Sennheiser HD 280 Headphones

Average User Rating:
  1. mashupAddict
    "great budget can"
    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.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. The sound is pretty good for the price.
    5. Single-sided cable entry (left side) with nice, thick coiled cabling.
    Neutral (good and bad even out):
    1. Plastic construction throughout. Seem a bit flimsy, but this also makes them light. I have had no problems with cracking or creaking
    1. 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.
  2. pinetrees
    "Good monitors. Not for the masses."
    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.
  3. BBBS
    "Not bad"
    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.
  4. kcostell
    "I Got What I Was Looking For"
    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. 
  5. csteimnetz1
    "Sennheiser HD-280 Pro"
    Pros - Lightweight, Transparent sound, Budget Price
    Cons - Not very musical, Little bass, Fatiguing Highs
    These were my first pair of cans and since no one else has yet to submit a review for them I thought I would go ahead and write one.

    First Glance:
    These were made primarily for studio use and the have a very classic look to them. Nothing fancy. They come with a coiled cable that terminates with a 3.5mm jack with threads for the supplied ¼in adapter.

    Build Quality:
    The headband is made of kind of plastic along with the rest of the headphones. They have a leather-like pad on the headband and around the ear cups. There have been reports of the plastic headband cracking but my pair has seen no such damage. Overall the build quality is acceptable for a pair of headphones in this price range.

    They are not particularly uncomfortable headphones but after an hour or so of listening they might begin to become uncomfortable. They are quite light feeling on your head compared to my AKG 271MKII's and feel almost like a pair of Grado’s expect a little heavier. They don’t have a really strong clamp on your head so that is not uncomfortable either. Overall they are pretty comfortable but there are more comfortable cans out there.

    Now for the important part: How do they sound? I have probably put around 50 hours into these headphones and this review is based upon that experience in addition to the specific testing that I did. Here is my signal chain: Sony DVP-NC80V -> Gary’s PA2V2 -> Sennheiser HD 280 Pro. To me they seem to have an kind of neutral sound probably due the fact that they were meant to be used in the studio which makes me feel that are not great for enjoying music as they have an almost cold sound and at times the high frequencies can get fatiguing. The low end is present but it not very punchy, it is just neutral. Acoustic guitars and cymbals cut right through and stand out but at times are a too sharp and require you to turn down the volume. Since they are sort of cold they are also quite transparent and individual instruments usually stand out. The mids seemed to be recessed and vocals never really seem to jump out at you. Overall this causes a less than satisfactory listening experience because they never really bring the music to life. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good headphones. They are great in the studio for someone looking for budget mixing/mastering headphones because, like I said, they are transparent. They are great for monitoring due to their isolation which is quite good even when no music is playing.

    These headphones are a great backup in the studio or for giving to performing musicians or just for the home recordist on a tight budget. Although I would not recommend them to a fellow Head-Fier who wants to use them to listen to music collection. In the $99 price range there are better headphones for enjoying music, maybe something like the Grado 60i’s. I hope this review is helpful.
  6. sensfan3232
    "Best STUDIO headphones I've owned"
    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!!!!!!
  7. Eisenhower
    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.
  8. NA Blur
    "A Popular Choice"
    Pros - Price, Sound Quality ( see full review )
    Cons - Durability, Comfort, Bass
    Too many people first starting out in the $100 category for headphones choose the 280 as a starting point.  Without directly A/B comparing the 280 pro against other headphones at this price point is you are going to leave yourself room for much improvement.  The isolation is about all that is beneficial from this headphone.  The durability is unanimously horrid and sound quality is hugely dependant upon how to fit your head and seal around your ears.
    If you are looking at these for you first choice in "quality" headphones I would listen to the Audio Technica ATH-M50's before making your final decision.  If you like In-Ear type headphones try the Brainwavz M2.
    One interesting fact about these headphones is that the outermost part of the shell is too thin which appears to dampen the sound a bit.
  9. JoshKe
    Pros - Comfortable, cheap, noise reduction
    Cons - Coil cord
    I bought these a while back to commute with on the train, hoping to block out some of the noise. Not only do they do that, but they sound great
  10. Fatmangolf
    "HD 280"
    Pros - Light, good sound isolation for recording, quite comfortable
    Cons - -
    I have had these for about 5 years. It is not the most exciting sound when compared to the Grado 80's in similar price range for UK. But the sound is reasonably detailed and neutral enough for home recording use.
    The closed back design and cushions do keep most of the sound in so spillage into mics is minimal. The same applies to nearby friends and relatives!