on 8 October 2009
For the last 25 years at least I have been using Sennheiser headphones.
I currently have 5 pairs that I use very frequently but the newest ones are the ones you want to know about.
I had been using a pair of Sennheiser HD280 Pro [64 Ohm] and I was very happy with them and then early this year I heard about the "upgrade" to these, the HD 380 Pro and being a bit of a sound nerd I had to have some.
Was it worth it? Well, yes it was!
They are slightly lighter, they fold better and come with their own case, they have a curly lead rather than the straight one for the 280s and they are even more comfortable for long time listening!
But what you really want to know about is the sound quality - they are better in all respects . . . the sound is great!
The bass is tight with a crisp attack but it does go quite deep and sounds really good.
The midrange is musical, well controlled with a good soundstage - the instruments are well placed.
The treble is tight, high without being shrill and hangs onto the top notes say of cymbals without becoming papery and thin.
The sound altogether is musical, well controlled and not coloured - if you want deep booming bass and greatly coloured sound then these are not for you.
All told, these for me are superb headphones and I am delighted to have made their acquaintance.
Oh yes . . . and I also use them with my iPod and that sounds even better too . . .
I give them 5 stars for sound and 5 stars for comfort.
on 5 September 2010
After a good while deciding what new headphones to get have just taken delivery of these and they are fantastic. Come with neat case and pack away tidily so very portable for a full size headphone. Sound quality is brilliant, currently listening to all my old collection again and marvelling at the new detail I can hear. Have been listening to Pink Floyd since I was a teenager back in the 1970s through dozens of different systems and these blow everything away. Very comfortable (for someone who has been known as "wingnut" in the past...enough said!) and well built. Good screw on adaptor. A clever design well executed, you won't be dissapointed.
on 24 October 2011
I've had my pair of 380s for just under two years now and i still love them to this day.
- Brilliant sound reproduction suitable for all types of music.
- Lovely frequency response all across the range; detailed (but not harsh) high end, lovely warm mid and very good bass on the low end.
- Easy drive, these can sound great with portable devices as well as proper hi-fi equipment and computer sound cards.
- Excellent build quality. Construction is good, cable is a long length and a good thickness.
- Folds up easily for convenient transport.
- Comes with a handy travelling case and 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter.
- Not the most comfortable phone i've ever had. They clamp pretty tight on the head which can get uncomfortable after about an hour. Also with it being so tight your ears warm up fast if the room your in is not cool.
- Not the best looking phone when worn, the headband is a strange shape.
- Considering they are pro headphones there is noticeable coloring to the sound. When i listen to this and compare them with my hi-fi speakers and Grado phones there is a massive difference in sound. However you do get used to this very quickly
- Although wire is good length it is coiled! This is a pain as it looks bad, weighs a lot and puts stress on the headphone jack when you sit far away from the source.
Overall i love these headphones. As musical equipment they are great with a wide frequency response and suitable to all types of music, but aesthetically then are not as good as others i've had by Sennheiser in the past. They can get uncomfortable after a relatively short time which is a shame as the sound they produce is un-fatiguing and down-right nice. Sennheiser could've done with working on the design too as they look pretty weird to wear!
on 20 July 2014
Whilst initially I found these headphones to be quite impressive, after some prolonged listening they proved themselves not to be so. The main issue is that the low end frequencies are massively over pronounced, and whilst this sounded okay for some recordings from the 70s which I checked them on (Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" is one of my go-to albums for testing anything) when I tried it with some more recent heavy metal stuff the bottom end became unbearable, even at low volumes it resulted in ear and headaches before the albums were over. I work in a mastering studio and I found these impossible to use for testing my masters on. Sadly this greatly increased low end really ruins what would otherwise be an excellent pair of headphones. Otherwise I found them to have a great deal of detail in the mids and higher ranges, they're incredibly comfortable, sturdy in build and the additional case is very useful.
on 3 March 2012
After considerable research into the headphones market I decided these were the best buy for the price - £101.98 with free delivery. The key specification to look for is the frequency response. This is the range of sound frequency the headphones are capable of reproducing - in the case of the HD 380 pros this is a rather incredible 8Hz - 27Khz. I already have a pair of Sennheiser RS120 (wireless) and they are fantastic too, although the build quality is not as good as the HD380s and the volume control has gone very flaky after 5 years but they still work well. The HD 380s are very well built - sturdy, robust and very comfortable to wear for extended listening. The thin leather cushioned pads while very comfortable, probably won't last very long with my raspy stubble so I hope you can buy replacements.
