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Sennheiser HD 380 PRO Headphones


Pros: Sound quality, Isolation, Comfort and fit, Durability, Hard shell case, Price

Cons: If used with portable or casual home use, needs replacement cable

I realize it is a bit of apples vs oranges, but I will compare these to the Sennheiser HD 600 sound, since I sometimes use those to mix recordings with, and many know their sound. Assuming good sources and amplification, the HD 380 pro sounds as balanced through the mids and highs as the HD 600. Both are what most would consider neutral, or flat, with the HD 600s being ever so  slightly polite, or veiled, or easy on the ears in the highs. The HD 380 pros have a slightly more upfront treble, but they are as natural and as detailed as the HD 600s. With the HD 380 Pro's closed design,  the spaciousness of the HD 600's open design is replaced with a more intimate sound stage, or isolated effect of closed design.  Resolution of fine detail in the mids and highs is outstanding in both of these cans, but is just slightly better in the HD 380 pros. I can hear more of what is in thick mixes with it.


Now about the bass. The bass in both cans is good and tight, and in the right balance to the rest of the music. The bass in the HD 380 pro is far more extended into the lowest octaves and is clean and tight way down to the sub bass 20 Hz. The bass in the HD 600s  is good but slightly loose down to around 40 Hz, but even there it is starting to roll off  a tad, and continues to to the point that it isn't accurate enough to monitor a mix well enough in the lowest octave, though it isn't missed much on a lot of music, such as classical or acoustic jazz or folk, that doesn't have much energy down there. Overall, the HD 380 pro is  clean and accurate and distortion free all across the entire audible frequencies, and is able to offer quick transients and dynamic impact not available with the HD 600s.  Part of this is due to  the difference between closed and open design, the improved angle of the driver to the ear with the HD 380s, and the easier to drive impedance of the HD 380s, but for bass impact down low, the closed design is superior.


The HD 380 pros are very comfortable, with the perfect clamping pressure, and large deep ear chambers that will accommodate the biggest ears on the biggest heads  comfortably for hours on end. They stay put and in position on your head even if you are moving around a lot. They make a very good seal and isolate you from outside sound better than any other non-active noise reducing headphones. At the same time they also leak the least amount of sound, which is essential in live recording, and a huge plus for listening in noisy environments, or in quiet places where you don't want others to be bothered with your program. They come with a good coiled cord, which is perfect in the studio, but a bit clunky and heavy for home and portable use. Fortunately, the cable is easily replaceable and after market cables specially designed for these cans are available in four different lengths for around $30 at Amazon. Just search "replacement cable for Sennheiser HD 380 Pro" there at Amazon. At this time, Sennheiser doesn't offer the straight cables, but I have purchased the cables through Amazon, and they are great braided cables with top notch plugs and strain relief.


They come with a handsome hard shell case, are built to take rough treatment and survive, and look good for headphones of this size, They are the best value in high quality headphones at only $105 now at Amazon.  5 stars!


Pros: Almost linear reproduction ,very good controlled bass, clear mids, decent highs. Much better highs and perfect clear linear sound with decent Dac/amp

Cons: Only good dac/amp(at least fiioE7) can drive it to make good highs and overall very good sound (theyre little muddy with poor sources),no leather pads



Due to my poor skills in writing in English this review of Sennheiser hd380 will be pretty short.

Build quality and package:

Nice, good quality but only plastic build without any fancy design accents. Seems to be quite solid. Coiled cable is not perfet solution in day to day usage but is ok. Nice hard case for headphones. The included also big jack adapter. Cable can be detached (headphoned have mikro jack input).

