Sennheiser HD280 Pro Headphones

Apr 24, 2007
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Good noise attenuation, very comfortable, replaceable parts, respected audio manufacturer

Cons:Not strong at extreme ends of hi-fi spectrum reproduction.

The Bottom Line: Quality sound, quality manufacturing, very comfortable and a reasonable price. I can thoroughly recommend these headphones.

I am a presenter on local radio and prefer not to share headphones with others so have my own set that touch nobody's ears but mine. I have some very specific needs and kept these in mind when looking for a good set of headphones to use in the studio.

The first choice is clearly do you go for open or closed? In a studio it is vital that I can both isolate external sounds at times whilst keeping an eye open when my co-presenter is talking to me, speaking on the phone or whatever. That means open cans are pointless as they allow all the background sounds through as well. A closed set are important but I needed them to have a good quality hinge system that allows me to flip either earpiece over but not then be left with an indent in my skull.

Sennheiser is a great name in audiophonics and for people looking for quality and good fidelity in mikes and headphones, it is tried and trusted. The 280 Pro set is often labelled 'DJ phones' and for good reason: they have very good isolation ability, attenuating external sound by as much as 32Db which is perfect for noisy nightclubs and so forth. I don't need that level of attenuation but I do need to be able to focus entirely on what is coming into my ears from everything happening externally and these cans do just that.

The earpieces can also be turned 90 degrees which means I can pop them in my case virtually flat: very useful as I transport them back and forth every time I go to the studio.

The cable is a coily type which, though not to everyone's taste, is perfect for me as long trailing wires in a studio are a nightmare. The cable is about a metre and a quarter in 'relaxed' mode and about 3 metres when stretched.

For quality phones to have longevity they need to have replaceable parts, particularly the earcup pads, the headband cushion and the cable. All three are easy to buy and replace in minutes with no special tools and no soldering (cable) required.

If you want a set of headphones that give you 'bombastic bass' then this is NOT the set for you. You will get natural bass very nicely but not boombox bass. You will also not hear every tiny tweet of the birds in a quality recording of Morning from the Peer Gynt Suite but having said all that you will hear everything you need to hear across the audible spectrum. Hi-fi afficionados will want better frequency responses than you will get here but if you simply enjoy listening to music without hearing everything else going on, the kids, the TV and so forth, this is a great set of cans.

They are very comfortable circumaural headphones so they fully encase the ears rather than sitting on top of the ears and you can wear them for hours with no discomfort: not something I personally feel about the pair of cans I consider the close rival to these cans: the Beyer DT 288 which is another excellent headphone but I find feel rather heavy after an hour or so.

Ok, so bottom line, should you buy a pair? I personally would not hesitate to buy another set of these. They meet all my needs beautifully and feel like a quality pair of headphones that will last you for many years.

I hope you have find this review helpful.

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