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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
When I started shopping for headphones, I had some very specific criteria in mind: first, they must have good noise reduction, as their primary use would be in my dorm room where I wanted to decrease background noise as much as possible when studying.

Second, the sound must be of high quality because I'm picky in general and also because I intend to use them to analyze and learn music (both classical and popular) by ear.

Thiry, they must be large and comfortable. I have slightly big ears, and I wear my headphones for long periods of time, so they have to be of the highest comfort rating.

Finally, and equally significantly, they must have a low impedance. This refers to the electrical resistance of the headphones (their Ohm rating, or the omega symbol). The higher the impedance, the more power you need to run them properly. As you ascend through the price range of headphones, you will find that the impedance increases as well. High-quality headphones have higher impedance because the manufacturer assumes you will be plugging them into a home stereo or studio amplifier, which are typically set up to power headphones of 150-300ohm.

However, if you're like me, you may want to use these headphones elsewhere. Most portable devices like CD players are best suited to run 32ohm headphones at the most, and if you tried to run a pair of 150-300ohm headphones on something with this power rating, it would sound like a dying cow. More importantly to me, however, was the fact that my computer's sound card was rated at 32ohm. Since I do not have a home stereo in my dorm room, and most of my headphone use occurs on the computer, I had to pass up many great sets of headphones because of their high impedance ratings.

Every pair of headphones I looked at or listened to fell short in one of these areas - every pair except the Sony MDR-V900. I listened to them on a whim in a local music store while looking at Sennheisers, and they really impressed me. I thought they sounded great, and they sealed out background noise exquisitely. I thought they would be great if only I had a stereo at school, but then I looked at the back of the box: 32 OHMS IMPEDANCE! WOOHOO!!!

The bottom line is, these headphones sound amazing, have good sealing, are amazingly comfortable, and you can run them from practically anything with no loss in quality. I have not experienced the tinny highs or excess bass that others complain of. They perform great with classical music (orchestra, solo, quartet, etc), jazz, folk/bluegrass, and rock. Bowed instruments and woodwinds sound sweet and warm, guitar is clean and clear, drums are crisp and defined, bass is smooth and well-articulated, brass is clear as a bell, piano resonates like you're in the room with it, and vocals will feel like they're being sung directly to you.

The sound-proofing is good enough that I can really rock out in my fairly quiet office with no noise leakage except when I take them off and they aren't sealed around my ears. It's not so thick that I can't hear my phone ring, but my co-workers have trouble getting my attention vocally.

On a typical day, I wear these headphones almost continuously for 4 hours before and 4 hours after lunch, and have never needed to take a break because of discomfort. They do not get heavy, and the cups are so large that even my big ears barely touch them. They also look pretty sharp. The MDR-V900's are the best piece of musical reproduction equipment I have ever owned, and I would recommend them to anyone.

P.S. If you're shopping for headphones and plan on listening to a few, burn a CD to take with you to the store. They won't mind if you pop it in when you're spending these kind of bucks.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 1999
These Sony headphones are really great. They are extremely comfortable and sound magnificent. They effectively block out any background noise so I can really sit back and the enjoyt the music I am listening to. Nothing like coming home from a long at work to put these on! Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys their music, a very worthwhile investment that will bring years of enjoyment. I only wish I bought them sooner... :)
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2005
Sony has replaced their high-end line of headphones with the new "SA" series, which means good buys on oldies like the V900s. I was using the MDR-V700s, which are decent, but they are also heavy, and tend to get very uncomfortable after awhile. I've seen all the reports of cracked and broken hinges, but my pair survived roughly 1.5 years of use without a problem in that area.

Because of the weight and comfort issue though, I wanted new cans that are around the ear to block out noise and are sealed (which rules out Grado and the Sony SA series) sound as good or better than the V700 (rules out Bose) and have less clamping force than the V700 so I can wear them for hours (rules out Sennheiser HD280 Pro). I also didnt want to spend more than $150 or so, and I wanted cans that are reasonably portable, which rules out Audio-Technica.

