Sennheiser HD280 headphones

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Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:41 pm

I'd been putting off a headphone upgrade since forever. This week an old-yet-passable pair of Sonys I had been using for gaming and occasional music finally broke at an unrepairable point, which forced my hand. I don't mic while gaming, and I simply don't have HD555 money (or rather, I've got too many competing uses) so the HD280s seemed like a good fit.

They arrived today, and now I'm listening to them using a DIY Class A headphone amp that I built a few years back. Wow! I should have done this a long time ago. They're very comfortable over my head and don't bungle my glasses, and compared to the old set (which was closed-back but not very isolating) it seems like the soundstage is located naturally around my head, rather than crammed into my ears.

Anyone else used/using the HD280s in particular, and how did they compare to your previous or current setup?
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:46 am

I used to have this model few years ago. Good sound quality (from what I can remember), very good build quality, very comfortable over long periods of time and have excellent passive noise attenuation - I used to take them on all long-haul flights when I used to travel a lot by plane. Not sure how they compare to other similar models - I never tried to directly compare them to anything else and I got rid of them after I lost the need to use any kind of headphones...
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:12 am

Hang on, I thought the 555's were classed as the cheap end of the good ones from Sennheiser? I'm sure I've seen deals with them under 100$ or something?
Mine are 8 years old and still fantastic.
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:08 am

AbRASiON wrote:Hang on, I thought the 555's were classed as the cheap end of the good ones from Sennheiser? I'm sure I've seen deals with them under 100$ or something?
Mine are 8 years old and still fantastic.


Maybe you saw another set for under 100. The 555's retail for 200 still.

I have a pair of HD485's that I've had for like...7 years now, and they're still pretty decent headphones. Obviously a closed set isn't going to sound quite as good as a decent open set, but there is a reason those 280's are so popular. They're a really good closed headphone for 100 bucks. I've been contemplating getting some M50's, but I've had such good luck with Senn and since I don't know anyone with a set of M50's it's hard for me to just pull the trigger.
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:17 am

I've got a pair and I love them, especially paired with my sound card (see sig below; I got it refurbed at Newegg for about 50% off).
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:14 am

HD 280 Pro's... I've had a pair since about 1999 or 2000 maybe? Love them. Best headphones I ever had.
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:18 am

I've had a pair of these for many years and love them. You'd be hard pressed to find a better sounding headphone for the price, especially if you want some noise cancelling ability. There are definitely better sounding headphones, but they tend to cost a lot more. As with all headphones it's somewhat subjective though. Certain people prefer certain sonic signatures, although a lot of it can be EQ'd anyway if you know what you prefer.

I also like how you can order replacement parts from Sennheiser (or various online stores). After years of use the earpads were getting pretty stiff/unpadded, but for about $20 I got new earpads and they feel as good as new.

I do prefer the sound of speakers to headphones generally, but you also end up paying a lot more money for a given sound quality. The room filling ambiance of speakers is just something headphones can't ever truly replicate. Of course there are a lot of cases where speakers aren't ideal though, such as in an environment with a lot of background noise, not wanting to wake the neighbors, not wanting feedback on a microphone (although this one can largely be mitigated with a directional mic), etc
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:55 am

You can find the 555s for $70 during a sale, and there's a simple mod to convert them to the 595s.

I had the 280s for around 5 years and I loved them as well. They are quite tight on the head and I had to stretch it out over a box. They responded to EQing really well and the noise cancellation helps to make them sound better. Have you heard of the tack-mod? It really improves the impact of the lower end.

I'm surprised you enjoyed them right out of the box. It's usually really bright sounding and requires a lot of time before they sound their best.

I've moved up to the ultrasone 780 though. They sound much more open, but they can't take as input current as they 280s.
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:22 pm

I was never impressed by the HD555 or HD595, I assume that carriers over to the HD558 and HD598 but I haven't listened to those yet. They didn't fit the Sennheiser sound that I greatly enjoy with the HD580, HD600, and HD650. Best I could describe the HD555 and HD595 was accurate but very brittle. Where the HD580, HD600, and HD650 sound warm, lush and maintain or surpass that detail level. Even for other $200 to $250 headphones there a lot of better choices than the HD558 or HD598 out there.

The HD280 on the other hand I consider a classic. It's been a good to great value for a very long time. Tremendous all around headphone for the price. It does just about everything right (except for a coiled cord ugh).

Personally I'm sticking to my Denon AH-D2000 until they break. My favorite all around headphone I've had the pleasure of owning. If you really want to hear high end headphones I highly recommend going to a Head-Fi meet if one comes near you. $1000+ headphones are an awesome experience even if not something I'd be willing to buy. These days I'm contemplating a speaker system. I finally have the long term living arrangements to make it possible.
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:51 pm

Washer wrote:I was never impressed by the HD555 or HD595, I assume that carriers over to the HD558 and HD598 but I haven't listened to those yet. They didn't fit the Sennheiser sound that I greatly enjoy with the HD580, HD600, and HD650. Best I could describe the HD555 and HD595 was accurate but very brittle. Where the HD580, HD600, and HD650 sound warm, lush and maintain or surpass that detail level. Even for other $200 to $250 headphones there a lot of better choices than the HD558 or HD598 out there.

