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Sennheiser HD 380 Pro or Beyerdynamic DT 770 in the UK?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok so I currently own some Shure SE215s, and have previously owned a pair of Denon AH-D1100s and Audio Technica ADH-M50s. 
I love my shure se215s and use them all the time when I'm out and about, but I miss having some over ear headphones to turn to when I'm at home or travelling and want comfort and a more full sound.
I really loved the AH-D1100 but just found the build quality to be terrible. I was using them a lot at the time and so had problems with cracking in the plastic in no time. Eventually the sound in one ear went and due to some botched DIY work a few years ago those headphones are history. 
I chose the M50s for my next over-ear purchase due to the ridiculous amount of glowing reviews, and for the most part I was very satisfied with them. They sounded great (at first I thought they were a bit flat for my tastes, but I quickly grew into them), and unlike the AH-D1100s they were VERY durable. 
I think these the M50s are a great all-rounder HP, but to be honest they weren't quite as comfortable as I'd hoped. Don't get me wrong, I think the M50s are a very comfortable headphone, but after I got my se215s the only time I would use them is when listening for extended periods at home/the office/while travelling - plane/train journeys. For that purpose I didn't find them that comfortable, and would find that my ears grew hot and uncomfortable after an hour or two.
Anyway I lost these a while ago now and so am looking for some replacements! 
I'm really looking for comfort + sound quality. As much as I'd love to invest in some great open cans, right now I'd love to have a pair that I can still use at the office and occasionally while travelling, and since that is important to me, that rules out those options. 
I was tempted at first to just get another pair of M50s, but I'm hoping to be able to find something more comfortable. 
So~~ after extensive research, this is my dilemma:
The HD 380 pros look pretty perfect for me practically - I can get them on amazon in the UK for £110 with warranty. They look very light and comfortable, and fold up and even have a travel case for me to take on the flights I have to take (10 - 20 a year, mostly long-haul). I like that the cable is detachable and their simplicity. 
However the build just doesn't look that durable. the entire headphone seems to be made from cheap looking plastic and I'm not convinced by the material the ear-pad is made from either. Why not use the same nice velour as the HD 558s? 
While they are a practical decision, I can't help feeling like I'm going to be disappointed with the cheap feel of the plastic when they arrive. 
The Beyerdynamic DT 770s on the other hand look like they're built beautifully, with a very sturdy metal build throughout, covered with comfortable padding. The ear-cushions look lush - exactly what I was looking for in a HP that I can stick on when I get home, and wear for hours. 
As to sound, I've been lead to believe that the Beyerdynamic is a bit more.. well.. dynamic. That doesn't bother me so much, and I think I would be alright if they were a little more portable. I think my own tastes are stabbing me in the back here because something I love about the Beyerdynamic's sturdy design is it's solid frame, but that also means it can't just be folded up to take on every other plane ride. Also the Beyerdynamic's only seem to have one authorised dealer here in the UK (polar audio what?!) and cost £140 to buy through them with warranty. 
Does anyone have experience with either/both of these headphones? Any pearls of wisdom that you can offer? 
Are the HD 380 Pros as flimsy as they look? Or do they have a more substantial feel to them then the much cheaper HD models (which look basically the same....). 
Are the DT 770s as sturdy as they look?! Also is there a convenient way of transporting them at all, say if I wanted to take them on a long haul flight? 
Are there any other things that I should know about either of these two headphones that would influence my decision? Also I don't have an amp yet and probably won't be getting one anytime soon, so mostly these will be used with my iphone and macbook. From what I understand both of them perform acceptably without an amp, or should this influence my decision? Am I missing an obvious third option?! 

Also. On a side note - I work in down-town Central London, and I have not found a single place where I can go and audition either of these (or about 90% of headphones I would want to test) ANYWHERE! What's that about?! This is the biggest city in Europe, and the headphone industry has taken off at a ridiculous level the last few years! It's as big as the TV and Home-cinema industry combined now, and yet while there are 200 places that I could go to check out a TV before I bought it, I can't find anywhere to test good HPs! 
Does anyone know of anywhere in Central London/ London at all that stocks decent headphones? I went to Richer Sounds on New Oxford Street but they only had one pair of Grado Sr80is (that were admittedly nice to try out for the first time, tho irrelevant for my usage) and a couple of low end Senns. Slightly infuriating. 
Also is there a good place where people buy their cans online in the UK? Reliable and with warranty? 
Sorry for such a long post, thought I'd just vent and see if anyone here could help me at all...!
Thank you!!
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 7
I recommend the DT770's. they sound better and are built like tanks. What type of music do you listen to btw?
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

I listen to a massive variety. From old school hip-hop soul funk to more recent acoustic and atmospheric chill tracks, and everything in between. 


