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Open vs closed headphones
#2996609 06/29/20 07:20 AM
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Should I get open or closed headphones for the best sounding quality? Which do you prefer and why? Also, what is the best headphone you can recommend ?

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Re: Open vs closed headphones
Prestzie #2996611 06/29/20 07:27 AM
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This has been discussed a lot, you can use the search function. I think the most common opinion is that open-back headphones are better sounding for piano playing.

Last edited by CyberGene; 06/29/20 07:28 AM.

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Previously: NU1X, ES7, MP6, CA63, RD-700SX, CDP-100, FP-5, P90, SP-200
Re: Open vs closed headphones
Prestzie #2996617 06/29/20 07:45 AM
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I think it depends if you need to block any sound around you or not. If not, open-back is probably best.

Personally I'm happy with my closed backs, but am curious to try open backs for those moments where there is nothing disturbing happening around me.

Re: Open vs closed headphones
Prestzie #2996620 06/29/20 07:54 AM
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Also, are the wireless headphones any good?

Re: Open vs closed headphones
Prestzie #2996625 06/29/20 08:14 AM
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I got open-back headphones because I was hoping it would reduce "ear heat" vs closed-back headphones. I believe it does REDUCE heat, but there is still heat buildup for me.

Originally Posted by Prestzie
Also, are the wireless headphones any good?

Re:wireless headphones - I believe there will be latency which may be unacceptably high.

That said, some of the Kawai DPs implement the AptX codec, which is substantially reduced latency. You have to have wireless headphones that support AptX. I do not know if other DP manufacturers support AptX.


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Re: Open vs closed headphones
Prestzie #2996631 06/29/20 08:34 AM
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I always prefer open back phones except for public places (where open back may disturb other people).
I can't stand the feeling of sonic vacuum in my ears when closed back phones go silent - it feels so unnatural.


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Re: Open vs closed headphones
Prestzie #2996712 06/29/20 01:10 PM
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+1 for the open ones, if sound leak not a terrible problem. As for wireless that means Bluetooth, just forget it. Latency will be unbearable and I don't think it will be compatible with any ASIO driver.

Re: Open vs closed headphones
Prestzie #2996761 06/29/20 03:31 PM
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Headphones are rather cheap, you can get quality ones for under $100-$150. Having open as well as closed back phones gives you options. Pay attention to the ohms, the higher ohm 'phones require a separate headphone amp. From my limited understanding, under 50 ohms will work with most equipment and achieve an adequate volume.

Re: Open vs closed headphones
Prestzie #2999253 07/05/20 09:20 PM
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Open vs closed has nothing to do with quality. That's like saying what's better, a car or truck? It's about what you need it for. Open are best for mixing, closed are best (basically mandatory) for recording. If it's just for general listening, probably closed, but that's subjective.

There are many good headphones for very modest prices now, so I agree with the poster that said do a search on the site for more info and opinions (gearslutz.com has a lot of posts and info/opinions as well).

Re: Open vs closed headphones
Prestzie #2999658 07/06/20 09:21 PM
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I have open and closed, frankly speaking, do not hear that much of difference on the digital piano - it is not like a movie scene or an orchestra performance recorded on a special equipment to create surrounding sound effect, it is music generated on the fly by not so powerful piano computer, so do expect too much of a difference in the scenic effect. May be someone's experience differs from mine, would like to hear.
Nor there is much difference in sound given both of them are studio headphones with relatively flat, neutral sound and good clarity.

Last edited by personne; 07/06/20 09:22 PM.

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Re: Open vs closed headphones
Prestzie #2999726 07/07/20 02:32 AM
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I have closed and open headphones of about the same price point. The open headphones are vastly more comfortable...they sit lightly and don't get so hot. Somehow your ears don't feel as claustrophobic.

They also sound better...more detailed and more like you are actually there. My closed headphones sound good too, and I use them for listening to music or youtube, but they don't sound as realistic and accurate when playing piano. They are also amazing for live recordings. Like, I have some recordings of myself singing in choirs in high school and college but they don't sound great because they haven't been mixed. Through my open headphones, it's amazing...it really feels like I'm sitting in the concert hall. I can practically feel when the choir takes a breath before singing. On the other hand, my open headphones seem to lack bass and authority, when listening to music that has been mixed to death, like pop. They aren't as fun for that type of music.

Open for detail and realism, closed for power and bass or to just jam out.

One issue I have is that I have a tendency to turn the volume up higher when using my open headphones. I'm concerned that there is a potential for hearing damage because it's easy to get volume creep.

People sometimes talk about sound leakage. Unless you are recording or listening to something super confidential, it's a non issue. Or unless your volume is monumentally high. People can kind of hear you if they get right up to you, but they can also hear you breathe. It's technically possible for people to hear the juices in your intestines gurgle too, if they listen closely enough. On the other hand, getting sound from outside leaking into your headphones can potentially be an issue. Not just sounds from the folks living in your house, but the guy mowing the lawn across the street or the ambulance half a mile away. I also find that a noisy air conditioner or even the fans from a loudish computer can bother me if I'm using open headphones and playing something delicate.

Overall, open is usually more desirable if you are playing piano, especially if you are doing so for a significant period of time. My open headphones are Sennheiser HD595's. They are light as a feather and amazingly comfortable.

Last edited by gvfarns; 07/07/20 02:41 AM.

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