8 Best Closed-Back Headphones: Top Picks for Sound Isolation

Table of Contents

Last Updated on February 7, 2024 by Muisc Pro Editorial Team

Closed-back headphones are a top choice for audiophiles seeking immersive sound experiences without external distractions. These headphones are designed to isolate you from the outside world, delivering rich, detailed audio directly into your ears. 

This article will guide you through the finest closed-back headphones available, catering to a variety of needs and budgets. Whether you’re a professional studio engineer looking for studio headphones, a daily commuter, or a gaming enthusiast, there’s a perfect pair waiting for you. We’ve meticulously tested and compared numerous models to ensure you find the best fit for your specific listening preferences. Get ready to dive into the world of unparalleled audio clarity and comfort.

Our Choice for:

Sony WH-1000XM5 Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM5 Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones

Noise Cancellation and Audio Quality

The Sony WH-1000XM5 stands out with its exceptional noise cancellation, a result of its Integrated Processor V1 and HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1. The precision-engineered design ensures High-Resolution Audio quality, making it ideal for both music enthusiasts and professionals. Its performance in noisy environments like airplanes is particularly impressive, providing a near-silent listening experience.

Call Quality and Voice Pickup

Sony has enhanced the call quality with its Precise Voice Pickup Technology and wind noise reduction. This feature ensures clarity in voice calls, even in challenging outdoor conditions.

Adaptive Sound Control and User Experience

The headphones offer Adaptive Sound Control, which intelligently adjusts sound settings based on the environment and activity. The Speak-to-Chat feature is innovative, pausing music automatically for conversations. These user-focused features enhance the listening experience significantly.

Connectivity and Ease of Use

Dual device pairing and straightforward Bluetooth connectivity with Fast Pair and Swift Pair options make these headphones highly versatile and user-friendly. The touch controls are intuitive, allowing easy management of settings and tracks.

Battery Life and Portability

With up to 30 hours of battery life and quick charging capabilities, these headphones are perfect for long trips. The collapsible case, which reduces in size for storage, adds to its portability.


  • Industry-leading noise cancellation.
  • High-Resolution Audio quality.
  • Adaptive Sound Control for personalized listening.
  • Long battery life with quick charging.
  • Dual device connectivity and intuitive controls.


  • The design may be bulky for some users.
  • High-end features might be overwhelming for casual users.
  • The touch controls can be sensitive, requiring a learning curve.

Design and Evolution:

Comparing to previous models, the WH-1000XM5 has evolved with more refined noise cancellation, better call quality, and improved battery life. The design is sleek, though slightly larger, catering to a premium look and feel.

Decision-Making Factors:

For those prioritizing top-tier noise cancellation, sound quality, and smart features, the Sony WH-1000XM5 is an excellent choice. Its adaptability to various environments makes it suitable for both professional and casual use.

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Sennheiser Consumer Audio HD 569 Closed Back Headphone

Sennheiser Consumer Audio HD 569 Closed Back Headphone

Sound Quality and Technology

The Sennheiser HD 569 excels in sound performance, powered by Sennheiser’s proprietary 38 mm, 23-ohm transducers. It delivers a rich and clear bass, making it ideal for a variety of audio experiences, from music to gaming. The closed-back design ensures minimal sound leakage, providing an immersive listening experience.

Comfort and Design

Designed with comfort in mind, the HD 569 features large circumaural ear cups and soft, replaceable ear pads. This design choice makes them suitable for extended listening sessions without discomfort.

Connectivity and Accessibility

The headphones come with two detachable cables, a 3-meter cable with a 6.3 mm jack, and a 1.2-meter cable with a 3.5 mm jack. The latter includes an in-line microphone and remote for convenient call and music control. This dual-cable option offers flexibility for both home and on-the-go usage.


  • Excellent sound quality with clear bass.
  • Comfortable for long-term wear due to soft ear pads and large ear cups.
  • Versatile connectivity options with two detachable cables.
  • Effective sound isolation with closed-back design.


