Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Headphones and ear pain
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Headphones and ear pain

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Three years I purchased a set of Sennheiser HD590s. I was happy with the sound and the physical comfort of the ear cups and the headband. However I found that regardless of the type of music I listened to, even at low to moderate volume levels, my ears would hurt after 20 minutes or so. I was a very acute pain, almost in the ear drum itself. The pain would go away 30 - 60 minutes after I removed the headphones.

I ended up returning them and paying a 15% restock fee plus the shipping costs.

18 months ago I was in the market for a PC headset to play games and picked up a Plantronics DSP500 headset. I realize the sound quality is sub par, but the price was right and it was real convenient. I haven't had any pain issues with this set.

My Plantronics headset is going out and it's time to replace it. I'm considering getting a pair of quality headphones ($100-200 range) for 60% gaming (FPS, MMORPG) and 40% music (rock, alternative) and movies. I've been looking at the A-T A500/700/900 series or the AD500/700/900 and getting a separate clip on mic. I don't necessarily need a closed headphone, but it might be nice depending on the amount of sound leakage the AD ones have. I do not have an amp and have no plans to get one. I'll be connecting the headphones an Audigy 2 ZS soundcard.

My concern is that I can not find a store that sells them in the Sacramento CA area so I'll have to order them online and will have to pay a restock fee and shipping if I have a similar pain issues as before with the HD590s.

There are numerous threads about headphones and gaming. My concern is the ear pain I had with the HD590s. Is the kind of pain I described happening to other people? Is it caused by a particular type of headphone (open or closed) or brand? Could it just be that my ears are overly sensitive? Why would it happen with the HD590s and not the Plantronics? Could it be that the Plantronics sit on my ears while the HD590s completely enclosed them?

Thanks for any help. I'd like to get into a good quality pair of headphones, but would hate to pay that restock fee again.
post #2 of 8
It depends on what kinds of sounds cause the pain. If your ears are sensitive to bass, maybe a K501 is what youre after. If you dont like treble, stay away from the sony SA#k or DT880. If upper mids bother you steer away from Grados or the MDRV6.

For me, bright treble triggers tinnitus. My A250 and HD580 are about the brightest cans I can listen too, any more treble than that and I get ringing in my ears after 15 minutes. While I can listen to my RS1 and HF1 all day, with their treble roll-off.

The HD590 is supposed ot be the most Grado-like sennheiser, so... Im going to guess that forward mids and bass kick cause your pain. Maybe the K501 is more to your liking?
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info.

I had a chance to demo a set of A-T A700s for 20 minutes or so the other day. I like the sound and comfort, but more importantly I didn't have any inner ear pain.

After doing a bit more reading I'm leaning towards the A-T open headphones, specifically the AD900s. The only problem with them is it looks like I basically have to have them imported from Japan from a place like audiocubes.com. Returning them if I have any problems with them will obviously be more difficult then the returning them to a local electronics store. I guess that's a risk I might have to take.

Kramer5150, I'll actually be in San Jose this weekend. Can you think of any stores that might carry the A-T line of headphones or some place I should check out for a good selection of other headphones to listen to?
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by thisuser
Thanks for the info.

I had a chance to demo a set of A-T A700s for 20 minutes or so the other day. I like the sound and comfort, but more importantly I didn't have any inner ear pain.

After doing a bit more reading I'm leaning towards the A-T open headphones, specifically the AD900s. The only problem with them is it looks like I basically have to have them imported from Japan from a place like audiocubes.com. Returning them if I have any problems with them will obviously be more difficult then the returning them to a local electronics store. I guess that's a risk I might have to take.

Kramer5150, I'll actually be in San Jose this weekend. Can you think of any stores that might carry the A-T line of headphones or some place I should check out for a good selection of other headphones to listen to?

Hmm... I can't think of any place that sells headphones around here . will you be here Monday? We could meet up then and you can listen to my stuff. I am leaving for Folsom this morning though and will be out of town for the weekend... of course I'll have my laptop with me and I'll be posting during the evenings.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the offer, but I'll only be in San Jose Saturday for a wedding.

I'm about ready to pull the trigger and get a pair of ad900s from either audiocubes.com or musiciansfriend.com. musiciansfriend.com seems to have a good return policy, so I'm leaning in that direction.
post #6 of 8

I recently bought a pair of ATH-M30 and I am experiencing what seems to be the same inner ear discomfort.  Do you know what kind of sound the ATH-M30 might be creating that could trigger the discomfort?  And I hope the answer isn't "cheap".  So that I know what to avoid in the future.

 

Possible examples you mentioned "bright treble", "forward mids", "bass"?

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by livefree View Post

I recently bought a pair of ATH-M30 and I am experiencing what seems to be the same inner ear discomfort.  Do you know what kind of sound the ATH-M30 might be creating that could trigger the discomfort?  And I hope the answer isn't "cheap".  So that I know what to avoid in the future.

Possible examples you mentioned "bright treble", "forward mids", "bass"?
The answer might be cheap. From my experience cheaper headphones have more uncontrolled peaks. look at a frequency chart for the m30s and see how it looks.
post #8 of 8

Thank you very much for the response.  Looking up frequency charts was very helpful.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Headphones and ear pain