What Sennheiser headphones should I buy: HD 280 Pro, 497 or 515?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by daniel bazac, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. daniel bazac

    daniel bazac Auditioning

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    Hi there,

    I want to buy a pair of over-head headphones.

    I’m not decided between Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, Sennheiser HD 497 and Sennheiser HD 515.

    Allow me to list some specifications for these headphones:

    Sennheiser HD 280 Pro:
    Sensitivity: 113 dB
    Impedance: 64 Ohm
    Frequency Response: 8 to 25,000

    Sennheiser HD 497
    Sensitivity: 112 dB
    Impedance: 32 Ohms
    Frequency Response: 24 to 22,000

    Sennheiser HD 515
    Sensitivity: 104 dB
    Impedance: 120 ohms
    Frequency Response: 14 to 26,000

    Now, my questions:

    1) Is it a big difference between 113 dB (Sennheiser HD 280 Pro) and 104 dB (Sennheiser HD 515)? 104 dB means I lose A LOT of dynamics?

    2) Do I need a headphones amplifier for Sennheiser HD 515 (120 ohms)? That will be an inconvenience, because I want to use it with my iRiver.

    3) Is it a big difference between 24 to 22,000 Hz (Sennheiser HD 497) and 8 to 25,000 Hz (Sennheiser HD 280 Pro)? Do I lose a lot of bass? Can I hear 8-25 Hz?

    Thank you, in advance.

    Daniel

    PS Any suggestions for other headphones: Sony, Koss, Grado, etc.
     
  2. Kraig Lang

    Kraig Lang Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd recommend that you head over to www.head-fi.org

    Everything you could possible ever want to know about headphones but were afraid to ask. Great group of people over there with a similar congeniality as the Home Theater Forum. I'll warn you though, their catch phrase is "Sorry about your wallet"

    As far as your question, what's your budget? What type of music do you listen to? Is the IRiver Hard Drive or Flash?

    If you like laid back go Sennheiser. The 497 are a great starting point. If you like a little more forward (i.e. Rock) go with Grado SR-60.

    If money is no object, go with the ETY ER4P with S converter cable. The best portable phones money can buy.
     
  3. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Daniel, you're wanting to stay under $100, I presume?

    All three are very different sounding head-rigs for various functions. Ranging from about $50-$100. I have an IMP-ChromeX 350 and I can suggest many great Senns.


    I have near 20 different pair of headphones(mostly Sennheiser). All very different sounding.

    The Denon AHD-550 is also a great headphone, and comparable to the HD-497, not only in price but sound.

    I find the HD-497 and extremely comfortable headphone and works great with the iRiver. It's the cheapest of the lot you mentioned. An outstanding value.
     
  4. daniel bazac

    daniel bazac Auditioning

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    Hello Kraig & Zen,

    Sorry for the delay of my post.

    So:

    >I'd recommend that you head over to head-fi

    I went there and I’m still reading – and learning – a lot.

    >As far as your question, what's your budget?

    Less than $ 100.

    >What type of music do you listen to?

    Italo disco; Euro disco (dance) of the ‘80s. To get an idea please listen to:

    Paradise Radio
    paradise-radio.com

    or here is my Top 10 in Italo disco:

    1. EDDY HUNTINGTON: U.S.S.R.
    2. ALBERT ONE: For Your Love
    3. MIKO MISSION: How Old Are You?
    4. SABRINA: Boys, Boys, Boys
    5. GRANT MILLER: Colder than ice
    6. MAX HIM: Lady Fantasy
    7. FANCY: Slice me Nice
    8. SILVER POZZOLI: Around my dreams
    9. SCOTCH: Disco Band
    10. K.B.CAPS: Do you Really Need me?

    My Top 50 can be found here:
    discomusic.com/charts-more/2910_0_8_0_M/

    >Is the IRiver Hard Drive or Flash?

    I intend to buy an iRiver MP3 player, and I’m doing research regarding headphones.

    Ideally, I would like over head headphones instead of earbuds. But I like them “delicate” like Sennheiser HD 497, not big like Sennheiser HD 280 Pro.

    The only problem with 497 is that they don’t cover the ears, but “sit” on the ears. So noise cancellation in the NY subway…

    I’m aware of Sony, Grado or Koss. The big problem I have is the IMPEDENCE.

    Many professional models have high impedance 32, 45, 64 or even 120 Ohms (Sennheiser HD 515)

    I’m not a sound engineer but I think, above – let’s say – 45 or 64 Ohms I need a – portable – headphones amplifier.

    Now, that’s something I don’t like very much, not only because the good ones are not cheap but they are uncomfortable to wear. I already have 10 feet cable for the headphone in my pocket…

    >If you like laid back go Sennheiser. The 497 are a great starting point.

    Yes, I like them but at home but I’m not sure how they work in the subway.

    >If you like a little more forward (i.e. Rock) go with Grado SR-60.

    Does Grado SR-60, COVER the ear or only “sit”?