Sound and comfort:

With poor source like laptop sound is bit muddy and not so clear, there is also lack od high tones - headphones are bit bassy and not so special.
When I used sansa clip mp3 player sound was much better but still it was not it, despites clips linear response. Bass was almost perfect, especially low end, but mids were little too strong and high to weak. Don`t get me wrong - sound was quite linear, but there was no perfect details clarity that i was expected - with it was only decent/good with pleasing bass especially in rock albums. Soundstage was quite wide. Hd380 and clip is good but not better than many closed headphones at this time.
Because clip is not powerful source I connected my hd380 to fiio e7 dac - which is better than its amp section. That was good idea. Bass is even more controlled, mids are more wide and neutral and highs are there where they are should be. Sound is analytic and crystal clear and that low bass provides lot of fun. I find that for me best sound is when fiios eq is set up on 0 or 1 (I prefer 0). Setting 3 is dedicated for bass heads. I think that hd380s can play even better with for example full scale dac.
Soundstage is wide for closed headphones but not so as in many good open ones. Some people that are used to use headphones with boosted lows and highs can disagree with my opinion but Sennheiser hd380 sound is very entertaining for me.

Headphones are comfortable but not perfect. They are pressing little more than most of others. Also material on pads is not ideal - i afraid about its durability. Coiled cable is sometimes annoying. They are isolating from environment good, but they could be better.

Sennheiser hd380 are cheap compared to quality that they provide - its perfect entry level choice. Don’t forget about decent source because only with good sound card or dac they can play like professional headphones


Buy it or at least try it



Pros: Outstanding audio reproduction for this price point and class.

Cons: All plastic, can get sweaty.




The full-size closed under $200 category is a very popular one among pro’s and casual listeners alike. The most similar competitor to this I own is the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 250Ohm. I will make some comparisons to this and the smaller on-ear Sennheiser HD 25-1 II which I also own. My source in testing is the 1/4inch headphone output of my TEAC UD-H01 DAC/Amp connected via USB to my Windows 8.1 desktop. I use the foobar2000 player with EQ off playing various files from FLAC to m4a to mp3 (VBR/CBR 320). I managed to get my pair of HD 380’s on sale for $100 USD. Now on with the review!



Design/Comfort (7/10)



If you plan to transport this headphone frequently you will be pleased that it folds flat and includes a hard case. The case is of good quality nylon with large zipper and imprints for placing the headphone properly inside it. The coiled cable is thick and terminated to a straight 3.5mm but includes a screw-on ¼ inch adapter. The cable is not removable. Apparently it can be replaced in case of damage, but that seems to be more difficult that it’s worth. Edit: Thanks to waimak for pointing out the cable is actually user removable and terminated to 2.5mm as shown below. There are also aftermarket cables available which is great.





Construction is entirely made of plastic, with the exception of metal screws and the hinges suspending the drivers. The metal hinge has an audible “click” when folding the drivers inward for storage. Initially the “click” felt a little uncomfortable, as if I just snapped something. But I got used to it after working it in a bit by folding it repeatedly. The plastics are thick and of good quality, with plenty of flex in the headband. The build feels akin to the HD 558 in terms of plastics used. The adjustable headband clicks into place nicely with each adjustment but there are no markings to ensure both are the same length. Padding is a standard foam with synthetic leatherette material for ear and head support. Ear pads are user replaceable. Ear cups are oval, with the drivers positioned at an angle towards the ears. This is part of Sennheisers Ergonomic Acoustic Refinement (E.A.R) technology.



Clasping force was very firm for me out of the box. After weeks of wearing it and stretching it out by hand I would say it’s still on the firm side. At only 220 grams the padding was adequate on the head and ears. The ear cups are very roomy inside for larger ears to fit without touching the edges. However, they did get warm for me after the 2hr mark. If I don’t take them off for some air at this point they can get sweaty. That’s at home in front of my PC at room temp. So if you plan to take these out walking on a warm day it will definitely get sweaty. Visually they appear huge on the head. This is largely because the headband doesn’t form well to the contour of the head. When it’s on you can slip several fingers between the side of your head and the headband itself. Even the top of the headband for me is quite linear, leaving a bit of a hot spot on the top of my head. However, because of the lightweight construction and clamping force it doesn’t become a discomfort.



