Sound leakage, also known as sound bleeding, in a headphone is the escaping of music from the ear cups to the outside world.
On the other hand, such headphones are unable to prevent the noise from outside environments from entering into the ear cups.
This may seem harmless, but it is not.
You might end up embarrassing yourself in a crowded setting when your sound leaking headphones would irritate the people sitting next to you. Or get annoyed yourself when the noise outside would make it impossible to listen to music.
Things get more annoying for music producers and sound engineers. As a part of their job, they need their musicians and vocalists to record while listening to a guided track in the studio. In case of sound leaking from the headphones into the microphone, the whole record gets ruined.
But is there a way to prevent this?
How do we stop headphones from leaking sound?
We have found scores of frustrated users on the internet who want to know how to stop headphones from sound leaking. Unfortunately, there is little one can do to stop it. Quick possible solutions would be to turn down the volume a little, or to put your hands around the earcups, but both of them are impractical in everyday life. Fastening the lose headband might turn out to be useful, especially in on-ear design headphones.
The best choice here would be to buy a new pair of headphones and don’t even think about opening up the headphones. There are no physical components you can change inside the ear cups except for the padding, and it is hard to find the right earpad for your headphones. So please avoid this pain and get a decent pair for the bucks.
For those who are looking for recommendations or the tips to buy a headphone with least sound leakage, following sections would be helpful.
Buying Guide for Headphones that don’t leak sound:
If privacy is something you cannot compromise using a headphone, and minimum sound leakage is your ultimate criteria, this buying guide is going to help you a lot. But before we get to the tips, let’s find out why headphones leak sound.
All sounds are basically airwaves. In headphones, the diaphragm produces these airwaves, and the job of the ear cups is mostly to direct it to the ear canal. The sound leakage happens when the earcups don’t sit tightly on the ears and allows some sound to leak through the imperceptible opening. This mostly happens when the volume is very loud.
As now you have understood the mechanism of sound leakage, you can easily choose for yourself what features to look for in headphones so it better protects your privacy.
Open Back, Semi-open and Closed-Back headphones and sound leakage:
Open back and semi-open back are specifically designed for users who don’t bother with sound leakage. Why? They allow air to pass through the aircups to the internal components (drivers) It helps prevent pressure building inside the ear cups, and therefore, possibilities of little echoes inside the headphones. That way, the sound appears more natural and clear.
So open-back and semi-back headphones should be at the last of your list, and even should not be, if you need the least sound leakage.
Conversely, a Closed-back design should be your top preference as it blocks out the sound from passing through the ear cups.
Closed-back < Semi-open back< Open Back (Sound leakage )
Over-ear Design, On Ear And In Ear Headphones And Sound Leakage:
In-Ear headphones, also known as earbuds, have ear tips that sit inside the ear canal. If the eartips snuggly fit, there is a minimum chance of sound leakage from the headphones.
Over-ear headphones, on the other hand, cover the entire ear. They leak sound a little higher than the in-ear headphones, but considerably lower than the on-ear headphones.
The On-Ear headphones press against the ear and sit rightly at the top of them. They may not snuggly fit as not all humans have different ear anatomy, and therefore, they are more susceptible to leak sound.
In-Ear< Over-ear Design< On-Ear (Sound Leakage)
Noise Cancellation headphones:
Noise cancellation headphones have the primary function is to isolating users from background ambient noise. But they, inadvertently, stop the leaking of sound. Passive noise cancellation is the use of heavy and thick padded ear cups in the headphones to block out all sound from penetrating in, and vice versa.
Active noise cancellation, as opposed to passive, relies on the sensors to cancel out ambient noises. They detect and block discordant notes. But they are not a great help in preventing sound leakage.
Noise cancellation headphones have minimum sound leakage, and therefore, they should be at the top of your list.
Best Headphones That Don’t Leak Sound:
Here we have compiled for you a list of the best headphones that don’t leak sound to buy in 2020.
Speaking of affordable headphones with the best sound dynamics, Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is the highly reviewed 2-In-1 headphones in this regard. The well-built structure makes it reliable and its compact structure makes it aesthetically appealing.
