"good headphones for price"3.5 starson by smileyfaces4ever
Pros: linear response, comfortable, light, passive noise cancelling
Cons: sound quality
Summary: Recently, I began going to college. Which is all great, except for the constant noise in my house of twelve house mates. Not to mention, my roommate sings along with all his songs, at the top of his lungs, blares his music, and it's so loud our neighbors can hear him singing. Essentially, I needed a way to escape his singing (he's a great roommate otherwise), and buying the HD 280 PRO headphones was my answer.
Where to begin? My credentials (skip if you don’t care): played piano and organ since 3rd grade, accepted to Oberlin college, won music composition contests, two of our cars have bose sound systems, my car has a harman kardon sound system, we have bang and olufsen sound systems in our living room and theater room, we have two concert grand pianos, and a boston sound system in our rec room. I'm also minoring in music. I love and actively listen to all kinds of music, such as rap, hip hop, alternative, and most importantly classical. Hence, I feel I'm qualified to review these headphones.
How's their bass?
It depends whether or not you are an experienced classical musician or not. People who don't listen to or play classical music have been found (in scientific studies) to respond better to music containing lower frequencies i.e. bass. Those of us who are trained in the art of music respond better to higher frequencies. Those of you who don't play music, may not enjoy the bass response of these headphones, however, I have found them to be very accurate, and I being the person who leaves bass on a very low setting in my car and on our sound systems. The bass IS there, it IS accurate, and I being a person who can’t stand excessive bass, find the bass on these to be perfectly balanced with the rest of what I am listening to. People who are not trained in music, may want to find more bass heavy headphones. Simple as that. I personally hate bass heavy headphones because quite simply, the bass is NOT where the music is. It is the BASE beat. The music is in the treble. If the bass overbears the rest of the music, it ruins the music. These headphones have ample bass, and I believe the bass these headphones provide is what the artist wants you to hear. Hence these being ‘monitor’ headphones. Listening to rap with its heavy bass beats sounded perfect to me, the piano sounded fine, and where I could really tell these are “monitor” headphones is in organ music, if the headphones simply had weak bass response, the organ pedal notes would sound unconvincingly plain and not realistic, and often I have trouble finding sound systems or headphones that play the bass accurately. These headphones play back the bass of the organ as I hear it in church (loud and strong and overpowering the manuals/keyboard of the organ), when I’m playing the organ, just as I expect it. Yay, they’re loud enough. Hence, these phones are evidently capable of producing loud base, they simply don’t ADD extra bass to the music. They play it linearly.
How’s their sound?
Right out of the box, I was deeply disappointed with these headphone’s sound quality. However, after around twelve hours of ‘burning’ them in, I was quite satisfied. They don’t provide the most clear and crisp sound I have come to expect having been raised around bang and olufsen sound systems, but their music reproduction is fine. Rap and hip hop, as well as alternative sound exceptional on these headphones, although classical music doesn’t quite sound like it’s coming from a concert hall. It’s simply not as clear and crisp as I have come to expect it to be. The piano doesn’t quite sound realistic to my ears, however, a symphony sounds fairly exceptional. You definitely hear things that you generally wouldn’t hear on entry level sound systems. If you’re an extreme sound snob (such as myself), I highly recommend testing these out before you purchase them. You may be in for a surprise that all the glowing reviews are written by people with little experience in music.
Their weight seems almost non-existent while on your head. The ear pads are very soft, and I haven’t had a problem with them “squeezing” my head. My ears do have a slight ache from listening to them after hours upon hours, but they’re by far the most comfortable full-sized headphones I’ve yet used. The top headband does sometimes feel a bit uncomfortable, but a simple adjustment remedies that. Quite simply, the fact that these are more comfortable than most competing headphones should be a factor in your purchasing decision.
Do they block out noise?
Yes and no. They block out a lot of ambient noise, such that if I choose to wear them without music playing, I can’t hear people take showers, or talking in the room next door. I could still very clearly hear my roommate talking to me, much less singing at the top of his lungs. I don’t believe they should really be rated as being able to block out 32 dB, as I’ve had earmuffs that construction workers use that are rated to block out 27 dB, and these construction worker earmuffs definitely block out significantly more noise. However, if you’re playing music with these headphones, even the loudest noises may not reach you. I can’t hear my roommate screaming at me if I have these at a decent volume. Hence, if you’re considering buying these for their passive noise cancellation, you may want to reconsider. Consider these as quality headphones first, and as noise canceling headphones second. I like how no one around me could hear the music I’m listening to on these headphones.
How are these with mp3 players or laptops?
They are great for your mp3 player. And my laptop which has by what I swear to be the lowest output drive of any laptop on the face of this earth, powers these headphones nicely.
These are very decent headphones, and I would probably buy them again, but I would most likely go to the store and listen to a few competing headphones just to see if these really match up to my expectations. They’re exceptionally comfortable, good for blocking out AMBIENT noise (be sure to check Etymotic ear buds), and have passable sound quality. For mp3 headphones, or laptop headphones, they are exceptional, and are a standout in this regard. They’re great for dorm or work use, but at home, I still am going to use my Bang and Olufsen sound system. Some may say this is an unfair comparison, being that Bang and Olufsens are fifty to a hundred times more expensive than these, but I expect a lot, when people say these headphones are worth a lot.
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