Some would say that differentiating between open back vs closed back headphones may be easy (possibly for sound engineers), but while the terms of the models are clear as day, there’s more to their physical form in terms of providing a unique listening experience.
The design of open back headphones usually have an outer shell covering that’s perforated in some sort of fashion, the majority of them have horizontal cutouts. Meanwhile, closed back headphones may also come with a solid outer shell but a telltale sign that it’s a whole different story from open back headphones. Closed back headphones have no perforations on the outer shell.
Another easy way to differentiate open back vs closed back headphones is to think of the former as a colander-like shell and the latter as a mixing bowl shell.
What are semi-open back headphones? In comparing open back vs closed back headphones comparison, we need to learn that semi-open back headphones are also referred to as closed back headphones. While it is more or less closed back, the speaker elements are not completely sealed, hence still allowing some air to pass in and out of the chamber.
Closed back headphones or semi-open back headphones may have some pros over open back headphones but take note that it also has its own disadvantages, too. Semi-open back headphones may still allow noise and sound in, but not as much as open back headphones.
If you are a buyer looking for a good pair of headphones in the market that’s ideal for listening at home or something that can give value to pure casual listening on a trip to memory lane, semi-open back headphones are a good option. If you are always commuting and you are not fond of hearing noises or chitchat, closed back headphones may still let outside noises in.