The most important difference between my RS120s and the HD380s though is the frequency response. The RS120s are 20Hz - 20Khz and also a different style of phones as the RS120s are open backed and the HD380s closed. Now, the physical audible range of hearing for all of us human beings is 20Hz - 20Kz if you are young with no damage to your hearing through illness or long exposure to loud noise (like a career as a sound engineer with Hawkwind for example). Human hearing also naturally deteriorates as we get older, and the audible bandwidth narrows slowly over time (one good reason why responsible personal audio player manufacturers like Apple limit the volume of their iPods).
So why is a headphone frequency range of 8Hz - 27Khz so useful? I hear you ask sceptically. Well, it is this - the limits of the human audio spectrum is extended at both ends by the human body's amazing ability to recognise subsonic information through - vibration. Ask any profoundly deaf person about this, they will tell you there is a wide spectrum of the experience of 'sound' available to them in this way. With me so far? - still awake? ok, the deal is this: Because the HD 380s have such a wide audio spectrum AND because they are closed style headphones, lower frequencies are 'felt' through the effect of the vibrations on the delicate mechanics of the inner ear - enhanced by a tighter hermetic seal with your ears through the sprung headband. I have to say, the experience of all this is breathtaking at times. There is a richness to lower frequencies which simulate the the accoustics of the actual recorded soundspace - be it a closely miked accoustic guitar or cello, or an entire orchestral concert hall. The isolation of the closed backs really focus your attention on the sound you are listening to and the higher frequencies such as bells, cymbals and triangles for example, are crystal clear and spine-tinglingly impressive.
Finally, (thank goodness - at last ;o) the soundstage is very engaging indeed - it really draws you in. You hear about surround sound simulation headphones - well with these you don't need them. The 3D soundstage is totally immersive and if you really let yourself go into the music (or sound of any kind) you can lose yourself in a beautiful sonic experience!. This of course depends on the quality of the production values of the source sound, your sound system, and the quality of the digital files you are listening to. Avoid MP3s like the plague - go for at least AACs with a 128 kbit/s bit rate if you can - direct from CD is better and DVD-Audio or SACD even better still. The audio range of iPod is 20hz - 20Hz but with the HD380s the sound is amazing with Apple AAC files. I could go on - but I hear a growing wave of subsonic snoring coming from the interweb. So I am going to stop now, put the HD380's back on and drift away back into my amazing sensual 3D aural world as I walk among the orchestra performing Janacek's Sinfonietta...
My advice to you is buy these headphones!
on 11 June 2016
Ok, after owning these headphones and using them on an everyday basis for 5 and a half years I think I am qualified to review these.
Sound quality: Excellent value for money, provided you have a good soundcard.
Build quality: the coating on the pads peels off after about a year. The layer of fabric underneath is actually glued together, not stitched, so eventually they come apart and the foam becomes exposed. The foam will also compress over time.
The cable that attaches to the headphones: the insulation separated from the wires leaving the coloured wires exposed. I believe this problem is exacerbated by the coiled cable and the extra weight and strain it puts on the stress point where the cable meets the headphones.
Repair: You can send them in to Seinheiser for repair and they will come back looking brand new, if in my case your 1 year warranty is out of date, then it will cost something like £50.
So I got them repaired, and now, probably 2 years later, the pad coating is starting to go again. I don't think I will bother having them repaired again, I will probably just upgrade for hopefully a better build quality.
Overall, very impressed with the sound quality when I bought them, they eliminated my need for speakers for many years, which helped with space and avoiding causing noise disturbances. I paid £90 for them in 2011. The current price as of writing this review is £83. The RRP is artificially inflated to £150.
