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Sennheiser HD280 Pro Blu-Tack Mod

When I received my Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones back in June of 2008 and started to listen to them, I was immediately impressed with the overall sound signature. These were my first “good” headphones and easily blew everything else I’d ever owned out of the water.

But…something was missing. Something I deem very important to my listening experience. That something was bass. Considering I listen to a great deal of Hip-Hop music, this was admittedly a very glaring omission from the Sennheiser HD280 Pros. Everything else about these headphones was great to my ears but without a well pronounced low end, the sound signature was lacking. I was able to boost the bass artificially by using a number of bass boosting EQ settings in many of my music playing devices. While this technique worked in the short term, I began turning to other sources to get my bass fix, such as my Bass-Freq earbuds, which, as I’ve already reported, were lacking in other areas and couldn’t compare to the overall sound quality of the Sennheisers.

Recently, while doing some research, I came across the Blu-Tack mod which was apparently an easy way to add some body to the HD280 Pro’s bass. I found a couple of tutorials on how to do it which involves opening the ear cups of the headphones and spreading the tack about liberally. Since I already have experience opening the headphones to replace a broken cable (don’t ask), opening them up again was a pretty easy task. So, I bought some Blu-Tack from Amazon and got to work when it arrived.

The mod itself is incredibly simple to perform and is easily reversed if the end result is a bit too heavy on the bass for your liking and I’m going to show you how it’s done below.

Tutorial

The first thing you’ll need to do is remove the ear cushions from the ear cups, which is easily done by pulling the edges of the cushions themselves away from the earcups. They should loosen and come right off with relative ease.

Second, you’ll need to unscrew two screws on the earcups themselves using a small screwdriver as you’ll see below.

Now, just remove the earcup and you’ll see this (in the case of the left earcup where the cable connects to the headphones).

Be careful when you’re removing the earcup though! There are some very thin wires connecting the driver to its housing which can be easily broken if you pull the covering off too fast.

Now that you’ve got the covering off, it’s time to prepare your Blu-Tack (if you haven’t already).

I used about 7.5 g in total, so about 3.5 g per side, give or take. How much tack you use here is entirely up to you. The more tack you use, the more bass you get so that’s a judgment call you’ll have to make in regards to your personal preference.

Once you’ve decided on how much you’d like to use, you’ll want to roll it into a ball as I did above and then breaking it into a few pieces and spread it throughout the earcup until it’s completely covered, like you’ll see below.

Here’s another picture just for the heck of it.

Now just put everything back together and repeat for the second earcup and you’re done! Now is the time to listen to your HD280 Pros and decide if you like the end result of this mod. Like I said above, the mod is easily reversible if you don’t like the increased punchiness and easily augmented to adjust the bass response to your liking.

Results

With the tack mod, the bass gets that extra kick it needs to really shine and adds a significant amount of body and warmth to the sound. I wouldn’t say this is a night and day difference but the bass is considerably punchier to my ears without sacrificing mid and high end clarity. I’d definitely say this is an improvement over the stock design purely because, well, I like my bass and any improvement therein is definitely a plus in my book.

All said and done, I’m glad I did this mod. This is a very quick, cheap and easy way to improve the performance of my old standbys and for HD280 Pro owners, this is a no-brainer for those of you out there who seek stronger low end response from your headphones.

About Justin McBride

My name is Justin McBride and I’m a guy who enjoys writing, playing games and writing about playing games. Sound lame enough yet? Well, I have other interests as well such as hanging out with friends, watching TV, going to the movies from time to time, surfing the internet, listen to good music, drive at speeds I shouldn’t be driving at and so on. The problem is, that’s all stuff everyone likes to do, so why write about it? Oh wait, seems I just did. Oops.

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  • Rod

    Thanks for this, i originally saw this on headfi, but your photos and instructions are in depth

  • thank you for this very useful blog hope to see it grow bigger soon

  • Rhian

    Thanks very much, this worked for me perfectly. Had to tinker with the amount of blu tack a fair amount but the results were well worth it.

  • pcurve

    Thanks. I bought the Blu Tack 75g and used half of it. So about 19g on each side.

    I tried 3 methods of coverage with different results:

    1,. Leveled surface coverage – meaning, the center region had the thickest amount of tack. This sounded decent but resulted in uneven sound between left and right. When I reopened the cans, drivers were pressed against the tack.

    2. Hollowed out coverage – I didn’t cover the center region at all this time, so the black plastic was still visible in the 1 inch center region. Outer areas had the thickest coverage, and gradually thinned out towards the center. Despite the good amount of tack inside the can, the bass boost was almost gone.

    3. Concave coverage – So I opened the can for the third time, and rebuilt the center region with tack, by pushing tack from outer areas towards the center. But I made sure it wasn’t too much like the first time around. Maybe 1/10th inch of an even coverage around the center. This resulted in by far the best setup. Most of the songs I listen to now have the warmth of mid-bass.

    Best of luck to everyone!

  • Blahblah

    Seriously dude please go out and learn what 35 fucking grams is. I fucked up my headphones trying to fix what you said to do.

  • Blahblah

    Really excellent guide you fucking cunt

  • QsterX

    I suspect those values should be 7.5g total and approx 3.5g per side, as 75g is a tremendous amount of material.

  • crifg

    its 3.5 grams you fuckwit

  • Ty Alighieri

    Wow, these comments are stupid. This helped me, thanks for the article.