1,019 of 1,058 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2005
I run a digital arts studio and teach digital arts, and have tried more than a dozen different headphones in the $15 to $250 price range. Again and again, I go back to using the MDR-7506 for all applications from digital video shooting and editing to music recording and studio mastering. Most of the pros I know also use the MDR-7506 when they have a choice--and buy them for use at home too.
What makes these the best? First and foremost, excellent reproduction from bass into the high end, with unrivalled "punch" and clarity. They are much louder at a given input volume than most headphones, which is important if your are recording in the field and need to hear the headphone monitoring above the ambient sound and the live sound around you. They are comfortable, instantly adjust to different head sizes without any fussing, sturdy and easily repairable, and stowe quickly and easily in the included soft drawstring bag.
I do keep a couple of pairs of high-end ($300+) headphones to check as references when mastering music, but honestly I seldom find anything with them that isn't already clear with the 7506es.
The only problem I can report is that, even though they invariably outlast other headphones in terms of wear-and-tear, they do get STOLEN more often by my students. Once you get used to the 7506, its hard to go back to using any other headphones that cost less that twice their price.
I still dream of someday discovering a comparable headphone set for half or a quarter the price of the MDR7506. Every year, I buy a few $25 or $50 models just out of hope. So far, however, nothing out there qualifies as "acceptable" to me--including the many competing $99 headphone models from other companies and even from Sony.
Bottom line: Don't hesitate. You absolutely cannot go wrong with the MDR7506. This is the headphone of choice, the industry standard. The only reason they're so cheap is MARKET VOLUME--Sony sells a lot of these to audio and video pros!!
385 of 409 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2005
My internet research and experience with these indicates that they are at least as good, and probably better, than anything else for the price. The sound quality from these headphones is fantastic. You can pick out the individual voices of the backup singers. Things like the drummer's brushes sound vastly improved, and many other little details. I have created mp3s using LAME at the "insane" quality setting, 320 kilobits/sec, with optimizations, and I can distinguish subtle sounds in the original stream that are muted or altered in the MP3. Poor quality recordings, or overly compressed MP3s sound terrible compared to what these headphones are capable of. I find it most impressive compared to lesser headphones in pieces that have vocals and acoustical instruments.
The headphone has an ultra-low impedance, 24 ohms, which means it can be easily powered by portable players, and achieve more than enough volume. Since a 1/4" screw-on adapter is included, so this headphone can be used equally well on your portable or your home stereo. Both the base mini plug and 1/4" adaptor are gold-plated. If use this headphone on a portable player with a large disc, you may be tempted to keep your most listened-to recordings uncompressed (or in the FLAC lossless format, for the few devices that support that).
According to my research, the headphones have an extremely even response over the whole spectrum. That means that what you are hearing is pretty close to the original intent when the music was mixed. Some users have complained that the bass response is low -- but I think that's compared to headphones / earbuds / in-ear monitors whose bass response is too high. If you don't like the bass response, simply change the equalizer settings on your unit.
The headphone has a closed design, blocking out outside sounds. This is the best way to go in my opinion, because with outside noise you need to raise the volume higher to achieve the same clarity, and you risk damaging your hearing. These headphones can be played at low volumes and still sound great. The only other option for "closed-ear" is some of the ear-sealing in-ear-monitors, but the good ones are very, very expensive. The in-ear-monitors also have the disadvantage that the sounds of brushing the cable, and even sometimes your own breathing and heartbeat, is trasmitted to your ear.
The headphone can also be used as a monitor headphone, i.e. to hear what you are recording while you are recording it--that in fact is it's primary intent. There is basically no sound leakage so it works very well--also meaning your won't annoy those around you when you listen to music. I own a Sony Hi-MD (MZ-RH910), which I record voice audio with, and so this monitor ability is very welcome.
