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Mission: Replace the HiFiMAN ear pads with other brand ear pads

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by loevhagen, Sep 18, 2011.
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  1. Oscar-HiFi
    Just trying these on the HE500 and if you like a tighter sound they work very well, overall a great pad for them in my opinion. The Angled HM5 pleather pads boost the bass too much for my liking.
     
  2. muffins
    +1 For the ZMF Ori pads. They (and the pilot pad) completely transformed my He-400 from a uncomfortable nuisance into fluffy cloud pillows :p
     
  3. Mister Olinad
    I know it's been a while since you posted it, but as I still see people talking about "take the plastic ring of and old original pad", I'd like to say that you can buy the rings from Hifiman and keep the originals.
    http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/earpad-mounting-rings.html
     
    johnny5w likes this.
  4. Brahmsian
    Trying to decide whether I want to keep the stock Focus pads or switch to Focus-A on my he560.The stock Focus pads have perforations. I think the A pads don't? I came across the following regarding what the perforations are for:

    perforated.png
    My aim for the new pads is to tame the treble just a little bit. According to the above, perforations contribute to a more neutral sound signature and increased staging. The risk: losing a bit of bass. That's why ZMF moderated the amount of pores. However, the ZMF perforated pads as well as the ones on the Focals have perforations all over, while my stock he560 pads only have perforations around the inside wall (sides). What does this actually do (pores only on the inside) compared to perforations all over (inside and out)?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  5. JWatson
    I just wanted to thank you to all those who recommended the ZMF Lambskin Ori pads! I replaced my He-400i pads with the Ori pads and what a huge improvement in comfort over the stock pads. I wish I bought these when I first got the He-400 as I think it helps improve the bass response and give slightly better sound stage.

    All in all, for the $75 dollars I spent for the Ori Pads + headphone ring, I'd say it's total worth it if you like your HiFiMan headphone and want to add extra comfort.
     
    Brahmsian likes this.
  6. Sourcesys
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
    ThurstonX likes this.
  7. LarsHP
    My general thoughts about pads:

    As I see it, there are a few basic variables defining the sound properties of pads:
    ¤ the size and shape of the opening (primarily how wide and deep it is, secondarily the angle and finally if it is oval or circular)
    ¤ the properties of the surface (how reflecting it is, the texture or lack of it, and how open/sealing it is)
    ¤ the consistency of the pad (how firm, soft, stiff etc. it is)

    For example ZMF Ori pads are supposedly very good with HiFiMan HE-6 (and probably other headphones in the same series), but since they have the same inner diameter and shape as the Brainwavz HM5 angled pleather (even though the latter is more angled) there will most likely be no sonic improvements after covering the inner wall with cloth. In other words, using a real leather pad instead of protein leather has no sonic value here. For this reason expensive is not better than cheap (provided the protein leather is of good quality, which the Brainwavz are). However, the Ori pads outer shape is circular and fits the HE-6 cups without issues, while the HM5 pads outer shape is oval, needing a stretch to fit the circular cups.

    When I changed from Audeze "vegan" pads to the Brainwavz HM5 pleather pads, the difference in bass quality, extension, amount and punch - as well as general dynamics - was huge. The reason, I anticipate, being both that the HM5 pads seal much better because of the pleather and memory foam versus micro suede and soft foam, as well as the much firmer consistency of the memory foam.

    I tried the velour version of the HM5 angled pads and quickly took it off. Why? Even though it is the same shape and size, and has the same memory foam, the bass quality and quantity was quite reduced. Velour leaks air, while (protein) leather is relatively air tight.

    On the other hand, leather / pleather has a quite reflecting surface compared to cloth like velour and micro suede. This causes a blur in imaging and soundstage, since timing is blurred by the secondary sound coming from the reflections.

    The less reflections also means that cloth will absorb more treble, so if treble is lacking already, it will be worse than with a leather type pad. This is usually not a problem with HE-6.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
    Fegefeuer likes this.
  8. gug42
    Well Interested too by some report on thoses pads .... And same purpose : tame the trebble without loosing bass !

