Greetings mate and Welcome aboard. Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear) all over again, so…
Prepare to embark on a journey into the realm of audio excellence as we delve into the iconic Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones.
These headphones have earned their place in the pantheon of audio equipment, celebrated for their quality and reliability.
However, as we explore the HD280 Pro in this review, we’ll also shed light on some potential issues that may challenge their revered status.
While they’ve long been held in high regard, it’s essential to scrutinize their performance and features to determine whether they actually live up to the hype or if there are any hidden shortcomings.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a passionate audiophile, join us in unraveling the secrets of this renowned product, including a closer look at any potential drawbacks that may have eluded the spotlight.
Let’s get started!
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
In The Box
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Circumaural Closed-Back Monitor Headphones
Limited 2-Year Manufacturer Warranty
- Type: Closed Back.
- Fit: Circumaural.
- Foldable: Yes
- Impedance: 64 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
- Frequency Response: 8 – 25,000 Hz.
- Maximum Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 113dB
- Maximum Power Handling: 500mW
- Noise Attenuation: Up to 32dB (Passive)
- Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): 0.1%
- Material: Plastic, Faux Leather.
- Active Noise Cancellation: No
- Audio Connector: 1/8″ / 3.5mm TRS
- Connector Plating: Gold
- Included Adapter: 1/4″ TRS
- Cable Design: Single-Sided, Coiled
- Audio Connector to Earpiece: Hard-Wired
- Cable Length: 4.3′ / 1.3m
- Earpiece Swivel: 90°
- Color: Black/Deep Grey.
Well, it’s been quite a while since the HD280 was a twinkle in my eye.
That is to say that the HD280 was around my third set of “good” headphones, but looking back, they were a bit of a disappointment for a few reasons.
I remember being fairly underwhelmed by them when listening to music, as they sounded kind of dull to me.
It wasn’t until years later that I found out why.
One look at a graph of these tells you all you need to know.
Is that really something you’d want to mix or even listen casually with?
Scooping out literally the most important part of the sound signature is pretty much the last thing you’d ever want to do when constructing a headphone for mixing and mastering.
The mid-range is by far the most crucial thing to get right in a mix, and here we have the presence regions basically out to lunch.
The dullness I mention?
Well, it’s due to this same issue which makes complete sense. The mid-bass? Also scooped out.
This is what I actually said in 2015:
“The low end is lacking a bit, however. Even for neutral cans, I feel like there could have been a slightly beefier bass presentation. At times the music feels a little hollow.”
Actually, I was wrong. It’s a lot hollow. LOL.
I have no idea what Sennheiser was thinking when they made these, but they are definitely not something I’d ever recommend for mixing.
The worst part is that they’re actually marketed that way, which has almost become a meme at this point.
One look around the internet and you’ll find pretty much everyone and their Grandma shilling these as if they’re God’s gift to humanity.
Nearly every company that sells semi-to fairly well-known headphones somehow always tacks on that stupid “reference” moniker to products that have no business being labeled as such.
I suppose it entices new people to buy things without thinking much about it.
Take it from a guy (me) who’s mixed countless tracks over the years – the HD280 is just not something that you’d ever want to use for such a purpose.
For casual listening, they are “okay” I guess, but the sound signature is pretty lacking to put it nicely.
Unless you want to fall asleep from pure boredom and are okay with jarring cuts and dips in the frequency response, I’d stay away from these.
The build quality of these headphones has garnered both praise and criticism.
They’re primarily constructed from a robust plastic material, which, at first glance, appears sturdy and durable.
However, one can’t help but notice that the plastic used is not just rugged but also noticeably thick and somewhat bulky.
While the bulkiness may contribute to their overall durability, some users have noted that the thick plastic casing can have its drawbacks.
In other words, the HD280 Pro has been known to crack under pressure like Henry Hill in Goodfellas.
One notable aspect of these headphones is their versatility in design.
They can be easily folded and rotated, making them a convenient choice for users on the go.
This feature adds to their overall functionality and portability, allowing for easy storage and a comfortable fit in various situations.
Comfort here is about average, maybe slightly below due to them clamping rather tight on your melon.
The faux leather cup material also sweats a bit and you’ll be making semi-frequent adjustments over long listening sessions.
I don’t know if the cup material breaks down over time as the M50 and 7506 do, but leave a comment below if you have any insight into this.
If what you’re looking for is mobility, then look elsewhere. Again, they are big and bulky and actually look kind of ridiculous in the mirror.
Check out Alex Rowe’s hilarious Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Review (Old Model) on Medium!
I may have considered taking them out, if not for the coiled cord.
It becomes a huge inconvenience, and to be quite honest I haven’t ever worn this outside of my home, though you may.
If you do, be prepared for people to look at you like you got a flower pot head, kid. Lol, that was taken directly from a Wu-Tang intro.
- Built pretty well.
- Good isolation.
- Scooped out mid-range.
- Scooped out mid-bass.
- Dull, boring sound.
- Bulky, and not great for portable use.
Credit to Jonathan Morrison.
- People who want to get bullied.
The Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones are widely acknowledged as falling below the industry standard in terms of sound quality.
Users and experts alike have often expressed disappointment with their audio performance, citing various sonic shortcomings.
However, the redeeming quality of these headphones lies in their robust and durable build, which is frequently praised for its sturdiness and resilience.
This build quality has earned the HD280 Pro headphones a place as a reliable and long-lasting audio accessory, even though their sound quality may not meet the expectations of discerning audiophiles.
The Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones certainly have their fair share of drawbacks, particularly when it comes to sound.
While they excel in terms of durability and build, their audio performance may leave audiophiles wanting more.
For those seeking superior options in the realm of headphones for mixing, mastering, and music production, be sure to check out my dedicated article on the subject.
There, you’ll find a comprehensive guide to some of the top choices available, helping you make an informed decision for your professional audio needs.
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you enjoyed my Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Review!
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
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What do you think about these? Are they as bad as I made them out to be? What are your favorite headphones? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,
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