Best Closed Back Headphones of 2018

Let’s first talk about what closed back headphones are before we review our list of the best closed back headphones on the market. Closed back headphones are easily identified by the physical structure of the closed outer ear cup and over the ear cushion design. Thanks to this design, they have the distinct potential of isolating noise.

The market offers a wide variety of closed back headphones. Although it’s easy enough to pick any one of them out of the bunch, choosing the best headphones for your needs can be a bit tricky. Every product has its own pros and cons so to make things a little easier on you, we've distilled the information into this handy guide to simplify the buying process. 

At a glance: Our top 3 picks
Your shortcut to our team's top 3 recommendations
AKG Pro Audio K92 ClosedBack Headphones Ultrasone Edition 5 Unlimited S-Logic EX Surround Sound Closed Back Headphones Philips SHP2600/27 Over Ear ClosedBack Headphones
  • 40mm professional drivers for versatile range of frequency response. (16Hz 20kHz)
  • The closedback design ensures the maximum amount of isolation.
  • Precisely balanced response furnishes reference monitor accuracy.
  • Wide range of frequency response ranging from 5 Hz to 46 kHz.
  • S-Logic EX technology for a pre-defined sound quality.
  • Mylar/Titan 40mm drivers ensuring amassive yet controlled sound.
  • ULE technology.
  • 32 Ohm Impedance.
  • 32mm neodymium drivers resulting in a clear yet natural sound.
  • Adjustable headband.
  • 1.8m cable.
  • Over-ear design for noise isolation.
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Best Closed Back Headphones of 2018

1. AKG Pro Audio K92 ClosedBack Headphones

AKG-Pro-Audio-K92

For over 65 years, AKG has been helping musicians innovate. From professional build and quality to style, the Pro Audio K92 by AKG is creating some serious buzz among musicians. The K92 promises extended low-frequency response so that your kick drums and bass guitars are clear and clean sounding.

Mastering, tracking or mixing needs focus! These headphones eliminate all the burps and chirps of the outside world so you can focus on every detail and experience the joys of precise editing.

Getting the perfect starter can take hours which means you can't compromise on comfort. AKG has a uniquely designed headband for maximum comfort, no matter who is wearing it. Breathable, lightweight ear pads encircle your ears barring any outside noise distractions while you're mastering your tunes.

Pros

+ 40mm professional drivers for versatile range of frequency response. (16Hz – 20kHz)

+ The closedback design ensures the maximum amount of isolation.

+ Precisely balanced response furnishes reference monitor accuracy. 

Why We Liked It - This product merges all the important building blocks of a closed back headphone into a single premium product. With the likes of 40mm drivers, a wide range of frequency responses, and gold plated connections, these headphones are an excellent choice for any musician or producer.

2. Ultrasone Edition 5 Unlimited S-Logic EX Surround Sound Closed Back Headphones

Ultrasone-Professional

S-Logic EX introduces a whole new concept in the audio industry. It allows a greater distance in between the sound transducer and the ear for permitting a predefined spatial localization effect.

Aesthetically, this headphone is on point with its precious metal ruthenium and brown metallic coating. Comfort is backed up the elegant aluminum headband which molds perfectly to your head so you can carry on and on for hours. The ear pads are carved from long-haired sheep leather for taking the comfort to the next level.

Pros

+ Wide range of frequency response ranging from 5 Hz to 46 kHz.

+ S-Logic EX technology for a pre-defined sound quality.

+ Mylar/Titan 40mm drivers ensuring a massive yet controlled sound.

+ ULE technology.

+ 32 Ohm Impedance. 

Why We Liked It -  Features like S-Logic EX technology, 40mm drivers, ULE technology, and 32 Ohm Impedance made sure that this headphone snagged a spot on our list.

3. Philips SHP2600/27 Over Ear ClosedBack Headphones

Philips-SHP2600-27

Have a low budget but still need some good headphones? Feast your ears on the SHP2600/27 by Philips. This guy won't empty your wallet but still makes sure your basic headphone needs as met.

The over-ear design contributes to creating the best sound isolation out of any product on our shortlist. Freedom of movement is enhanced by a long 1.8m cable and of course, a fully adjustable headband.

