|Sennheiser HD 280 Pros|
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro's come in a relatively standard box, but I am pleased to announce that its a box that is actually reusable. Most of Sennheisers lower to medium price tiered products come in annoying disposable packaging. The HD 280 Pro's deliver very little in the way of accessories. Included in the box is the headphones themselves and a 6.3mm screw-on adapter that screws on to the pre-existing 3.5mm plug on the headphones themselves to allow connections to amps and other professional grade audio equipment that require the use of the bigger connector. The HD 280 Pros do not come with any form of carrying case; pouch or hard case. I found this to be a bit disappointing seeing both the ATH-M50's and the Sony MDR-7506's are are in the same price bracket and both supply carrying pouches with their headphones.
The first thing one will notice when removing the Sennheiser HD 280 Pros from the box is that they are a fairly hefty pair of headphones. They are not necessarily designed to be the next big thing in headphone comfort (more on that later). For those interested in technical specifications, the HD 280 Pros sport an over ear (circumaural) design for minimal sound leakage in or out. Because of the professional studio nature of these headphones, they are extremely adept at keeping outside sound from entering the headphone and keeping sounds inside the headphones from leaking out. They have a 64Ohm impedance (can be powered by your portable device but amping them helps sound and volume level significantly) an 8-25,000Hz frequency response, 102dB sound pressure level, 40mm dynamic type driver with neodymium magnets and a max power rating of 500mW. These headphones are not really designed for use with portable devices. They can of course be used with portable devices, but without and amplifier they really do not achieve their maximum sound quality potential.
|HD 280 Pros in ball configuration|
Comfort is my biggest issue with the HD 280 Pro's. I happen to have been graced with a relatively large head. The HD 280 Pro's happened to be manufactured with a vice grip like clamping force. The result is headphones that, to me aren't comfortable in the slightest. I can get a maximum of an hour listening session with the 280 Pros before I start to become uncomfortable. They really do apply a massive amount of force. This is due to the HD 280 Pro's being professional studio monitors. In order to allow minimal sound in and let minimal sound out, the HD 280 Pro's have to sit on your head with a certain degree of clamping force. If they were loose, sound would leak in and out much more readily. All studio monitors have more clamping force than traditional consumer headphones like Bose headsets or even my Sennheiser HD 439's. However, the HD 280 Pros have, by far, the most excessive clamping force out of any of the studio monitors I have listened to or owned. They are entirely impossible to wear with glasses on as well as the mash the metal frame of your glasses into your head. I was able to lesson the clamping force a little bit by stretching the HD 280 Pros out over a soccer ball for a few days. I suppose it worked, but the clamping force is still too much for my tastes. If you have a smaller head, perhaps the the clamping force wont be an issue, but for those of us with big melons I would honestly suggest looking elsewhere. It really is that bad.
|Sennheiser HD 439's (left) Sennheiser HD 280 Pros (right)|
|HD 280 Pro Sliver|
While I love the sound quality of the HD 280 Pro's, the comfort has always been an issue for me. If you have a large head such as myself, you may want to consider looking at some other headphone options. I always recommend auditioning and trying on a pair of headphones if possible before purchase to ensure that their sound signature fits your liking and that the comfort level is acceptable. Otherwise, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro's are a demonstration of rugged build quality, longevity and commendable sound quality.
CLICK HERE for Sennheiser HD 280 Pro product page