How to Replace Headphone Pads (Safely)

Replace Headphone Pads

How to Replace Headphone Pads

Many headsets and headphones have replaceable earpads. You will need to be able to safely replace worn-out pads and switch to custom ones.

There are many ways to replace headphone earpads. This guide will cover some of the most common methods to replace headphones earpads, but it is recommended that you consult the manufacturer’s website or manual to learn the exact procedure for your headphones.

You should ensure that the replacement earpads you purchase are compatible with your headphones. If the earpads do not list compatible headphones, you can check the dimensions of the earpads to compare them with your headphones.

When should you replace your headphone ear pads?

You don’t have to replace your headphones if you see signs of damage to the earpads. You can extend the lifespan of your perfectly functional headphones by simply replacing them. When is it the right time? These are just a few examples of situations when it might be time to get new pads.

Deterioration and Foul Smell

Due to the porous nature foam headphone pads it is normal for them absorb sweat, oils and dirt over time. The ear cushions can become soiled and unusable from the constant buildup of moisture.


While the earpad covers may look perfect, the foam may have lost some of its original shape. They may not be as comfortable or provide the same seal as new. A poor seal can cause a loss in sound quality, and it is advisable to replace your headphone earpads.

Material Cracking

Cracking in the material covering the foam pads is the most common problem with earpads. This is evident when the material texture becomes rougher. Soon cracks and tears will appear, exposing the foam beneath. The headphones will no longer be comfortable to wear.

How to replace headphones pads

It’s not as difficult as you might think. The entire process can be completed in minutes and is very simple.

While some models of headphone may have specific steps to replace their headphone pads we’ve covered all possible options for all types.  Get your tools ready.

  • Ersatz Pads
  • Earpad Tape
  • Prying tool
  • Old Toothbrush

It is important to have everything you need before you start the headphone pad replacement process (or any other project).

  1. Replacement Pads

You will first need a pair of new replacement headphones.

  1. Earpad Tape

To secure the replacement pads, you will need earpad tapes. Earpad tapes are usually supplied with a pair of replacement pads. However, if not, you can always purchase a new pair.

  1. Prying tool

You can use any tool to remove or pry the headphones’ pads. A professional prying instrument can be purchased at any tech shop. You can save money by using a dull butter knife or a unused plastic card. You can use anything to separate the headphones from the headphone pads.

  1. Old Toothbrush

To clean the glue residue and dust left behind by the headphone pads, you can use an old toothbrush or any other bristle brush.

Take out old headphone cushions from your headset

It is important to understand that the attachments of the headphones’ headphone pads can vary depending on their model.

Some pads can be removed easily, while others need to be removed with a few screws. Each scenario has been carefully described. Before you proceed with any particular method, make sure to know how your headphones are attached.

Method 1 – For easily removable pads

This is the simplest method, but it only works for headphones that have not been attached with glue or any other adhesives.

  1. Use your fingers or a plier to gently pull off a small area around the outer edge. This is done to verify that there is no adhesive.
  2. Once you are certain there is no glue, keep working on the remaining headphone pads until the driver is completely removed.
  3. You can do the same for the other side.

Method 2: For Glued Headphone Pads

Beats and other brands use adhesive or glue to attach the pads to the drivers of their headphones.

  1. Use the prying instrument to gently insert it between the earpad and the speaker housing.
  2. Begin by removing a small portion of the headphone pad. Next, work your way through the entire pad until you are satisfied.
  3. Use an old toothbrush to gently scrub the driver of the headphones. Follow it up with a dampened cloth or pad of alcohol to remove any adhesive residue.
  4. You can do the same for the other side.

Method 3: For ‘Non-Removable’ Headphone Pads

Some headphone models like the Koss KPH30i make it nearly impossible to remove the earpads without prying open the whole headphone driver housing. This method takes a bit more effort and skill.  It’s important that you take your time when fitting your new headphones pads.

