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Review - Yaxi Pads

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Also available on YouTube in Spanish: Acho Reviews YouTube 


It took awhile but I finally got there, I have now tried the magic that is Yaxi Pads with PortaPros and KSC75, or at least that is what I have been told for the past couple of years!

Before I get to talking about the Yaxi pads themselves, I want to point out that I have been using the Koss PortaPro for about 18 months and the KSC75 for about 4 months, both with their original pads until now. Both of these are favourites of mine, although I am biased towards the KSC75 due to its signature. However, I do use the PortaPro more as it is my default headset for calls and that means I use them daily and also listen to lots of music through them when I am on a break between calls.

So, to the Yaxi’s…



Presentation…

The pads arrive in a box that is large enough for all the sets of pads to sit individually without being stacked on top of one another or crushed in any way. They also include a bunch of extras like posters, flyers and stickers. Basically a bunch of stuff that I don’t need but it is always interesting to open a box and find this much candy.

In comparison to they way many items come packed, the “extra step” that Yaxi takes does stand out.



Build, aesthetics and comfort…

The first thing that jumps out at you is the difference in thickness between the stock pads (which are identical on both the PP and KSC) and the Yaxi version. In comparison to the stock option, the Yaxis are like bath sponge. 

The sponge used by Yaxi is also more dense and is of higher quality than that of the original pads. This adds to both the impression of quality and the overall comfort.

In fact, the comfort of these pads is excellent, especially on the PortaPro. As I have said many times before, the PortPro are the most comfortable headphones I own and have tried, the Yaxi pads add to this comfort. In the case of the KSC75, the improvement in comfort of the pads is also there, however, as the KSC75 are clip on, the extra thickness of the pads makes it more difficult to get them correctly seated on the ears. This can give the sensation of being too tight of a fit, even when bending the clips slightly to accommodate them. I would say that the extra comfort of the actual pads is conteracted by the reduction in space, so the comfort is not as much of an improvement on the KSC75 as on the PortPro.

One final thing to note regarding comfort is that the extra density and size of the foam does increase the heat produced when wearing them. It is not a huge amount but is certainly something I notice when wearing them for extended periods of time (multiple hours).

Finally, as far as aesthetics, apart from the pads looking like they are better quality, they are also available in multiple colours. This gives the PP and KSC a bit of personality, whether you like this or not, that is a totally personal decision.

Sound…

As always, sound is the important part of any change or upgrade, and there are changes to be noted. As I said in the opening lines, I have two sets of KSC75 (one stock and one with Yaxi’s) which allows me to go back and forth to notice differences. With the PortaPro it is a case of comparing to memory (although my memory of the PP is pretty good due to the amount of time I use them).



Let’s start with the PortaPro…

The overall sound signature of these headphones remains the same, so if you like the stock PP you will also like them with Yaxi pads (probably more than stock). What the Yaxi pads seem to do to the PortaPro is to take that sound signature and smooth it out.

In their stock form, the PP are a warm and smooth sounding headphone, in fact, they are verging on being a rather dark headphone. With the Yaxi pads, they remain just as warm but seem to be even smoother. I am not saying that there is less in the highs or anything like that, just that everything seems to flow better and be more coherent.

One thing that is noticed is a perceived increase in bass with the Yaxi’s, however it is not an increase that feels loose, it is an increase that also seems to improve control over the bass at the same time. They manage to increase the bass of the PP without these becoming any darker. There isn’t really any increase in the sub-bass that I can notice, it is more of a case of taking the mid to higher bass frequencies and making them tighter and more present.

It is also worth noting that the Yaxi pads do create a reduction in volume of the PortaPro, due to the extra density, meaning you will need to increase power to reach the same levels as before. This is not a huge problem as the PP are not hard to drive but if you are someone who likes to blast them at full volume from your phone, you will notice this.



Yaxi pads on the KSC75…

As I said, I have two sets of KSC75, which has allowed me to install Yaxi pads on one of them and be able to swap backwards and forwards to notice the differences. The only issue is that because the Yaxi pads are thicker, as noted in the “comfort” part, they are not as easy to place on your ears and it can be a bit of a pain to get them seated correctly.

As with the PortaPro, the reduction in volume is quite noticeable with the Yaxi’s. I have found myself turning up to nearly 50% of the Atom (on low gain) to reach the same level as I would normally get at around 30-35% with the stock pads.

To be honest, I don’t notice as much of a difference in the case of the KSC75 as I did with the PortPro, I think that it is due to the way the KSC are worn. The fact that they are clipped on and the extra thickness pushes them further away from the ears, meaning that it is more difficult to get them seated in exactly the correct position.

The bass increase is not quite as noticeable, even though there is a slight increase, it doesn’t really stand out and you have to look for it. When they are correctly placed it is definitely there and you can notice the increase when listening to songs such as “No Ordinary Love” by Sade. Again, it is not a huge increase in bass, it is just enough to balance it out with the rest  of the frequencies a little better than stock, making bass lines well defined and smooth.

Again, the main thing I notice is that the whole sound seems to smooth out a little and feels more coherent overall. I really like the stock sound signature of the KSC75 and they are most definitely my favourite option under 50€, in fact, they are probably my favourites until well into the 3 digit categories. The Yaxi pads just seem to make everything a little bit better, without really changing anything except for that slight increase in bass.



Conclusion…

The Yaxi pads are something that I have been told an infinite number of times that they are a great combination with the Koss PortaPro and KSC75, I can’t disagree. They certainly do give a little extra something to both of them.

When pad swapping on other headphones, I have experienced huge changes in sound, for good and for bad. In the case of the Yaxi+Koss combination, the changes are not huge, but they are just enough to add a little bit of bass definition and smoothness, without changing the overall sound signature of the headphones.

I have noticed them much more on the PortaPro than on the KSC75, in my opinion this is mainly due to the way they are worn more than the differences in drivers.

I am glad I did finally get around to trying them out and I will certainly be keeping them on both the PP and the KSC. 

Would I suggest someone going out and purchasing pads that are almost the price of the earphones themselves (in the case of the KSC75)? 

Yes, I really do feel that the extra little bit of flavour they add to an already great set of headphones is worth the cost of these pads. If you like either the PortaPro or KSC75 in their stock form, you will certainly enjoy the results of the Yaxi pads.

SenyorC