Sennheiser HD280 vs. HD380

Greetings friend and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the Sennheiser HD280 vs. HD380 comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this comparison

  1. Similarities & Differences
  2. Video Comparison
  3. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!

Similarities & Differences


  • Both are black.
  • Both have a Circumaural (Around the ear) fit.
  • Both have faux leather padding.
  • Both have very good sound isolation, though the 280’s may be slightly better.


  • Cable. The HD380 comes with a detachable cable while the HD280 does not.
  • Impedance. The 280’s have a 64 Ohm impedance while the HD 380’s have a 54 Ohm impedance. Neither require a headphone amp, but could potentially benefit from one. How to choose a headphone amp!
  • Cable length. 3.28 ft. for the 280 vs. 3.3 ft. for the 380.
  • Carrying Case. The 280’s do not come with a carrying case while the 380’s do.
  • Fold. The 280’s fold and contort in many of the same ways as the ATH M50’s. The 380’s also fold flat and move in many of the same ways as the 280, but as an extra feature they kind of collapse a bit more compact. More on that in the comparison below!
  • Comfort. The 380’s are more comfortable over a longer period of time than the 280’s, and don’t clamp as hard on your dome.
  • Cushioning. The headband cushioning on the 380 is different than on the 280. The 280’s has been known to actually fall off over time.
  • Frequency response. The 280 has an FR of 8 Hz – 25 kHz, while the 380 has an FR of 8 Hz – 27 kHz. Considering humans can’t even hear above 20, this difference isn’t really noteworthy but I like to be as detailed as possible. 🙂
  • Sensitivity. The 280’s have a 102 dB Sensitivity vs. the 110 of the 380. What is Sensitivity in Headphones?
  • Weight. The 380’s are lighter coming in at 7.7 oz. vs. 10.05 for the 280.
  • Imaging. The 380’s have a bit wider of a 3-d image, which gives them a bit more Soundstage. What is Soundstage?
  • Padding. The 380’s conform to your ears better, and have an oval shape vs. the more rounded character of the 280.
  • Bass. The overall bass response digs deeper than an HD280. The 280’s bass is more rolled off. 380 graph vs. 280 graph. Also, the quality of bass is much better on the 380, with more articulation and detail apparent. The 280’s tend to be sucked out in the critical mid-bass region, while the 380’s are not. My guess is that Sennheiser attempted to experiment in this area since most headphones tend to overemphasize 100-200 Hz. Just a hunch though. Sub bass is also much better than the 280 obviously.
  • Soundstage. As mentioned before, a really nice feature of the 380 is the fact that the Soundstage is reminiscent of a true open back, as these don’t bear the typical characteristics of a boxed in sounding closed back. Soundstage is definitely better on these than the 280.
  • Overall sound signature. I owned the HD280’s for a time, and while they were very flat and balanced across the board, they left me extremely bored. I’m thinking the culprit is that sucked out mid-bass that renders them kind of lifeless at times. The 380’s are similar to an M50x in that they have a more exciting bass and a somewhat brighter, more sparkling treble. The 380’s are also more open, detailed, with better instrument separation, and and an overall sense of refinement vs. the somewhat lifeless 280.

Video Review!

Credit to @Metal571. Check him out on twitter!

Video Comparison

Credit to 65 drums for the video!

Final Word

I would go for the 380’s over the 280’s because:

  • The 380’s are much more comfortable.
  • The 380’s have a more exciting sound signature.


If you’re in need of an entry level closed back mixing/mastering/reference headphone, I would go ahead and cop a pair of Sony MDR V6’s. Interesting in learning why?


Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Sennheiser HD280 vs. HD380 comparison.

What do you think about them?? Let me know!!

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Let me know in the comments below or Contact me!! I would love to hear from you..

Until then, all the best and God bless..





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