I purchased my Sony MDR-7509HD headphones in 2007. I love these cans- they’re comfortable and they sound great. However, the ear cups and headband are a bit lacking in quality and longevity. The thin filmy material is nice and soft when new, but eventually deteriorates. I have a couple pairs of Sony MDR-V6‘s and the same thing happens with those.
By 2013, these MDR-7509HD headphones were 6 years old and the ear pads were really falling apart, so I purchased a set of inexpensive replacements. They were way cheaper than the genuine Sony replacements. They didn’t fit as perfectly as the originals, but they worked well enough.
The headband was also getting increasingly ratty. So, I purchased a cheap replacement headband, only to realize that it would require rather serious surgery. It was obvious in hindsight that I would need to unsolder some of the tiny wires to install it. In the end, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, and I shelved the replacement, instead opting to wrap some elastic sports tape around the headband. Total hack!
So now, cue forward to the present- it’s time to replace the ear pads again, and maybe I can do something better than the kludgey sport tape headband wrap. I found this kit from Geekria that includes the ear pads, and a zippered neoprene pouch to wrap the headband without requiring surgery. Awesome idea!
The neoprene headband sleeve is ingenious, and fits like a glove. However, the tight fit does make it tricky to install. I found that if I tried to start it in place over the headband, the zipper tongue kept on slipping out of its socket. It was much easier to start down over the narrower headband adjustment slider, and then once the zipper was zipped a couple inches, pull the sleeve up onto the headband padding.
Finally, while stretching the sleeve into place and holding it with one hand, I was able to pull the zipper closed with my other hand.
Installing the ear pads was even more fidgety. Geekria provided a plastic spudger to assist with stretching the ear pad flap into the groove on the headphone earpiece. It probably took me 10 expletive-laden minutes to get the first one on there. Then the second one went a bit quicker.
Here at last are my newly restored headphones. The neoprene headband looks like it’ll last forever, but I expect I’ll have to replace the ear pads again every few years.