Interest Check: Closed Back Headphones


Hey guys,
We want to know what Closed Back Headphones all of you are into. We already source a variety of brands, types, and styles, but are always looking to stay in tune with the interests of the Audiophile Community.
· What do you look for in a closed-back headphone?
· What kind of strap/headband do you prefer?
· Are there particular brands you like?
Your suggestions and feedback are taken into account when we look for products to put on the site so tell us what you like, what you don’t like and any preferences you have in between.

Check out our past and current drops here:

Dec 21, 2020
i prefer comfort, noise isolation, and high sound quality, in that order. I would be so happy with the meze's if there was just a bit more room for the earlobes next to the driver.
Having read this I believed it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments.  But so what, it was still worthwhile!
Nov 23, 2019
  • Ollo Audio S4R
  • AKG K371/361
  • Beyerdynamic MMX300
  • Neumann NDH20
  • Audioqest Nightowl
  • Grado SR80
  • B&O H6
  • Sony MDR-Z1R much cheaper
  • Fostex TH900
  • Argon mk2/mk3
Nov 23, 2019
Sorry I'm late to the thread, I know, flog me later. Nearly all of my headphones, save one pair, are all closed back, including my all-time favorite the AH-D7000. My only experience with open back was the first AKG-701, and I did not like them at all, due to the lack of bass. That is actually what lead me to my D7000 purchase. However, as the years have passed, and I have educated myself a lot more on the matter, and came to understand I wasn't comparing apples to apples, and my expectations should have been different. Imaging and soundstage is what one should be primarily concerned with in an open back headphone. So, I just ordered a set of Focal Elex off of this site, based on the recommendations of others, and am looking forward to the expansion of my auditory horizons. Apparently, it not only does imaging and soundstage tremendously well, but it also has incredible bass. Will it supplant my D7000 at the top of my list? I do not know, will begin finding out on Monday, but I can tell you right now, that will be a tall order, as I plan on being buried with my D7000. In all honesty though, the never ending pursuit of the next "best" sounding headphones is what brings us here in the first place, isn't it?
Nov 6, 2019
Dan Clark has just announced that MrSpeakers is changing to the name of Dan Clark Audio. He's announcing the Aeon 2. An update of the Flow that has a very nice folding headband making the cans way more portable. He's also updated the soundstage of both the closed and open back versions as seen on this Headfi video.

1st Focal Elegia ... I save up for this since months - it sounded perfect a few times with my own setup 2nd Mr Speakers Ether C Flow - heard these again a few days ago at Munich High End 2019 and had a chat with Dan. These and the AEON Flow Closed look best and have the best comfort. The big ones are not in my budget and the AEON Flow Closed are a step behind the Elegia. 3rd - Massdrop/Beyerdynamic 177x Go because i joined the drop and will sure be an update over my old 770 Pros for the moment until I saved up enough for the Elegia in general: enough base, forward mids and sparkling highs - not too dark - balanced sound good isolation - have enough good open backs so closed has to be really closed great comfort - I listen at office, on the go and at home on the couch next to my wife for hours strong buildquality - if it is expansive it should be build like Beyers not like Stax wide/deep soundstage - can be more wide than real microfibre or velours pads - love the leather pads from Mr Speakers but I sweat easy easy changeable pads - I sweat easy balanced cable - nothing super strange strong headband - nothing complicated, because I want to use them weight is not important foldable is ok but I want to listen to them and not hide away - flat is better than smaller can be harder to drive - prefer details and scaling with better dac/amps shipping in europe - I won´t pay extra taxes for a headphone that is something between 177x and Elegia budgetwise
Apr 16, 2019
Lightweight, full-size over ear, cushy faux leather padding, suspension strap, planar magnetic.
Feb 19, 2019
Focal ElegiaX. Most of my collection is open-back, because I prefer an open sound with maximum detail resolution and a balanced / neutral voicing. The Focal Utopias are my current all-time favorites, but they are ridiculously open, which means I can't use them in the office. I own the Fostex TR-XOO in Ebony and Purpleheart, and I like them for what they are, but there's room for improvement. They don't stay put when I move my head, and the cable microphonics are pretty bad. They have good amount of detail and the bass is full and satisfying, but their voicing is not my personal favorite. I recently picked up the Focal Elegia because I wanted the "Focal house sound" in a closed-back design. OMG, they exceed my expectations in every way! The level of detail and sense of openness is simply unreasonably good for closed-back headphones!
These are pretty much my ideal closed-back headphones. To give them the Massdrop treatment, start by replacing the stock cable (it sucks--too short and too stiff). I picked up a 2m black-and-silver KK cable from Amazon, terminated in a 2.5mm balanced connection, and it's perfect in every way--length is ideal for office use, the cable is light and flexible, there are NO microphonics at all, and the balanced termination gives me the option of using a short adapter to use either an XLR or 1/4" jack on my headphone amps (or the 2.5mm on my Astell&Kern DAP). Naturally, a color change would help to cement the Massdrop co-branding. You could reuse the same headband and yokes as the Elex and go for a similar subdued / blackened look and feel. The Elegia comes with Focal's excellent case and I would definitely recommend keeping it rather than ditching it to save costs. However, instead of the standard dark-grey color that comes with the Elegia, black it out to match the headphone colorway. Focal is bundling a color-matched case with Stellia, so I know they can do it, lol. I've been half tempted to attack one of their aftermarket cases with some RIT to make a blacked-out case for my Elex. :-) And whatever you do, tread lightly with the tuning. Elegia already sounds pretty much perfect to me, so I wouldn't spend too much effort trying to tweak / improve the sound.
Apr 30, 2019
How rich are you ?
Feb 16, 2019
I exclusively use ATH MSR7NC's right now (the noise cancelling model) and they're really amazing. It seems to me that the MSR7's may be the best closed back headphones within a certain price bracket. I consider them to be like a closed back counterpart to the HD600's, they have similar sound signatures and sound quality, though the Sennheiser is "softer" sounding.
Feb 9, 2019
Not too many closed backs worth looking at IMHO. Only ones I'd ever recommend are, in increasing price order: ATH M40X (Brainwavs pads are basically mandatory though - A drop that came with a set would be cool), DT770 Pro (Massdrop version with removable cable and/or balanced would be dope!), and the T50RP (although the stock model basically needs to be modded to be an acceptable pair of cans - Made by Massdrop MKIII's?). As an extension of the latter, I'd love to see a drop of the newer T60RP's. From what I've heard they're as good as if not better than any of the modded T50's.
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