12 Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming in 2021

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Most of the gamers use closed-back headphones for gaming but if you are someone who likes more natural, clear directional sound in gaming and wanted to use the best open back headphones for gaming, we got you covered. We have some of the best open back headphones you can use for gaming.

Open back headphones are mostly used by Audiophiles or professionals for Music production, DJs, Mixing, Recording, Mastering. Most of the high-end professional headphones are open back headphones as they deliver more natural and accurate sound as compared with closed-back gaming headphones. Open back headphones might not be good-looking to you like closed-back headphones but open back gaming headphones do deliver top-notch sound quality.

open-back-headphones-for-gaming
See #5 for this Hifiman Sundara Open Back Headphone

You will find a lot of choices for close back gaming headphones like gaming headphones under $100, noise-canceling gaming headphones, and what not but open back headphones for gaming comes in very limited choices.

Today, we are going to introduce you to the best open back gaming headphones you can buy in 2021.

12 Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming in 2021

Before we proceed further, please note, Open Back Headphones are not really meant for gaming and you will barely find any open back headphone that comes with an inbuilt microphone. Microphone plays a crucial role while gaming, especially for strategic and multiplayer games. The sound reproduction of the open back gaming headphones is the best, no doubt, but for communicating with the team, you need an external microphone.

Here is an affordable external microphone with ambient noise reduction that you can equip on your open back headphones for gaming. If you need gaming headphones with a microphone, make sure you check our collection of best gaming headphones with a mic.

V-MODA BoomPro Microphone for Gaming & Communication

  • Professional-grade mic
  • enhanced voice clarity and background noise reduction
  • Adjustable Mic
  • Detachable Cable
  • 24k gold plated plug and SteelFlex boom arm
  • In-line mute and volume controls
  • Compatible with Smartphones, tablets, PCs, notebooks and gaming consoles

Below are some of the best open back gaming headphones you can buy in 2021. Most of the open back headsets for gaming are wired but if you are looking for wireless headphones for gaming, make sure you read this before buying wireless headphones.

Here are the best open back headphone for gaming:

1. Sennheiser HD 599 Open Back Headphone

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Sennheiser HD 599 SE

  • Sennheiser 38mm Driver
  • 50 ohm transducers
  • Frequency response 12 to 38,500 Hertz
  • Detachable Cables
  • Compatible with ModMic

Sennheiser HD 599 is an ideal open back headphone for gaming and for any other sound production purpose. For anyone who values sound more than anything, Sennheiser HD 599 is just for you. The HD 599 has an outstanding frequency response that ranges from 12- 38,500 Hz. You will experience each and every sound in your gameplay.

Sennheiser HD 599 is not gaming headphones particularly but there is no harm to use them for gaming. You can easily use it for gaming on PC, Xbox One, PS4, the latest PS5 & Xbox Series X, or any other gaming console. It comes with an Impedance of 50ohm and that is good to go with any gaming console you have. With high-end proprietary Sennheiser transducers, you will experience an outstanding sound experience.

Along with outstanding sound performance, Sennheiser HD 599 also impressed us with its build and comfort. The headphone comes with padded headband and velour covered ear pads for prolonged comfort. Since open back headphones are made for professionals, it is pretty obvious to see multiple connectivity ports. You get 6.3mm and 3.5mm option to connect to different devices and equipment.

Keeping everything in mind, we are confident and will definiltey recommend this open back headphones for gaming. Simply go for it.

Pros
  • Great sound reproduction
  • Comfortable & Large ear cups
  • Replaceable ear pads
  • Premium Open Back Design
  • Detachable Cable makes it compatible with external Microphone
Cons
  • No Noise Cancelation
  • No Microphone

2. Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1X

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Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1X

  • Advanced 53 mm drivers
  • Impedance: 48 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 99 dB/mW
  • 3D Wing Support system
  • Frequency response 5 – 35,000 Hz
  • Inline Volume & Mic Controls
  • Directional Microphone

Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1X is one of those open back headsets that is dedicated to gaming. It is built for gaming and that is why you will get an inbuilt directional microphone which is not a usual thing for open back headphones. Microphone clutters out all the ambient noise and only processes the sound that really matters. Also, it is adjustable. The open back grill in blue color design of looks just gorgeous.