While using these headphones, you won’t feel cramped as the puffy ear cups and adjustable headband comfortably fit on the ears and head without putting a strain.
It is best known for noise isolation due to the enclosed ear structure, providing a preferable environment for music production as well as solo music listening. The most commendable features include frequency range which is suitable enough to make bass notes prominent. 45mm large driver with neodymium magnets aid in
Clarity of sound and higher volume levels.
EASY TO CARRY
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x comes with detachable cables so you can avoid the mess created by tangled wires.
- Over-ear design
- Comfortable ear pads
- Detachable cables
- Acceptable noise cancellation
- Bulky model
- Low bass notes
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
5 used from $129.12
To have a sturdy and rigid outlook of headphones that offer gratifying noise cancellation, Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro is highly preferred. The closed-ear configuration blocks the sound from penetrating in and escaping out.
DURABILITY AND COMFORT
While going for a long drive or having consecutive 5-hours music composing sessions, these headphones prove best for comfort level. The soft and fluffy removable ear cups are easy in wearing for several hours. Another plus point is the skin-friendly fabric wrapped around the ear cups.
Sidewise, the exceptional frequency range of 5Hz-35 kHz enhances the sound quality to the maximum level. This range makes bass and treble sound notable and crystal-clear. 32-ohm impedance is another add-on for standard.
- perfect noise isolation
- carrying bag
- extremely durable
- Not a good blend of highs and lows
- Not flexible
$35.99 in stock
Yamaha HPH-50B is best known for its excellent sound quality at an economical price. Its composure is trendy. But its key strength is the manageable and lightweight design that makes it appropriate for extended periods of use.
Most importantly customers do not face any fixing problems because of the closed ear cups that allow rotation up to 90 degrees. Additionally, the headband is not bulky and it can be adjusted as per requirement.
An exceptionally good combination of frequency range with 103 dB stabilized sound level pressure, proposes balanced audibility for bass and treble notes. This mechanism supports the sound system whether it’s confined in a booth or for personal music entertainment.
These headphones allow connection to any device. Thanks to a 2-meter connection cord and a gold plated plug along with a ¼’’ lengthened adapter.
- Comfortable ear cups that allow rotation
- Prominent bass response
- Not costly
- Adjusting issues with that headband
$80.99 in stock
10 used from $67.26
Featuring and out-classing several, Sony MDR7506 still stands out with an old classy look. The classy look might not please most people, but the other prominent features along with low cost, won’t fail to impress you.
Its hybrid drivers are best known for boosting the frequency level. This feature also collaborates in devising an isolated sound mechanism.
COMFORT AND DURABILITY
The clamping of the headband is superb, you can use it for hours without having a headache or facing any tightness. The soft and elongated ear pads rest against the ear well. Sideways, the ear pads are replaceable in case of facing any inconvenience.
- Comparatively big ear pads
- Good mixture of bass and trebles
$89.00 in stock
At first glance, the cheap price might capture you in the bubble of doubt about its features. Because such a low price generally proportionates to low-quality and fewer specifications. But your perception will definitely be changed soon.
COMFORT AND DURABILITY
Shure SRH440 has a retractable formation. Its plastic fabric lightens up the weight. Hence, caring for a long time won’t be a big deal. The stuff plastered on it is elastic and durable. Along with durability, it has big ear pads that let’s almost all types of ears fit in.
These headphones keep the music uninterrupted with outside noise. These are not manufactured for too noisy environments, but their closed-back construction restricts penetration. Bass sounds are light and pleasing whereas the higher tones are not that sharp, presenting a soft and blended soundtrack.
The leathery case will not only give a professional look but will also protect the stuff. The earpads and chords are detachable which makes it easy for carriage.
- Perfect mids and highs
- Good noise isolation
- Carrying pouch
- A bit tightened grip
- Bass is not that prominent
Sennheiser HD 280 PRO
$91.00 in stock
3 used from $79.99
One of the best noise isolating headphones, Sennheiser HD 280 PRO headphones stand out with their well-known features. If you’re looking for the best-closed ear headphones, Sennheiser HD 280 PRO won’t let you regret your decision.
