One of the most common pair of cans out there and highly lauded in the $100 headphone bracket, all for good reason. Compared to the rest of what's available for the same money, I find the HD280's to overall surpass the competition. The build quality is pretty strong, the phones are resistant to drops and banging around, but like most every headphone, watch out around the joints that connect the lobe to the head band. Comparing these to the Sony MD 7506, the headband is thicker and more stout, though it is all plastic where the 7506 have a little strip of metal...I still think the HD280's can handle more abuse though. One of the great things about the 280's is the isolation. Something like 32db of attenuation! That's real hard to beat, the 7506's for example suck in comparison. A main cause of the great isolation is the ability for the 280's to 'clamp' down on your head, sealing the phones around your ear and blocking out sound - perfect for tracking. The isolation also comes in handy when micing up instruments for placement and finding the 'sweet spot' by listening through the mic.
The sound of the headphones at first before they're broken in is rather harsh and very mid-forward, but after a good dozen hours they mellow out and become more smooth, still with a good mid-presence which really emphasizes vocals, and is real useful for vocal tracking. They have a pretty flat response, and a closed frequency response of 8hz - 25khz. Any one who says these cans lack bass is mistaking...though because of the un-scooped mids I can see where you'd think they were bass shy, I at first thought they lacked bass before they were broken in, and keep in mind that the bass isn't bumped. I wouldn't use these cans to mix on (other than reference checking) but the imaging is very deep and wide. For closed cans, they sound really good.
The overall design of these headphones is great, allowing for twistable lobes for one-ear monitoring (such is useful in DJing) and the ability to fold into itself for better transportation. One downside to the design of these headphones is the coiled cable... I'm not a fan of the coiled cables as they add weight to one side which is uncomfortable and they always need to be stretched. It does make it easier to ''roll up'' the cable though. Sennheiser claims up to 113db of SPL, these cans have all the volume your ears can take. For me, their tight-fit is very comfortable, but you'll need to take them off and let your ears 'breathe' every now and then.
I would definitely recommend these phones for anyone needing closed-back phones in the under $200 market, I really feel these are the best thing around for $100, and am also happy that Sennheiser has a 2 year warranty (so keep your receipt just in case).
I've used the 280 pro headphones for about 2 years now. They are an excellent set of cans in every way.
They are perfect for remote recording gigs, especially when you need to run your rig in the same room as the performance. As the previous reviewer said they give you great isolation, so you can hear the sound that you're recording clearly, and they won't leak sound and distract neighboring audience members.
They also sound great. Their response is flat enough that in a pinch, you can mix on them. But I also use a pair of 280 pros for my casual listening. The isolation often come in handy in my casual listening too. I always take them on the airplane and seem to handle the noise better than any Bose headphones (which are designed to be used on airplanes) and they sound much, much better. The fact that these headphones are really loud also helps.
I plan on using these headphone for years to come.
The only complaint I have is that they are kind of tight. There have been a few sessions where I've worn them for a few hours, and had a few aches and pains as a result. So just be sure to take breaks.
But the build quality is excellent, they fold up small enough to take with you anywhere, and they sound very nice.
These headphones are in my opinion the best in the $100 dollar range by a long shot. A problem that I usually have with most headphones is listening fatigue. For me the fatigue comes from too much bass in the headphones. Well, it is not a problem with these babies, I can listen for hours without any fatigue. Also, with many headphones I unknowingly turn them up to loud but with these it is not a problem. I think the frequency response is flat and suits my ears well. They do a great job not leaking into your mic like so many headphones do. The build quality is great and even has replaceable parts. The coiled cord works great at keeping itself from becoming a tripping hazard. To me and my singer these fit just right, not to tight, not to loose.They are adjustable to fit enormous melons like mine. They are also very good at attenuating outside sound sources, much better than I expected. They seem not to slip or move like most headphones after prolonged use, where you put them they stay. All in all these headphones are great for vocal tracking situations where bleed is intolerable and precision absolutely pertinent.
I got these headphones oddly enough at studio closing auction. I first used them in the studio to do some drum tracking and basic mixing. They were very clear and had an excellent bass response. I used them to monitor myself while playing, and I was pleasantly surprised by their ability to help block out drum sounds. They fit comfortably on your head, and offer a realistic representation of your mixes. Compared to other headphones I have used of relative cost, these seem to the trick. Nothing overly remarkable, but they get the job done without a sense of overpaying.