Whats left are the V900s, which after several weeks of use are actually quite good. They showed that the V700s have a dull, recessed midrage and some coloration in the highs. The V900s are pretty neutral, perhaps slightly foward. Most recordings on my iRiver iFP-999 sounded a little bright, so I set the EQ to -3db at 14khz, which smoothed out the sound nicely. The V900s have everything I was looking for in a new pair of headphones. They are very light and very comfortable even after 4-5 hours of continuous use, they are efficient enough to use even with my notebook, they are portable, and they sound better than the V700s.

If you're fine with open cans I'd suggest the Sony MDR-SA5000, which have phenominal sound for their price. If you want sealed but arent concerned with portability, get a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-W1000s (keep in mind though you have to buy them at a place that imports from Japan like Audiocubes).

If you want sealed, light, portable, and quality sound for a reasonable price, the V900s are a good buy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2003
I tried these and the sony mdr-v700dj. There is a slight difference in sound quality but nothing that is worth the extra 130 dollars or so. I'm not sure why they are so much more expensive and Both models have superior sound quality and you will be very pleased with the way they sound when you first put them on. They are simply a true reproduction of the sound that has been recorded.
The mdr-v700dj's are a little more well balanced in terms of weight. I can shake my head with those and they won't budge too much. There is a price to pay for that though...they are slighty tight on the sides and it feels somewhat like your head is in a clamp, but this can be expected from closed-ear headphones.
The mdr-v900's are a little more comfortable but tend to fall of more easily. The oval shape of the cup is a little better on your ear too.
The only other thing is that the ear-cups on the mdr-v900's don't swivel so you can't just put one up to your ear and listen like you can with the mdr-v700ddj. Other than that they are about the same and I would recommend either one. Unless you want to there really is no need to waste the extra money on the mdr-v900's unless you can find them for a cheaper price.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2005
I have had a variety of Sony Headphones (and others over the years - Sennheiser, Nady, Panasonic, Pioneer, etc.) including the MDR V-700, V-300, V-7506 and others. These MDR-V900 Monitors though are the best! I use them for monitoring music, movies, and most importantly, I use them when playing my Bass Guitar at church. They have a great "boot'en" bottom-end as well as a excellent very high upper ambience reproduction...they simply kick! I paid much more for them than that advertized on Amazon right now and I am considering buying other pairs for my drummer, sound technician, and guitarist for our church group. My opinion is you can't go wrong with these babies!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2007
I have had these headphones for about 4 years now and I have yet to hear a set that delivers better sound. The deep end is very rich but the entire range remains very balanced. The sound is very, very transparent to the point that you might get disappointed even with 192kbit MP3s. Very nice is also the impedance matching with the ipods which means that even the nano is capable of powering the V900 to a sound that will blow your eardrums if you so desire and it will do so for hours, which really comes as a surpise to me as the headset is capable of delivering 3W (!) of power. But really, anyone who spends this money on a headset is probably not about the power. These are so nicely balance that I usually avoid using an equilizer. I will admit that my experience with other topend headsets is limited, but if you go to the apple store and try every headset on display you will find that none will match the quality of the V900, including the over/on ear Bose noise canceling. While the Bose has a very good sound and is equally rich it doesn't have the transparency of the V900. The fit is very tight which shields very well from ambient noise. As a matter of fact I have used a leafblower in the backyard for several hours will listening to music, but having said that, it is NOT a noice canceling headset. Really the only drawback as I can see it is the weight. This is not a light set. In particular the very high quality cable comes with a huge weight penalty. It gets kind of ridiculus with the nano ipod, because the pod is probably less than half the weight of the headset. They are very comfortable on the ear so the weight is not felt that much, but when lying down or turning the head rapidly the weight will cause them to slip of. I bought the Bose in-ear set to complement.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I have read several of these reviews and I'm a hard core audiophile myself. For my portable players I have about 25 pairs of headphones so far and used the 700' for awhile but they are uncomfortable for extended listening, the 900s are a whole different level with much more detail, better base, even the top end. I would say the 700's are pleasant to listen with but the 900's are accurate, articulate and pleasant and I do not agree with the grainy assessment at all. The low end grado's have nothing on these I suspect people saying this are using inferior equipment which I think the 900's are too revealing to use with less than ideal equipment.