I'm not currently looking to buy new headphones but I would not consider these headphones at the current price as they are so old I would expect technological advances in this industry to have brought the price down more than £7 in 5 years.
on 19 January 2011
I brought these headphones as replacement and improvement on my old HD 205 headphones. After 2 years of service the 205's had failed at the jack; some kind of electrical connection failure. Shame, because for the money they are very good. One of the reason's I brought the 380's is because of the replaceable cable; it is really annoying when something simple like that kills a perfectly good piece of equipment with no chance of repair.
The one thing I have above all else is a good ear for balance and audio quality; apparently, I don't think I am anything special in this field but the rest of my secondary music department used my for anything to do with sound quality. I have been doing music of various forms for the past 12 years (that might have something to do with it, I don't know) and I have never come across anything this good at this price range. I have been lucky enough to have tried a pair of Sennheiser HD 800 headphones (RRP £999!) and of course the 800's are better but for a 8th of the price (on amazon anyway) the 380's produce stunning quality.
For testing purposes I used several tracks on my iPod touch which I thought wolf give the headphones a good work out...
-Enterprising Young Men -Michael Giacchino -Star Trek The motion Picture
-Uprising -Muse - The Resistance
-Adagio For Strings - Tiesto -Parade Of The Athletes
-Four Seasons -Joe Satriani -Live
-1st Movement -Mahler -Symphony Number 4
-Requiem For Tower -Escala -Escala
-Glitter And Trauma -Biffy Clyro -Infinity Land
(All of these, bar Four Seasons was ripped at full quality on iTunes, which was a 480p video on youtube through the touch.)
The 380's performed superbly on every occasion. They gave a very full quality to the brass, allowed the rumble of the timpani's to carry on and even brought out some bass notes that I did not know existed in Enterprising Young Men. Let the synths and guitar sing out while still giving my ears a right good thump in Uprising; not to mention the crack of the snare. Let me hear the tiniest details in the synthisiser of Adagio For Strings while once again letting me hear the rumble of the bass beat. Four Seasons was a surprise though, I seemed quite messy at times, unclear. The guitar stuck out well but the backing sound like a mash of noise. However this was the lowest quality track by a big margin. The sleigh bells in Mahler 4 were crystal clear and the quality of each instrument was superb, even catching the very full sound of the string and woodwind double ups. Requiem For Tower was a wonder. A full and round double bass, singing violins over the top with a forceful and the 380's even showed up the slight rasp from the beginning of the trumpet note. I even heard a guiero in there as well as rainstick which were both completely new to me.
Last but not least Glitter And Trauma. Now I have been to see Biffy on a number of occasions at various venues and I have heard Glitter And Trauma at most of them. Ok, nothing compares to live music but I still got that same excitement and glee when I heard them through the 380's. Yes music is a BIG part of my life and I am probably more emotional about it than most people but you cant deny that you don't get a serious kick when you are in the right place at the right time listening to your favourite piece of music. And these headphones make it all the sweeter.
Overall these are great headphones that please on every level musically and for comfort. The cable is a little heavy but it is going to last a heck of a lot longer than your standard headphone cable and if it does get damages it is replaceable. I am going to spend many hours enjoying my music with these headphones and when I return to reality be very very glad I got them; they are sensational!
on 14 September 2016
Some tips based on earlier feedback:
- IMO this is an excellent pair of closed-back headphones, i.e. where you do not want to disturb others in the vicinity
- Outstanding sound reproduction given a good source and driver
- Very good passive sound isolation, good for an noisy office environment
- Exceptional low bass response (do a search for online tone generator and try it - 28Hz was there)
- The relatively heavy coiled lead may be cheaply and easily replaced with one of these: 1M Metre 2.5mm to 3.5mm Jack Audio AUX MP3 Cable Lead - you may need to use a craft scalpel or knife to trim the 2.5mm end to ease its access into the headphone slot.
