Nice bass improvement when modified, great Budget-Fi cans

A Review On: Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone

Rated # 142 in Over-Ear
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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.


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