AH-D7000, I love you so; How can I make you not smell like s#i+?
Mar 31, 2021 at 2:51 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6


New Head-Fier
Oct 31, 2020
Drammen, Norway
TL;DR: Found endgame for cheaps, Stink to high heaven, tried all the things, no dice.

So, I love nearly the entire Foster Group line - alot. I have owned or have loaned near all in the line-up - but the one I loved the most, the ones that kept me up at night locked in a 1000 yard stare towards the void were the D7000's. I tried getting that in the easier to find D7200 - but they were arguably *too* smooth to my ear.

The day

One day, in a small, local Craigslist equivalent, in my small un-head-fi centric country, a listing comes up for a pair for about 275 usd.

"High end headphones for sale - basically unused"
The guy had good ratings, so I pounced.


Some days pass and they arrive at my doorstep.

Excitedly, I open the postage box, rummage through the bubblewrap and ....

I'm hit in the forebrain with the biggest cigarette-flavored steel toed boot I've ever..."smeasted" (this, coming from a kid who had parents with a two-pack a day habit, who smoked indoors, with carpets and never opened the windows.) I don't smoke but I live with someone who does, but they smokes but not in the house - and they think its extreme. (*Smeasted- Something one simultaneously smells and tastes, I would think.)

Okay, whatever, no biggie - it'll air out.
(The second-hand idealists equivalent to "I'll walk it off".)

I go to test them. They sound great. I also notice the kink in the right cable is not a kink but rather the inside wire prolapsed out of the mesh casing, too tight to shimmy back in - again - not great but that's life.

Now, I'm prone to migranes, bad ones - long ones, and one started sneaking up after about an hour of my aurally transcendant but decidedly noxious session.

Whatever, use the tried and true hacks:

-Baking soda in a airtight box.
Days pass, no dice.

-Vinegar compresses on the cord, pads, wipe down, stick it in a box with a pan of vinegar.

-Enzyme spray on absorbant materials. Surfaces. Carefully using a q-tip with rubbing alcohol on the hard surfaces.

-The industrial quality "Air Sponge", air sponge liquid, x-it, Odor-x...


Nothing works.

I look into an ozone emitter but ozone corrodes wires and isn't recommended for high end electrical stuff.

So - what other options do I have?

Would it be unfair to contact the seller and ask to send them back? As it stands now - they sound completely fine but because of my condition they cannot be used and I cannot in good faith sell them to anyone else based on the severity of their odorous affliction.

1.Are there any other routes I can safely take?

2. If not, would it be unreasonable to ask for a refund and send them back based on the "basically unused" description and the smell/prolapsed innercord issues?

3. Have any of you gone through a similar saga and conquered the beast? (Or failed outright?)
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Mar 31, 2021 at 10:07 PM Post #2 of 6


1000+ Head-Fier
Feb 24, 2009
Hither, Thither, Yon
Well, that stinks!

I guess I'd ask if you can return them since they weren't advertised as being from a smoker's house.

If that's not possible, maybe apply baking soda directly to the headphones. Make a paste of baking soda and water that's runny enough that you can spread it on, but thick enough that it doesn't just run off, about a 1:1 ratio. I think it should be fine for the leather, but might stain/darken exposed wood. Leave it for a day or two, and maybe reapply after a few days. I haven't used this method for cigarette smoke, but I've used it to get garlic and onion odor out of wood and bamboo cutting boards. My guess is that you only need to apply it to the porous materials, wood, leather, plastic.

You might also consider replacing the parts that are replaceable and having the headphones modded with a removable cable.

Good luck!
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Apr 1, 2021 at 6:40 AM Post #5 of 6

Old Dirty Puppy

100+ Head-Fier
May 14, 2017
You dan try rubbing a mixture of dish soap and water or a professional leather clear. It should remove a lot of the dirt, grim and oils within the leather. Just make sure to treat the leather with a conditioner after so it doesn't dry out the leather and to protect it. Hopefully that remove the smell. But I am worried that the smell might have embedded itself into the foam which would be way harder to remove.
Apr 1, 2021 at 9:21 AM Post #6 of 6


1000+ Head-Fier
Mar 26, 2014
Charleston, SC
Yeah, I'd pull the pads and see if they're holding the bulk of the smell; for what you paid, having to get new pads wouldn't be the end of the world. Also leather cleaner on the band as another said above.

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