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ATH-A900x Stronger Wing Tension Modification (Picture Heavy)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey all owners of Audio Technica's A900x headphones. It seems that their new wings, like their old ones, have issues fitting on some people's heads.

 

If you find that your A900x tends to slide down on your head, there are a few solutions. I'm pretty sure these mods work on the A700x, but I've never disassembled one, so I don't know for sure. I'd assume the wing system is the same in both the A900x and A700x, but that's not a guaranty. Maybe someone with the A700x can chime in.

 

One common one I found from Amazon reviews was to wear a baseball cap or some kind of hat to make your head bigger. Another common one that's been applied to Audio Technica's for a while is to simply tie the two wings together with rubber bands.

 

I have two more solutions for extra alternatives for increasing the support wing tension.

 

The headphones have a good spot for attaching elastic bands on each side. If you use black hair ties, it blends in quite well with the way these headphones look.

 

 

 

I devised this method after trying to tie the two wings together. Because the wings are spread so far apart on my head, I could feel the rubber bands which also snagged on my hair. Using black hair ties like this keeps them out of the way, but also doesn't provide for much extra tension.

 

 

The second method that I use is probably a warranty voiding modification, so carefully consider that downside.

 

I've been using this modification for about a year now. It's somewhat extensive, and I'm not very good at explaining things, but hopefully someone will find this useful.

 

This modification requires two springs from pens one for each side. I use the springs found in Zebra Sarasa pens in my headphones. Though many pens use similar looking springs, be careful. I tried to use the springs I found in a Bic Atlantis, and the spring was too small for the purpose.

http://www.amazon.com/Zebras-Sarasa-Retractable-Pen-Assorted/dp/B0000AQNW5/ref=sr_1_1?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1380769760

Since you only need two, you'll probably find it much cheaper to get just a pair of Sarasa pens from a store that sells office supplies.

 

First is to remove a wing. They are held in by two screws on the inner side of the swivel joint.

 

 

From there, remove another two screws to detach the wing from the side shield pieces.

 

 

The spring tension mechanism is held together with a single screw. Remove it, and be careful not to lose anything!

 

 

When you slide the internals out, you'll see how it works. Watch out for the grease, it can be a bit messy.

 

 

So this is the revised spring tension system that Audio Technica uses for their new x suffix headphones. The end of the wing ends in a barrel with four grooves inside it. A white plastic piece with four protrusions matches the four grooves within the wing barrel, and is locked to the wing in rotation, but can slide from end to end. One end of the barrel contains a spring that pushes against this white piece, and pushes it against the opposing sloped plastic piece. The opposing piece has a sloping triangle molded into it, which the white piece also has an inward sloping cutout to match it. When the wing is moved, it twists the white piece which causes it to move away from the sloped piece, which compresses the spring. The spring then pushes on the white piece to cause it to return to a neutral position where it is closest to the sloped piece. This mechanism means that the wings are tensioned both upwards and downwards.

 

To modify this section to increase tension is somewhat difficult to explain, so I hope the pictures are enough. You have to reinsert the white plastic piece into the barrel, but rotated 90 degrees. There are four locking notches, two of which are larger. This should mean that you can only insert the white piece one way, but if you force it, it'll still go in.

 

This is the stock relation.

 

 

You'll want to rotate it 90 degrees downwards.

 

 

Don't screw in the barrel just yet. Force the white piece into the barrel in it's new orientation.

 

Stock orientation.

 

 

New orientation.

 

 

Once you have verified that you inserted the white piece with the proper rotation in, you can now remove the stock spring. This is where the spring from the pen comes in. Simply slide the pen's spring over where the stock spring used to be, and put back together the barrel assembly. This can be a finicky process to get the spring section back into the barrel. I find that it helps to use my fingernails to compress the spring so as to uncover the central shaft.

 

 

Reassemble the wing to the headphones. This is mine, looking a bit confused with the right wing modified and the left stock.

 

 

Before and after.

 

 

To further detail my mod, it utilizes the spring tension inherent in the wing arms. The springs derived from the pens aren't very high in tension, but they are quite long. As a consequence, they'll lock up the mechanism once the wings are lifted a short distance. Once it gets there, the spring tension comes from the wing arms flexing. I'm not sure why Audio Technica made their new wings so flexible, like springs. You can use the black hair ties as detailed above in conjunction with this for even more wing tension.

 

 

My album of headphone pictures is here. http://imgur.com/a/oskro

post #2 of 5

Nice job. Thank you for sharing. I will have to reread carefully and think about doing it.

post #3 of 5

Thanks for posting this. Just got these and they were literally slipping down to my jaw. The pictures were really helpful.

 

I didn't replace the springs, only rotated the white piece. This helped a lot but I noticed the force of spring is actually weaker the higher the wings go and at their farthest extension they could even kind of rest in place. Does a longer spring eliminate this? Putting hair ties on the arms kept the wings from getting stuck and now the tension is pretty much exactly right for me, but maybe I'll change springs later too

post #4 of 5

I don't have a pair of Audio Technica cans with the Wings but from what I have read, the design does not perform very well.  I am particularly interested in the ATH-700x but have shied away from buying one precisely because of the Wing design in the headband. 

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oligophagy View Post
 

Thanks for posting this. Just got these and they were literally slipping down to my jaw. The pictures were really helpful.

 

I didn't replace the springs, only rotated the white piece. This helped a lot but I noticed the force of spring is actually weaker the higher the wings go and at their farthest extension they could even kind of rest in place. Does a longer spring eliminate this? Putting hair ties on the arms kept the wings from getting stuck and now the tension is pretty much exactly right for me, but maybe I'll change springs later too

 

Yes, there's only so much movement before the white piece's triangle leaves the slot entirely, which results in the loss of tension after you extend it all the way up. The longer springs that I recommended from the Zebra pens are not for more force, in fact they're lower in force than the stock springs. I wasn't able to assemble the wing back together with the stock spring because the tension was too high, but if you were able to do it, then just leave it as it is.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boochie View Post
 

I don't have a pair of Audio Technica cans with the Wings but from what I have read, the design does not perform very well.  I am particularly interested in the ATH-700x but have shied away from buying one precisely because of the Wing design in the headband. 

 

Yea, I'm not sure what happened. Lots of people, either with larger heads, or who wear hats with these headphones seem to do fine, but those with medium to smaller heads tend to have slippage issues. It's unfortunate, because the new wing design is cleaner, doesn't squeak, and has fewer parts in the pad. Its only problem is that it doesn't have enough tension, which is a very easy fix, even if done in the later stages of mass production. I don't know why they didn't keep the same tension of their older series, and I'm not sure how they let the final design get approval. At least I like the way it sounds over their previous series.

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