I ordered these pads directly from the Japanese company Yaxi (although they can also be purchased through Amazon for about the same price). I had discovered them when searching for something comfortable for my HD25 headphones (They are on-ear, in case you’re not familiar, and have a pretty tight camp. More on that later.) They shipped right away and arrived three weeks before they’re expected ETA (good job, Japan and US postal services!)
Unboxing and Installation:
They come well packaged in a cardboard shipping box with plenty of padding.
The picture shows contents I received from Japan. There are no instructions for installation but these can readily be found on our friend, the Internet.
Out of the box, you can see that these are thicker than the stock pads that come with the 58X and look similar to some of the Dekoni line.
These, however, are made with Alcantara for the face in contact with your skin and the interior. The outer shell is PU “leather.” Alcantara is the material used for seating in Toyota vehicles and is a felt-like material but more durable. The pads come with nicely labeled left and right foam inserts to replace those that come stock. They are very soft and the foam is nice and thick. It was pretty quick work to replace the stock pads with these.
My Jubilee 58X have the “felt mod” but without the hole punch. I like the sound a lot and I recently lent them to my brother-in-law, a musician and videographer out of New Orleans. He was “wowed” by the sound using a cheap DAC through a Bravo Audio amp, fed by my Macbook Pro, so I think the mod was successful.
For this test, though, I used my iPad Pro 2016 with the Apple USB “photo” adapter and my trusty Dragonfly Black. I played music from Apple Music, my usual source. I wanted to see how these would sound with a “minimalist” rig. (My goal with audio gear is to get the best possible sound from the least expensive equipment I can find, always searching for the elusive perfect price-to-performance ratio.)
I listened to a couple of different tracks with the stock pads. First was some new jazz from Amina Figarova, an artist recommended to me by my brother-in-law. The title was “Come Escape with Me” from her album with the same title. This track has a variety of instruments and a range from deep bass through the mids into a few high notes. I then listened to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s immortal “Woodstock” from the “Deja Vu” album. These start off with the guitar lead-in and have the famous CSNY harmonies. I made these listenings as my base line and then swapped the pads.
My first impression is that the new pads are super comfortable even while wearing my glasses. This was my first concern and the reason for the replacements. My second impression is that the sound on these tracks sounded richer, but also darker. I’m not a bass-head so, although I liked the richer sound, it was too dark for me. Third impression was that the sound doesn’t lose any of the soundstage and maybe it was even wider than before.
If you can see in this picture,the foam inserts that come with the Yaxi pads are denser than the stock inserts. (I’m not familiar with the HD 600/650/6XX variants, so let me know if these inserts are more designed for these higher end models from Sennheiser.) I removed the pads and replaced the Yaxi inserts with the stock inserts and listened again.
This time the sound was more what I expected from the 58X in this set up. It was, in my opinion, still a wide sound, losing some of the darkness but retaining the deep bass. YMMV, of course.
If you’re looking for increased comfort for the 58X, and maybe the similar products in this line, I highly recommend them. They provide a noticeable improvement in sound stage and clarity, IMHO, but even if there were no changes, the comfort factor is enough for consideration. - J
P.S. The HD25 “Comfort Pads” sold by Yaxi were my first experience with this company. They are super comfortable and highly recommended for any of you with this model headphones. I’m thinking about ordering the Massdrop Porta Pro’s just to try out Yaxi’s replacement pads!