Whether you use your headphones recreationally or for work, having a high-quality pair can make a huge difference. Closed back headphones are an ideal choice for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they are more comfortable than ordinary headphones with plastic buds that just insert into the ear. They are also better at blocking out outside noise and are actually safer for your eardrums as well. Closed headphones may be an investment for some but are often worth a splurge. This list contains 15 trustworthy options for those seeking new and reliable closed-ear headphones set.
Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphone | Best All-Around Option
Their frequency response is listed as 10 hertz to 20 kilohertz. Inside the headphones are neodymium magnets and ultra-small drivers that help to refine the sound traveling through their wires. If you’re scouring for a professional-grade product without a professional-grade price tag, this may be a good place to start your search.
- The cord is almost 10 feet long
- 10 Hertz to 20-kilohertz frequency response range
- Comfortable plush lining
- A wired connection eliminates interruptions
- Comes with a storage case
- Folds up for easy transporting
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Studio Monitor Headphones | Perfect for Mixing Sound
The Audio-Technica Studio Monitor headphones are likely a solid option if you’re seeking the best closed back headphones on a budget. Despite being a valuable buy, the product’s capabilities keep up with many of the pricier options on the market. Inside them are aluminum coils wrapped with copper to ensure a smooth connection. Technically they were designed with professional track mixing in mind, however, they would also be great for recreational use.
Their earphones comfortably envelop the entire ear, which blocks out external noises and helps to keep desired noises in. The earcups also swivel up to 15 degrees in both directions to help them mold to heads of any size. On one side of the product outside the plush ear covering is a single-side cable exit perfectly placed for unplugging in a hurry. Buyers also get a quarter-inch snap-on adapter with their purchase.
- Earcups rotate for added comfort
- 9.8-foot cord
- Frequency response range of 15-20,000 hertz
- Come with an adapter
OneOdio Over-Ear Headphone | Stand Out with Brown, Luxurious Cushioning
Closed-back headphones do not have to be unfashionable with OneOdio. This over-ear OneoDio model is sure to earn you tons of compliments on your headgear. They feature a silver base color with brown, cushy cups and accents. Most similar products on the market only come in black and look like they stepped out of your parent’s generation. Not only are these hip and likely to match more, but they also collapse for easy transporting. Their cord is nearly ten feet long, providing their user with a wide range of motion. Inside are 50-millimeter drivers and other respectable technology that help this product provide you with impressive sound. Their performance combined with their style might make these a good option for DJs or other people who frequently take their headphones into the public eye.
- One of the most stylish options
- Compatible with many devices
- Has a long cord
- 3.5mm and 6.3mm plugs included
OneOdio Adapter-Free Headphones | A Gamer’s Delight
These OneOdio Adapter-free headphones, as their name suggests, do not require an adapter for usage. Their cord stretches to nearly ten feet, which is relatively standard for the industry. The 90-degree swivel capability of their cups, however, is not standard and is in fact highly coveted. This product can be purchased in either all black, or black with lime green features. The latter option is preferred by most gamers as they stand out amongst their friends’ headsets. Sound flowing from these headphones will be impeccable. Expect no one to creep up behind you during your video game sessions. You can also use these when creating or listening to music. Plus, they can fit into almost anyone’s budget – even younger patrons without jobs who rely on their parental figures to buy them things. All of these elements combined make these the best closed back headphones for gaming.
- A high degree of swivel capabilities
- Adjustable headband
- Come in two color options
- No annoying adapter to deal with
Audio-Technica ATH-M40x | Built for the Studio
These Audio-Technica ATH-M40x are similar to the 20xs listed in the number two spot on this list. There are a couple of key differences though. The others have a higher ohm impedance by 12 ohms. These can reach 4,000 hertz higher and can swivel up to 90 degrees outwards while the others cannot. They have a higher input power and slightly better sensitivity. This version can also be folded up for transportation purposes and comes with two detachable cables. While both products can handle mixing and tracking, these can also be used for DJing either professionally or for fun.
- Two detachable cable options
- Can be folded up
- Can handle disc jockeying
Philips SHP6000 | For Listeners Who Value Their Bass Tones
These Philips SHP6000 have much in common with the Philips SHP9500s listed above. While they are both designed for listening, these are built with personal over professional usage in mind. They boast their mastery of low bass tones and come with an adapter. The cushioning over the cups and headband is composed of a cozy foam. Their frequency range is also slightly wider than the 9500s, ranging from 8-40,000 hertz. Previous buyers have given it excellent reviews and for good reason. The product’s quality has been compared to alternatives that cost two to three times as much. Because this brand is established as trustworthy, this product also makes a great gift.
