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Sennheiser HD 280 Headphones

85% Positive Reviews
Rated #53 in Over-Ear


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Cons: Uncomfortable, tonally unbalanced

I always see people recommending the HD280 like it's some amazing price vs. quality gem in the headphone world or something, and when I borrowed a pair to compare to my HD555 a few years ago, I was surprised by how bad the HD280 sounded and how uncomfortable it was. The bass was anemic, the soundstage was congested, and the way it clamped on the head was uncomfortable. For sub-$100 headphones, you'll be much better off with the Equation RP-21. But if you could spend a little bit more, you'll get into a far better range of headphones like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 (for sealed cans) or Sennheiser HD555 (for open cans)--headphones that absolutely destroy the HD280 in every way possible.


Pros: Isolation, Grip, Build Quality, Cord (some extent; w/e connector)

Cons: Sound

I like these headphones when I know that I'm going somewhere where I wouldn't dare to take one of my more delicate headphones (e.g. Sr225is's). The primary reason being that they have never once fallen off of my head. Honestly, that's nearly all they've got going for them (aside from the OK base that comes from the excellent seal between your head and the cans when used with an OK amplifier).


The sound is otherwise lacking in low end, and the mid end is dry and somewhat overwhelming.



Other than the OK sound-stage an the bass (it plays hide-and-seek), there's not much worth mentioning.


Listened to:

- Pink Floyd - Money : The guitar line at the beginning was clear with resolute drums, but as components were progressively introduced, things began to get messy

- Gentle Giant - Just the Same : Things began to get muddy (There's a lot of texture in this track)

- Butthole Surfers - Human Canonball : Guitar was tepid

- Anne Bisson - September in Montreal : Bass was somewhat hidden, vocals were clear, but lacking overall satisfaction

- Bela Fleck (& Flecktones) - Blu-Bop (From Flight...) : Piano was somewhat hidden by the guitar

- PTX - Aha! : Low-end vocals were not easily discernible. Mid-end took the stage. Only voice with discernible timbre was mid-end.

- Mike Doughty - Monster Man : Bass was too present this time. 

- Mike Doughty - Super Bon Bon : Vocals were clear, the whole mix sounds OK, with the exception of the guitar samples (especially alongside vocals).

- (Pierre Moerlen's) Gong! - Time Is The Key : Finer details were hard to make out.


Pros: Great sound isolation, deep head vibrating BASS, nice treble, mids are slightly recessed but sound OK, great price to performance ratio

Cons: lacks much of a soundstage, can get somewhat uncomfortable after a few hours

I've owned these cans over 2 years and I've watched them mature like fine wine sitting in the barrel. When I first bought them I was surprisingly disappointed. I was expecting a lot more but found their sound to be tinny and weak. After many many many hours of burn in these cans really warmed up and showed coloration in a nice way. I like to compare these headphones to my DT880 600ohm cans for reference of sound. These cans are much more LIVELY while my DT800's are more ANALYTICAL and neutral. I would say the HD280s are much more suited to electronic/hip hop/ dubstep and any sort of bass heavy music that doesn't require a soundstage. I found my DT880s much better for rock/jazz/some electronic(progressive house) and a few other genres that require a large soundstage such as live performances and movies.


Overall, the HD280s take a long long time to burn in. I suggest burning them in for atleast 200 hours to see the full potential of them. These cans are an amazing steal and have incredible bass response for their price tag. My source right now is an HT Omega Claro 24-bit/192khz DAC to a Schiit Magni amp which sounds absolutely amazing. I prefer my HD280s for reggae and hip hop over my DT880s but would pick the DT880s for just about every other genre of music.


Here's the bottom line: let these cans mature and then they will put a WOW on  your face. I have compared the bass of these cans(500 hours burned in) to the Ultrasone Pro 900s my friend owns and I must say these can hold sub-bass frequencies surprisingly well while sitting next to the bass king Ultrasones which still reigned supreme over the HD280s.


For $99, I purchased them at discounted price for $78 I must say they are a complete STEAL. BUY THEM! NOW! If you have money to splurge I suggest you get the Ultrasone Pro 900s as they will crave your desire for BASS


Pros: Good build quality, solid sound.

