Neumann NDH20 - Balanced Mod & Pad Swap Thread

So. I love these things. I don’t want them to change at all… EXCEPT imma change them

So first thing is pads. I tried approx 1 set of pads. The Brainwavz Cooling Gel pads that were just released. They obv FEEL better and block 80% as well as the stock but the issue is the air volume inside the pads and distance change from earhole to driver is messing with the 100% perfect sound and dropping it to like… 80%. Still heads and shoulders above most other closed-backs but not the world enders I want.

ALSO since the pads use that Beyer-dynamic TINY lip to stay in place I can’t seat the pads properly and they are currently stretched over the whole cup. Which is slippery and doesn’t hold it. So I may add some of that Felt Blackout tape around the edge of the cup to grip the pad lips… Giggidy

Going BALANCED is happening because I need to run these portable and more power is needed. Plus QES Reference on them FFFFF… So I need to choose going a 4-pole on the right cup like it is… Reversing the wiring so the wire is Left cup. Or Drilling the left cup and using dual 2.5 or 3.5mm inputs. That way I can use my Ursine Modular cables with it.

I will use this thread to post my videos and updates on how that is going… Chime in on your thoughts/ suggestions if you like. I want to hear them.


Not sure how closely related they are inside but found this tear down of the Sennie version.

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Please take a picture of the insides or record your modding processs if you can. It would be interesting to see what goes on inside for sure.

I plan on it. So no problem

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Going BALANCED is happening because I need to run these portable and more power is needed.

Is the Monoprice THX AAA Portable not powerful enough to drive them?

It powers them loudly without going past 0db

I am using the THX for my sound demo’s and I run at 0.0db from the 100% AUX output on the ZOOM recorder. Using a digital source would probably make it work better but I need to run them balanced just to know… .ya know?

I am looking forwards to the video, but part of me is dreading it. I can imagine it now. It is going to be the best headphone ever. The worst part is I going to want one and be unable to get a hold of one. :slight_smile:

I just want a cable that isn’t 50 feet long and self coils no matter what technique you use to make it straight. Weighted the two ends and hung it over my door frame for an entire week and still coils like a bitch.

Bro your ears must be DESTROYED. I’m using the THX Portable and the NDH20 at -10 dB and that’s loud for me.

The output of the ZOOM recorder is always low. I use 0.0db on the Ether C Flows as well. If I use Digital input on the Monoprice I don’t get anywhere close to 0

That makes more sense. Do you think the THX portable has enough power for the NDH20’s? It seems like it doesn’t quite get there for me in comparison to the darkvoice and EL Stack

It should. I have run them portable with lesser amps/daps

Any news on balanced ?

@ZeosPantera I have started dismantling my own pair and it appears that the best way to go balanced would be to have a duplicate pair. Then theoretically you could drill an identical hole in the left earcup, replace the black plastic inner cup with the right one from a different pair. Also steal the circuit board from the right side of the alternate pair. Then just disconnect the wires running from the right cup to the left cup In the original pair and wire the driver from the left cup to the new board that was previously the right cup from the spare pair. Then modify the internal plastic around 2.5mm jack and homemake a wire that terminates in dual 2.5mm but is long enough to reach the connector deep inside both earcups. That seems like it might work. The only problem is that you have to have another pair that you are willing to destroy or find a pair that someone else has already broken. The only other alternative to that option that I can think of is to contact Neumann directly and ask for parts to be sold to you. I doubt they would as they probably don’t sell their parts to the public for patent reasons. But you being who you are, you might be able to work out a deal with them. Let us know what you think.

I’m on Neumann/Sennheiser’s website and I might try ordering replacement parts instead of requesting spare parts. If I can just order a replacement earcup for a flat price, that might be worth it.

I am wondering why Neumann did not put in the option for balanced cables in the first place.

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Same, but since we’re here we might as well try to find a way to get balanced.

When it comes to headphones specifically targeted at studio monitoring very rarely they are balanced.

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@ZeosPantera Bruce at Sennheiser got back to me and it looks like it’s $130 for the right earcup. But I won’t go for it until someone with more expertise reassures me that it will work, I still have some doubts. Or I’ll just do some research.