Sennheiser HD 280 PRO Closed-Back Headphones Review 2019

If you are looking for affordable yet professional mastering and recording grade headphones, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro should be your choice. Released to the market in 2003, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro ​headphones are popular for professional studio use.

These headphones lived to their expectations of being professional headphones for any discerning listener. It produces thrilling yet true-to-life sound whilst keeping the outside sound where it belongs; outside.

The earpiece’s resounding bass combines with an in-twinkling soprano for a beautiful sound. It is feature packed for professional use. Below is a detailed Sennheiser HD 280 Pro review.

Before looking at the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro deeply, it is of immense importance that we outline the guide on how to find the best headphone in the market. This will help you find the best product amidst the flooded market with products of all kinds.

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Features at A Glance

Some of the outright features of the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro  include:

  • Lightweight and comfortable with an ergonomic design
  • Features a 3.3ft – 9.8ft coiled cord length
  • Dynamic with up to 32dB attenuation of the outside sound
  • Natural sound production, extended frequency and warm.
  • Around the ear design, featuring padded earcups
  • Easily replaceable earpads, headband padding, and audio cord
  • Collapsible earpieces enhancing portability
  • Neodymium magnets for extra high SPL
  • Rugged construction featuring replaceable parts
  • The contact pressure of 6N
  • Swiveling earpieces that allow single-ear monitoring
  • Included adapter that makes Sennheiser HD 280 Pro compatible with both ¼” and 1/8” headphone jacks
  • Superior isolation, perhaps critical for recording sessions
  • An extreme comfort that lasts for long listening sessions

Main Feature Details of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro


For any recording studio headphone pair, long-term comfort is the second most important design feature any headphone should have after the drivers that produce the audio. Often, studio sessions last a long time.

People tend to sweat as gravity presses headbands into the skull. This is why any headphone pair shouldn’t compromise this feature. The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro does an excellent job of keeping long-term sessions less fatigued.

As you might have experienced with other models, you should expect some sweaty earcups if you don’t take them off for hours or perhaps a minor feeling of discomfort along the headband. Don’t expect this with the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro. They fit securely and comfortably for long studio sessions.

These headphones have more plush earpads that passively block out up to 32 decibels of room noise. Adding to the effectiveness of external noise cancellation is the circumaural/around the ear design that is a snug fit to prevent most sounds from escaping.

The ear cups are also swivel-mounted to allow more secure fit as they automatically adjust to the shape of your head. Besides, the headband is easily adjustable and stays in place.

The headphone’s non-detachable cable features a thick coil that terminates in a 3.5mm connection jack. The sole includes a ¼” adapter for large headphone jacks. The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro design drawback being the non-removable cable in this era where detachable cables have become a design staple.


Many users have compared the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro vs. Sony MDR 7506 as well as the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro vs. Audio Technica Ath-M50X performance features. However, the verdict has been that the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro remains a favorite of many.

Apart from the price, where the devices being compared to are quite high, there are much more real applications of the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro. This device is a typical measurement tool perfect for recording, mixing, performers as well as mastering engineers.

The precision of this headphone makes it more surgical that magical. This is perhaps where the difference with other typical flat and light-on-bass headphones come in. With an impedance of 64 ohms, you can be certain that you depend on your sound source. Coupled with superb quality drivers, you can be sure of rare distortion.

A significant number of headphone models manage to avoid external sound distortion on deep bass by avoiding deep bass itself. However, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro has a frequency response that starts at the sub-bass realm of 8Hz. This is quite lower compared to the majority of models that start at 15 to 20Hz.

Modern hip-hop, pop and rock tracks sound enthralling on the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro. This is especially true when mix engineers add some little bass to the mix as many modern producers often do. It handles the mix beautifully – you can certainly hear and feel it.

Try out the Jay-Z and Kanye West “No Church in the Wild” and feel it. The kick drum loops packs all the treble edges as the coinciding thump brought along by the muffled resonance depicts power but doesn’t overwhelm the sound mix.

  • Accurate and clean audio performance across the full frequency range
  • Comfortable and secure fit for long listening sessions
  • Durable and ergonomic design
  • Passively reduces ambient noise
  • Comparatively affordable
  • Impeccable sound quality
  • 2-year warranty

  • Some drawbacks of this model include:
  • Has a non-detachable cable
  • More appropriate for professional and studio use than personal listening

6 FAQs about Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

1. How do I change the ear pads of my Sennheiser HD 280 Pro?

Changing the earpads of these earphones is quite easy. To remove them, simply pull on the ear pad until it detaches from the ear cup. Note that the back side of these ear pads has a circle of leatherette.

This circle hooks into a groove that holds the ear pads in place. Therefore, the easiest way to remove them is to get the circle of leatherette, place your fingers in the groove, inside the ear pad, push up and out until the ear pad is out of the hook.

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a closed ear cup headphone.

2. What is the difference between an open and closed earcup on headphones?

Open headphone, otherwise referred to as open aire, uses some external airspace to reproduce life-like audio within the ear cup. They are more like having premium speakers next to your ears with easy volume control. Extreme volumes will definitely leak out.

