Why Are My Bose Headphone Ear Pads Falling Apart?


Moisture damage can cause Bose headphone ear pads to fall apart.  The fake leather can start cracking and peeling, and you may begin to notice small black flakes sticking to your ears and settling on your shoulders like bonfire ash.  

Sweat is corrosive and over time will cause the material to degrade.  

It may also be that your Bose ear pads are falling apart because of general wear and tear.  Headphone cups tend to flex whenever they’re worn and this can stretch out and weaken the material covering them.  Once this starts happening then there’s not much you can do to stop it from progressing. The weak spot has already developed and will now only continue to grow: cracks become longer, thicker and deeper and the faux-leather covers will start peeling.

It’s probably not the look you were going for when you purchased your Bose headphones.  

Even if this hasn’t happened to you yet —  and hopefully, it won’t for a very long time —  it’s worth taking extra care with your headphones, and it’s worth bearing in mind, too, that at some point you’re probably going to have to buy replacement ear pads.

This problem isn’t specific to Bose; it’s something that occurs across a number of different headphone brands and models including premium and luxury ones.

But you can live with a few cracks, right?  

After all, a replacement pair of Bose ear pads will probably set you back around £25 or up to $40 in the US.

And anyway, if the headphones are on your head then it’s not as if people can actually see the mess they’re in.  As long as they’re working and they’re comfortable then that’s fine with you. And that’s fine for most people for a while.  

The damage is annoying but it’s not the end of the world.  If you don’t wear them super-regularly or if you decide to start using moisture-proof headphone covers, then it’s hardly a huge problem —  not in the grand scheme of things, right?


Unfortunately, you’ll probably soon find that the fit of the headphones and the sound isolation are starting to suffer, too.  This is when things are become really frustrating: that it now directly undermines the technology and comfort that you’ve paid top dollar for.

When the damage goes beyond the purely aesthetic and begins affecting your enjoyment, then it’s probably time to either start looking at replacement ear pads or new headphones.

Does Bose have a Lifetime Guarantee?

Nope, but if you buy your headphones from an authorised dealer then you’ll get a 1-year international warranty.  It’s worth noting, however, that Bose does not recommend that customers wear its headphones during exercise. Your warranty does not cover sweat-damage.

What Can You Do About Your Bose Headphones Falling Apart?

Prevention is always better than cure.  If you’re concerned about moisture-damage to your ear pads or if you’re regularly exercising in Bose headphones, then we’d recommend purchasing sweat-resistant headphone covers.  They work by wicking sweat away from the ear pads (and your face) reducing the likelihood that the cushions will start cracking and peeling.  If you pick EarHugz headphone covers, then you’ll have the choice of a range of designs and all of which are fully-reversible to black.

 If your headphones are already flaking and cracking, then you can also buy replacement ear pads.  You can do this either through Bose or use a third-party product.

You can also start wiping down your cushions after wearing them.  This is particularly important after exercise or if you’ve been sweating profusely.  Using an anti-bacterial wipe will keep them clean and hygienic. Although it’s worth remembering that whilst this does help to keep the cushions clean, it won’t remove moisture from the pad directly i.e when you’re wearing them.  Sweat will still seep into the ear pads and damage may still occur albeit at a slower rate.  Don’t forget the unpleasant smell this may cause, too.

Let’s not forget either that sweat can also get into the internal components of a headphone and cause damage.  Replacing ear pads is one thing but it’s game-over entirely if moisture seeps deeper than the headphone cushions.

Nothing lasts forever and Bose headphones are no exception.  

Fortunately, if Bose ear pads are falling apart, then they can be replaced.  Some headphone manufacturers don’t build-in replaceable ear pads, and it’s good that Bose doesn’t insist on you forking out for a completely new set of cans.  Replacement pads can start getting expensive though if you’re buying new ones every year or so. We’d always recommend that you protect your sound from day one.  

EarHugz headphone covers fit the entire Bose range as well as most other makes and models of top branded headphones —  Beats, Sony, Sennheiser, Philips

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