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Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone

89% Positive Reviews
Rated #99 in Over-Ear

Posted

Pros: Sound, Value, Replaceable Earpads

Cons: Non-Detachable Cable, Cheap Stock Earpads, Exposed Wires, Small Soundstage

Introduction: These headphones were purchased from Guitar Center's online website for $99.99, basically $100, and whenever i confirmed the order, i was immediately overcome with joy. The reason for that was because of the fact that the Sony MDR-7506 headphones have been a recording industry standard, and i really wanted to see if they sounded any good.

 

Build Quality and Comfort: These headphones are mainly comprised of plastic with a little bit of metal built into them. The headband has metal built into it and it has fake leather wrapped around it. They have these wishbone type things connecting the earcups to the rest of the headphone, and overall, they feel like a really sturdy pair of headphones. 

 

Soundstage and Imaging: These headphones really don't deliver a wide, detailed soundstage, but i think that can be excused due to the fact that they are closed, and are not meant for soundstaging.

 

Bass: Detailed and Tight. Not many headphones in this price range deliver an accurate and non-overwhelming bass response that these have.

 

Midrange: Clean. The vocals are detailed, and most of all, wonderful... In my opinion. They are not congested or covered up by muddy bass... Nothing like that. Now, i have heard headphones that have better vocals that these, but they cost $100 to $200 more. 

 

Treble: Clean and not harsh whatsoever. The cymbal crashes are heard with E's, and cannot be matched by any other headphone in this price range, again, in my opinion.  

 

Conclusion: These are used in studios and studio applications for a reason. They sound great! Quite possibly the best 100 to 130 dollar headphones in existence.

Posted

Pros: Good technical ability, somewhat flat response, long cable, good build, highly customizeable, etc.

Cons: Upper mids are too emphasized, hints of sibilance, bass roll off, need eq, EDIT: unnatural sound, better options at the price point

Disclaimers:

I'm a consumer, a headphone enthusiast, so I'm not using these for professional use.

... that's it

 

They come in a nice box, really giving them a professional feel.  The bag I think is nice, since it feels durable, but it is made of synthetic  leather so deon't expect something heavy duty.  In the box, Sony gives you the headphones, a 3.5mm to 6.3mm screw on adapter, a bag, and a year warranty.  When you actually take them out of the box, you'll soon realize that that 1 year warranty is useless.

 

In a word, the build is simply great.  I wish I could tell you more but there isn't much to tell to be honest.  Build shouldn't be one of your worries regarding this headphone.

 

Comfort wise, I would say they are uncomfortable.... until you replace the pads with these:

http://www.amazon.com/Auray-Deluxe-Velour-Earpads-Pair/dp/B005GC7YJ2/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1387672422&sr=8-7&keywords=mdr+7506+pads

or these:

http://www.amazon.com/Beyerdynamic-Velour-Earcushions-MDR7506-Headphones/dp/B0016MF7W2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1387672453&sr=8-3&keywords=mdr+7506+pads

 

Now they're my most comfortable cans in my selection, only surpassed by the Sony MDR MA900.

 

As for sound, these sound very detailed and analytical, but if you're coming from something with a warmer signature like the MDR XB500, you'll definitely notice the emphasis in the upper mids (from around 2khz-12khz).You can obviously see the boost here: from Golden Ears

 

Not only did Sony decide to emphasize the upper mids-treble, but they decided to recess the lower mids.  That's simply a recipe for... badness (lol).  I'm exaggeration the flaws a bit.

There's some slight bass and treble roll off, though they shouldn't be the main concern.

 

Anyway, some may be wondering what effect the coloration would have on the sound.  Basically, it makes the vocals sound tinny, like they're coming out of a cellphone.  Obvious exageration though.  It also can make some instruments sound a littl;e strained/strident.  Unnatural is a good word, as is analytical.

