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in the pictures, the hole where your ear fits looks a lot smaller than the stock pads. Are they?
The hole is slightly smaller, yes. Velvet earpads do not seal against the wearer's head the way pleather earpads do, and this can change the bass response. This design modification was necessary to maintain the excellent deep bass response of these headphones when using velvet Earpads. The comfort level with the velvet earpads is far superior to stock pleather earpads and the slightly smaller opening size does not detract from the comfort at all.
Do the edges touch your ears at all. For me the stock earpads just barely fit around my ears
This would depend on the size of your ears
How would you compare these to the hm5 Brainwavz?
I'm sorry, I am not familiar with those.
The brainwavz hm5 velours are thicker, with a larger opening