Are you looking for the best open-back headphones for gaming in 2021? There are more gaming accessories on the market than ever before, so it can be really hard to choose between them.
Open-back headphones are a good option for a more natural sound and often put less pressure on your ears. If you have decided upon this style for your headset (including a boom microphone) or headphones, you should evaluate all of the options on the list below to see which will best suit your needs and your budget.
Here are the best open-back headphones for gaming:
1. Epos | Sennheiser Game One
The best gaming open-backs in 2021
The Game One headphones are a fantastic option if you have a relatively high budget to spend and you are looking for a decent microphone to go with your open and clear listening experience.
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These headphones are made by one of the most popular brands, Sennheiser. As well as manufacturing some brilliant headphones for music (both listening and making) the Game One headset is a great option for gaming.
The excellent open dynamics give a good sound, and a flexible boom arm means that you can use the microphone too, great for the sort of games that have a sociable aspect, too. The mic gives you the option to block out background noise.
It has controls built into the ear cup which means you can make changes on the go. If you are in the middle of a game you do not want to have to pause to make any changes. The pads also give the benefit of being very plush and comfortable, with velvet material providing softness on your head.
This headset isn’t made specifically for Xbox or Playstation. It has a 3.5 mm jack, so you can use it with a number of consoles and computers.
2. Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1X
A great high-end option
This is quite a specialist product, whether or not it works for you will really depend on budget. They’re undeniably some of the top-rated gaming open-backs in terms of the sound reproduction, but you might not want to spend hundreds of dollars on open-back headphones for gaming.
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If you are looking for the highest possible fidelity on the market then something like the Audio-Technica ATH-ADG1X might be your number one solution. You pay extra for the incredible sound reproduction, but they are worth it for an elite choice.
An improved support system with ‘wings’ gives you hours of comfort and you get a secure fit around your head even if you use it for hours.
Naturally, the open-back design as well as 53 mm drivers mean the sound reproduction is fantastic. There’s a microphone included, and this is incredibly clear, great for gaming with friends and communicating quickly and clearly.
The headphones are simple to alter and operate, with a single switch allowing you to mute the microphone or alter the volume of audio. A soft cushioning around the ear also help you to stay comfortable.
3. Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X
The best gaming open-backs without boom mic
The ATH-AD500Xs are fairly modest in terms of their price, especially when compared to some of the more elite options on the list. The audio quality is not really compromised, and these are great for gaming but also perfect for listening to music.
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Not everyone is looking for the best headset for gaming. Headsets are really popular due to the fact that lots of games have a social or online aspect. The Audio-Technica ATH-AD500X are great for those who don’t particularly care about this, or who have another way of capturing their voice such as a USB microphone.
This is a pretty powerful set of headphones with CCAW coils and 53 mm drivers, they give a great projection for the frequencies of voices and also provide a fairly good bass rumble. Because of the open-ear design and winged design, they’re pretty comfortable too, even if they do require some adjustments. Fabric ear pads also help.
These headphones have a light honeycomb casing which keeps a sturdy level of protection while keeping them small and delicate. The 1/8-inch connection also comes with an adapter if you need to use a 1/4-inch connection. This makes them very versatile so you can use them with a number of consoles and devices and not have to worry about adapters.
4. Koss GMR-545-AIR USB
A nice, affordable option with great warranty support
It’s incredibly frustrating when you buy something and it breaks through nothing of your doing! Protecting yourself with the longest possible warranty can be the solution to this. The GMR-545-AIR USB headphones are great for those who want something that is open at the back and is protected long after your purchase.
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The Koss GMR-545-AIR USB model isn’t quite as elite as some others in terms of sound which is why it is not a little higher on our list. However, it is fairly affordable and has a specific open-back headset design, great for those who want to use a microphone too. This mic is also detachable, so the choice is really up to you.
These headphones are also some of the lightest on the list, and you can forget they are on your head! They’re still cushioned, so fairly comfortable. The headband can be adjusted to fit you perfectly.
Lightweight, with a long-term warranty to keep you protected, it’s easy to see why people go for these headphones, but they don’t have an amazing level of audio quality, so some people would rather pay a little more for higher fidelity.
5. Samson SR850
Amazing value at around $50
If you aren’t too bothered about having specific functionality to help with your gaming, such as inline controls or 7.1 surround sound, these headphones are a good option for gamers on a budget who don’t really want to compromise on audio clarity and quality.
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These headphones are not specifically aimed at people with an interest in gaming, they are designed to be studio reference headphones but work perfectly for PC gamers and can also be used fairly well for other types of console as long as they work with 3.5 mm audio. The Nintendo Switch is a great example.
There’s no microphone, so they aren’t good for social games where you want to chat with others throughout, but for just listening they do a great job.
The large 50 mm drivers have earth magnets and are designed for a high-frequency range and dynamic range, they’re good for bass but they also have a really accurate audio response in the high end.
The velour cushions and comfortable cushions on the side are good even for long periods of gaming. For the money, you will really struggle to find a better sound. It does show a little that they are not totally built with gaming in mind, but this might not matter to you at all, especially if you have another separate mic.
6. Sennheiser HD 660 S
The most elite sound for audiophiles
If you don’t mind paying for the unbelievable quality these Sennheiser cans offer then you can enjoy amazing quality and exceptional frequency response, not just great for gaming but also ideal for listening to music, or even recording and producing.
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Sometimes, only the very best sound will do. While we’ve already included some high-end open-back headphones for gaming, this might just be the most elite sound you can get.
These headphones are, of course, great for gaming, but they can also be amazing for a variety of other things including listening to music or even producing music. The Sennheiser brand has made these ‘reference-quality’ headphones for studio use first and foremost.
The connection is 3.5 mm or 6.35 mm. There is a high-conductivity copper included which keeps the signal very high without handling noise creeping in. The frequency response is more than the range of human hearing, so you don’t have to worry about missing anything.
They aren’t just gaming headphones, which means no gaming controls inbuilt, but that isn’t an issue for most people. You can set them up with a microphone separately and enjoy unbelievable audio clarity.
7. Sennheiser HD 599
The most comfortable pair for long hours of gaming
These headphones appeal to anyone who loves a retro design, but the velour is functional too and gives a lovely comfy feeling around your ears. This is backed up by plenty of cushioning and a wide frequency response making these a good all-rounder set of gaming headphones.
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Are you looking for headphones that can do the job for those epic sessions of gaming? If you are going to use these for a long time then you will be delighted to find out that they are really very comfortable, and let’s face it, they are stylish too with a very cool retro design.
Like some of the other Sennheiser options on the market, they are good for gaming but not specifically designed with gaming in mind, as they can be used for listening to music or making music just as easily.
No inline controls, and there aren’t any specific gaming functions and features like a microphone or mute buttons, or simple controls for use during gaming. However, these headphones do make up for it in the way they feel.
As well as having a padded headband (all the way around your head) the ear pads are covered in velour which gives even more of a luxurious softness. They can run a little hot on a warmer day, but generally they feel great even for hours on end.
The materials are interesting with a cool design including a matte finish and ivory and brown coloring. They look like they could be used in a retro recording studio.
If you are looking to find the best open-back headphones for gaming you should decide first whether it is headphones you want or whether you are actually looking for the best headset with a microphone attached, ready for chatting to others online.
Many of the models on our list are made by some of the best headphone manufacturers out there, and they aren’t just great for gaming, but amazing for listening to music or even producing your own music. The open-back gaming headphone reviews on our list should help you choose based on the price, which console you tend to use and the other features you want to prioritize.