The 5 Best Closed-Back Headphones in 2021 [Full Guide]

Buying a good pair of closed-back headphones might sound like a challenging task, especially because there are various top-notch devices on the market. And since every one of them has its advantages and disadvantages, deciding on one is very confusing.

For this reason, I’ve decided to compile a list of the best closed-back headphones, stating their pros, cons, and everything you need to know about each product. You’ll also find an informative buying guide with all the essential factors that should be on your checklist in order not to buy a low-quality pair of headphones.

Closed-Back Headphones Comparison Table

HeadphonesWeightFrequency rangeCable Length
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 25010.2 oz5Hz – 35KHz9.8 feet
Shure SRH154010.1 oz5Hz – 25KHz6 feet
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x10.1 oz15Hz – 28KHz3.9 feet
Sennheiser HD 56924.64 oz10Hz – 28KHz9.8 feet / 3.9 feet
Sennheiser HD280PRO10.08 oz8Hz – 25KHz3.3 to 9.8 feet

The 5 Best Closed-Back Headphones in 2021

The following list has 5 of the top closed-back headphones with a detailed review and the pros and cons of each of them so that you can make an informed decision.

1. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 – Best Overall

beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250

The Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 is one of the best closed-back headphones for various reasons, including that it comes in three different impedances: 32, 80, and 250 ohms. The 250-ohm model is one of the finest pairs for professionals as it is the best sounding one amongst the three.

This pair of headphones offer excellent, crisp, and vibrant highs as well as balanced projected sounds. Moreover, it produces detailed midrange frequencies and amazing bass. Further, it has the widest frequency range (5Hz – 35KHz) compared to the other models on the list.

This setting blocks all surrounding noises, and that is another reason why it is brilliant for studio work and recording. This also makes it suitable for commuters and people who work in relatively noisy places.

What’s more, these are very comfortable to wear for long periods of time and don’t add pressure on your ears or head at all that you’ll forget you have anything on your ears, and we have the thick padding on both ear cups covered by a silky material to thank for this.

Similarly, the headband is also padded and has several cushions. The lovely thing is that users can remove the headband pad if their head is big or if the padding makes their heads become hot.

Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 comes with a single-sided cable, enabling users to take it off and put it on without the cables coming in the way. However, they don’t feature a detachable cable, which means that if the cables suffer any damage, users won’t be able to replace them and will have to get rid of the headphones.

Sadly, this pair of headphones is a bit bulky and can’t be folded, so it’s better for studio and home use.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • High sound quality
  • One-sided cable
  • Affordable
  • Great for professionals

Cons:

  • Bulky
  • Non-detachable cable

Bottom Line

If you’re a professional or someone with trained ears, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250 headphones are for you. They offer excellent sound quality, are comfortable, and come at an affordable price.

2. Shure SRH1540 – Premium Pick

Shure SRH1540

Shure SRH1540 is one of the top closed-back headphones sets on the market as it almost has no disadvantages besides its high price. It’s made of premium materials, including aircraft-grade aluminum alloy yoke, carbon-fiber end caps and Alcantara-covered ear pads.

They are very lightweight, coming at 10.1 ounces only so that you won’t feel them on your head.

They are also very comfortable, thanks to the padded ear cups that don’t pressure your ears. However, the ear cups don’t swivel, which means that if the headband’s angle and the ear cups don’t fit your hit, you might get a bit uncomfortable after wearing them for two hours straight. Yet, if they conform to your head’s shape, then you can wear them as long as you wish with no pain at all.

Moreover, this incredible set comes with a spare cable and ear pads, so if the original ones suffer any damage, you won’t need to pay extra money to buy new ones. Further, you’ll get a durable transport case that has a separate compartment for the set’s accessories. In other words, you can move around or even travel with Shure SRH1540 and be sure that nothing would get broken.

With this headset, you can rest assured that you’ll listen to excellent sound quality, thanks to the 40mm neodymium drivers that produce superb sounds. Besides, the bass is crisp, clear, and warm. This could also be attributed to the fact that they have a wide frequency range that extends from 5Hz up to 25KHZ.

What’s more, they do a great job at blocking the surrounding noises, so if you wish to use them while commuting or in a noisy place, you absolutely can!

