Headphone Ear Pads Renovation





This is my first Instructables.

The purpose of this guide is to show how to renovate headphone ear pads. The headphones featured are a pair of Sony MDR-V500DJ. After being bought around 2005, the ear pads have seen better days. Of course, you can always buy a new pair of pads or even a new pair of headphones, but that's why I decided to renovate the worn pads. For almost nothing.

After years of use, the pads tend to lose their comfort, so wearing them became difficult, specially after a few hours. So first I used cotton balls to line the driver cover and the pads themselves. It worked nice, but it simply looked horrible.

So, why not use something else, cheap but functional to restore comfort?

Step 1: Ear Pad Removal

Simple process, just pull the edges of the pads outwards -carefully-, so as not to tear them.

These MDR-V500 have a white fiber/paper "filter" that cover the holes, the drivers are just behind. Removing these paper doughnuts improves the sound in a huge way.

Bass improves, as they are considered weak in that department.

Anyways, as you can see, the pads have begun peeling.

Step 2: Cutting the Sponges

So, while walking by a beauty supply store, I saw make-up sponges (make-up blender sponges, I think). I thought they looked big enough to cover the driver plate. A few questions and a couple dollars later, I was walking home to begin the ear pad comfort restoration.

Be carefull when cutting the mid-section.

Looks like they were made for each other!

The selection of the sponges was easy, they are extremely soft, so they should provide a more comfortable experience.

Step 3: Fitting the Sponges - Final Steps

We're almost done.

So the only thing left to do is:

  • Re-install the original ear pads
  • Fit the newly cut sponge doughnuts
  • Re-install the fabric discs

To re-install the fabric discs underneath the sponges, use a ball point pen.

That should be it!

After using the headphones with the restored ear pads, my ears don't hurt like before the mod was done. It could look better of course, by painting the sponges dark gray or black, but the contrast of red against black kind of looks appealing.

Step 4: Epilogue

What to do with the remaining bits of sponge?

Paint happy faces on them.

I found the picture with the paper donuts! Those are the ones that restrict the quality of the sound, so to get better bass response from these ear phones, just remove them!



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    3 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    If the outer black plasticky coating starts to fail, the sponge/pads allow air to leak, and the headphones no longer seal properly. Result: Noise gets in and out, and bass suffers.

    I have a pair of Sony CD250s that I re-padded. Complete new pad construction. Foam donuts, like yours, but I over-wrapped them with two layers of black plastic from a bin bag, for a seal. Then constructed a new fabric sock to go over the lot, from the ankle end of a pair of socks :) A bit of creative stitching later, and done. They've outlasted the actual replacement Sony pads I bought the first time.

    The headphones are great, but the replacement pads are over-priced flimsy tat :(

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Hey MikB, I haven't experienced that buzz of bits and pieces falling into those holes, but I'll be sure to check - though I don't think any.

    The mod about removing those paper/fiber donuts to improve sound quality came from here:



    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I meant to say: The paper layer is there for a purpose. It stops bits getting into the drivers of the speakers. Before I totally redid mine, I stripped this papery layer, cleaned the driver, and replaced with speaker fabric. Simply because some bits had got into one driver and made them buzz for certain bass notes!