Because this product can perfectly cup your ear, it will help block outside noise such as annoying construction or loud neighbors. They are also light enough to not cause neck problems from wearing them too long. In fact, you may even forget you have these on as you work or walk around your home. If you love listening to music that is heavy with bass, these may be a good option for you.
- 8-40,000 hertz
- Emphasize bass
- Perfect for listening to music
- Long cord
OneOdio A71 Fusion Studio Headphones | Monitor and Mix in Style
The OneOdio A71 are black with some bright red accents. For those seeking a less bold aesthetic, they are also available for purchase in silver with brown accents. True to this company’s brand, they are sure to make a statement and attract the attention of your friends and coworkers no matter which option you go with. They are built to a professional grade perfect for monitoring and mixing. Thanks to the fact that these are adapter-free and have a cord of nearly ten feet, they minimize frustration and increase range of motion.
Included are two plugs, one dual-duty option, and one 3.5 millimeter cable, that can be interchanged based on your needs and preferences. Plus, buyers also get a nifty pouch for carrying these to and from jobs that this product can fold up to fit into. While they do come with a user manual, they are not too difficult to figure out how to use. Like most products from this brand, this product is compatible with most types of electronics for sale today. They are incredibly versatile and might be a good option for multi-tasking professionals on a budget.
- Come with a carrying case
- Available to two color varieties
- Choose between long coiled cable or a shorter straight one
- 90-degree swivel in each direction
Audio-Technica ATH-M30x | Designed for Ultimate Convenience
The Audio-Technica ATH-M30x product in the perfect in-between when compared to the other Audio-Technica versions listed above. Though their sensitivity of 95.5 decibels may be considered to be on the lower side, their input power of 1,300 is not. This product comes with a smooth black carrying case and a quarter-inch screw-on adapter. In three simple steps, they can be folded up, slid into the case, and taken anywhere. They also feature a single-side cable exit that’s easy to locate even while wearing them.
They only swivel 15 degrees in each direction, but this is not uncommon in the industry. Their frequency response range of 15-20,000 hertz is also pretty standard. They are perfect for tracking and mixing when you’re in need of a bit of extra power. You also will not have to worry about blowing them out just because you are using them with more powerful equipment.
- A bit more input power than the 20x
- Can collapse and fit into the included carrying case
Sennheiser HD280 PRO | New and Improved Version Built to Last
These Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones made this list because of their ability to reduce up to 32 decibels of external noise. While many alternatives claim to have this ability, most are not this transparent about the extent to which they are actually noise-canceling. Without their cord, they also weigh just slightly over half a pound, which is surprising given their appearance. These headphones may appear bulkier than normal, but that is because of all of their plus. In addition to the padding on the earcups, there are also two rectangular padding figures that work to separate your head from touching the hard rim of their band. After a little while of getting used to them, you will not even notice that you are wearing them.
The sound that this option will produce is categorized as natural and rich. Their frequency range extends up to 25,000 hertz. This particular model is an updated version that addresses some complaints that previous buyers had about the old model. However, for those who prefer the older model, it is still available for purchase.
As an added bonus, certain pieces of this product can be purchased individually. These pieces include the ear pads that attach to the cups, the padding that gets wrapped around the headband, and the audio cord that plugs into the right cup. These pieces are usually the first to show wearing and tearing of headphones. Because they can be easily replaced though, these headphones have a much longer lifespan than other options out there. They may be a good option for anyone looking to invest in a nice pair of headphones once with expectations that they will last.
- Honest about noise-canceling abilities
- Replaceable parts
Vogek Over-Ear Headphones | Meticulously Crafted with Disc Jockeys in Mind
These Vogek over-ear headphones may be the best closed headphones for disc jockeys on a budget. Even though they are offered at a great deal, they can be trusted to get their job done. They are available in black, white, or rose-toned gold. These last two options are honestly pretty rare. Certain features of this product also work to make it more convenient for its users. For example, it has a 2-in-1 plug. The inside plug has the conventional 3.5-millimeter size and the outside one has a 6.35-millimeter size. To switch which one you are using, you simply have to twist it off and back on. Pop this plug into a phone or a guitar with no problems.
