What does it meean that these are open Back?


Mar 2, 2021
It means the 'back' of the cans (the cups that go on/around your ears) are 'open' instead of 'closed.' Open back means they are acoustically transparent (either from holes, or a screen, lattice, or other air-permeable structure). They let sound in and sound out. This has four primary effects:
  1. You can hear the world around you better. You're not 'sealed off.' If you need awareness of your surroundings, these are a better choice than a closed-back "can."
  2. As @william.beasley said, others can hear what you're listening to. If you need discretion, or if you need to minimize noise pollution for those around you, you should pass on these and buy a closed-back can. Also, if your surroundings are very noisy (fans, machinery, children, etc.) and want more passive 'noise rejection', closed-back is the better choice.
  3. Presentation. There is often more perceived 'air' and 'space' between the instruments, breathiness or naturalness of vocal performers, etc. than with a closed-back variant. (Note, this is a generalization; there are a few exceptions to this). Soundstage size can vary with many other variables. These cans have different felt pads which can alter the apparent soundstage size in exchange for some loss of 'air.'
  4. Bass response. Bass in open-back cans tends to be less forceful than in a closed-back can. Again, there are exceptions, but a closed back can provides a kind of simulated 'room resonance' which helps low-end frequency response by reflecting low-end energy toward your ears. Open-back cans allow the energy coming off the back side of the driver / membrane to escape into the air around you.
Feb 13, 2021
It meeans that people can hear what you are listening to.