If anyone is interested, I just updated my original listing to include the Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear headphones:
If you can snag them at their recent sale price of $120 or less, simply outstanding value for these great headphones!
Can someone post photos of these "new pads"? I had both the PS1000 and PS1000e in house and their pads were identical. I've since also bought a brand new pair of bagel pads as a back up...and guess what...still the same.
I don't think the drop off in SQ would be that big. Actually the QC25's sound more airy and open and are really, really comfortable. And unlike the M500s, actually offer noise isolation (about as good as it gets actually). Another pair of on-ear closed headphones that are even more comfortable are the beyer T51p's.
If the failure switched from one side to the other, it is definitely the cable! Something must have "snapped" in the cable when you turned your head? Might I suggest a wonderful Moon Audio or Q Audio aftermarket cable?