detachable cable that can be replaced with any 3.5mm audio cable. However, the earpads are not replaceable, but they are likely to last more than the headphones themselves because of their high build quality.

Design and Comfort 

The Phillips SHP9500 has a beautiful and comfortable design that comes in a matte black color highlighted by the metal frame. The ear cushions and self-adjusting headband provide excellent comfort. The ear cups have large letters on the cups, “L” on the left and “R” on the right cup. The used plastic is not as premium as Sennheiser’s 500 series, but those cost more than the SHP9500. 

Overall, this model has excellent build quality and offers outstanding comfort. 

Sound Quality

The SHP9500 has a clear sound, delivered by 50mm neodymium drivers. These headphones have decent bass, and the Treble is bright. If you love treble headphones more than extra bass headphones, the SHP9500 will not disappoint you. If you intend to replace the cable, make sure you buy a high-quality cable, a cheap cable can degrade the sound quality and can cause connectivity issues. We recommend not using these headphones in public places since they leak a lot. Therefore, these are best for use at home only.  

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Detachable cable
  • Great sound quality
  • Excellent build quality

Cons

  • Non-replaceable earpads

 

 

Audio-Technica (ATH-R70X) Open-Back Headphones 

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The Audio-Technica ATH-R70x are lightweight headphones made of high-quality materials, their clamp force can be adjusted, and they have thick ear cushions that provide excellent comfort. 

Design and Comfort 

The headband has Audio-Technica’s “wings” for comfort, and you will not feel any pressure point because of the lightweight of these headphones. As mentioned earlier, R70x has deep and thick ear cushions for comfort and a light metal mesh on the outside of ear cups. Their detachable cable has a standard 6.3mm screw-on adapter, and on the other end, it has 2.5mm jacks. The overall design may not look as impressive as other open-back gaming headphones, but it surely provides excellent comfort with decent build quality.

Sound Quality

ATH-R70x can run from a low–power source such as a USB DAC or laptop headphone output. Their sensitivity and impedance are quoted as 99dB and 470Ω. As all open-back headphones, these also leak. They have deep and clear bass, and the mid-range is pure and uncolored. The Treble never irritates the ears, though it might not be as flawlessly balanced as the bass and mid-range. At this price point, ATH-R70x is tough to beat.

Pros

  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Decent build quality and sound quality

Cons

  • Earpads are a bit small
  • Treble isn’t as balanced as the bass and mid-range

 

 

AKG K612 PRO Headphones

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AKG Pro Audio K612PRO are lightweight headphones, weighs only 238 grams. So, you can easily carry them around since they’re pretty portable. These open back headphones are patented with Varimotion diaphragm technology. The K612PRO provides excellent experience when it comes to gaming. You will appreciate its amazing sound output and the premium build quality.

Design and Comfort 

The K612PRO has a self-adjusting headband made of leather that is attached to a light sheet of aluminum. And it has large ear cups that cover the entire ears rather than just resting on top of them. The earcups are also padded, the padding feels a bit hard initially, but it sets in after a few days. The headphones come with a 3-meter cable that allows you to move freely and with a gold-plated 1/4-inch adaptor. 

Sound Quality

The mids and highs are warm and detailed, and the lows are easily noticeable. It does not have as bass as closed-back headphones provide, but still, it’s pretty decent. It boasts of a 3 dB improved low-end performance, and the headphones require a lot of power to drive more volume, so we recommend using an additional amplifier.

Pros

  • Long cable
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Provides Clear and crisp sound

Cons

  • Not very bassy
  • Does not come in a proper case

 

 

ASTRO Gaming A40 TR X-Edition – For Xbox One, PS4, PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch

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The headset was launched in 2009 and still holds up exceptionally well against most modern open back headphones. This model is not the same headset from 11 years ago; it features a new design with custom magnetic speaker tags. Also, A40 TR X-Edition can be modified into open or closed-back headphones. 

Design and Comfort 

The A40 TR X-Edition comes in a red-and-blue color and is made of sturdy plastic. Its adjustable headband is padded and has notches. The headphones come with a 3.5mm cable and a 3.5mm splitter if your system has separate mic and audio ports. The mic is detachable, and you can also change its position from left to right. If you’re someone who spends hours playing games, then A40 TR will not disappoint you, this model is lightweight and has good padding that is perfect for long gaming sessions. 

Sound Quality

The A40 TR provides detailed and balanced sound, whether it’s music, movies, or games. The headset offers punchy bass, clear vocals, and well-rounded mid-tones. You can also purchase the MixAmp Pro if you want to have quick access to volume controls, or if you want a DAC in your system. The detachable mic does not have the quality as the rest of the headphones have. Some people may experience little static when used with the MixAmp.

The A40 TR X-Edition is one of the best open back headphones for gaming, and it should be very high up your list. 

Pros

  • Sturdy material
  • Excellent design
  • Comfortable ear pads
  • Customizability options
  • ​Detachable microphone
  • Premium sound output tuned for gaming

Cons

  • Does not come with a manual

 

 

HIFIMAN HE-400I – Over-Ear Full-Size Magnetic Headphones 

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The HiFiMAN HE-400I is one of the best open back headphones for gaming. It is the revised version of the HE400, which was also a hit. The headphones use planar-magnetic drivers for outstanding sound output highlighted by clarity, detail, and pretty defined bass. At 13 ounces, the HE-400i isn’t the lightest open-back headset, but you can surely use it for long gaming sessions before needing a break.

Design and Comfort 

The earcups are made of shiny looking ABS polymer; the headband is a metal tension bar. Their earpads and cable are removable, and the headphones can be easily adjusted on your head, it has soft Focus pads, and they fit over-the-ears nicely. Also, metal grills can be removed. The older HE-400 comes with a 10-foot cable while this one comes with 1.5m long cable. So, the length of the cable can be a problem for some people. The cable connects to both earcups via gold-plated connectors that enhances electrical performance. It has a gold-plated 3.5mm plug and comes with an extra 6.3mm gold-plated adapter. 

Overall, the headphones are well-padded and pretty comfortable. They might feel a bit tight on the head initially, but they fit much more comfortably after a few days of use. 

Sound Quality

The HIFIMAN HE-400I has an efficiency of 93 dB and impedance of 35 Ohm. Its midrange is excellent and has natural Treble, the instruments, and vocals are pretty detailed. The bass lacks punch, but still, it’s better than most open-back headphones. When it comes to gaming, the HE-400I provides high-quality sound output and has pretty good directional accuracy.

Pros

  • Comfortable 
  • Clear and detailed sound

Cons

  • Short cable
  • Bass lacks punch

 

Sources
  1. Emma Williams, Philips SHP9500 Headphones Review, Headphones Pro review.
  2. Rudi, Audio-Technica ATH-R70x Review, Sonarworks.
  3. Marshall Honorof, Astro A40 TR X-Edition Gaming Headset Review, Tom’s Guide.
  4. Steve Guttenberg, HiFiMan HE-400i review, CNET.
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