I just got a pair of Sennheiser HD 280's, but when I turn them up past a certain volume level, the bass get really crackly and ugly. Is this a sign of bad headphones or is this part of breaking them in? Or another possibility is that they aren't meant to go that loud. I mean I have them loud enough so that I can hear them clearly when they next to me on my desk. Any Ideas appreciated.
You will need an Headphone Aplifier to get the best of this headphone. But that could get expensive. expansion card is good enough for this headphone.
Sennheiser HD 280 is a very good headphone so when you here it Belch or crackle that means that is distorted. It could be that your volume level is too high for the amp. so check your tone settings your bass & trebel maybe too high. Amplifying is different than tuning, by changing the characteristic of the sound you are now distorting the original sound. Therefore that distortion is multiply by the amount of amplification applied.
Either way, it sounds like the problem resides within your headset more so than your sound card. I can crank my headset to it's max volume, and the bass sounds fine, but the mids and highs kinda overpower the bass. It doesn't really matter to me though because it sounds perfect at 1/3 of the max volume.
I plan on getting a Creative Soundblaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 sound card, so maybe that will help with the sound quality. It may help you out if you get one too.
It sounds like you've either got a bad connection somewhere, or you have them simply too loud. As a general rule, the volume should never be put past 60-70% unless you've got a really good amp and some nicely matched speakers. Even then, the point is not to have to "go to 11."