  • The design may be too bulky for portable use.
  • Lacks active noise cancellation, which is available in some competitors.
  • The aesthetic might not appeal to users looking for a more modern look.

Evolution and User Experience:

Compared to its predecessors, the HD 569 continues Sennheiser’s tradition of delivering high-quality audio. However, it stands out with its enhanced comfort features and improved bass performance. The absence of active noise cancellation is a noticeable omission but is compensated by the effective passive isolation provided by the closed-back design.

Decision-Making Factors:

The Sennheiser HD 569 is an excellent choice for users who prioritize sound quality and comfort, particularly for home use. Its versatility in connectivity and user-friendly design, with the added convenience of an in-line remote, make it a strong competitor in its category.

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Apple AirPods Max Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

Apple AirPods Max Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

Audio Quality and Technology

The Apple AirPods Max offers breathtaking audio quality, leveraging an Apple-designed dynamic driver and computational audio. This combination, along with the H1 chip, provides a high-fidelity listening experience. Personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking offers an immersive sound experience, especially notable with Dolby Atmos content.

Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode

Active Noise Cancellation effectively blocks external noise, enhancing the listening experience. The Transparency mode is a standout feature, allowing users to remain aware of their surroundings while enjoying their audio.

Design and Comfort

The acoustic-first design, featuring a knit-mesh canopy and memory foam ear cushions, ensures a comfortable over-ear fit. This design not only seals in sound but also adds to the premium feel of the headphones.

User Experience and Functionality

AirPods Max offers a seamless user experience, with effortless pairing and automatic switching between Apple devices. The Digital Crown provides precise control over music and calls. The smart case puts the headphones in an ultra-low-power state, aiding in battery preservation.

Battery Life

With up to 20 hours of battery life with active features like Noise Cancellation and Spatial Audio, the AirPods Max is suitable for extended use. Quick charging is an added convenience, providing 1.5 hours of listening time with just 5 minutes of charge.


  • Exceptional sound quality with Personalized Spatial Audio.
  • Effective Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency mode.
  • Comfortable, premium design.
  • Seamless integration with Apple ecosystem.
  • Good battery life with quick charging feature.


  • Heavier compared to some competitors.
  • Primarily optimized for use within the Apple ecosystem.
  • The smart case design might not appeal to all users.

Comparative Analysis:

The AirPods Max sets itself apart with its advanced audio technology and integration within the Apple ecosystem. The Spatial Audio feature and seamless user experience are particularly noteworthy. However, its heavier design and Apple-centric features might limit its appeal to non-Apple users.

Decision-Making Factors:

For Apple users seeking premium sound quality and advanced features like Spatial Audio and Active Noise Cancellation, the AirPods Max is a top choice. Its comfortable design and long battery life make it suitable for extended use, though its weight and Apple-focused features should be considered.

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Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Premium Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Premium Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones

Noise Cancellation and Sound Quality

The Sony WH-1000XM4 stands out with its industry-leading noise cancellation, courtesy of Dual Noise Sensor technology. This feature, combined with a wide frequency response of 4Hz-40,000Hz, ensures an immersive listening experience, blocking out ambient noise while delivering crisp, clear audio.

Innovative Features

Edge-AI, co-developed with Sony Music Studios Tokyo, enhances music playback, offering a next-level auditory experience. Features like Speak-to-Chat, which automatically reduces volume during conversations, and precise voice pickup, improve call quality significantly.

Battery Life and Usability

The headphones boast up to 30 hours of battery life, with a quick charging feature that provides 5 hours of playback with just a 10-minute charge. Touch Sensor controls add to the convenience, allowing for easy management of playback, volume, and voice assistant activation.

Comfort and Design

Designed for comfort, the WH-1000XM4 features a lightweight construction (9 ounces) and a comfortable fit, suitable for long listening sessions. The wearing detection pauses playback when the headphones are removed, enhancing user convenience.


Seamless multiple-device pairing and Adaptive Sound Control, which tailors audio based on the user’s environment, make these headphones versatile for various settings and uses.


