Sennheiser HD280 Pro Review – The Compromise

#ModelRatingWeightFrequency rangeOur topCheck
1Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphones(old model) 220g8Hz-25 kHz1 Check

2Monolith M565 Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones 500g16Hz-40kHz4 Check

3V-MODA XS On-Ear Folding Design Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone 195g5Hz-30kHz5 Check

4Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II 152gThere are no exact data2 Check

5Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 Mobile Headset 289g20Hz-20kHz3 Check

6Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Over-Ear Studio Headphones 250g5Hz-35kHz6 Check

Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphones(old model)
Frequency range8Hz-25 kHz
Our top1
Check Check

Monolith M565 Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphones
Frequency range16Hz-40kHz
Our top4
Check Check

V-MODA XS On-Ear Folding Design Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone
Frequency range5Hz-30kHz
Our top5
Check Check

Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II
Frequency rangeThere are no exact data
Our top2
Check Check

Plantronics BackBeat PRO 2 Mobile Headset
Frequency range20Hz-20kHz
Our top3
Check Check

Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO Over-Ear Studio Headphones
Frequency range5Hz-35kHz
Our top6
Check Check

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 Sennheiser HD 280 PRO 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 color and one basic complect are available means, 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.

Tip: 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 which are 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.
Remember: 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 encountered 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.

Professional`s Opinion

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 you from any outside sounds. Construction engineers receive their A+ from me. Hearing anything but music, when wearing Sennheiser HD280 Pro is almost impossible.

At 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.

Sound is flat and well-balanced
Is isolating from any outside sounds
Coiled cable works great to move around your work space
Good build quality
Hearing anything but music is almost impossible
Has the lack of bass power
Not the most comfortable model

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.

  • Planar Drivers: a flat membrane that is surrounded by magnets. When current is delivered, the membrane produces sound that has lower distortion, better bass, and pinpoint imaging that is usually not found in your typical headphone driver.
  • The size of the driver in the Monolith M565 is 66mm. Open Back Design: Instead of an “inside your head” isolated experience that traditional closed-back headphones provide, open-back headphones provide a holographic listening experience.
  • Removable Earpads: The Monolith M565 has been engineered to be comfortable for extended listening sessions. Large, comfy earpads made of faux leather and a padded headband are designed to keep you comfortable as you listen.
  • However, the supplied ear pads are easily removable – pad roll away.
  • Monoprice not only stands behind every product we sell with a 5 year replacement warranty, we offer a 30-day money back guarantee as well! If the product you purchase does not satisfy your needs, send it back for a full refund.
Provide the juicy sound
Easy to drive
Easily removable
Uncomfortable for even middle-termed sessions
The highs are a tad overdone

V-Moda XS

The most durable budget headset. It is water resistant and can even survive hits and also has rather comfortable construction. The price is worth its sound and mic quality.

  • M-Class 40mm Dual-Diaphragm Drivers (patent pending) -Inner and outer rings deliver vibrant bass, vivid mids & vivacious highs without overlap. Connectivity Technology: Wired
  • Passive Noise Isolation – Cuts out noise. Exoskeleton Case – Fits in the palm of your hand and virtually anywhere. Cliq Fold Hinge – Folds to an impossibly small size with a satisfying click.
  • No Batteries or Processing – Powerful clarity without two extra digital-to-analog conversions
  • Obsessive Quality Control – 5+ years of R&D
  • “Mind the Gap” Style & Comfort
The most durable budget headset
Convenience of portability for commutes
Good sound
Discomfort during long sessions
Poor isolation

Bose Soundlink wireless

This one is light-weighted, comfortable to wear and has no wires. Its’ main feature is super long battery life (up to 15 hours). Sound quality is not outstanding though, and the durability is really questionable.

  • Deep, immersive sound, improved EQ performance for wireless headphones
  • High microphone system, HD voice for clear calls in windy or noisy environments
  • Enhanced side tone so you sound more natural on calls , Ear cushion – 3.8 inches H x 2.9 inches W
  • Latest Bluetooth technology for easy connectivity and seamless audio/video syncs
  • Switch between two Bluetooth devices so you can watch a video while staying connected to your smartphone
Great sound
Light weight, considering the size
Ability to pair with 2 devices at the same time
No noise cancelling
Problem with Bluetooth connectivity
Some users complain that there is not enough bass

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.

  • On-demand active noise cancelling (ANC). Open listening mode lets you hear your surroundings
  • Up to 24 hours continuous wireless streaming. Stays charged longer using smart power management
  • Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz. Immersive, high-res sound, and powerful speaker drivers deliver the right balance of rich bass, crisp highs, and natural midtones for your music
  • Automatic music play/pause when headphones are put on/removed
  • Headset battery level LEDs plus on-screen meter. Hear status alerts for remaining battery and more
Noise cancelling is pretty good.
Good, solid construction
Good sound quality
Some users complain about problems with functionality

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. Main drawback – has lack of isolation and some build issues.

  • Open over-ear headphones, ideal for professional mixing, mastering and editing
  • Perfect for studio applications thanks to their transparent, spacious, strong bass and treble sound
  • The soft, circumaural and replaceable velour ear pads ensure high wearing comfort
  • Hard-wearing, durable and robust workmanship – Made in Germany
  • Practical single-sided cable (3.0m coiled cable)
Comfort of wearing
The sound quality
A fine mix of metal and high quality plastic
Lack of isolation

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, which 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.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (25 votes, average: 4.10 out of 5)

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2 Responses

  1. Lisbeth
    These are really comfortable headphones. I liked the sound of the music and the fact that the ears do not get tired and even after prolonged use in them is very convenient. I use these headphones for a year and I can say that they are very durable and their condition is not worse than what it was in the beginning.
  2. Well this just Sennheiser…pretty much that’s everything you should now. If you want to listen music, stop reading this and head to the nearest shop for the purchase, if no…well that a petty but you can find like nothing to compete

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