Joined on 03/13/05
Almost Five Stars, But...
Pros: Sennheiser quality, Sennheiser sound. I really don't think you will find a better designed pair of headphones in this price range, except maybe for other similar models BY Sennheiser.
Cons: I've been a Sennheiser user for many years. WHY they've decided to make newer models SMALLER is beyond me. Granted, I have a big fat robotic head--but these were a VERY tight fit, so much so that I almost returned them. However, I soon discovered that the padding along the top is removable (the seam along the top comes apart like a ziploc bag)--how's THAT for top-of-the-line design! Still, my old HD-545's fit me WAY better than the HD-555 or these new HD-280PRO's.
Overall Review: If you're trying to decide between the HD-555's and the HD-280's, it really comes down to what you want to hear. If you listen to loud music and want a very comfortable fit with very open sound, take the HD-555's. If you want to hear EVERY LITTLE NUANCE (i.e. more instrumental type stuff) and have the rest of the world shut out like you're wearing gun muffs, take the HD-280's.
May have driven me to a nervous breakdown
Pros: Performance-wise, it's a great card. I'm not a big gamer, but it ran Bioshock flawlessly at 1920x1080 with the settings pretty much maxed out (on AMD Athlon 6400+ 3.2 d/c with 8gb of mem).
Cons: There is a special place in Hell for whomever designed the fan for this thing. Had it a week and a half and it was already GRINDING GRINDING GRINDING like a jack-hammer. Replaced the card with a different model from a different manufacturer and WHAT A DIFFERENCE. Card would have been PERFECT if not for the fan.
Overall Review: I've used XFX cards before and never had this problem. Hate to badmouth them but, c'mon... a week and a half? Just doesn't happen. Sorry XFX.
Maybe just a teensy bit over-rated
Pros: Certainly more efficient than the stock cooler. Fan operates at about 400rpm less than stock cooler, and is certainly as quiet.
Cons: No real discernible drop in core temp. My Athlon X2 6400+ used to max out (full load) at 56c, now it's 52c, but that may very well be from a difference in the ambient room temperature. Cooling unit is HUGE and kind of ugly.
Overall Review: It's not like I went through unit after unit. This may very well be the best alternative to a stock cooler, but for my particular system, I didn't see much difference.
Can't beat Sennheiser
Pros: I bought these to replace a treasured pair of HD-545's I'd acquired a few years ago. Despite a recurring problem with the wiring (a obvious design flaw in the 545 that couldn't be helped with the purchase of a new cable—I would imagine that's why Sennheiser doesn't use that type of connection anymore), I adored the comfort and performance of the 545's. In comparison, the HD-555 is just as good, if not better. Yes, the fit is a little snug at first, especially if you have a big and fat Andre-the-Giant-type cranium like mine, but rest assured, the foam will soften over time. And yes, the design does allow for sound leakage, but if you're listening to music at such a high volume that it disturbs other people in a totally quiet room then you may want to get your hearing checked. Certainly nothing that a strategically placed fan couldn't fix—or maybe do yourself a favor and just cut back a little bit on the speed metal. All in all, well worth the purchase. Danka Schoen, Sennheiser!