Since I recently received some new earpads for my Oppo PM3`s, I decided that I`d experiment a bit with the old ones. I noticed that the old pads were quite a bit lighter than the new pads, perhaps they were dried out or maybe simply worn. The Oppo PM3`s use pleather rather than real leather and using regular leather conditioner on them was out of the question. A few users on the internet have used leather conditioner on their pleather earpads and have reported hardening and cracking which you want to avoid at all costs.
Despite the difference in sheen between the new and old pads, they both still felt very soft, but the old pads were just a little less silky. They felt similar on the ear, but the seal was definitely weaker. I partly attribute this to the fact that one of my old pads was shallower on behalf of a manufacturing defect but the wear was also a prevalent factor.
I recently read about using baby oil on the pads and thought it would be an interesting experiment. Since I`ve been giving the Keto diet a go recently, I had a large tub coconut oil (a known substitute) lying around so I decided to apply some to my old pads.
*A quick disclaimer before I head into the steps:
This guide will apply to all headphones using pleather earpads, I`ll just be using the PM3 as an example. I take no responsibility for any strange effects the coconut oil may have on your headphones, though it is highly unlikely to cause hardening, etc. The coconut oil has been working really well for me for the past 2 weeks, coconut oil is also chemically inert and will not irritate your skin, but please apply with responsibility, thank you.
Now to begin the actual guide, I would advise that you remove your earpads first (if you can). Mine were already removed of course, but I`ll link my tutorial video for the PM3 below since they can be difficult to detach.
It is not imperative to remove your pads, but the oil can be hard to clean off the headphones if you accidentally go over, especially on matte headphones or those with an intricate finish/design. I then got a lint free microfiber cloth from a screen protector kit and dabbed it into a teaspoon`s worth of coconut oil. You don`t need a lot, probably even less than I used, and the cloth absorbs the oil well. I held the cloth firmly and gently worked the oil into the pleather on the face, outer rim and underside (inbetween the pads and internal fabric, not the back!) of the pads. As you can see in the pictures below the difference is remarkable, the pads look like new!
Stock >> Coconut oil applied
The sheen was returned and the leather regained that silky feeling. They felt oily and a bit sticky at first, but after 10-15 minutes the pleather absorbed the oil and felt much smoother.I left them for a few days to see if there would be any hardening, but the pads have remained soft and no longer leave a residue on my hand whilst retaining the gloss finish. They initially smelt like coconut which may or may not be to your liking, but like the residue, the scent fades over a few days and blends well with the leather scent that they have from factory. I also applied a bit to my headband with similar effects, just be careful not to get too much oil on the other parts of the headphones.
Once again, I hope this guide helps you out, I`ll update the article in the future if I experience any hardening or other strange behavior, thanks for reading.