Top 5 Best Semi-Open Headphones of 2022

Content Team
  Nov 30, 2022 7:41 AM

There aren't as many choices for semi-open headphones as there are for open-back and closed-back headphones. This makes it harder to shop for them, especially since many of them don't have many reviews.

But we're here to help make your life easier. Here are some of the best semi-open headphones on the market right now, including earbuds and in-ear headphones.

Our Top Picks

1. AKG K240 STUDIO

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If you want a quality pair of headphones that doesn't break the bank, this model is a good choice. The headphones have a golden and black pattern, and the audio cable is 3 m long. One benefit is that the device only weighs 240 g (8.4 oz), which is very light for a pair of semi-open headphones. The headphones are small and have two earpieces that hang down.

Let's talk about how the AKG K240 STUDIO works from a technical point of view. They have an impedance of 55 Ohm and a sensitivity of 104 dB. The frequency response is between 15 Hz and 25 kHz. Since the headphones don't have a microphone, you can't take phone calls while listening to music.

The mids and highs of the AKG K240 STUDIO are very clean and clear. The pictures look great and airy. Speed and the ability to hear details on high notes are both great.

Pros

  • It is especially easy to use for mixing and treating vocals.
  • It's easy to replace faux leather padding and coverings.
  • Has a headband that adjusts itself and doesn't twist
  • Perfect for tablets, phones, and media players
  • It has a mini XLR input, which is usually only found on models that cost a lot.
  • One of the headphones in this price range that sounds the most real.

Cons

  • Not for people who want a lot of bass that booms and thumps.

2. SR850 Samson

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Another popular pair of semi-open cans is the Samson SR850. The low price is a big selling point, but it also works very well. The neutral frequency response works well with the large soundstage.

But there are some problems with it. The level of comfort is pretty good, but the lower level of breathability can make it hard to wear for long periods of time. Plus, it loses a few points because the cord can't be taken off.

Even though the SR850 has a few problems, we still recommend it because of how good the sound is.

Even when the price is taken into account, it is still one of the best semi-open headphones on the market today.

Pros

  • Accurate Sound: These semi-open cans have a very neutral sound. They are a little brighter than average, but the response curve is very flat for most of the range. A good choice for mixing and mastering that focuses on fixing problems with the high end.
  • Wide Dynamic Range: Both the soundstage and the range are very good. The semi-open design does a great job of creating a soundstage that is wide and full.
  • Low Price: These headphones are very cheap and are usually sold for a lot less than their MSRP. A good choice for both beginners and experts who want to save money.

Cons

  • Low Breathability: Even though the design is semi-open, it doesn't let in much air. There is some heat buildup, and it isn't as airy as some other options on the market.
  • Hard-wired cables make it impossible to switch cables or replace them. Can break quickly if you pull on the cord by accident.

3. DT 880 Pro Beyerdynamic

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Here are the best semi-open headphones from the best company in the world if you want to buy them. Let me tell you about this wired gadget that looks pretty cool. One of the most impressive things about this model is that it can make sound in a range from 5 Hz to 35 kHz. The level of impedance, which is 250 Ohm, may also surprise you. The headphones had a 1/8-inch TRS plug that was threaded for a 1/4-inch adapter, which is used for high-end/high-output systems. The sensitivity is about average, at 96 dB.

This device weighs 295 g/10.4 oz, which is not much for a pair of over-ear headphones. They are not too heavy and come with a case to carry them in. The DT 880 Pro has a 300 cm (9.8 ft) long audio cable. This means you don't have to worry about wires when you move around your room.

Pros

  • The headphones look high-end because they have a matte chrome finish on the back and a nice black finish on the headband.
  • Not only do L and R mark the left and right ears, but braille does as well.
  • Because the ear pads are made of soft velour, the headphones are very comfortable and can be used by people who wear glasses.
  • The headband has a lot of padding.
  • Since the backs are "semi" open, heat usually doesn't rise.

Cons

  • No call button or mic on the cord.
  • The cable can't be taken off.

4. AKG K240 MKII

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AKG is a headphone brand that has been around for a long time. They make headphones that are always of high quality and come in a wide range of prices. The K240 MKII is yet another great example of what they can do.

Neutral sound profile is the star of the show. When you spend a lot of time in the studio doing detailed work, you need to be right. The K240 MKII is one of the best in this area. Comfort is also important for long sessions in the studio. These also do well in another area.

The AKG K240 MKII also has a sleek and understated look. Even though they are a bit big, they don't stand out. A pair of headphones that look professional. The low impedance rating also makes these a good choice for devices like smartphones that don't have as much power.

With cables that can be taken off and extra pads, these are also a great deal. These are right, adaptable, and reliable. They are one of the best semi-open headphones you can get, so you should put them near the top of your list.

Pros

  • Neutral Delivery – The K240 MKII stands out because of how neutral it sounds. From the least expensive to the most expensive, all of these are true to the source material.
  • Fits well: The self-adjusting headband and padded ear cups make for a very comfortable fit. Also, they are very light, which makes them great for long studio sessions.
  • Good Build Quality: The K240 MKII is well made, even though it has a fairly low price. The frame, the drivers, and the ear cups are all of high quality.
  • Flexible Add-ons: Two cables are included, so you can choose the style you like best. The spare set of velour ear pads does, too.

