When comparing AKG K81 DJ vs Sennheiser HD380 Pro, the Slant community recommends AKG K81 DJ for most people. In the question“What are the best headphones?” AKG K81 DJ is ranked 53rd while Sennheiser HD380 Pro is ranked 56th. The most important reason people chose AKG K81 DJ is:
Despite the compact size. the bass is full, has great impact, deep extension yet is not loose. The low end also has a natural quality to it that makes these headphones great for music that is performed using real instruments. The mids are slightly recessed, but also have a natural tone. The highs are the most recessed or rolled-off, but the detail and airiness of the music is not totally absent. This quality helps give the sound a smooth and pleasing tonality.
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Pro Full bass with adequate levels of mids and highs
Despite the compact size. the bass is full, has great impact, deep extension yet is not loose. The low end also has a natural quality to it that makes these headphones great for music that is performed using real instruments.
The mids are slightly recessed, but also have a natural tone. The highs are the most recessed or rolled-off, but the detail and airiness of the music is not totally absent. This quality helps give the sound a smooth and pleasing tonality.
Pro Ear cups can swivel facing outwards
The K81 can be used “DJ style”, wherein only one ear cup is in contact with the head. The cups have a smooth swivel action so they can be rotated to face outwards. A user can choose to hold one ear cup up to his or her ear while flipping switches or turning knobs on the mix board with the other hand.
Pro Easy to travel with
While these are already quite compact, the ear cups can be folded into the headband to reduce their size even further. This makes them easy to stuff inside a bag and travel with.
Pro Comfortable to wear even with extended use
The clamping force is not too much at all, so acceptable levels of pressure will be applied on the ears. Also, the ear pads are thick with ample pleather padding on the surface. This combination provides adequate cushioning between the ear cups and sides of the head.
Pro Can fit a wide range of head sizes
The aluminum headband itself has some good flex. Combined with the sliding mechanism of the ear cups, K81 can be adjusted to fit a wide range of head sizes. Also notable are the numbered steps on each side of the headband, which allow for accurate and consistent ear cup positioning.
Pro Feels high quality
Although it's mostly made of plastic, the materials don't feel cheap at all. Aside from feeling sturdy, the plastics have a smooth rubber coating which makes them feel premium to the touch. Also, the headband is made out of aluminum which is significantly more durable than an all plastic one.
Pro Clamshell case included
These headphones can easily be brought along while traveling and spending time outdoors thanks to the included carrying case. The solid, clam shell design gives the headphones extra protection from impact and scratches.
Pro Does not require a powerful amp for optimal sound
The HD380 Pro can produce great sound even paired with low power amps. Some headphones require expensive amps to sound properly, but for these, even entry-level portable amps are sufficient.
Pro Removable cable
The HD380 Pro is quite portable thanks to the detachable cable. Also, the included cable has a specially designed locking mechanism which prevents it from being detached accidentally.
Pro Big ear cups that sit well over your ears
The 380s sit well over your ears and do not typically touch them when positioned correctly. This helps make them comfortable as the clamping force is distributed over a wide area, not directly on your ears.
Pro Can fold to a more compact size
The ear cups of the HD380 Pro can be folded up into the headband. This reduces these headphones' size and footprint, making these much easier to fit inside a bag.
Pro Good soundstage
These headphones have fairly wide soundstage, despite being closed back.
Pro Very small amount of leakage
The tight clamp on the 380HD helps create a seal that prevents quite a bit of sound leakage.
Pro Great sound quality with deep bass and lively highs
These headphones, as far as reference or pro-quality headphones go, are fun sounding. There is a slight boost to the lower frequencies which adds fullness and depth to the bass. The mids are also full-sounding, but there is a peak at the upper mid frequencies which can make guitars in heavy music sound harsh. The highs have good detail to them, but the peak in the top frequencies can also make the sound a bit grainy.
Pro Blocks a lot of outside sounds
The large ear cups and the strong clamp allow for impressive passive noise cancellation.
Con On-ear design can still be uncomfortable
While the ear pads are thick and give a lot of cushioning, some may still find this to be uncomfortable. Being on-ear, some pressure is applied onto the ears.Those who are sensitive to this may still feel some discomfort, especially when worn for several hours straight.
Con Highs may sound too recessed
People who prefer their music with sparkly highs and utmost clarity likely won't find these headphones to be a good listen.
Con Lengthy cable can be a hassle
The cable is 2.5m which is fairly long. Since it is not detachable and the cable tends to tangle quite easily, it may cause some problems with regular home use or when taking these headphones on the go.
Con Very strong clamping force
The 380HDs have a very strong clamp. This helps the headphones achieve better sound isolation and minimal sound leak, although some will find the clamp very uncomfortable. Fortunately there are also many who will never notice this at all and find the 380HDs very comfortable.