I find the headphone very comfortable. Like any closed headphone, it does make your ears warm, but I have not found this to be noticably uncomfortable. I believe this headphone is suppossed to be more over-the ear rather than on the ear (i.e. like Sennheiser HD 25-SP), but be warned that the opening for each ear is small -- my ears barely fit in them, and I do not have large ears. From a comfort point of view, I recommended that you try this set on before purchasing them. I tried mine on before buying and purchased them from a retail outlet. Another plus for this set is that only one cable comes out of the left side of the unit, the connection to the right channel is through the arch over your head. Furthermore, the cable drops out about 1 inch from your neck, so it usually doesn't touch you. I find this greatly preferable to having cables hanging out of both sides of your head that always seem to be brushing you somewhere. All earbuds, in-ear-monitors, and even many hyper-expensive headsets (i.e. Sennheiser HD 650), have cables coming out of both ears.
The Sony 7506 headphone is super-rugged, exceptional quality from start to finish.
The only possible negative I see is the cable -- it's a non-removable, long, thick, heavy-duty coiled cable. For use on your home stereo, it's great. But for use outside the home on a digital music player, it is inconvenient, as the bundled coiled cable probably takes as much space as your player. However, it's not unusable, from the left earpiece there is just enough straight cable to reach down to your waist -- where you can stuff the coiled cable in your pocket or in a case along with your player. But if you plan on using this mostly on a digital player outside your home, this alone could a be deal buster. It is also fairly bulky to carry around. You can probably forget about using this headphone on your bicycle, or while jogging, or anything where you are moving around outside.
Overall, this is a very well made set of headphones that will deliver beautiful and pristine sound at a reasonable price. Highly recommended.
392 of 421 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2006
If you've read down far enough to find this review, you probably already know that these are the professional studio monitor headphones used by pretty much anyone with a mixing board - from Celine Dion to Slipknot, from NFL broadcasts to The Howard Stern Show, these are the way most recording artists and studios hear every note and nuance. If you're not already convinced, read on.
Most new 7506 owners are awed by their headphones before even hearing them, at least by the packaging. The headphones themselves rest on gently tousled silver silk behind a clear plastic window emblazoned with a large gold "7506". The presentation alone gives the potential buyer the feel of buying a giant engagement ring, but the theatrics end once you open the box. Getting down to business inside is a very serious schematic diagram documenting the complete parts and assembly list of the fifty or so pieces that go into making this single pair of headphones, a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter (the screw-on type, a must for live use), and a pleather carrying pouch.
The 7506s are visually almost an anti-climax to the packaging. The design is very basic and straightforward without any tricks or frills, but simplicity is part of the appeal here. Every detail has been engineered to work simply and simply work. The steel band size adjustment snicks into place confidently at each numbered groove. Both earcups rotate vertically a full 180 degrees on their hinges with ease. The 1/8" plug has an all-metal casing with a real rubber sleeve, as you'd find on actual pro audio music cables. The more deeply you look into each element of the design, the more you'll appreciate how much Sony also looked into it.
Putting on the 7506s is also an easy affair, thanks to their eight ounce weight and modest profile. They're actually small enough that you could get away with wearing them in public, but you wouldn't hear much else - the closed design combined with cushy stuffed vinyl pads and secure, if not tailored, fit means the ambient sound isolation borders on noise-cancelling. The earcups can also be folded upwards against the inside of the headband for portability - so portable in fact, that you could place a folded set of 7506s in a child's lunchbox *with room to spare*.
But if ever a good thing came in a small package, it's the big sound of these headphones. Ruler flat response, deep sound stage, and sniper tight accuracy means every aspect of the source signal comes to life and is revealed in full. Bass notes come through with such authority that you find yourself occasionally making note of your feet, to see if you can feel the bass in the floor. Instrument placement is at once obvious - parsing out where each instrument and sound is in a mix is instantly clear. Previously hidden and obscure sounds and passages in various tracks stand out so well that entire songs are made new again. There just isn't any sound that the 7506s can't reproduce exactly as you'd hear it with your own ears.
Those of you who like to tailor your sound with extra helpings of bass or volume have also been accommodated - On the low end, using even the most basic bass boost the 7506s can faithfully reproduce subwoofers-in-the-trunk neighborhood-wide bass *in your head*. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't heard it myself. Volume-wise, a low impedance matched with a high power handing capacity means these headphones are easily driven by an iPod or Walkman, yet can easily achieve volume levels that could liquefy your inner ear without even the implication of distorting. Plainly speaking, whatever you want the 7506s to do, they'll do it with ease.