  • Exceptional noise cancellation.
  • High-quality audio output with wide frequency response.
  • Long battery life with fast charging.
  • Comfortable design suitable for extended wear.
  • Smart features like Speak-to-Chat and wearing detection.


  • Touch controls may require a learning curve.
  • May not be the most budget-friendly option for all users.
  • The design is functional but not particularly innovative or stylish.

Overall Experience:

The Sony WH-1000XM4 is a top contender in the noise-canceling headphone category, offering advanced features and superior sound quality. Its blend of innovative technology, user-centric design, and long-lasting comfort makes it an excellent choice for both casual listeners and audio enthusiasts.

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SENNHEISER HD 820 Over-the-Ear Audiophile Reference Headphones

SENNHEISER HD 820 Over-the-Ear Audiophile Reference Headphones

Audiophile-Grade Sound Quality

The SENNHEISER HD 820 redefines the standard for closed-back headphones, delivering reference-grade audio quality. The 56mm Ring Radiator transducers and unique glass reflectors provide an extraordinary soundstage, often only associated with open-back designs. The technology ensures detailed, transparent, and natural sound, making them a top choice for audiophiles.

Innovative Design and Build Quality

Crafted in Germany, these headphones exhibit meticulous attention to detail in both sound and build quality. The innovative glass covers on the transducers not only add a visually striking element but also contribute significantly to the sound quality by minimizing resonance. The robust metal headband with a damping element and soft microfiber ear pads ensure comfort and durability.


  • Exceptional, transparent sound quality with a wide soundstage.
  • High-quality build and luxurious materials.
  • Innovative design that enhances audio performance.
  • Comfortable for extended listening sessions due to well-crafted ear pads.
  • Excellent noise isolation, a rarity in high-end headphones.


  • The design may be bulky for some users.
  • Requires high-quality audio sources to fully appreciate its potential.
  • Primarily for home or studio use due to its wired connectivity.

Unique Features and User Experience:

The HD 820’s most remarkable feature is its ability to deliver an open-back sound experience in a closed-back design. This breakthrough is achieved through glass covers and frequency absorber systems, setting these headphones apart from their competitors. The sound quality is not just about the technical prowess but also about the immersive experience it offers.

Overall Assessment:

For those seeking the pinnacle of closed-back headphone performance, the SENNHEISER HD 820 is an unparalleled choice. Its ability to deliver a natural and wide sound field is perfect for professional studio settings, complementing other high-end audio equipment. The luxurious comfort and build quality of the SENNHEISER HD 820 make it an excellent investment for serious audiophiles and professionals. The focus on sound transparency and meticulous attention to detail in its design make these headphones a remarkable feat in audio engineering, an essential component in any studio recording bundle.

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Tascam TH-02 Closed Back Studio Headphones

Tascam TH-02 Closed Back Studio Headphones

Sound Quality and Design

The Tascam TH-02 offers a clean sound profile with a rich bass response and crisp highs, making them suitable for both casual listening and basic studio work. The closed-back dynamic design effectively isolates sound, providing a focused audio experience. This sound quality, combined with their affordability, makes them an attractive choice for those starting in audio work or needing a reliable backup pair of headphones.

Comfort and Portability

These headphones feature a foldable design, facilitating easy and compact transport. The tightly-stitched, padded headband and ear pads offer comfort, especially for extended use. However, they may not match the plush comfort of higher-end models.

Build and Durability

While the TH-02 is lightweight at 0.46 kilograms, the build quality is reflective of its price point. The headphones are sturdy enough for regular use but may not withstand the rigors of heavy professional use.


  • Clear sound with good bass response and high frequencies.
  • Foldable and portable design.
  • Comfortable padded headband and ear pads.
  • Great value for money, especially for beginners.


  • Build quality may not be as robust as higher-priced models.
  • Sound isolation is good but not exceptional.
  • May lack the nuanced sound required by professional audiophiles.

