Best answer: While you can remove and replace the earpads, Sony doesn't offer replacement parts for the WH1000XM3. We recommend filing a warranty exchange with Sony if possible, though there are third-party options available as well — just keep in mind that using different earpads can affect factors like isolation and noise-canceling.

Why would I need to replace my earpads?

Bluetooth headphones are convenient because you can take them with you anywhere — whether it's the coffee shop, the airport, or the train — and not have to worry about wires. The WH1000XM3's active noise canceling makes it even better for use in loud environments, and Sony explicitly markets them as travelers' headphones.

That kind of travel can lead to natural wear and tear, however, and it's common for earpads on over-the-ear headphones to eventually begin to crack and fray.

Damage isn't the only reason to replace earpads. Particularly with Sony's 1000X line, some users have complaints about the overall comfort of their headphones, and seek out different earpads to change factors like sealing, driver distance, cushioning, and minimizing sweat.

What do I do when my earpads need replacing?

The earpads on the WH1000XM3 can be carefully removed from the headphones by dislodging the locking clips from the plastic retaining ring beneath the cushioned pad. Unfortunately, Sony doesn't sell replacement earpads for the WH1000XM3 anywhere on its site or through online retailers, so your options for finding a new set of earpads are limited.

The easiest way to replace the earpads on your WH1000XM3 headphones is by filing a warranty exchange with Sony. In most cases, you should be able to have the earpads replaced for free, provided your headphones are still within the year of included coverage, though you'll be left without headphones until yours are returned back to you.

If you prefer to take matters into your own hands, there are third-party replacement earpads on Amazon, like this popular set from Dekoni Audio, but it's important to keep in mind that using replacement earpads can have a major impact on your listening experience. Variations in material and construction can change the way your headphones isolate sound and block out surrounding audio, particularly with noise-canceling headphones that have very specifically tuned algorithms.

That difference isn't always a bad thing, and you might find that earpads from a different manufacturer actually sound better to your ears. If you don't mind spending the time and money to find your perfect earpads, there are quite a few options to choose from — but if you're happy with the out-of-box experience and simply want the same earpads in better condition, your best bet is still to have the headphones serviced directly through Sony.

Silent bliss

Sony WH1000XM3

ANC all day.

Sony's WH1000XM3 headphones offer excellent noise canceling, great sound quality, and intuitive gesture controls. You can recharge them through USB-C, and there's a 3.5mm headphone jack to fall back on when the battery dies or you simply don't want to use Bluetooth.

Third-party option

Dekoni Audio Replacement Earpads

Your best option for user-replaceable earpads.

Dekoni Audio makes high-quality vegan leather earpads for the 1000XM3. Third-party earpads can change a headset's sound signature, especially on headphones with active noise canceling, but Dekoni claims its earpads retain the same characteristics as Sony's and even adds 6dB of passive isolation.

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