Podcasters and audiophiles are both probably familiar with the quality studio products coming out of the Sennheiser lineup, but what about their stellar headphones like the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro? We have found that this product represents the best in closed-back circumaural headphone technology for its price point.
In discovering the superiority of the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones, we had to evaluate many similar types of headphones on the market. Ultimately, we paired these competitors with a shortlist of the three top challengers, selected for their similarity in price point or in features to draw points of contrast to the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro.
We will score each of these challengers according to our criteria of their price, whether or not they provide noise canceling, the sound quality the produce, how comfortable they are, and what sort of warranty they come with.
We hope that by the end you will be much better informed about what the market offers in competition to the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones. We will soon evaluate the challengers, but let's take a look into what makes the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones so special.
What Are Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones?
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pros are not dinky earbuds. These are full, over the ear, studio quality headphones. The technology is built with a folding design and its noise cancellation function can provide 32 dB of acoustic isolation.
Many podcasters, audiophiles, and other recording professionals trust the experts at Sweetwater audio. These experts are always quick to recommend the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro for monitoring endeavors. The sound is accurate. The design offers ultimate comfort, isolation, and reliability.
In short, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro allows the professional to hone in on what works and what needs to be changed about a recording. Critical listening is the name of the game when it comes to the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro.
All these features, and the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro even holds down the low end of its price range. It is quite difficult to find a competitor for what Sennheiser asks for its HD 280 Pro Headphones. In terms of customization, you can buy them in black or black, both of which look great.
The sound provided by the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro is not only of top quality, it is also dynamic. The headphones feel comfortable thanks to their around-the-ear design with padded ear cups.
Without its attached cable, the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro weighs only 285 grams. That cord can reach up to 9.8 feet.
In terms of sound reproduction, we found the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro to be exceptionally warm and natural. The sound pressure level hovers around 113 decibels.
All parts of this technology are easily replaceable, so even if your headphones do wear down, they can be quickly restored to full functionality.
We loved the accuracy that was afforded by the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro's linear frequency response. It made a lot of our mixing decisions just that much easier.
We were able to wear these headphones for long periods of time without tiring of them thanks to their lightweight plastic and neodymium-magnet drivers. That we could swivel one ear piece out to mix in the audio track and the room's ambience or hear the whispered word from an aide was an excellent feature.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphones
- Dynamic, closed ear headphones.Weight w/o cable: 285 gram Ear coupling is circumaural
- Lightweight and comfortable, ergonomic design, Cord Length 3.3 9.8 feet Coiled
- Extended frequency response and warm, natural sound reproduction. Nominal impedance 64 ohm. Sound pressure level (SPL) 113 dB
- Around the ear design with padded ear cups Dynamic, closed ear headphones with up to 32 dB attenuation of outside sound. Frequency response (Headphones) 8 25000 Hz
- Ear pads, headband padding, and audio cord are easily replaceable, ensuring long life
Yes. The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro provides an enormous 32 decibels of acoustical isolation. They are among the best noise canceling headphones for their price point.
We couldn't believe the quality we were getting out of a pair of headphones that cost less than one hundred dollars. Sennheiser must be commended for reaching this goal.
We wore our Sennheiser HD 280 Pros for hours without being annoyed by them. The sound is natural so your ears don't burn. The foam is soft and non scratchy.
The overall design is so lightweight you would occasionally forget you had them on your ears. If you had one earcup turned up so you could hear the room, you would be even more likely to forget you were still wearing them.
Sennheiser provides an excellent 2-year warranty on their HD 280 Pro headphones.
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Pro Studio Headphones
- Critically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers
- Proprietary 45 millimeter large aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper clad aluminum wire voice coils
- Exceptional clarity throughout an extended frequency range, with deep, accurate bass response
- Circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments
- 90 degree swiveling earcups for easy, one ear monitoring, and professional grade earpad and headband material delivers more durability and comfort
It should be no surprise that Audio-Technica pops up as a rival to Sennheiser's headphones. This model, more fully known as the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, serves as an excellent counterpoint for this price point.
Like the HD 280 Pro, these headphones feature the swiveling cups that are so essential when the sound cancellation gets as good as it does on some of these models. However, these Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Pro Studio Headphones do not offer any active noise canceling of their own.
