Just thought I'd start this thread to see how everyone has found comfort of the headphones in your collection of present and past.
I think this format ought to be good in seeing how everyone's variation in head sizes, hairstyles, shapes and the like is first before going into detail, so it can serve as better reference to prospective future owners of the headphones:
Head Size: Small/Medium/Large (perhaps a fitted hat size would serve as good reference)
Head Shape: Oval top, totally circular, relatively flat top, etc
Hair style: Bald, shaved head, good amount of hair, afro, etc.
Ear size/shape: Small/Medium/Large, flat/stick out, etc
Heat tolerance: How easily your ears/side of your head sweat. Important for closed backs, velour/leather pads, etc.
Clamping tolerance: High/Medium/Low. Just how you feel your sensitivity to clamping pressure is.
Pre-existing conditions: mention any conditions such as TMJ, sensitive neck/spine/back, tinnitus, etc., or if you wear glasses, etc,
Average Duration of Listening: x amount of hours.
Head Size: Medium (7 1/4 fitted hat size... which I figure is about average)
Head Shape: Oval top
Hair Style: Shaved Head most of the time.
Ear size/shape: Small Asian ears which are flat.
Heat tolerance: Medium. I do sweat somewhat easily.
Clamping Tolerance: Low... I find myself quite sensitive to this because of my mild TMJ and my more protruding-than-normal jawline.
Pre-existing conditions: I do have mild case of TMJ, which explains low tolerance to clamping pressure. No glasses or neck/back related problems.
Average Duration of Listening: Typically 1~2 hours.
Now, my headphones of present and past (grade out of 5):
Stax SR-007 MK1 - 3.5/5. They do clamp a bit but nothing too uncomfortable for my usual 1~2 hour listening sessions. The headband is very nice and I feel no pressure at all. Average weight. Overall bit above average.
Sennheiser HD800 - 4/5. Very comfortable overall. The headband comforms perfectly to my head and the gap in the middle is a lifesaver. The cups are huge, distributing the clamping pressure widely, making it very comfortable overall. One niggle I have to pick at are the pads, which IMO can use more padding.
Audeze LCD-2 rev 1 (first version of the pads, foam headband) - 3/5. I find it comfortable enough overall to wear for my listening durations. Yes, it's quite heavy and there's some clamping pressure, but bearable enough. I like the foam headband which conforms perfectly to my head, and foam has good enough padding for me to not feel it at all.
Sennheiser HD25-1 II (stock vinyl pads) - 3.5/5. Out of the box, they clamp quite a bit, enough to be uncomfortable. But I use a trick where I stretch the headband at the top before each listening session, loosening the clamp first (the plastic headband on these are quite malleable, so you can do this without worrying about snapping them)... then they become comfortable enough. I find the vinyl pads better than the velours, as I find the velour pads are bit too hard (the stock vinyls are softer after you work them in).
Audio Technica AD700 - 4.5/5. One of the most comfortable headphones that I've ever tried. The cups are wide enough to avoid my jawlines for the most part, and there is very, very little clamping pressure. The wing system puts no pressure on top of my head at all. Very comfortable overall, and my go-to cans for movies and games.
Bose AE2 - 4.5/5. The one area which you have to give to Bose is the comfort factor of their headphones. AE2's are up there along with the AD700's as one of the most comfortable headphones I've tried, and it's definitely the most comfortable closed-back I've ever put on. There is absolutely NO clamping to these (way too loose, even), and is incredibly light, resulting in no headband pressure either. They do heat up my ears after a while but you can't avoid that with closed backs so it's not their fault.
Sennheiser HD650 - 2/5. I really loved these sonically, but ended up selling these mainly due to comfort issues. The oval cup shape just doesn't agree to my jawline at all it seems.. and it really doesn't help that they have quite a firm clamp at that. Others find it comfortable enough, so I think this just comes down to sensitivity to clamping and jawline issues.
Sennheiser HD600 - 2.5/5. Same as above, perhaps tad less clamping pressure but not any significantly less uncomfortable to me.
Koss ESP950 - 3/5. These also have oval shape cups, which pressures against my jawline. They clamp less than the Sennheiser HD6xx's so they're bit more comfortable, but I felt the clamping on my jaws after a while.
Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80ohms - 3.5. Bearable for the most part. Velour pads are breathable and nice, but could use a bit more cup depth IMO (sometimes my ears touched the cloth on the driver end). Modest clamping pressure which wasn't bad but did feel after a while.
Audio-Technica W1000X - 2.5/5. The pads really ruined the comfort factor of these to me... the circular cutout is WAY too small and the edges of the pads would push against the corner of my ears. Other factors are nice enough (light clamp, no headband pressure).
Denon D7000/D2000 - 3.5/5. They don't clamp much at all which is a plus, and they were comfortable enough overall, but some people with shaved head/who are bald may feel some headband pressure at the top of the head. These really needed more headband padding IMO.
Audio Techica ESW10JPN - 3.5/5. These came very stretched out for me and were comfortable enough for the most part, decent for an on-ear pair. The lambskin pads are very comfortable and non sweaty, and the headphone has nice padding.
AKG K701 - 1/5. I was the one who cut off the headband bumps off these due to comfort issues... enough said! With the default headband, they were practically unwearable for me... those bumps would really bother me after 10~20 minutes of wearing it. Everything else about the headphones were nice enough (good room in the cups, wide pads, light clamp)... it's just those damn bumps. After cutting them off it became 4/5 for me.
Grado RS-1 (flat pads) - 3.5/5. I found these surprising comfortable for an on-ear pair, at least with the flat pads. They were incredibly light and the clamp wasn't much at all, so for 1~2 hours they were good enough... but as an on-ear pair they do have their comfort limits after an hour or two.
AKG K271 - 3/5. No headband issues here, but the cups really could use more room inside, as my ears would touch the driver cloth and the pads. Velours were better than the pleather. Overall okay enough as a closed headphone.
Audio-Technica M50 - 2.5/5. I really loved the sound of this headphone but sold it due to comfort issues. The main problem to me is their headband pressure... I felt it a lot on the top of my head even after a short period of time. They really needed to add more padding or change the headband shape.. The clamping was modest and bearable but the pads weren't too breathable and there wasn't enough room in the cups.
Audio-Technica ES7 - 3/5. But only after the headband mod. They have too much clamp in their default state IMO. Headband mod made it a lot better. But they're on ears and there was no padding on the headband, which takes away a few points for me.
Sennheiser HD238 - 3.5/5. As comfortable as on-ears can get IMO. very light clamping pressure, decent enough headband padding, and supple pads on the cups. Still, it's an on ear...
Would be interesting to see the grades of others.. please contribute!
Edited by K_19 - 11/3/12 at 6:23pm