These stereo monitors can be collapsed to fit into smaller spaces for transportation purposes. Their earcups also rotate up to 90 degrees, which helps the product mold to any head, and may also help users share their sounds with others. In response to previous buyers’ feedback, this model has been updated to be more comfortable. The old version had artificial leather and caused its users to get earaches in as little as 15 minutes. Now, this product comes with earpads made from protein leather and memory foam, which is much more comfortable. Manufacturers also slightly increased the padding depth so that it would not be worn out as quickly.
The cord that comes with this product is 9.8 feet long, giving DJs space to move around their table and access different equipment for different music types. This coiled cable is another part of these headphones, which has been updated. It is now both more durable and flexible.
- Three color options
- Upgraded padding
Status Audio CB-1 | Studio Standard with a Minimalist Aesthetic
The Status Audio CB-1 model made this list because of its popularity amongst professionals in the music industry. They were crafted by expert audio engineers and can be found in studios across the nation. The model of this aesthetic is elegant enough to draw anyone in. Their base color is black, like most professional audio equipment. The earcups are lined with shiny gold metal accents that really make this product pop. The cups themselves are thick memory foam with a long and slender oval-shaped cutout in their center to create space between your ear hole and where the sound comes out. On the headband, cushy lining stretches from one side to the other for maximum comfort. Plus, the sides are labeled, which comes in handy when using for professional purposes.
These headphones have received positive feedback from several trustworthy sources, such as The Verge and CNET. Though they are primarily designed to be used for recording, mixing, audiophile, and musical purposes, they are also suitable for leisurely activities. Because they have a cord, you will never have to remember to charge this product or replace its batteries. It features a wired connection of 3.5 millimeters with a 50-millimeter driver system. With a purchase, buyers will also receive a long coiled cable and a shorter straight cable.
Previous customers have had great success using this product with digital audio workstations like Ableton and Logic. However, for those who are planning on using these on a more casual level, they also work great plugged into a phone or computer. They can also be used by podcasters who need to make sure all of their recordings are of equal volume and quality. Ultimately, these may be a great option for those who do not mind spending extra for professional equipment they can trust.
- Trusted by professionals
- 1-year warranty
Sennheiser HD 206 | Get Them Before They Are Gone
Sennheiser’s HD 206 headphones feature a closed-back design and one of its major strengths is that they are lightweight. On their headband, there are padding stretches over the majority of the section that would touch the crown of your head. They also have memory-foam like padding stretched over the ear cups. However, this padding is thinner than other market alternatives. These may not be the most comfortable option out there. However, if they are only being used recreationally or for a brief stint of time, they will do the job they were made to do.
They are compatible with pretty much every device a hobbyist might try and use them with thanks to their 24-ohm impedance. The purchase of this product also includes both a 3.5-millimeter adapter and a 6.3-millimeter adapter. When bought from an authorized seller, they also are covered by a 2-year warranty, which takes a bit of the risk out of buying this set – another major strength. Its weaknesses, on the other hand, are that its cable is highly susceptible to breakage due to low build quality. These headphones are also known to muddy bass sounds and are not very good at canceling outside noise.
Overall, these may be a good option for those who are in need of an interim pair of headphones or are looking for a pair to give to a child. Take note that this model has been discontinued by its manufacturer. If you are interested in these, you should buy them sooner than later, as they may run out soon.
- 2-year warranty
Sennheiser HD 569 | Luxury Option with E.A.R. Technology
Sennheiser’s HD 569 model is pretty much the opposite of their model 206, which is listed above. These are positioned as more of a luxury option. Along with a purchase come a lot of extra goodies, such as a 9.8-foot cable and a 6.3-millimeter straight plug. Buyers will also get another cable of roughly 4 feet that features an attached one-button remote, along with a 3.5-millimeter straight plug. Although they are not really up to par with professional alternatives, they are well suited for people who require headphones for their hobbies, such as gaming and listening to music.
This product weighs a bit more than a pound and a half, which is not too heavy, but certainly not lightweight as far as industry averages go. The HD 569s pride themselves in their noise-isolation abilities. You can drown out annoying exterior sounds by placing these over your ears even without playing anything else. Their pick-up pattern is omnidirectional, and their jack plugs are gold plated, which helps to establish a smooth connection. While wearing these, you should feel more like you are listening to a sound playing out-loud in a room thanks to their E.A.R. technology. This stands for ergonomic acoustic refinement and aims to send sounds to your ears more directly.
To build this model, Sennheiser only used high-quality materials, so they should last a while. If it makes you more comfortable, you can also choose to request a manufacturing warranty from their customer service department. Overall, this model may be a safe option for older hobbyists who can treat it with are.
