The leather pads on headphones offer a comfy fit, however, wear and tear can cause the pads to crack up. Using this DIY guide can help overturn the problem for good. Apart from that, you can also learn some reasons and preventive measures to prevent headphone cushions from cracking up.2022-11-06 16:31:21How To Fix Flaking Headphone Cushion Pads
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How To Fix Flaking Headphone Cushion Pads

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By Akhil Taneja - 
Updated: 6th Nov 2022 16:31 IST
Table Of Contents
  • 1
    Why Do Headphone Cushions Crack Up?
    • How to fix cracked headphone cushions?
    • Preventive Measures to avoid flaky Headphone Cushion

As an audiophile, you would find a pair of headphones at my disposal. Headphones are simply the best way to get away from the surroundings and get an immersive experience whether you are watching a movie or attending a Zoom meeting.

However, if you have used headphones ever, you would know that the headphone’s cushions may start cracking up after some time. It gets to the point where you would find it not only annoying. But rather agonizing since the cruds may start sticking to you whenever you use it. But how to fix it? Here’s how.

Why Do Headphone Cushions Crack Up?

flaky headphone cushion

Before we can jump into how to fix the headphone cushion cracking issue, let us have a glance at why it happens. And yes, it happens even if you buy expensive headphones at some point in time so yeah, it is applicable for the whole of headphone users. 

1. Moisture is damaging

You need to understand that moisture is damaging to the headphone cushion. It is one of the primary reasons why the pad peels or cracks. Sweat is the most significant source of moisture that aggravates the cracking process which makes it look hideous.

2. Cheap quality leather used

Although expensive headphones are highly likely to use genuine and high-quality leather, it isn’t the same for budget or midrange-priced headphones. They might be using cheap quality leather which is why it will start cracking after some time. 

3. Over movement

If you are using headphones with appropriately sized cups that may not fit on your ears properly. You will eventually end up rubbing the ear cups a lot to find a comfy fit. This causes the cups to undergo scratches and stretches prompting the leather on the pad to start cracking up, especially on the weak spots.

4. Inadequate maintenance

Keep Headphone cushion clean

One of the greatest notions about using headphones or any accessories for that matter is that they don’t need any maintenance. Well, it’s wrong and that’s what adds to the already degrading cushion or pads on a headphone. You should always clean the headphones and store them properly when not in use. Moisture buildup as mentioned earlier can be avoided if you clean the headphones regularly. 

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5. Changing weather parameters

There are a few things that you can do to prevent cracking or peeling off when it comes to headphone pads, however, there are a few things that you can’t control. It includes humidity levels, temperature, pressure, and other weather-related factors that can aggravate the already deteriorating condition of the pads. 

Although you can’t always make these factors uniform or have control over it, you can try to minimize the odd effects such as avoiding using the headphones in varying temperatures such as walking into a chilled room after using the headphones in the direct sun outside the home. 

How to fix cracked headphone cushions?

This is a DIY guide on how you can fix headphone cushion cracking. Let’s see how it is done. 

Step #1: If the cushion underneath the leather padding is good, you can remove the leather coat alone. This will ensure that your DIY method doesn’t fail. 

Step #2: First, get your hands on a pair of clean socks or stockings and cut a part of it large enough to cover the entire ear cup or pad. 

Step #3: Check how the cut part fits on the headphone ear cup and chip off any excess portion using scissors. It should essentially look like two perfectly cut circles if you have any doubt about the final shape.

DIY Replace headphone cushion using socks

Step #4: Next up, place one of the cut soak/stocking parts on the headphone cushion and use an elastic band to wrap and hold it in the right place. Ensure that the whole ear cup is covered and the soak/stocking is wrapped on the back of the earcup. Wrap the elastic band twice or thrice to ensure it is snuggly.

Step #5: Repeat the same with another half of the earcup.

DIY Replace headphone cushion using socks

Step #6: Check if these DIY headphone cushions fit your ears well or not. If not, you are all set. Now all you would need are some preventive measures to pull off to ensure ear pads crack up or speed up the process.

Step #7: If you want a permanent solution, it is better to reach out to the brand’s service centre and get the pad replaced, although the DIY guide mentioned above works just fine.

Also Read: How To Give Windows 10 A Makeover To Look Like Windows 11

Preventive Measures to avoid flaky Headphone Cushion

Let’s say you performed the DIY guide on how to fix the headphones pad cracking up as mentioned above. Alternatively, you might be using a new pair of headphones and want to ensure the leather pads don’t peel or crack, to begin with, here are the preventive measures you can take to begin with.

Wash the headphone pads

The first thing you need to know is that you can wash headphone pads as well. Although I am not talking about explicitly dipping the headphones in water but rather using soap and detergent water, soak them in a cloth and gently wipe on the leathered pads. Please don’t overdo it since it can damage the leather as well.

Don’t expose it to excess heat

The next thing to keep in mind is to avoid exposing the headphone pads to excessive heat. For instance, avoid keeping it outside in broad and direct sunlight to ensure it is away from this damaging factor. Apart from that, you must also keep it at bay with fluctuations in humidity, heat, sun, and temperature which will ensure the pads remain intact for longer. 

Avoid wearing it for a longer duration

I did mention earlier that wearing the headphones for too long exposes them to stretches and scratches. As you wear it for a longer duration, sweat accumulates which is itself damaging to the leather covering. Apart from that, it’s the moisture that builds up magnifying the damage. Wearing it and putting it off numerous times adds to wearing and tearing which is something you must avoid at all times.

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Highlights of the Story
  • Headphones pad cracking up issue is common and can occur due to sweat or moisture build up, constant wear and tear among others.
  • Using a sock or stocking using this DIY guide can help overturn the issue temporarily.
  • A permanent to the problem requires changing the leather pad or the cushion as a whole.


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