Overall Assessment:

The Tascam TH-02 is a solid entry-level option for those seeking closed-back studio headphones without a hefty investment. They strike a balance between sound quality and comfort, making them a practical choice for everyday use, amateur studio work, or as a secondary pair for professionals. While they may not meet the exacting standards of high-end audiophile headphones, they offer commendable performance for their price bracket.

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AKG Pro Audio K72 Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Studio Headphones

AKG Pro Audio K72 Over-Ear, Closed-Back, Studio Headphones

Sound Quality and Frequency Response

The AKG K72 headphones are known for their precisely balanced response and professional-grade 40mm drivers. With a frequency range of 16Hz to 20kHz, these headphones deliver accurate, nuanced sound. This makes them ideal for both studio mixing and casual listening, ensuring that the audio translates well across different systems.

Comfort and Build

The over-ear design and lightweight construction contribute significantly to comfort, making them suitable for long studio sessions or extended listening periods. The self-adjusting headband is a notable feature, ensuring a perfect fit for various head sizes.

Design and Isolation

Their closed-back design effectively maximizes sound isolation, minimizing ambient noise and preventing sound leakage. This aspect is crucial for studio environments where sound clarity and isolation are paramount.


  • Accurate sound reproduction with a wide frequency range.
  • Comfortable for extended use due to the lightweight design and self-adjusting headband.
  • Effective sound isolation suitable for studio work.
  • Good build quality, offering durability and longevity.
  • Affordable, offering professional quality at a reasonable price.


  • The bass response might not be as pronounced as in some competing models.
  • Lacks additional features like detachable cables or Bluetooth connectivity.
  • May not provide the ultra-high-resolution audio sought by some audiophiles.

Overall Assessment:

The AKG K72 headphones strike an excellent balance between quality, comfort, and affordability. They are particularly suitable for studio work and users who need accurate sound reproduction. While they may not have some of the advanced features found in higher-priced headphones, their sound quality, build, and comfort make them a great value for both professionals and hobbyists.

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SoundMAGIC HP151 Over-Ear Wired Headphones

SoundMAGIC HP151 Over-Ear Wired Headphones

Sound Quality and Audio Performance

The SoundMAGIC HP151 excels in delivering high-fidelity sound, thanks to its proprietary 53mm precision-tuned drivers. The audio profile is characterized by detailed and accurate sound across an extended range, offering clear mids and lows with a contoured response. This makes the headphones well-suited for a range of audio experiences, from casual listening to more critical audio work.

Noise Isolation

The around-ear, closed-back design effectively reduces ambient noise, enhancing the listening experience. This feature is particularly beneficial in noisy environments, allowing for focused listening without external distractions.

Comfort and Portability

Lightweight construction and super soft synthetic leather contribute to the HP151’s comfort, making them suitable for extended use. The adjustable headband and collapsible design not only ensure a comfortable fit but also enhance portability, making them easy to transport and store.

Build Quality

The headphones are constructed using premium materials, including stainless steel hinges and sliders, which provide durability and longevity. This robust build quality ensures that the HP151 can withstand regular use and the rigors of professional environments.


Designed to be compatible with both mobile and professional audio devices, the HP151 is versatile. The enhanced frequency response and detachable cable with 3.5 & 6.3 millimeter jacks make them suitable for various applications, from personal listening to studio monitoring.


  • High-fidelity sound with clear mids and lows.
  • Effective noise isolation for focused listening.
  • Comfortable and portable design.
  • Durable build with quality materials.
  • Versatile for both casual and professional use.


  • May lack the advanced features of higher-priced competitors.
  • The sound profile might not satisfy those seeking heavy bass.
  • Limited to wired use, which may not appeal to users seeking wireless options.

Overall Assessment:

The SoundMAGIC HP151 is a well-rounded choice for those seeking a balance between sound quality, comfort, durability, and versatility. While it may not offer the cutting-edge technology of more expensive models, its solid performance and build make it a reliable option for both everyday listeners and audio professionals.

