You read a lot about the technical aspects of headphones. In our blog, we’ve covered everything from what a dynamic driver really is to explaining headphone sensitivity and impedance. It almost seems too simple to talk about headphone foam pads.
Really, it’s an area you need to think about. If you’re an avid music or podcast fan, spend time exercising, or even just need to use your headphones more now you’re working from home, your headphones earpad covers make a huge difference.
That’s why we’ve created the latest TaoTronics guide. You need to know more than the technical workings inside headphones. You deserve comfort.
This blog will explan just why headphone earpads (the foam pads that cup around your ears when you wear on-ear headphones) are so important. We’ll also be looking at your headphone covers foam replacement and the best way to find ‘cushion covers’ for your earpads.
Ready? Let ‘s get started!
You might also enjoy:
- What’s the deal with all these different headphone drivers?
- Headphone sensitivity and impedance explained.
How Important are Ear Pads on Your Headphones?
Ear pads aren’t usually a feature you judge when you buy headphones. You’ll search for comfort, sure, but that involves a lot of different factors. So why should you begin taking your earpads s-ear-iously?
- Ear pads are key to headphone comfort.
They aren’t the only factors to consider, but lets face it. If your earpads aren’t comfy, then you’re not going to enjoy listening to hours and hours of music. Make sure you check out reviews that talk about th`e earpad, not just ergonomic design or a flexible headband. There are a few different names you can look for in reviews: Earpad, foam pad, cushion, ear cup, and so on.
2. Ear-pads are integral to the acoustic design of headphones.
If you hadn’t heard the term ‘ear cup’ and you’re thinking it sounds weird, this might help. The design is created to amplify your experience listening to music, cupping your ears to give the best possible acoustics. You know how you cup a hand to your ear when you’re trying to hear better? Same sort of reasoning.
3. They effectively block out outside noise.
You don’t always need noise cancelling technology, though that is a major help! The design of earpads naturally acts as a block to irritating and loud outside noises, keeping the buzz away so you can tune out the world. This extra layer of protection helps your music sound even better and more immersive.
Ear Cushion Replacement Guide
The best time to replace your earpads is when your current ones have become misshapen or uncomfortable, or when the cover on them is peeling. Our guide will help you to change your earpads and extend the usage of your current headphones. This isn’t just more affordable and comfortable, but more hygienic. Read on to learn more, or skip to the next section to learn about cleaning your earpads.
Changing Your Headphone Earpads
Step One: Find Suitable Ear Cushion Replacement. You can do this by checking the manual that came with your headphones or searching online. In some cases, replacements might have come with your headset.
Step Two: Once you know the type of earpad you need, measure your headphones to make sure you buy the right size replacement.
Step Three: Shop online!
Step Four: It should be easy to take your old earpads off your headphones. Remove the cushion by pulling it off, being careful that you don’t break anything underneath (some cushions might twist off, for instance). Make sure you don’t remove the earpad lining material.
Step Five: Fit your replacement earpad onto the headphone and secure it in place.
Headphone Earpad Caring Guide
1. The importance of ear cushion care
Caring for your earpads might seem a lot of work, but it’s worth it in the long run. We explain why below:
- Save money: If you’re updating your earpads, you can use your headphones for longer without having to buy a new pair.
- Stay comfortable: Comfort is incredibly important if you wear your headphones a lot. Make sure you’re doing the best for you and staying as comfortable as possible by updating your headphone earpads.
- Stay hygienic: Dirt and germs can accumulate on your earpads. Now, more than ever, we’re aware of how important hygiene is. Replace your earpads and ensure your headphones are as clean as possible.
2. Tips for cleaning headphone earpads
If you use your headphones daily or even weekly, regular cleaning is incredibly important. This isn’t just to keep them clean and healthy for your ears, although dirt and germs can gather and live on your earpads. This can be bad for you AND your earpads. Earpads need some TLC the same as any device, and not cleaning them means dirt can built up and increase the chance of wear and tear.
Here are our top tips for cleaning headphone earpads and keeping them in the best condition.
1. Immediate wipe downs
Wiping down your earpads is useful every time you wear them in a significant way. That is, if you have been sweaty, in the rain, or used them indoors for over 30 minutes or so without a break. Immediately doing this gets rid of any dirt and germs that have gathered, and takes away any salty moisture that could erode or clog the surface of the earpad.
