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Discussion Starter #1
I personally think the hd202 sit too close to my ears. It creates a congested sound IMO. They also rub against my ears which gets painful after a while.

I did this a while ago, but was debating on whether it was worth posting. After reading other people say they were uncomfortable, I decided to go for it. So here goes
.

A few disclaimers: Depending on how you perform this mod, it shouldn't change the sound too much. Ideally it will take the edge off the bass, which was all I needed, but it can be customized to your liking. This mod will only work if you can fit your ears inside the pads (so they fit like a circumaural headphone should). If the pads are completely supra-aural for you it will be entirely different.

This was inspired by other similar mods from various other headphones.

Now to get to it.

What you'll need:
-2 cotton balls
-A small handful of Polyfil (Polyfil works best, for me it worked better than the polyesther stuff that comes in sheets)
-A small philips screwdriver

You can get Polyfil for really cheap at craft stores. I got a 12oz bag for like $3.



We'll start in the middle.
Step 1.
First, pry the pad off the earcups. The pad is attached to a plastic piece that snaps off.


Pad removed. The plastic piece the pad is on snaps on around the circle in the center of the earcup. If you are having trouble getting the pad off, you can put your thumb in the center, near the edge of the circle, and pull the pad away with your fingers while pressing with your thumb to separate the two pieces.


Now take out the four screws holding the ear cup together. I had already removed them in the picture.

Sorry for the blurryness, it was nearly impossible to take that picture without it
.

Next, pull the baffle piece off the earcup.


Take two chunks of Polyfil about like this, make sure they are the same size, one for each ear cup.


and stick it in the place behind the driver. It should be about this big.


It shouldn't have to be compressed more than a little when you put the baffle piece back on.


Close the earcup. Make sure to get all the Polyfil inside the center section, so it doesn't stop the ear cup from closing all the way. Make sure the cable is in the slot for it.


Before you replace the screws, you might want to finish the mod, and play around with the amount of stuffing you like. I'll go into that more later on.

Replace the four screws.

Replace the pad by clipping/sliding one side of the pad onto the center piece, and by pressing down on the other side. It will snap when it is in place.


Repeat this for both sides.

I know what you're thinking, What has this got to do with comfort? We'll see in a minute.
Step 2.
Here's the part we wanted to get to, and just allowed ourselves to get to without any penalties. It is very important that you do the first part, otherwise the frequency response will get all messed up.

Now take the cotton balls,


You can see how there is a grain, where it was rolled up. Like a cinnamon roll
.


Grab it in the center, with your thumb and index finger gripping the center area from the top and bottom, with the grain facing up.


Then grab it in the center with the other hand as well in the same place. Gently pull out so it starts to separate naturally.

Pull on it some more, you should be able to feel where there is naturally a grain. You may have to tear through a little piece, but after that you can just unroll it the rest of the way.

Unrolled most of the way.

Do this with both, you should end up with two pieces looking like this

They should be around 4-5" long, it doesn't matter too much.

Now take one and stick it somewhere under the pad on your HD202, I like to start at the bottom just to get it more even.

Stuff the cotton strip under the pad, working your way around the whole ear cup. You should meet up at where you started with relatively no excess. If you have some left over just spread it out, and shove it under the pad farther.

It should look like this.

Now go around again and push it in with your finger, and make sure it is even, and under the pad all the way.

Repeat with both sides, and you're done!


Now they should fit over your ears more easily, and take some strain off your outer ears.

If you just do the pad mod you will get a huge "U" shaped response, with over-exaggerated bass and treble, and midrange that is horribly recessed. Adding the Polyfil to the inside boosts the midrange back up. Adding too much polyfil will cause colored midrange, and sibilance (exaggerated "S" sound), and not adding enough will cause recessed midrange.

Overall, I think this makes them more comfortable, and perhaps alleviates some of the congested sound (it's been a while since I've listened to them extensively).

This should work for the HD212pro as well, but I haven't tried it with them. I believe they sound and are built very similarly. I'm not sure about the HD201. I've never heard any, but from what I've read about them, I would try the pad mod by itself. I think they should have enough midrange to not need the extra boost.

*It's late, and I wrote this somewhat quickly, so I'll go over this again in the morning, in case I overlooked anything*

Comments/feedback appreciated
.
 

