So I’ve seen a couple of other AKG K/Q701 headband mods, but thought I would post mine too. I’ve had my Q701’s for a few months now, but they haven’t gotten too much use because I’ve been moving offices around and these are my “work phones.” During the times that I had worn them I didn’t think that the headband was much of a problem. Now that I’m settled into my new office and have started wearing them regularly those bumps on the headband are killing me! I think that they seriously start to deform my head after 30 mins or so. Over the past week I’ve tried some different padding materials, but nothing seems to help that much. I finally got fed up enough this morning to do something drastic.
I’ve seen a fair amount of people cut the pads off, but that seemed really messy to me. I’ve also seen some people replace the whole headband unit with a new one from the padless K601’s (def. the more professional solution, pics here), but at like $80 that seemed pretty steep. Sooo, I decided to just try and replace the actual leather band, considering it looked like it would be feasible. Here is my semi-final result (I’ll probably treat the leather with some oil to darken it):
- SOO much more comfortable! I’ve always thought the ear cups were nice and comfortable, but were over shadowed by the rocks in the headband. No problem now, easily my most comfortable phones.
- Headband is now easily replaceable!
- Depending on the materials you use, they may not look as nice as the original. I’m fine with it, but tastes vary.
- You no longer get the “L” and “R” markings, which may have been a downfall, but the Q701s have just one cable, on the left side, so I just remember that.
- Strip of leather roughly the same size as the headband strap. I used an old shoulder strap from a laptop bag. I think it’s more important to have the same length as the headband, than it is the same width.
- Hardware to replace the rivets holding the headband in place. I used a couple of small allen countersunk screws and a couple nuts, but you could use any number of things.
- About an hour
Step 1: Remove the original spiked collar that they claim is a headband. This is really the only step that is not self-explanatory!
There is a rivet on each side (where the “L” and “R” markings are) of the band. The top piece, with the L and R, looks like metal, but is actually just plastic, the bottom piece is metal however. I used a small screwdriver and wire cutters to bend this piece up, then cut it off. While I was doing this the top plastic piece broke off, not surprising when you see the small bit of plastic holding it on. Once the bottom piece is removed you should be able to just push the remaining metal and plastic out through the top.
Be a bit careful in this step! That piece that looks like a metal strap, is actually just a plastic strap, with tin foil stuck to the top. It’s fairly easy to bend it and I imagine fairly easy to break as well!
Step 2: Use the old headband as a template and cut your new leather strap. As I mentioned, I used an old strap from a laptop bag, which happened to be nearly the same size. It had a couple of holes in it already, which was a bit unfortunate, but no big deal.
I marked the outline, drilled the holes, cut the piece to size, then was all ready to go.
Step 3: Install the new strap. This is pretty self-explanatory, just attach the new strap to the same holes where the old one came from. I used a few bolts and nuts I could find in the junk drawer, but you could really use anything. You could potentially rivet the new strap in, but I like the fact that I can now remove the strap and replace it easily. I’ll probably keep searching for some nicer hardware, but these certainly work for now.
Step 4: Put your phones on and enjoy the new comfort!