Audio-Technica-ATH-ADG1X-open-back-headphone-for-gaming
Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1X open back design for gaming

Talking about the sound, it comes with a 53mm Driver which is tuned by Frank Klepacki, an American musician and video game composer. You will experience extremely accurate sound production while you are playing your favorite game.

Everything fades out when you are not comfortable. To fix that, these open back gaming headphones from Audio Technica come with a 3D Wing Support system with a leatherette headband that gives you a secure fit. Soft earpads make sure you get comfortable gaming sessions, even for long durations. You also get an inline remote for controlling the game and microphone volumes.

If you want the best open back headphones for gaming and don’t want to use a mod mic, this is an ideal pick. You will get high-quality sound production with a high-quality noise-canceling microphone.

Pros
  • High-Quality accurate gaming sound production
  • Comfortable
  • The noise-canceling mic works great and cuts out all the ambient noise
  • Easy to control volumes using inline remote
Cons
  • No Braided cable
  • Non-removable cable
  • Little fragile

3. DROP + Sennheiser PC38X

DROP + Sennheiser PC38X

  • Impedance: 28 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 109 dB
  • Velour Earpads
  • Frequency response - 10Hz - 30000Hz
  • On headset Volume Controls
  • Noise Canceling Microphone

Here is one of our favorite open back gaming headsets from Sennheiser. The good thing is that you don’t need to buy a microphone for this open back gaming headset. You get an inbuilt retractable boom microphone.

This open back gaming headphone is a product of Sennheiser and Drop’s collaboration where they specifically working on open back headsets for gaming. PC38X open back headset gives the high fidelity with a frequency range of 10Hz – 30000Hz sound that you expect from an open back headset. You are going to experience the deepest lows and highest highs with this frequency range. The sound drivers on PC38X are placed at a certain angle so that you can get accurate sound with the spatial effect. You will not find any trouble spotting the enemies’ location.

Along with the high-quality sound, you also get a noise-canceling microphone that cuts off all the ambient sound so that your team can hear your command noise-free. For prolong comfort, you get soft, breathable Velour cushions on the headset and also on the headband. Along with all that, you also get 2 removable cables for the PC and console. Here is more about this open-back gaming headset.

If you are into open-back headphones, this is indeed one of the best open back headphones for gaming that you can consider buying in 2021.

Pros
  • Premium Build
  • Comes with Noise Canceling lift-to-mute microphone
  • Gorgeous open-back design
  • Comfortable and Breathable Velour Earpads & Headband
  • Comes with 2 Braided cables for PC & Console
Cons
  • No Inline Controls
  • No Detachable microphone

4. Audio Technica ATHPDG1 open back gaming headphones

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Audio Technica ATHPDG1 Open Back Gaming Headset

  • 40mm Dynamic Driver
  • 42 ohm Impedance
  • Frequency response 20 Hz - 20,000 Hz
  • Detachable Cables
  • Adjustable Boom Microphone

This Audio Technica ATHPDG1 is a legit open back headset for gaming. It comes with an open back design and a microphone for communicating with your teammates. The 40mm driver is capable enough to produce the frequency range of 20Hz – 20,000 KHz and that is good enough for clear deep bass and balanced mids & highs.

For keeping the team communication intact, there is a 6-inch boom microphone that delivers crystal clear voice but there is no noise isolation or cancellation. If you are in a place with ambient noise, it might not filter out the ambient noise. Using an inline remote, the volume can easily be controlled and you can also mute the mic right from the inline remote.

This is a decent pair of headphones. You can consider them buying only if you want open back headphones for gaming in budget. Otherwise, there are better gaming headphones you can consider.

Pros
  • Clear & crisp sound reproduction
  • 6-inch Omnidirectional Boom Microphone
  • Detachable Cable
  • Soft leather ear pads
  • Sturdy build quality
  • 2m extension cable comes in the box for PC gaming
Cons
  • No Noise Cancelation/isolation
  • Poor Quality of Inline remote

5. HIFIMAN Sundara

HIFIMAN Sundara

  • Super Nano Diaphragm
  • Frequency response: 6Hz - 75kHz
  • Impedance: 37ohms
  • Sensitivity: 94db
  • Connector: 3.5mm Jack

Hifiman’s Sundara is a powerful open back headset for gaming that comes with exceptional specifications. To begin with, it comes with a Super Nano Diaphragm which is now 80% thinner than the predecessor that results in faster movement and detailed sound. To compare it with numbers, while other headphones give the frequency response of 20hz-20Khz, this open back headset gives the frequency response of 6hz-75Khz. With that, you hear an exceptional bass response with crispy, clear and sharp mids and highs. You hear every instrument in the music, every sound in gameplay.

