AKG K501 comfort sucks.
Mar 19, 2006 at 6:36 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

jagorev

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I have to say, these have by far the most irritating headband-fitting mechanism of any headphone I've tried.

While almost all other headphones let you push the headband a certain number of notches and keep it fixed there, the 501 headband cannot maintain a fixed setting. They use a sort of elastic string which stretches when you put them on.

What this means is that the headband constantly wants to return to its original unstretched position. Thus, the strings are continually pulling upwards on the earcups.

Maybe it's just my large head, but I find that the lower part of the ear cushion is constantly pushing upward against my earlobe, or that it's rubbing upwards on my ear in a very uncomfortable way (these are meant to be circumaural!)

I've heard lots of comfort complaints about the "Sennheiser vice" and have often heard of the 501 as being ultra-comfy in comparison. I disagree strongly here. The Senn vice grip can take some getting used to, but it's not actively irritating like this elastic headband.

Suffice to say, I've tried a lot of different headphones from a bunch of manufacturers, and this is the only headband design which I find impossible to wear for extended periods. I feel that I have to adjust and stretch the headphone's fit every 10 seconds, something I have never experienced with any other headphone. If I don't keep fiddling with it, the earcup rides up until the lower part of the cushion is resting almost on the middle of my ear.

Does the 601 and 701 follow the same elastic, non-fixed fitting mechanism?

Too bad these sound quite decent - good sound is useless to me if the equipment is so annoying.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 7:03 AM Post #2 of 17

spike33

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How long have you had them? They loosen up dramatically over time like any headphone. Put some books between the cups to stretch it out.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 7:11 AM Post #3 of 17

Zorander

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I personally find the Senn comfort to be a bit better than the AKGs too (Grado still takes the far lowest position in this respect). Interestingly I have a diferent problem: my ear tips keep touching the driver mesh and it tickles! I also have concerns continually putting on and off the headphones will ultimately wear the elastic string out.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 8:20 AM Post #4 of 17

Mercuttio

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I think I'm cool with Grado comfort, since it's so modifyable. If I didn't like AKG comfort, there wouldn't be much I could do about it... but Grados have tons of possibilities!
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:01 AM Post #5 of 17

Zorander

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mercuttio
I think I'm cool with Grado comfort, since it's so modifyable. If I didn't like AKG comfort, there wouldn't be much I could do about it... but Grados have tons of possibilities!


What are those mods? I'm only aware of pad changes (don't know if the C-pads should be counted in), the Beyer headpad and the seemingly obligatory bending of the headband.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:05 AM Post #6 of 17

SV_huMMer

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I think it's very individual in terms of combination of cans, head and ears
smily_headphones1.gif
I for instance would definitely call K-501s the most comfortable full-size cans I have ever put on my head. And wearing comfort during extended use is also excellent. They do "bend in" a bit with the time, but I was happy with them from the beginning.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:42 AM Post #7 of 17

fewtch

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Do you coat the sides of your head with grease or something?
tongue.gif
They shouldn't ride up so easily, unless your head is slippery or something... the upward force is really not much.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 1:01 PM Post #8 of 17

elrod-tom

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I've got a basketball for a head (7 3/4" hat size
eek.gif
), and I've never had a problem with any of the AKG headphones. That goes doubly so for the K501...I think it's the most comfortable headphone I own, and has frequently been mentioned by others when posts are made wrt the most comfortable cans.

I've not had the problems you describe. I'm wondering if maybe they might need to break in a little more.
confused.gif
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 1:50 PM Post #9 of 17

Jeff E

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SV_huMMer
I think it's very individual in terms of combination of cans, head and ears
smily_headphones1.gif
I for instance would definitely call K-501s the most comfortable full-size cans I have ever put on my head. And wearing comfort during extended use is also excellent.



I have owned two pair of 501s. My experience has been similar to SV's. They were the most comfortable cans I have owned (Beyers, Grados, Senns, JVC, AKG) although we will have to see about the 701s as they are not broken in yet. Hat Size: 7 1/4
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 2:07 PM Post #10 of 17

Andrea

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jagorev, I agree with you. I don't find the AKGs' automatic fitting headband very practical nor useful.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:54 PM Post #12 of 17

BluesDaddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by elrod-tom
I've got a basketball for a head (7 3/4" hat size
eek.gif
), and I've never had a problem with any of the AKG headphones. That goes doubly so for the K501...I think it's the most comfortable headphone I own, and has frequently been mentioned by others when posts are made wrt the most comfortable cans.

I've not had the problems you describe. I'm wondering if maybe they might need to break in a little more.
confused.gif



I'll be honest, I wear the same size hat and don't have a problem with the K501s. They're the most comfortable headphone I own and I could easily forget they're own if it weren't for the music playing. Sorry you're not finding them the same.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:55 PM Post #13 of 17

BluesDaddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Electro Point
To me AKG's comfort is pretty good.
My K601's comfort level is out the window and sometimes I forget I'm wearing them. Though the K501's seem less comfortable due to somewhat the pad is harder.



Now this is where I would agree. I would really like to get a pair of those 601/701 velour pads for my 501s.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 10:29 PM Post #14 of 17

jagorev

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fewtch
Do you coat the sides of your head with grease or something?
tongue.gif
They shouldn't ride up so easily, unless your head is slippery or something... the upward force is really not much.



Well, I am very clean-shaven nowadays.
tongue.gif


Maybe it would have been better in my old stubbly days. Glad to see people with big heads testifying in their favor - I do hope that these adjust. I guess I'll try the book thing.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 11:59 PM Post #15 of 17

VR6ofpain

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I agree and disagree. I don't think my K601/AKG comfort is terrible, but it leaves me feeling like it could be better. My biggest gripe is that the headband 'spring pressure' is too much. Just like stock Grado's they clamp bigtime. Luckly with Grado's you can easily bend the headband out, to dial in as little pressure as you want. Mine are so loose that they are wonderfully comfortable (with bowls and HD414's at least, but not so much with Flats), but if you lean forward or back, they can fall off. With my AKG's you can't really do that, without risking the 'pipes' kinking. I have bent them a little, but it seems like they are fragile.

I have also put stuff between them, but it seems they always move back to their original shape if left to sit. Now the auto adjusting headband is good and bad. I like how you don't to have worry about notches, because they are in fact 'infinately adjustable' within their 'adjustability range'. So you can fine tune their fit. The only problem is being large headed I guess, I am at almost the largest position they allow, so the mini-bungie cords are pretty tight, so the headband is also pretty tight. not so good. Luckly the ear pads are a thing of beauty. So soft, so nice. Though they do warm up quite a bit.

I though Senn's were terrible in the comfort department, but honestly I am starting to think AKG's, or the K601's are just as bad. Still a nice headphone though.
 

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