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Making the HD280s open?

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Jun 15, 2003
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
So my brother pulled the two earcups all the way apart, snapping the plastic headband in several places so I figure I need new headphones. Since I already know this, I started thinking about all the stuff you could do to them to possibly make them sound better, I know there's the blue tack method that helps absorb some of the reflected sound, and gives better sound in general, but I wanted something more drastic perhaps.

If I were to take the headphones apart, and pull out the backing to the headphone speakers so that they were effectively 'open air,' would it improve quality at all? Of course I'd have to drill holes, or completely remove the plastic casing over the speakers as well, leaving only enough for the headband to adhere to.

Are the speakers in the headphones designed specifically so that they work better closed? Will the sound quality degrade from this or will the fact that it's open throw off the balance acheived by the engineers, and ruin the quality?

I think I'll be buying some HD580s soon off of eBay, since they go for less than 150 most of the time, but I'm still curious about these cans until I get my new ones.


Jun 20, 2001
I wouldnt modify your phones. They were probably specifically designed to take into account the chamber. Removing it would likely change the frequency response and make the bass seem 'thin' as the enclosure would be much larger than before. And there would probably be other alterations to the frequency response as well.

And if the phones were designed to take into account the acoustical issues presented from being closed, adding any substance such as blue tack would change the response as well. Maybe for the better, but maybe not...

P.S. You'll really like the HD-580's if you get them :)