Let’s get Hactical
Jul 6, 2022 at 9:58 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 55
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Hello Head-Fi!

At some point most of us have repurposed an Altoids tin for accessories or dissected a piece of foam to try and massage the soundstage of some cans. If that sounds relatable, keep reading, because we need your help exploring everyday hacks that can improve, fix, or optimize your listening setup.

We’re going to share a few practical hacks ("Hacticals" if you will) of our own in a handful of replies, but need your input in assembling a go-to reference guide for the community to tap into. We’re also going to reserve some space in this post for the top 5 hacks in this post—just “like” the hacks you love most and we’ll slot them in. In addition to sound, think about storage/organization, cleaning/maintenance, and ergonomics/comfort. No hack is too small, as long as it works!

These hacks should be useful in a pinch, or work so well that perhaps they have become a permanent fixture for your listening. By no means is this limited to Sennheiser gear (though we love hearing them for obvious reasons)...but ideally your hacks are pretty versatile and inexpensive, while featuring a resourceful use of everyday items to get the job done.

[reserved for the top 5]

*It goes without saying, but always proceed with caution and never attempt anything that could jeopardize your safety, a warranty, or your gear’s integrity*

Ready? 3…2…1… go!
 
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Jul 6, 2022 at 10:02 PM Post #2 of 55
As mentioned we have a few on deck to get the ball rolling—here’s a classic downhill push: the banana hanger. They can be repurposed to hold most cans safely with a simple, sturdy design. Most also feature some space on the platform for spooled-up cable, earphone cases, DAPs, etc. If you’re feeling crafty you can give them a paint job, too. While many of us have dedicated stands, they’re a quick fix for those times when your stand is out of room, you need an inexpensive work/dorm setup, or use IEM’s as a daily driver but still want to keep option B at the ready.

#hifihacks

20220706_211315.jpg
 
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Jul 6, 2022 at 10:09 PM Post #3 of 55
Here's another go-to of mine (especially because of the French Bulldog in our home): silly putty. It's an obvious fidget activity but serves a less obvious purpose: lint removal. Over time, earpads will collect dust, hair, cloth fibers etc. The putty has a soft tack that never transfers to the earpad surface, and can be shaped as a wedge, ball, snake, etc to get into the crevices—places that a lint roller just cannot adapt to. They’re also great for pre-photo & video prep to remove specks that the camera always seems to find after I've shot the segment :) #hifihacks

1. (below) HD 560 S pads love white fibers

1.jpg



2. The silly putty can be shaped to get in the nooks. It won't stick either (but if you have disintegrating foam it will pull specks away)

2.jpg



3. Just like new!

3.jpg
 
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Jul 7, 2022 at 10:29 AM Post #4 of 55
Here's one I've been doing for a while, very convenient. Attach a bull clip to the edge of a desk (assuming one has the option), then remove the top one by squeezing the sides.
IMG_20220707_071827~2.jpg

Put whichever desired cable through the nice gap, then insert it back in the slots. Not only is it organized, can pull the needed cable to the amp/DAC/etc. Not pictured, but have put multiple adapter wires through to keep station neat & tidy. I opted in this example to thread through only one of the clips, folded the other under the table, but to each their own.
IMG_20220707_071945~2.jpg


Cheers 🦇
 
Last edited:
Jul 7, 2022 at 10:34 AM Post #5 of 55
Here's one I've been doing for a while, very convenient. Attach a bull clip to the edge of a desk (assuming one has the option), then remove the top one by squeezing the sides. IMG_20220707_071827~2.jpgPut whichever desired cable through the nice gap, then insert it back in the slots. Not only is it organized, can pull the needed cable to the amp/DAC/etc. Not pictured, but have put multiple adapter wires through to keep station neat & tidy.IMG_20220707_071945~2.jpg

Cheers 🦇

Great hack! Binder clips are available in a variety of colors, too, so one could color code (or color match) accordingly. Thx for the step-by-step 🦾
 
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Jul 7, 2022 at 12:47 PM Post #6 of 55
Hello Head-Fi!