The Beyerdynamic DT 770 is much better made. The plusher padding, more contoured headband, and velour material gives it a clear edge in comfort. Let’s face it the made in Germany DT 770 is built like a tank. It’s a no contest in terms of durability and craftsmanship. The 770 is not as portable though, and really needs amplification. So the HD 380 still offers a great value. The best part of it, the sound quality, is what sets it apart.



Sound (9/10)



Since sound is so subjective let me first briefly describe my tastes. I tend to prefer more mid centric headphones with tight, accurate bass (quality over quantity). I frequently have long listening sessions and I do get irritated by sibilance on certain bright headphones like the DT 990. So something like the sound signature of the HD 600 is ideal for my tastes. With that in mind, on with my thoughts on the HD 380.


At 54Ohm it can be run adequately from portables. But not nearly as high as the HD 25. It does benefit from amplification, particularly in bass response. But this is the case with almost any headphone, especially full-size ones. I wouldn’t say you “need” amplification though. Isolation is average, slightly less than the HD 25 and DT 770. My impressions didn’t seem to change before and after 50hrs of burn in. The sound signature is quite neutral with ever so slightly rolled off highs. Which I find very pleasing to listen to, especially for long periods at high volume. It never becomes irritating.


Particularly impressive to me is imaging and sound stage on this headphone. Its miles ahead of the HD 25 and a slight step up from the DT 770 in this regard. It’s actually not far off the wonderful HD 600 in this respect. This closed headphone manages to sound airy with great separation. I believe this is unmatched in any headphone in its class. The other major strength, and an overall improvement over the HD 25 and DT 770 is the bass response. Lows go right down to 8hz in generous quantity, yet manages to stay quick and tight, never boomy. Bass is more present than the HD 600 but not in a distracting way. I don’t feel like it takes away from anything else. It's the most pleasing bass I've heard on a closed headphone.


As mentioned the highs are slightly rolled off, but presented with great detail and separation. Because of this the mids take more of a front seat, which I actually love. Overall it’s a very similar sound signature to the HD 600, albeit less refined and detailed. Compared to the HD 25 it’s clearly a step up in bass response and sound stage. The DT 770 has more bass but is loose and boomy sounding in comparison. In addition the HD 380’s mids are more present and detailed. Overall it’s pretty laid back with enough low end to surprise you when the track calls for it. It’s another winner from Sennheiser.



Verdict (8/10)



Hopefully by now you understand what to expect with the HD 380. It’s a winner in terms of sound quality, especially for the price. In my case I was looking for a good closed headphone for home use over extended listening sessions. Unfortunately, I had issues with heat after 2hrs with the HD 380. The added comfort and finish of the DT 770 has me reaching for it in favor of the HD 380 every time. However, the HD 380 sounds better, is more portable, and much easier to drive. At my time of purchase it’s also half the price. Although the HD 25 is double the price, it’s much more portable and durable with better isolation. So one can justify going with any three of these fantastic headphones and never look back.


Sennheiser is going in the right direction with the HD 380, especially sound wise. But I would like to see a future closed headphone like this with velour ear pads and a more durable headband design akin to the DT 770. Basically the comfort and build quality of the DT 770 with the sound signature of the HD 380. One can only dream though. That being said, at under $150 USD I have no hesitation in recommending the HD 380 for anyone looking at a closed full-size headphone in this price range. Especially if sound quality is a top priority.


Pros: Tight impactful bass, Nicely textured mids, fairly balanced, Nice carry case

Cons: Cups don't rotate vertically

I bought these to replace my ATH-M50s and HD280 Pro.


I am very happy with them, They have a relatively balanced sound with a slight emphasis on bass which is tight and punchy.


Bass - The bass on these headphones is tight and punchy (not loose and flabby like the ATH-M50 which was always a bother for me). It is slightly emphasised but not offensively so, kick drums have a nice snap to them.