Pros

+ 32mm neodymium drivers resulting in a clear yet natural sound.

+ Adjustable headband.

+ 1.8m cable.

+ Over-ear design for noise isolation.

Why We Liked It -  You get more than you pay for with these headphones! The SHP2600/27 by Philips fulfills all your closed back headphone needs while keeping things affordable. With 32mm neodymium drivers, long cable and a fantastic price, these headphones are a must for bargain hunters who love good quality.

4. Sennheiser HD 202 II Professional Headphones

Sennheiser-202-Professional

Like to listen to powerful music without disturbing anyone around you? The HD 202 II’s by Sennheiser should be your go-to headphones.

These closedback headphones provide dynamic hi-fi stereo sound, good noise cancellation against ambient noise, and a deep bass response, making them the ideal partner for DJs.
Thanks to the specially designed lightweight turbine diaphragms, you're looking at totally clear, crisp sounds.

Even at high levels, you get the best sound quality because of the powerful neodymium magnets and lightweight diaphragms. Lightweight engineering and leatherette ear cushions promise longer wearing period without hurting your ears.

Pros 

+ Closed, dynamic, semi-circumaural stereo design.

+ Ear cushions can be removed and exchanged for maximum comfort.

+ Damping material ensuring a powerful bass response.

+ Neodymium magnets and lightweight diaphragms.

Why We Liked It - The HD 202 II by Sennheiser is for DJs who want noise cancellation and punchy bass in one product. Promising bass, neodymium magnets, and dynamic design are the reasons behind HD 202 II’s high-end profile and major desirability.

5. LyxPro HAS-10 Closed Back Over-Ear Professional ClosedBack Headphones

/LyxPro-HAS-10-Professional

If you're among those who prioritize music over everything else, then the HAS-10 by Lyx Pro is the perfect go pro equipment for you! The goal of this company is to provide music innovators with a comfortable, affordable, and reliable line while creating history.

It comes with a variety of features for ensuring a true, balanced sound for every consumer. Fresh 45mm neodymium magnet drivers provide a neat level of clean and honest audio rendering. Similarly, the NdFeB magnet system offers instant dynamic response for crisp output. The frequency response of 10Hz – 26kHz jacks up all the detail to a professional level. All of the above is squashed into just 10.4 ounces. Good things in small packages? Absolutely.

Pros

+ Pro-grade closedback headphones for mixing.

+ Instant dynamic response offered by the powerful NdFeB magnet system

+ 180 degrees rotatable ear cups for one ear monitoring.

+ Screw-on jack for increased durability.

Why We Liked It - The HAS-10 by LyxPro has got everything the pro musician needs. With a powerful NdFeB magnet system, 45mm neodymium drivers, and a deep frequency response, this set of headphones has you covered!

6. Shure SRH145m+ Portable Collapsible Headphones

Are you an Apple user deciding on a new set of headphones? Look no further than the SRH145m+ - it has it all, from in-line controls to rich sound. The SRH145m+ by Shure are portable headphones with mic, rich bass, and full in-line controls for Apple devices. The closed back design ensures external noise cancellation and the collapsible yet lightweight design keeps things comfortable for you, even in long-lasting sessions.

Pros

+ Remote and mic with in-line controls for Apple devices.

+ Good external noise-cancellation.

+ The ultra-lightweight and collapsible design makes it easy to carry and store.

+ Two-year warranty by Shure that covers free replacement or repair.

Why We Liked It - Shure is known for manufacturing high-end headphones. The SRH145m+ proves they do an outstanding job of it. With rich deep bass with full range audio, collapsible design and light form factor these headphones are one of the best Apple-compatible headphones out there.

7. Status Audio CB-1 Closed Back Studio Monitor Headphones

Status-Audio

Meet the source of the new hype in the pro headphones market, the CB-1 Status Audio. It redefines the monitoring experience with a variety of features. 50mm drivers reproduce audio without additive bass, mid-range or highs, so you get that neutral sound signature for professional monitoring. Ergonomic earpads support the area behind the ears to eradicate inward pressure.