These numbers are not just on paper. On putting the headphones, you will feel the difference in the sound than other open back headsets. Not just sound, the Hifiman’s Sundara is also comfortable. The lightweight design with matte black finish looks spectacular and for adjustments, you will see a leather headband.

If you want something gorgeous for your gaming setup, you can definiltey pick Sundara over any other open back headset for gaming. There is only catch and that is the microphone. You need to look external microphone if you are into multiplayer gaming and want to chat with your teammates. Otherwise, Hifiman Sundara is a great pair of open back headphones that you can grab for gaming.

Pros
  • Comes with Super Nano Diaphragm
  • Lightweight
  • Replaceable Ear Pads
  • Looks gorgeous
Cons
  • No microphone

6. Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR

Philips Audio Fidelio X2HR

  • 50 mm high definition neodymium drivers
  • LMC diaphragm
  • Replaceable deluxe memory foam ear-pads
  • Frequency response 5Hz - 40,000Hz
  • Self-adjustable hammock with 3D Mesh
  • Impedance: 30ohms

Here we have an awesome open back headphone for gaming from Philips. The headphone comes in 50 mm high definition neodymium drivers with an LMC diaphragm that delivers an outstanding sound with deep, clear bass and balanced high, mids. The audio drivers are tilted at 15-degree that sets precisely with the natural shape of the human ear and delivers you unadulterated natural sound.

The frequency response ranges from 5hz – 40,000Khz meaning, this open back gaming headphone is good enough to produce deep clear bass with crystal clear mids and high, without any distortion.

For comfort, the headphones come with replaceable memory foam earpads and a leather headband. The earpads are breathable and you can easily use them for longer gaming sessions. This is one of the best open back headphones you can use for gaming as well as for other audio work.

Pros
  • 50mm high-definition Neodymium Drivers produces great sound
  • Breathable Memory Foam Earpads
  • Deep bass and balanced sound
  • Leather Headband
  • Self-adjustable hammock
Cons
  • No Microphone
  • No Noise-Cancelation

7. Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO

  • Frequency response 5Hz - 35,000Hz
  • Replaceable velour ear pads
  • Steel Headband
  • Impedance: 80ohms
  • Sensitivity: 96 dB

You might already know about the quality and brand value Beyerdynamic is holding in the sound industry. Beyerdynamic is widely used by professionals all around the globe. These open back headphones for gaming have some of the finest features with great build quality.

Beyerdynamic-DT-990-pro-open-back-headset-for-gaming
Beyerdynamic-DT-990-pro-open-back-for-gaming

Starting with frequency response, it responds to a frequency of 5 – 35,000 Hz that is studio-level frequencies in a consumer headphone. The sound is good enough for clear, deep bass and crispy mids & high. The nominal Sound Pressure Level of Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO is 96 dB. The headphone’s sensitivity is decent and not much loud. Who needs loud sounds hitting directly onto the ear’s diaphragm anyway.

For the comfort of your ears, the headphones have velour ear pads that are replaceable and give you a comfortable sound experience even for a longer duration of time. You don’t need to doubt the sound reproduction of DT990 Pro. The headphones are ready for mixing, critical listening, music production as well as for gaming. If you want balanced open back gaming headphones, DT990 Pro is the way to go.

Pros
  • Amazing sound experience with clear bass, mids and crispy highs
  • 3.5mm and 6.35mm (using Adapter) Input
  • Steel Headband
  • Super-soft Velour earpads
  • Suitable for Mixing, Production, Gaming
  • Sturdy build quality
Cons
  • No Microphone
  • No Noise Cancelation
  • 80-ohm impedance Not Suitable for Mobile phones, tablets

8. Drop + HIFIMAN HE4XX

Drop + HIFIMAN HE4XX

  • Planar magnetic drivers
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz–35kHz
  • Protein Leather ear pads
  • Impedance: 35Ohm
  • Sensitivity: 93dB

Here is another awesome pair of open back headphone for gaming from the house of Hifiman. This time Drop has collaborated with Hifiman to make something exceptional. Drop has also collaborated with Sennheiser for making open back headset only for gaming.