Mids - Their mids is nicely weighted with a solid enough presence to give guitars, drums and vocals plenty of texture without being harsh like the HD280. I personally find the ATH-M50 lacking in mids and find they make music sound a bit weak and thin.


Treble - They Have nice detailed treble that is pretty much where is should be but could be a little stronger on portable devices, With an amp (doesn't need to be huge) the treble comes through alot better. They are better in the treble department than the HD280 but not quite as good as the ATH-M50 although the ATH-M50 has a bit too much treble for me, I find it overbears the rest of the mix on those cans.


Comfort - They are very comfortable and beat both the HD280 and ATH-M50 hands down.


Build Quality - Very light yet surprisingly sturdy. Metal swivel points and head band. plastic everything else.


They come with a nice travel case and have a detatchable cable both of which are very welcome additions to the overall package.


My only real gripe is that the cups dont swivel vertically so when you take them off your head to talk to someone you can't flip the cup so the speaker is facing away from you instead of choking your neck.


I would recommend these over the ATH-M50 and the HD280 Pro


I deduct half a star for the cup swivel gripe.


Pros: Comfortable, good isolation, good sound, good durability, replaceable cable

Cons: Needs new cable, bland design

I first used these as monitoring headphones for recording. They quickly moved out of my home studio and now I use them everywhere. I have one pair at home and one pair at work. I also take them when I travel. 




Comfortable- I wear these all the time. They are a little tight which helps with isolation. Sometimes they require a bit of repositioning to get back to comfortable. 


Good isolation- Great for recording. Also great at work and for travel. It blocks out a lot of noise


Good sound- I like the sound of these. For me I find that what I hear through these head phones translates well to the car and speakers. 


Good durability- Two years of heavy not always careful use and travel not a scratch, chip, flake, or fade.


Replaceable cable- Nice to have flexibility.




Needs new cable- The flexibility is nice but it really needs a new cable. When sitting at the computer plugged into an audio recording interface the coiled cable is nice for movement. In all other applications it is just too heavy and awkward. Fortunately it is very easy to replace the cable. 


Bland design- Perhaps not a con for some but they are plain black head phones with Sennheiser conspiculously written in three places.




The only other serious closed back over the ear headphone I have used extensively are the Sony 7509's. I think the sound from the Sennheisers translates better to speakers and the car. I also think the Sonys are less comfortable. The Sonys started to fall apart after the first year. Mostly the pads started to disintegrate and the chord (also a coil) stretched, twisted, and kinked to an almost unusable level.


A little about my setup:


I replaced the cable with a Dolce and Gabbana 1.2 meter cable this cable fits perfectly. I also have a replacement cable from the B&W P5. It fits well and has a remote for an iPhone which is nice when I'm not using a DAC. 


My preferred listening setup is lossless from an iPhone 6s through a lightning to USB connector to an AudioQuest dragonfly red.


For music creation I use a Mac Mini with and RME FireFace as an audio interface. I am mostly a Propellerhead Reason user for DAW software. All of my Mics are either Shures or AudioTechnicas. My guitars are all Fenders.


A little about my musical tastes:


I tend to listen loud. I listen to mostly alternative rock and mostly hard guitar centric stuff but not metal, think 311, Smiths or Less Than Jake. I also listen to some more synth oriented stuff; Depeche Mode, NIN, Prodigy. Occasional hip hop mostly Tribe Called Quest.  The music I make is mostly goofy alternative, a harder They might be Giants maybe.


Pros: Level of isolation, Comfort, Fit, Efficiency, Bass extension, Good mids and highs

Cons: Lack of mid-bass hump can bother some (not me)

Initial impressions: They can't reproduce the tone of a bass guitar correctly, let alone a human voice. Estrange thing is that they aren't sibilant or anything, but some mysterious peak between upper-mids and treble make some instruments like cymbals and female voice sound too unnatural and away from realist.


