Sony MDR-7506 headphones earpad replacement

The Sony MDR-7506 headphones have long been a stage and studio standard, despite having been around since 1991. One of the main issues of the stock headphones is the vinyl earpads, which look and feel cheap and wear out extremely quickly, developing cracks and flaking away. They are also very hot in use, especially in warmer climates such as where I am.

In this video I show how to replace the stock earpads with an aftermarket set of velour pads that I got off Amazon. Fortunately these are widely available and very affordable. The process is also relatively straightforward, requiring no tools apart from a bit of patience. The results really do transform these headphones in my opinion – they don’t sound any better but boy are they more comfortable!

Shortly after posting this video I got a comment asking if I had measured the headphones before and after the new pads were installed, and whether I was concerned about changes in the high frequency resonance of the units as well as the sealing of the earcups around the ear and hence the bass response. My response was, frankly, no 🙂  

In my opinion the 7506s are utility headphones, pure and simple – I find that they have too much of a scooped sound (attenuated mids, exaggerated lows and highs) to be used to make critical mix or EQ decisions, and I thus use them simply as a tool to check for the presence of audio (such as when operating a video camera), as well as for troubleshooting. For this they work extremely well, and their folding design makes them easy to transport. Unfortunately once they pads deteriorated I stopped using them because they were uncomfortable to wear and the flaking vinyl would get everywhere and look quite unprofessional. These new earpads have effectively resurrected these cans for me!

So what headphones DO I use when accuracy is paramount? To this day I still rely on my Beyer DT-250s for that role, or occasionally my DT-770s, although I find that the latter are not quite as clinical sounding as the 250s, and can occasionally render a mix bass-light due to their increased low-end.

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