Hi everybody, was doing some google searching on the subject and landed here. Seems to be as good a place as any to ask questions at. I'm a musician, and I appreciate high-quality sound, but I'm not really an audiophile in the way that I think most of you here would define it. I keep my music collection lossless only, but on the other hand I've never spent more than 300$ on headphones (and even then most of that cost was the molds).
I have a pair of Sennheiser HD280 Pros that I've had since somewhere around late 2006. They've been my main headphones since then, and have seen thousands of hours of use on-stage, in the studio, and listening to music/gaming at home. The only other pair of headphones I ever use are my earbuds, which are just some inexpensive Shure EC2s that I had custom molds made for at Sensaphonics in Chicago (I have incredibly convoluted and weird ears, I have never found a one-size-fits-all earbud that even came close to fitting). So anyway, these Sennheiser's are pretty beat up - ear cushions need replacement, headband cushion is ziptied on. These things have been tossed around in and out of road cases and have traveled the country with me, so that's expected after more than 5 years of non-stop use. The other day, my wife sits down at my computer and throws them on to play a game, and immediately gives me the weirdest look and asks me why my headphones sound so tinny and thin. I've been wondering that myself lately, but I attributed it to me just being used to the way they sound and my probable minor hearing damage. I compared them side by side with my cheap Shure in-ears, and sure enough those crappy little EC2's sounded much richer and fuller than my full-size, over-ear headphones!
Is it reasonable to have worn out a set of decent quality headphones in this time frame? Everyone I've talked to cites much longer lifespans, but I suspect that they haven't used their headphones with the same intensity that I have. I'm contemplating taking them apart to see if there's any obvious physical damage to the cable connection or the speaker surrounds. If they are dead, I'm probably just going to buy another pair of the same to replace them with - I love these headphones, and to me they sound light-years better than anything else I've tried in the same price range (hard to beat a hundred bucks). The high-level of passive sound attenuation is a huge plus for me as well (drummer, and I don't trust the active sound-canceling stuff). Any new headphones I buy will see a lot less abuse than these ones did, as I'm not traveling anymore.