Cons

  • Bass that doesn't do much: The small 30mm driver doesn't do a great job with bass. If you work with music that has a lot of bass, you might want to look into other options.

5. The second generation of Beyerdynamic T1

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These are high-quality semi-open headphones for true music lovers who can't imagine their lives without good music. This device comes with a hard carrying case that keeps the Beyerdynamic T1 2nd generation safe from damage. The model in question, like the one before it, has a very high impedance of 600 Ohm. But there's something else that's going to blow your mind. The headphones can pick up sounds from 5 Hz to 50 kHz. The device can pick up sounds at 102 dB.

The thing that makes them unique is that the audio cable is shielded the whole way through. This gives you strong protection from radiation and emissions. The Beyerdynamic T1 2nd generation looks and is made the best out of all these models. It has a 1/4 adapter and weighs 360 g.

The headphones being looked at sound much warmer and fuller than many others. The famous 12 dB peak in the treble at 10 kHz makes listening feel very real.

Pros

  • Beautiful leather on top of the headband, and the velour ear pads are pretty big.
  • The 300 cm (9.8 ft) audio cable can be taken off.
  • The company used a "tesla" coil magnet, which is much stronger than the magnet in a typical pair of headphones.
  • Has German quality, which means the Beyerdynamic T1 2nd generation is durable and reliable.
  • Even after being worn for a long time, it doesn't hurt the head.

Cons

  • The headphones aren't good for general portable use because they don't block out much noise.

Compare Products

1
  • DH Score

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    9.5
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    AKG
2
  • DH Score

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    9.4
  • Brand
    Samson
3
  • DH Score

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    9.4
  • Brand
    beyerdynamic
4
  • DH Score

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    9.2
  • Brand
    AKG Pro Audio
5
  • DH Score

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    9.0
  • Brand
    beyerdynamic

Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buying Guide

It can be hard to choose the best semi-open headphones. These unique options are right in the middle of the two most common kinds of headphones. We'll look at the pros and cons of semi-open cans in the next section. And answer the age-old question of whether you should buy them or not.

What Are Half-Open Headphones?

There are two main kinds of headphones used in studios. Open and closed. But there is a third option that is often overlooked.

When headphones are closed, air can't move from the driver to the ear cups. This makes them better at blocking sound and stops them from leaking.

They are perfect for DJs and recording sessions. But they do have problems with heat and low-end buildup. This makes the sound less accurate and less comfortable.

Open headphones let air flow out of the ear cups, which makes them more comfortable and improves the sound. Most open headphones have a very flat and neutral frequency response curve. Because of this, they are a great choice for pros.

The music sounds more airy and real. This makes your workflow easier and makes it easier to find problems in your mix. But because they don't block out noise, they aren't good for recording sessions or places with a lot of noise.

They try to be the best of both types of headphones. They have the same sound profile as open headphones. But they still keep some sound out and try to keep it out as much as possible.

Benefits Of Semi Open Headphones

Closed headphones don't let as much sound in as semi-open headphones.

They also let your ear breathe better, so it doesn't get too hot and hurt. This movement of air and larger soundstage make the sound more natural. Plus, when mixing, it's very important to have a neutral representation of the music you're listening to.

There is also some isolation with headphones that are only half closed. Some noises will get out. In the same way, some outside noise will also be heard. But they block out more noise than fully open headphones.

What's wrong with semi-open headphones?

The main problem with semi-open headphones is that they are not good at anything in particular.

You will need a fully closed option if you want to record vocals or instruments. You don't want any outside sounds to get into your recordings.

For mixing and mastering with the most accuracy, a fully open pair will give you the most transparency.

In both of these situations, you shouldn't use semi-open headphones. But there are many situations where you won't need isolation or the most openness. This is where headphones with half-open earcups shine.

Do They Have Value?

A pair of cans that are only half closed can be a great addition to your studio. Some studio setups work best when they can hear better sound without too much sound leaking out.

They are also a great choice for listening to music when you want to keep some privacy. Many professionals swear that semi-open options are the perfect middle ground when working.

Whether or not semi-open headphones are right for you will depend on what you want to use them for.

FAQs

1. Do you like semi-open headphones?

The balance is just right with semi-open headphones. You'll hear more natural sound, but some sound will get through.

2. Can People Hear Through Half-Open Headphones?

When you use semi-open headphones, other people will be able to hear what you are listening to. But compared to fully open headphones, they do let less sound out.

3. Which Should You Purchase?

In the market for semi-open headphones, there are a lot of great choices. Many studios like to use headphones that only cover half of the ear. Having a better soundstage and still being able to hear yourself is hard to ignore.

The AKG K240 STUDIO is a good choice because it has a lot of features and isn't too expensive. A neutral frequency response backs up the excellent level of comfort. A great compromise between cheap cans and high-end cans that cost a lot.

But if you have the extra money, the Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro is also a great choice. High-quality build and parts, along with a high level of comfort and precise sound performance.

These are by far the best semi-open headphones on the market right now. But, depending on your needs, you might also want to think about the other things on our list.

Conclusion

The most important thing to remember when shopping for semi-open headphones is that they are not inherently better, and no single model will be "perfect" for everyone.

To find the best semi-open headphones for you, you'll need to think about a number of things, such as the sound, fit, price, performance, and so on.

Most importantly, you should choose something that feels right to you.