Pros:

  • Detachable straight and coiled cables
  • Durable
  • Comes with a spare cable and ear pads
  • Has a transport case

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Non-swiveling ear cups

Bottom Line

If you are not low on money, go for Shure SRH1540, as they won’t disappoint you at all. Thanks to their padded ear cups, durable build quality, and the accessories they come with, they are hard to reject.

3. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x – Superior Build Quality

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

If you usually drop your headphones and experience a mini heart attack as a result, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are the ones for you. They are durable and shock-resistant, so they won’t get damaged if they fall from time to time.

Yet this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take good care of them, especially because their joints are a bit weak and might be susceptible to breaking.

Further, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones are pretty comfortable, owing to their large padded ear cups. And let me tell you that buying a set of headphones with large ear cups is precious because they fit people with large ears and lessen the pressure on the ears.

While they are not very breathable, their breathability is still considered high enough given that they have a closed and over-ear design, so it is only normal that they don’t allow much airflow. However, this is nothing a short break every two hours won’t fix.

While the ATH-M50x headphones are stable enough, I don’t recommend them if you need a pair of headphones for an intense workout, as they will fall off your head. Further, they come with a detachable cable, which means that if they get damaged for any reason, you won’t need to buy a whole new set of headphones.

Another advantage of these headphones is that they can be folded into a more compact size, so you can put them in your bag and use them on the commute. Similarly, the swiveling ear cups can lay flat, taking up less space. Moreover, they come with a carrying case that serves to protect them from scratches.

The ATH-M50x headphones produce high sound quality and clear and deep bass, thanks to their wide frequency range (15 Hz – 28KHz) and 45mm large-aperture drivers that come with unique earth magnets and copper-clad voice coils.

Moreover, they provide excellent sound isolation, which means that you won’t be disturbed if you use them in a noisy place. They also do not leak sounds, meaning that you can listen to whatever you need without annoying anyone around you.

Pros:

  • Swiveling ear cups
  • Durable
  • Shock-resistant
  • Affordable
  • Detachable cable
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Not very stable

Bottom Line

If you’re searching for an affordable pair of headphones, Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are the ones. They are full of impressive features, including their durability and excellent sound quality.

4. Sennheiser HD 569 – Most Versatile

Sennheiser HD 569

The Sennheiser HD 569 is the most versatile pair of headphones on the market as it comes with two detachable cables. One of which is 9.8 feet long and comes with a 6.3mm straight plug so that you can attach it to your stereo, for example. And the other one is 3.9 feet with a 3.5 mm straight plug.

Yet, the most impressive feature of all is the fact that the Sennheiser HD 569 comes with a one-button remote and a microphone, allowing you to make and take phone calls! How impressive is that!

You can use these headphones for as long as you want because they are so comfortable that you’ll forget you have anything on your ears in the first place. This can be attributed to the large ear cups and their soft ear pads.

It’s also worth mentioning that the ear pads are replaceable, allowing you to change them if they become damaged for any reason instead of having to buy a new set of headphones or having to live with uncomfortable ones.

Most importantly, you’ll enjoy excellent sound quality, owing to Sennheiser’s proprietary transducer system that produces excellent details and powerful bass. And like all of its counterparts on our list, they have a wide frequency range (10 Hz – 28KHz.)

What’s more, if you listen to music or take a call in a noisy area, you won’t be disturbed by any of the surrounding noise because it offers superb noise isolation. Likewise, you won’t disturb anyone around you because the set doesn’t leak any sounds.

Pros:

  • Features a microphone
  • Comes with two cables of different lengths
  • Superb sound quality
  • Excellent noise isolation
  • No sound leakage
  • Durable and comfortable
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Ear cups can’t be folded
  • A bit bulky

Bottom Line

If you’re searching for a pair of headphones via which you can take and make phone calls hassle-free, the amazing Sennheiser HD 569 headphones are precisely what you’re looking for. Besides, their durability and high sound quality are hard to say no to.

5. Sennheiser HD280PRO – Most Affordable

Sennheiser HD280PRO

In case you’re looking for an affordable pair of headphones, the Sennheiser HD280PRO is your answer. These headphones are very sturdy and shock-resistant, so you needn’t worry about them getting damaged if they fall a couple of times.

