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Sony MDR-7520 Professional Headphones

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #139 in Over-Ear

Posted

Pros: Clarity, clarity, clarity! Detail, neutrality, revealing, maybe even transparent? Very comfortable.

Cons: You will definitely hear the flaws in bad recordings

So, I've finally found MY headphones :) I tried the Sennheiser Momentum, the KEF M500, B&W P7, Sony MDR 1R, Philips Fidelio L2 (yes, the L2), the B&O H6, the Focal Spirit Classic (you read that right too) and the Sony MDR Z1000.

 

I was in search of a good sounding, but most of all comfortable closed headphone. All the headphones I've tried above sounded quite good, but none of them were comfortable enough for me (except for the Z1000, which is the 7520's less refined brother) so I ended up returning all of them.

 

So what was the first thing I noticed when I listened to the 7520? The amazing clarity. I'm not exaggerating when I say that all the above headphones (with the exception of maybe the L2) sound veiled compared to the 7520. Also the level of detail these headphones retrieve is amazing. It's actually leaning towards the analytical side, without losing it's musicality. I can listen to music for hours without the level of detail becoming too much, but when I want to close my eyes and focus on the music there is just oodles of detail to be found, I just get lost in the music :)

 

To my ears this headphone responds very well throughout the entire frequency range. The highs are nice and crisp but never sound harsh. Sometimes you will hear a bit of sibilance though, but that's only with less well mastered recordings. The mids are very neutral and detailed. And the bass is very very nicely done, very taught, controlled, and again I think fairly neutral. And it will still reach deep into sub-bass regions when the music calls for it. If a song is warm, the headphone will sound warm. If a song is cold, it'll sound cold. If the music is rocking, these headphones will rock. If the music is serene and quiet, these headphones will be very composed.

 

The soundstage of these headphones is also quite good. I'd say it portrays the soundstage the way the audio engineer intended it to sound (provided he was using good speakers/headphones as well of course :)). So with classical music the soundstage can sound quite wide, and with other music it can sound quite narrow, depending on how it's recorded. I also feel like the imaging is done very well and the instrumental separation is excellent. When you focus you can and will hear every individual instrument, easily. And if you don't want to focus, it turns into a nice ensemble so you can just do what music is intended for: enjoyment :)

 

The Z1000 is the 7520's brother. They look exactly the same, just that the Z1000 has silver accents. I think they also use the same drivers as the technical specs are exactly the same, but others have pointed out that they are actually different drivers with very similar specs. Whatever the case is, they certainly do not sound the same. The bass response is a bit rolled off I'd say on the Z1000. It's just not there, even when the music calls for it. And compared to the 7520 the soundstaging was less expansive when the music called for it. The rest of the frequency range sounded otherwise fairly similar.

 

These headphones put a smile on my face when I listen to music. Eventhough they are marketed to the professional audio engineer market (and I can certainly hear why), I think any audiophile will be able to appreciate these headphones. I've never heard a truly neutral high-end headphone, so I cannot compare it to that, but I think this is quite close to a neutral sounding headphone.

 

I highly recommend this headphone to you all. At least give it a listen :)

 

Edit 3/25/2014: I lowered the rating by half a star as there is a bit of creaking in the headphone that I haven't been able to fix. It occurs when I move my head or jaw. It can be quite annoying. The SQ is still superb, but the creaking sometimes distracts me from my listening.

Posted

Pros: build, sound, cost

Cons: coiled cable, FR i'm not entirely used to yet

Comparing these to my Philips L1 and my Beyer T1 they have a lot more mid-bass through midrange and are slightly tilted toward the high.  They sound great but quite a bit different sound signature which I need to get used to.  My other headphones are T5p which I have yet to compare them to and Ety ER-4s.  In general all my previous phones have a less aggressive sound to them. Less mid-bass in your face.  Very very efficient, almost double the volume as the L1 and over triple the volume of the T1.  It puts a lot of music and detail across the entire spectrum in your head not light on any frequency and not missing any detail.  As I said it can be a little tiring after coming from the L1 or T1 which are much more laid back sounding.  

