Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy
Just funny how you all flipped the script with pleather/velours. No way in many hells that I'd go back to pleather, and that doesn't include my distaste for it. I actually LIKE the pleathers on the HE400, in that they aren't as disgusting to wear as others.
However, the sound is clearly a step above with velours. Noticeably so. The pleathers were smothering the soundstage, mids were noticeably pushed back, and due to an even warmer tone, the change towards bright treble was more jarring.
Dunno what people are talking about the bass, as they are basically the exact same, pleather or not.
Assuming you are talking about the stock velours without those nasty foam inserts, I'd say the stock pleathers and velours are just two distinct flavours, rather than two levels of fidelity.
The pleathers give a more intimate, chocolaty, wet "lounge" sound.
The velours are more of an airy, detailed, neutral "open" sound.
Of course those can be described with more technical lingos (e.g. velours have slightly better decay, less harmonics, smoother FR and all that) but the end result is those sound signatures I described. And different people will prefer different things.
For instance, no matter how hard I try, I just can't justify the HE500s without the stock pleathers, the colourations the pleathers impart on those headphones just has such a perfect synergy that vocals become eerily close to perfect for my tastes. No other earpads (I have 3 other options: stock velours, older version velours, J$ beyers) have that synergy with HE500, even if they are better from a technical sense.