Discussion: Do/Can HP Stands ruin pads?

I stumbled across a reddit post about this as well and I am curious what this community thinks?

I’m using yoga blocks that I bought from Hart Audio online…liked the logo and something less generic…
However I have started to wonder if leaving my HP on the blocks is actually bad for them? Right now I have my TYGR 300 and HD Zeus on 2 blocks. The Zeus aren’t super clampy, but they are enough. I put them on a while ago and they didn’t sound as good as I remember…but then I was also using my Clear MG at the time…so not surprised.

Anyway, does anyone know if there is truth to this? As in - any supported factual information to back up the claim that stands can ruin pads depending on the kind of stand. If that is the case…then I suppose I’ll have to switch to just the hanging stand type (though admittingly don’t display near as nicely to me).

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Good question. But I have the same suspicion as you, which is why I only use this $16 headphone stand for all of my cans:

The only part of the headphone touching the stand is the headband. That lets the cups fall naturally, with no pressure on the pads. The stand is very stable and elegant in its minimalism, if I may say.

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Nice - I may check that out…some HP stands are just ridiculous in price…but what isn’t in this hobby :grinning:

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Passion for Sound used those headphone stands. So, I tried three of them. I like them a lot. These stands put my headphones higher from the desk which is a godsend with how low cables and connectors go with newer headphones these days. Definitely cant beat the price.

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I’ve adapted various “Banana Stands”, Lamp Stands and Towel Racks from the thrifts. Cushions or Wood Dowels have yielded usable stands that don’t impact the headbands or pads.

Yes, I’m cheap but those Amazon stands are mighty tempting.

Mark Gosdin

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True story of my Sennheiser HD 600: I’ve swapped the pads 3-4 times over the years. The pads don’t come close to touching when on a hanger, so 100% of the pad wear and compression happened through head clamp pressure plus natural decay. The pads always flatten with 1-2 years of heavy use but last indefinitely longer without regular use.

I don’t know of any published 6 to 24 month controlled test of pad compression, but every common type of padding is plainly known to flatten over time. To maximize pad life there’s no apparent need to collect additional data. Padding is an obvious wear item. It fails on chairs, beds, car seats, etc. etc. etc. Mattresses have 10-20 year warranties, and they always sag/hollow over time.

Durability follows from the construction material and usage pattern, so the lifespan impact of yoga block storage could vary greatly. There are many 100+ year old machines with metal springs that still work well. Some springs go soft or break, but others endure well. The soft padding on such devices typically hardened, flattened, or crumbled to dust a long, long, long time ago. Contemporary pad fillers such as memory foam also break down.

In sum, my experience indicates that Sennheiser pads do wear mostly as a function of pressure (versus simple time and materials decay). They would thereby logically flatten on yoga blocks too. Other brands and other fillers may last longer, but a block indeed simulates wear pressure while an air gap cannot.

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I agree with @generic about the HD 600/650/6XX pads wearing through pressure.

I’ve not done any tests, @skeeb23, and what follows is more from paranoia than actual experience, but my use of stands is determined by two main considerations:

1 the clamp force of the headphones: if the pads touch each other when at rest, I’ll avoid using an omega-shaped stand or a block; instead, I’ll opt for a stand that lets the cups fall naturally, as @pk500 notes. On a related note, I also worry about the long-term resilience of some headbands (such as the Focal ones) if they spend too much time with the cups being pushed outwards by the stand.

2 the surface area of the top of the stand: if the top of the stand is very narrow (see the first image below), I worry about too much pressure being exerted on a small section of the headband, which could deform or leave an indentation on the underside of the headband (this is an issue mainly for when it comes to the re-sale value of the headphones).

Again, this is something I’d be concerned about only with some headphones, like my Focal Clear. I prefer stands like this (although I’m loathe to spend as much as the Rooms Audio stands cost, with shipping to the US):

My preference is for this stand as it’s cheap and light and unobtrusive, although you need to make sure your headband is narrow enough to fit in it:

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Ah, maybe that’s where I first saw these and ordered them!

I really enjoy Lachlan’s reviews at Passion for Sound. I’m surprised he doesn’t have more subscribers. The dude is very thorough and very chill – the kind of guy I could drink beers with and talk music and audio for hours.

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No doubt on Sennheiser pads wearing due to pressure. The higher clamp force of Senns does more than just try to flatten your cheekbones – it presses pads hard, too.

I looked long and hard at the last example you posted, but some of my headbands were wider than that slot, so I went with the slotless, “shoehorn” design instead. It’s plenty stable and works very well in my office.

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This is exactly why I asked this community. Thank you everyone for many good points made. I guess the fact that I questioned my use case in the first place should have been my own indicator.

I ordered the stands you recommended @pk500 so special thank you to you. Hopefully now my pads will expand back out a bit on the Zeus that I have kept on a block for several months.

Funny though, the TYGR 300 I believe do not have the memory foal type pads as when I removed from the block they seemed just fine. It will all depend on the pad which is what I probably should have realized anyway.

That guy Z and all his foam stands for his HP collection…now makes me wonder what that has done to his collection. Oh and no, that is not why I got the yoga blocks. Simply saw them on Hart Audio as I was ordering some cables.

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Zeos places his headphones on both narrow and wide orientations of the yoga blocks. I have about thirty of my dust collection headphones that I don’t use often on those yoga blocks, but keep them in the narrow orientation. Placing them on the wide orientations seems like it would ruin the clamp force of the headbands and of course flatten the earpads. So I avoid placing them on in the wide orientation. Zeos tends to attempt to reduce clamp force on most all of his headphones. I try to retain clamp force.