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New Earpads for AKG k551 vs Upgrading to Different Pair - Page 2

post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately it appears that those are all closer to $300 than I would prefer. I've been eyeing the Philips Fidelio X1, can anyone compare? Especially ear pad measurements?
post #17 of 29

Ah my mistake, im not sure if there are any headphones in the 200$ price range that you can compare to the K550.

There are some but the sound signature is warmer on them i think.

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyDe29 View Post

Wait, I'm not talking about the sound of the AKG k551; I'm quite happy with their quality. The fit and comfort is what I'm concerned about.

 

I've always preferred their fit over the MDR-1R. I can appreciate how more people would like the sound quality of the Sony, though personally its warmth if one listens closely the bass tends to be within that threshold of starting to become overbearing (and some fast bass lines get a bit muddy), but this one is worse on larger earlobes. Even on mine I can feel the top of my ears touching the foam and there isn't much room behind them from the earpads; similar comfort issue for me with the Shures. In the K550 it's like my ears are just floating in there with enough space around it. Our ears might not be the same in size but if you do decide to replace you can scratch the MDR-1R and the Shures off your list.

 

Just to put the earpads in perspective though, Sennheiser sells the HD600/650 earpads for the same price, and these are mass-manufactured. 

post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Okay, thanks. I guess I'll not bother with those then. Any more suggestions? As I mentioned, I'm interested in the Philips Fidelio X1. I have less than a week left until I can return these, so I'm getting a bit anxious.

EDIT: I think the main thing is depth. The other day I was staying up late playing a game, and it was actually really painful after a while. Most of the top of my ear presses against the drivers. I can sort of tuck my ears into the pads, and I think if I position it properly, the headband can take most of the weight off my ears, but the depth seems unsolvable.
Edited by CyDe29 - 4/4/14 at 5:04pm
post #20 of 29

I think that not many headphones have more depth in the ear cups compared to Akg K550. Not at the price range and not closed back at least.

One thing you could try is to do a simple mod. Try to put something Under the ear pads to elevate them slightly so you gain more depth.

They did something like that here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/630182/an-even-easier-akg-k550-small-head-mod

Also there is more about the headphones here.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/613707/the-akg-k550-appreciation-discussion-thread

 

Those are mostly for small headed people but i think they will increase the depth also.

That is pretty much all i could find. Not sure if it will impact the sound in a negative way.

You could try different materials to see if there is difference in the sound.

Not sure if any of this helps.


Edited by Notus - 4/4/14 at 5:55pm
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CyDe29 View Post

Okay, thanks. I guess I'll not bother with those then. Any more suggestions? As I mentioned, I'm interested in the Philips Fidelio X1. I have less than a week left until I can return these, so I'm getting a bit anxious.

EDIT: I think the main thing is depth. The other day I was staying up late playing a game, and it was actually really painful after a while. Most of the top of my ear presses against the drivers. I can sort of tuck my ears into the pads, and I think if I position it properly, the headband can take most of the weight off my ears, but the depth seems unsolvable.

 

Depth is a little tricky. Manufacturers tend to want their headphones as flush as possible, to avoid looking like a pilot, especially with closed headphones that have a reasonable expectation of being used in public (well, there's the Skullcandy Aviators, designed precisely to look like a pilot's). Your best bet is new pads that are both thicker and a bit stiffer (that way they won't end up just conpressing), and bend the metal headband frame out a little bit. People usually do that to relieve pressure on their heads but I suppose it should help with the earlobes.

 

There are Beyerdynamic Tesla full-sized closed headphones that might meet your criteria for comfort - like the MDR-R1 they have angled driver mounts (all these  are more angled than the K550) so they have a bit more room towards the back, perfect if your earlobes are angled outward (mine are too flat getting passport photos can be a PITA if I have long enough hair), but the cups are a little bit larger. Problem though is I think they're way above $300.

post #22 of 29

There is another reason why depth is tricky. Bass response suffers when your ears get further away from the driver. At least that's what people say. But that shouldnt be a problem if the only intention is to get the ears not actually touching the baffle plate, at least not pressing against the plate firmly.

