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Top 10 Best Closed-back headphones in 2021

Choosing the perfect headphones is a key stage in every musician's life. From recording to mixing - you will use them for many hours. Therefore, you want a set of headphones that can hold you at th...

By: Aleksey Makohon Date: 10 / 08, 2021
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Choosing the perfect headphones is a key stage in every musician's life.

From recording to mixing - you will use them for many hours. Therefore, you want a set of headphones that can hold you at the edge of your seat. There are a variety of choices in closed-back headphones. While some have a shallower frequency response. Others are more comfortable. The list is infinite.

Best

TREBLAB Z2

Best closed-back headphones

35h play, 3h charge
Active, T-Quiet™ ANC technology
Secure fit
IPX4 water resistant

Hyper-HD aptX Sound Quality

Our best wireless workout headphones come with Advanced Sound 2.0 Technology and aptX high-performance neodymium-backed 40mm speakers.

Ultra Premium Materials | Super Soft Ear Pads

They’re super-comfortable, made of high-end, ultra-soft materials that mold to the natural shape of your ear for a custom fit.

Read more about TREBLAB Z2
TREBLAB Z2

Closed-Back Headphones

Closed-back headphones are great for music recording, mostly because they fully enclose the ear in a hard plastic cup that is cushioned on the inside for greater comfort. The cushioning creates an almost air-tight seal around the side of the head, blocking undesirable sounds from coming in or out. This is extremely beneficial when recording a vocal, for instance, since it avoids traces of background noise getting out and being collected by the microphone. The circumstance that closed headphones cancel out external noise likewise signifies you can focus more on what you're listening to. Using the best closed-back headphones, it is possible to effortlessly record, edit, playback, and master the very same project using the same set of headphones - excellent price/performance ratio.

To make your search for the perfect pair easier, we have compiled the ten greatest closed-back headphones. So keep reading for the right headphones for you! Based on our testing of over 590 pairs of headphones, we give you our suggestions for the best closed-back headphones below.

When compiling our list of the top closed-back headphones, there was one pair in particular that stood out for us, and that was Treblab's awesome Z2.

Best overall – Treblab Z2

Treblab Z2 headphones attempt to offer multiple features all at once. They provide comfort, active sound cancellation, as well as water resistance in a single bundle. The Treblab Z2 is a really intriguing set of Bluetooth headphones. They are targeted at bass enthusiasts as well as purists who are searching for the specifics in songs. However, you don't actually have to have an app to tweak the sound. You just switch on the ANC. The headphones deliver a very pleasant wearing feel and superb noise isolation. They are well built, featuring soft plastic and lightweight design. The 3.5mm jack is also a pleasant extra if the battery is low (which rarely, because they can be charged for up to 35).

+ Pros:

  • Comfortable cushioned ear cups
  • Excellent noise isolation
  • Solid build quality
  • IPX4 water resistance

- Cons:

  • Earmuffs become a bit sweaty

Best Closed-back Headphones: Wired and Wireless 

Key features
  • 35 hours’ battery
  • Bluetooth 5.0 aptX
  • IPX4 water resistance
Cons
  • No quick charging
Best for
  • Listening to podcasts, since the voices are transferred with clarity and error-free
Name
Sony MDR-7506
Sony MDR-7506
4.8 out of 5
Key features
  • Excellent audio playback
  • Lightweight and convenient design
  • Foldable design: compact for storage
  • Premium sound reproduction
Cons
  • The cushions make your ears feel warm when used for a long time
  • Put pressure on the ears when too tight
Best for
  • Broadcast and recording studios
Key features
  • Sound quality and noise cancellation
  • Excellent fit
  • Multi-function button
  • Stunning battery life
Cons
  • Nothing to note
Best for
  • Active noise cancellation
Name
Focal Stellia
Focal Stellia
4.5 out of 5
Key features
  • Sophistication, insight, and punchy bass
  • Superior design and craftsmanship
  • Amazing comfort
Cons
  • Somewhat cumbersome may be inconvenient for people with smaller heads or people who use glasses
  • Extremely pricey
Best for
  • Ideal for home or on the road
Name
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
4.5 out of 5
Key features
  • Foldable and rotating ear cups for space-saving transport
  • Rugged, one-sided cable
  • Excellent attenuation of surrounding noise
Cons
  • Larger cushioned headband slightly reduces portability
  • May become warm around the ears during extended and loud playback periods, due to the thick padding of the ear cups
Best for
  • Mixing or recording during long recording sessions
  • Editing episodes
Name
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
4.7 out of 5
Key features
  • Extraordinary audio quality for professional monitoring and mixing
  • Foldable design, great for ease of transportation and convenient storing
  • Proprietary 45mm large-diaphragm drivers with neodymium magnet systems
Cons
  • Can become somewhat warm after extended use
Best for
  • More suitable for stationary listening indoors
Name
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
4.6 out of 5
Key features
  • Circumaural headphones for advanced sound in the recording studio and on mobile phones
  • Advanced bass reflex technology
  • Extremely comfortable due to soft, circumaural, and exchangeable ear cushions
  • Convenient fit thanks to sturdy, customizable, softly padded headband construction
Cons
  • Really long cable, also not detachable in the event of a short circuit or other damage
  • Cumbersome, somewhat heavy and not very portable
Best for
  • Music producers, audio engineers, and broadcast companies and are used in recording studios worldwide
Name
Audeze EL-8 Closed Back
Audeze EL-8 Closed Back
4.3 out of 5
Key features
  • Magnetic planar drivers for improved dynamics and response
  • Premium leatherette for stylish and lasting performance
  • Elegant, cutting-edge style by Designworks USA, a BMW Group company
Cons
  • Ear cups are too big for smaller heads
  • The headphones do not fold or swivel
Best for
  • Improvement of high-frequency extension, reduced distortion, and improved imaging
Name
Dan Clark Audio AEON Flow 2
Dan Clark Audio AEON Flow 2
4 out of 5
Key features
  • Outstanding driver isolation for enhanced resolution, dynamics, and smoother frequency response
  • AEON Flow 2 substitutes a cast-aluminum baffle with carbon fiber and machined aluminum construction that is both more rigid and lighter
Cons
  • Can become slightly inconvenient for people with a big head or big ears after extended listening
  • The cable is easily microphonic
  • The headband is not cushioned
Best for
  • Boosting the bass, increasing the soundstage and realistic reproduction of dynamics
Name
Ultrasone Signature Studio
Ultrasone Signature Studio
4.7 out of 5
Key features
  • 40 mm titanium coated mylar drivers
  • Closed-back design
  • S-Logic Plus technology
  • Foldable for convenient storage
Cons
  • Earpads are too small for big ears
Best for
  • Natural sound, noise cancellation, and reduced tiredness for musicians, audio engineers, and sound technicians on the road or in the studio

Best Closed-back headphones

Treblab Z2 – best closed-back headphones (best overall)

Treblab Z2 – best closed-back headphones (best overall)

The sound of this pair of workout headphones is way above and beyond expectations, considering the affordable price. The speakers give off a broad spectrum of crisp, pure audio, ranging from treble brightness to smooth, low bass, which are only made better by the active noise-cancellation function. Indeed, the noise cancellation is so great that it's almost dangerous when jogging down the street: you will not hear anything at all! Along with outstanding comfort and IPX4 sweat-resistant waterproofing, this is an all-in-one piece of workout audio equipment.

+ Pros:

  • Long-life battery (up to 35 hours)
  • Exceptionally soft ear cups
  • Outstanding and well-balanced sound performance with aptX HD
  • Robust design

- Cons:

  • The bass is perhaps a little weak for anyone who likes very powerful bass

Sony MDR-7506 - closed-back headphones under 100

Sony MDR-7506 - closed-back headphones under 100

These headphones are a standard for many professional users. Professional mixers, audio engineers, front-of-house technicians, whatever you want.

They provide clean, usually undistorted audio. It is excellent for listening to stuff with no distracting frequency bounces.

The Sony MDR-7506 delivers great isolation for sound recordings. It allows you to record vocals, acoustic guitar, woodwind, or brass instruments with none of the bleed.

In addition, it includes an adapter. This allows you to use a normal 1⁄8" headphone jack or a 1⁄4′′ jack for professional gear, and it comes with a bag to keep the headphones in.

Overall, these headphones give you a great compromise between affordability and quality.

+ Pros:

  • Super crisp sounds
  • Not booming, but firm bass
  • Durable
  • Crisp and focused dynamics
  • Reasonably priced
  • Long cable
  • Closed ear - reducing outside noise

- Cons:

  • The cushions make your ears feel warm when used for a long time
  • Put pressure on the ears when too tight
Treblab E3 – budget closed-back headphones

Treblab E3 – budget closed-back headphones

We strongly suggest the Treblab E3 if you're in search of a premium over-ear headphone. Treblab has designed a perfect mix of sound, comfort, and ease while not sacrificing price.

While the materials used are sturdy plastics instead of aluminum or leather-like some of the pricier brands, the E3 does feature a sleek and comfortable look. With the Treblab E3, you can get the exact similar high-quality for a much cheaper price.

One more benefit of the Treblab E3 is its noise cancellation, which offers you 3 choices to cancel out surrounding sounds based on your neighborhood. Besides, with its short charging time and long-lasting battery life, you will be able to listen carefreely and get power recharged in under an hour.