Bass sometimes sound bloated, and doesn't have a proper texture and articulation. The sound is detailed in a strange way: they have the infamous E.A.R. from Sennheiser, which is probably the most unnatural presentation of soundstage in a headphone. They can put hidden special effects easily, but they lack the nuance and detail of a instrument performer. You can't hear the breath of an acoustic guitar performer, or the strings vibrating, also you can't hear the body of a cymbal, only a pathetic artificial crash.


They are efficient (110 dB a 1kHz 1vrms), so you won't need ultra power to make them get loud enough. For gaming and movie listening they are probably a good option, but there are much better headphones at the same price, with better isolation and sound. These headphones are very overrated and can't think of a way to use them with serious music listening, unless you want to make your music sound absolutely horrible.


EDIT After 100 hours: They went from mediocre to very good! The highs are now clearer, the separation is much better, the bass texture and extension is very, very good, much better than before. The mids now are much more natural, not congested and muddy like before. Vocals sound very clear and with not obvious flaws. Transients and speed are among the best i've heard, not too far from spectacular. It sounds like a completely new headphone! Remember to give them time to 'open-up' or 'burn-in', as some like to call it. I TOTALLY believe in burn-in in Dynamic transducers, YMMV. Right now I like to call them 'The Closed HD600'. A very good headphone, but not perfect, damn good yes it is IMHO.


Pros: Inexpensive, no obvious flaws in the sound reproduction, very good noise isolation, foldable

Cons: Very tight fit initially, the stock cable is heavy and bulky

I have owned a pair of these headphones for six weeks now.  Initially I bought them to cope with office noise.  I work in a large, open cube farm with a great deal of white noise and a constant cacophony of conversation.  


These 'phones have surpassed my expectations since day one.  Given my office environment and the fact that my music collection is 100% compressed, lossy audio (MP3 & AAC), I didn't think an expensive pair of open-backed headphones was appropriate.  Even with MP3s these 'phones breathed new life into my old music.  The noise isolation of these 'phones is very good.  In my office environment these 'phones almost completely cut the white noise, even without playing music.  I can still hear loud conversations clearly when no music is playing, though.  When I initially got these 'phones, I noticed they squeezed my head pretty hard.  Over time this has subsided without me taking any special steps to mitigate the problem.  The other problem is the stock cable is bulky and heavy and too long.  Luckily, it's replaceable.  Despite these headphones being of plastic construction, they are durable.  I store them in their carrying case every evening.


My very first upgrade was to replace the cable with a shorter straight cable.  I found a cable on eBay for about $25 with shipping.  It shipped all the way from China, taking almost 2 weeks to arrive.  After it shipped, I found the same cable in stock on Amazon for $5 more.  For whatever that's worth knowing.


My next upgrade was to buy a Modi+Magni stack from Schiit Audio.  These 'phones took to the stack very well.  This was a very worthwhile upgrade, in general, and make my good sounding headphones sound even better.  I genuinely was not prepared by the degree to which the sound quality improved with this upgrade, even with the same source material.


My last upgrade was to subscribe to Tidal.


Now, with the volume knob set to the 8 o'clock position on my amp, streaming CD quality source material, my music is so loud and so clear that (a) I can't hear any flaws with these 'phones, and (b) I can't hear anybody else, either.  It's downright blissful.


