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Over-ear Headphone discomfort

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've been trying to get into headphone listening latley and purchased two headphones to try out: the Sennheiser Momentum and NAD HP50.  They both sound great but after half hour to an hour, my earlobes start feeling some discomfort.  Given, I haven't listened to headphones for extended periods for quite a while, it seems odd.  The headphones are shallower than my ears so my earlobes are resting and being pressed upon by the over-ear.  After an extended period it gets painful and annoying and I can't listen any further.  Is this normal?  Will my ears "break in" or should I be looking for less shallow headphones which would be more comfortable?  If so, which would you guys recommend?

post #2 of 10

I had that problem with MDRV6... after ~30-40 minutes.  My ears never could get used to it.  Ended up selling them for what I paid.  dam good cans otherwise, they hold their re-sale value very well too.

 

Grados were slightly uncomfortable, but for whatever reason my ears got used to it.  Probably has more to do with how good they sound, and the whole psychology of it all.  That and the foam softens with use too.

 

I say give it some time and see if your ears get used to it.  Might want to look into earpad mods or headband mods to increase space inside for your ears.

post #3 of 10

I won't buy or keep an over ear headphone that has shallow cups. I hate it when the tips of my ears touch the dust covers or, worse, any sort of pressure. I had to cut the dust covers off the Shure pads on my Fostex to make room, but that increased the treble so I had to mod a little. For some reason, it's more bothersome if only the tip is touching than if the whole is touching as in on ear models.

 

The Japanese firms (AT, Sony) tend to have shallower earcups than the Austro-German firms (AKG, Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser). So many closed over ear models have small earcups, like Momentum and the Focals.

 

What to do? Sell and buy ones that fit right. Probably sell whichever's worse first. This thread might help a little: http://www.head-fi.org/t/653032/size-matters-earpad-hole-measurements-for-over-ear-headphones.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post
 

I had that problem with MDRV6... after ~30-40 minutes.  My ears never could get used to it.  Ended up selling them for what I paid.  dam good cans otherwise, they hold their re-sale value very well too.

 

Grados were slightly uncomfortable, but for whatever reason my ears got used to it.  Probably has more to do with how good they sound, and the whole psychology of it all.  That and the foam softens with use too.

 

I say give it some time and see if your ears get used to it.  Might want to look into earpad mods or headband mods to increase space inside for your ears.

I was thinking the same thing.  Try it before I return it, but I had thought with over the ear headphones, the pads should be big enough not to touch my earlobes.  

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

I won't buy or keep an over ear headphone that has shallow cups. I hate it when the tips of my ears touch the dust covers or, worse, any sort of pressure. I had to cut the dust covers off the Shure pads on my Fostex to make room, but that increased the treble so I had to mod a little. For some reason, it's more bothersome if only the tip is touching than if the whole is touching as in on ear models.

 

The Japanese firms (AT, Sony) tend to have shallower earcups than the Austro-German firms (AKG, Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser). So many closed over ear models have small earcups, like Momentum and the Focals.

 

What to do? Sell and buy ones that fit right. Probably sell whichever's worse first. This thread might help a little: http://www.head-fi.org/t/653032/size-matters-earpad-hole-measurements-for-over-ear-headphones.

Hmm... The momentum's do have deeper cups but they still bother me after an hour or so.  The NAD's bother me much quicker with their shallower ear cups.  I checked out the thread, and my ears fit into the ear cup but in terms of depth, that's the problem.  It seems that the momentums are 20mm while most other Senn's are 23mm.  Not sure whether the 3mm's are gonna make the difference, but you never know!  I'll have to check other ones now...

post #6 of 10

Here's a stupid question, but one that NEEDS to be asked.  How high up are you wearing them?  Can you wear them a bit lower to give your lobes a break?  Many headphones image better when worn down and forward.  Yes the bigger ones will touch your jaw bone when you are eating pizza, but thats a minor price to pay.  Ultrasone intentionally positions their drivers down and forward for this reason.  John Grado voices all his cans with them positioned down and low.  So not only do you give your lobes some room, theres a good chance you'll be hearing your phones at their best position.


Edited by kramer5150 - 3/17/14 at 8:36pm
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post
 

Here's a stupid question, but one that NEEDS to be asked.  How high up are you wearing them?  Can you wear them a bit lower to give your lobes a break?  Many headphones image better when worn down and forward.  Yes the bigger ones will touch your jaw bone when you are eating pizza, but thats a minor price to pay.  Ultrasone intentionally positions their drivers down and forward for this reason.  John Grado voices all his cans with them positioned down and low.  So not only do you give your lobes some room, theres a good chance you'll be hearing your phones at their best position.

 

Thanks Kramer! I just tried it with my 80i and it does sound even better a little lower than where I usually wear it.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

Thanks Kramer! I just tried it with my 80i and it does sound even better a little lower than where I usually wear it.

Sure np... the top of the foam pads should be in line with the top of your ear, or slightly lower.  You can then bend the headband outward a little if its too tight.  You don't want your ears to be inside the bowls, and you definitely don't want the cheese cloth touching your ears.

 

Sorry OP for the Grado de-rail.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

Thanks Kramer! I just tried it with my 80i and it does sound even better a little lower than where I usually wear it.

I've definitely noticed I can change the sound of my on-ear amperiors a lot just by moving them a little big on my ears.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post

Grados were slightly uncomfortable, but for whatever reason my ears got used to it.  Probably has more to do with how good they sound, and the whole psychology of it all.  That and the foam softens with use too.

Or maybe your ear shape and size. I find that Grados don't bother me much, and I think it's because the edge of the Grado cups is the right size to position itself right along my ear outer edge most of the way around. Tends to distribute the pressure well.
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