When doing live sound my headphones of choice have long been the Beyerdynamic DT770s. These closed-back built-like-a-tank cans have a brutally honest sound that hides nothing and flatters nobody. If there a problem, you’ll hear it on these! The earcups are big and comfy and the headband pressure is just perfect for all-day wear and the constant on-off convenience that live sound engineers require. And these cans are built to LAST – my first pair is now well over ten years old and has shown only cosmetic wear and tear – the drivers have been rock solid, as have all the connections and internal wiring. These headphones are a great example of old-world craftsmanship and are very rare in today’s world of throw-away plastic electronics. In keeping with this they are designed to be fully serviceable, with all parts able to be replaced as they wear out. My 770s have gone through two pairs of earpads and one headband pad in their long life.
Replacing the earpads is a relatively straight forward process and Beyer provide comprehensive instructions with every set of replacement pads. The pads themselves are thick velour with a perforated vinyl backing and are available in either the original silver or stealth black.
The replacement process, in summary:
Step 1: Remove old earpads by pulling them off the earcups.
Step 2: Remove the clamping ring that secures the foam covering the white membrane over the drivers. This foam perishes with age and will eventually disintegrate. The clamping ring itself is removed by inserting a flat, blunt tool into one of the recesses around its circumference and gently prying it off. Remove any loose pieces of foam with a hand blower or a soft brush – do not use compressed air because of the delicate driver units!
Step 3: Install new foam and replace clamping ring – press into place until it clicks into place.
Step 4: The trickiest bit – install new earpads. They have a vinyl lip around the outside that slips over the outside flange of the earcups. However the sizing of the earcups makes it very tricky to fit them – Beyer recommend using a hairdryer to heat up the vinyl to the point where it softens and this is really the secret to getting this done without much struggle and swearing. DO NOT use a heatgun – the vinyl only needs to be slightly warmer than room temperature for it to become pliable – any hotter and it will very likely melt into a horrible mess.
Step 5: Enjoy new-feeling headphones!