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Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

MSRP $99.95
Stock Status: 1 to 2 Weeks.
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A long-time recommendation for under-$100 full-sized sealed headphones, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a solid performer in any monitoring application. Although extra-expensive high-end sealed headphones have come a long way in the past few years, these dependable cans continue to hold their own at this pricepoint with a balanced audio presentation, 'flat' tonal delivery, and very good isolation from outside noise. Big fave with film/ TV audio recordists and location sound engineers.

Buy these before or on April 30th, 2014 and get a $10 mail-in rebate!

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Product Features:

  • Very good sound and isolation for a headphone at this price.
  • Efficient enough for use with portable players.
  • Folds up for convenient carry.
  • A good headphone for use in non-critical audio professional applications.
  • 2 Year Warranty

What's In The Box:

  • 1/4" adaptor


Every once in a great while somebody makes a small "mistake" of sorts that somehow gets things more right than they perhaps ought to be. Well, CRASH!BOOM!BAM!BING!SPLAT!... These headphones sound dang good for sealed full-size cans under $100! Although missing a bit of audio detail at the extremes of the musical range, the HD280Pro remains a smooth-toned sealed can that delivers a non-harsh presentation from low to high frequencies. It's an enjoyable set for all typical sealed [aka 'closed'] headphone uses: noise-blocking when commuting on planes, trains, & automobiles; for watching movies in bed; or for listening in quiet workplaces, study halls, or in noisy ambient environments where listening isolation is key. The HD280Pro remains efficient enough to be used with most portable audio players and laptop computers BUT -- at 64 Ohms impedance rating -- it will definitely sonically bloom and become more musically lively and dynamic when paired with any dedicated (portable) headphone amp. The HD280Pro also rates as the headphone choice of many audio, film, and location recording/mixing professionals due to its clear, flat tonal presentation, effective ambient noise attenuation properties, and durable build quality. Even after a decade in the field, the Sennheiser HD280Pro remains a workhorse sealed headphone at a fair price.

Despite its somewhat thick headband, the Sennheiser HD280Pro is a comfortable wear for most listeners. The circumaural ("around the ear"), sealed/closed earcups are covered in glove-type padding surrounding the ear which also serves to provide a good degree of ambient noise isolation and attenuation. Sizing adjustment rails move in & out of the headband for fit; we found the headband design perhaps a bit creaky but very secure on the head, decently comfortable and tough-built in final assessment. The earcups on the HD 280Pro fold up via hinges on the headband, so the headphone can be stowed in a compact, lumpy bundle for transit or storage. The headband can also be gently bent (gently!) to better accomodate those preferring a less tight clamping force. Handy HeadRoom Tip 122: Let the headphones stretch while clamped over a thick stack of books or on a basketball for several days to help to slightly loosen the headband for bigger melons.

The Sennheiser HD280Pro's non-detachable headphone cord is a coiled cable that stretches to around three meters (approximately 9ft) and terminates to a 1/8" [3.5mm] plug with a threaded 1/4" full-size plug adapter handily included. A 2-year manufacturer's free repair or replacement product warranty remains standard with all Sennheiser headphones ONLY when proof-purchased from true authorized/verified Sennheiser headphone vendors -- like us here at HeadRoom since 1992!


  • Headphone Type: Full Size
  • Connector Type: 1/8
  • Weight: 9.9
  • Impedance @ 1kHz: 64
  • Detachable Cable: No
  • Cord Length: 10 ft. (3 m)
  • Cord Type: Coiled Left-Side
  • Coupler Size: Large
  • Ear Coupler Type: Full-Size
  • Isolation: -12dB ~ -15dB
  • Microphone: No
  • Acoustic Seal: Closed
  • Driver Type: Dynamic
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 2 Years
  • Warranty: 2 Years
  • Sensitivity: 102 dB/V
  • Noise Cancelling: No
  • Wireless: No

Additional Resources:

Average Rating 
(Showing 3 of 25 reviews)

Good but not delicious
Posted by ListenZero from San Jose, CA on 2014-02-12

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Good sound, comfortable, closed design limits ambient noise
Cons: Seal padding split, noisy if touched

I've had a pair of these for years that I use for general listening. They're great in a coffee shop because the closed design keeps out a lot of ambient noise. However, they're not a great choice if you're not going to be sitting still. When the shells or the cord rub on my collar or get bumped, they create a lot of mechanical noise inside the cans.

Also, the pleather ear seal has torn out on the inside of both earpieces, exposing the foam. Doesn't affect sound or comfort much but it looks shabby.

Sound Quality
Look & Feel

1 out of 1 people found this review unhelpful. Did you?

a great headphone when corrected
Posted by al92xt58 from Quebec, CA on 2012-07-26

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: value, isolation
Cons: sound quality, comfort

at first it feels like a crappy headphone due to the sound which lack some extremes and a tight feeling on the head but with some work i went back to it from the sennheiser HD518 which strangely feels now an inferior product to me.

Here what makes the hd280 better than the hd518 to me:

Price, outside noise isolation

Comfort : first, because the hd280 was too tight for my big head i had to loosen up the headband by temporary attaching a wood stick to it. Doesn't look good for a while but it does the trick and the feeling on the head is better than the hd518 at the end. Secondly, the earpads of the hd280 are perfect when compared to the too long earpads of the hd518

Sound: the sound of the hd280 lack some details when compared to the hd518 but the sound quality is overall better in the hd280 when the lack of high and low are compensated with over-eq.
I've found only one right spot where the sound is quite good, any gap and it's crappy again (rollercoaster style : high 0-125Hz, low mids, med high 250Hz and 8k and low 10k and above).
Furthermore, the clear mids of the hd280 make it perfect for low quality sounds, live recordings and vocals.
On the other hand, bass boost and spatial depth features of the hd518 makes the sound messier.

All of this makes the hd280 pro a must at this price range. Only the lack of details in sound quality makes it ends up short.

Sound Quality
Look & Feel

9 out of 14 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Way overrated
Posted by sedusia_sound from vancouver, bc on 2012-07-12

Recommend Product: No
Pros: Clean, clear mids
Cons: Plastic-y hollow sound

We've been looking for a good set of cans for our mastering studio. After reading all the hype about the 280's, we finally decided to give 'em a try. Boy were we disappointed! We can see the appeal for these if you are tracking/monitoring vocals, doing voiceovers or recording a small ensemble, but for anything else, these won't do you mixes/masters justice. You'll find yourself over-eqing the extremes to compensate for the deficiencies, similar to how many engineers over-eq when they rely solely on NS-10M's. As stated in the pros and cons, they certainly have nice clear, clean mids, but like most closed backs, they sound plastic-y and hollow otherwise. Looking at the freq resp graph, we are at a loss as to where that +5dB 40Hz boost comes from. We can only recommend this for vocal work.

When the need calls for headphone while mastering, we will continue to use the following: Koss ESP-950; Koss Porta-Pro; Sennheiser HD-555: Sennheiser PX-100. For additional "real world" reference comparison: Koss RUK30; Sennheiser adidas MX 680; Sony MDR-EX70LP

Sound Quality
Look & Feel

18 out of 22 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Sennheiser HD 280 PRO Studio Headphones

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