On the other hand, the closed headphone isolates the user from the environment. I.e., The sound remains contained in the headphones. It is perfect for listening especially in a critical situation where you don’t want any disturbance.

3. What usually causes sound being played in one year only?

If you experience some sound issues with your headphone, such as producing sound only in one ear or different sound levels, there needs to be a determination of where the issue lies – either with the headphones or audio source.

Therefore, the first thing is to ensure that the audio plug is connected securely to the audio device. A properly connected cable should not wiggle. If the plug wiggles, this indicates a loose connection. This could be as a result of improperly plugged cable or faulty input.

Following this is to ensure that there is no debris such as dust or lint in the headphone jack of the audio source. Presence of debris may inhibit connectivity as well as cause sound issues.

If there is no debris, ensure that the connecting jack is clean. Oil from hands may get build up on the plug. Sweat may evaporate leaving salts and grime that prevents a proper connection from occurring. Use a basic alcohol wipe to clean the jacks.

If the problem persists, try the headphone with a different audio source. This will help you confirm if the problem was with the original audio source. If you connect to the alternate audio source and the headphones play fine, know that the original audio source has an issue. Many modern audio devices feature an audio limit pre-set that needs to be changed to ensure a full audio signal to the headphones.

4. Are the earpads of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro real leather or leatherette?

The earpads of the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro are made from synthetic leatherette.

5. Is there a straight cable available?

No. The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro has a coiled cable that comes with standard headphones.

6. Why does the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro lack a straight cable?

This headphone was specifically designed for professional application such as working in a studio. Therefore, the 3-meter coiled cable keeps the cord contained and out of the way yet providing enough length for good movement.

User Reviews of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

Alexander R who has owned the headphones for more than one year recommended these as “headphones for the casual, enthusiastic and audiophiles alike.” According to him, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is the best headphones he had ever used. The headphones help users discover sound cues like never before.

Coder reviewed this product saying that they have amazing sound but the material quality isn’t that great. According to her, the sound is amazing. She uses them with her electric drums and confesses that she can only hear what comes from the headphones. A must-have for drummers.

Johnny Nash rated the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro five stars. He said the pair he bought was his second pair. He says that the first pair wore out after 8 years and would be willing to purchase again if need be, but they last a long time if taken good care of. Great sound quality, perfect feel and quiet from outside noises.

What to Consider Before Buying Headphones

If you are new to audio, finding the best product can be quite daunting. However, in this guide, we’ll outline some of the things you ought to know before buying a pair of headphones.

Type of Headphones 

There are various types of headphones on the market. Outlined below are some of the common types, pros, and cons of each.

1. In-Ear Headphones 

In-Ear Headphones

They are the smallest headphones and often referred to as in-ears or earbuds. Most headphones that come with your phone and mp3 players are this type. There are plenty of reasons why you may consider this type. However, their portability is the main advantage.

  • Portable – due to their size and weight, in-ear headphones are the most portable type. They can be stashed in the pocket when not in use or dangled around the neck.
  • Noise isolation – though not the best, in-ear headphones have excellent noise isolation. This is mainly because they can be placed directly in the ear.
  • Great for exercise – this benefit is supported by their portability nature. They are headphones of choice when it comes to working out.

  • Sound quality – sound isn’t a strong point when it comes to in-ears. Larger headphones obviously produce more pleasing sound. Bigger drivers directly translate to better sound. Earbuds have tiny drivers to maintain their portability form.
  • Wires get easily tangled – this limitation doesn’t apply to most in-ears. However, for most of them, wires get tangled which can be really annoying.

2. On-Ear Headphones

On-Ear Headphones

On-ear headphones are the second type in according to the size scale of headphones. Unlike earbuds, this type doesn’t go into the actual ear canal but rather sit on top of the ear. They feature a band that sits on top of the outer ear.

  • Portable – on-ear headphones are portable, but not like the in-ears which can be stuffed in the pocket. They are a perfect choice for those looking for incredible sound quality but don’t want anything bulky or big. Majority of on-ears have hinges that make them foldable.
  • Bigger batteries – their medium size creates enough space for larger capacity batteries. Perhaps the more listening time, the better.
  • Better sound – they have better drivers that ascertain better overall sound.

  • Harder to carry – on-ears headphones are portable, but not as portable as earbuds. Carrying them with a backpack is easy, but cannot be stashed in the jacket pocket.
  • Not the best in noise cancellation – these headphones sit on the ear and not around them. This may allow some outside noise to enter.

3. Over-Ear Headphones

Over-Ear Headphones

These are the largest of the three aforementioned headphones types.

  • Best sound – as mentioned before, the better the drivers, the better the sound. Over-ear headphones have larger drivers in their earcups that enhance the sound quality.
  • Biggest batteries – this comes back to the size of the headphones. The large size allows manufacturers to include large batteries that last longer.
  • Comfort – larger earcups translates to more weight distribution. Manufacturers often take advantage of the headphones size to include better materials including leatherette, velour and memory foam.

  • Hardest to carry – as mentioned, they are large, thus quite inconvenient to carry. Some even have cases that can be used to carry them during travel.
  • Price – this often varies depending on the brand and other features. Nonetheless, over-head headphones tend to have the best sound quality, thus more expensive.

