Design and Complectation
It would be wrong to say that Sennheiser HD280 Pro looks ugly. It simply has that minimalistic design without any excessive parts. Everything is strict: the black plastic chassis (length can be adjusted) with soft cover, hinged cups that provide fully-closed structure and maximal isolation.
The fact that only one colour and one basic complect are available means, that this headset was designed to serve single purpose. It was never meant to be the most favorite headset of teenagers, more likely – to be a “working horse” that simply gets its` job done.
Complectation is as simple and functional as the design is. It has a 1.3 meter (10 feet) cable fitted with 1/8 plug and ¼ mini-jack adapter. Not much to be honest, but this minimal DJ kit`s quality is rather high. Plug can easily be adjusted to any adapter. The cable is long and strong. Some extra insurance just in case.
There is also a possibility to order extra-long cables and control buttons. The first proposition is a complete mess. Basic cable is durable enough to serve for several years and long enough to serve any purposes. But the most important thing is that it cannot be disconnected. The whole Sennheiser HD280 Pro headset is a solid whole construction.
Control buttons, on the other hand, could be quite useful as they help switching tracks and controlling the volume level remotely. A nice feature for those who do not like clicking every time to change a track.
The Technical Side
There are some technical characteristics, that it is really important to know. They are:
- Frequency range. This one is responsible for how exactly the sound reaches the ears. The higher it is, the more stable the sounding is. In this model frequency range varies from 8 to 25 kHz, which is a bit above average. Not every exact note will sound perfectly, but the track as a whole will be clear and nice.
- Volume. The characteristic responsible for how loud the sounds are played. Again the “a little more than average” number of up to 122 Db. It is important to realize, however, that full potential of device will only be shown while working with professional or at least home musical center. Pocket device will sound even worse than with casual earplugs.
- Impedance. The resistance of outcoming signal. Sennheiser HD280 Pro has impedance of 64 Om, which is way too much for a pocket player or mobile phone, but strong enough for dealing with more powerful tools.
The technical analysis shows, that this headset has a high potential for being a professional DJ device, but will not fit for daily using. This is not a pick for listening to music in traffic jams.
Sound and Listening
Sennheiser HD280 Pro was created for working with FLAC and ALAC files. Compressed audio, like MP3 for example, will not let the full potential show up. It is the tracks of the highest quality, that allows this model to work as powerful as it can.
The sound itself is clean and smooth. Frequency stabilization is strong, so no notes “drop” or “jump”. Listening to music is easy and rather comfortable. It happens due to combination of hardware, software and ergonomic design. Closed-up construction fully isolates outside sounds.
Two problems were met during the tests. The first one is the lack of bass power. Bass could have been juicier. Especially that HD280 Pro is promoted as a DJ headset. The quality is OK, but is far from being perfect.
The second issue is that ears start fatiguing after a while. This headset is great for short-term recordings (up to 5 hours per session) or relaxing with home musical centre, but long sessions (a night in club as a DJ) will bring head- and earaches. Getting used to it will take a couple weeks.
The best expert is the person, who has worked with lots of different headsets. One of DJs shared his experience.
John, 24, a DJ for 3 years
- Well, to start with, the sound is flat and well-balanced. It seriously lacks coloration though. Not the best model to choose, if you simply need something to plug-in and just listen to music, but a decent one for studio recording work.
I am honestly surprised that HD280 Pro is being promoted as a tool for DJs. It has really weak basses and middle tones. Things do get better after fiddling EQs, but it doesn`t fix the situation in general.
Also I am not saying that this is the most comfortable model I`ve ever tried. It even used to give my ears serious fatigue, until I adjusted them properly. In my opinion it is worth paying a hundred or two more and getting something of a higher quality and comfort.
The only job this headset completes perfectly – is isolating from any outside sounds. Construction engineers receive their A+ from me. Hearing anything but music, when wearing Sennheiser HD280 Pro is almost impossible
In the end of the day John named this headset a satisfying one. There are hundreds of better options, he said, but this one does its` job and is worth the price the company wants for it.
Alternatives to Consider
Sennheiser tried to make a balanced model, that would fit all the needs in an OK manner. The other manufacturers tried experimenting. Their products have some serious pros and serious cons.
- Monolith M565. A pair of solid constructed headphones. It does provide that juicy sound, but is extremely uncomfortable for even middle-termed sessions and also lacks some consistency.
- V-Moda XS. The most durable budget headset. It can even survive pouring in water and hits and also has rather comfortable construction. The price is sound and mic quality.
- Bose Soundlink wireless. This one is light-weighted, comfortable to wear and has no wires. The main pro is super long battery life (up to 15 hours). Sound quality is not outstanding though, and the durability is really questionable.
- Plantronics Backbeat Pro 2. The most advertised feature of this device is active system of noise cancelling. Developers promise the nextgen sound isolation. Well, it does work good, but the comfort suffers extremely.
- Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro. This model is closest to Sennheisers budget child. All of its` parameters are just OK as well, but the comfort of wearing is better. The price payed – is lack of isolation and some build issues.
These were the main opponents of HD280 Pro, having their own pros and cons. None of them, however, will be as good for DJ at this pricing, as Sennheiser will.
Summing things up, one should say that Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a well-balanced model, that has neither awful downsides, nor super good advantages. The model is being advertised in a pretty fair manner, as a working tool for starting DJs and studio recordings.
Device will indeed be suitable for the ones going to drop the first mixtape or studio record, but not for the ones, willing to listen to music on everyday basis. With low cost and satisfying characteristics Sennheiser HD 280 Pro can be considered as the perfect compromise.