 

So, why have I given them such a good review?  Well, that's because of E to the Q (tried to it rhyme).  Equalization (aka E to the Q)  is fairly easy, for this headphone at least.  When you EQ, you're trying to force the headphone to have a flat frequency response.  So, in order to make these sound flat, or natural, you must counter the response:

Use an EQ, (example, EQu on IOS, or Poweramp on Android) and follow that bolded blue curve.  Add some flavor to it to make it sound more pleasing.

 

Sound Impressions (EQ'd, with the soft pads which slightly increase the bass)

Bass is tight, mids are right, highs are bright, distortion -3000° Fahrenheit (I can do this all day!), soundstage out of sight.  These bcome the perfect cans.  Well, on bad recordings, the sibilance does start to act up, but who cares! (lol, I know some of you care, but you's better find some better recordings or these head-fi'ers will eat you alive!).

If you want to know why these react so well to equalization, well my best guess is because of the technical ability of these things.   Studio monitors like the MDR 7506 are usually good at EQ.

 

MDR 7506 vs UE6000 vs M50

UE6000 un EQ'd sounds the best, but they don't react the best to EQ.  They have the tightest and deepest bass, and have the best isolation.

 

The M50 is nicely balanced and doesn't really need EQ but you can if you want.  The frequencies that are particularly difficult to EQ are the Mid frequncies (less so with the upper mids) and that is where the M50 lacks.  The M50 also has a smaller soundstage and is much heavier.

 

The 7506 is the most engaging of these, and have outlasted the rest in terms of build.

 

 

Overall, a 3.5/5 from me.

 

(EDIT: January 2014) It is beaten by the UE6000, ES FC300, Martin Logan Mikros 90

Posted

Pros: Easy to apply earpad mod that improves bass response

Cons: Not the greatest detail, sounds like a closed back can.

I have always taken issue with the name: these aren't large diaphragm cans. I consider 40mm diameter drivers to be average. 50mm would be large. 30mm would be small. But that's just my opinion.

 

This was my 3rd set of cans after re-entering the hobby last spring. They followed my ATH M40fs, and my Beyerdynamic DT 770/250 ohm cans. They initially sounded kind of clinical, but have greatly improved over time. Yes, for the record, I do believe in mechanical break-in of headphones (I refuse to call it "burn-in", because it isn't).

 

I realized almost immediately that I didn't like the feel of the stock ear pads. Having owned a set of Beyer cans, I had already fallen in love with the velour-style earpads. I rather quickly purchased and applied a set of the replacement Beyer ETD 250 ear pads. For $22 bucks, it was a no brainer. They were immediately far more comfortable. Over time, they also have apparently gained some improved low end response. Caveat: I do not know what they would have sounded like, had I left the stock ear pads on for a while. I hated the stock pads so much, that I just had to toss them quickly.

 

I use these headphones at work. I wear them 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. I run them with a stock Bravo V2 amp, sporting a late 50's vintage Mullard round-getter tube. This amp is driven by a Pure i-20 iPod DAC, which is using a 6th gen iPod Nano, that contains a combination of apple loss-less music, and some 256 kbps AAC music. No special cables are used. Stock power supplies are used. I didn't want to drop a ton of money on the setup since it sits on my desk at work, and some idiot might steal it (people regularly steal laptops where I work). So I never know if I'll still have an audio rig on my desk from one day to the next. But my job sucks, so I'd rather risk it lol. I'd hate to be without some kind of music, it's what keeps me sane.

 

They are light and comfortable (especially after replacing the earpads). Initially I thought they felt a bit flimsy (especially compared to the ATH M40fs, which are built like a tank), but over time they have proven solid. I don't toss them around a lot, but they have never given me any grief. They do tend to collapse into the portable carrying position without being asked to, but that's not such a big deal. The cord is long and coiled, but I personally like that. I sit at a desk so it's useful to have a nice long coiled cord. On occasion, I wear them like a DJ would (with just one side listening, the other open), and they are acceptably comfortable in that arrangement.

 

They are not as detailed or fine-sounding as my Beyer DT770 cans. On the other hand, they are very easy to drive. I can drive them to perfectly acceptable levels with the iPod alone. An amp is not strictly necessary. That combined with the light weight would make them a nice set of portable cans, were it not for the longish cord or the closed back.