Do you think the DT 770s would suffer from my wrapping them up in the cord and putting them in a backpack every time I went travelling tho? That was my concern I guess... And those wires sticking out of the cans connecting them to the headband just look a little vulnerable... 


Do you use the DT 770s? Do you take them out ever/transport them around much?

post #5 of 7

I did have the DT770, sold them to get the DT880's. Mainly used them at home but I did take them outside sometimes and they do a very good job at isolation. Don't worry about the build quality, its made in Germany, and Germans know what they're doing ;) 


As for the cables, they are really long, so i guess you'll have to wrap them up either way. The wires sticking out of the drivers are a little bit thin so you have to take be careful with them. Other than that, the headphones are built like tanks and are going to hold up to everyday wear and tear. You don't have to baby them, you just have to pay attention to the cables, especially the thin ones coming out of the driver.

post #6 of 7

I have had the the HD380s for about 3 years now, have used them pretty much every day and traveled with them a number of times (including a 4 week truck trip in Africa).  They still in very good condition so I can recommend them for their durability, although I do tend to look after my stuff, so YMMV depending on your requirements. Also, they have pretty good isolation, with up to 32db attenuation so you can isolate yourself quite well (something that my wife can attest to!).


As far as the earpads go, they do deteriorate over time and mine are now in need of replacement, but considering the amount of wear I have had from them I really cannot complain!  One thing to consider is that they do have a fair bit of clamping, so if you have a large head they might be uncomfortable. I don't have a large head (I think!), so it isn't an issue for me.


I can say that they sound fantastic, especially after a good burn-in.  Most people who dislike the HD380s seem to give up on them too early, but if you get a few hundred hours on them they really do sound very good.  They have a phenomenal frequency range (8-27,000kHz) and use it very well.  The headphones are especially good with Rock and Metal; although I wouldn't call them bass-heavy, they are certainly bass sufficient. Although I often use them listen to Classical and Jazz, you will find better closed headphones if you wanted to listen to those genres exclusively.  with your genres I have no experience, but think that they should fit quite well.  Certainly as a general closed headphone I cannot speak highly enough of them.


The only real bugbear is the 10ft coiled cable, which can be inconvenient when out and about. If you purchase them then my recommendation would be to get an aftermarket cable made for them.

I can't compare them to the Beyers as I have no experience with those headphones, but I hope this helps a bit. Good luck with the hunt.

Edited by waimak - 7/6/13 at 7:25pm
post #7 of 7

Sorry for resurrecting zombie thread, but since I had the same question and didn't find an answer, I'd like to provide the answer for the future me as now I own both of these headphones.

I had my 380pros for ~3 years now. As for durability I have no issues with that. Though I don't drop them that often (might have happened once or twice), the hold really well. I usually have so called 3 day beard but the pads are as good as new, though I used them in my office (6-10h/day for 3 years). The only problem I had is the tiny plastic pieces covering bolts (that have L and R on them) kept falling off so I glued them with an easy to remove glue. I can't comment on durability of DT770 as I only have them for ~1.5 week, but my brother has a pair for about 10 years now and given he's not the person who takes good care of his stuff and headphones still look really good - they should be bullet proof. 


As for sound isolation, 380 pros have far superior sound isolation compared to DT770, both inside and outside headphone (however none of these headphones have any problem with isolation). This comes at the price of comfort though - leather pads make you sweat more and the clamping force of 380pros is much stronger. That didn't stop me from wearing them for so long, but dt770 are just more comfortable. 


While looking for a new headphone I've listened to like 30 different audiotechnika, sennheiser, bayerdynamics, shure headphones. I was looking for the sound clarity (many headphones tend to be muddy on mids in rock/punk type of music), good frequency range (including the bass). I didn't like open type headphones - though they have incredible soundstage and clarity, but the lack of bass isn't appealing for me any more. It's not a secret that dt770 have a V-shaped sound out of the box, but if you want to just listen to music, I like them better. They have better soundstage. But if i had to choose 2 out of all of the headphones I heard, I'd still choose both 380pro and dt770 - both of these are really great. 


At the shop they didn't have 250ohm version with the break-in made. After listening both 80 and 250 version without a break-in and comparing 80ohm version with break-in and without break-in I went with 80ohm version as it tend to be less harsh on highs. I am driving them with ODAC + Objective2 amp.


You can't go wrong with any of these. Just decide on the application. If you travel a lot or want a headphone for studio use, i'd suggest picking hd380 - they are very natural sounding, they are much easier to drive (no need for external amp for the to sound good), have detachable cable, provide better sound isolation, are smaller and have a hardcase/travelcase. If you have headphone amp and mainly use them inside to listen to music, I'd probably go with dt770s, they are bigger, have crazy-long cable and less sound isolation, but they are more comfortable and sound is just "more exciting" :). Not sure how people use dt770 in studio as they have saturated bass and highs, but for listening to music that's fine. Hope this helps.

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