Sennheiser HD380 Pro vs. Sennheiser HD449
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tomscrace

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Hey,
 
These two headphones are both closed-back, both 'around the ear', both wired, full-sized cans from the same company for about the same price.
 
Does anybody know what the differences between these two are?
 
Thanks,
 
Tom 
 
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zazex

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I brought home a pair of 380's for a while, and really cannot recommend them.
They just don't sound very good.
 
Not familiar with the 449's.
 
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john57

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The HD449 is a much cheaper headphone as compared to the HD380 and are not the same price as shown on Amazon. Read the reviews.The HD380 goes a bit deeper in the bass and may have less distortion. I have the HD380 and it can be folded to take less space in the case. The HD380 is a bit more advance than the HD280.
 
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tomscrace

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Thanks for those replies.
 
john57:
 
Yes, I guess the RRPs are quite different. It just so happened that I the best price I found the 449s for was £89.99, and the best price I could find for the 380s was £93. So I suppose I have either found really good price for the 380s or a terrible price for the 449s. :)
 
Would you recommend the 380s? Zazex seems to dislike them.
 
Or, any other recommendations for different closed back cans in the same sort of price range (or cheaper!)
 
Thanks again.
 
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john57

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One headphone that I can recommend is the Fisher Audio FA-003 a Russia headphone which I just received sounds better than the HD380 and it is more conformable to wear. Sometimes what kinds of music you listen to can influence the choice of headphones.
 
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tomscrace

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Quote:
Sennheiser took four steps backward with the HD380 Pro. I would not recommend them unless you can procure a pair at way below MSRP.


Interesting. Would you say then that the HD280s are actually better headphones?
 
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tomscrace

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Quote:
One headphone that I can recommend is the Fisher Audio FA-003 a Russia headphone which I just received sounds better than the HD380 and it is more conformable to wear. Sometimes what kinds of music you listen to can influence the choice of headphones.


Thanks for that recommendation. I must say I have never heard of Fischer Audio before, but these look interesting.
 
I enjoy mostly classical and jazz, but also a fair bit of rock. Nothing too heavy though, so bass is not a priority for me. I tend to prefer a more neutral sound.
 
I have to admit that this is a bit of a compromise purchase for me. Both of my workhorse headphones (Senn HD600s and Etymotic ER4s) recently gave up the fight at the same time. I used the Senns for extended private music listening. The ER4s were for use in an open office and for travel, where an open can is not acceptable.
 
I can't really afford a like-for-like replacement right now, so I'm looking for something that will cover both use-cases until I can invest some more money.
 
I'm surprised to hear so many bad things here about the HD380s, because elsewhere I have read much that is good. I'm certainly glad I asked!
 
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john57

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For me the HD380 is a darker sounding can and the mids were not near as neutral as I would like them to be. The stiff ear pads are like padded bricks not very conformable in the long run. The good thing about the HD380 is that the sounds that are able to be presented are clear.
 
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tomscrace

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Thanks for that john57.
 
Also looking at Shure SRH840 and AKG k271 if anybody has any comments on those.
 
However, I am really seriously considering the Fischer FA-003s now. Thanks for pointing those out. They seem like very good value for what they are. I have read posts comparing them favourably to the Senn HD600s!
 
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One reservation I have about the Fischers is that they look a bit ugly in all the pictures I've seen. Do they look any better in the flesh?
 
I really quite like the appearance of the AKGs
 
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I'd recommend the 280Pros if you want completely neutral, flat sound.  A lot of the hate for them on here is kinda stupid.
 
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Quote:
I'd recommend the 280Pros if you want completely neutral, flat sound.  A lot of the hate for them on here is kinda stupid.


It's quite tempting because they are considerably cheaper than the others I am considering. They're definitely on the short list! Thanks.
 
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The HD280 are quite a bit cheaper as compared to the HD380. There is over 700 reviews on this headphone alone on Amazon. I have the HD380 and they are okay with clear sound but not the greatest. Good luck! 
 
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The Senn 280 Pros don't sound bad for the money, but the clamping force is intense.
Also, the all plastic headband had issues with cracking - not sure if those issues
have been addressed by Sennheiser.
 
The 380's, which I brought home on two separate occasions for listening, are just
incredibly lifeless headphones without anything to distinguish them except their comfort.
No sparkle, no deep bass, and a flat, diffused sound.
 
 
I had the AKG 271 II for about a year.  Finally sold them due to their weak bass.
Beautifully made with a very clear and precise midrange.
 
The Shure 840 are nice sounding headphones, and I have no problem recommending
them in their price range.  Be aware, though, that they are heavy and clunky.
 
And though it seems that people here have started to shy away from recommending the Audio-Technica
ATH-M50, it's still IMO an excellent value - maybe the all around best value - in its price range.
 
Another phone to consider is the Ultrasone 780 which is selling at about 150 these days, down considerably
from the 200 or so it had been selling for over the past few years.  It has a distinctive sound signature with
a little extra top and bottom, but it's a really good listen nonetheless.
 
And still there are other good choices available, such as the Grado 225i.
 
 
 
(Note - when I speak about price range, I'm referring to street price.)
 
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tomscrace

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Thanks Zazex.
 
I have eliminated the 380s. I am on the edge of eliminating the 280s because the cable does not appear to be easily replaceable. However, I cannot confirm this.
 
I eliminated the ATH-M50 and the Ultrasones because I want a neutral sound.
 
This leaves me with the Fischers, the AKGs, and the Shures.
 
Of these the Fischers and the AKGs are about the same price, with the Shures considerably more expensive.
 
I like the aesthetic of the AKGs the best. I don't much like the look of the exposed wires on the Shures. Seems like a recipe for breakage to me.
 
I think overall I am leaning towards the AKGs. I am not too concerned that they lack a bit of bass oomph. I mainly listen to classical and jazz, so I really want bass precision and containment rather than oomph.
 
Does anybody know how well the AKG 271s isolate sound? This is important to me.
 
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