4. Bluetooth Headphones

Bluetooth Headphones

Perhaps the most controversial headphones in the market, Bluetooth headphones have taken the market by storm. As the name suggests, Bluetooth headphones connect to an audio source via Bluetooth. Though quite intriguing, Bluetooth adds another layer of pros as well as cons.

  • Wireless listening – this type eliminates the need for having headphone cables that may tangle every time.
  • Improved sound quality – the Bluetooth feature adds to the sound quality of these headphones. However, both the headphone and audio source contributes to the overall sound quality.

  • Battery – these headphones rely on a battery that needs to be replaced in case they run out.
    Wireless signal problems – like any other wireless connections, there are inherent Bluetooth weaknesses that may occur at times with the interface.
  • Compatibility – not all audio sources are compatible with the Bluetooth feature in the headphones. Newer headphones may have trouble connecting to older phones, as older headphones generally do not support codecs like the LDAC.

5. Sports Headphones

 Sports Headphones

Sports headphones are increasingly becoming popular, albeit new models being wireless. They are totally waterproof and can be used for running, biking or at the gym. Some have an open and semi-open design that lets some sound in, perhaps for safety reasons – such as traffic noise.

  • Best for athletic activity
  • Sweat resistant and waterproof

  • Open designs may not be good for noisier environments

Frequency Response

Frequency response describes the range of sound that the headphone can produce measured in Hertz. Most audio products have this labeled on the containing box, often ranging between 20Hz to 20,000 Hz. The first number represents the lowest frequency, as the second is the highest possible frequency.

Sealed vs. Open Models

Sealed headphones or closed are noise-isolating designs that isolate your ears from the environmental noise. The degree of isolation varies from one pair to another with a general principle of sounding out the room. Sealed models are perfect for private listening.

Open headphones, on the other hand, are acoustically transparent and allow some outside noise to be heard by the wearer. Nonetheless, the headphone’s sound will remain audible enough. Generally, open headphones produce a better sound that sealed designs.

Comfort and Weight

Whereas assessing the sound quality of a headphone is subjective, the only way to judge comfort is to wear the headphones for few minutes. Some of the things to feel include if the earpads exert a lot of pressure on the ears.

Some models can get unpleasantly hot and cover your ears making it very uncomfortable. This is especially true if you have to put them on for long listening sessions. Pro-style headsets are quite bulky and uncomfortable. Lighter headband style headphones are comparatively comfortable compared to heavier ones.


Many people often treat headphones as disposable technology. However, this shouldn’t be the case, as headphones can last for a better part of a decade. Therefore, to ensure this, you should assess the build quality before purchasing one.

Some headphones may be relatively fragile thus require extra care. Consider special points such as hinges if the headphone folds up. Besides, consider the earpads and earbuds material.

Cable Dressing and Length

Most headphones have one cable often attached to the left earpiece – referred to as single-sided cabling. Other models have all earbuds with a Y-cable that connects to both earpieces – double-sided. The actual cable plug could be a straight I-plug or an angled L-plug.

Choosing preference often comes down to the portable user, especially where you would want to wear the device. If you plan to source audio from a backpack or pants, a longer cable is necessary. Similarly, you can opt for a smaller one when wearing the audio source on a neck lavalier or armband.

Volume Limiting

The ability of headphones to maintain the volume levels at safe limits is excellent, especially if kids are going to use the headphones. These models are designed to maintain the volume at 85dB or less. They can also be a good choice for adults concerned with their own hearing.

Noise Isolation and Active Noise Cancellation

As the name suggests, noise cancellation headphones hush ambient noise with their anti-noise feature that obviates the noise at your ear. Noise cancellation headphones are available in all forms and types – from full size to earbuds. These models let you listen to lower volume levels thus reducing ear fatigue.

Sound isolation headphones, on the other hand, use their material to create a sound barrier between your ear and environmental noise.

Bone Conduction

This is yet another intriguing headphone consideration to look into. These models sit on the cheekbones, in front of the ear. They work by directly delivering the audio through bypassing the eardrum to the inner ear via vibrations.

They are a good choice for those who want to listen to an audio file clearly without being completely drown out of background noise. They are a great option for joggers who want to listen to traffic noise.

Microphones and Controls

Headphones specifically designed for gaming have boom-mounted microphones that allow users to talk to other players during the gameplay sessions. Similarly, headphones designed to be used with mp3 players and smartphones have a small microphone with controls for volume, mute and track advance.

With the guide above, you can be certain on finding the best headphone for your needs. Well, below is a review of one of the best headphones on the market, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro.

Final Verdict of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

If you are looking for a professional headphone for casual listening, recording and mixing, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is a perfect choice. It provides all the sound quality you need to make critical mixing decisions. It boasts of lows, clear-cut mids and focused highs and flat frequency response that allows for the creation of important EQ tweaks.

Its superior isolation technique also makes it a perfect headphone for recording. This kind of isolation is perfect for guitarists and drummers to enable you to monitor exactly how you play. The other feature highlight being its extreme comfort that lasts long through listening sessions.

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