Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Review: Still Kicking After All These Years

Amidst all the talk about new headphones introduced at 2017 CanJam and CES I’m reminded of my first “real headphone”, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro. It was back in 2010 if I remember correctly and at the time it was the most I’d ever spent on a pair of headphones. The salesman at the music store was nice enough to even let me try it out which was really unheard of at the time. Once I heard the sound from this solid pair of headphones I was sold. And the best part is I still have my HD 280 Pro headphones so I think it’s time to do a proper review.

Sennheiser HD 280 PRO Review: Still Kicking After All These Years

In The Box

The HD 280 Pro is a simple package. In the box you get the headphone with fixed coiled wire and a screw on 1/4″ adapter for pro-audio gear.

Design

Durability
The amount of time I’ve had this headphone is a testament to the durability. I’ve used it for mixing sessions, home listening and even taken it on long trips. Although the whole frame is made of plastic it’s super durable and I only recently replaced the headband for the first time in 6 years.

Portability
The HD 280 Pro headphone is relatively portable. It folds up to a pretty small size and can be easily put in a carry bag or case. My only complaint is the fixed cable but as a DJ/mixing/reference headphone I have been stretching the limits of what this headphone was designed for. As a DJ/mixing/reference headphone though it’s easy to take to gigs or the studio.

Comfort
One of the most important things in a headphone like this is comfort. From long DJ gigs to studio work you need a headphone that doesn’t pinch and has ample padding. The HD 280 Pro is one of the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever owned. As I mentioned before I’ve eve taken this headphone on long trips and actually get a great amount of passive noise cancelling. Watching in-flight movies was a treat and jamming out to my favorite music was bliss.

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro folds up for DJ's and Producers on the go
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro folds up for DJ’s and Producers on the go

Sound

Sound Signature
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a professional grade reference and DJ headphone so it has a relatively flat frequency response overall. The frequency response is 8 – 25kHz and the resistance is 64 Ohms. You can power this headphone well from low output devices like cell phones but you’ll definitely get a little more if you use an amplifier. Sound pressure level peak is 113dB. More than enough for most situations.

Bass-Frequencies
Although it’s designed to have a flat frequency response you will get a meaningful amount of bass from the HD 280 Pro. In some cases I notice I can hear more sub frequencies even better than my HD 569 because of the flat sound signature.

Mid-Frequencies
It’s the same story with the mids. The flat frequency response opens up the whole mix which is the point of a good reference headphone.

High-Frequencies
The highs on the HD 280 Pro are crisp and clear. The top-end of 25kHz might seem limiting but I can personally say the sound is very crisp and there’s many other HD 280 Pro users out there that agree.

Summary

The bottom line on the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is that it’s a powerhouse. It’s been a solid favorite DJ / Mixing / Mastering headphone of many for years. It’s durable, comfortable, portable and sounds amazing. The fixed, coiled wire is really the only thing I don’t like. These days most headphones come with detachable cables but I’ve seen some interesting posts on modifying the HD 280 Pro to make give it the detachable wire option.

Since the release of the HD 280 Pro Sennheiser has released many other impressive headphones. The most important point is that you get what you pay for. No matter what brand you’re into or what kind of sound you’re looking for, it’s good to check the reviews and be ready to spend a little more because a pair of cheap headphones will cost you much more in the long run in replacement costs.

You can still buy the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphone. They’re usually available for the cheapest price on Amazon

Sennheiser HD 280 Pro in the studio
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro in the studio

Specifications

Color: black
Wearing style: Headband
Frequency response (Headphones): 8 – 25000 Hz
Sound pressure level (SPL): 113 dB
THD, total harmonic distortion: 0,1 %
Contact pressure: 6 N
Ear coupling: circumaural
Jack plug: 3.5mm (1/8″) / 6.3mm (1/8″) stereo
Connection cable: Coiled Cable (min. 1.3m / max. 3m)
Transducer principle: dynamic, closed
Weight w/o cable: 285 g
Nominal impedance: 64 Ω
Load rating: 500 mW