It comes with a two cable choice, coiled and extended length straight cable for multiple recording studios and other uses. Both cables get easily detached by a keyed locking mechanism.

Pros

+ 50mm drivers produce a neutral signature sound.

+ Detachable wires.

+ Ergonomic ear-pads for providing the comfortable feel even in long sessions.

+ Foldable.

Why We Liked It - The Status Audio CB-1 truly re-writes the definition of a happy customer. With 50 mm drivers, comfortable ear pads, and its easy to fold factor, these headphones have all the features a professional musician looks for.

8. Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7B QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling Closed Back Headphones

Audio-Technica-ATH-ANC7B-QuietPoint-Noise-Cancelling

Do we even need a company intro here? For over 50 years, Audio-Technica has been an iconic company for the highest level audio gear.

These wireless headphones, available from Audio Technica, are outperforming many competitors in the closed back headphone world. It has an integrated battery operated quite point active noise-cancellation feature that reduces the background noises by 90 percent, which means you can concentrate on your music in any environment. The headphones work in a passive mode when this feature is turned off. And since this is Audio Technica we're talking about, the sound quality is unparalleled.

These headphones are ideal for any use. They deliver clear, high-resolution sound with serious bass and a detailed midrange. Promising sound comes to life via 40mm neodymium magnet system and a high 109dB sensitivity.

Pros

 

+ Includes two modes, Quietpoint active noise-cancellation and passive mode.

+ Quitepoint Noise cancellation mode cuts off 90% of background noise

+ Flat-fold design with a lightweight form factor.

Why We Liked It - The ATH-ANC7B provides the best noise cancellation in the business, so your professionalism never gets compromised. With a supreme noise-cancellation circuit, 40mm large drivers and the name of one of the industry giants behind them, these headphones are worth spending a little extra money.

9. Sennheiser HD 598 Cs Closed Back Headphone

Sennheiser-HD-598-Cs

Sennheiser has been shaping the future of audio for some years now, thanks to its innovation and consistency. The HD 598 provides sound quality and effective noise cancellation like you've never experienced before. Engineered by the experts, the closed back design delivers natural and detailed sound without disturbing others. An in-line one-button control allows you to pick up and answer calls via a built-in microphone on the cable. And naturally, this baby is comfortable, made for long studio sessions.

Pros

+ Aluminum voice coils deliver high-efficiency, absolute dynamics, and low distortion.

+ Luxurious ear covered cushions for extreme comfort.

+ Ergonomic acoustic refinement technology channels audio directly into the ears.

+ In the box, you get two detachable cables, one with 6.3mm-jack and the other with 3.5mm jack.

+ 2 years warranty

Why We Liked It - With HD 598s you can really feel the music. Great build quality, comfortable pads and made by a major company with over 70 years' worth of experience in this game, these headphones are setting a high bar for headphone quality standards.

10. Ultrasone Edition 8 Julia S-Logic Surround Sound Professional closed back Headphones

Ultrasone-Professional

The Edition 8 Julia by Ultrasone is handmade in Germany. Edition 8s are the first in the line-up to introduce trendy colors. Each pair is given a unique serial number and crafted with loving attention to detail.

On the outside, Edition 8 Julia is printed with elegant fuchsia colored leather ear pads and headband. The earpads are made from Ethiopian long-haired sheep, which is the most precious leather available worldwide.

Inside, the 40mm tri-bass-tube drivers are titanium plated which ensures rich sound in every situation. These headphones feature S-Logic Plus technology for providing a neutral sound impression along with a vivid perception of voices and instruments. Edition 8 Julia is equipped with ULE technology that reduces magnetic field emission up to 98 percent. A worthwhile investment as far as we're concerned!

Pros

+ 40mm Tri-Bass-Tube titanium-plated Mylar drivers.

+ A vast range of frequency response,from 6Hz to 42,000 Hz.

+ Includes both ULE and S-Logic technologies.

+ In-line remote with microphone.

Why We Liked It - Ultrasone is known for modeling superior headphones. With ULE technology, S-logic technology, and tri-bass-tube titanium-plated drivers, it's time to fasten your seatbelts for a mesmerizing sound experience.

