Sennheiser HD280 PRO vs. Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT: Headphone Comparison & Reviews

Between the Sennheiser HD280 PRO and Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT; which headphones are the best?

Here it is ladies and gentlemen. Two highly popular over-ear headphones side-by-side facing off. While each pair has its standard ups and downs, they also have their own unique benefits. Depending on what you’re looking for in a pair of headphones will determine which of these might be the best choice for you. After extensive research, personal experience, and reviews; We formulated an in-depth comparison between each one. May the battle commence!  

But first…

What Makes A Pair Of Headphones Good?

  1. Sound Quality: How good the overall audio quality of music, phone calls, or video.
  2. Comfort: The ability to remain comfortable for extended periods of time without itchiness, annoyance, or ear pain.
  3. Build Quality: The overall durability and longevity. Able to withstand harsh conditions for extended periods of time.
  4. Noise Isolation/ Active Noise Cancelling: If any at all, how well the active noise cancelling or noise isolating abilities are.
  5. Battery Life: How long the battery life of the pair of headphones is at a full charge.
  6. Added Features: A few examples of added features headphones offer can be Bluetooth capabilities, built-in AI assistant, headphone controls, built-in microphone for phone calls, flexibility, rotatable ear cups, etc.

We compared and contrasted each of these factors for the Sennheiser HD280 PRO and Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT

Sound Quality

Especially for music listeners, the overall quality of sound is a massive factor in finding your perfect pair of headphones. There are various factors that impact a pair of headphones’ sound quality.

Sennheiser HD280PRO
In terms of sound quality, the Sennheiser HD280PRO is fantastic. They are relatively flat with a minor spike in the lower bass. In my opinion, the slight bass spike provides more feeling to the music without muddiness or boominess. It has a flat frequency response and natural sound. If you’re just in need of buying noise-isolation headphones for enjoyment, the flat frequency response makes it easier to manipulate the sound in whichever way you prefer with a bit of equalizing. Furthermore, they have high ratings from audiophiles, as well.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
Audio-Technica’s 45mm drivers produce exceptional sound quality while wired. Unfortunately, in wireless Bluetooth mode, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT does not sound as good. However, in wireless mode, the quality of sound is still good. Many claim they are unable to tell the difference while audiophiles and musicians say there is a difference in sound. Overall, I give them a 9.4 for sound quality while wired.

Overall, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT has a better sound quality than the Sennheiser HD280PRO.


The ability for headphones to remain comfortable for extended periods of time without itchiness, annoyance, pressure, or ear pain. Considering many people use headphones for commute, air travel, or work; Comfort is a vital factor.

Sennheiser HD280PRO
To my head, these headphones are a bit tight at first. After about a week, the evened out quite nicely and became a comfortable fit. Overall, I give it a 7.7 out of 10 for comfort.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
These headphones are relatively comfortable. However, in my experience, they become a bit uncomfortable after a few hours. Many others claim otherwise. It just depends on personal preference and your head/ear type.

Overall, the Sennheiser HD280PRO is more comfortable.

Build Quality

What good are your amazingly sounding headphones if they break in a few months? The overall durability and longevity are crucial for any investment you make. Especially for those who need headphones for commute, it’s important they’re able to withstand vigorous traveling conditions consistently.

Sennheiser HD280PRO
These headphones are lightweight with a somewhat decent build quality. In comparison to the others, I would say the Sennheiser HD280PRO comes in 3rd place of the 3. It’s not bad, but nothing impressive. However, they are still built to last, and most people don’t experience longevity issues. The cord has a thick and robust coating.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
The design and build quality of these headphones are superb. They are robust and tough while remaining lightweight. The materials used are much more robust than the vast majority of headphones in this price range. Overall, you will be more than satisfied with the build.

Overall, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT has a better build quality.

Noise Isolation/Active Noise Cancelling

Don’t be confused between active noise cancelling and noise isolation headphones. They are both entirely different. Noise-cancelling technology is very unique. Unlike noise-isolating headphones, noise-cancelling headphones do not eradicate outside noise by physical insulation. Within the ear cups, they have a mini microphone that picks up the outside environmental noise. It then triggers a frequency entirely opposite to the outside ambient noise. Thus, canceling out most outside ambient sound.

Sennheiser HD280PRO
Like the other pair, these don’t have active noise cancelling abilities. They do, however, provide tremendous noise-isolation naturally. It decreases outside noise by up to 32dB, which is extremely good. Most users of these headphones claim their noise-isolating capabilities are their top strength.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
These headphones do not provide active noise-cancelling. However, they have decent passive noise-isolation. They are not the best, but they are not too bad, either. Overall, I give them a 5.5 out of 10 for noise isolation.

Overall, the Sennheiser HD280PRO provides better passive noise isolation than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT.

Battery Life

Battery life is an overlooked subject when speaking about over-ear headphones. Obviously, the only headphones that have a battery life are those which are wireless. Many headphones on the market do not have wireless capabilities. But for those who do, a more extended battery-life becomes a convenient factor.

Sennheiser HD280PRO
These headphones do not have wireless capabilities. They must be plugged in via wire.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
These headphones provide a staggering 40-hour battery life.

Overall, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT is the only pair of the two with wireless capabilities.

Added Features

Here we summarize each pair of headphones and talk about some of the added features.

Sennheiser HD280PRO
These headphones do not have wireless abilities, a built-in mic, Bluetooth, etc. However, the Sennheiser HD280PRO is a lightweight and comfortable pair of headphones. In my opinion, they provide the best natural noise-isolation of any pair below $100 on the market.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT
These headphones give you the option to go wireless via Bluetooth 5.0. However, you still have the option to use them wired. To charge it for going wireless, you get a USB charging cable with the purchase. Added to that, the headphones also have a built-in mic for phone calls. You can also manually adjust the volume with the headphones, as well. 

Our Winner Between The Sennheiser HD280PRO & Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT

Keep in mind that our opinion is not the end all be all. Like mentioned earlier, everyone has different needs, requirements, and budgets for their headphones. However, our winner is the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT due to its sound quality, build quality, and fantastic wireless capabilities. We highly recommend it!

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