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haha cute mod :] nothing like a easy way to make a low budget cans better :]
 

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Hate to necro this, but I did your mod on my HD201s. Sound quality has improved and ambient noise has been further silenced.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by videoman5 View Post
Hate to necro this, but I did your mod on my HD201s. Sound quality has improved and ambient noise has been further silenced.
No that's cool, I was hoping it'd work for the other ones too. Did you add the polyfil to the inside?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by drjoey1500 View Post
No that's cool, I was hoping it'd work for the other ones too. Did you add the polyfil to the inside?
The driver is encased in black box on the inside, so I opened that up and put a little polyfil in there, and then put some more around the black box itself. All around sound quality seemed to have improved, and I can't hear jack squat outside of my headphones now.
 

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Whoa that's awesome. I feel that JVC RX900 sits a little close to the ears as well. I'm gonna try this on them when I get home and tell you how it went.

Maybe you should call this a general circumaural cans comfort mod.
 

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I think I will try this. So again, did you get slightly better sound quality and noise isolation with this mod? I understand it's main purpose is comfort, but did the above improve as well? Thanks and +rep
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Quote:

Originally Posted by videoman5 View Post
The driver is encased in black box on the inside, so I opened that up and put a little polyfil in there, and then put some more around the black box itself. All around sound quality seemed to have improved, and I can't hear jack squat outside of my headphones now.

Actually you can experiment around with how much you like in the black box the driver is in for sound quality. Outside the driver's enclosure feel free to pack as much as you can fit in for better isolation


Quote:

Originally Posted by xobile133769 View Post
I think I will try this. So again, did you get slightly better sound quality and noise isolation with this mod? I understand it's main purpose is comfort, but did the above improve as well? Thanks and +rep

Yes, but just slightly. Mostly it just relieved a congested sound by lifting them off the outer ear a little. I may not have said it clearly but you can fine tune the response by the amount of polyfil on the inside.

More polyfil = more highs and mids. At a certain point (roughly 20% more than I used in the pictures, basically when you have to compress it a lot to close it) it'll cause bad roll off in the bass and treble (and sibilance). It also has a weird sound, like you have to strain to hear it. (perhaps too much decay?)

Less polyfil = more bass, less mids. Treble will still be present IIRC.

I don't remember a lot of improvement with isolation. I think you'll get some, but don't expect wonders
.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by xobile133769 View Post
I think I will try this. So again, did you get slightly better sound quality and noise isolation with this mod? I understand it's main purpose is comfort, but did the above improve as well? Thanks and +rep

Actually, yes. Noise isolation is the most notable improvement.
 
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k thanks guys! +rep
 

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gonna bump this because i may end up doing this to my hd202s (which i am getting tomorrow... i thought today, but i was mistaken)
 

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they are comfortable... but after a while of using them, it feels like i drasticly changed elevation, extra pressure in my ear it seems....

idk if this mod will fix that, but i may try it sometime anywho
 

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Quick question, is that polyfill flammable? I'm all paranoid that the wire might spark and catch the polyfill on fire, resulting in my head catching on fire while I'm trying to finish the song I'm listening to in excruciating pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, polyester is flammable, but I wouldn't worry about it. You're not going to have enough voltage going through the wires to do anything.
 

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Putting polyfill into a closed back headphone is an interesting idea. People who build their own speakers and subwoofers have known for ages that putting polyfill into the speaker box may improve sound. The effect of polyfill is basically the same as increasing the speaker box size. I guess it has the same effect on the headphone, making it perform as if the internal chamber behind the driver was much bigger.

However, I am not sure if that cotton inserted into cushions alone will make the HD201/HD202 less uncomfortable. Did anyone try it? To me, as long as even a tip of my ear touches the driver housing, it will become irritated. I gave my HD201s to parents and use HD555s myself. Much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Quote:


Originally Posted by joelmartinez
View Post

you think the cotton ball thing will work on RX700s to improve soundstage? I might try it out after burn-in is complete

I can't say for sure but it's worth a try. Changing the distance between the driver and your ear does tend to change the freq. response at your ear though, so be aware of that when you do it.

Quote:


Originally Posted by ZAKOH
View Post

Putting polyfill into a closed back headphone is an interesting idea. People who build their own speakers and subwoofers have known for ages that putting polyfill into the speaker box may improve sound. The effect of polyfill is basically the same as increasing the speaker box size. I guess it has the same effect on the headphone, making it perform as if the internal chamber behind the driver was much bigger.

However, I am not sure if that cotton inserted into cushions alone will make the HD201/HD202 less uncomfortable. Did anyone try it? To me, as long as even a tip of my ear touches the driver housing, it will become irritated. I gave my HD201s to parents and use HD555s myself. Much better.

It's been a long time since I've used those headphones, but IIRC it did make them more comfortable since much of the pressure was transferred around the ear. The stock pads are not very thick so they end up putting a lot of pressure on the top of your ear which does not feel very good after an hour or two.
 
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