And even though the headband and ear cups are made of plastic, they are very durable. However, you have to keep an eye on the ear cup joints and the thin swivel hinges because these are the set’s weak points.

They are very comfortable to wear, thanks to their large and well-padded ear cups. However, the headband padding is somewhat thin, so you might feel a little bit of pressure on your head.

Moreover, they don’t provide much breathability, so I wouldn’t recommend them to people who want to listen to music while running, for example. Yet, if you’re okay with taking them off every once in a while, you won’t feel this pressure.

One of the nice things about them is that you can easily fold them and put them in a bag if you want. This makes them suitable for commuters and anyone who wants to use them outside the home.

However, they aren’t the best ones for runners since they’re not very stable. In other words, they might fall off your head while you’re running. They are stable enough during casual use.

The Sennheiser HD280PRO provides a nice sound quality with a wide frequency response range starting from 10 Hz and ending at 28KHz. And while they are wired, they have a pretty long cable that extends to 9.8 feet, allowing users to feel free moving around. Yet, they don’t have a detachable cable, which means that you’ll be obliged to buy a whole new set if the cable gets damaged.

You can listen to whatever you need with this pair of headphones, and no one around you will hear what you’re listening to; however, they don’t block much of the ambient noises, so you’ll be disturbed if you use them in a noisy place.

Pros:

  • Padded large ear cups
  • Padded headband
  • No leakage
  • Wide frequency range
  • Long cable
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • No detachable cable
  • Poor breathability
  • Not very stable
  • Below-average noise cancellation

Bottom Line

The Sennheiser HD280PRO are the headphones to buy if you won’t use them for a long time and if you’ll usually use them in a quiet place. They offer nice sound quality, are affordable and feel comfortable to a great extent.

Check Out Best Closed-back Headphones For Gaming

Factors to Consider Before Buying Closed-Back Headphones

There are certain factors that you should consider before buying a pair of closed-back headphones in order not to be disappointed. Here are some of the most important factors that should be on your checklist.

Comfort

Why would you buy a pair of headphones that would hurt your ears and head? In order to prevent this from happening, you can buy a pair with padded ear cups and a headband. This way, you’ll be able to listen to music or whatever you need the headphones for without any pain.

Wired or Wireless

If you’re not an audiophile, you might still be confused and don’t know which is better, yet if you’re one, then you already know that wired headphones have better sound quality.

However, it’s worth mentioning that the difference in sound quality won’t be easily noticeable for amateurs or people who want to enjoy the music. Besides, they will never stop working while you’re using them because, unlike wireless ones, they don’t depend on batteries.

On the other hand, professionals with trained ears will easily notice the difference. Therefore, if you don’t need the headphones for studio recording and so, you can go for the wireless ones to provide a better range of motion. They are also more suitable for commuters and runners because they eliminate the problem of having tangled cables.

Battery Life

If you go for the wireless option, make sure you pick one with superior battery life, or else you won’t be able to enjoy them since the time you’ll spend charging them will exceed the time you use them.

Noise Cancellation

The greatest thing about wearing closed-back headphones is that they block ambient noises; that is, they help you get immersed in whatever you’re listening to. So, if you’re on the road, you won’t be disturbed by all the hassle on the street or people’s noises.

However, some models isolate more sounds than others according to the size of the ear cups, where those with large ear cups provide better noise isolation than others with small ones.

Final Thoughts 

Hopefully, you’ve already decided which one of the closed-back headphones reviewed above you’re going to buy. However, if you’re still confused, allow me to highlight some of them.

In case you need a pair of headphones that enable you to answer phone calls flawlessly, go for Sennheiser HD 569. They are especially suitable for business people who might find it convenient to take phone calls on their headphones. Besides, they produce excellent sound quality. Not to mention, they’re comfortable and durable.

In case you need a wired pair, but you don’t want the cable to get into your way, pick the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO 250, as it features the cable on one side only, allowing you to move around freely, take it off, and put it on without any hassle. It’s also lightweight, durable, affordable, and produces superb sound quality.

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