I Want To Buy a Sennheiser HD 300 Pro
From the probably-didn't-need-to-be-written file comes another of my wonderful conversations with myself.
Sometime in the last week or so, Sennheiser hurled the HD 300 Pro onto the market. It's a pair of headphones, in their pro monitoring lineup, which for years now has been solely the HD 280 Pro and the HD 380 Pro.
(The HD 200 Pro doesn't count as it's a different sort of thing and also I hated it. That link goes to my review).
You'd think from the numbering of the 300 Pro that it would sit somewhere between the ~$99 price of the 280 and the ~$149 price of the 380...but alas.
The 300 pro is priced at $199.
There are also some other more expensive models that add Sennheiser's Active Guard feature (a volume safety feature designed for the European market) and a model with an attached broadcast mic. That microphone model comes in around $249, and it looks like it's designed to replace the old HMD 280 pro.
At $199...it's hard to get too excited about these. But I'm still trying. The sound signature is allegedly based on the old HD 250 Linear, a Sennheiser headphone of considerable reputation that I've never actually heard. The frame looks identical to the one used on the recent "New HD 280 Pro" but with better ear pad material and a detachable cable. And somehow the backs of the ear cups look even blander to me than those on that new 280, in spite of the shiny plastic area that can apparently be customized with your logo of choice.
So, the big question for myself is....do I feel like paying one hundred additional dollars for a removable cable, some nicer ear pads, and a sound signature I might not even like?
I know that headphones are more than the sum of their parts. There's probably some good stuff about this headphone I can't possibly know until I try one. Maybe I'll love the way it sounds. Maybe its visually-similar frame is actually much better or thicker than the one on the 280. Maybe those non-cheap looking ear pads make a huge comfort or isolation difference.
But with their numerous cosmetic similarities and their obvious intent to replace the 280 Pro outright...I almost wish that Sennheiser had really gone for it and priced these at $129, or something. I know that R and D and manufacturing cost money, and I'm sure these will find a lower price over time as most Sennheiser models do in the marketplace.
I've skimmed through the head-fi thread and it seems like the few folks that bought one are really down on it, and no one out there has given it a measure yet that I can tell. The hype seemed a lot stronger when they were announced a few months ago as opposed to now.
I'm working on a review of another Sennheiser headphone that I'm generally very positive on right now, and I've already got a list of other things to get to. A "proper sequel" to the 280 and 380 is something to be watched with keen interest, and I might still take the plunge even though some warning bells are going off in my head.