I have converted myself, and my faith now grows every day.
Do you own a pair of headphones? Chances are they’re closed-back, since that’s the most common type of cans on the market. The sound that comes out the back of the speakers hits their casing, and gets partially reflected back at you. That’s fine, it means sound doesn’t leak out of your head but rather gets pushed into it. That’s nice, if it gives the sound you like, or need to be quiet to the outside world.
Open-backs on the other hand, provide plenty opportunity for the audio facing away from your head to escape the cups, so you aren’t bombarded with all of the sound. This does mean that noise from outside can make its way into your ears though. The combined result from those effects makes for a much more open sound, sometimes to the point where it’s like there’s a band playing in your room rather than in your head.
Another benefit I’ve experienced is that because audio doesn’t get forced into your ears, it’s possible to turn the volume up a fair bit higher without it physically hurting. Closed-back headphones and even earbuds put a lot of strain on my ears at higher volumes, especially during extended listening, but open-back remain continuously comfy.
Definitely nice stuff, give ’em a try next time you’re in your local electronics gear store.