    >If money is no object, go with the ETY ER4P with S converter cable. The best portable phones money can buy.

    OK, but the money is an issue.

    >I have an IMP-ChromeX 350 and I can suggest many great Senns.

    OK, what do you suggest?

    >I have near 20 different pair of headphones (mostly Sennheiser). All very different sounding.

    So what would you recommend for Italo disco – similar to US dance mixed with a little electro sounds..

    Lots of bass, many medium and some highs.

    BTW, I'm crazy for bass, so I would like some headphones that go deep and with a punch.

    I would also like to make some MP3s mixes, so the headphones ARE important.

    >The Denon AHD-550 is also a great headphone, and comparable to the HD-497, not only in price but sound.

    Wow! 4,5 stars Epinions
    epinions.com/elec_Audio-Headphones_Denon_AHD-Denon_AHD-550

    From the picture looks like they COVER the ears. Is it true?

    3Hz-28kHz frequency response. Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? I never saw in my life 3 Hz…

    The lowest I saw Sony MDR-V600 Studio Monitor: 5Hz - 30kHz, which is also very WOW!

    A little question: these Denon at 35 ohms need headphone amplifier? And is the 106 dB sensitivity too LOW, compared with 113 dB (Sennheiser HD 280 Pro)?

    I know very little about impedance and sensitivity, so any explanation will be appreciated.

    Anyway, I like the Denon.

    >I find the HD-497 and extremely comfortable headphone and works great with the iRiver. It's the cheapest of the lot you mentioned. An outstanding value.

    OK, but what about noise cancellation (subway)?

    Few comments about earbuds:

    I only want IN-EAR earbuds. I saw good reviews for Sony MDR-E888 and MDR-EX71SL, but I’m concerned about noise cancellation.

    Currently I have Koss "The Plug", which are OK, but I want something better for the iRiver. I saw Shure E2c, Etymotic ER-6, and others but I’m a little confused which to chose. Again less than $ 100.

    Thank you both for your answers.

    Daniel
     
  5. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Daniel, yes the Denon AHD-550 covers the ears. They have been a favorite of mine for years.

    I ride the metro frequently, kind of an L.A. subway of sort. No way in hell, I'm wearing circum-aural headphones. Not sure where you live but is this safe?


    Well, with your budget the 497's are great. If circum-aural is to your liking, I would take the Denon-AHD550. One of the best headphones for the cash.

    I listen to a lot of trip-hop (very heavy accentuated bass), the Denons handle it as well as electronica, classical, jazz.

    When I'm out on foot, or subway. I take either the

    Sennheiser MX500 (earbuds) or my

    Sennheiser HD-477 (open)


    The high dollar Sennheisers stay at home.
     
  6. daniel bazac

    daniel bazac Auditioning

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    Zen,

    >the Denon AHD-550 covers the ears.

    Wonderful!

    >They have been a favorite of mine for years.

    More I read reviews about the Denon AHD-550 more I like them.

    >I ride the metro frequently, kind of an L.A. subway of sort. No way in hell, I'm wearing circum-aural headphones.

    Because of cars honks and stuff?

    >Not sure where you live but is this safe?

    No, NOWHERE is safe with circum-aural headphones. I didn’t think about that very deep, but I will.

    >Well, with your budget the 497's are great.

    True.

    >If circum-aural is to your liking, I would take the Denon-AHD550. One of the best headphones for the cash.

    OK, I’ll keep in mind when I’ll take my final decision.

    >I listen to a lot of trip-hop (very heavy accentuated bass),

    Yes, yes, I like it – the heavy accentuated bass I mean.

    >the Denons handle it

    YES!

    >When I'm out on foot, or subway. I take either the
    Sennheiser MX500 (earbuds)

    One little question. What’s MX500’ noise cancellation level (in dB)?

    Can you compare an IN-EAR (like Shure Exc or Etymotic ERs) with “normal” earbuds like Sony MDR-E888 or Sennheiser MX-500?

    My feling is that IN-EAR buds have better dynamics, better bass, and better noise cancellation than the 888 or 500.

    Well, to walk the dog in the park the 500 might be OK, but how about noisy environment (subway)?

    >The high dollar Sennheisers stay at home.

    Which Sennheiser you prefer at home?

    Daniel
     
  7. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    I prefer the HD-600's for home use. Although, I have still yet to hear the HD-650's. I also don't want to drive a '72 Pinto, so I think I have purposely stayed away from a demo.


    I ride through some pretty rough neighborhoods and prefer to be aware. I have been pretty lucky with minimal incidents. [​IMG]

    The Sony MDRE829V are similar to the Senn MX500, do not have many specs on them. I can check when I get home or will talk with my rep.


    I don't care for the canal type, so I wouldn't be much help with you on those.
     
  8. daniel bazac

    daniel bazac Auditioning

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    Denon AHD-550 Sensitivity is 106 dB
    Sennheiser HD 497 Sensitivity is 112 dB

    Are those 6 dB important?


    >I don't care for the canal type

    May I ask why?

    Daniel
     

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