To begin with, it comes with a matte midnight blue color that looks phenomenal in person. Not just looks, the headphone is powerful from inside. The headphones come with a Planar Magnetic Drivers using which you will be able to hear the high-quality sound without any amps. No matter which device you use for gaming, be it a smartphone, tablet, PC, or laptop, you will hear high-grade sound quality. The headphone uses a 3.5mm jack and you also get a 6.3mm adapter in case you want to connect to equipment.

The Planar Magnetic Drivers sound beautiful. You will hear all those bass lines and cymbals in a well-balanced sound. What is more important than sound in headphones is comfort. The Hifiman knows it very well and they have worked on it as well. You get handstitched protein leather earcups that are comfortable even after prolong use.

For the price, this is an awesome pair of open back headphone that you can use for gaming. Not just gaming, you can use for anything you want.

Pros
  • Comes with Planar Magnetic drivers
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Durable build quality
  • Comes with a Dual 3.5mm connector for each side
Cons
  • No Microphone

9. Philips SHP9600MB

Philips SHP9600MB

  • 50mm Audio Driver
  • Frequency response 10Hz–30kHz
  • Velour ear cushions
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • Sensitivity: 98dB
  • Gold-plated 3.5mm with 6.3mm adapter

This is something ideal for gaming. It comes with open back design and a microphone which is ideal for gamers. For starters, you get 50 mm Neodymium Driver that produce the frequency response of 6Hz-35kHz. You get everything crystal clear. The bass levels are pretty deep and highs are balanced. The all over sound is well balanced for gaming as well as for entertainement.

What makes it suitable for gaming is the detachable microphone. You can even connect the external boom microphone with this open back headset. For connection, the headphone uses 3.5mm connector and you also get 6.3mm adapter for connecting it to amps or professional sound equipment. The 9ft braided cable do not get tangled and give you enough space for movements. There is also inline remote for volume and mute on/off controls.

For comfort, the earcups are covered with breathable material which sits perfectly over the ears and give you comfortable gaming session. Under $100, this is a great deal and definitely deserve a place in the list of best open back headset for gaming.

Pros
  • Comes with a detachable boom microphone
  • Long & durable braided cable
  • Great sound performance
  • Comes with an inline remote for volume controls
Cons
  • Not a noise-canceling headset

10. Sennheiser GSP 500 Open Back Gaming Headphones

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Sennheiser GSP 500

  • Noise Cancelation Boom Microphone
  • Frequency response 10–30,000 Hz
  • soft, breathable fabric Earpads
  • Impedance: 28Ohm
  • Sensitivity: 105dB
  • Detachable Cable

Here are the open back gaming headphones for gaming with a Noise Cancelation boom microphone. The Sennheiser GSP 500 has a frequency response of 10–30,000 Hz with a sensitivity of 107dB. You will hear all the lows and highs deep and crispy respectively and headphones have enough sound pressure for loud sound output. For communicating on the battlefield, there is an inbuilt noise-canceling microphone equipped with the latest noise cancellation technology, which cuts out all the ambient noise and delivers a crispy and clear voice. Lifting the boom microphone arm will mute the mic.

You can easily wear these GSP 500 gaming headphones for long sessions as it comes with soft, breathable fabric that also resists heat. The earcups are equipped with a metal hinge system that moves and adjusts automatically with the shape and position of your ear. You will also find an interactive volume controller at the right earcup. Reaching out to the volume wheel is convenient and doesn’t really disturb the flow of your gameplay. Sennheiser GSP 500 is probably the best open back gaming headphone you can consider buying in 2021. This is one of those rarest open back gaming headphones which is built for gamers.

Pros
  • 10–30,000 Hz Frequency Response
  • Noise-Cancelation boom Microphone
  • Lift-to-mute microphone
  • Metal Hinge System
  • Detachable Cable
  • Multi-platform Compatible PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, and other consoles
  • Volume Controller on Earcup
  • Suitable for all head size and shape
Cons
  • No USB
  • Not Much Comfortable

11. Audio Technica ATH-AD900X

Audio Technica ATH-AD900X

  • 53mm Dynamic Driver
  • Frequency response 5 – 35,000 Hz
  • Comfortable
  • Impedance: 38 Ohm
  • Sensitivity: 100dB
  • Audio-Technica's Copper-Clad aluminum-wire

Here we have Audio Technica ATH-AD900X that has an open back design with 53mm Drivers that has stunning sound reproduction that ranges between 5 Hz – 35,000KHz. If you want a crispy clear gaming sound, this pair of headphones are good to go. The headphones are ideal for games with environmental and directional sound.