The HD280 on the other hand I consider a classic. It's been a good to great value for a very long time. Tremendous all around headphone for the price. It does just about everything right (except for a coiled cord ugh).

Personally I'm sticking to my Denon AH-D2000 until they break. My favorite all around headphone I've had the pleasure of owning. If you really want to hear high end headphones I highly recommend going to a Head-Fi meet if one comes near you. $1000+ headphones are an awesome experience even if not something I'd be willing to buy. These days I'm contemplating a speaker system. I finally have the long term living arrangements to make it possible.

I agree about the 558. I bought a pair last year for $120 and sold them 2 weeks later. They just sounded weak.
I've been yerning to obtain my own pair of HD650s since I got into audio back when I was in middle school. They've just always been out of my price range :/

How do you like the D2000s? I was stuck between the hfi-780 and the d2000, but went with the hfi-780 cause they were supposed to be better with electronic music. They are fantastic, but I always wonder what could have been :roll:
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:00 pm

DancinJack wrote:
AbRASiON wrote:Hang on, I thought the 555's were classed as the cheap end of the good ones from Sennheiser? I'm sure I've seen deals with them under 100$ or something?
Mine are 8 years old and still fantastic.


Maybe you saw another set for under 100. The 555's retail for 200 still.

I have a pair of HD485's that I've had for like...7 years now, and they're still pretty decent headphones. Obviously a closed set isn't going to sound quite as good as a decent open set, but there is a reason those 280's are so popular. They're a really good closed headphone for 100 bucks. I've been contemplating getting some M50's, but I've had such good luck with Senn and since I don't know anyone with a set of M50's it's hard for me to just pull the trigger.



I've got a pair of ATH-m50's and I can't recommend them more. They are phenomenal, you just have to watch out for counterfeits.
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:55 pm

chµck wrote:I agree about the 558. I bought a pair last year for $120 and sold them 2 weeks later. They just sounded weak.
I've been yerning to obtain my own pair of HD650s since I got into audio back when I was in middle school. They've just always been out of my price range :/

How do you like the D2000s? I was stuck between the hfi-780 and the d2000, but went with the hfi-780 cause they were supposed to be better with electronic music. They are fantastic, but I always wonder what could have been :roll:


I love the D2000. The bass extends down deep and can rumble your guts and the highs are incredibly crisp and clear. They fit what I want from a headphone near perfectly. The only headphone I desire now is the D7000. I don't have much experience with Ultrasone headphones, I briefly owned a pair of HFi 550 but sold them quickly because I found the cups uncomfortable on my larger ears. I have a feeling the HFi 780 are probably more driving and forward sounding than the D2000 though, which I imagine is a great trait for electronic music.
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:44 pm

The Sennheiser HD280s are a good choice.

I've got Sennheiser HD430 and HD580 headphones.
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:28 am

chµck wrote:They responded to EQing really well and the noise cancellation helps to make them sound better.


I'd go so far as to say EQ is required, otherwise they come off sounding incredibly flat and boring. Because of the isolation, they're my go-to headphones for large/loud LANs but I still prefer the sound of most other cans.
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:15 am

I have had the HD280's for about 3 years now and I still use them 6-8 hours everyday, and they do not dissapoint sound wise especially when you get a dedicated DAC. They have not broken down other than small signs of wear and tear either. I have nothing but great things to say for it and although they don't technically have noise cancelling ability, when I wear them on a plane I do not have to crank the volume to hear the music I am listening to. Enjoy, ludi.
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:45 am

After three weeks with the headphones, I think "a little bright" is an accurate judgment which is corroborated by Sennheiser's claimed frequency response -- the 'phones apparently lose about 2dB going into the range of human voice, gain about 1dB around 1-2kHz, then fall off almost 3dB by about 5kHz before recovering sharply above 10kHz. That bump around 1-2kHz and following drop are definitely audible, but not offensively so. I put a very slight EQ bump in Winamp at 310, 600, 3000, and 6000Hz, and that fixed a couple minor deficiencies in the vocals and the high hat. Otherwise, everything is there and very clear.
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Re: Sennheiser HD280 headphones

Postposted on Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:21 am

I went from a pair of Behringer HPS3000 to the HD-280 Pro, and the difference is night and day. I still use the Behringers for tracking because they isolate sound a little better (less click tracks in vocal recordings) but the Sennheisers have the better sound. There's a bit of a smile in the curve (slightly exaggerated highs and lows) but they feel great even for long sessions and the sound is great. The set before the Behringers was another Sennheiser set, e250. They were like $40 and sounded fine, but they didn't go over the ear; they sit up on my ear and would put the squeeze on my enormous brain after a while.

I'm just using the headphone pre-amp built into a Focusrite Scarlett 8i6, not any sort of external pre-amp, and I'm very happy with the results. Plenty of volume - I usually have them set at around half-way on the dial. Turning it up all the way is enough to make my ears hurt (and a headache soon to follow). I would love to get a pair of 650s for mixing but I don't have $500 to blow. :lol:
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