 

The use of the amp and DAC definitely brings these cans to another level. I don't ever find myself wanting to run them with the ipod alone, unless I need to walk around with them on (and that almost never happens). The bass extension with the Beyer earpads is very nice. I can't say they are quite as bassy as the Beyer cans, but honestly, they do come close - certainly close enough for daily listening. They are a bit on the bright side, which doesn't help tone down the harshness of the Pure i-20 iPod DAC. The Mullard tube is a necessity to keep the setup from being screechy and harsh. There really isn't another tube I'd care to run in this amp, because of the bright nature of both the DAC and these cans.

 

Basically, this entire setup suits my needs pretty darn well. I can't say that I would want to buy another Bravo amp - but I would surely want to use some sort of hybrid or tube amp with these cans (it really helps tone down the brightness). They are good enough to keep me happy while I work, and cheap enough so that if some moron decides to walk off with them, at least I won't be out a ton of money.

 

If you're looking for the best cans on God's Green Earth, well, these aren't it lol. On the other hand, if you have a need for closed back cans and don't want to spend more than $100 or so, then these are worth considering. They have been around for a good long while, which says a lot about the design right there. I am not sorry I bought these cans. I enjoy them (and I highly recommend the earpad mod), and I would recommend them, if you have a similar need for a good budget set of cans.

Posted

Pros: Light

Cons: Very cheap feeling

Currently, I'm using these headphones right now is I dictate this review. They actually fit quite well and my only real complaint is the non-detachable coiled cord. I never met a coiled cord that didn't get entangled within itself. In terms of its sonic response, I think they're okay. I say this because I simply use these cans for my little home studio, playback of my voice during voice dictation, and that sort of thing.

My ideal headphones would be just a tad more comfortable with a detachable straightforward cable, and built like a tank. The Sony MDR7506 set is not addressing my needs. Currently, this is my third set of headphones in pursuit of my goal. I'm waiting arrival of the DT 1350's yet I already believe I made a mistake. I wasn't paying attention when I ordered them, as I didn't realize just how small they were. Perhaps I got wrapped around the axle on their metal construction which at least fills one of my desires of commercial durability.

Overall, the Sony headphones are above average in relation to their price point and if I had any sense I would just leave well enough alone. As it is I'm too anal and picky so my search continues.

Posted

Pros: Durable, well defined, crisp, precise, isolating

Cons: brittle, bass shy

I've owned these headphones since 2002, yep, they have lasted me 10 years. Used all this time in my home studio I thought they were rather expensive at the time. I see they are now under $100 what a bargain. Most of the black vinyl that covers the outside of the ear pieces have completely disintegrated but the foam is still fine I've had no problems with the cord, plugs or head bracket. Its amazed me how durable these have been. They are great for their intended use as isolating recording headphones and as long as volume is kept at a reasonable level won't bleed too much into microphones. Over the years DACS have come and gone, I currently have an Apogee Duet and run that via a firewire to thunderbolt adaptor. They are comfortable to wear for hours and cause little ear fatigue if kept at medium volume. If you pump these phones you will end up with ringing ears but that will happen with most ear phones.

 

With 1/4" adaptor off and plugged into an iphone they sound great compared to the apple buds.

 

Do they lack in bottom end? If you crank them up the bass sounds pretty good, of course, you'll also be cranking up the upper mids which these phones are famous for. So the boost around 1-4K assuming you have the original 7506 and not a fake, mask the the rest of the spectrum. For loud listening, I'd advise a gentle reduction from about 3k on or a slight smiley face from 1K-4K. But if you're going to listen loud you'll get ear fatigue no matter what you do, whatever phones you use. I find for recording they represent the bottom end nicely, sure they lack weight down below 55HZ but below 80HZ and above 14KHZ human ears are less sensitive. Thats why we love to boost those frequencies. :-) If you record or listen to rap/hip hop/DnB or even bottom heavy rock, you may need some higher end phones.

