A quick FYI for those interested. These are on sale at Amazon for $33.99 for the first couple of lucky customers. The vendor (Abes of Maine Cameras and Electronics) has only a few more in stock.
Recent Images In This Thread
- productAKG K240 MKII Headphonestagged by System, 1/24/11
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- categoryOver Eartagged by System, 1/24/11
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- productSony MDR-V6 Monitor Series Headphonestagged by System, 1/24/11
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Official K-81 DJ thread - Page 178
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #2657 of 26608/19/14 at 3:56pm
Are these earpads compatible?
I`ll probably get one althought I`m worried about the comfort...post #2658 of 266010/26/14 at 4:52pm
Found these headphones a couple months ago and loved them. Came here to share a few things: my experience, a modification, and some sad news.
Awhile back, I went looking for a good pair of portable cans, since my AKG Q701s aren't exactly ideal for travel. I wanted something smaller, closed-backed, and something that isolated well, since I'd be using them on the plane, or even just in the living room with my girlfriend. I tried the Beyerdynamic DT 235 and liked them quite a bit (after a few modifications), but unfortunately, they didn't last--the isolation just wasn't good enough. They leaked too much sound so my girlfriend would hear my music, and they let too much sound in so they weren't ideal for plane rides. Back to the drawing board.
After a lot of searching, I stumbled upon the AKG K81DJ (or, if you prefer a short cable, the AKG K518)--exactly the size and form factor I was looking for. Similar to the Sennheiser HD-25-1 II, but far cheaper at around $50, and instead of a v-shaped sound signature (which just doesn't work for metal), it has a big hump in the bass.
This is certainly a strength of the headphone--bass is fun!--but it was way too bloated for my tastes. I prefer a more flat response, with a bit of bass punch--not something that drowns out the mid and high frequencies. From what I hear, the AKG K181DJ has a better balance, but is closer to a full-size headphone, which isn't what I wanted. So, like my DT 235s before them, I started looking for a way to mod these headphones into something that fit my preferred sound signature a little better.
First, I removed the foam circle inside the pads, as shown in this post. It made a huge difference right off the bat, and couldn't be easier--just pinch the foam inside the pad and pull it out. No disassembly required.
Unfortunately, that still wasn't enough. I tried the Blu-Tack mod, but I barely noticed any difference. I tried doing something similar to my DT235 mod, but due to the way the inside of the cups are shaped, the cotton makeup pads I used on the DT 235s were not an option. Even dynamat would be hard to stuff in there with everything going on. I knew that some cotton "stuffing" would probably produce the results I wanted, though, so after trying a couple things, I finally found something that worked: some cut-up pieces of old socks.
Here's what I did: remove the pads and unscrew the three screws underneath, shown below:
Then, carefully open it up and remove the cups. I eyeballed the area inside and cut a little donut out of the top of two old socks and put it in, as shown here:
The results were pretty great. The bass isn't quite so forward now. It still has some great bass punch, but the highs and mids are much more forward. I'd actually argue that the bass is still a little too bloaty, but it's about 85-90% of the way there for me, so I'm happy (after all, a little extra bass never hurt anyone). I'm sure you could use more sock if you wanted to to tweak the sound to your liking.
Here's the sad news: While searching the web for these headphones I found that they've been discontinued since I bought them two months ago (oh no)! You can still grab them on Amazon pretty cheap, but they might become harder to find as the next few months go on.
Either way, I wanted to have this here for posterity. I'm sure you can still find them around the web, and could even adapt this mod to any other headphone you wanted (after all, this one was an adaption of an adaption of a mod for another headphone!). But it's a bummer these have been discontinued--I hope there's an improved successor on the way.
Edited by Gyroscope352 - 12/31/14 at 10:51ampost #2659 of 266010/27/14 at 4:58pmThanks. I almost want to nab a pair before they go for good. They were my first purchase that derived from here and I loved them. The clamping force was too much for me but the hint to push in and not out that someone suggested was great. The foam removal made a world of difference And was easy as pie.
I always wanted to try the k181 as I assumed they had to be better. They are almost the same price on Amazon.post #2660 of 26602/12/15 at 2:25am
Hi Everyone. Hope I can breathe some life into this thread.
I have a 7-8 years old K81DJ and I would like to revamp it a bit, need advice.
Looks like it's better to use a sock or some fabric instead of blu-tak, so will try that. Any other small mods I should go for? Read about removing some cotton from somewhere but all the pictures were removed in those threads.
I also need new ear pads, the originals basically dried off. I would like to lessen the isolation, originally these phones isolate so good it is dangerous to walk around town (I remember almost walking out into car traffic once). That's why I'm thinking about Sennheiser HD 25 velour pads, is that a good idea?
Also want to get a headband pad, the lack of it is one of the things which make the K81DJ a little unconfortable IMO (the other is the headphone being a bit too tight), any recommendations? Never bought a headband pad separately before, so I have no experience, don't know which ones would fit.
The last thing I'm thinking about is the detachable cable mod, or at least making cables one-sided because I hate them this way, but for now only small modifications.
Please help me, hope someone still reads this.
Thanks in advance.
- Official K-81 DJ thread
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