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would these maybe sound better with a few modifications? like being broken in, removing the sticker on the driver for better bass, and getting different ear pads? i'm not a crazy audiophile but would like to get a higher end set of headphones for a better listening experience. any suggestions?
ear pads dont really help with the audio, just help with comfort, too much room you loose bass response. not enough room and the treble is overwhelming. its takes balance and equipment better then our ears. really with any of the hifiman products you dont need to/shouldnt mess with them. these arent a set of 45 dollar philips headphones or a set of sony h500's. these are researched and tested time and time again till they were right
change wire(Copper Lizt) and jack (Viablue ) for more bass and control the sibilant sound . I suggest usb nice damping factor amp to drive them.
I still think it's worth a try for people to try them at this price.
From the headphones on your list I've had K7XX, HD598, HD600, HD650, X2, and SHP9500. I've also had plenty of other headphones as well, and the only headphone I actually prefer over my HE-350 so far was the HD800, which is like 10x the price.
I think it really depends a lot on the person, especially when it comes to the highs. I really like the highs on the HE-350 and prefer it 100% of the time over my K7XX. I've swapped between the HE-350 and K7XX quite a few times when listening to music and playing games, and to me the HE-350 was just more enjoyable. I will say that I was an AKG fan too, considering I owned multiple Q701s at the time when I ordered my K7XX in the first place, and preferred the Q701 over both Sennheiser HD600 and HD650. At this point the only reason I still even have the K7XX is because I like how it looks, lol.