There are several situations that I can think of when you must have a pair of headphones. You’d either want them so that you can listen to your own music instead of other people while you’re on your way to work, or maybe you just want to have no noise around you.

Either way a good pair of headphones may be on your list of essentials. So, which do you choose? With so many on the market this can be a difficult decision.

I’ve had a look at two pairs and done some comparisons between the two.

The Sony MDR 7506 is very popular with many people, and so is the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, although there are several differences between them.

Neither of these two models is particularly fashionable, in fact they both look a little like a sturdy workhorse, designed to do the job with very few frills attached to them.

Both focus mainly on the sound they deliver instead of their looks, so let’s take a look at some differences.

Build quality

The Sony weighs in at 0.46 lbs and the Sennheiser at 0.49 lbs no hardly any difference there.

The quality of the build on the Sony is somewhat basic and unexciting. The headphones have a metal framework to reinforce them, and then they are covered in plastic. They may withstand some rough and tumble but are not the most durable pair you’ll buy.

The hinges seem a little fragile and are used to fold the ear parts up for storage, so if anything is going to break first, I reckon it will be at this point.

While these are great for when you are keeping still, if you needed to jog with them, they would probably fall off.

Although they are a decent build, they don’t seem to be as durable as others in the approximate price range.

The Sennheiser is not a fashion accessory so if this is what you’re looking for, then this pair won’t suit you. They are not particularly stylish.

The new design of the Sennheiser headphones means that the clamping force is better than before.

Although these are made completely of plastic, they don’t feel like it, certainly don’t feel cheap and plasticky. They feel like a good quality set.

Although the Sennheiser headphones are of plastic, they feel more solid than you would expect. The ear cups are nicely finished off with a matte coating.

Comfort

You’ll find that the Sony headphones are lightweight and comfortable. Even people with large ears will be fine with them as the cups are big enough to cover most ears. They don’t clamp your head so tight that it gets painful so you can easily wear them for long periods.

While the padding is soft and comfortable, it does seem a little cheap when you look at it. That may make it more prone to wear and tear damage.

The Sony headphones are portable although they are not the best to carry on your person. That being said, they do fold up so will fit into almost any bag. Unfortunately, they don’t come with their own pouch or carry case.

The Sennheiser headphones are of a new design and have a better fit than their last model. The frame is plastic although it’s a little thinner than the last model.

The padding has been improved so that the middle of the head does not get rubbed anymore. Indeed, the two pieces of padding up on the top are nice and squishy, making them easy to wear for a longer time.

The ear openings are spacious so even large ears will fit comfortably. The foam that they are made of is thick.

The covering on the pads is imitation leather and has a distinctly cheap look to it, but that’s the way imitation leather looks, which means that if you wear these in really hot weather you may feel sweaty.

The clamping force is better than the previous version and they sit firmly on the head, although jogging may cause them to fall off.

If you wear them for extended periods you may find that they are a little tight and that your ears feel warm.

Sound isolation

You’ll find that the Sony MDR 7506 have a decent sound isolation. They deliver a deep, punchy bass. The treble is better than other headphones and the mid-range is clear.

The Sony headphones are well suited for pretty much all genres of music, even for classical music with lots of crash bang going on.

When used for audiobooks they deliver a clear sound although sometimes the ‘s’ and ‘t’ sounds are a little harsh.

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro will not block out some noises like a low drone, but they do deliver great isolation.

For drummers and guitarists, the isolation here is exactly what you want and for vocalists the 32dB of isolation keeps the headphone mix from your vocal mic. With the amount of sound isolation with these headphones its easy to see why they are so popular with many recording studios.

These headphones have excellent sound isolation for places like coffee shops where you simply want to sit and listen to your won music. They will completely shut of the outside chatter.

Sound quality

With the Sony you should remember that these were not intended for listening to music. They were designed for production. The sound you’re mixing should will sound the same as what the listener hears, and you want it to be as clear as possible.

You’ll also notice that if you play a piece of music on them, every flaw will be heard. It’s not the headphones, it’s actually the recording. The Sony will show up every imperfection.

So, if you’re going to do any producing, are these for you? Yes, I think they are.

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro you’ll find that the bass is clean although it does not overpower the mix. Fanatical bass people will perhaps feel that it lacks the aggressive thump they like.

The mids sound clear – important because that’s what you hear in most music. The highs are great and don’t have the some of the harshness you get from other makes.

The new design delivers a decent sound that makes it a pleasure to use.

Leakage

The amount of sound which can be heard from outside the headphones is called leakage. This can be annoying for people who are sitting close to you, particularly if your volume if up high. Leakage is calculated at a one-foot range.

The Sony MDR-7506 headphones have almost no sound leakage, so if you’re in a room with your music turned up high, you won’t annoy other people.

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro also has a good sound leakage, with the average level at one foot being 39db SPL.

To sum up

The Sony MDR 7506 is a comfortable pair of headphones, comes with a closed back and has a good sound. Click here to check out the live price on Amazon.

They don’t leak sound very much and are a great option for any recording work you need.

They give a better than average audio reproduction and are lightweight to wear and carry.

If you’re planning on getting these to wear when you jog, you may want to think again as they will probably fall off because they do not clamp very well. They are great for static work.

The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro are above average in build, they are more durable although not as comfortable as the Sony MDR 7506.

Audio reproduction delivers a great bass sound and they are sturdy and more durable although they fit tighter than other headphones. After a while you may find that your head hurts and your ears are warm. While they may not fall off if you went jogging, they may not be as comfortable as you would like.

The sound isolation of these headphones can vary with different people. If you wear glasses, you may notice more of it.

Both models of headphone are unstylish and bulky although the Sony will fold up and carry smaller.

The Sony has smaller ear pads so they will be touching your ears, while the Sennheiser has huge pads.

The Sennheiser has swivelling ear pads so you can easily listen with only one ear.

Extra ear pads are readily available for both models and the Sennheiser comes with an adaptor which lets you use them on either ¼” or 1/8” jacks.

Both models are sturdy and durable although the Sennheiser seems to be stronger and better made.

The Sony MDR 7506 is perfect for any recording work or if you want absolute silence while you work, while the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro will deliver both silence and excellent sound in most music genres.

Both models will give you what you ask for, whether it is for recording, editing or listening to music, and both models are in an affordable price range.

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