Closed Back Headphone Buyers' Guide

We've listed our top 10 nominees for the best closed back headphones currently available. From affordable, all the way up to the ultra deluxe options, every headphone set we've featured has earned its place on our list

The market is populated with many closed back headphones but before whipping out your credit card, let’s first talk about some essentials.

What’s the main purpose of a closed back headphone? Simply, they're responsible for cutting off unwanted sound from the environment and preventing sound leakage. Closed back headphones have a closed outer earcup design that blocks out surrounding noise while you're listening to music or mixing your album. The over the ear pad model stops audio from leaking out of the headphones.

Noise can be halted by two methods, passive noise isolation or active noise cancellation. Passive noise isolation depends on the body of the headphone. It relies on over the ear and closed outer cup design for blocking out sound. Beyond closed back headphones options, the in-ear canal headphones also provide the excellent passive isolation. On the flip side, open back headphones only provide some passive isolation as the outer ear cups are opened. A typical closed back headphone blocks 8 to 12 dB while the in-ear blocks 10 to 15 dB. Some high-end closed back headphones are specially designed for the heavy-hitters to reduce noise by around 25 dB so that they can concentrate when it matters most.

Headphones equipped with active noise cancellation use a microphone, amplifier, and a speaker to pick up, amplify, and play ambient noise in a reversed pattern so that the noise gets canceled out without affecting the sound source. This feature requires a battery to drive out their circuit. Active noise cancellation can cut off around 20 dB sound but note that it mostly applies to constant and low-frequency sounds.

Now we've covered the basics of closed back headphones. You can easily choose from the selection of the closed back headphone available based on your needs. Want a great value? Premium choice? Our hands-down top pick? Stay tuned, here's our three best for category closed back headphones.


Music Critic's Top Pick

AKG Pro Audio K92

Our top pick product ensures that you get the best in quality without breaking the bank. The K92s by AKG Pro Audio has fulfilled every requirement to win the top pick on the list. This company is easily one of the best in the music industry.

AKG gear is known for perfection and the same standards are set for the K92 headphones. From monitoring to casual listening, these headphones have you covered with the professional 40mm drivers, which give a detailed yet balanced high-frequency response. The drivers are packed with a wide range of frequency responses and high sensitivity so you experience a powerful output.

The closed back of this headphone promises an exceptional level of audio isolation, thanks to the new acoustic chamber which sits between the ear cup and the hinge.

A self-adjusting headband and breathable lightweight earpads mean optimal comfort. Golden accents and a matte black finish mean the K92 is stylish as well as high-quality. Gold plated connections and 80,000 cable bend cycles ensure that the cable won’t underperform or break.

With 40mm drivers, wide frequency range and many features who says that you can’t have it all?


Premium Choice

Ultrasone Professional

Many headphones out there carry a high price tag but not all of them are worth the money you spend. Then there's Ultrasone. When it comes to premium headphones, they're at the top of the game. The Edition 5 by Ultrasone is the answer to the prayers of music developers the world over. These headphones are a perfect example of one of a kind design.

On the outside, the ear cups are coated with the precious metal ruthenium. Quality and durability are second to none thanks to the opulent ruthenium coating. The earpads and headband pad are made from Ethiopian long-haired sheep leather so that optimum comfort is achieved over the long sessions.

S-Logic EX feature in this headphone allows a greater distance between the driver and the ear which enables a spatial localization effect. You get three detachable cables, a 3.5mm Neutrik jack (1.5m long), 6.3mm Neutrik jack (4m long) and a 3.5mm (1.2m long). With ULE technology, S-Logic EX technology, and 40mm drivers this is one of the best quality headphones you could hope to invest in.


Great Value

Philips SHP2600

Our Great for Value category is all about finding the best for less. Finding decent yet affordable headphones may seem difficult, but guess what? We've done the legwork for you!

The SHP2600/27 by Philips may look humble, but don’t judge these headphones by their cover. They're equipped with 32mm neodymium drivers which deliver an incredibly authentic yet deep sound. The fully adjustable headband gives means anyone can use these comfy yet powerful headphones. A 1.8m cable allows you to be mobile (within reason!). With 32mm drivers, adjustable headband, and more, the SHP2600/27 rises to the top of the great values list without question. It's so much more than a low price tag.

