How many hours straight can you wear a "comfortable" set of headphones?
Mar 12, 2013 at 1:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 134

Sprockethead

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I have been on a quest to upgrade my sound quality at work. I invested in a pair of Yuin PK1 earbuds and a Fiio E11. I wear headphones of some kind nearly 8 hours each day, taking them off for brief periods. I thought that the PK1s, since they were earbuds, wouldn't be noticeable. But they hurt a little after about 3 or 4 hours. Either my ears are small or these are big.
 
So now I'm thinking of upgrading to closed cans. But first, I want to define what "comfortable" is while I overdose on reviews. Does "comfortable" mean that you can wear it for 8 hours? The reason I ask is that maybe I already have the most comfortable solution out there and I'm wishing for something impossible - namely, to be able to wear a pair of headphones for 8 hours comfortably....
 
So my question to the hive is this: How many hours straight would you personally expect to be able to wear a pair of comfortable headphones before they became uncomfortable? How long of a stretch is reasonable? Is wearing a pair indefinitely too much to ask? Has anybody out there found a pair that they can wear straight for 8 hours? Thanks in advance all for future and past posts.
 
Mar 12, 2013 at 3:57 PM Post #2 of 134

MalVeauX

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Heya,
 
I can wear my most comfortable headphones nearly all day. I have to take them off when I get another beer, take a bathroom break, or take a phone call or simply get up to stretch my legs. Depends how much time I have to myself for it.
 
I find my Beyers (all DT series, so DT770, DT880, DT990) and my Denons (D5000) to be comfortable enough both from the pads, headband and weight to wear all day. My HE-500 is also now comfortable enough for all day as well after my cable was upgraded to a lighter build and a 3rd party headband pad added to increase padding. I can definitely do 8 hours on any of these. The combination of lighter clamp force, plenty of padding (soft pads, nothing firm) and headband padding with light cables makes them easy for me to forget I'm wearing nearly.
 
Very best,
 
Mar 12, 2013 at 5:17 PM Post #3 of 134

NamelessPFG

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I could wear my Stax SR-Lambda all day if I want to. It's just that comfortable, to the point where I sometimes forget I'm wearing it.
 
Haven't found another headphone with quite that level of comfort yet, especially since the Nova/numerical Lambda models moved to a new headband/arc assembly with higher clamping force that noticeably detracts from long-term comfort.
 
Mar 12, 2013 at 5:23 PM Post #4 of 134

MattTCG

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Quote:
Heya,
 
I can wear my most comfortable headphones nearly all day. I have to take them off when I get another beer, take a bathroom break, or take a phone call or simply get up to stretch my legs. Depends how much time I have to myself for it.
 
 

 
Put cooler next to listening station. Stretching and bathroom breaks are overrated. 
size]

 
I can wear my hd650 for 5-6 hours when I'm working from home. 
 
Mar 12, 2013 at 6:09 PM Post #6 of 134

unpimpauto

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I have gone from around 11am to 1am wearing my AKG K240, with minimal breaks (bathroom, food, maybe hour for dinner). They are very light and seem to have a lighter clamping force. The ear pads themselves are actually not too soft, they are now semi contoured to my head and glasses so it is not much an issue.
 
Mar 12, 2013 at 7:16 PM Post #7 of 134

ThinkAwesome

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I don't think I have ever taken my MDR V6 off because of discomfort. I would say max straight is 6hr. I had them on continuously except for bathroom breaks on a flight from Chicago to Tokyo once though ~12hr. 
 
Mar 13, 2013 at 12:07 AM Post #10 of 134

p a t r i c k

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My AKG K702 and my Sennheiser HD540 headphones can be worn my be all day if need be.
 
My AKG K550s can be worn for a longish time, but I find that it is nice to take them off now and then. I think this may be because they are closed headphones and so the issue is not one of physical discomfort but rather it is more about a desire to hear the world around me perhaps.
 
 
Mar 13, 2013 at 12:39 AM Post #11 of 134

wolfetan44

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Mad Dogs - All day
DT880 - All day.
Comfort is CLOSELY followed by sound for me.
 
Mar 13, 2013 at 12:40 AM Post #12 of 134

chrislangley4253

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For me, it depends on if I'm wearing glasses or not.

Any senn hd555/595/580/600/650 - indefinitely with or without glasses
 
Fostex t50rp with shure pads - indefinitely without glasses (they might get hot from time to time though). 2-3 hours with glasses usually.

Grado - 5-6 hours without glasses, 2-3 hours with glasses
 
Koss pro dj100 - 2-3 hours without glasses, 0 with glasses
 
Portapros and similar light supraaurals - indefinitely with or without glasses.
 
Mar 13, 2013 at 1:30 AM Post #14 of 134

obobskivich

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Personal timed endurance experiences with a few headphones that I've worn for really long periods of time, with notes:

Non-stop:
Kenwood KH-K1000 - 6-ish hours; had to stop and change out to something else, weight was getting to my neck
Koss MV-1 - 10.5 hours; had to stop and sleep
Grado RS-1i - 12.5 hours; had to stop and sleep
Koss ESP/950 - 14-15 hours; had to stop and sleep


I've also managed the MDR-F1 and PRO2900 for probably 6-7 hours a piece, with no complaints. The Bose full-size headphones are in that category, comfort wise, but they get sort of warm over time (moreso the QC15), nothing truly unpleasant though (and if you're taking them off periodically to attend to other things, it's really not a problem IME). I don't suggest >10 hour sessions (I've maybe only done it a handful of times) - even if the headphones are comfortable enough for it, or your chair is comfortable enough, or whatever else. I agree with mal - get up and take breaks for various reasons throughout the day. Your body will thank you.

IME the best headphones for comfort aren't necessarily the lightest headphones (e.g. the MV1 and ESP/950 are both relatively heavy (the MV1 weight about twice what the RS-1 or MDR-F1 do)). It has more to do with how the weight is distributed on your head - for example the Kenwood K1000 have a lot of the weight suspended above your head (in their headband mechanism), and it feels like wearing a hard-hat after enough hours. Something like the ESP/950 are relatively large, and distribute the weight fairly evenly across your head (and feel very light as a result), while something like the AT ESW9 (which are very light) get uncomfortable after a few hours, because they focus most all of the weight on your ears (and clamp a little bit).
 
Mar 13, 2013 at 1:53 AM Post #15 of 134

C.C.S.

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I managed to listen to three different Final Fantasy soundtracks one after another in the same day with my Mad Dogs. Added up to almost 13.5 hours. Still wasn't uncomfortable but I got tired and it was time for bed. I can't imagine being super happy with anything that didn't get me at least 6 hours of solid comfort, though. If it can't remain comfortable for 6 hours if I need it, then it loses points.
 

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