It is fairly easy to sew a thin layer of velour or cotton (or other soft, breathable, natural material) onto the pleather earpads of this headphone. Pictured below is my first attempt at this - rather rudimentary, but the next attempt will surely have fewer creases. It is possible to use velour earpads from other models (such as Beyerdynamic DT250 and Shure SRH940) with these headphones; however, this changes the ATH-M50's sound signature. Sewing a thin layer of cotton onto genuine ATH-M50 earpads does not seem to affect the sound at all though, I have not detected any change in sound, even while comparing them side by side (non-modified earpad on one ear, modified on the other). The boost in comfort of this solution is really quite incredible and makes these among the most comfortable of studio monitor headphones, on par with the DT770 perhaps. It also breaks in rather well, with the pleather eventually cracking inside the material and forming a mushy, comfy pillow.
Edited by jupitreas - 7/18/12 at 3:21pm