FAQ’s

What are Closed Back Headphones?

    • Basically, there are two types of headphones, closed back and open back. You can easily identify closed back headphones by looking at the ear cups. If ear cups are closed from the outer side, it means you've hit the jackpot.Closed back headphones are made to maximize the amount of total sound isolation possible. This is done by a closed outer ear cup design and over the ear cushion. Similarly, the closed outer earcup design also prevents the music from leaking out in the surroundings. Although open back headphones have become trendy, closed back headphones are still the favorites, especially for musicians.

What’s the Difference Between Closed Back and Open Back Headphones?

Closed back headphones have over the ear cushions and closed outer ear cups so that no sound could leak out from or come into your ears. This type of headphone is known for isolating sound. The physical design eliminates the interference factor so that the user can hear even the slightest details. In some high-end closed back headphones, isolation is carried out via active noise cancellation, an integrated circuit is built into the ear cups which cuts off a great amount of the noise.

Open back headphones have on-ear cushions and opened outer ear cups so the listener can stay connected to what’s going around him while listening to his favorite album. This type of headphone is geared towards giving the user a good listening experience while staying conscious of his environment. The open ear cup design lets air in and out so that the user stays aware of his surroundings while enjoying his music. This type of headphone is less useful if you're hitting the studio.

How do I Choose the Best Closed Back Headphones?

So many people want to know the answer to this question. We all have different needs for our headphones. Some people are into mixing and editing, while others only use their headphones for casually listening to music. Pick a closed back headphone according to your needs, keeping in mind a realistic price you can spend.

The CB-1 by Status Audio is perfect for our dedicated casual users. Whether you're monitoring, or doing some casual or even hard listening, these headphones have your back. From high-end specs to portability this bad boy has it all. Powerful 50mm drivers tend to deliver neutral yet deep sound. Plus, ergonomic earpads mean ultimate comfort. These headphones can be folded up so you don’t have to make extra space while carrying them around. A real winner.

The ATH-ANC7B by Audio Technica is made for all you folks who want an extra push towards the noise cancellation element. These headphones include the QuietPoint Active Noise Cancellation feature, reducing environmental noise up to 90 percent. They're also equipped with 40mm drivers along with a neodymium magnet system, and a high 109dB sensitivity for major sound. Over the ear cushion padding and ear cups promises to enhance comfort. With battery-powered active noise cancellation and neodymium magnet system, these headphones are a must-have for professionals.

What are the Benefits of Closed Back Headphones?

Closed back headphones provide noise cancellation from the surroundings and prevent sound leaks. Compared to open back headphones or even counting standalone advantages of closed back headphones, we have a lot to cover.

First, these headphones are best for the situations when you're carefully monitoring or doing detailed editing. They're also perfect if you want to enjoy that bass without disturbing the stranger beside you on the bus. The benefit of closed back headphones is noise cancellation which has many practical applications.

What are the Best Closed Back Headphones on a Budget?

HAS-10 by LyxPro was crafted keeping in mind affordability, reliability, and comfort. HAS-10 is perfect for recording and mixing as well as for listening to everyday music. It's jam-packed with features. 45mm neodymium magnet drivers provide the clean and honest audio impressions. A NdFeB magnet system takes care of instant dynamic response for crisp sounding vocals. It has a leather headband and ear pads for total comfort so you can peace out and enjoy your tunes.On the monitoring side, the HAS-10 provides 180 degrees rotatable ear cups so that the professionals can experience single-ear listening as well.

With a wide range of frequency (10Hz – 26kHz), 45mm neodymium magnet drivers and just 10.4 ounces of total weight, these headphones are perfect for anyone on a tight budget.

With a wide range of frequency (10Hz – 26kHz), 45mm neodymium magnet drivers and just 10.4 ounces of total weight, the HAS-10 is perfect for anyone on a tight budget - click to view our guide on cheaper earbuds. For more reviews on headphones, check out our guides here.

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