Last Updated on May 2, 2019 by Jay
Headphone Ear Pads can massively impact both sound quality and comfiness. But, which type should you choose? There are so many to pick from. No need to worry. We’re here to help. Let’s check out the different types of ear pads and what you can expect to get from them!
A Couple of Side Notes
Before we start, let us note that ear pads will impact your sound quality. We’ve noticed that most of the negative reviews on 3rd party ear pads are talking about that and it’s amazing that so many people are not aware of this.
Now, the amount of change that you’re going to experience in sound largely depends on what kind of ear pads you’ll get, which is what this article is about, how much distance they put between the headphones and your ears, and if you’re getting a set that is specifically made for your headphones or not.
With that being said, let’s move on. We obviously can’t list every pair of headphones out there and that’s why we’re going to be checking out ear pads from 3rd parties. More specifically, Brainwavz. After all, they are the most popular and reliable in this niche right now.
Leatherette is one of the most common ear pads. It’s kinda like the pop culture of headphones and headsets really and there’s a good reason for that.
Leather offers good sound isolation. Thanks to that, not only you won’t be able to hear any noises from the outside (depending on your headphones) but others won’t be able to hear what you’re listening to either.
Other than that, thanks to the tight fit and the leather itself, you do also get more bass with balanced mids and highs.
Well, that sounds Perfect! Right? No need to check out anything else then! Well, just hold on there a minute. Leather ear pads may be offering the best audio quality in terms of both base and balance, but they are also the most uncomfortable – at least compared to other types.
No matter how soft, leather cannot compete with velour in terms of comfiness. No matter if we’re talking about real leather or pleather, it’s just naturally a bit tougher/harder on your ears.
While we’re at this subject, rumor has it that real leather is far more endurable compared to pleather. So, do keep that in mind. Though, we can neither confirm or deny that.
- Decent noise isolation
- Decent bass
- A bit uncomfortable compared to other options
- Soundstage is a bit narrow
As far as headphone ear pads go, velour is quite possibly the softest material that you can get for this kind of use. However, it offers poor sound isolation which can be both a positive and a negative thing depending on who you ask.
For example, if you are looking for a more “open” feel with a wider soundstage then you can definitely take advantage of velour. After all, sound flows almost freely through it which is what gives this kind of ear pad its unique profile.
At the same time, if sound isolation is a big deal for you, like if you’re living on a noisy environment or you don’t want to annoy others with whatever you’re listening to, then this can become quite an issue. So, it’s a matter of personal preference.
Another negative thing is that velour ear pads almost sacrifice the low-end sounds while boosting mids and highs which can make for an almost painful experience – depending on your headphones, equalizer, and how much distance there is between the headset and your ears.
Overall, as comfortable as they are, velour ear pads are a major turn off for numerous people because they sacrifice bass and offer poor audio isolation.
- Very comfortable
- Can offer a wider soundstage
- Poor audio isolation
- Poor bass and audio balance (depending on headphones and equalizer)
Hybrids are using a combination of both velour and leather in order to offer the best of both worlds. How? You get velour on the top of the pads in order to get the comfiness of velour while the sides are covered with leather. And in that way, you get both comfiness and audio quality along with noise isolation in one package.
However, do keep in mind that this is not as breathable as full velour and not as soundproof as full leather. The sound is closer to what stock leather gives you, though.
Overall, hybrid ear pads are pretty close to perfection and you can hardly go wrong with them. If you want the comfiness of velour ear pads and the sound quality of leatherette, do definitely consider getting a hybrid pair.
The only ones who are likely to be totally disappointed with this pair are those who need the soundstage that velour offers. In which case, you can always just ignore this set and go with whatever you prefer.
One thing to keep in mind is that they are a tiny bit more expensive than a leather set. But, only for about $4 usually. So, not a big deal. Especially if you consider that you’re not going to be replacing them for a long time.
- Good audio quality and balance
- Relatively narrower soundstage compared to velour
- A tiny bit more expensive than the stock options
What Headphone Ear Pads Should I get?
- Leather: Suitable for both music lovers and competitive gamers as it offers good audio isolation and good audio balance/quality
- Velour: Suitable for those who want a wider soundstage and value comfort over audio quality. Also if you don’t care about noise isolation and bass all that much.
- Hybrids: Suitable for those who want the comfiness of velour and the sound that leather pads offer
Hopefully, that helped you find the right ear pads for you. Before buying, make sure that the ear pads will fit your headset. You can do that by either checking on the Amazon questions, description, or by taking the measurements for yourself.
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