protecting the cord, and replacing head-phone covers

lathechuck's picture

The headphones I'm talking about are the "on the ear", not "over the ear" style. Sony MDR-G45s, to be precise. Nothing fancy.

There are two parts of a set of headphones that seem most prone to damage with age: the cord, and the foam ear-pads. Both seem to be affected by prolonged contact with whatever chemicals are found on my skin. The plastic insulating layer on the cord gets brittle, and the foam pads get fragile, and eventually sticky.

In an effort to prolong the life of my latest set, I ran the cord through a fabric sleeve. (It was actually the front hem of an old shirt, with the buttons cut off.) So far, so good. As for the pads, I cut a circle of fabric about twice the diameter of the speaker unit, ran a row of zig-zag stitches around the circumference to prevent unraveling, then hand-sewed a long running stitch just inside the zig-zag circle. When I pulled the running stitches tight, it formed a sort of pouch, with the driver inside. You might be reminded of a tiny shower-cap, if you see it. So far, I haven't felt the need to put padding inside the cover, but that would be easily-enough done with a few fat rings of fabric sewn together and slipped inside the cover.

I just can't stand the thought of perfectly good headphone drivers going into the trash, because a few cents worth of foam went bad!

David Trammel's picture

Yeah, the foam cover on my set of earphones as ragged as all get. Cords ok but the cheap nature of them (I only use them occasionally for movies with low sound) still means one of the plastic parts has broken. I have to sort of put it in place before I put them on each time.

Given how easy to get the sanitizing wipes are now that we're in the middle of a pandemic, I wonder if just getting into the habit of giving the cord and earpieces a brief wipe with one when you get done with the headphones would help? The chemical cleaners would have time to dissipate before you used them again and it should clean off the skin oils.

lathechuck's picture

Actually, I kind of like the appearance and skin-feel of the fabric covers, matching sleeve on the cord, plus "shower caps" on the audio drivers. I don't want to handle sanitizing wipes any more than necessary, too.