 

I use a lot of synthetic sounds and low sounds when doing rap and find the Sony's good as long as you don't get heavy handed below 100HZ otherwise the mix won't translate. I also have to not be shy with the upper mid range otherwise it will lack energy. I always have a spectrum analyser on the mix bus so I know at least visually whats going on. You can't always trust your ears. That and my near fields, that go down to 55HZ are enough for me. Oh and the wall that goes down to 42HZ helps. :-)

 

If I was buying a set of listening head phones I'd go to a store and test drive a few famous pairs I've read about on head-fi and then decide but for tracking, the Sony MDR 7506's do the job.

Posted

Pros: Flat response, Precise sound, Comfortable, Price

Cons: The soundstage is'nt big enough

I got these in Guangzhou for the absolutely low price of $55. They're quite small in size compared to some other headphones I've seen.

I have been using them for several months now, & I'm very satisfied with their comfort, especially during long listening sessions.

Pairing them with a headphone amp does improve output quality marginally. I use mine with the Fiio E17 portable amp that has more than enough power to drive these. The music is accurately detailed but not very lively. Movies with heavy soundtracks (eg Lord of the Rings) sound great on these.

I'd recommend these phones for music with heavy beats(eg, rock, house, hip-hop & trance). Jazz& classical are also a pleasure to listen to though the soundstage could be better.

Overall, these phones are worth the money spent and would rate their audio quality as 8.5/10.

 

Posted

Pros: SUPER COMFORTABLE (w/ Beyer Pads), Extremely Durable, Recording industry standard

Cons: The stock pads suck

Some of my favorite cans.  I love them for work, and wear them 8+ hours a day when we are recording sound on set.  Stock pads kinda suck, but if you put the Beyerdynamic pads on them, you will never want to take them off.

Posted

Pros: high freq, clarity

Cons: pads rot away (over time)

I really like these... but I like good clear high frequencies.

 

Lots of detail in the music.

 

The pads rot off over time (faux leather) but you can replace them with pads meant for an alternate brand (mine are now velvet).

 

I would not be without them.

 

They have stood the test of time.

Posted

Pros: Great sound reproduction, Good bass, Portable

Cons: Very small sound stage, The coiled cord is VERY long, you will require a good audio source to get the most out of these

I have been a Sony customer for a very long time, however I was never aware of their headphones. When I was looking online for a pair of headphones that offered great sound reproduction, these came up. After reading the reviews and the history that these headphones had, I decided to purchase them.

 

To be honest, my first impression was not as great as I have predicted. The audio felt flat and a little dull. The music had no "color" to it. I suspected it to be my sound card, which was a Realtek ALC892 chip on my motherboard. I decided to plug it into my Creative Zen and there was a little difference, the audio felt more vivid, yet still it was not as good as I hoped. I decided to input my Creative Zen's audio into my Sony bookshelf amplifier and hooked up my headphones to that. There was a lot more bass and I did feel a difference, although still a little below my expectations.

 

I came to the conclusion that I will require a good audio source to really get the most out of these, which is a little sad. Still, I give these headphones a high rating because of the good things I heard about them and the potential they have when hooked up to a good quality source.

 

UPDATE: After 1 month of ownership, I decided to sell these as even after amplification from a friends Cmoy, the bass was still lacking which is weird as most describe these cans as "bass heavy."

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
By:
Description:

The professional audio industry standard.The MDR-7506 is a large diaphragm foldable headphone designed for professional studio and live/broadcast applications. Proven to be reliable in the toughest situations. Headphone features gold connectors, an oxygen--free cord. Supplied soft pouch.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandSony
EAN0027242682252
FeatureGold-plated, unimatch connector for universal compatibility with desktop and portable devices
Height0 inches
Length0 inches
Weight1.4 pounds
Width0 inches
LabelSony
List Price$130.00
ManufacturerSony
ModelMDR7506
MPNMDR7506
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherSony
StudioSony
TitleSony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
UPC027242682252
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Product Type Subcategoryother-camcorder-accessories
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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