I’ve had my Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones for a couple months now, and couldn’t be more pleased with them! I thought I’d do a quick review of these and talk about a couple features I love about them, and what makes them the best headphones under $100 bucks in my opinion from all my research.
I’m not an audiophile, and I haven’t had access to hundreds and hundreds of headphones to compare these with, but these are the best headphones I’ve personally ever owed. What I find though, is most people agree with me (or my ears at least! *wink) as far as sound quality vs value is concerned. During my extensive research comparing popular headphones which I’ll talk about below, and now after traveling with these puppies, it’s hard to beat the HD 280 headphones for the money.
The most common runner up for the Sennheiser’s, are the Beats headphones which are very popular. Everyone and their brother has these, and they’re all the rage for kids these days. But, from everything I saw, and the times I’ve listened to Beats personally, they just seem to under-deliver on anything other than rap and cost about twice the price for most models. Overall I’m super happy with my HD 280 Pros, and I’d take them over Beats By Dre any day!
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Features I Love: (And what I think makes them the best headphones under $100 dollars)
I love the noise attenuation on airplanes… you can cut out most of the ambient hum noise just by having them sitting on your head, even if no music is playing. I think it’s something like -30 db down, which is quite a bit, and a VERY noticeable difference unlike most headphones that claim to dampen or lower ambient noise. You’d think you were wearing noise cancelling headphones with these bad boys, but no sir! They just form a tight seal around your ears, and deaden most sounds from the outside. (one of my criteria for new headphones was to NOT be noise cancelling… It messes with the frequencies if you listen to a lot of binaural beats and meditation tracks like I do)
Haha – I love this stupid little detail that probably no one but me will ever care about! The HD 280 headphones come with single sided cord on the left hand side only, instead of two cords forming a Y cable for both the left and the right. Seems like a dumb thing to mention right? Wrong!!! I can’t tell you how much easier this makes for getting the headphones on correctly in the dark. (makes for easy putting them on in bed when it’s dark or after you shut the lights off… No more fumbling about to figure out which side is right and left anymore!)
Like I mentioned above, they’re not noise cancelling, so I can listen to my subliminals and binaural beat tracks for meditation, napping, and sleep induction. I do this a lot while on airplanes, but also for a quick power nap whenever I’m tired. Being able to block out the noise, but still have good stereo quality with non noise canceling acoustics was one of my top priorities. Success!
The cushions around the ears are much higher quality, and your ears don’t hurt after using them for a while like what normally happens with other brands. Same thing goes for the headband across the top of your head… Nice padding, and well made for the money.
I’ve gotta tell you more about the cord, which is probably another feature that isn’t a big deal to most, but made a huge difference for me. These headphones come with at slinky style elastic cord. It automatically retracts, and doesn’t drag on the floor in situations where your hands are tied up doing something else (like when you’re trying to board the plane and want to keep the headphones out of your carry on… no need to worry about wrapping the cord up which is great).
They’re designed and made in Germany… we all know the Germans make good stuff. Enough said? 😉
Over The Ear Studio Quality Wired Headphones – But Not Technically Noise Cancelling
So the biggest thing that I like about the Sennheiser hd-280 Pro headphones, is the fact that you can use them pretty much anywhere and get that – 30 DB noise attenuation like I talked about earlier. The nicest thing about that is, if there’s a screaming baby or something on a flight, or if there are landscapers outside and you’re trying to work or take a power nap like, you can just pop these babies on and it really blocks out the noise and gives you some peace and quiet.
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro aren’t my first set of Sennheiser headphones either. In fact I’ve had two other models of Sennheiser’s, and these by far blew all of them out of the water! The Sennheiser’s work so well and so durable, that I’m pretty much brand loyal after buying the HD 280 Pro’, and if these every break, I won’t have to shop around, I’ll just order another pair immediately. (I don’t think I could live without them, I use them daily)
I highly recommend this model to friends and family, and the only people that may be dissatisfied with these HD 280’s are complete audiophile nuts, studio producers, or DJ’s that have a particular type of ear and want a certain sound that is more flat/neutral/natural in their headphones. That would be the only case where I think they might have a preference on other models or brands.
So Are They Really The Best Headphones Under $100 Dollars?
Do I think these are the best headphones under a hundred bucks? Yes I do! They offer a tremendous amount of value for the money, and are far better than almost everything else that I’ve personally tried. Again, like I said in the beginning, I’m not a professional audiophile, and I don’t have access to hundreds and hundreds oh headphones models to compare these to, but from everything I’ve been able to test and research prior to buying the 280’s, these are definitely the best headphones you can buy under $100 bucks hands down.
Where To Buy
I bought mine from Amazon, since they have the best price and free shipping. Most of the time, the HD 280’s are also a Prime item, which is overnight or two day free shipping if you’re in a metro area. I’ll put the price widget next to this text to show the updated price all the time in case they go on sale so you’ll know.
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro vs Beats By Dre
I’ve had friends with plenty of Beats before, and many people love them! The Beats are smaller and much more portable, and they do have good bass but it’s not natural on most music other than hip hop. For me, there’s simply no comparison between the two really. It’s hard to beat the noise isolation of the HD 280’s, so right off the bat if you want over the ear headphones for long flights, napping, and anything else where you want to block out as much sound as possible… The beats aren’t going to compare in this area. A lot of people complain about the styling of the HD 280 Pros, but I actually like them! Sure they clamp down on your head a bit more than say the Beats, but when they seal around your ears it’s like heaven’s peacefulness in a bottle! Sound wise, especially off an iphone or ipod without much oooomph behind it, Beats are a little muddy compared to the Sennheisers, especially since the bass is so good on the HD 280’s. To me the Beats sound like a $50 pair of headphones in terms of sound quality.