These are not the gaming headset and you should no expect anything that is dedicated to gaming only. There is no microphone on ATH-AD900X and you need an external ModMic if you really want communication in the gaming. There is a 3D Wing Support Housing that holds the headphone on the head and provides a solid grip. Comfortable Ear-fitting Pads let you enjoy gaming or music session for a longer duration of time. If the sound is your preference, ATH-AD900X is good to go. This open back gaming headset will impress you in no time.

Pros
  • 53mm Drivers and CCAW Voice Coils produces Superior Sound Reproduction
  • Comfortable Ear-fitting Pads
  • Deep bass output
  • 3D Wing Support Housing
  • Loud and clear sound
  • Gold-plated 3.5 mm Connector with 6.3mm adapter
Cons
  • No Noise Cancelation
  • No Microphone
  • Non-Durable Design

12. AKG Pro Audio K240

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AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO

  • Frequency response 15 – 25,000 Hz
  • 3m Detachable Cable
  • Impedance: 55 Ohm
  • Sensitivity: 104dB
  • Replaceable Earpads

AKG K240 is not completely an open back headphone. It comes with a semi-open back design but sounds spectacular. The frequency range of K240 is 15hz – 25000 kHz. We can expect some clear deep bass but mids & highs blend into one sound and don’t give clear sound output. The sound is loud and clear with a sensitivity of 104dB.

Since this is not a dedicated open back gaming headphone and it is completely fine not to expect a microphone in AKG K240. If you want to use it for online gaming, you can equip ModMic on it and you are good to go. It comes with a detachable cable with a 3.5mm input as well as a 6.3 mm screwable adapter. If strictly want the best open back headphones for gaming, these are pretty decent open-back headphones from a trusted brand like AKG.

Pros
  • Self-adjusting headband
  • 3m Detachable Cable
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Replaceable Earpads
Cons
  • No Microphone
  • Blended Highs
  • 55-ohm is not suitable for mobile phones, tablets

Frequently Asked Questions

You must have some question regarding the open back headphones for gaming. We have chosen some of the common questions and tried to answer them below. If you have any other question, let us know in the comment section below:

Are Open Back Headphones good for Gaming?

Open Back headphones are no doubt better than closed back headphones. Open Back headphones are made for professionals and you get high quality sound performance. For that professional grade sound, you can definiltey use open back headphones.

What is Sensitivity & Impedance in open back headphones?

In an easy, non-technical language, Sensitivity measures how loud headphones can go. Higher the sensitivity number, louder the headphones are. An ideal number for headphone sensitvity is somewhere between 80dB-110dB.

Impedance on the other side is the measure of how much power your headphone asks to produce certain level of volume. Impedance is calculated in Ohms (Ω). Higher Impedance means headphone is asking for more power which is not good for devices running on batteries like smartphones, tablets.

Are there any open back headphones with Microphone?

Yes, you will find open back headphones with a microphone but it is not that common. Some brands are working on open back headphones with microphones,s especially for gaming. You can also connect an external boom microphone with open back headphones.

Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming: Wrap Up

So here we are with all the best open-back headphones for gaming. Open-back headphones are not designed for gamers but you can definitely use them to enjoy more natural sound while gaming. If you have any confusion regarding open back headphones for gaming, read our buying guide on open back gaming headphones. That will clear everything. That blog talks if you should use open-back headphones for gaming or not.

You can check this list of best gaming headsets under 50 that might impress you as most of them comes with a noise-canceling microphone.

There is no harm in using open back headphones for gaming. Open back gaming headphones will provide you amazing gaming experience with their detail and powerful sound but you will miss a lot of fancy features of any legit gaming headphones like RGB lighting, DAC, Boom Microphone, Noise cancelation. If you really wanted an outstanding sound in your gameplay, go for open back headphones for gaming and you will not regret that.

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