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View Full Discussion Reporting back after 1 week of usage.
In the first few days I always got a headache after using the HE-350 for an hour or longer. At first, I thought it were the sparkly highs causing fatigue, but that was actually not the problem. I realized that wearing comfort was actually the main problem. I had to have the headband maxed out to the largest setting while still having to force the headphones down for the earpads to completely go around my ears. Also the theoretically freely 180 degree rotating hinges did not adjust very well to the shape of my skull or the glasses behind my ears.
So after reading up a bit more (mainly this review: http://www.head-fi.org/products/massdrop-x-hifiman-he350/reviews/15914) I did some modifications.
First I tried to replace the earpads with Brainwavz HM5 angled leather pleather. Unfortunately I had to break the outer ring of the ear pad attachment rings to even get them on. They are a very thight fit for the headphones. They tuned the sound signature somewhat towards the low end and filtered out some of the sparkle at the high end, but still id did not feel right in terms of comfort. Long story short, do NOT get Brainwavz HM5's for HE-350's. They just dont really fit and also dont improve comfort.
However, after some fiddling around, I put the HM5 earpads on my Beyerdynamic DT770's and the DT770 stock earpads on the HE-350's. With this configuration (see image attached below) the HE-350's are 200% more comfortable. I can adjust the headband back 1 click from max on each side and the pads cover my ears completely. Also the clamping pressure is reduced since the DT770 earpads have a lower profile. But because they dont have fabric covers in the middle to seperate the driver housing from the ears, there is still enough room for my ears to slip in completely without touching the driver housing. Addidtionally my ears are now closer to the drivers boosting mids and lows while still preserving the very detailed highs.
Finally, I used Ballistol oil to lubricate the hinges allowing them to rotate more freely and adjust to my head and ears.
Regarding sound, breakin did not change the sound signature, but I feel like I got used to the highs and can now enjoy them even more. Especially percussion instruments have much more detail in how you can actually distinguish individual beats from each other. When there are 4 recurring beats in a row, you would usually hear them as the same beat played 4 times again and agian. With the HE-350's I can actually hear that the first beat might have more energy, the second one is slightly weaker, on the third the drummer slightly messed up producing less ring and so on. To be fair, I dont know much about music production and instruments, nor the english vocabulary to describe them. I just want to get across how much detail there is in the highs that you just dont get with other headphones.
Nuff said, for 99 bucks and with some mods, brilliant.
HM5 Leather DO fit. Not a pretty fit and it requires a LOT of streching, but it does fit. My rings didn't even break, but I have some micro-fissures in the leather, but that's not a huge deal.
But now I know how some virgins must feel, lel.
How did you get your dt770 pads to fit? Did you cut the ear pad rings? I compared my spare dt990 pads and the rings seem way too big to fit in.
I broke the earpad rings earlier when mounting the HM5 earpads. But compared to those, the DT pads went on rather smoothly without any stretching or bending. They should also easily fit without cutting or breaking the rings. Of course you should take the rings off the headphones before mounting the earpads to them.
for those of you who want a more comfortable leather earpad that seals, increases the solidity of the base, and may reduce the fatigue that many complain of because of the distinctively clear highs, and clamping force......try the leather pads made for the HiFiMan headphones on their website. They have the same 4 point clips that is used on all but the high end earphones. I know they work because I had a set on hand for my HE-500's.
Re: HiFiMan HE350 & Concerns about Overall Quality of Other Drops
Poor quality build of connection bracket. The 2 legs of the Y bracket connecting the left side ear speaker to the head band have broken.
These headphone have never been dropped and broke as I was taking them off my head!!!!!
I see that other customer's have had the same issue in the past and was hoping that flaw had been corrected prior to my purchase.
Additionally, I have participated in numerous Drops with number of items from Massdrop still out for delivery.
However, I am now becomming very concerned as to the OVERALL QUALITY of the products being offered in each drop. I EXPECT the quality of the Massdrop items to be IMPROVED, BETTER or IDENTICAL to the original Manufacturers product. I am starting to get the feeling that MassDrop is only selling products that are old inventory, Quality Control & Inspection Rejections or Open Box Returns!!!!!
To Date I have received 4 items purchased and 3 of the 4 were defective upon arrival or shortly after unboxing and with limited use.
- Qty. (3) HiFiman Bolt In-Ear Monitors - 2 of 3 not working properly and have static or mic problems. No ticket submitted, but will be forth comming
- Qty. (3) Klymat Top Down Pillow - Stitching of seams on 2 of the 3 units is too close to fabric edge and is pulling apart. There is a hole into the down compartment of 1 pillow. Ticket has been submitted, Waiting for reply.
I just had the same problem with my headphones. I have taken care of them well was simply putting them on yesterday and the Y broke!