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Monday, August 12, 2013

Sennheiser HD280 PRO

Disclaimer: This is Danganronpa's third pair, and I still have three more to go after this. As I am trying to analyze everything as fast as I possibly can, please bear with me for just a few more weeks! :)

Sennheiser HD280 PRO is a closed-air/closed-back circumarual headphone, which is specifically made for a studio monitoring purpose. 

PRO: The frequency response loosely follows the diffuse-field reference target, which is a prerequisite for a studio-monitoring headphone, according to ITU.

CON: Channel matching is slightly off & The level of harmonic distortion is quite high in the low frequency range.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #1: There are two acoustic vents located on the rear part of HD280's housing. Blocking these will boost the mid-bass about a few decibels.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #2: When the manufacturer's calibration chart is compared against my diffuse-field compensated data, there is a great deviation in the mid-range. This indicates that Sennheiser's compensation target reflects far less amount of an ear canal&concha resonance, as much as 6 dB, than the conventional diffuse-field target. Such target corresponds quite well to the headphone reference target suggested in 2009 by Lorho. However, as their other flagship headphones, such as HD650 and HD800, strictly follow the diffuse-field reference, it seems Sennheiser have unique reference models calibrated for different types of headphones.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #1: Not only the frequency response of HD280 PRO is far from the diffuse-field target, it also doesn't quite match the Hi-Fi reference of Harman International.


G. Lorho, “Subjective Evaluation of Headphone Target Frequency Responses”, J. Audio Eng. Soc., preprint 7770, (2009 May).


  1. Diffuse field loudness equalization이라는 표현을 젠하이저가 자주 쓰는 걸로 봐서 IEC 268-7에 의한 라우드니드 비교 조건에서 주파수 응답을 측정하는 게 아닌가 싶은 게 좀 있습니다.

    만약 그게 맞다면 타겟의 차이라기보다 라우드니스 비교 조건 때문에 생기는 차이일 가능성도 있겠죠.

    젠하이저 관계자가 좀 명쾌하게 설명해줬으면 좋겠는 점임다...

  2. I'm temped to pick a pair up. It's flat in the mid range on the Harman graph and the deviations look easy to correct with IIR peak and shelf filters.

  3. Hi Rin, I usually don't get much mileage from reverse EQ-ing from headphone measurement sites, I tend to have to significantly scale back the gain values for all bands, but this time the sweet spot ended up around .43! In this configuration the HD280 sounds great!

    1. That is definitely good to hear..!

    2. There still room for improvement, around 3-4k is excessive which incidentally is where you measured the channel imbalance. Could you be kind enough to upload O-V graphs for the individual channels?