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RE: Grado SR-80 Earpads

Earpad material can affect the tonal balance of headphones so you need to think before you change earpad style. Some headphone manufacturers offer a choice of earpads made from different materials for reasons related to comfort and customization of sound, but Grado always uses foam earpads.

Grado uses two basic types of foam earpads for their classic over-ear headphones - flat pads and two sizes of bowl pads. Grado has never used leather earpads because leather is not porous enough for design parameters.

Leather (or imitation leather) reflects too much sound back into the ear structure so it alters the intended tonal balance of Grado headphones. Those who have tried leather earpads on Grado headphones almost always report negative consequences.

Grado style foam earpads may not be as durable or as long lasting as some types but they are usually cheaper to replace than other types are. The cheapest replacement foam earpads are not the genuine Grado ones and can be found on ebay and Amazon. The flat "comfy" style pads in particular can be purchased very cheaply while the "bowl" style costs a bit more. Genuine Grado earpads will cost you much more than the ebay clones and must also be purchased directly from Grado or one of Grado's authorized dealers.

So stock up on cheap foam earpads and be happy. Storing your Grado headphones or replacement foam earpads in a sealed carrying case or plastic bag will make the foam last longer.

Edits: 09/27/16 09/27/16

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