Removable Pads

  1. Place one side of the cloth/material from the new pad in the plastic lip or groove on the headset.
  2. Once you have secured a portion of your cloth within the lip, move on to the next step: slide the ring of cloth in the groove with your fingers.
  3. To ensure a snug fit, rotate the earpad slightly to hold the entire cloth in place.

For Glued Headphone Pads

Sometimes the earpad tape has been applied to the back of the replacement headphones pads. Sometimes, you will have to apply it yourself.

  1. The Earpad Tape should be applied to each headphone pad. Make sure the tape is properly placed by ensuring that the holes of each pad are exactly aligned with the pads’ frames.
  2. After the tape is properly adhered to the pad remove the paper covering from the tape’s backside. You can use a small flat edge screwdriver to remove the paper if you have trouble peeling it off.
  3. Before attaching the headset to the earpad, ensure that it is properly orientated. Before attaching the earpad to the headset, ensure that the seam is facing towards the charging port/cable.
  4. Hold the headset in place for a few seconds until it is securely attached.

Tips for How to Care for Your Headphone Pads

You can prolong the life of your headphones by properly caring for them. This will save you money and help you avoid having to buy new pads. Here are some tips to take care of your headset and headphone cushions.

  • Clean at minimum once per week

Memory foam and other headphone pad materials are porous and can absorb sweat and oils.  It is a good idea to clean your headphones at least once per week using a dampened soapy cloth. Cleaning your headphones will not only prevent them from rotting but also promote good hygiene by reducing the growth of bacteria.

  • Wipe after every use

Wiping your headset after each use will prevent oil and sweat from building up and causing damage to the headphone pads. To remove any moisture from your headphones, simply wipe the inside of your shirt.

  • At least once or twice per year

This tip is only applicable to headphone pads with a protein leather coating. You can protect your headphone pad from becoming moldy and locking in moisture by dampening a cloth with leather conditioner.

  • Store properly

Your headphones can be exposed to light and air which can accelerate the process of headphone pad degrading. Also, it is much easier to collect dirt and dust if your headphones are fully exposed than if you keep them in a case.  When you aren’t using them, it is safer to keep them in a bag.

  • Avoid moisture by using Silica Gel Packets

Silica gel packets are a great way to keep headphones dry. These tiny sachets can be found in almost all electronic stores and absorb moisture from the immediate environment.  You won’t have any problems with your headphones smelling bad if you remove moisture.

  • Keep your ears clear

You must not only keep your headset and headphone pads clean but also ensure that your ears are clean. You can avoid ear wax and dirt from causing damage to your headphone pads by keeping them clean.

Replace Headphone Pads: Conclusion

It is amazing to think how many headphones that were perfectly functional have been tossed in the garbage because their earpads are worn out. You can also imagine how much money you could have saved by getting the pads replaced by a professional.

You now have the skills and knowledge to complete the task yourself, while saving a few dollars. Another win-win situation for the customer.

Replace Headphone Pads: FAQ’s

How to Locate the Best Headphone Replacement

There are many sizes and shapes of headphones. It is important to replace your cushion with a pair of earpads that fit perfectly.  It is best to use the exact pads the manufacturer uses for your headset model to ensure perfect fit. Look up the model number of your headset and search for compatible replacement earpads.

If your manufacturer does not provide replacement pads, or if you are looking for pads that have a different feel and a lower price, then shopping online for replacement pads for headphone pads should be done.

The headset’s appearance and performance are affected by the replacement of its headphone pads. This is what you can expect when replacing your headphone pads.

Do Headphone Pads Effect Sound Quality?

Different headphone pads can have an impact on the distance between your ears and the driver. This can have a significant impact on the overall sound quality of the headphones and their sound stage size.

Each headphone pad material is unique, as we have already mentioned. If you replace your original headphone pad with a different material, don’t be surprised that the headset may sound a bit strange.

Do Headphone Pads Effect Sound Comfort?

When replacing your headphone pad, one of the most obvious considerations is the difference between the comfort and ear breathing of different materials. While some materials are more comfortable than others, they may also offer better breathability.