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The Comfort thread - Rate the comfort factor of your headphones

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

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. wink.gif

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.

 

Here's mine:

 

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):

 

Present:

 

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.

 


Past:

 

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
post #2 of 11

I have a med large head with stick out ears.  I'm just going to keep this short, but for me...

 

Audio Technica es 7 - are the most uncomfortable headphone I have owned period

                       M50 - get's uncomfortable after 30 mins of wearing mainly the clamp force makes my ears hurt a little not terrible but never the less it does. after 45 mins to 1 hr. I need break

                                due to sweaty ears.

 

for close headphone the XB700 is the most comfortable headphone I have ever ever owned (pillow comfortable) then the XB500

after that next up would be the D2000 or bose QC15 then beat studio.

Of course they are close headphones, so for me I have to take a quick 5 mins. break after 1 hr. long of wearing due to sweat

 

Overall- the AD700 is the most comfortable headphone I have owned

 

For on ears- I say the Denon D1100 is pretty comfortable. the ESW9 is up there too then the aiaiai is next up although the aiaiai seems to bother my jaw after long session of listening for some reason

 

for both open and closed headphones- The XB700/XB500 and the AD700 are the only headphones I can actually say are truly comfortable where they don't bother me at all.

post #3 of 11

I like your initiative of creating this thread. I too think comfort is very subjective and has a lot to do with those you listed. 

 

I'm not going to rate all the phones I had/have but to give a personal experience. I purchased a pair of Denon AH-D5000 some time ago. Before I bought them, I read tons of review saying how comfortable they were. But when I finally got them they didn't quite fit my head. They weren't too tight nor too loose; the pads were soft and cool;  they aren't too heavy either, yet somehow they never sit comfortably on my head, there was always some discomfort on my cheekbone and jaw, It was awkward and indescribable. I absolutely love their SQ but this made me sold them shortly after.

This story told me two things: 1.Do not trust other's review 100%; 2.always try them on before buying. 


Edited by syryanyang - 11/3/12 at 9:28pm
post #4 of 11

I'm all game.

 

Head Size: Large, comes with my gargautian body

Head Shape: Squared Circle? Haha

Hair style: Short hair, soon to buzz it off though. It's annoying these days....

Ear size/shape: Large and stick out a little bit

Heat tolerance: Even when it's 80* my ears don't sweat, very lucky imo, but the hair where my band makes contact will eventually sweat x.x

Clamping tolerance: Medium I suppose

Pre-existing conditions: Neck problems, vary throughout the years though

Average Duration of Listening: 1 ~ 2 hours every couple hours, so a few hours a day usually

 

M-Audio Q40 Studiophiles: 2.5/5 They clamp a lot on my large head, very uncomfortable on my jawbone at times. I can move them and the the issue is usually resolved. The p/leather pads are too firm for my liking and the headband gets very annoying after one hour. I usually just raise the headband after it gets annoying.. Not really sure what else to say. Uhhh. These forums are the cat's pajamas.


Edited by Irishpwnstar - 11/4/12 at 9:38am
post #5 of 11

Head Size: Average

 

Head Shape: Normal?

 

Hair Style: Short, usually unstyled, very very thick

 

Ear Size/shape: Average sized, nothing special about them

 

Heat Tolerance: I start to get bothered around 75f

 

Clamping Tolerance: Low

Average Duration: 1- 7 hours depending on what i'm doing. Daily

 

 

Superlux HD681: 3.5/5 They clamp hard at first but metal headband stretches over time. Earpads are absolutely terrible and get sticky/sweaty after only a few minutes even in mild temps. Open design allows your ears to breath and the AKG styled headband is very comfortable. With more comfy pads and some stretching I could probably give these a 4.5/5

 

Panasonic RP-HTF600-S: 3/5 Clamp is just enough to keep it on your head without discomfort, sometimes after long periods of use the pressure the headband puts on my head is uncomfortable. Earpads are way too firm and sticky. I am constantly adjusting the headband setting because sometimes it undoes itself. They are also partially open so they never get very hot. 


Edited by Supertoaster - 11/4/12 at 11:15am
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by syryanyang View Post

I like your initiative of creating this thread. I too think comfort is very subjective and has a lot to do with those you listed. 

 

I'm not going to rate all the phones I had/have but to give a personal experience. I purchased a pair of Denon AH-D5000 some time ago. Before I bought them, I read tons of review saying how comfortable they were. But when I finally got them they didn't quite fit my head. They weren't too tight nor too loose; the pads were soft and cool;  they aren't too heavy either, yet somehow they never sit comfortably on my head, there was always some discomfort on my cheekbone and jaw, It was awkward and indescribable. I absolutely love their SQ but this made me sold them shortly after.