Cons: The headband...


The first of these that I have are going on 5 years old, I am also listening to them while I type this review. I am basing my opinion on this pair. I received a NIB pair about a month ago but have not listened to them yet. I really like everything about this headphone. I am a big fan of the Sennheiser sound signature though; they always seem to suite my musical tastes. I have a preference for closed cans, and this is a solid one for an entry level of better sound. My one complaint is that I have a large head and have to extend the headband all the way out on both sides. This is where my complaint comes into play, with them in full extension and on my head, the band sticks out weirdly from my head. It is an almost comical the way it looks. Other than that I cannot fault these cans.   


Pros: good sound, isolation, comfort

Cons: plastic construction, fixed cable

I'm a pro-sumer, not an audiophile, so I will not discuss the sound, really. These were purchased new, are still stock, not modded.

I have owned these cans for 2 years, so burn-in is complete. Full head of hair, no glasses, no TMJ.



  • completely circumaural, even for my large-ish ears leads to great noise isolation. I keep the volume below 20% and can hear the music fine and no cube-mate phone calls.
  • Nice padding on cups and headband. I wear these for hours at a time at work and neither the clamping force nor the weight of these bother me.
  • Both cups rotate and swivel. You can wear them comfortably around your neck or off the ear of choice easily. They also lay flat and fold into the familiar headband ball.
  • The sound is pretty good for the price.
  • Single-sided cable entry (left side) with nice, thick coiled cabling.


Neutral (good and bad even out):

  • Plastic construction throughout. Seem a bit flimsy, but this also makes them light. I have had no problems with cracking or creaking



  • Fixed cable. I would use these for the bus commute but the cable is way too long and heavy. (In my opinion this is the only thing that keeps these from being viable portable headphones.)


If you buy your gear new, these are going to be a pretty good purchase, especially if you wait for a Black Friday sale. If you are willing to try used these may not be your best option as you can find the Sennheiser HD 380 used for about $20 more than these used. The HD 380 headphones sound much better, have metal components, and a removable cable, and possibly come with the stock carrying case. A much better deal.


Pros: Very flat frequency response, nice isolation, accurate, detailed.

Cons: Can get uncomfortable after a while, not a very exciting sound, lack of decent soundstage.

First, let me start by saying I am a total noob. These were my first and still are my only pair of real headphones. Now that I look back, I probably should have bought the ATH-M50S considering what people have said about it. These cost somewhere around $120 when I bought them. I have had them for a few months and just got an amp (Pyle PHA-40) today (great amp, by the way). An amp is HIGHLY recommended. It got rid of any harsh, screechy highs typical of my computer's headphone jack. The bass also sounded pretty undefined and in general, missing. The amp fixed that right up. Now bass is well balanced and has incredible extension like I have never heard before! These also respond well to EQ.


Second, these are well constructed, well balanced, isolating monitor cans: nothing more, nothing less. Do not expect some kind of great musical performance from these headphones. They sound good to me, but I have noticed some problems. Among the most prominent issues is the claustrophobic soundstage. The instrument separation is good, however. Traveling with these headphones worked for me, both on a plane, and in a car. After about 2 hours I have to take these off due to the clamping force.


All in all, these are well thought out monitor headphones. They allowed me to rediscover my music collection. If you have not heard good audio before being able to hear drums flex, and acoustic guitars resonate, the experience will be magical. If you plan on buying these get an amp. If you don't need isolation get the HD-558 or HD-598.


Pros: I guess you could call them confident at reproduction

Cons: Soulless zombie phones

These are...ok. I expected great things from these, and if they were my first pair of real headphones, I guess I would like them, but compared to many others, including the similar Amperior, they're simply missing something. The bass is there, the treble goes nearly high enough, they're clear and the instruments separate, yet they just don't excite. They really are professional monitor headphones, and nothing more and nothing less.


I kept these things for their high isolation so I can watch movies at night, but really I should trade them for some Sony 7506, which is what I would recommend over these.


Objectively, as a studio headphone, these are a good product. Subjectively they are kind of meh, though.


