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 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 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 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 23 November 2015
... that these headphones are so good, I don't even know where to start. And I'm serious: I sometimes check the headphones section at the local currys, just to see the pathetic attempts of beating the HD 380 Pro by its competition. It is at par with the £300 range items, and this is why:
- Sound: I'm no audiophile, so I won't be able to tell you how this bass is different to what you can experience with other kit. All I can say is that it just somehow feels right. Even devices that have mediocre sound output, with the HD 380 they sound extraordinary.
- Solid carry case - not just a soft pouch, but an actual case with hardened walls
- Foldable design - the earpieces fold under the top arc for storing or if you are a DJ perhaps you'd fold one piece out (this is for monitoring after all)
- LONG (probably about 5m extended (read specs)) - coiled cable - which is also very well made. No tangled cords, and you can have quite a bit of distance from the sound source. This is also somewhat of a disadvantage when travelling and you have to tuck the huge amount of excess cable away, but I prefer to do just that than to travel with inferior headphones (which by the way means any other headphones)
- Very comfortable to wear due to its "over the ear" design - even for a long time: I had this baby on for a 10+ hour gaming session, after which I had fallen asleep (with them on) - best sleep I ever had (happened on multiple occasions). Also it is amazing how the same piece fits everyone in the family - perfect for me (my head size is XL), but works well for the kids (couple of years old little people)
- Noise blocking: No, this doesn't have active noise cancelling features, but it is such a good fit that it is at par with the Peltor industrial ear protectors. I'm an IT engineer, which involves spending long hours in datacenters, among hundreds of servers in ~80dB constant fan noise. The HD 380 Pro makes me forget I'm there, and I simply don't go to datacenters without it. To me it has the same importance for my job as a screwdriver or a laptop.
- Bonus: screw-on 6.5 stereo jack converter - fits perfectly to musical instruments which usually have the larger jack (like an electric piano)
Negative (yes there is one):
- the soft film that covers the foams started peeling away on all 3 foams (earpieces and top). after the 4.5th year. This doesn't affect the usability of the item, but makes it rather unsightly. However, you can buy replacement pads(!) at Sennheiser, for about £20 for the pair. These are still available, even though the HD 380 Pro is at least 5 years old.
By far my favourite tech item I have ever bought. Very good value without any compromise. Looks like it has been built for life (don't forget replaceable parts). If I was a musician I would write a song about it - it is that good. I wholeheartedly recommend you to buy one. If you had after reading through this post please leave a comment and let me know! :)
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 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 10 March 2012
This is my first ever review of a product but felt the need to help anyone needing a similar recommendation such as myself when looking to pay reasonable money for a good pair headphones to last.
Purchased these after a lengthy look at others' reviews on Amazon, t'internet and also the YouTube videos.
After the time I spent looking, I hope you won't need to much longer, save your time and just buy a pair.
I found the other reviews to be on the whole very accurate, these Sennheiser HD380 Pro are excellent headphones at a relatively reasonable price.
Received in good time from Amazon as always, they were well packaged and supplied with their own decent quality padded case which is more than capable of protecting from being dropped.
The phones are supplied with quite a long cable but recommend buying an extension if you find the coiled cable not enough. They fold up in the case quickly (in seconds) neatly with the cable and do look as though designed well for being folded and handled.
Ok the sound, well my hearing is good and to me the sound is better than listening to monitor quality speakers eg Rogers LS3/5A connected to the same amplifier, that is how good they are. These produce what I would call very good, accurate monitor quality sound.
They are extremely accurate, good dynamic range even at low sound levels, not tiring to listen to for long periods.
The highs are very consistant, the bass is extremely rich and these but not boomy or excessive (with a good amplifier), vocals and mid range are very clean indeed, so can be used for any music or just listening to the TV or radio in peace. Your ears don't get particularly hot, they fit any size head and ear and stay in position without being uncomfortable. They work as well at very low volumes allowing you to hear only louder background noises to high volumes.
The frequency response is 8 to 27000 Hertz (Look at Sennheiser website for supplied accessories and specifications) so the bass you hear is likely to be deeper and richer than your home speakers including monitors which don't always respond well below even 15 Herts or car stereos around 60hertz.
These do have a removeable/ replaceable lead (pulls out sideways) and replaceable foams and also very rugged build. The headphone lead drops out of the left side headphone and hangs away so not to be nuisance, the lead runs straight for about 20 inches from headphone, then coiled, and straight 8 inches running into the jack plug, the cable hangs around 4 1/2 foot unstretched. If you want a good pair of headphones where you can enjoy the sound everytime you use them -they won't get any better than these for the price. If you are looking to use an extension lead, you can buy any standard 3.5mm (or 6.3mm) socket to 3.5mm (or 6.3mm)jack extension cable but don't forget its for stereo. Good with any device from (especially Ipods/ laptops) your TV to Amplifiers. Also would consider using these for long flights to remove unwanted noise even if not listening to anything... they are that comfortable..so from listening to radio/ TV/ Nickelback to Lacuna Coil or Lara Fabian happy listening =:--) [...]
on 9 September 2012
I'm not an audiophile, but having purchased a pair of Sennheiser MM50i in-ear headphones last year I was astounded by the difference from my old Sony in-ear plugs. As a result, I was looking for a decent pair of headphones for home / travel use.
Having read the many reviews on various headphones between £25 & £100 (and been thoroughly confused), I kept comping back to these, at the top end of my budget. These seemed to have a good number of positive reviews, seemed to have a sturdy wire/lead and had the benefit of being foldable.
Having owned the headphones for a few months now, I can confirm that they are more or less what I was looking for. The sound quality is (for me at least) perfect. Great balanced range of sound, from the base through to the high end. The wire/lead is definitely sturdy to the point of being too heavy. It is a coiled lead which I prefer, as it saves having several meters of loose cable flowing around getting trapped in things.
You can quite easily stick your phone in your pocket and tuck a small look of cable into your pocket to take the weight off your headphones. As stated in other reviews, the lead is replaceable should the unthinkable happen. It sounds strange, but the headphones fit nice & close to your head all over. You don't have a large weird looking loop sitting several inches above your head that some of the other brands seem to give.
The headphones hold onto your head firmly, securely and are remarkably comfortable during extended use. I was surprised by the level of external noise penetration considering they are a full enclosed design. During quieter moments between tracks and during quiet music, I can hear quite clearly the TV in the background etc. I had the opportunity to use these headphones on a long haul flight recently, and have to say I was just a little disappointed at the level of aircraft notice that penetrated. That said, I still only needed the volume on the in-flight system set to the first volume position (very low). I don't know why, but I was hoping for more isolation. My MM50's would have been a better choice for noise isolation.
Sound leakage (my sounds leaking out) seem to be very good. I don't have my music blaring and my wife says that she doesn't hear anything from them. I have slightly large ears and was very pleased with the space within the cup. Both length and also depth. At no point are my ears squeezed or really touching anything which makes them very comfortable in use.
As stated in other reviews, these headphones are fold-able and come with a semi-hard carry case which is a really nice touch and means I can carry them in my work bag without fear of damaging them.
If I was having to pick some negative points or points for improvement they would be:
- Choice of a lighter cable/lead
- Better external sound isolation
- Maybe slightly smaller cups
Overall I am very happy with my purchase and see these lasting me for the next few years.