At some point most of us have repurposed an Altoids tin for accessories or dissected a piece of foam to try and massage the soundstage of some cans. If that sounds relatable, keep reading, because we need your help exploring everyday hacks that can improve, fix, or optimize your listening setup.

We’re going to share a few practical hacks ("Hacticals" if you will) of our own in a handful of replies, but need your input in assembling a go-to reference guide for the community to tap into. We’re also going to reserve some space in this post for the top 5 hacks in this post—just “like” the hacks you love most and we’ll slot them in. In addition to sound, think about storage/organization, cleaning/maintenance, and ergonomics/comfort. No hack is too small, as long as it works!

These hacks should be useful in a pinch, or work so well that perhaps they have become a permanent fixture for your listening. By no means is this limited to Sennheiser gear (though we love hearing them for obvious reasons)...but ideally your hacks are pretty versatile and inexpensive, while featuring a resourceful use of everyday items to get the job done.

[reserved for the top 5]

*It goes without saying, but always proceed with caution and never attempt anything that could jeopardize your safety, a warranty, or your gear’s integrity*

Ready? 3…2…1… go!

Ok so here's a chain of hacks I did for the HD 599.

Re-terminated the long cable that comes with the 599, to a 4.4 Pentaconn jack for the amp end. At the same time, shortened the cable to 1.4 meters. Both these changes together really opened up the headphone in terms of sound quality and power handling. Big difference. Source was a Zen CAN amp running in Class A. The headphones were also clipping (coil rattle) with a class A/B amp running in high gain. No such issues post this mod.

After the cable was re-terminated, the headphones acquired an ear-slamming ability in the lows. Moving more air with more authority. Damped to distortion free levels by the class A of the Zen CAN. So much so that at unusually high volume levels on bass heavy tracks, i could hear the connecting wires inside the cans, rattle! So next thing was to carefully and lightly tape up the internal wiring. Done, and zero noise.

Next was to make a simple linear psu, one each for the Zen DAC and CAN. Huge improvement, specially in the CAN (in the box PSU was non iFi and audible noise with no music).

Rest can be found in my reviews here. Cheers!
PS- The 599's are amazing! Don't change anything, at least not for the worse!
 
Last edited:
Jul 7, 2022 at 1:40 PM Post #7 of 55
Ok so here's a chain of hacks I did for the HD 599.

Re-terminated the long cable that comes with the 599, to a 4.4 Pentaconn jack for the amp end. At the same time, shortened the cable to 1.4 meters. Both these changes together really opened up the headphone in terms of sound quality and power handling. Big difference. Source was a Zen CAN amp running in Class A. The headphones were also clipping (coil rattle) with a class A/B amp running in high gain. No such issues post this mod.

After the cable was re-terminated, the headphones acquired an ear-slamming ability in the lows. Moving more air with more authority. Damped to distortion free levels by the class A of the Zen CAN. So much so that at unusually high volume levels on bass heavy tracks, i could hear the connecting wires inside the cans, rattle! So next thing was to carefully and lightly tape up the internal wiring. Done, and zero noise.

Next was to make a simple linear psu, one each for the Zen DAC and CAN. Huge improvement, specially in the CAN (in the box PSU was non iFi and audible noise with no music).

Rest can be found in my reviews here. Cheers!
PS- The 599's are amazing! Don't change anything, at least not for the worse!

You've got some blood sweat and tears invested in that 599. Bravo! The 5x5, 5x8 and 5x9 series have always been a great platform to tweak and experiment (which gained a lot of momentum through gamers modifying the HD 555 and HD 595 over a decade ago). Although back then the cable harness was screwed down instead of the twist-lock cable that came about with the 5x8 series.
 
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Jul 7, 2022 at 2:05 PM Post #8 of 55
Here goes ours, and of course it has to do with ear pads! Some people just need a little bit of extra room inside their ear pads.

20220707_135751.jpg

There is just enough room under ear pads usually to fit some stuff. We are gonna roll up some thin foam and tuck it underneath the pad to give us a little bit more ear room.