I had an ipod which was very clear but you can only use lower bit rates and the sound is not all that balanced. The creative 40 gig has an EQ at least so you can adjust it to the headphones (the 700's and 900s are the only one's I've used where I kept the EQ flat) the Cowen player I'm using now is outstanding, finally a true high-end portable sound. I'm using lossless right now and the sound with the 900's is very very good! The sound is very detailed, warm and full, I'm happy finally with portable sound.
The Cowen player and these 900's are an awesome combo, incredible coherence with such a small system, they actually image and have spatial cues. My only warning is that the Cowen's have enough power to make your ears bleed so be careful with younger listeners, it doesn't break up no matter what you throw at it.

Good luck
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2005
About a month ago, I decided to get some better sounding phones to use in my studio. I bought a pair of Sony MDR-v900, and a pair of Sony MDR-7506 from their pro-line.

The v900 sounds fine for non-critical listening, but the 7506 shows much more detail. If you really wanna hear what's in the mix, the 7506 is the ticket.

The v900 does favors for low bit-rate mp3 encoded stuff, and it's pleasant to listen to...with a bit of a bump in the 100-200Hz region, but there's just not enough detail to be able to use for critical projects.

I bought more pairs of MDR-7506...that should tell you something. There has been some talk that Sony may discontinue the 7506...sure hope that doesn't happen.

BTW, the consumer MDR-v600 is NOT the same thing as the pro-line MDR-7506. The v600 sounds much more like the MDR-v900.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2004
Have had these headphones for a couple of years and have not had a problem with treble and really like the bass coverage. I find them comfortable and well made. Possibly there are headphones that are cheaper that are as good, I don't know. I only know these are good, sound and, although they are a little heavy, comfort over the long haul and they suit me quite well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2009
Sony's headphones seem to be notorious to many people. But I don't feel that way, since I have own this Sony MDR-V900 for around 6 years, which was pre-owned and sold in ebay for about a hundred bucks.

I was just a teenager when I got this headphone, with it I mostly listened to classical music. I am still using it now as a music conservertory student. Orchestra sounds great, the headphones shows high range of sound, solid bass. Strings sound great. Japanese Taiko drumming (low frequency) sound solid. Very balanced sound, while listening to Yamashirogumi's "Ecophony Gaia" (electronic music playing sense of space with sound), the headphones shows its ability to present sense of depth and space.

I have also used it for studio recording and mixing class, where I had a chance to deal with excellent high-end sound system. This headphone sounds great, but there is another popular Sony model for studio use, which sounds more crispy. This might also because I have always been listening to Classical (mainly orchestral) music and seldom listen to pop music that I was listening in the studio.

But this headphone doesn't stay on your head when you walk, in additional to its heavy spiral long cord, it's ideal for home use but certainly not good for outdoor use. For outdoor use, I have had a pair of Shure E2C and later a pair of E3C. They have all broken, and now I am using a replacement of the E2C, SE110.

Shure earphones are considered higher quality, I do hear a very deep sound (while listening to Classical music), amazing as it's so small. But it doesn't downgrade my Sony MDR-V900, because the difference of sound between good headphones and earphones cannot be judged as better or worse.

Earphones and headphones have their own character; once I heard a saying that Shure earphones develop their own sound after long time of "cooking". I believe so because my broken Shure E3C was pre-owned, and it happened to have a "cooked" sound that was very unpleasant to me (and it was broken so easily).

Throughout these years, the Sony MDR-V900 has always kept its good shape, the sponges have shown wears, but are tight and unlikely to fall apart. With the extra sponge at the head-bridge, it's very comfortable to be worn for hours.

If you are really picky on headphones, you may consider what genre of music you usually listen and do some research first. However, I don't see the point of having a supreme (and extremely expensive...like those $600-700, wow) headphone, but plug it into some mp3 players, I-phone or Ipod.
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