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Improving pad depth on AKG K271 mk2s?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I just picked up a K271s from amazon.


Now, they need to go back anyway since one of the pads has a tear on it (bad sewing), but this gives me the chance to change my mind and just return instead of exchange them.


I really like the sound of them, but even the velour pads are a bit shallow and leave my ears hurting after a while from brushing up against the driver guard.


Are there alternative pads, or modifications I can make to the existing ones, which might improve the comfort here? I find this a fairly common problem with headphones in general for me; the only pair I can wear comfortably for extended use are an old pair of Bose around ear headphones I got free in a lot with some other equipment.


If there's no solution, I'm thinking of grabbing the Brainwavz HM5 as they appear to be very deep, though I don't know anyone who owns a pair to compare with. Other suggestions would be welcome, budget is sub 200 or so. I don't really like the design of the HM5 (or, rather, I much prefer the AKG design which it's better headband and single cable entry), but comfort is really important so it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.


I'm migrating from a pair of MDR-V6s which also drive me nuts after a while, if that's any help. The k271s with velour are more comfortable than the v6s, but not by much. It's mostly just the improved clamping force and thicker driver guard padding that's edging the v6s out.

post #2 of 4

Look at this thread:



post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'll give the hifiman pads a try since they're easy to obtain on short notice, and seem to have the best impact on what I'm trying to affect. Hopefully the quality won't suffer much. I wouldn't mind the bass improving a bit (which appears likely given the bass improvement when switching to the larger velours) but hopefully the mids won't suffer much.


Failing that, NVX appears to make a version of the HM5 with optional angled pads that should be fine, and they're cheap to boot. I just have to not fall completely in love with these AKGs in the mean time.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

To follow up on this, I installed the hifiman HE pads.


I'm A/B testing with/without the original foam inserts (under the built-in ones on the HE pads) and the difference is minor. However, the pads themselves have an interesting effect compared to the velour pads.


First, the high end is a bit smoother. The velours produced somewhat sharp highs that would fatigue a bit, where the HE pads are a bit less clear but a lot more comfortable. It also helped fill out the low end a bit, which was one of my biggest complaints before. While they're still not bass "heavy", the bass no longer feels subdued. Overall they just feel a bit more flat now. I think the double pad side is a bit less clear, so I'll probably remove that one to get the clarity back. Bass seems identical on either side, so I'll probably yank the stock AKG pad on the other side for the best balance.


Most importantly, comfort is pretty much spot on now. There's still a light touch but it's so soft it doesn't bother me even after extended use. Pretty much all of my minor niggles with these cans have been solved with the new pads. Thanks for the advice!



After a bit of comfort testing I went over a few more songs and the honeymoon period wore off. I started to notice a "hollow" sound that the new pads added. I fiddled around a bit and found a few songs which really demonstrated this new flaw well. The low end boom they added also wasn't backed up by the mid range bass and ended up muddying the transitional ranges.


When A/B testing against the old V6s, I quickly realized that while the high end clarity was still clearly superior, the mids and lows simply weren't as good, and sounded off. Switching back to the stock pads solved the clarity issues with the mids and lows but brought back the comfort issues and rather meek low end.


Final choice ended up being to return them. I tried EQing the bass up to more desirable levels but they simply refuse to produce firm bass without muddying the low and mid ranges. If I didn't listen to so much electronic music I'd probably keep them as a solid improvement over the v6s, but they just don't fit my listening preferences.

Edited by FireSlash - 4/3/14 at 5:44pm
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