Hi all! I own this great pair of AKG Q701 headphones and like many other owners of this fantastic pair of cans, I am not fond of the bumps on the original leather headband. Here, I will guide you through the steps of making and installing a genuine leather headband.
Here are the required tools:
- Scissors (preferably sharp and heavy-duty ones)
- Pliers (medium or small sized. Large ones will get in the way)
- Small wrench (optional if you got the pliers)
- Utility knife
- Leather hole puncher along with mallet/hammer (mine cuts holes with 1/8 inch diameter)
And the parts:
- Strip of leather. I didn't want to sew leather together like the original band, so I got thick pieces of scrap leather from Michael's ($12 per bag full of scrap pieces). You'll want to make sure that the strip is at least 9 inches long and 3 inches wide to allow some room for errors. You can extend the width at your discretion, but the length should not be extended in order for the headband to fit. Because I didn't want to sew a top and bottom piece together, I simply used a piece that was very hard and about 1/8 inch in thickness. You can use thinner pieces if you want to sew them together and get them to look nice.
- Small box of nuts and bolts. Mine is a box from Home Depot that are 3/16 inch in diameter (slightly larger than 1/8 inch, but it works) and 1/2 inch long (don't go any shorter or it won't work). They're labeled "Stove Bolts."
- Four washer rings. I got lucky and bought ones that are exactly 3/4 inch in diameter, which fits the plastic parts of the headband perfectly. Make sure the hole isn't too large. You'll use two washers for each side of the band.
- Two round-ended nuts with holes 3/16 inch in diameter if you want the outside of your headband to look nice. I didn't use these.
Well, let's get to it, lads!
Step 1: Step 1: Uninstalling Your Current Headband (BE CAREFUL HERE)
1. Use utility knife to pry off the Left and Right indicator plates by sliding the blade under the pins. They will snap off but you won't need them in the future so it's ok to break them.
2. After removing the plates, you should now be faced with a rivet. This can be removed if you use your pliers and pinch the top of the rivet in order to make the top smaller. You will have to apply a lot of force when pinching the rivets as they're made of metal and are very hard to remove. Keep changing the direction of pinching.
3. Once the rivet top looks small enough, you can pull on the headband beneath the plastic top and see if it can be pulled away. You may need to use excessive force. Don't worry, the top plastic is a resin of some kind. It is nearly impossible to break and most certainly will not crack.
4. Once you pull the rivets though, remove them from the original band.
And just like that, your old headband is off.
Step 2: Step 2: Make Sure the Bolt Screws Through
This one is easy. Just make sure that the bolt can be screwed through the remaining plastic pieces on the headphones that held the headband. It should fire through when you screw it in with the screwdriver. If not, consider drilling through the holes with a 1/8 inch bit just to enlarge the holes a little bit.
Step 3: Step 3: Making the New Headband
Ok here's where you get to make the real thing.
1. Trace the original headband onto the smooth side of the leather strip. BE SURE TO MARK WHERE THE HOLES ARE.
2. You can cut it out now with scissors if you want an identical replacement, or design your own pattern around the original size. You can see that I elongated the back side by an inch when I designed it.
3. Now we punch the holes. IMPORTANT: Punch the holes next to the original hole mark in the direction farther away from the center of the headband if you're using thick leather for the band. Refer to the last image in this step for a visual guide.
Step 4: Step 4: Stringing Up the New Headband
1. Put on one washer to the bolt before inserting it into the leather band and plastic retainers. Screw it in with screwdriver if necessary.
2. Put the other washer and the nut on the outside. screw in the nut with a small wrench.
Repeat the above two steps on the opposite side of the headphones.
3. Install outer rounded nuts if desired. I didn't.
Step 5: Aaaaaaand You're Done!
There you go! a new headband without bumps for better comfort.
Hope you enjoyed this Instructable/Mod. I've also made a band for the AKG K172 HD (similar to K240, K271, etc.) so if anyone wants a guide for that one, tell me so in the comments and I'll make it happen.