I'm looking into buying some monitoring headphones. I know I'll need monitoring speakers as well but for the moment I can't get them. I'll be doing reference monitoring on a couple of systems to be sure my mixing is correct.

I can't seem to choose between a couple of models of Sennhised:

  1. HD 598
  2. HD 280 PRO
  3. HD 380 PRO

Unfortunately, currently there is no data for HD 380 PRO @ headphone.com so I've only made a comparison between the HD 598 and HD 290 PRO.

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My question here is, in your opinion, which one of these three is the best in terms of quality of the sound and flatness? I've stopped myself at HD 598 but I'm not quite sure yet. Also if you could supply some frequency response graph of hd380 pro?


3 Answers 3


Personally, I would be very careful making a decision based on these graphs. At least have an extensive listening test to find out how what you think the graph says translates into what you hear. Your ears don't have a flat frequency response, and it's notoriously difficult to measure the frequency response of headphones in an absolute way that transfers well to the actual listening experience. Even when this is measured with a calibrated binaural head setup, the shape of the ears and ear canal may lead to differences between the setup and yourself.

  • 1
    To follow up on this, my HD 280s sound nothing like my montiroing setup at all - I certainly wouldn't trust decisions on them. Commented Dec 7, 2013 at 22:11

You'll probably be better off rephrasing your question as to what you specifically expect to use these headphones for and what your listening / sound preferences are. As EMV has already mentioned, there is no such thing as a meaningful frequency response when it comes to headphones.

Basically, you've asked a question only you yourself can answer. To find your answer all you can do is to give all three headphones a try for a few days and work with them, see how your work on them translates to other monitors and headphones and then decide.

tl;dr: Forget about graphs and listen before you purchase, colleagues working in the same kind of music/work might give you some direction as to what they prefer to use. Don't be afraid to experiment.

Good luck!


I use the 280s. It has taken me 10 years to learn their sound. (Maybe I'm slow.) The unevenness in the 100Hz region does create problems, but much less than an untreated room does. It's actually really nice that the highs are so suppressed, they protect your ears like that. You must finish on monitors.

Find your own pair of headphones, there is no one make/model to suit every pair of ears.

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