+ Pros:

  • Decent audio quality
  • Lovely packaging
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Great fit
  • Active noise cancellation with environmental mode
  • Good microphone quality

- Cons:

  • No water resistance class

Focal Stellia - the finest option currently available on the market for audiophiles

Focal Stellia - the finest option currently available on the market for audiophiles

Focal Stellia closed-back headphones offer the top pick on the list for audiophiles looking for a premium quality experience while listening to music. These are also excellent for daily use, as you can plug straight into your smartphone, TV, or any other equipment with no need for an amplifier.

The Stellia headphones have very cushy memory foam earpads and big ear cups that offer a great deal of comfort. The headband is made out of leather, along with the design that was used for it is originally used for Focal's Utopia headphones.

These closed-back over-ear headphones are equipped with premium electrodynamic speaker drivers that deliver a spacious frequency range of 5 Hz to 40 kHz, allowing you to appreciate every nuance of your music while keeping your volume workload low.

No matter if you use the Ark amplifier or not, the Stellia headphones will sound amazing, featuring rich and powerful bass, crisp clean mids, and mellow highs. The frequency response of the headphones appears to not have any unpleasant curves, meaning you needn't be concerned about harsh tones.

+ Pros:

  • Crisp audio with solid sound
  • Audiophile headphones that don't need an amplifier as they can be connected directly to your phone
  • Highly comfortable and stylish

- Cons:

  • Somewhat cumbersome may be inconvenient for people with smaller heads or people who use glasses
  • Extremely pricey
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro - The best closed-back headphones below $100

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro - The best closed-back headphones below $100

The Sennheiser HD 280 PRO delivers exceptional sound quality at a superb price.

They offer great isolation for recording or mixing. In fact, they even cancel out some external sounds so that you can concentrate on your mix.

Are you frequently uncomfortable wearing headphones?

Then this pair could be a decent option for you. They feature big cushioned ear cups, as opposed to a number of other headphones. Besides the extra comfort, the ear cups on these headphones pivot allowing you to listen conveniently with one ear.

They fold up to a comfortably compact and portable size, and contain an adapter to switch from 1⁄8" to 1⁄4". This pair of headphones has a terrific sound. Plus, they come with a bunch of handy functions that make them really versatile.

+ Pros:

  • Perfect for studio use
  • Smooth frequency response delivers natural-sounding sound quality
  • Stops surrounding noise

- Cons:

  • Larger cushioned headband slightly reduces portability
  • May become warm around the ears during extended and loud playback periods, due to the thick padding of the ear cups
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x - The best closed-back headphones less than $200

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x - The best closed-back headphones less than $200

One of the distinguishing features of the ATH-M50x is the oversized ear cups. These go completely around the ear and ensure great sound isolation from both inside and outside the ear.

Additionally, the ear cup can pivot to the outside of the ear. This is great for single-ear listening and fast reference. Furthermore, these headphones come with removable cables.

This is perfect for connecting a longer or shorter cable. Alternatively, you can switch out different plugs for different uses. As with many of these headphones, this one also includes a soft carrying case and headset adapter.

+ Pros:

  • Compact in size to be portable, but cushioned sufficiently for comfort
  • Highly natural and smooth frequency response
  • Long-lasting because of the thick plastic design
  • Reasonably priced

- Cons:

  • Can become somewhat warm after extended use
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro - The best closed-back headphones less than $300

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro - The best closed-back headphones less than $300

Beyerdynamic's DT 770 Pro closed-back headphones will be a superb choice for musicians and producers who have to listen attentively in the studio. These headphones are also great for anyone who enjoys sitting at a computer or in an armchair listening to music, and for people wearing glasses.

The DT 770 Pro comes with a low-mass diaphragm and voice coil, which ensure an accurate and clear sound. It also features a bass reflex system covering the frequency range from 5 Hz to 35 kHz. The headphones are made in such a way that they excellently suppress background noise and transfer the music to the headphones in an isolated way.

The headphones are very sturdy since they are constructed from thick plastic and metal. The headband and ear cups are both cushioned generously with memory foam (the ear cups even more so) on top of being coated in velour fabric.

+ Pros:

  • Exceptionally long service life thanks to metal and plastic construction
  • Frequency curve adjusted to the user

- Cons:

  • Really long cable, also not detachable in the event of a short circuit or other damage
  • Cumbersome, somewhat heavy and not very portable
Audeze EL-8 Closed-Back - The best closed-back headphones less than $500

Audeze EL-8 Closed-Back - The best closed-back headphones less than $500

The Audeze EL-8 closed-back headphones make a terrific choice for audiophiles who enjoy listening from the comfort of their own home. They are a great budget option for audiophiles who can't spend thousands of dollars on a pair of headphones. Their durability, style, and sound will make them the perfect option for everyone who enjoys the sonic qualities and characteristics of music. And above all, their affordability makes them an unbeatable purchase.

