Sennheiser HD 201 headphones replacing worn ear pads

Here are a few instructions about fixing Sennheiser Hd 201 headphones, specifically replacing the ear pads and headband, which commonly need replacing in time. 

A few years ago I put my favourite headphones, Sennheiser HD 201, into storage. When I got them back I discovered that the foam on them had broken down and disintegrated, the thin black plastic vinyl covering was just flacking off and sticking to my hands it was impossible not to touch them and get covered in the stuff. It was from the earpieces and the band at the top. As you can see from the pictures below.

Sennheiser HD 201 worn ear pad

Lots of the plastic coating has already flaked off.

Sennheiser HD 201 worn head band

It's just started to crack and flake off the head band.

I didn’t think there was much that I could do. I did like the Sennheiser HD 201, I think you get used to headphones and when you try some others they are just not the same, like old slippers.

After googling I was surprised to find a few YouTube videos and an article or two about fitting replacement ear pads. I was even more surprised to find out that you could still easily get replacements for the Sennheiser HD 201 from Amazon. I found a few sellers. It’s worth noting that just about all these suppliers are overseas and from the far east, mainly China and Taiwan. I have used several of them in the past, they do take between three and six weeks to arrive and every now and then one will go missing but I’ve never had a problem in getting a refund, the main problem is the wait but as the Sennheiser’s had been in storage for a few years I figured I could wait a little longer.

When the packet arrived I checked that the ear pad covers wear exactly the same as the old ones. They were.

Next job was to take off the old ones. This was s a lot simpler than I thought it would be. There are no screws to remove you just unclip them. This is best done by slightly flexing and slightly rotating them and they will start to unclip. Once you’ve got the technique it’s surprisingly easy to do. The headband bit is mounted between two plastic end panels with screws in and it looked like I was going to have to take the tiny screws out to remove them but don’t you don’t need to. The band is just stuck on with self-adhesive backing. You just need to pull it off. It comes off pretty easily and all on one piece. By this time my hands and the table were covered in hundreds a little tiny pieces of black vinyl plastic. After throwing the old bits in the bin and cleaning everything up I noticed that little pieces were stuck all over the black plastic on the headphones. You couldn’t see them as they were black but after you had handled them it was all over your hands. The best way I found to clean then was by sticking large pieces of sellotape on them and peeling it off. I did this in a dabbing method and very quickly you could see the build-up on the old bits off tape. I had to do this a few times but then I was confident it had all gone and I could handle the headphones without getting black bits on my hands.

Next job was fitting he new pads. This was bound to be much harder. Guess what it wasn’t. They fit perfectly. They just clip on, you can easily get them to hold on and then if you pull back the phone as you go round them you’ll see that not all the clips are over the top, a bit of flexing is required as you work round and after a few second and some reassuring clicks it’s all done. Just do the same for the other ear pad cover.

fitting new ear pads to Senheiser HD 201 headphones

You can see the clips that the new ear pads need to go under.

The headband had a self-adhesive backing tape to remove but before I did that I checked it would fit with a dry run. That’s when I realised the plastic ends had to be left intact so this bit would stick and be squeezed in the correct place between the ends. It sounds more complicated than it is. The easy way to do it is to bend the spongey headband piece into a banana shape that’s the wrong way round than it should finish up. Take off the self-adhesive backing and give it a little squeeze and because you’ve bent it backwards apply one end so it touches the plastic and then do the other end the same. Then just push the centre bit down so it sticks in the middle and everything else just eases into place.

New Sennheiser HD 201 head band

The new head band squeezed between the plastic end sections.

I once took my car door interior panel off to fit new speakers but after refitting it never quite looked like it did before I took it off. I was expecting the headphones to be similar if you know what I mean. I wanted to get them back to a usable state but I was pleasantly surprised of how they looked in the end. If you look at the pictures I think you’ll agree that they don’t look bodged or repaired.

Sennheiser HD 201 with new ear pads and headband

The finished Sennheiser HD 201 headphones with new ear pads and headband.

All in all I have to say that the replacements were excellent and fitted perfectly the whole job including the cleaning up process of the mess took about ten minutes and I’ve now got my favourite Sennheiser HD 201 headphones back.