Shipibo Waira Headphones

Friends, I took a chance and bought Shipibo’s custom cans, the Waira without any reviews etc. and honestly I really love them… They are like a really beautifully hand crafted and beautiful sounding set of walnut grados with slightly less sharpness (still very resolving) but all of the energy and a lively natural feel which I loved in my Hemps…

These are technically not actually modded Grados they use their own fully custom drivers by symphones plus all of their own shipibo parts (including shipibo yokes, pads, headband, and walnut cups with removable cable)

To my ears these are kindof like Grados but a touch more laid back (like a grado x driver but a tiny bit less sharp but still very energetic and natural sounding) and with nice and airy open soundstage… A quite resolving and punchy and lively sound. They are really lightweight like grados but much more comfortable, and very easy to drive, I have gotten some amazing immersive sound on these while just walking around the house playing them off my phone with an apple dongle… And a nice removable cable! I think these will replace my hemps as my new daily driver…


These look amazingly comfortable.


Yeah they are amazingly comfortable! They are really light like Grados, except with a soft cushion headband, nicely machined yokes and comfy pads… And a nice removable soft fabric woven cable that doesnt have any of the stiffness, kinkiness or telegraphing sounds of the rough Grado cable… Its like these guys solved all of the issues with Grados and leveled up the build quality… Parts dont feel cheap at all - the yokes feel much higher quality and milled aluminum and have these little screws that you can tighten so the cups can rotate as little or much as you want…


Some Polish guy appropriating Shipibo (a large and active Peruvian indigenous group with whom I have worked) culture in his name and branding with seemingly no involvement or efforts for their community is of extremely poor taste. I hope nobody else does business with this guy and his rotten branding.

Hey bro, how do you know if he has done work with them or not?

Still wouldn’t make it right

Don’t want to debate about cultural appropriation here… this is an audio equipment forum… but doing some digging, it seems like the name probably was inspired by the idea of “visual music”, and cymatic geometries that are found in nature, a concept from shipibo textiles and songs… So there is a connection to audio… the idea of sound in nature and the design patterns of energy and geometries they generate that is part of the shipibo culture.

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Yeah it’s fine to be inspired I guess but straight up taking their name is way over the line. What if the company took off and took over the SEO. That could materially impact an already marginalized group by affecting grant access. In any case it’s a really scummy move in my book and I hope he gets no business.

Cheers I respect your opinion, but I would love to see these guys become that successful, their product is honestly pretty amazing, they look and sound beautiful and are so well designed and carefully crafted and comfortable I cannot stop listening to them :sweat_smile:

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What do you think of the pads? I bought them for my Grado’s and wasn’t impressed. They were better when I crushed them down a bit, but still too far from the drivers.

They start out about the same distance from the driver as my Beautiful Audio pads, but the BA pads compress nicely. I find these so thick that I couldn’t get quite close enough.

But these headphones are obviously built with these pads in mind. Curious to hear your feedback. Do you have any Grado pads to try out with them?

I havent tried changing up pads, but I find the Shipibo pads pretty comfortable, the foam feels okay, I think with this soft padded headband with memory foam it feels like a snug fit on my head, theres not a ton of clamp force but enough that I have a nice snug fit on my head, this headband also has spring steel but I found that they have already pre- shaped the steel to be a nice squarish shape to fit properly out of the box… With my Hemps and GW100 I had to shape the spring steel a bit

I have the small hybrid beautiful audio pads on my Hemp (I replaced the yokes on my hemp with shipibo, but not the band)… Also have the beautiful audio hybrid pads on my gw100… Will try pad swapping a bit later… Other pad I have is knockoff G cushions, any other pads you really like on your Grados?

This Shipibo headband is definitely way more comfy than the stock grado leather one on the hemp which gives me a slight hotspot at top, that Hemp band doesnt bother me too much, I still find them okay for extended listening but theres no padding at all…

I only use my BA pads. I have knock-off G’s, but don’t care for them at all. And I hate my stock L-pads (from GH2’s).
I decided that I wanted to try the Shipibo pads to see what they offered.
I recently picked up some Hemps and they come with the F-pads. It puts the drivers Right on your ears. With the BA pads I found them very close to the GH2 sound that I am used to.

I am still tempted to try the actual Grado G-Cush pads.

Okay so the BA pads I have on my hemps are the smalls, the size that came on this Waira is bigger, I am guessing probably similar to the large size from Beautiful audio

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The foam is starkly different, not sure if this is unique to what they did on my Waira but its definitely a memory foam inside, pad is a bit deeper than the BA pad but the memory foam compresses nicely and feels quite soft on the Shipibo. Not sure if thats the same foam they use on standard Shipibo pads.

The Beautiful Audio pad is comfortable for me and compresses nicely I like the hybrid material - the perforated leather outside looks nice and that Merino fabric interior feels really soft, the foam
is not actually memory foam its some other foam type that pops right back out when you take it off…

Trying them both on, I actually find the Beautiful Audio pads a bit more stiff, but maybe thats because that type of foam needs to break in… Memory foam I think just compresses without alot of break in?

Interesting and cool little detail on these Wairas, the grille perforations are a little bigger round perfs which makes it a little more transparent than on hemps and GW100, and you can look right into the chamber… Not sure if you can see on this photo but there is this little shiney reflective “coin” inside with the Shipibo logo printed on it… I was wondering what that logo was about but apparently it is related to tuning they did to the custom Symphones driver…


I find quite the opposite and my foams are brand new. My BA pads are about three years old and I recently contacted the builder and ordered some new foams since the originals had flattened out. He sent me a small box of different types of foams. I ended up choosing a stiffer one and it is perfect for me. I will attach a pic. Have you tried the BA’s on your new toy?

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Interesting, what material and size pads did you get from beautiful audio? My BA pads only came with the one extra white foam

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Okay I tried swapping the BA pads to the Waira…

The larger shipibo pads fit better for me on the Waira, feels and sounds just right, the soundstage feels wider, and they take a little bit off the treble and have a bit more bass. They feel softer I think due to the material and larger size

The small hybrid beautiful audio pads, I find a bit narrower sound stage and a little hotter on the highs, not by much, they do feel a little stiffer to me, actually opening them up it is the white foam but it feels like maybe the stiffness is I think due also to the leather outer seam being stiffer and the outer radius of the pad being narrower on the small pad so it has a narrower cone… Its not bad, still comfortable

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Same with mine. But after three years mine flattened out and I contacted him to buy replacements and he sent that box. I will attach another pic. In this one the crushed yellow pads are my whites after three years of heavy use. :grin:

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