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Understanding Closed-Back Headphones

Closed-back headphones feature a design where the outer part of the ear cups is solid, which significantly differs from open-back models where the ear cups have a perforated design. This design choice impacts how sound is produced and heard. Closed-back models are known for their ability to prevent sound from escaping into the environment and blocking external noise from entering the ear. This makes them an ideal choice for environments where sound leakage can be disruptive, like in recording studios or public spaces. The technology in closed-back headphones focuses on delivering sound directly into the ear, often resulting in a more intimate and direct listening experience.

Sound Isolation and Leakage

One of the key strengths of closed-back headphones is their ability to provide sound isolation. By design, they trap sound within the ear cups and prevent external noise from intruding. This makes them particularly useful in noisy environments like public transportation or busy offices, where they help maintain a personal acoustic space. Moreover, they are adept at preventing sound leakage, ensuring that your music or audio does not disturb others around you. This feature is crucial for professionals working in audio production, as it allows for a more accurate sound monitoring without the interference of external sounds.

Comfort and Fit

The comfort level of closed-back headphones is a critical factor for users who wear them for extended periods. The design of the ear pads plays a significant role in comfort; materials like memory foam or velour offer cushioning and shape adaptability. The pressure exerted by the headband is also important, as too much pressure can cause discomfort over time, while too little may lead to the headphones slipping off. The weight of the headphones is another consideration; lighter models reduce the strain on the head and neck, contributing to overall comfort. Manufacturers often balance these aspects to provide the most comfortable experience without compromising sound quality.

Audio Quality Analysis

Evaluating the audio quality of closed-back headphones involves examining several key sound characteristics. Bass response is one such characteristic; closed-back models often provide a more pronounced bass due to their sealed design. Clarity is another crucial aspect, which refers to how well the headphones can reproduce clear, crisp sounds, especially in the mid and high frequencies. The soundstage, or the ability to perceive the spatial location of instruments and vocals, can be somewhat limited in closed-back designs compared to open-back models, but advancements in technology have seen significant improvements in this area. Finally, the frequency range determines the breadth of low and high sounds the headphones can reproduce. High-quality closed-back headphones strive to balance these aspects to deliver a rich and immersive audio experience.

FAQ Section for Choosing the Best Closed-Back Headphones

Q1: What are closed-back headphones?

A: Closed-back headphones have ear cups with an outer casing that completely covers the ear. This design helps to isolate sound and prevent leakage, making them ideal for use in noisy environments.

Q2: How do closed-back headphones differ from open-back headphones?

A: Closed-back headphones offer sound isolation and prevent sound leakage, while open-back headphones provide a more natural sound experience but allow sound to escape and external noise to enter.

Q3: Are closed-back headphones good for studio recording?

A: Yes, closed-back headphones are often preferred in studio settings for monitoring recordings as they prevent sound leakage that can interfere with microphone recordings.

Q4: Can closed-back headphones be used for everyday activities like commuting?

A: Absolutely. Their sound isolation properties make them ideal for use in noisy environments like public transport.

Q5: Do closed-back headphones have good sound quality?

A: Yes, many closed-back headphones offer excellent sound quality with rich bass and clear treble, though the soundstage might be less expansive compared to open-back models.

Q6: Are closed-back headphones comfortable for long periods?

A: Comfort depends on the specific model, including factors like the padding of ear cups and headband pressure. Most high-quality closed-back headphones are designed for comfort over extended periods.

Q7: Is there a significant price difference between closed-back and open-back headphones?

A: The price varies based on brand, quality, and features rather than the type of headphone. Both closed-back and open-back headphones are available in a wide range of prices.


In conclusion, selecting the best closed-back headphones depends on a balance of sound quality, comfort, durability, and specific use cases. Whether for professional studio work, daily commuting, or casual listening at home, closed-back headphones offer the advantage of sound isolation and reduced leakage, making them versatile for various environments. While evaluating options, consider the factors of audio performance, build quality, and comfort, as these directly impact your listening experience. Remember, the ideal pair not only delivers excellent sound but also aligns with your personal needs and lifestyle. With the variety of options available, there’s a pair of closed-back headphones out there that’s just right for you, offering the perfect blend of performance, comfort, and value.


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