The EL-8 Closed Backs use Planar Magnet technology, which provides ultra-clear and accurate audio that will make you crave more. Despite featuring super big ear cups and a thick headband, these headphones are very lightweight considering their size, due to the speaker design.

The EL-8 Closed-Back is very sturdy due to an aluminum framework that is built to withstand a long life, while the floating headband and earcups are cushioned with faux leather for a comfortable fit. The sound of the headphones is quite nice, well-balanced with frequency accents in all the proper spots.

+ Pros:

  • Lifelong service life thanks to the aluminum frame
  • Ultra-lightweight design due to advanced speaker technology
  • Planar magnet technology removes all distortion

- Cons:

  • Ear cups are too big for smaller heads
  • The headphones do not fold or swivel
Dan Clark Audio AEON Flow 2 - A premium quality planar headphone

Dan Clark Audio AEON Flow 2 - A premium quality planar headphone

The Dan Clark Audio AEON Flow 2 is the ideal headphone for music enthusiasts. This premium headphone is fitted with magnetic planar drivers. That is why they are highly resistant to all types of audio distortion and are incredibly responsive.

You can enjoy crisp and detailed audio with these headphones without the need for an amplifier. The most noticeable feature of this high-end headphone is its sound quality profile. The bass is low and powerful. Then again, the mids and treble are also perfectly suited for all music genres. The headphones provide a pretty broad soundstage. As a result, you feel that the sound is heard from outside your head.

In order to guarantee a long life, these headphones are made from carbon fiber, aluminum, and titanium. In spite of the metal design, they are quite lightweight. A lightweight and heavy metal construction are two totally opposite things. However, amazingly, AEON 2 is capable of blending them effectively.

+ Pros:

  • Ergonomically formed ear cups
  • Ideal for travel due to its compact size
  • Audiophile audio playback due to planar drivers

- Cons:

  • Can become slightly inconvenient for people with a big head or big ears after extended listening
  • The cable is easily microphonic
  • The headband is not cushioned
Ultrasone Signature Studio - All you would ask from a professional headphone

Ultrasone Signature Studio - All you would ask from a professional headphone

Ultrasone Signature Studio Headphones are an outstanding pair of headphones for use in the studio and at home. They feature a number of highly useful and most effective protective functions making them a perfect headphone to use on a daily basis while still keeping the precision and high-quality audio playback together with the well-balanced, natural audio.

Ultrasone Signature Studio headphones are fitted with S-LOGIC Plus technology to offer you the utmost quality when it comes to the spatial mapping of the sound field as well as high-precision sound reproduction.

The frequency response reaches from 8 Hz to 40 kHz, greatly surpassing the range of human hearing and bringing vibrancy and brightness to music that is perceptible even though it is impossible to hear. These headphones have an exceptionally well-balanced and natural sound.

The Signature Studio is constructed of ultra-thick plastic to guarantee a long-term life. The same steps were followed in the choice of material and cushioning for the headband and ear cups, leading to a rugged and comfy style that you can keep wearing for many hours.

+ Pros:

  • Uses S-LOGIC Plus technology to keep your ears safe while providing the highest level of sound accuracy
  • Highly durable thanks to thick plastic design
  • Breathable materials

- Cons:

  • Earpads are too small for big ears

Conclusion

So now that we have reviewed all of the best closed-back headphone reviews that you absolutely need to get (or at minimum, try out) in 2021, you can take that knowledge and use it in the store. Every brand on the list has many other awesome closed-back headphones available, in case the ones we've included here do not suit your needs and you have other considerations in mind.

Just remember that to enjoy the best possible sound from the headphones you choose to get (particularly if they are audiophile headphones), you will likely have to get a headphone amplifier as well as a DAC, however, your listening pleasure is certainly worth spending that additional cash on.

FAQ

What are closed-back headphones?

Closed-back headphones are specifically engineered to provide you with different levels of isolation against external environmental noise. Big closed-back headphones featuring larger ear cups tend to offer a bit better isolation compared to smaller closed-back models. Closed-back headphones also keep the music from escaping the ear cups - something that happens with headphones with open backs.

Are closed-back headphones bad for your ears?

Closed headphones feature excellent outside noise isolation, meaning you have much better control over the volume as background noise is naturally reduced in intensity.

What are closed headphones good for?

If you spend every day on a flight, on the metro, or in a car, consider using closed-back headphones. And when you're recording music in a studio: With closed-back headphones, you will be able to hear yourself while recording with no danger of having your microphone catch any other sounds.

What is the difference between open-back and closed-back headphones?

Closed-back headphones are built to provide different levels of isolation from environmental sounds. Open-back headphones have been constructed to enable the music to exit from the earcups. Therefore, they don't cut off ambient noise. That said, open-back models often offer airier, clearer, or more spacious sound than their closed-back counterparts.

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