In this episode of FAQ Friday we’re going to talk about a lot of things, one of which is open or closed back headphones…
I get asked this question a lot, “what is the difference between open and closed back headphones and which is better.”
As you know from my videos, most of the time we use closed back headphones. The reason for this is, We are using headphones for multi-purpose. Closed back are really good for when you’re singing on vocal mics or playing acoustic guitars because they isolate the sound.
However, open back headphones such as the lovely Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 58X frankly sounds better. All of the “audio files” and frankly people who just want to listen to music for pleasure or checking mixes and mixing prefer open back headphones.
There are a couple of reasons for this, open back headphones allow the air to pass through the ear cups and they’re a lot more natural.
Closed backs obviously being enclosed can basically impede the sound. If i put the Sennheiser HD 58X’s on they sound a lot more open and have a feeling like I’m a lot more in a room, a lot more natural.
The down side of course with open back headphones is the sound leaks from them and just as importantly sound comes into them. This won’t really matter if you’re sitting in your living room or in a studio on your own, or it’s fairly quiet.
But they’re not going to be good for singing vocals, they’re not going to be good in environments like being on a plain or train or something else really super noisy. Because A) they will annoy people, B) you’ll hear all of the extraneous noise.
The reality is everybody who has experienced both will tell you that open back headphones sound the best.
They do sound phenomenal but it is all about the environment that you’re working in. If you’re going to be mixing and you can afford to buy a decent pair of open back headphones then I highly recommend it.
If you want to learn more about the differences and the benefits of closed vs. Open back headphones then go to Drop.com
One of the bigest things we included in today’s episode is the wonderful chat I had at Thomann Gearhead University with my friend Phillip McKnight from Revv Amplification.
They sent me the Antique White Semi-Hollow and it’s like Christmas time. – It’s absolutely gorgeous!
Thank you ever so much Thomann, Paul Reed Smith, and Phillip McKnight!
We cover the following questions during this episode of FAQ Friday!
• What is the difference between open and closed back headphones and which is better? (0:45)
• Have you ever used a Guitar Profiling Kemper Amp(3:41)
• I recently tracked some guitars using 2 mics, one each on two seporate cabs and a DI Track. How would you approach the tracks? would you some all to one track and process then all together or do you individually process and bus then to a single track? (7:47)
• Will you demo your new traveller guitar that you talked about in one of your TGU live streams? (12:22)