Pros: Balanced sound, treble sparkle, silky smooth female voices, very detailed, tight mid and sub bass, very comfortable ear cups

Cons: Not very adjustable, clamping force, slight echo to the vocals (Senn trait), not the best noise isolation, ear cups get a little hot

I chose the HD380 Pros to replace my Audio-Technica M50s, and have not looked back ever since (except to compare the M50s to the HD380s with songs). Sound-wise the Senns are superior to the M50s in every way. More realistic bass, non-flabby but without losing impact, MUCH better mids, more refined treble, and the ear cups on the 380s are tremendously better than those on the M50s. Whereas the M50s sound best with electronic music such as house, drum n' bass and trance, the HD380 Pros are not only good for those genres, but are great for R&B, rock, jazz, soul, and pretty much every genre under the sun other than classical music (a little too bottom heavy). The HD380s have a more spacious soundstage imaging than the M50s, due to the cleaner, less wooly bass. Since the M50s are going up in price again, and the H380 Pros are going down from their 199 dollar MSRP, I highly recommend the HD380s over the M50s. They will treat your ears better with the roomier cups, and will never fatigue your ears from treble assaults and harsh female contralto vocals, unlike the M50s. Keep in mind that the HD380 Pros do sound their best with an amp, but will have no problem running off an iPhone, Macbook, iPad, Galaxy S4, etc. Also, the HD380 Pros have a user-replaceable cable. Highly recommended. 


Design: i like the design of the HD380 not fancy but look good

but they are very strong and i dont think you will ever brake theme


Sound blocking:  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!

when i listen with them on a bus i dont hear anything ftom outside



sound very natural

have nice clear sound

not heavy bass headphones, there is more mid-bass than sub-bass. (nice solid bass)

have airy sound for a closed headphones (because of the size of the ear-cops)

trebel is ok (have jumps in the trebel)

low mids


in the end in this price there is better headphones

but still good sounding heaphones


hope i helped you



Pros: Build quality, good sound - even unamped, moderate portability, isolation

Cons: Coiled cable, not the premier choice for a portable walk on the street headphone

I will keep this review short, as I can pretty much confirm what other reviewers have said.


They are highly recommended for those seeking a sub 200 $ closed headphone with good isolation (very very little sound leak, and blocks off a lot of ambient noise), good build quality and nice carrying case. I have owned them for over one year and they show no visible sign of wear, every time i put them on it's like I've just bought them.


The coiled cable is sometimes not the most practical. 


Can work well even without amplification, but they benefit a lot from a good audio source. Purchasers will not be dissappointed.


I am curious how they compare to the Audio Technica ATH - M50. (difficult to find a pair in Romania for some reason)

Sennheiser HD 380 PRO Headphones

The HD 380 Pro professional monitoring headphones are designed to exceed the demands of the professional environment. The HD 380 Pro provides an extended frequency response with increased sound pressure level (up to 110 dB) for accurate sound reproduction in demanding applications. Not only that, but the lightweight, secure and rugged design offers a comfortable listening experience for long recording sessions. Ear coupling - Around-the-ear Frequency response (headphones) - 8 - 27,000 Hz Impedance - 54-Ohm Load rating - 500 mW Sound pressure level - (SPL) 110 dB (1 kHz, 1 Vrms) Total harmonic distortion (THD) - < 0.1% (1kHz, 100dB SPL) Transducer principle - Closed, dynamic Weight without cable - 7.7 oz. (220 g) Included - Replaceable single sided, coiled cable with a 3.5mm jack connector HD 380 Pro Screw-type 1/4 adapter Slim line carrying case

FeatureIncludes slimline carrying case
Height8.9 inches
Length6.9 inches
Weight1 pounds
Width3.9 inches
List Price$299.95
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
TitleSennheiser HD 380 PRO Headphones
Batteries Included1
Special Featuresnv: Model^HD380 PRO | Product Type^Headphones Professional Monitoring | Transducer principle^Dynamic, closed | Ear coupling^Circumaural | Frequency response^8 27,000 Hz | Nominal impedance^54 O | Passive noise attenuation^Up to 32 dB | THD^ 0.1 1 kHz, 100 dB SPL | SPL 1 kHz, 1 Vrms^110 dB | Resonance frequency^90 Hz | Max. power handling capacity^500 mW | Caliper pressure^6 N approx. | Weight excluding cable^220 g | Cable length^1 m coiled, extendable up to 3 m | Audio connector^3.5 mm plug, s
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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