Pros: Value, Sound, Travel Well, Isolation

Cons: Tight Fit, Bulky

I originally got these headphones because I was looking for headphones to use both for late night listening (in an apartment complex with thin walls) and travel.  So for me isolation was one of the first things I was looking for, and these headphones deliver that in spades.  Unfortunately, it comes at the cost of a fairly tight fit around the head.  Not enough to really be uncomfortable (I've used these headphones for hours on end), but enough to be noticeable.  The headphones are fairly bulky in size, but fold for travel, and I've found them to be much more durable than I was expecting given the reviews -- after several years and numerous airplane trips, the headphones have suffered no visible damage. 


I listen mostly to classical music, and I found the sound to be quite good -- everything comes through clear and clean, and I have no problems with any particular range in the spectrum.  Given my needs (high isolation with decent sound), these headphones were exactly what I was looking for. 


Pros: Long Cable, Crisp Sound, BASS!

Cons: Uncomfortable after a while as are any

Well to start off lets list the headphones I am comparing these to... 
Over Ear 
Dr. Dre Beats (Studio) 
Sennheiser EH 150's 
Sennheiser HD 202's

On Ear

Dr. Dre Beats (Solo)

In Ear

Altec Lansing Back-Beats Pro 
Ink'd Skullcandys 
Monster Turbine In Ear 
Dr Dre Beats 
Monster Turbine Pro Copper

The design of these headphones is a clever design, the coiled cord was a huge advance from constantly rolling over my EH150 wire with my computer chair. Another weak point I find in just about every pair of headphones is the connections at the end of the cable. On these the end user is able to remove and put in a new cable which is a huge advantage in my opinion. The headphones themselves are a thick sturdy plastic with plenty of padding, they do get warm on your ears after a while but what do you expect.

The Sound I was quite disappointed with at first when plugged into my Samsung Infuse smartphone. I thought they were worse than any other of the large headphones I listed above. That is when I said well they are STUDIO headphones (So were the STUDIO Dre's and they sounded fine on this mobile device) however when plugged into my computers or any studio device they blew me away. Bass is incredible, if you like BASS STOP LOOKING these are what you want, FAR better than the beats. They have a warm sound to them. While delivering great bass they also have great trebles. I listen to a mix of music from jazz to some rap to hip-hop etc. 

OVERALL I would absolutely recommend these to a friend, in fact I am getting them for a friend for Christmas. I would give these a lower rating for not working on mobile devices as well ie phone and ipods however they are specifically titled STUDIO DJ headphones which implies computer and on the computer they go far beyond their expectations. 

OH and the big question YES they are better than Studio Beats!!!!!!


Pros: Isolation

Cons: Terrible sound, uncomfortable, large

These have a very thin and dull sound. There is a noticeable lack of low mids / bass, which leave the headphones sounding very cold. There is no sound stage to speak of. I just can't find any redeeming qualities in the sound department. My cheap Senn IEMs sound much fuller than these.

They do isolate extremely well, at the expense of strong head clamping and ear warmth.


Stay away from these. Frankly I'm astonished that these have 4 stars (as of this review) on a site dedicated to headphones. I suspect people want to believe their $80 were well spent.

Sennheiser HD 280 Headphones

The HD280 Professional is Sennheiser's most significant closed, circumaural headphone to be introduced in years. Designed to exceed the demands of the professional environment, the HD280 boasts extremely robust construction combined with extensive features that meet the requirements of today's most demanding applications. The unique collapsible design combined with swiveling ear cups, offers maximum flexibility in any application.

Feature2 year warranty
Height0.39 inches
Length0.39 inches
Weight0.63 pounds
Width0.39 inches
List Price$149.95
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
TitleSennheiser HD 280 - Headphones ( ear-cup ) - black
Batteries Included0
Warranty2 years warranty
Special Featuresnv: Transducer Principle^Dynamic | Frequency Response^8 Hz - 25 kHz | Nominal Impedance^64 Ohms | Characteristic Spl^102 dB, at 1 kHz1Vrms | Ear Coupling^Circumaural, Closed | Distortion^0.1 | Connector^3.5 mm mini-stereo with 14 adapter | Weight Wo Cable^285 grams
Is Fragile0
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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