Did it sound any good with hm5 pads? The SRH440 is very picky with pads, i tried the srh840 pads and it sounded worse than the stock pads (mid bass hump, bad extension, shrill mids and highs). Does it have a thick foam like the srh840 pads or it's thin like the stock ones?
I really like the sound with HM5 pads, gives the soundstage a boost and adds some depth to the sound. I understand what you're saying though as I've installed SHR440 pads on my SHR940 and it sounded very average to my ears, wasn't worth it at all. Foam on the HM5 pads is thick / cushy / very soft and turns the 440 into an over the ear headphone. Your ears sink right sink right inside the pads. Kind of feels like wearing an XB500 to some degree. I don't really have any negatives to say about it.
I know the stock SHR440 pads made my ears hurt in about 10 minutes, they become hot and itchy, they're too hard so I took them straight off within 10 minutes of getting them and never looked back from HM5 pads. You can pick them up for around $8.50 each on MP4Nation.