Sennheiser HD 280 PRO Review

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Sennheiser HD 280 PRO Review | Decibel Peak
sennheiser hd 280 3

The Sennheiser HD 280 PROs were the first pair of professional studio headphones I ever owned.

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
3.5

The Sennheiser HD 280 PROs were the first pair of professional studio headphones I ever owned.

I still use them to this day and it’s been over 10 years ago (just to give you an idea). That’s German-made quality alright, but I have to admit that the HD 280 PROs aren’t my favourite.

HOWEVER, they’re still an essential part of my field recording setup.

That’s what I recommend them for and I also recommend them for DJs. We’ll be talking more about that later, but we’ll also be talking about what these headphones CAN’T do.

It’s an important thing to consider, so keep reading to find out what I like, don’t like about the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs and WHO I’d recommend them to.

So, let’s find out if the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs are right for you…

What I like about the Sennheiser HD 280 PRO

Out of all the headphones I’ve ever used, I have to say that the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs are the most portable (and flexible).

The ear cups swivel and the entire headphones can be folded to fit just about anywhere.

sennheiser hd 280 pro 2

I also really like the sound isolation on the HD 280 PROs.

Of course, there’s definitely better out there, but it’s the best you’ll get at this price range. It gets the job done out in the field and doesn’t cause any microphone-bleed in the studio.

If you really want more isolation, you can actually press the headphones to your ears and the pressure will actually provide more isolation.

However, both of your hands will need to be free for this manoeuvre.

Lastly, the one thing I’m sure everyone can appreciate about the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs is the durability. 10 years+ is quite a lifespan for such an affordable pair of headphones.

What I DON’T like about the Sennheiser HD 280 PRO

As I stated, the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs aren’t my favourite headphones.

Well, that’s if we’re talking about music production, mixing and mastering.

I can’t recommend the HD 280 PROs for those applications because of a few reasons. For starters, these headphones CANNOT produce sub-frequencies.

In other words, the bass-response isn’t that great.

You’re not going to hear much between 20-40 Hz…

Also, the high-frequencies are WAY too quiet (relatively speaking). Whenever I mixed with the HD 280 PROs, my mixes always sounded extremely harsh in the high-end when listening on speaker monitors (to be more precise, the PreSonus Eris E3.5s).

Of course, you can learn to adapt BUT… Why should you?

Let’s just say that the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs weren’t designed for music producers and mixing and mastering engineers.

However, they’ll be great for RECORDING ARTISTS!

They’re also great out in the field. In both situations, you don’t necessarily need an accurate frequency response.

The priority for those applications is sound isolation!

Lastly, I personally don’t recommend wearing the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs for extended durations. After an hour or two, they begin to get uncomfortable at the top of the head.

If possible, I recommend upgrading the headband to mitigate this.

Who should use the Sennheiser HD 280 PRO?

Once again, I DON’T recommend the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs to music producers and mixing and mastering engineers.

I only recommend them to…

  • Recording Artists
  • Sound Mixers/Recordists
  • DJs

That’s because all of these music professionals could benefit from the portability and durability of the HD 280 PROs.

Sure, the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs might not be well-balanced in high-end or capable of reproducing sub-bass frequencies, but that might actually be an advantage.

In environments where there are other sounds (instruments, traffic, etc…), the focus on the mid frequencies actually helps these headphones CUT.

In other words, you’ll hear better in LOUD PLACES.

Sennheiser HD 280 PRO vs Sony MDR-7506

You’ll often see the Sennheiser HD 280 PRO being compared to the Sony MDR-7506.

That’s partly because their design and pricing are pretty much identical.

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone

However, I have to say that the overall performance of the MDR-7506 is much better. I’d only choose the HD 280 PRO if you absolutely needed swivelling earcups.

Here, check it out for yourself…

Sennheiser HD 280 PROSony MDR-7506
Headphone TypeDynamic, Closed-BackDynamic, Closed-Back
Headphone StyleCircumauralCircumaural
Driver Size40mm40mm
Impedance64 Ohms63 Ohms
Frequency Response*8 Hz – 25,000 Hz**10 Hz – 20,000 Hz
Cable Length9.8 feet9.8 feet
Cable TypeCoiledCoiled
FoldableYESYES
Features– Swivel Earcups
– 1/4″ adapter
– Carry Bag
– 1/4″ adapter
* Starts tapering off below 100 Hz and above 10,000 Hz
**Starts tapering off below 20 Hz and above 10,000 Hz

Now, it’s important to note that manufacturers always “mess up” when it comes to frequency response.

You’d be very disappointed if you were expecting to hear sub-bass frequencies with the Sennheiser HD 280 PRO. It actually doesn’t produce much below 60 Hz (even if the manufacturer states 8 Hz).

On the bright side, the Sony MDR-7506 actually produces sub-bass frequencies down to 20 Hz.

That’s one of the most important advantages of the MDR-7506. BUT, both of these headphones have difficulty producing accurate high frequencies (above 10,000 Hz).

It’s one of the main reasons I don’t recommend them for mixing and mastering.

So, the major difference between the HD 280 PRO and MDR-7506 involves the bass response.

Sennheiser HD 280 PRO: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs good for mixing?

NO. I don’t personally recommend the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs for mixing because they don’t reproduce high frequencies accurately and CANNOT produce sub-bass frequencies.

Do the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs have a microphone?

NO. The Sennheiser HD 280 PROs don’t have an integrated microphone.

Do the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs have a detachable cable?

NO. The Sennheiser HD 280 PROs don’t have a detachable cable.

How many ohms are the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs?

The Sennheiser HD 280 PROs have an impedance of 64 ohms.

Summary: Sennheiser HD 280 PRO Review

The Sennheiser HD 280 PROs might not be suitable for music production, mixing and mastering BUT… They definitely have a place in my toolbelt.

I find it odd that these headphones are marketed as “professional studio headphones”.

Sure, the HD 280 PROs are great for recording artists, but that’s about it in regards to professional studio environments.

Other than that, DJs and sound mixers/recordists will benefit the most from them.

In other words, I believe that the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs were designed for OUTDOOR USE.

Their affordability also plays a HUGE role in that.

I mean, would you really want to bring your expensive studio headphones out into the field?

If you have any questions about the Sennheiser HD 280 PROs, don’t be shy. Let me know in the comments and feel free to share your thoughts as well!

Sources

https://en-ca.sennheiser.com/hd-280-pro

https://pro.sony/ue_US/products/headphones/mdr-7506

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