Sometimes no matter how you plan or review, it doesn’t work.
I recently picked up a pair of DT 880’s semi-open back and realized I had made a serious error; the semi-open back let too much back ground noise intrude, nearly ruining the experience and joy. Even the tv in the next room can be heard, greatly distracting from the music and listening pleasure. Now it frustrates me instead of relaxing me, to listen to music while also hearing unrelated noises. I’ve never had this issue before so perhaps the level of “semi-open” classification varies between headphones, but this is a deal breaker for me and I’ll be looking to either sell or gift these, rather than be frustrated by them.
The performance is very good and the comfort level is great; if you have a very quiet environment or need to hear background noises (office setting) then these may work well. But the 880’s profoundly identified that a significant portion of my listening experience is also based on isolation, pushing me very strongly to only consider closed style for any future purchases (which makes the DT 1990’s very difficult to consider).
Fortunately I only had $150 invested and there are silver linings to this experience. Don’t purchase from places that won’t take returns (for non-defective reasons), “listening” preferences vary not only based on performance and fit but also isolation capabilities. Worse case scenario I’m only out $150 in a “teaching” moment as compared to spending $600 and finding myself just as frustrated. And with a degree of humility I also admit, had I purchased through Headphone, I could have taken advantage of the return policy and the teaching moment wouldn’t have been as bad. Lessons learned.