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The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones are the pair of headphones I decided to enter the world of high-quality audio equipment with. At the time I had picked up an affinity for a certain type of music that society as a whole isn't quite ready to accept -- my roommates most certainly included. Threats and the invoking of our respective constitutional rights -- my right to free speech, their right to freedom from cruel and unusual punishment -- were frequent occurrences. As my relations with my roommates strained and as I sought a peaceful solution, I decided that perhaps headphones were the ticket. I would get my music, they would get their peace.

I have no regrets.

Technical Specifications:
Impedance: 64 Ohms
Input Power: .5W
Ear Coupling: Circum-aural
Frequency Response: 8 Hz to 25kHz
Sound Pressure Level: 113Db
Ambient Noise Attenuation: 32dB
Weight: 10 ounces
Contact Pressure: 6N
Cable Length: 1 meter coiled, 3 meters uncoiled.

With a suggested MSRP of $100 and fairly widespread availability, these babies should do anyone well who doesn't want to spend a fortune on their wares but still hopes to attain a measure of aural bliss from wherever their music library resides. Mine most frequently hang off the arm of my desk chair for rapid armament after waking up each morning. Occasionally I take them on a field trip to the proper stereo in the living room, where the helpfully included 3.5mm-to-1/4" converter allows me to plug it into my receiver for even more absurdly high-decibel music appreciation. The range of tones that you'll get to appreciate are wide and well-balanced, with only slight distortion at very high volume. If you listen to most of your music on vinyl (particularly older or poorly cleaned records), you should be advised that this is one case where the high sensitivity of these headphones will not be your friend. You'll get to experience every hiss, pop, and minor imperfection in their fullest with these.

As a bedroom DJ I've found them to be excellent headphones for such a purpose. The earpieces helpfully flip out independently for listening with one ear and the whole set folds up into a small little bundle for easy and safe storage and transport. Compared to the popular Sony MDR-V 700 model, these feel much more sturdy and fit more tightly against your ears -- especially in sweaty, fast-paced situations.

I have sampled my HD 280s against the next level up -- the HD 570s (available for $130) -- and walked away content with my selection. The HD 570s had slightly better dampening and fit a bit more snugly around my ears, but they didn't have the heavier and more rugged feel I like in my HD 280s. Mine have taken a few good spills and a number of cross-country journeys in the past year or so without any problems whatsoever. I've also found the dampening present on mine to be more than sufficient to drown out any competing noise. In one case they were sufficient enough to leave me unaware that a friend was breaking in through the window behind me to (quite successfully) scare the bejeezus out of me.

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