Keep in mind that revealing everything requires a good source. Plugging these into a cheaper portable or poorly EQ'd equipment will quickly make any and all limitations evident. This includes cheap computer audio hardware and low frequency/bandwidth MP3s. Uncompressed file formats suddenly seem a lot more practical when you can hear the constraints of highly compressed MP3s.
"Audiophile" sites and reviews have had a hard time coming to grips with these headphones. Being that they're a consumer brand product available at any common music store at a fraction of the price of most other high-end models, the "elite" image and price tag that goes along with it just aren't a part of the 7506's game. It's reflected in some reviews, some saying they're "too bassy", others "too bright", but how exactly is this possible if you're using a decent source and the same headphones the musicians/engineers used to create the recording? You're hearing the music exactly as it was heard in the studio, exactly as it was meant to be heard. Only the 7506s can make that promise.
If you're creating any kind of recordings and find yourself crossing your fingers that you're hearing it as it's actually being recorded, or just a music lover who feels it's time to hear the music as it was meant to be heard, you're only a hundred dollars away from the Sony MDR-7506. Five stars and my highest recommendation to Sony's masterpiece.
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2013
This is my second set of 7506s. My older set is still working fine after 7+ years of use -it only needed replacement of the nylon covers on the still-comfortable ear pads at about 4.5 years. I think I paid about $6-7 for a pair of covers here at Amazon. I've tried a few under-$200 headphones and have not found anything to compare to the 7506s in terms of both flat-true sound reproduction, comfort, and compactness. On the latter, I am submitting a photo that compares the sizes of the 7506 to a pair of the also-excellent Audio-Technica M-50. I got a bad sample of the M50, but I would have tried a second pair if not for their size. I think the compactness of these 7506s is an under-rated feature.
My new 7506s are as good as my prior set, although they're a little more base-enhanced, and the coiled cord stretches about 10 feet max, which is couple of feet less that my older pair. Each of these features may be preferred by some, and it is possible that each difference is attributable to age, I especially appreciate that the new phones are as comfortable, and that their build quality is as good as ever.
If anyone can recommed a pair that may be a step up to these fine phones, in either an open or closed design, in the under-$200-at-Amazon category, and that is equally compact or nearly-so, please add a comment to this review. Thank you. Enjoy the music regardeless of how you reproduce it.
EDIT/UPDATE: As for build quality, the nylon cover on the right ear pad began to come undone at about 7 months. On my original 7506s, the pads lasted about 5 years. I am posting a photo to illustrate the problem with my 8-month-old headphones. Bummer, shame; now I'll have to hassle with a change and add $10-20 to the cost of the these Sony favorites.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2012
I've seen some bad reviews here, but mostly due to knockoffs that have unfortunately made their way into the market.
Rich sound, whether it's for music or vocal, or even movies. You can hear just how trendy headphones like the Dre Beats are junkfood for the ears.
If you have an authentic Japanese made pair, then you should already know how great these are. I've had mine for 15 year and have recently replaced the ear padding. I will never get another kind.
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2010
I didn't get a chance to hear these before I bought them. I was trusting the reviews on line and I must say I am amazed at how well these sound. I have tested the Dr.Dre phones at Best Buy and others, they didn't sell this model of Sony there(Big Mistake)! These are way better than the Dr Dre and all the Bose I have heard and at half the price in some cases. Thanks to all on this site for the great and honest reviews.
I love the way these were packaged and like that they came with a storage case to keep them protected against dust and elements and keeps the extra long cord from getting tangled. I know some people didn't like the long cord, but I like to have the extra freedom to move around and the cord and jacks are high quality. Good for Sony for not cutting corners and keeping these at top quality. Also not made in China!
196 of 229 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2004
1) The SONY 7506 achieves very serious sound isolation - it cuts ambient noise of high orders of magnitude quite effectively (like inside a small aircraft), and doesn't transmit ANY sound to the outside. Full marks on this point, since that was an important factor for me - ideal for workplace and commuting.
2) Low 24 Ohms impedance, ideal for portable audio. Typically, portable audio comes without a pre-amp stage, so high input impedances on headphones lead to very low playing volumes. Full marks on performance with portable audio.
3) Foldable, makes it so much easier to carry than a comparable full-size non-folding piece.
