How Loud Are Open Back Headphones

How Loud Are Open Back Headphones?

Open-back headphones have become very popular and there is a great trend of young people going towards this type of headphones. As you may see them in the studio where they are used for mixing purposes (a technique to integrate multiple tracks naturally). They are very different from close-end headphones as everyone around you must listen to the music you are listening to through headphones.

I have these headphones as I am a loud sound lover and open-back headphones provide efficiency and they have also improved my listening experience.

How much sound do open-backed headphones leak?

Usually, headphones are made to keep your listening moments private so that you can enjoy your music and avoid any external noise interference. But open-back headphones give too loud sound which is not hidden from people around you and they can also listen to sound coming from the headphones.

Open-back headphones let the air pass through their ear cups. There is a 30dB increase in sound leakage from open-backed headphones as compared to closed-backed headphones. But, they surely improve your listening experience and offer a wide sound stage.

How much sound do open-backed headphones leak

What are Open Back Headphones?

Open-back headphones are open from the outer part of both of their ear sides. Usually, headphones’ speakers are covered inside of them but in open-back headphones, speakers are exposed and the ear cups are open. So, the audio is disbursed and it is not constrained to yourself only.

When you listen to music with a louder sound, you may believe that the sound is coming out through your headphones which people near you can observe easily. Audiophile people love to use these headphones as they provide high and more authentic sound

Air passes through the ear cups and pressure there does not create any kind of pressure inside which avoids echo sound. That’s why there is no chance of isolation because of an absence of ear cushions. But, it helps you to recognize all kinds of sounds from the outside environment.

What Is Sound Leakage?

Sound Leakage is the phenomenon of sound escaping through your headphones to the external environment outside.

It means that if you are in public places and you listen to music with open-back headphones, you are making other people listen to music as well because audio comes outward and inward through headphones. So, people listen clearly when they are in close vicinity of a person wearing open-back headphones.

The Sound Leakage Test

Sound Leakage Test is done to check the intensity of sound coming out of the headphones which is audible at some distance.
You need at least two people to perform this test. One person will be playing the music and another one will judge the sound level at different distances.

First of all, I played the music on my open-back headphones and asked my friend to stand at a distance from me.
Sound will be played at different sound levels and every time a separate review will be taken based on the intensity of the level of sound.

A temporary scale is made to check and describe the sound level. The number describes the description which we will later discuss in a table.

Sound Leakage Test
  1. Unable to hear
  2. Faint Whisper
  3. Relatively Loud
  4. Lyrics are now obvious
  5. Can Hear Everything

Always keep in mind that you perform this test in a very quiet area where there is no noise at all otherwise results may vary depending on the environment.

Distance25% Volume50% Volume75% Volume100% Volume
1 Foot5555
5 Feet1555
10 Feet1455
20 Feet1355
  • At first, my friend was sitting at a distance of 1 Foot and the volume of the headphones was around 25%, he was able to listen to the sound very clearly and the score was 5.
    So, you can imagine, if you are sitting in a meeting and someone is sitting very next to you, he would be able to listen to the sound coming from your open-back headphones.
  • Now, I increased my distance to 5 Feet and then asked my friend to test the sound, he could hardly listen to sound with 25% volume of headphones. But, with the increased percentage of volume, he signaled that everything is clear to him.
  • By further increasing the distance to 10 Feet, the scenario was almost similar but he was still unable to clearly recognize the voice at 50% of volume. In fact, he could recognize the lyrics of the song.

At a distance of 20 Feet, anything below 50% volume was not quite recognizable to the person within close vicinity to you.

The table above will help you to estimate the sound volume coming out of your open-backed headphones in different scenarios.

Recommended: Why Are My Headphones So Quiet

The popularity of Open Back Headphones

If you are passionate about Djing, you must use open-backed headphones because they will surely help you in the studio for mixing purposes. In mixing, you have to integrate different tracks in a natural, so you have to listen to the main track as well meanwhile you are also focusing on the next track which is to be mixed with the main track. These open-backed headphones help you provide a wider sound stage.

These open-backed headphones help you keep an eye on the external environment which also helps to reduce the number of accidents while walking on high-traffic roads. You don’t have to be really worried about listening to your favorite music while you are in public places.

Open-Back Headphones

Open-backed headphones won’t hurt your ears as there are no closed-backed ear cups that help air to cross inward and outward and there are reduced chances of these headphones being hot.

Can You Use Open-Backed Headphones In Public?

While purchasing open-backed headphones, you must take into consideration some factors which are as follows:

  1. The external audience may get irritated if you wear them in public because of the loud sounds coming out of headphones.
  2. There are no isolations that allow air to pass through the headphones from both sides which causes Sound Leakage.
  3. If you have ever used open-backed headphones, you must have noticed that these are a little more heavyweight.

Disadvantages of Open Back headphones:

If you are music passionate and listen to music in loud sound, you will disturb people if you are sitting in a quiet place.
But, if you are in public places like if you are at a beach point where there is some sea noise. So, the sound coming out of headphones will get absorbed into the environment and people will not be irritated with you due to no sound leakage.

Open-backed headphones have poor isolation which means that your headphones won’t be able to block the external environmental noise.

It is not recommended that you wear headphones in public places like if you’re traveling on a bus, these open-backed headphones won’t help you to enjoy your favorite songs. They allow sound from surrounding which you hear while listening to songs as well. Closed-backed headphones are usually valuable in these scenarios.

Open Back Headphones

If you have an audio setup, close-backed headphones are usually headphones because open-backed headphones are bulky but close-backed headphones also come in more connectivity options.

Learn About: How to Make Headphones Louder

Are Open Back Headphones Good For Gaming?

As, you have learned in this article that open-backed headphones are the best when you have to perform any activity like Music mixing, or gaming. Gamers love to stream their games at a loud sound stage which improves their gaming experience.

How to find the Best Open Back Headphones?

You can find the best open-backed headphones in the market but you must consider the following factors.

Some open-backed headphones pretend to deliver more sound leakage which does more harm than good. You may not be able to listen clearly to music rather people around you will be enjoying or irritating you more. Interesting!

You may feel much sound isolation which will keep you unaware of your surroundings and you will feel unsafe in public places and you may get yourself into some accident.


Open-back headphones are good in some circumstances but there may be some drawbacks that totally depend on the external environment.

These headphones are suitable for your studio mixing purposes. These are good at a louder and wider sound stage which gamers and music passionate love. But, open-backed headphones are not good in public places as there is no sound isolation which allows external noise to enter through your headphones. Open-backed headphones get too hot which may be harmful to your ears.

I hope that you are well aware of open-backed headphones. If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to comment below.

People Also Ask

It totally depends on the scenario as there is a wider soundstage in open-back headphones. You may find open-back headphones the best for mixing purposes. Close-back headphones are good in public places because of no sound leakage.

If you have experience with lawn mowers then their sound level is 90dB for a time period of two and half hours. It is higher than the safe sound level which is 85dB set by World Health Organization.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *