[CO] headphone like the Hifiman Sundara?

Hey there, If you saw this earlier in headphones it’s cause I deleted it after I realized I posted it there instead of here in gaming audio. so I had the privilege to try the Hifiman Sundara recently and I found that I am absolutely in love with its sound performance. However, I have a huge issue as far as comfort is concerned with it as I guess perhaps my ears are to elongated or big and it causes a rubbing sensation over the top of my ear due to the ear cups design. I was wondering if there is anything like these out there that would perhaps be a better alternative for fixing that comfort or a way to just outright fix this issue with the Sundara itself. Personally I have never had this issue outside of one other headphone, hyperx orbit, where the pads rubbed across my ear like this it’s not a very pleasant feeling its more of an annoyance.Note: I am using it for both music AND gaming. I play competitive sure but I also listen to a ton of music, watch movies, watch videos with commentary, and play casual games like immersive rpgs. I tried the Sundara through another recommendation for an “all-rounder” and they blew me away but that comfort issue is irritating enough to cause me to rethink them. I even messaged hifiman about some form of larger pads or different design and they have none so I am at a loss here. Help and advice would be appreciated… pointers to other headphones and the like been searching for over an hour on the internet and forums and didn’t come up with much outside of people just wanting comparisons to Sennheiser’s 6-- series.

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I am not sure how ear pads will change the sound for the Sundara but that could be a place to start with . You can buy https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/earpad-mounting-rings.html as a easy way to mount them.

Since I liked the stock sound I never really tried pad rolling on them. Others may be able to pitch in more on that aspect.

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The higher up models have the elongated shape, if you can do it. I also LOVE the Sundaras.

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Hmmm that’s true. Higher end ones like the Ananda might work since they have elongated height. More the shape of ears
Altho there is a considerably large budget jump. But that’s probably the closest thing to a sundara

The issue I have with that is primarily on the price margin for the Anandas. Was hoping someone would have some sort of recommendation or idea as to a seperate headphone that wasn’t $300 more lol at the least somewhere near the same price bracket. I did read over on harmonicdyne helios that it’s being compared to the sundara but it isnt out yet to be tested to that theory plus i have a feeling id have the same issue with those earcups as people have said they are pretty shallow.

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I did see those and while I am all for changing ear pads the question I would have is what pads do these rings make compatible? Honestly, if there was a way to implement a more oval design i would probably buy this stuff in a heartbeat. However, the site just says its the rings that make it compatible with other of the HE brand from hifiman not including he1000 which has the ear shape as it’s only the round cups. The current cups sit pretty heavily over the top and behind the ear causing some pressure and discomfort over longer playtimes. It’s possible that a less shallow ear cup or one of a different fabric may work but I am unsure.

It’s a bit thinner and much less bassy (not that the Sundaras are bassy) of a sound, but the Koss 95x have large earcups and have the speed and clarity you might have liked from the Sundara. They go on sale for $400, only $50 more than the Sundara is normally. What other headphones have you used that you are comparing to the Sundara?

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So I came across a few posts that might be helpful in your search
This post here had some people using ZMF Ori and Universe as options

I also came across this thread

When some of the quarantine restrictions is lift a bit, I can probably swing by my niece and nephew and get my extra ZMF pads back from them to test for certain

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That would be great if you could test them and let me know! That guys says it increases clamping pressure. My biggest concern is really just the actual comfort, heat from different material, and the biggest concern is the change in the sound. which zmf did you happen to have?

I have the ZMF oval suede and protein, ori lambskin and suede , and universe suede proliferated. It just may not be quick response on when I may get them back. Since I am still working currently, last thing I need to do is get my immunocompromised in law sick

That wouldn’t be a good thing. Well, I do appreciate it if you would be able to check them out and let me know.