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Notus View Post

There is another reason why depth is tricky. Bass response suffers when your ears get further away from the driver. At least that's what people say.

I would question that because it seems like all frequency responses would be affected. Seems more likely that thicker pads could absorb more bass, but I don't know.
post #24 of 29

Its very likely that the whole frequency response is affected, but i think bass is the most apparent change in the sound. With bad seal you can lose bass completely but the other frequency's can still sound pretty much the same. Size, surface material, softness and firmness all affect the sound. I think some modding threats suggest that Firm ear pads accentuate the bass, while soft pads absorb more bass. Of course i cant be sure of this since haven't tested it myself.

post #25 of 29
True about bad seal, but that is a different issue from distance from the driver.
post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
Alright, I'll try both the things with the rubber bands and the headband in the pads. Until then, though, I'd like to mention that at this point I'm okay with getting open-back as long as they are comfortable.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
 True about bad seal, but that is a different issue from distance from the driver.

 

Mentioned it mostly to give an example how big the impact on the bass is compared to the other frequency's.

 

I would try to put something under the ear pads to lift them a bit, try different materials if they affect the sound.

Somebody even use'd toilet paper to elevate the ear pads slightly...

 

I hope you tell us how it works when you try it.

post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Wow. Okay. I am extremely impressed.

So I was quite skeptical of this mod when I first read about it. I guess I'm a bit of purist, so the idea of "tainting my headphones with a non-typical mod" frightened me, haha. I'd also started to discredit the headphones in my head, because I figured that I was going to be replacing them soon anyway and I guess I was trying to minimize the emotional distraught I would no doubt experience.

However, although currently it is not at all pretty looking and quite roughly done, I am astounded at how much of a difference it has made. Here's what I did (pardon the blurry images, using a phone camera and my hands are really shaky all the time):

Tissue (Click to show)

This is the tissue I used. It's about 28 x 15 (cm) or 11 x 6 (inches). I cut it in half horizontally, and then folded each half in half twice... as in, by the end of it, the folded up pieces were about 1/8 the height of the entire paper.
Close Up of Pad (Click to show)

Here's a close up for the paper inside the pad. I wasn't particularly delicate, and kind of just stuffed the tissue in there; to do this, I put one end in and then worked my way around, pushing the rest in from there.
Mid Shot of Pad (Click to show)

Here's a slightly farther away picture. Again, subtlety wasn't my focus here haha.
Measurement (Click to show)

Finally, here's a measurement of the depth. It's pretty blurry, but I hope you can make out that it's almost exactly 2 cm, or roughly .8 inches, deep. I didn't do measurements before, but I'd say that that was probably an increase of about .5 cm, or about .2 inches.

Now, to be fair, I only did got around to doing this a few, well, minutes ago, honestly. Probably a bit over an hour. So I can't say with certainty that this is the end of my comfort issues, but what I can say is that my ears no longer touch the drivers. Because I think that this was the primary issue, I'm pretty sure that almost all of my complaints with size have been alleviated. I've yet to see how good they feel after a few hours, especially considering they still might trap an uncomfortable amount of heat, but I'll give them a solid few hours of listening tonight and report back. Thanks a ton for the suggestion, @Notus.

Another thing; interestingly enough, the sound hasn't seemed to deteriorate, which I know was something you guys mentioned might happen. In a way, it may even sound a bit cleaner. Now again, it's hard for me to judge that simply because it's been so little time, and at least today I haven't been able to compare the sound at all. Perhaps while listening tonight I'll do some experiments and try listening to a few songs with and without the mod. It's awesome too because it's so easy to change. Thanks again all.
Edited by CyDe29 - 4/7/14 at 9:10am
post #29 of 29

No problem, glad i was able to help in some way. I would have not suggested the mod if you could not revert it.

The mod is very easy to upgrade with better materials later on. Closed back headphones always have the issues with heating, even with velour ear pads.

 

Good to hear you did not notice the mod impacting the sound, at least not straight away.

 

Im looking forward to hear if the mod does indeed fix your issues with the Akg K550.

Sometimes modding is the only option left if you have a tight budget.

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