Some people prefer to permanently store their headphones on a stand or hanger, whereas others like me place them on a stand or hanger when they need to take a short break from listening and want to continue short after.
For this purpose, a couple of products exist, ranging from simple and inexpensive stands/hangers to more complex and expensive ones. For example, I really love my Sieveking Omega stand and also somehow find that it is worth its price (else I obviously wouldn’t have bought it), however I also admit that it is more of a design object and that there are some more practical solutions available for less money.
One of them is the Brainwavz Hengja headphone hanger (http://www.brainwavzaudio.com/collections/accessories/products/hengja-headphone-hanger) that can be attached to a desk or bookshelf.
So without any further ado, let’s take a look at the Hengja and see how it handles a few headphones, including heavy ones such as my Audeze LCD-X.
Before I go on, I want to take the time to take Pandora from Brainwavz Audio for sending me a sample of the Hengja free of charge for the purpose of an unbiased, honest review.
Weight : 112g
Clamp Depth : 40 mm
Plate Depth : 50 mm
Plate Width : 45 mm
Max Clamp Size : ~40 mm
Min Clamp Size : ~14 mm
The Hengja arrives in a plain plastic box without any instructions or manual (these can be found online as PDF files – in my opinion, it would have been nice if a link to them was printed on the package). Besides the already assembled headphone hanger itself, a multifunctional tool for installing the Hengja and adjusting its position and orientation comes included.
Looks, Feels, Build Quality:
The Hengja is fully made of metal and consists of four basic parts – a plate to place the headphone on, an L-shaped piece that the plate is attached to and that contains an Allen screw to fine-adjust the vertical expansion and to change the orientation, another L-shaped part that contains a rotating disc and screw to get a tight installation on a desk or shelf and last but not least the counterpart of the just-named part that is L-shaped as well, padded and forms a “C” or “U” (depending on your point of view) and is the actual clamp.
The Hengja does not look cheap at all but quite solid and sturdy with its black metal and the white Brainwavz logo and lettering.
However, I am not so happy with two/three things: First, the rotating disc on top of the screw that tightens the clamp is made of metal and unpadded. Tightening it, marks can be seen in the wood. It would have been much better it was either padded as well, partly made of plastic, or even better: padded and made of two parts with one of them stopping to rotate once a certain amount of clamping force is reached (similar to a vice).
Then, I think the Allen screw is a bit too big and positioned too close to the plate. If it was flatter, it wouldn’t only improve the overall looks from the side but also minimise the likelihood of the headband touching it (which wouldn’t be a big deal of course, however I’d still prefer if this wouldn’t happen).
Additionally, what is more of a personal observation of mine and no official criticism, I wouldn’t mind if the plate had a rubber or foam padding that would avoid any accidental slipping of the headphone when touching it.
As almost all of these things can be resolved with very easy modifications, I think I will slightly modify the Hengja sooner or later.
On a side-note, it would have been quite cool if two plates came includes, with one larger (deeper) one, to get a good contact face with a little spare room for every headphone, as while even headphones with a wider headband don’t protrude, there isn’t any spare room left on the plate anymore.
Installation is very easy.
For horizontal installation, only the screw on the lower side needs to be adjusted. If the desk or shelf is a little too thick, the Allen screw can be loosened up a bit which allows for some more vertical expansion, which is pretty nice.
For vertical installation, it is basically the same process, however the Allen screw needs to be almost entirely unscrewed, then it is possible to rotate the plate and clamp.
Like I criticised earlier on, the rotating disk-type screw will leave marks in the wood without any further modification.
Using the product:
For the review, I choose four of my full-sized headphones – a portable one, a semi-stationary one and two stationary ones. Two of them are pretty lightweight, one is average when it comes to weight and the last one is quite heavy.
A large benefit of a headphone hanger like the Hengja is that the ear pads and ear cups are hanging freely. As a result, potential sweat can dry and there is no clamping/tension on the ear cups, which I find quite important if one is intending to store the headphone on it for a longer period of time (of course there is stress on the headband, but for a visually pleasing and presentable solution, one of the two drawbacks needs to be taken).
Audio Technica ATH-MSR7:
The MSR7 is an easy task for the Hengja – it is lightweight, has got a narrow headband and is overall rather on the small side, too.
Fostex T50RP MK3:
The Fostex is pretty lightweight too but sports a wider headband. While still a little of the plate can be seen, I wouldn’t mind a slightly larger base plate with a slip-proof material here. If you don’t accidentally firmly push the headphone, it won’t fall off though.
Sennheiser HD 800:
The HD 800 is an average to light headphone when it comes to weight and has got a rather wide headband that is just minimally narrower than the Fostex’s. A little of the plate can be seen, however really not much and due to its headband’s surface, the Sennheiser is somewhat more prone to slipping. I think a larger and slip-proof base plate would be nice for this headphone.
The Audeze is heavy. Still, the Hengja doesn’t have any problems holding it and doesn’t even slightly give in as it is very sturdy. The LCD-X’s headband is quite wide and has got almost the same width as the Hengja’s base plate and is just barely wider but doesn’t really protrude. Due to its weight and the leather headband, it isn’t really prone to slipping, however I would welcome a somewhat larger base plate.
While I personally quite like the Hengja, there are a few things where I would like to see an improvement: The screw for tightening the clamp leaves marks in the wood as its disk also rotates. Then, the Allen screw is a bit too close to the plate which could be a bit larger and probably slip-proof (either due to its shape or material).
But of course, the Hengja has also got many positive attributes: It is very fair priced, looks really good, can be installed horizontally and vertically, is made of very sturdy metal and doesn’t have any problem holding heavy headphones.
In my opinion, a little less than 3.5 out of 5 possible stars in stock form are a very fair rating and with some modifications, the Hengja can be easily turned into a 4+ star product and could even be a 5 star one if everything was sorted out by the manufacturer.