4) Audio reproduction is decent, but not exceptional. Bass suffers - its a little boomy and has the least volume compared to treble and midrange. I think that is a direct side-effect of being acoustically sealed and isolated. Treble and midrange are just fine, with treble dominating more than I would like. My other Hi-Fi headset, the Sennheiser HD-570 may have spoilt me on this point. The Senn sounds far better, but fails on points 1 through 3.
5) For me - not too comfortable. My ears get pinched a little and hurt, but i'm getting used to it. My head and ears are larger than average. If you're average tending tending to the small, you'll be fine. This headset is full-size circum-aural, making it more comfortable than any generic headset that touches the ears, or presses on them in any way.
After months of listening, I am upgrading the sound reproduction to Excellent, but still not exceptional. The bass has cleared up and is now crisp.
I would say the biggest asset of this headset is its faithful reproduction, with no artificial accents, highlights or timbre. BYO !
92 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2007
This is the first time that I've left a product review of any type, but I just felt that I had to....
I'm not an expert in audio, but I DID get tired of less expensive headphones just not living up to my expectations.
These Sony headphones are worth every penny. First, they have plenty of volume - something lesser headphones lack. Sometimes I just wanna ROCK - I want it LOUD. Most headphones dis-appoint on that.
So - I bought these because I read a review saying that they had higher volume at lower settings. Not only am I pleased with the volume (even when only connected to my ipod!), but the sound quality is STUNNING.
FANTASTIC Bass - You'd SWEAR that there is a sub-woofer operating somewhere, and the highs are all there. VERY impressive dynamic range.
Ok - I'll stop being a salesman for Sony. Let's just say that I was impressed enough to leave my FIRST product feedback. Buy these headphones, you will NOT be disappointed.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2007
Great sound, especially the bass. The sound insulation is very impressive, when the speakers are put together, you cannot hear any noise coming out unless you're really blasting the music. The cord is very well designed. It is thick enough that you aren't going to damage anything if you accidentally roll over it in your chair, and the coiled design makes it great for moving around. They are also extremely comfortable, and dont make my ears hurt or hot. I have a large head, and you can jack these out to fit even the largest head, yet they still fit snugly on my small-headed room mate. Fantastic headphones, I recommend them to everyone.
84 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2008
These headphones are very much worth the price. I have approximately 20-30 high-end headphones. I have spent as much as $900.00 for the top of the high-end headphones. Each set offers different things that are wonderful.
The Sony 7506 is no frills. No leather covered earpads or aluminum fittings. They fit snugly, but not as constrictive as Sennheiser 600 or 650. They do not float on your head like the audiophile Audio-Technica models which are excellent. The earpads fit on the ear rather than surrounding the ear like Audio-Technica. The phones are closed back and achieve a very good seal as to outside noise.
As far as sound, I cannot say that they are flat sounding. They have an immediate sound stage. You feel you are on stage with the musicians. There is no sense of separation from the sources of the music. The sound is very joyful and dynamic. They are very easily driven by an Ipod. I have not heard them with a headphone amplifier. I suspect that a headphone amplifier might make them sound overripe if not on the low gain setting.
Often times, I prefer an open-backed headphone because it seems to give you a sound that has more space in it. I like the more subtle approach, but these headphones do not seem too close.
On a technical note, the headphones appear to be made of plastic rather than lightweight metal. The wires that go to each earcup of the headphones are exposed so that they could be pulled if you do not use them very carefully. One thing you will note from the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 (which is approximately the same price) is that the wires to each of the earcups is hidden inside frame of the headphones. Additionally, I believe (although I am not sure)that the headphone frames of the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 are metal with metal fittings. I cannot comment on how long the Sony headphones will last because I have only owned the 7506 for a month or so. At the same price, you might want to consider the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 or the Grado SR-80.
In short, if you are not a fanatical collector of headphones and only want to purchase one pair, this is an excellent choice. By the way, by having more than one set of headphones, you in effect have several different stereos--each sounding rather different than the other. To achieve sound of this caliber from speakers, you would have to spend thousands of dollars to get the quality of sound a listener with good headphones can get from an Ipod featuring huge memory and portability. Lastly, you will not burden everyone around you in your family with having to listen to the same music you are listening to your music.