Sennheiser HD 280 Review

SennheiserI recently picked up the HD 280 headphones from Sennheiser. These headphones are marketed towards applications in the professional audio field, TV, film, broadcasting as far as I can tell I don’t really have any business actually having a set, but I love them so. They do have a fair amount of love from audiophiles, and if you’re looking for the best headphones you can get for under 200 bucks and closed back design you’re likely to find this pair on quite a few peoples top ten lists. Personally I just find myself stuck in the library for obscene amounts of time so it’s nice to have a pair of closed back headphones that were made to be used for long periods of time.

If closed back and open back are a new concept to you. Open back headphones have a larger sound stage which is great if you’re listening alone in an empty room, or don’t care if other people can hear the music you’re listening to. If you’re like me, listening to music fairly loud and don’t want anyone else to hear it you probably want a closed back design.

So this is my first set of decent headphones, I once bought a 50 dollar set from some brick and mortar store to find they had dropped in price to about 25 the following month. For the last few years I’ve been using a 25 dollar set of Monoprice over the ear DJ headphones which have been very nice for the price. In fact decent enough that I wasn’t sure whether I’d ever bother upgrading, but I have and hear I am sitting next to my headphones which I love dearly. When they arrived in the mail the first thing I did was read through this user manual.

Some Technical Information:

They have a 64 Ohm impedance. For the tech savvy crowd that may make sense, if you’re a little less so then fear not I is here. Impedance acts a lot like Resistance in a circuit, going back to Ohms law we know that Current is equal to voltage divided by Resistance. You can basically swap out resistance for Impedance. So basically in layman’s terms these headphones are going to put out a softer sound then you might expect from other headphones. This is why headphone amplifiers are such a large market, but at 64 Ohms it isn’t so high that you really need a headphone amplifier to enjoy music with these things.

There’s up to 32 dB of ambient noise attenuation. This is the headphones abilities to cancel the noise going on around you. As a scale people whispering in a library is like a 30dB, a normal conversation may be around 60-70, and a Jack hammer is around 100. This may seem like it wouldn’t be that effective but when you’re listening to music the rest of the world really seems to go quiet. The headphones were made to be used in a noisy environment so they are quite effective.

The cable isn’t detachable really, the fine people at Sennheiser did make it easy to replace should your headphone wire start going out on you. The ear pads and the headband padding are both replaceable as well. This is probably the only thing about these headphones that actually bothers me not so much that it would actually influence my opinion of them, but I do wish it was detachable.

User Review Stuff:

So at first I didn’t realize what the big deal about these headphones were, but after several hours it started to hit me. The sound is very flat, and it doesn’t have the distortion my computer’s speakers are causing right now. You tend to get used to that distortion after awhile, but when I threw on these headphones I felt like I could just get lost in the music. They’re also very comfortable, I’ve had then on for 4+ hours lately and I haven’t had any issue with them whatsoever.

A lot of audiophiles say these things sound much better through a headphone amplifier, the decent ones run over 100 bucks apiece. Supposedly a cheap do it yourself cmoy can create a comparable quality to a lot of decent headphone amplifier’s on the market. So at some point I’d like to construct my own cmoy headphone amplifier but i’d like to get some other electronics experience under my belt first. I’m going to crack open that Arduino kit that’s been sitting in the corner for the last year and knock out some projects first.

Anyway, I don’t use these headphones in any professional capacity, I just love listening to music and I found the sound to be clear and crisp when using these headphones. All I can really say is if you’re looking in this price range for headphones; I really love them, and I’m far from the only one who feels that way.

My name is Chris Diel and i’m a DJ for KSSU, Sacramento State’s only student run radio station.


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