I did look into the koss however less bass then the sundara doesn’t sound very appealing when the sundara doesnt have a real heavy bass to begin with. Sundaras go on sale from $250 - $350 depending on if its an open box sale or not. I have tried the 400i I wasnt a fan due to very aggressive mids tonally I wasnt a big fan… sundara was a huge step up and offered alot more imaging and space to the sound. I tried the 58x which having both of them it feels like the 58x is similar but more of a degraded version as least imo sundara just does it better. The other planar though I tried was a Hyperx Orbit which is just a rebranded Audeze Mobius these sounded good but not as good as sundara since the mobius and orbit respectively didnt have that sound that an open back provides. no airyness, not enough staging and imaging, tones sounded a little to flat at times, only thing I enjoyed primarily on those was it was a neutral sound with a good bass… sundara is all around better. Honestly, I find the sundara to be on par and in some cases better than my dt990s it depends on what I am using it for so I am a little hard pressed to find an alternative. Dt990s are my current fav with sundara as a definite all rounder I would love to find an alternative or fix these headphones. Unlike the dt 990s where you have a recessed midline and raised highs and incredibly high treble. The Sundara sounds incredibly neutral while having strong colorations in its sound, there doesnt seem to be much in the way of recessed. good neutral bass neutral mids and neutral treble. The mids are like the dt990s in that they are a little on the thinner and lighter side which is something I found I prefer instead of over the top which is the issue I had with the 400i as they were far to pronounced for me. the bass while neutral I found a hell of alot deeper than I get with the dt 990. Thanks to the planar magnetic design though all of these sounds are quick and it emphasizes it more so on its bass as the beats hit quickly at the same time they are deep with a neutral sound. I have been hard pressed to find better as Honestly, this is what I was looking for in an all rounder. While I do have a dt 880 being shipped to me to audition as well, I have some doubts that will stand up to the Sundara despite both being of a neutral class but I will wait and see on that. For the time being I would like to see if theres ways to fix the Sundara or if theres a close alternative

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Theres also the Verum ones which are warm. But they dont really sound the same. just same price range. theres also the Andover pm-50 that had a discount somewhere. You can get the hifiman edition XX used for about 400$ they are warm cans. The sundara are hard to beat and if you cant change the pads to something better you’ll have to do research to find out how big the ear holes are for the headphones you decide to get.

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Will second the PM-50s. I think it fixes a bit of the sundaras coloration issues. Becomes much warmer and gains better punch and gets a much more even frequency response. I really think they’re a good sidegrade to the Sundaras. They’ve replaced the sundaras for almost everything, as the sound signature is more my style.

Have heard some ugly things regarding the verum ones. I would have to really consider price tags on the xx or pm 50s it’d have to go quite a bit lower for me to consider them more seeing how the sundara really drops in price tag. @Pr3ssAltF4 the sundara has a neutral sound signature at the same time has alot of imaging and staging to it is the pm50 the same way? Outside of a warmer sound what is really different to this headphone? I looked it up and its $500 while sundara is right now $350 and $250 in an open box sales thats hefty price difference there. By chance does the pm50 go on sale like this as well? Honestly, I am having trouble even finding pages that sell this product.

PM-50 has same or slightly better soundstage. Separation is on par, but the warmth makes it feel a tiny bit worse on more muddled tracks.

PM-50 is, if anything, more neutral than the sundaras. Freq response is pretty dead even. However, they’re anything but lifeless. Neutral + warm + a bit of punch + good extension in treble and bass make them fun to listen with.

Open box sundara might not be the best idea.

Afaik there are no qc issues with the pm-50s. Their build is also much more solid / durable / luxurious. I would say the only caveat is the pads sent with the cans. They are also easier to drive and more portable. They are much more of an on-ear can than around ear. If you can’t deal with that I would stay away. However, I don’t find myself fatigued by the pads at all pretty much.

They’re very new cans. PM-50s are only sold through Andover Audio’s website. You missed the PM-50’s at $400 sale by 2 days.

I currently make use of the DT 990s as a go to headphone and was trying to find an all rounder… I did try the 58x. both ear cups are fine and both go completely around my ears without discomfort -just read that edit… yeah that makes me kinda mad actually lol- I know all about the qc issues with hifiman products. I hate buying cans without an audition though I mean I guess I can wait till later in the year to see if they hit a proper sale on them as they are a side grade they do look really nice design wise. I did hear the verum is supposedly really good its just I also heard a ton of complaints so it makes me iffy considering I also see no way to audition those myself without complications. You mentioned the caveat is the pads? What’s wrong with those can they have a replacement to a better pad or something then?

I literally missed it by hours…I was pissed… still contemplating… might be nice to go with my 4xx, 58x and hawks

Refer to this thread for in-depth impressions.

I love my sundaras, but I like my PM-50s better. I’m also quite certain that they’ll last a hell of a lot longer. I’m also not afraid to walk around with the PM-50s or go outside with them.

Pads are pretty much on-ear. Read the reviews for more info. It fits more like an MDR 7506 than a DT 990. However, pads are filled with angel feathers or some shit, so it’s not uncomfortable. Just have to get used to it. Would not count it as a negative imo.

Can confirm they’re even more sexy in person lol.

Verum is supposed to sound fantastic. Build quality can be iffy. Apparently moreso on both ends than the sundara.

Also, PMs ship fast in the US. The warranty and the return policy are also good. You basically get a free 15 day trial, which is more than enough time to burn them in.

I got my sundaras through Headphones.com solely for the return policy. I still have everything I’d need to send them back in if necessary. If you don’t have the 365 day return I’d steer clear (even though the risk is low).

Oof. I would say still worth at $500.