I’m gonna be honest with you right now in my Sennheiser HD 280 pro professional headphone review. Transparently honest. These are a good set of cans. Exceptional even. Flat and neutral sounding. Great for mixing. Clear, crisp, precise, etc. etc.
They aren’t very exciting. If you’re looking for an affordable pair of headphones for mixing in the studio, then these may fit the bill. But be sure to check out my other posts on the matter at hand.
For casual listening, they are good, but won’t really provide you with that “Wow” factor. The sound is very flat and even across the spectrum. They are crisp and pleasant, but not very loud. They are simply some of the most accurate cans around for the price. However, they don’t make me want to shout out from the mountain tops or anything. Lol.
This just may be the smartest purchase you will ever make. I had done quite a bit of research on them for a few of my other articles, and I have found after wearing these for a few weeks that the consensus is accurate. The 280’s are rock solid and durable, and withstand a ton of abuse. There are reviewers on amazon that have owned these for upwards of 5-10 years.. some of which came back for a glowing update!
The comfort level is definitely above average. Clamp force is a bit tight but opens up the longer you wear them. The material that the ear cups are made of feels very nice and soft and doesn’t seem like it would break down over time. The headphones are quite bulky but do not feel heavy on my head. Overall I am satisfied. They are similar to the Audio Technica ATH M50 in terms of comfort level, although these clamp tighter and are a bit heavier.
I could probably toss these around and they would still be okay. I’m not going to, but build wise they are some of the toughest headphones I’ve owned. As mentioned above they are quite bulky, which sort of explains their rugged nature. They are comprised almost entirely of plastic, but it’s a thick plastic that has some meat on its bones.
They definitely feel like a solid set of headphones when you’re holding them. They also fold and contort in a myriad of ways for added durability, and prove to be very versatile in this regard. Ever slept on a pair of headphones and cracked them because they lacked that range of motion? Not so with these.
9/9/19 Update: Way back before I sold this pair, I actually did crack them by accident after sleeping on them one night. 🙁 It wasn’t a large crack and wasn’t that noticeable, but should be mentioned nonetheless.
If you’re only going to use these primarily in the studio, then they are an excellent buy. If what you’re looking for is mobility, then look elsewhere. Again, they are big and bulky and actually look kind of ridiculous and quite nerdy in the mirror.
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro looks a fair bit like an old telephone receiver on your head. (Telephones are things we used to use to talk vocally with each other). It doesn’t matter though, because everything else about these headphones is completely perfect.Alex Rowe, medium.com
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 these 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.
Perhaps the most important and strongest aspect of these is the sound they produce. It’s very pleasant and neutral. It’s not overpowering, and the bass isn’t muddy or boomy. Be aware that these are about as flat and balanced as it gets. You’re not going to be floored or amazed when you put them on, so just a forewarning. This is a studio engineers headphone above all else. Expect an honest representation of what you’re listening to. They aren’t very loud either, but get the job done and are a nice go-to option for your affordable mixing needs.
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. A bright treble and mid-range end up compensating for a lack of bass.
Flat, even sound across the spectrum. Very neutral.
Durable and strong like ox.
Great for mixing in the studio.
Longevity through the roof.
Not particularly exciting or mind-blowing.
Bass is somewhat thin.
Bulky, not great for portable use.
A couple of other potential cons that I haven’t come across, but other reviewers have:
Headband sometimes prone to cracks and breakage. These were isolated cases.
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Beatmakers and producers on a budget, looking for an honest and accurate mix.
People who value a neutral representation.
People looking for a pleasant overall sound at a great value.
People who like a crispy sound signature, with more emphasis placed on the high-end/treble range.
Who they do not benefit?
People looking for a heavy bass response.
People who want to get pumped up and excited about their music 😀
People who are looking for portability/mobility. These aren’t made for that so be wary.
Overall a great pair of budget headphones at a nice value. They won’t break the bank and prove to be exceptional in-studio for mixing and reference applications. They aren’t portable or mobile, and the coiled cable can be a bit of a hassle at times. They are very comfortable if a bit bulky. Build quality is remarkable, and the plastic feels thick and durable rather than cheap and thin like many factory-grade consumer sets. These can withstand quite a bit of abuse, but don’t go tossing them off of any balconies 😀
Regardless, this is a great higher end entry level set that should definitely be considered if you are just getting into the world of audiophiles.
Stu is determined to help you make sound decisions, and strives to deliver the best and most in depth content on the internet! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, pray, rap, make beats, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His sense of humour, coupled with a knack for excellence and strict attention to detail are what allow him to stand out in an crowded industry.