You might be carrying antibacterial wipes with you more nowadays, and they’re certainly easy to find in stores. Pick up a pack next time you’re grocery shopping so you can wipe down your earpads after you have used them.
2. Weekly cleanings
Similarly, weekly cleanings are important to ensure your headphone earpads are in the best condition. A wipedown is necessary, but sometimes it might not be enough. A full clean each week, using the ideas outlined below, will help you to keep your headphones hygienic and fresh.
- DO use a Q-tip to clean into the nooks and crannies of your ear cup, getting out any extra dirt.
- DO take the earpad off of the headphone, so you can clean the area where they connect together.
- DON’T use excess (or even any) water near the interior, electronic parts of your headphones.
- DON’T clean your headphones while they’re on charge.
3. Condition (occasionally!)
Got a regular hair care routine? Does your car get a special treatment every few weeks? It’s time you extended this concern to your headphones.
Conditioning involves treating the material your earpad is made from. This is especially important if it’s leather, as you need to treat these twice a year like you would a pair of leather shoes. If you’re going to skip any of our tips, this is probably the one most people would go for. However, it’s worth taking the time and booking a reminder in your Google calendar to make sure your headphone earpads last for a long time in a good condition.
4. Replace headphone pads (regularly/as needed)
As we mentioned above, you can easily replace your headphone earpads. This is important to do it your earpad becomes misshapen, the cover starts peeling, or if you think you just need to freshen them up. This can be every six months, or around 350-400 hours of use.
3. Tips for caring for headphone earpads
So, you’ve learned why you need to look after your headphone foam pads. We’ve noted above how you can clean your earpads. Now, we explain why you need to make caring for your headphone earpads a priority.
- Regular cleaning is of the utmost importance, for the reasons we outlined above. It isn’t enough to wipe down your headphone earpads once every few weeks. Doing this every time you have got sweaty or been in the rain (whether you’ve been exercising, commuting, or in a really heated Zoom meeting and then needed to take a walk) will make a real difference. Continuing to do so will likely extend the life of your earpads, keeping your headphones fresh and comfortable for longer.
- Proper storage is also incredibly important. If you keep your headphones in their case or in a safe space, this is better for their insides AND their outside. With less of a chance of falling to the ground or being accidentally sat on, and so less impact on the cushioning in your headphones ear cup, they are less likely to become misshapen. Storing them safely also means storing them out of direct sunlight. If your headphones are oldschool and you’re finding the leather on the earpads is peeling, keeping them out of direct sunlight (especially after you have replaced the cups) will be life changing.
- Periodically replacing your headphone phone pads and/or covers makes all the difference when you want to extend the life of your headphones overall. There’s no need to throw away your favorite pair just because the earpads are getting uncomfortable. Instead, follow our step-by-step guide above to refresh your headphones and help them feel brand new. (Though, there is an argument that keeping up with the latest technology is always worthwhile when it comes to headphones.)
TaoTronics Earpads Replacement Tips
Sometimes, you don’t need to update your earpads: you need a whole new pair of headphones. If that’s the case, we’re here for you! Head to our website for our latest selection of incredible audio technology. That includes on-ear headphones with comfortable earpads, True Wireless Earbuds, and more!
To replace your earpads or buy new headphones? That is the question.
In this blog, you’ve learned why you need to clean, care for, and replace your headphone earpads. This is super simple and straightforward to do, as our guide showed. You can keep your headphones in the best condition for longer, making sure they’re comfortable to wear (and possibly even improving the comfort!).
But is it enough?
Keeping up with the latest technology is incredibly important. You might have bought the best on-ear headphones available in 2017, but even replacing the earpads regularly won’t make them as good as the latest on-ear headphones of 2021. Your needs might also have changed. True Wireless earbuds are the latest trend that’s here to stay, and if your colleague’s AirPods are making you envious then it might be time to make the switch. In this case, buying new headphones is the way to go.
Ultimately, you need to choose the best route for you. If you’ve bought headphones in the past 18-months or so, replacing the foam in your ear cups will make sure you have a comfortable listening journey. Your headphones will stay feeling great for another six months or more. If your headphones are older, it might be worth doing some research. If the latest pairs within your budget are better than your current pair, why not treat yourself to a TaoTronics headphone deal? It has been a hard year, after all.