They do block out quite a bit of sound, but when Audio-Technica is asking for an additional half again more than the price asked by Sennheiser, it is difficult to recommend this piece of technology.
No. Unfortunately, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Pro Studio Headphones do not provide active acoustical isolation like the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones do. They are thick enough to block some ambient sound, but no noise cancellation tech is included.
We were quite impressed with the clarity and accuracy of the sound coming through Audio-Technica's ATH-M50x Pro Studio Headphones. However, it did not represent the best of those we evaluated.
These headphones feel nice for the most part, but they snagged our hair more than the Sennheiser model did.
Audio-Technica offers a 3-year limited warranty on this product.
Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus Headphones
- Frequency response - 10 - 24, 000 Hz and impedance - 16 ohms.
- Custom sound slider to change the sound anytime (closed, semi open, Open design)
- Customizable style: Easily change color of the headband, ear pads, ear cups plates design, Detachable cable.
- Now INCLUDES new cable with microphone and remote. Suitable for smartphone, iPad, tablets, home audio or Pro Audio devices.
- Variable noise reduction.
Do not go to sleep on the engineers at Beyerdynamic. Their products have slowly been trickling into the top audio tech lists and their growth is sure to continue. As a result, we had to try out their Custom One Pro Plus Headphones that came with a full accessory kit and a remote microphone cable.
We got a kick out of being able to customize the headband, ear pads, and ear cups plates design of our headphones so easily. Customization is the name of the game when it comes to this model.
The sound quality did not fail us, although we found ourselves gravitating toward other models when we really needed high precision in terms of sound. We found the German engineering really paid off in the comfort department, however.
One of the best features offered by the Custom One Pro Plus Headphones is the amount of variability you have. Sliders allow you to pick the bass level thumping in your head and the amount of noise cancellation that you want cut out from the room.
It is less than ideal that Beyerdynamic asks for one and a half times the price point that Sennheiser asks for their HD 280 Pros.
Yes. Not only do the Deyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus Headphones offer noise cancellation; you can even adjust the level of noise cancellation.
The sound quality on these headphones is high, but not the highest.
We really liked the way that these headphones felt even after sitting in the booth for a while.
These headphones come with a limited 2-year warranty.
AKG K 240 MK II Stereo Studio Headphones
- Over-ear designfor comfort during long work sessions
- Semi-open technologyfor solid bass and airy highs
- Patented Varimotion 30 mm XXL transducerfor accurate signal transfer and great dynamic range
- Self-adjusting headbandfor optimum fit
- The choice of professionals around the worldstage and studio standard for more than two decades
Not everyone loves the full-ear coverage provided by certain models of headphones. While this type often becomes the go-to in podcasting and other studio scenarios. Some of us need a semi-open design that allow us to transition between getting stellar audio on our subway commute and being able to hear what the next stop is.
The AKG K 240 MK II Stereo Studio Headphones provide just such a piece of technology. We found that this model provided professional sound in an over-ear, semi-open design. You can find this sort of design pulling its weight in studios, orchestras, and even in stage productions worldwide.
AKG loves to boast about the effectiveness of its Varimotion 30 mm XXL transducers. We did found that these transducers delivered booming low end, accurate mids, and highs that can only be called crystal-clear.
You really get the best of both worlds when you use the sort of hybrid design that the AKG K 240 MK II Stereo Studio Headphones utilizes. Your bass can thump thanks to the enclosed parts, but your ears won't get too hot thanks to the airiness of the design.
However, only the buyer can decide for themselves if this hybridization of design is enough to justify the increase in price over other models in our review, especially with the lack of noise canceling tech.
No. Unfortunately, the AKG K 240 MK II Stereo Studio Headphones do not have a noise cancellation feature.
The sound quality is top notch, especially for a headphone with some open elements.
The semi-open design kept our ears nice and level in terms of temperature and exhaustion.
AKG offers a warranty of 1 year for labor and 1 year for parts.
Ultimately, deciding which headphones are right for your will depend on your sound design projects and how much of a hit your wallet can take. Some may be attracted to the hybrid semi-open design that the AKG K 240 MK II Stereo Studio Headphones offer.
However, if you need a pair of headphones with top of the line noise cancellation, the industry standard of sound quality, and a price point that could almost be considered “budget,” you cannot go wrong with the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro.