Sony MDR-1000x - earpad replacement & mod
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andres

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I've been using the Sony's for the past 3 months and loved them for the most part. I had a few gripes with them:
1. Ear pads are too narrow, thus sitting on my ears and heating them quickly.
2. Parts of my ear touched the foam that protected the driver, felt unconformable.
3. Soundstage felt too constricted.
4. Highs felt lacking.
5. Bass was only OK.

I went ahead and bought the Bose QC35 to compare. They were more comfortable mainly due to the wider and deeper ear cup. Also nicer highs. However the sound signature felt too artificial; at low volumes bass was exaggerated and at higher volumes mids were emphasized.

Also, the noise cancelling I felt was better on the Sony's. I also liked the "ambient sound" option, so I can sing out loud and hear my voice. I also occasionally talk to my cat and this feature comes in handy..

So I wanted the best of both worlds. I wondered if I could try the Bose earpads on the Sony's, and it turns out they are an almost exact fit. I tried the Bose earpads on the Sony's and immediately were more comfortable, but not deep enough as my ear could still touch the foam. I researched on the interwebs for replacement Sony earpads and found nothing. So I searched for replacement pads for Bose, with the criteria that they needed to be a bit deeper and at least as wide. I found these by Dekoni Audio that fit the bill:
IMG_1750.jpg
IMG_1752.jpg
IMG_1756.jpg


Here they are next to the Sony's and Bose. Notice how they are a bit deeper, wider and taller:
IMG_1714.jpg
IMG_1717.jpg


The sony earcups are help in place by a removable plastic ring with 6 clips:
IMG_1721.jpg
IMG_1718.jpg


I wanted to see if the foam could be removed. It's just help in place by two dots of glue, revealing some foam filling and the driver:
IMG_1706.jpg
IMG_1696.jpg


Next I tried listening with the stock ear pads but without the foam or the foam filling. I also tried the Denoki pads. Since they are much deeper the soundstage is widened. With the stock pads and without foam the sound feels too in your face/aggressive - I can see why the engineers used such a thick foam, to attenuate this a bit. With the Denoki pads this is not a problem, since they are much deeper the speaker is no longer right on your ear. I can now hear sparkling highs and very revealing midrange - a real treat to listen to acoustic guitars, drums and cymbals.
IMG_1687.jpg


Right away the midrange opened up and the highs were sparkling. However the midbass felt too clinical/shrill and the bass was lacking. Any impact was lost without the filler foam. So I tried the test again, this time putting the filler foam back in place:
IMG_1675.jpg


The bass is back. However I noticed quite a few empty spots so I tried to fill them further. I used organic cotton pads, two stacked together, about 1 cm in width:
IMG_1670.jpg
IMG_1666.jpg
IMG_1663.jpg
IMG_1661.jpg


This resulted in much deeper bass and more impacting mids. Also a wider soundstage, probably due to the increased distance to the speaker.
 

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andres

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Finally, I marked the Sony rings on the Dekoni pads with a knife, used a bit of Loctite Ultra Gel control Super Glue, and carefully put them together:
IMG_1658.jpg
IMG_1657.jpg
IMG_1659.jpg


Here is the finished product:
IMG_1655.jpg


Much improved soundstage, clearer mids and highs, tighter and deeper lows!! And more importantly, I can now wear them comfortably for hours on end :D
 
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vol.1

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do you feel like the new earpads have made it significantly bulkier? I recently purchased the brainwavz because that was the first recommendation i saw and now i have a football head.

I might try the organic cotton pad upgrade.

Also noticed the cracks on your headband.. Are they getting worse with time? i just noticed i have a crack on mine as well.
 
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andres

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I think they are just a tad bit bulkier. Here are next to another pair with the original pads:
IMG_1839.JPG
IMG_1842.JPG


I've been comparing them for hours and stand by my recommendations -- the bass increase is substantial and the soundstage less constricted.
There's no cracking on my headband, don't know where you got that impression.
 
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The cracks vol.1 is referring to, the left one is fine:


Since you have 2 pairs, can you test out the NC performance?
 
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beowulf

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Finally, I marked the Sony rings on the Dekoni pads with a knife, used a bit of Loctite Ultra Gel control Super Glue, and carefully put them together:
Much improved soundstage, clearer mids and highs, tighter and deeper lows!! And more importantly, I can now wear them comfortably for hours on end :D
Very interesting post @andres.
I'd definitely give it a try as I think the pads could be a bit comfier/deeper indeed.
 
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Philip Christian

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Hey, I just got my MDR 1000x Headphones and they feel very comfortable. I may look into this mod in the future to improve the comfort further and soundstage. I already have purchased the cotton pads to do that mod in the future. Just to check, is it the Elite Sheepskin ones for mdr 7560?
 
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Luke1000

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I've been using the Sony's for the past 3 months and loved them for the most part. I had a few gripes with them:
1. Ear pads are too narrow, thus sitting on my ears and heating them quickly.
2. Parts of my ear touched the foam that protected the driver, felt unconformable.
3. Soundstage felt too constricted.
4. Highs felt lacking.
5. Bass was only OK.

I went ahead and bought the Bose QC35 to compare. They were more comfortable mainly due to the wider and deeper ear cup. Also nicer highs. However the sound signature felt too artificial; at low volumes bass was exaggerated and at higher volumes mids were emphasized.

Also, the noise cancelling I felt was better on the Sony's. I also liked the "ambient sound" option, so I can sing out loud and hear my voice. I also occasionally talk to my cat and this feature comes in handy..

So I wanted the best of both worlds. I wondered if I could try the Bose earpads on the Sony's, and it turns out they are an almost exact fit. I tried the Bose earpads on the Sony's and immediately were more comfortable, but not deep enough as my ear could still touch the foam. I researched on the interwebs for replacement Sony earpads and found nothing. So I searched for replacement pads for Bose, with the criteria that they needed to be a bit deeper and at least as wide. I found these by Dekoni Audio that fit the bill:


Here they are next to the Sony's and Bose. Notice how they are a bit deeper, wider and taller:


The sony earcups are help in place by a removable plastic ring with 6 clips:


I wanted to see if the foam could be removed. It's just help in place by two dots of glue, revealing some foam filling and the driver:


Next I tried listening with the stock ear pads but without the foam or the foam filling. I also tried the Denoki pads. Since they are much deeper the soundstage is widened. With the stock pads and without foam the sound feels too in your face/aggressive - I can see why the engineers used such a thick foam, to attenuate this a bit. With the Denoki pads this is not a problem, since they are much deeper the speaker is no longer right on your ear. I can now hear sparkling highs and very revealing midrange - a real treat to listen to acoustic guitars, drums and cymbals.


Right away the midrange opened up and the highs were sparkling. However the midbass felt too clinical/shrill and the bass was lacking. Any impact was lost without the filler foam. So I tried the test again, this time putting the filler foam back in place:


The bass is back. However I noticed quite a few empty spots so I tried to fill them further. I used organic cotton pads, two stacked together, about 1 cm in width:


This resulted in much deeper bass and more impacting mids. Also a wider soundstage, probably due to the increased distance to the speaker.
Hey thanks a lot for this. I've been finding the headphones uncomfortable after 30 mins use. Even after a week. Not sure if this discomfort is from the pads touching my ears or the anc. Very difficult to tell as I also get an achy feeling in my ear.
I may try your method of replacing the pads. I've noticed that there are several kinds though. The ones you suggested or another pair that are half velour and half pvc leather. I know it's personal preference but was wondering which you thought would provide better support and comfort in my case or of there's not much difference. Also there's another bRand called brainwavz and wondered if you knew which was better quality to go for etc.
Many thanks
 
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Luke1000

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I tried out the dekoni pads on the mdr-1000x without the glue and it seemed like the noise cancelling had no effect. Did you have this experience?
haven't made the mod yet but hopefully someone else will answer this question.
 
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mbgar

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For your information, there are pads from Brainwavz available, suitable for these Sony, perhaps they are an option for someone looking for pads.
https://www.amazon.com/Brainwavz-Sh...qid=1503066932&sr=1-2&keywords=brainwavz+sony


A question regarding this mod:
I have a bag of plastic cotton left which can be used for stuffing toys or head cushions. It is plastic wool, sort of small snowflake balls.

Would this be a good material too?
 
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@OP, have you been able to compare noise cancellation between modded and non-modded ? I wonder how this mod impacts the performance in that regard.
 
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I did this mod with my mdr 1000x a few weeks ago. I also put Cotton strips behind the driver cavity just in between the outside housing in the electronics to add a little more damper. I think I noticed a little difference in the passive noise cancellation but not overwhelming. The cotton around the driver seems to absorb bouncing waves inside the cup, making it slightly smoother to listen to. Not a great change in bass to my ears. I'm happy.
 
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