Like a lot of people I know, or a few at least, I found my way to these affordable headphones after learning through experience that the AKG K-series I was using A) required astonishingly, unrealistically powerful headphone amps to get up to up adequate levels for tracking, and B) were a very poor choice for tracking anyway because leaked like a...like a... like something that can not hold fluid very well. Perhaps a sieve.
While the Sennhesiers may not offer the hermetic isolation and containment as the most Xtreme isolating tracking headphones, they are certainly very usable for tracking vocals. They may not be exacly what you need for drum tracking or for recording loud amps that happen to be in the room with you--I mean, they have sufficed for both these purpose for me, but I often by with wrong tools for the wrong job.
And to me--someone without an awful lot of head time in high end cans--these sound quite good for mixing applications as well. I agree that there is a noticeable improvement after a break in period.
I also find that they are comfortable and--thus far, knock on laminate--quite durable. Most project studios I pass through seem to have a lot of these around.
at first i was just lookin for a good hp for tracking vocals, so mainly i was looking for good isolation and if it sounds good and balanced that will even be better.
went to the store to audition all the closed-back headphones available there and there was a pair of shure srh840,akg k271mkii and couple of lower models of sennheisers than the hd280pro.
at first i auditioned the shure srh840 and loved it so much that i was gona purchase it without even listening to the rest but what held me back was the ridiculous price for it which was $220 at the store, and the fact that it leaks fair amount of sound outside.
then i auditioned the akgk271mkii which was awesome in some music genre only and was sucking in the rest, but it was the best in sound isolation, really amazing as it has this sensor for turning off the sound automatically when you take the hps off your head and doesn't leak sounds outside at all but i didn't like the sound quality much even though it was so detailed, but i thought compared to its price i should get a hp that sounds balanced and good on everything.
the funny thing is when i tried the hd280pro in the store i absolutely hated them, thrashed them, made fun of how they were so hyped and balanced and the loudest of the selection, but this all turned out to be a mistake because when i paid another visit to the store i found that the hd280pro on the display was really extremely abused and the drivers were dying.
how did i discover that?
after a couple of days i found an awesome deal for the hd280pro and i thought to myself to the hell of it, ill buy it, if i dont like it im throwing it for sale on ebay and ill definitely get back what i paid for it or even make a profit out of it,plus i would have gained the experience of trying them personally.
the minute i plugged those babies on a really good headphone amp like the aphex headpod i was blown away!!!!!!! mind freaked!!! those weren't the same hd280pros that i hated at the store for sure!!! the stereo image in the headphone is amazing, wide, clear, BALANCED, not hyped on the low bottom as the other hp in the store was at all, and i was amazed by how detailed it was! it was so much on par with the shure srh840 with even a better high frequencies as the srh840 were a little more harsh, beside they are almost twice the price of the hd280pro!!!!! the sound isolation in these babies is amazing, i can turn the volume as loud as i can when im tracking vocals and i have nothing leaked in the mic at all, i was really blown away with all the features and clarity i got from this hp with that price, a real bang for the buck.
the lesson i learned from auditioning hps is that any hp is only as good as your hp amplifier !!!! that for sure is the real lesson ! just plug any hp even with the lowest ohms to a good hp amp and you'll totally different improved result from it, and make sure the drivers are still alive, don't just look at the physical condition only.
at last, you good a good balanced sound, clarity, and great isolation for tracking, besides i feel its so comfortable on my ears, i can wear them for hours and hours and forget about them, maybe because the headphone is really BIG! but i don't know, but its definitely more comfy than my ath-m50s.i would have given it 9 for sound quality but then i said to myself how much would i give to the ath-m50s then!!
A great pair of headphones that I've been using for the past several years! I've come to know their sound but gave them a 9 out of 10 as I'm sure theres better headphones out there. The head band connection that's made of pastic broke and I had to use electrial tape to fix it, but I guess that says a lot about how much I use them and they still sounds great. I never really liked the coily cable though as it tangles on other cables around. I might have someone put a straight cable on them. Great headphones and they have a great isolation for recording vocals without picking up the music playing, although I usually pull one side back a bit and then the music does leak a decent amount.
I've owned the Sennheiser HD280's for 7 years now, some reflections:
- These are fantastic tracking headphones. Decent sound isolation. Loud enough for drummers / guitarists to hear over the din while tracking.
- Easily overlooked, the spiral cable is durable and runs a decent length.
- Ability to use 1/8 or 1/4 inch plug a plus for when traveling, listening through iPods, laptops, etc.