This story told me two things: 1.Do not trust other's review 100%; 2.always try them on before buying. 

 

After going through good number of headphones I have found that clamping pressure isn't so much of an issue as how the pads line up to your jaw/cheekbones. Even when the clamping is modest or light, if they line up wrong against your face you still end up feeling uncomfortable in the long run.

 

I'm thinking for myself the HD650's wouldn't have been nearly as uncomfortable if their cups were circular instead of oval, even at their clamping levels.

post #7 of 11

Head Size: Small

Head Shape: Relatively flat top, I suppose.

Hair style: Thick, sort of long hair.

Ear size/shape: Flat, and small-ish.

Heat tolerance: I don't really sweat around my ears at a temperature of around 50 degrees, but around 75-80 I do.

Clamping tolerance: Medium.

Pre-existing conditions: I wear glasses.

Average Duration of Listening: 5 to 30 minutes between breaks.

 

 

AKG K77(4/5): These are one of the most comfortable headphones I have worn. Even out of the box, they feel extremely comfortable. The pads are soft enough to provide good cushion, but they are hard enough to prevent the plastic really clamping down on your ears. Because of this, the sound isolation is really nice. They do clamp a bit, but as I have stated before, the pads provide more than enough comfort to make up for that. Now, the K77's also have a nice strip connected to elastic bands that conform to the shape of your head. The only reason these are a 4/5 and not a 5/5 is because wearing them for too long may cause discomfort from the hardness of the pads. With some new ones, these would definitely get a 5/5 from me.

post #8 of 11

Head Size: Large

Head Shape: Oval top

Hair style: Long, curly

Ear size/shape: Medium large/regular

Heat tolerance: Low

Clamping tolerance: Low for on-ear, medium for over-ear

Pre-existing conditions: Glasses

Average Duration of Listening: 2,5h

 

Present:

 

Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro - 4/5. My ears are perfectly comfortable - they have enough space, they don't get over-heated. Clamping force is just right. The only issue I have is that sometimes I feel pressure at the top of my head - where the band rests. It's like the whole weight of the headphones rests on this single spot and after a while it starts to ache. If that happens I usually shift the band a little bit towards the front of the head, and it helps for a while.

 

Superlux HD-668B - 3/5. My years don't have enough space inside the cups, so after 2 hours of listening they start to feel weary. The also tend to get over-heated, especially when I'm on the move. Pads are made of some low quality skin-imitation that doesn't help. The clamping force seems OK.

 

Past:

 

Beyerdynamic DT231 - 3/5. In general I don't like on-ear headphones, because they make my ears ache. These headphones were no exception. Although the clamping force was not to great - I was only able listen to them for about 2 hours.

 

Grado SR-60 - 4/5. Best on-ear headphones I ever used. The clamping force was so small I hardly ever had any issues. Also, they felt very open allowing and airy.

post #9 of 11

HD518 - 3.5/5 I like the soft-yet-firmness of the earpads, the clamp is fine, headband is a bit itchy?

XB500 - 4.5/5 Perfect, except ear get a bit warm after an hour.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Gotta say after bending the bars on my Omega II's the comfort has improved to about a 4. o2smile.gif

 

Not sure if I'll ever find a headphone that is a 5 though... AD700 probably comes the closest, and perhaps the PFE in the IEM land..

post #11 of 11

This looks like fun! 

 

 

Head Size: medium I think

Head Shape: no idea... oval?

Hair style:  short

Ear size/shape: small

Heat tolerance: super high tolerance (and Germany isn't exactly tropical either)

- ADDING IN LOCATION - Germany (as this seems relavent to Heat Tolerance)

Clamping tolerance: high tolerance

Pre-existing conditions: mild OCD ksc75smile.gif

Average Duration of Listening:1-4 hours

 

Current headphones:

Grado RS2i (stock pads) - 3.5/5 - My small ears make the bowl pads almost circumaural.

Sennheiser Momentum - 4.5/5 - plushy goodness... did I mention my small ears?

AKG K141 (+home made real leather pads) - 3/5 - too much pressure on my antihelix after a while.

Yamaha HP3 - 4/5 - The vintage headband is VERY loose and expanded, but the pleather is a little rough.

Koss Portapro - 4/5 - The sponge earpads are a little abrasive

 

Past headphones:

AKG K240 Monitor - 4.5/5 - almost perfect, but not luxurious enough.

Grado SR60i - 1.5/5 - if it was comfortable it was too loose, so all the pressure went onto my antihelix which was very annoying, but the hours of listening built up my clamping tolerance level to over 9000.

 

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