I just wanted to share my little victory of the afternoon.
The subject of not being able to remove the ear pads of my HD800 has been bothering since I got them, and I didn't find any official or unofficial information in the web, except for a couple posts around here that said that you just have to pull the pads hardly on the middle-posterior part of the pad where it's marked L or R in the silver part. That explanation didn't gave me a lot of confidence, but I tried to pull moderately hard and it didn't seem to work.
I started to explore to see if there was a "weak" spot which I could pull and get any signs that it was safe to keep attempting to pull off the pads. After a while of exploration I finally managed to take the pads off safely (and with considerably less force than the amount I used in my previous attempts). So here are the photos of the result:
Left ear pad taken off:
HD800 sans pad:
Back side of the pad:
Sorry about the quality of the pictures, I don't have a particularly good camera with me now (and yes, that is my bed, didn't feel like posting my currently messy desk).
After taking the photos I disassembled the right pad to see if the procedure I used was repeatable and not just luck, and success! It was as easy as it gets.
The procedure I did basically is the following:
In the lowest part of the cup (if you think of the shape of the cups as a 'D', the lower peak of the letter) I carefully inserted three of my fingernails (which are not particularly long) between the path and the silver part, pushed the pad a little upwards the 'D' towards center of the cup and then gently pulled the cups away from the silver casing, which released the lower half of the pad, then it is pretty easy to remove the pad completely.
I don't know how often I would do this, at first sight the bottom part of the pads seem kind of flimsy, although a deeper inspection shows that actually they are very well built and probably would withstand taking them just by pulling (although I don't recommend it). The pads actually are very very nice, a lot better than the HD6x0 series.
Anyways I intend to make this a wiki with better and more detailed instruction, probably with diagrams and/or photos so that existing and new owners know that the HD800 pads are (fairly) easy to remove and how to do it. Any input of how to improve the instructions or method is welcome (if you don't want to try the suggestion in your own pair its ok, I can do it).
If you decide to go ahead and remove the pads be very careful, try to not use much force, and don't use any metallic objects in the part where I used my fingernails, it might damage the paint and maybe even the plastic of the silver housing. Obviously try it at your own risk, I can't guarantee nothing since I'm not working for Senn (just thought a little disclosure could be wise...)
I almost forgot, putting them back is as easy as just pushing them back in.
Edited by Roger Strummer - 7/19/10 at 6:12pm