     
  9. ThurstonX
    Just put the Ori version of these: http://www.zmfheadphones.com/pads-and-cables/zmf-suede-earpads
    on my HE-560. Interesting change from the lambskin version. After a cursory three-hour session, I'll agree that there is "a slight reduction in mid-bass compared to leather earpads", and maybe that's what leads to a very slight sense of less overall detail. HUGE caveat to that comment: it's extremely hard for me to pin that down, so I may be imagining it; thus, very slight; to the point it's basically meaningless. I was listening to a few things that have subtle vocals that tend to be buried in the mix. I was expecting that with these, but quite the opposite happened: they were distinctly clear (clearly distinct?). Now, that may be down to the tubes in my Lyr, which are new to me (1966 Foton 6N3Ps; epic). I'm not rolling pads just to find out. Once I switch back to the leather, hopefully I'll remember to listen for it.

    Bass definitely does not suffer (see King Crimson's "People" from THRAK as one example). Overall I'm diggin' the sound and comfort. Haven't tried them on the HE-5LE or HE-500 yet. Given how dead simple it is to roll the Ori pads in general, I can see switching them around until they settle on one pair, or just roll on pure whim. It's nothing but Ori pads for my HFM cans.

    If you're not familiar with the Ori pads, here's what sets them apart from others that can be made to fit HFM cans: they are not round on the inside. They are ergonomically oval... like your ears. For me, at least, those with round internal openings always come up short - very short - in fit, and thus comfort. Amazes me other manufacturers don't get it. You get what you pay for, I reckon.

    Just a note: these are not suede ("leather with the flesh side rubbed to make a velvety nap" - Google), but "vegan" micro suede. I think that probably increases their comfort, but whatever. This is high quality stuff, at least on par with the well-known Audeze Vegan pads. Those and these are the only two I'm aware of that use this quality covering that fit HiFiMAN cans. Having tried to mash up pads like these with micro suede from a fabric store (fool's errand), and being disappointed with the difficulty of trying to fit the oversize Audezes on HFM cans (forget about them on the HE-560 or any HFM can using the same headband/yoke system), I give a major tip-of-the-hat to Zach for bringing these to market.
     
  10. gug42
    Hello,

    Thank you for this report.
    I don't see something about the 6 to 8 Khz region. Any change ?

    Well for my part, I largy prefer the cotnact of leather thant suede and micro suede.

    Thank you.
     
  11. LarsHP
    I'm not surprised that you experience better clarity in the mids and treble (the track with subtle vocals you mention). This is exactly why I put cloth on the inner "walls" of my pleather / leather pads.

    It seems from your listening test that the ZMF Ori pads with micro suede looses less (or even no?) bass compared to the leather version. This would then be a notable exception from what I have heard when testing different pad covering.

    I have just bought a pair of lambskin ZMF Ori pads, so I will soon know for myself how they compare to the HM5 angled pleather pads.
     
  12. ThurstonX
    I'm not too good at picking out frequencies or ranges, and have no measurement gear, so I'm afraid I can't be much help there.

    Velour and micro suede can get annoying if you have facial hair. I try to ignore that :wink: It's good to have options.
     
  13. ThurstonX
    Ran a few songs through my HE-5LE with leather Ori pads, then the same with the micro suede. And this is why I bought these pads. After modding the HE-5LE, they are my detail KING cans. Mids/upper mids can get a bit tiresome after a while, and they seem to lack weight in the low end. These pads solve all that. I don't feel like I'm missing definition, but the overall listening experience is where I wanted these cans to be. Leather Ori pads back to the HE-560. Next up, HE-500. Now I can skip swapping mounting rings, just do the pads.
     
  14. lucidreamer
    Does anybody know where I can buy these pads for my HE-560 in the US?

    Thanks.
     
  15. ThurstonX
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