- Ear cup fabric begins to fall off after heavy use, but cups are replaceable. You'll go through a few over the years.
Not the best cans for mixing, they're certainly not the flattest in terms of frequency response, but that's not what they're designed for. Still, good for referencing a mixed track relative to other professional mixes. Overall, a good value set of tracking cans.
I have used this for djing for almost 4 years, they are still going strong after some beating.
The best of this headphones is the isolation that allows to keep a low volume in loud enviroments. They are also quite confortable to use for long sessions, not heavy, they dont press your ear since they fully cover it around, no pain
They are often overlooked by dj's but they offer best sound quality and construction than any Pioneer or AKg model.
Bought these a couple years ago. They are holding up well. They are too heavy. They squeeze the head too hard. They sound great except for a little extra brightness. The right driver distorts on loud low frequencies but the left is unaffected... I have tracked, mixed and mastered with these with good results. Definitely a great comparison tool.
I've been producing electronic music for 5 years but never had a good, quality pair of headphones until I picked up these bad boys. I also started DJ'ing about a year ago, using these headphones.
I believe that I picked up these headphones for ~130$ in December of 2012. I did my research (because my local music store had many many headphones to choose from) and determined that this was the best one, so I bought it, and boy am I glad I did.
I am usually very picky about audio quality. But I plopped these (rather large) headphones on my ears and every sound came out very crisp and clear. The low frequencies aren't overwhelmingly loud and everything else is great.
My only complaint is that they hurt my ears after wearing them for about half an hour, but it makes sense because the isolation factor is very good. They press against your head a bit but its worth it.
All in all, I'd rate these headphones a solid 4.8/5
I have almost no complaints. If you're looking for good headphones for a decent price, you've found them.
This is my first review, I'm a newbie, have at me if you want but I thought I would share my thoughts.
After a good week of burn in, the cans sound very warm, it is easy to pickup reverb on guitar and vocals. Mids are quite detailed, I'm very impressed. Mid-low is quite clear, and fits well with the rest of the range, with a bass guitar driving the song, easy to pickup and listen. Snares and high hats sound prominent and in place, able to pick up on the detail of the instruments easily.
The only faults is if lacks a lot of stage presence, and they don't feel too warm, they feel a bit flat.
I don’t quite get why these headphones are so highly regarded. The affordability must have something to do with it. I haven’t had the chance to listen to a lot of headphones so I’m definitely not an expert but this is my experience with my HD 280 Pro’s.
I bought them years ago, based on a lot of positive reviews. (I should have actually listend to a couple I know ) I soon moved house and could play my monitors as loud as I wanted so they had little use since. And even though I threated them with care when I did use them, they quickly started to break down.
First the material on the head support started to peel off, then on the cans. Also a piece of plastic where you adjust them for size broke off. These headphones are all plastic and they sure feel that way, a bit cheap. Even some crucial parts that are strained quite a bit, like the can ball joint or the size adjustment are made from plastic.
They are fairly light and the cans themselves are quite comfortable.
Sound wise .. mm, I dunno. I can’t really compare them since they are the only pair I ever owned. But I feel they don’t really sound that accurate. The bass is fine. The stereo field is ok but nothing like my monitors, which I find odd cause I thought that is what headphones are supposed to be really good at. They sound quite confined, lack of depth and the instrument separation isn’t that great.
The highs are a bit muffled while the mids are quite forward, I wouldn’t say harsh but I can’t really listen to them for long periods of time.
Although both have their issues I always believed headphones were great to mix on, and often better for placing instruments in a mix compare to monitors. But my KRK VXT8’s are so much better in all departments, even in an untreated room.
I have had these headphones for years and i recently replaced them with the more expensive HD600's so i can make a pretty good comparison and tell you where you would compromise in case you would decide to not shell out the extra cash.
When it comes to mixing the HD600's are by far a better choice but the 280's are definitely a good alternative if you are on a tighter budget.
Things to keep in mind when using the 280's for mixing:
The low end response of the 280's is less tight or stable then that of the 600's the also dont go as low making it a bit of guesswork.
The stereo image is wide perhaps a bit too wide.. i noticed that when listening to my old mixes (done with my dynaudio's and my 280's) they sound less spacious and wide on the 600's as well as on other playback systems.
Mid range is quite flat and even in response so that is definitely a good thing! in fact i think this is their strong point which makes them ideal for mixing things like vocals.
All in all i still use them as a complement to my 600's who are my main headphones now!