 

Build is top notch for the price, very solid.  Cable is a bit over-engineered especially if you are planning to use this portably.  I only wish it came with a straight 4' cable rather then the coiled 9' one since I will be using it on the road but one nice thing is the cable is a simple 3.5mm male to male so you can replace it with anything you want.  I will replace it with a simple super light weight $5 3' off amazon.  I'm one of those people who doesn't see great value though in thick or heavy cabling.  Super-silver oxygen free pure copper it all sounds the same to me in lengths under 10 feet.

 

Will have to see how the 7520 performs with cabin noise but it does seem to isolate better then the L1 and I am guessing the stronger midrange and bass might come through better with more background noise.  I can't stand the cable of the L1 which is one of the big reasons I was looking for something different. Not sure if I will sell the L1 even though this was meant to replace it because I also like that signature and I bought that at the intro price rather then the steep discount now being offered online.  It just isn't worth the loss in value to let go of seeing as they still sound great, will probably just re-cable them.  

 

Edit: After 30 hours of burn in with white and pink noise they sound much more balanced.  The mid-bass hump seems to have diminished and both ends have opened up.  Getting used to the sound as well and they are starting to really impress me.  However my new complaint is that they really need another quarter inch of ear cushion thickness to help soften the feel and also to lift the drivers a bit so they aren't touching your ear like mine do.  Not quite as soft (plush or cushy) feeling against the ears as I am used to with either of the L1 or T1 or T5p.  I am starting to get used to that as well but it would really help in terms of comfort and even give a better seal to have slightly thicker pads which I don't think would have cost more or cause any sound quality issues.  In fact I think adding this foam would perhaps improve the sound slightly, as I said there is plenty of sound output so distancing the driver slightly from the ear may give a more laid back feel.  If anyone knows how to make a mod to add say a quarter inch of memory foam behind the stock pads I am all ears.  Also if anyone has any comments regarding possibly removing the light cloth mesh inside the cups between my ears and the driver I am considering that as well.  Currently my ears touch the mesh and it is a little aggravating.

Posted

Pros: Clarity, Accuracy, Sexy Drivers!, Bass

Cons: low impedance might be a problem with some amps

These just rocked up.

Amazing clarity and accuracy to their sound, everything sounds ridiculously balanced and the instrument separation is awesome. 

Haven't spent enough time with them yet to write a detailed review but so far all I can say is WOW.

Build quality is great, all magnesium frame feels strong.  The only problem I can think of with these is that they're low impedance and very sensitive, so damping with some high-impedance amps might be a problem

 

Sony MDR-7520 Professional Headphones
By:
Description:

The Sony MDR-7520 is a high quality studio headphone for critical listening pro applications, including studio and broadcast monitoring. These closed-ear headphones have a high power handling capacity of 4,000mW. The MDR-7520s also have premium gold connectors and an Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) cord to improve sound and volume quality. Hear all of your audio's nuances with the headphones wide frequency response. Whether youre mastering or monitoring your mix-downs, these headphones are ready to go with the soft carry case and they are ready for any situation with the included stereo Unimatch plug.50mm Driver Unit with LCP DiaphragmClosed-Ear DesignWide Frequency ResponseHigh Power Handling Capacity 4,000mWStereo Unimatch PlugGold Connectors and OFC CordGet yours today; with the convenience of the Sam Ash Direct 45/60day return/price protection policy, we assure the best price and a fast, free delivery.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingPersonal Computers
BrandSony
EAN0027242821842
Feature1/4" Adaptor and Carry Pouch included
Weight0.59 pounds
LabelSony
List Price$499.99
ManufacturerSony
ModelMDR7520
MPNMDR7520
Package Quantity1
Product GroupPC Accessory
Product Type NameCOMPUTER
PublisherSony
StudioSony
TitleSony MDR-7520 Professional Headphones
UPC027242821842
SKUSONY:MDR7520
Departmentmusic, instruments, instrument accessories
Part NumberMDR7520
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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