- E.A.R. technology
Sennheiser HD 300 | German-engineered for Sound Clarity
Sennheiser HD 300 model may be a good option for you if you are stuck between their 569 and 206 models, which both made this list. Priced in between the two, this option does not sacrifice noise-canceling abilities for being lightweight. Thanks to advanced German engineering, their transducers provide accurate sounds with expected balance and extended bass. Again, this brand is not typically a go-to for professionals. However, they are more than enough for hobbyists who would just like to listen to music or podcasts. They fold up for convenience purposes and are well-rated by previous consumers, especially for use in the home. Just be wary that the headband on this model lacks adequate cushioning, so they may not be comfortable for extended periods of time.
- High-quality transducers
Philips SHP9500 HiFi Precision Headphones | When Accuracy Matters
For some passive listeners, any old headphones will do the trick. For others though, being able to detect the smallest sounds matter. These Philips HiFi Precision headphones are for the latter. Inside them are 50-millimeter neodymium drivers that provide a broad spectrum of sound. Their cable is about 5 feet long. While this is not the longest cord out there, it is long enough to work comfortably near your equipment without worrying about pesky tangling. Both the left and right earcups are labeled for producers who like to play around with different side assignments for certain noises. These labels also add an element of style for those searching for a product that will stand out amongst the crowd. The material used to craft the cups is soft and breathable.
The product features an open acoustic system with a connecter plated in gold. Their frequency response reaches anywhere from 12-35,000 hertz. This is about as wide of a range as you can hope to see from an option this affordable.
- Can be used with or without amplifiers
- Extra-wide frequency response range
- Breathable earcups can be worn all day long
- Drivers perfectly angled for optimum sound accuracy
Before embarking on the journey of buying new headphones, you may have some questions. For starters, you may be wondering, “what are closed-back headphones?” and “what are trustworthy brands to buy them from?” If you are in need of some tips for buying this product, you have come to the right place. First and foremost, you should understand the difference between closed-back and open-back options. Headphones of the closed-back variety should form a complete seal around your ears, stopping noise from getting in or out. Open-back headphones, on the other hand, let air into the cups. They will not offer noise-canceling abilities and may also leak noise outside your set, which might lead to embarrassing situations. If you don’t want to be that person caught listening to sad Adele music in the elevator, you should probably invest in a closed-back option.
Any of the brands above can be trusted to produce quality products. However, unless a model indicates that it is suitable for professional use, do not try and use it for work purposes. It is also important to keep in mind that just because a brand is very expensive, such as Campfire Audio, does not mean it is actually better than cheaper options. Stay on the lookout for the listed capabilities of models, such as their back impedance and frequency range. Some of the cheaper options may surprise you.
Can this type of product be worn with glasses?
What is better, headphones with a cable or Bluetooth-enabled versions?
Can these be used on planes?
What is the comfiest padding material?
Does it matter which way you wear these?
How We Tested
When testing these headphones, we were focused on finding the best closed-back headphones for under $500. To do so, we recruited two people from each of the following categories: professional sound engineers, podcasters, music producers, and gaming enthusiasts. In total, on our testing day, we had eight people from across the country in our office to help us identify the best closed-back headphones out for sale. Once they arrived at our office, we sat down with these audio experts to device a grading check-list for the products we chose to test. On the list were a few really important marks to hit such as true audio range, comfort, and flexibility of usage. We also included some other characteristics such as convenience, aesthetics, and ease of use. Then, we began our test.
First, upon unboxing all of the products, we looked them over for any potential damage or defects they could have arrived with. Fortunately, we got off on the right foot. All of the products arrived in great shape, and none of the boxes were missing any promised pieces. Then, we put together active listening stations for our experts. Each group got their table where we let them set up their standard equipment for their profession or hobby.
Once everything was organized, our testers used each pair of headphones for thirty minutes and ranked them. When everyone was finished, we combined their rankings to form this list. We also took note of which headphones were exceptionally great in one category, even if they did not rank well across the board. Keep this in mind when searching for which pair you think would meet your individual needs best. If you only plan on using them for gaming, for example, they don’t have to be good at anything else.
Whether you are looking for the best closed back headphones under 200 or a planar magnetic set, the perfect option for your needs is out there somewhere. So long as you perform proper research on the product you are considering before purchasing them, you should end up with a pair of headphones that make you happy. Just remember that what works for everyone else may not work for you and vice versa. Plus, many of these products have a return policy or are covered under a warranty to help remove some of their buying risks. At the end of the day, you should go with whatever choice your gut tells you to.