tl;dr – They are awesome!
I’ve spent the last two hours working at my desk and listening to my music collection via iTunes Match. These new headphones have a quality that is hard to describe to someone–mainly because I don’t think I have the right words in vocabulary. The sound is certainly clear and well-defined considering the source and my local PC’s sound card.
The HD280 speakers are amazing for the size (watch a video if you want to learn more) and produce what I have to call a “compressive bass” sound. Instead of bass ‘hum’ instead your ears can feel the air pressure changes therefore the bass has a tactile quality. I think this comes from the way they encompass the ear and truly isolate the air gap between the speakers and eardrum. These are the first headphones that I’ll have to worry about volume limits.
Quick review of the Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones:
Sound quality is amazing. Reveals the quality of source material, whether it’s vintage vinyl (Rush-Moving Pictures) or 256Kbps AAC from iTunes Match (Love and Rockets-Ball of Confusion). Nearly complete sound isolation. Manual that comes in box lets you know you paid for a quality product. Coiled cord perfect for your desk or the chair next to that vintage amp.
They feel like they compress my head in a gentle vise. Might be therapeutic. In reality, the sensation is more like stepping in to a sound proof room and closing the door.
I have a set of Sennheiser HD201’s, the $30 cousin twice removed of the HD280 Pro. $70 buys a lot of difference and when you spend 4 to 6 hours a day with headphones on, it’s worth the investment.
PS: If you go through a Sennheiser dealer, they can add a microphone.