Originally published 6/7/15.
- 2/23/22. Article revisit.
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…
What I will bring you in this review
- Video Review
- Amp/DAC requirements
- Who do these headphones benefit?
- Final Word
Let’s get started!
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
- Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check eBay!
- type: Closed Back.
- fit: Circumaural.
- impedance: 64 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
- frequency response: 8 – 25,000 Hz.
- material: Plastic, Faux Leather.
- color: Black.
IIRC, 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 when 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?
The dullness I mention? Well, it’s due to a horribly scooped out mid-range/low treble area 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.”
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. Nearly every company that sells semi-to fairly well-known headphones somehow always tacks on that stupid “reference” moniker to headphones 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 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 strange peaks and valleys in the response, I’d stay away from these.
The build seems solid enough, but don’t sleep with them on your head as the plastic on mine cracked over time. Now you may be wondering, “Why in the crap would you ever sleep with them on?”
To that I say,
I’LL ASK THE QUESTIONS AROUND HERE!!
It’s just something I used to do when I was younger. I loved falling asleep to music and the HD280 was a great companion until it decided to be a little b**ch and break.
The other thing about these is that they’re incredibly bulky and fat. If your goal is to get punched in the throat by a bully, then go ahead and walk around with them outside. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Aside from that, I could probably toss these around and they would still be okay. I never actually did, but build wise they were some of the toughest headphones I 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.
It’s DUMMY THICC
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.
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/nerdy 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, 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.
Credit to Jonathan Morrison.
Who do these headphones benefit?
- People who want to get bullied.
A below-average set of headphones sound-wise with the rugged build as their only saving grace. There are much better options nowadays.
If you’re looking for the best studio headphones for mixing, definitely check out my gargantuan article on what I personally believe to be the best.
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,
Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!