- If you find the pressure on the ears too much, store the headphones mounted on a simple stack of 5 or more paperback books: then they are always comfortable when put on; add more books to taste
- An initial burn-in period of 48 hours or so is a good idea, easily done via the repeat option on your CD player or your favourite radio station
The downsides are relatively minor:
- Most computer audio chains of MP3/Flash software and hardware are rubbish really, compared to a proper hi-fi chain, and these headphones won't conceal that, quite the opposite
- You may find your ears get warm, but that's a trade-off as part of this particular over-ear configuration, there are many other options
- Just what I needed in busy office, shame the PC audio is so poor
on 11 June 2011
This is one of the best headphones I've ever tried.
Some people say it's a cross between the HD 555 and HD 280 Pro but for me it's far better than both.
Audio quality is extremely detailed and goes very close to that of the HD 595, only with a closed design.
I was unable do feel any resonance and the sealing is average to high. You won't be using it for DJing but it will silence regular noise around you for a good editing or pleasant listening.
The audio reproduction is very neutral, so, you won't be amazed by overwhelming lows, instead, a consistent neutral tonal range, with equally balanced lows, mids and highs.
It may reveal every compression faults on your audio if it's not of the highest quality source.
And just in case you're wondering, an iPod Classic or iPhone is more than adequate to drive these. You may get more punch from an amplifier but it's not really necessary for most ears. Even demanding ones.
on 19 April 2012
I'm an amateur composer, music producer and sound engineer. So I demand the highest sound quality out of my monitoring headphones. On the other hand, I also appreciate some of the cheap offerings out there, especially Apple's second generation iPod earphones, as I understand what they're supposed to be. I use my Apple earphones with my iPod while I'm out and about, because there's really no need for good-sounding ear/headphones when I'm out NOT doing critical listening. And those Apple earphones do have quite flat (i.e. accurate) frequency response and an excellent (for their size and price) stereo image. As for testing these Sennheiser HD380 Pro, my standards are much higher, because 1. there's the "pro" nomenclature, 2. it's a Sennheiser and 3. these are supposed to be monitoring headphones.
I own a few Sennheiser headphones:
HD 205 - for £20 I thought I couldn't go wrong with those even for just some leisure listening. And indeed, they can only work as "leisure" headphones because the frequency response is just distorted - too much bass, awful "separation", etc. Probably DJs would love them.
HD280 Pro - I used these for monitoring purposes. Extremely clear "separation", you can hear absolutely everything. Frequency response is very flat, probably too flat because the bass is a bit weak, mids and highs are excellent though.
HD 650 - only one word describe these - perfection. The only gripe would be the fact that these are open-back headphones, making these unsuitable unless you can find somewhere there's no one around you to be disturbed, which is fine by me because I'm the only one in the room when I'm doing my music work.
I didn't have the HD280 or the 650 with me at the time and I needed a pair of decent monitoring headphones. I reckoned the HD380 Pro is kind of the successor of the 280. That shouldn't be too shabby. So I bought these.
Comfort is excellent. Much better than the HD280 PRO, and even to some extent the 650. However, the sound quality has NOTHING in common with the HD280 PRO. The frequency response is NOT flat, making these almost useless for my critical listening purposes. The mids are too forward, I'd imagine the frequency response graph for these headphones is a "bell-shaped" one. Also, there's not enough "separation" in the stereo image. On this same order I also ordered a pair of cheap Sennheiser MX880 earphones for casual listening (and maybe as a "second opinion" sort of monitor). And these HD380 Pro's sound quality is pretty much in the same league as those lowly MX880, which I find is utterly unacceptable for a pair of "PRO" MONITORING headphones. A fair point to make is that these cans can be "adapted to", meaning you can actually adapt your ears to accommodate to the uneven frequency response to judge your own sound mixes. But, even after I've adapted to the frequency response, I still can't quite judge my sound mixes as accurately as I'd like. Sadly I had to return these in the end.
I ordered a pair of Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro instead. They cost about the same as the HD380 but the sound quality is almost on par with the HD650. Stereo image is wide and clear. Bass is a little too boosted, but it's still very clear, unlike the muffled response from Dr Dre. Now I'm very happy.