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Why no custom earpad options for Sennheisers?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by 2wheelfan, Mar 6, 2013.
  1. 2wheelfan
    With the array of custom earpad options on the market and/or interchangability between earpads....Dennon headphones for example fit Beyerdyamic, HiFiMan, JMoney, Lawton Angled, FA-003 pads etc....why are Sennheisers left in the lurch so to speak?  Yes, ear cup shape is oblong on the popular over-ear Senn's, perhaps making them less amenable for interchangable earpads...but owners with more teacup shaped ears complain about ear contact with drivers on HD 600/650 and HD5xx headphones with seemingly no options to avert this common issue.  Seems to me there would be market for them.  Sennheiser over-ear headphones are popular in spite of this deficit.  For those with larger or more protrusive ears, it may make more sense to gravitate toward a Denon or HiFiMan headphone because both are able to be fitted with a different or thicker pad shape based upon one's ear shape.
  2. ssrock64
    Sennheiser's high-end gear (namely, the HD5XX line and up) is widely hailed to be among the most comfortable lineup in the headphone world. As much as new pads might be innovative, they won't garner enough attention or sales unless they make a big difference in comfort or SQ, and usually the latter isn't really changed that much by even the best aftermarket pads. So, there's not really any foolproof reason to buy aftermarket pads for your HD650 or what have you.
  3. 2wheelfan
    Well, sorry if I disagree.  Many suffer strike through issues with both the angled driver HD598 and HD650...especially over time as earpads compress.  Ear contacting drivers for all headphones excluding  headband clamping force maybe the number one impediment to comfort i.e.complaint for over-ear listeners.  Further, there is no evidence or perception other than personal preference that either 5 or 6 series Sennheisers are any more comfortable than Denon, HiFiMan or Beyerdynamic headphones with stock pads...in fact some may submit the converse is true, and yet alternative pads or interchangable pads abound for these headphones...and yes, pads do change SQ in all cases, sometimes in a favorable direction depending on listener preference

    There are few things as transformative to comfort as earpad size, shape and material aka compression and I just noted how limited options are for Sennheiser headphones in particular.
  4. ssrock64
    I understand that you may personally not like the fit of them, but my reasoning still applies. The vast majority of those who've sampled high-end Senns say they're among the most comfortable of cans, especially the HD800.
  5. seqasim
    I don't know if you can say "many suffer". Though that might unfortunately be your experience it seems like its quite a minority. Otherwise we would probably see custom options for earpads - supply serves demand, after all. 
  6. 2wheelfan
    The HD800 has a different internal geometry with angled drivers with more cavernous ear cups.  The HD800 may indeed be the most comfortable.  My inquiry was more focused on the 5 and 6 series which likely outsell the HD800 50:1...perhaps more.
  7. ssrock64
    I was speaking generally of everything from the HD518 on up, hence the "especially" qualification before the HD800 to signify that, yes, it is more comfortable.
  8. 2wheelfan
    Many suffer maybe overstated as you say.  How about there have been accounts on this forum without an alternative pad available with greater thickness to resolve the issue.  There is a thread in the archive that addresses adding fill material to pads that compressed on a HD650.  Supply generally does serve demand as you say...and perhaps the other headphones I mentioned are more predisposed to ears touching drivers.  I will say in general...and this transcends Sennheiser...how common it is for ears to contact drivers on a multitude of different headphones...especially after earpads compress a bit.  Apparently, many just accept this and live with it. 
  9. HK-47
    My ears also touch the drivers (well, the foam covering the drivers) on the HD650, and I don't really mind. I've accepted that my ears just stick out too much. [​IMG]
  10. 2wheelfan
    At the end of the day, I believe your post maybe the best description.  Half the guys that own good quality over-ear headphones...their ears stick out.  Other half of the bell curve, no worries and stock pads are just fine.  A subset of those that ears stick out...they somewhat accept that their ears will press up against the drivers as you say.  Guys with protrusive ears find the same dynamic with many different headphones and just accept it.  For those that are a bit fussier, they may seek a headphone where they can customize with deeper earpads. 
    One design aspect not discussed is the type of covering on the driver itself.  Senn's...I know the HD280 is like this...the driver cover has a depth and measure of give or compliancy which would reduce any pain of ear cartilage resting on a hard driver surface.  Its akin to a combined over-ear and on-ear headphone design...pressure distributed both around the ear and on the ear.  Hot spots on the ear maybe reduced with a softer driver covering.
    A Denon owner in fact a while back posted this solution by adding a thin foam over the driver with a hole in it center close to the ear canal.  Since there is no pressure at the ear opening, foam is only required around the driver center where the ear would rest on the driver.  Maybe this the best solution. 
    As you say HK-47..instead of spacing the driver away from the ear with thicker over-ear pads, for those that can't bear the driver resting on the ear...embrace it...alternatively lightly pad the driver to improve comfort.
  11. pp312
    Wow, that would require quite a contortion.
  12. 2wheelfan
    Only for those less gifted.

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