COMFORT AND DURABILITY
The texture is quite leathery and appealing, the ear pads are plushy and broad enough for gentle adjustment. The headband is covered with a puffy layer that doesn’t clamp tightly on the head, hence providing a lighter grip.
Basically, the sound system is acceptable, having 64-ohm impedance and 105.64 dB sensitivity. All these features matter the loudness range. Bass and treble are smooth but not very prominent, mid-frequency notes are prominent enough for providing a moderate range of sharpness in high notes.
These headphones can be folded and carried easily. Rotatable ear cups and detachable cable are supportive extras.
- Bass notes are prominent
- Ambient sounds are filtered out clearly
- Strong rigid built
- Clamping force is comparatively more
$219.99 in stock
So this model is what you call finesse. V-Moda M-200 is considered to be the best audiophile headphones. Perfect closed-back design along with a single ear-monitoring feature, the sweat-resistant fabric will definitely seek your attention.
COMFORT AND DURABILITY
The formation of these headphones is quite agreeable. Though they are made of metal, they are lighter in weight. The headband is covered with leathery fabric. The ear cushions are foamy and soft. The main plus point is the stuff, you’ll be impressed by its sweat-resistant and durable cloth.
If you’re looking up for headphones that suit music production, this is the best choice. 5Hz-40 kHz is a rare range to be provided by headphones, but these headphones offer this range with a 50mm driver. If you’re up for completely indulging yourself in music and melody, buy these headphones and experience the tempo.
Portability features and a tough carrying case aid in excellence.
- Extremely comfortable
- Not fragile
- Clean bass and trebles
- A bit Bulky
- Tighter grip
$33.99 in stock
Looking for cheap but perfectly noise-isolating headphones?
Edifier H840 will do this job at a low cost. The over-ear format helps to block maximum noise from the environment.
COMFORT AND DURABILITY
These are wrapped in a durable long-lasting covering. The adjustable headband fits all head sizes without causing any discomfort. You’ll find the headphones soft comfy and oval-shaped. Another plus point is the rotatable ear cups.
Edifier H840 offers a mediocre frequency level. These headphones won’t suit the hip-hop and all the loud genres but, they’ll definitely support slow soothing music and acoustic plays. The bass is audible and soft, you’ll feel a slight impact of it. Whereas trebles won’t be harsh. Conclusively, giving a perfectly mingled-up track.
- Low price
- Perfect noise isolation
- Adjustable head band and ear pads
- Cable is not detachable
Best Lightweight Noise Cancellation Headphones:
These headphones have the best sound-canceling feature. Lighter weight and a catchy smart look along with Alexa and google assistant control. Amazingly good battery life of approx. 20 hours and have a better adjusting tendency.
An over-ear design with an exceptional frequency range. You’ll be amazed by the bass and treble response. Bass notes are prominently captured in headphones. The 90mm drivers won’t let a single note be amplified. Overall the sound system is appreciable enough
COMFORT AND DURABILITY
These are really comfortable to wear. They can be folded easily. You’ll also get a USB charger with it along with a cable that enables you to save a battery.
- Bass is audible enough
- Minor sound leakage
Bowers & Wilkins PX7 Wireless Headphones
These headphones acquire the specialty of being quite lighter in weight as compared to their multiple functioning. The look is quite professional and classy. They have comfortable over-ear construction along with extended battery life.
The sound system is appreciable. 43.6mm driver will amplify the sound to its extent. The ambient sounds are perfectly blocked out which eases in highlighting the low notes. These are best for professional use. You won’t be disturbed even if you are in crowded areas.
The packaging carries a zipper bag along with its USB charger and cable in order to minimized battery consumption.
- Long battery life
- Easy carriage
- Tight headband
Kevin is a Tech journalist for over a decade. He writes on Wearables, Headphones, and Laptops. When he is not glued to his laptop, You will find him working on exciting projects that include Unboxing new Gadgets, comparing them, and tweaking their hardware.