20220707_135818.jpg20220707_135843.jpg
20220707_135906.jpg
 
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Jul 7, 2022 at 2:41 PM Post #9 of 55
Here is an immediate upgrade in sound performances. Doesn’t matter what external cables you have, the internal one is the most essential

1/ take off the pads, by pulling it off

2/ unscrew the hinges

3/ take out the cups assembly

4/ take out the front cover

5/ solder in new wires materials of choices. Here I am using solid pure gold for HD800S anniversary

Using audio grade Oyaide high silver contents solder
F3E1CD7A-72A4-425F-9FBB-36BD226E477D.jpeg65C8C49A-53C4-4636-99F5-AAE3E9182170.jpeg
 
Jul 7, 2022 at 2:44 PM Post #10 of 55
I have a simple but effective addition to your altoid tin use. I have been buying inexpensive felt liner with adhesive on Amazon and lining candy tins with it. I have the round ones that have become my favorite iem cases! Cheaper than a new case, and you get some delicious candy as well! Less than 30 minutes work to line the tin.
Thanks for this thread; I look forward to benefiting from other head-fiers’ ingenuity!
49B7BCF8-F4DF-4B1E-9FC5-0A10169C7102.jpeg
BC472F74-8B43-4B83-AAD2-671172D89B1B.jpeg
 
Jul 7, 2022 at 2:49 PM Post #11 of 55
Here goes ours, and of course it has to do with ear pads! Some people just need a little bit of extra room inside their ear pads.

20220707_135751.jpg

There is just enough room under ear pads usually to fit some stuff. We are gonna roll up some thin foam and tuck it underneath the pad to give us a little bit more ear room.

20220707_135818.jpg20220707_135843.jpg
20220707_135906.jpg
By definition a great hack! Easy, cheap, and effective. Thx @DekoniAudio 🦾🦾
 
Sennheiser Stay updated on Sennheiser at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
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Jul 7, 2022 at 2:52 PM Post #12 of 55
Here is an immediate upgrade in sound performances. Doesn’t matter what external cables you have, the internal one is the most essential

1/ take off the pads, by pulling it off

2/ unscrew the hinges

3/ take out the cups assembly

4/ take out the front cover

5/ solder in new wires materials of choices. Here I am using solid pure gold for HD800S anniversary

Using audio grade Oyaide high silver contents solder
F3E1CD7A-72A4-425F-9FBB-36BD226E477D.jpeg65C8C49A-53C4-4636-99F5-AAE3E9182170.jpeg
You're a brave soul with even steadier hands! *Rick James voice* That's a super tweak, super tweak, it's super tweakayy-yowwww

Thx for sharing!
 
Sennheiser Stay updated on Sennheiser at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
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Jul 7, 2022 at 2:55 PM Post #13 of 55
I have a simple but effective addition to your altoid tin use. I have been buying inexpensive felt liner with adhesive on Amazon and lining candy tins with it. I have the round ones that have become my favorite iem cases! Cheaper than a new case, and you get some delicious candy as well! Less than 30 minutes work to line the tin.
Thanks for this thread; I look forward to benefiting from other head-fiers’ ingenuity!
49B7BCF8-F4DF-4B1E-9FC5-0A10169C7102.jpeg
BC472F74-8B43-4B83-AAD2-671172D89B1B.jpeg
And less likely to get stolen (unless that person has horrible breath haha). I just acquired a Hershey candybar tin and might just use this hack for my collection of adapters that have leads in them (think: the ubiquitous HD 650 adapter). Great share, thx!
 
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Jul 7, 2022 at 3:04 PM Post #14 of 55
Wooden coat hooks make great headphone hangers.
3928970F-D703-47D5-B4FD-EC28BC4A949C.jpeg
 
Jul 7, 2022 at 3:17 PM Post #15 of 55
Wooden coat hooks make great headphone hangers.3928970F-D703-47D5-B4FD-EC28BC4A949C.jpeg

Great hack, and quite easy to match the decor of the room thanks to the countless options out there (Etsy rabbit hole anyone?) Bonus points for having an OG 414 SL 😉 This is also a great way to clear up the desk space while keeping cables off the floor. 🦾🦾
 
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