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sony 7506 vs. v6: are they really the same headphones?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
there has been a great deal of discussion about the v6 and the 7506 headphones being the same, aside from some cosmetic differences. almost all of the comments i've been able to find are hearsay: "i've heard they are the same cans", etc.

i know macdef has a hybrid pair with a v6 earcup on one side and a 7506 earcup on another. i disagree this proves they are the same. while they may come out of the same factory or line, it may be two v6 or two 7506 transducers with an incorrect housing on one. the earcup housing is not integral to the transducers on these cans, i've taken them apart and have seen this with my own eyes. no disrespect intended here, i just don't think the hybrid 7506/v6 is absolute proof.

here is a part of a review of the sony v6 that discusses the differences between the v6 and 7506:

The Sony's I reviewed were the MDR-V6's which have been referred to as the consumer version of the 7506's. Some have stated that they are the same headphones remarked. After testing the EQ response of both I can definitively say they are different.

For $80 dollars these make an okay set of easily powered phones, but the 7506's are much better overall for $20 dollars more.


now i'm not saying that this is proof either, but this guy states he tested the frequency response of both and they are different. he also prefers the sound of the 7506, so he apparently did some kind of comparison.

one of the hearsay comments i have heard about the v6/7506 differences is that the 7506 has better driver matching, and that rejected 7506 drivers are used in the v6. can anyone refute or back up this claim?

also, can anyone comment on the new sony mdr-cd900st?


they look like the v6/7506, but sell for about us$180.

i would trust the headphone gurus here much more than some random reviewer. is there anyone here who owns unmodified v6 and 7506 who can run a blind test for me? i don't want to open the dbt can of worms, so just an informal blind test will do. also, if you belive they are all the same cans or different, please include your reasoning.
post #2 of 35
Well I'd think if someone stuck HD580 drivers into HD600 housing it would be quite difficult to differentiate (especially if the users/testers are not aware of this).

The thing is...Sennheiser claims that the HD600 have better driver matching...Sony to my knowledge never makes this claim. As far as we know any possible differences between the V6 and 7506 are due to product variances. Not to mention the person from that link did not give enough technical details in his testing to inspire confidence. Headroom has some top-notch headphone testing gear compared to just a soundcard and microphone setup...and even they can produce greatly differing charts on the SAME headphone. Headphone testing is difficult period. How many repetitions has the person done in his testing to show that there are no variations in his test methodology?

The best way is to get the word from the manufacturer themselves (and in past instances it seems to point to them being pretty much the same), or to have a true V6 fan test both by listening (to which again past instances seem to point to them being the same).

Also the 7506 is a part replacable headphone...if you lose one driver...do you need to send in your entire headset for a matched set...or do they just send you the driver which would imply that matching isn't really the strictest of priorities and making the rumor suspect that the 7506 is truly that much a better matched headphone.

The Ety's for example are a very strictly matched headphone...if one side dies, you probably won't be able to just order a repacement transducer to just swap one channel. I'd be interested on just how part replacable the Sony's are...and if it requires service or just a simple parts replacement.

Again, even between Allessandro Professional series headphones vs Grados...differences are openly admitted to (although the secrets themselves remain). I think it would be to Sony's benefit to explicitly admit to a difference if there truly was one, yet it seems they never have. Perhaps if someone shot off a few e-mails to the right people in Sony again...which probably isn't the easiest thing to do. If someone could pull up the parts id list of the V6 vs 7506 it would put this quandry to rest.

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/428?page=2

People on that ham radio forum with years of experience with the phones say its pretty much the same too.

I'd pay the premium of having an HD600 over the HD580...Senn explicitly specifies the differences, and most everyone sees and hears the difference even though slight to some. I wouldn't be so confident in paying more for the 7506 over the V6 given that Sony doesn't explicitly specify a difference whatsoever and most evidence plainly lays with the naysayers.
post #3 of 35

Re: sony 7506 vs. v6: are they really the same headphones?

Quote:
Originally posted by redshifter

here is a part of a review of the sony v6 that discusses the differences between the v6 and 7506:

[i]The Sony's I reviewed were the MDR-V6's which have been referred to as the consumer version of the 7506's. Some have stated that they are the same headphones remarked. After testing the EQ response of both I can definitively say they are different.
I read either that review, or another one where they did a frequency test.

They said that the EQ tests WERE different, however they could not determine if it meant the headphones were actually different, or if it was just a variancy in the quality constant of the production.
post #4 of 35
As i started to read that "review" i found a few things wrong with it:

1. the putz used a sb live value card to test the cans out.

2. he said that the sony's build was "pretty fair," what is he on crack? I could probably bash someone with those cans and they'd still work wonderfully.

3. he stated the following: "I have in the past read a number of complaints on newsgroups about the durability of the Sony's in terms of the cord failing after about a year and I believe it."

Hog wash! I've been using the 7506's since May 2001, i've had no problems with the cord at all! We all know the V6's/7506's are extremely durable.
post #5 of 35
btw: dunno about the mdr-cd900st...but i found a bigger picture here...

http://page5.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/e15409354

or maybe i'll just post a direct image....

post #6 of 35
Isn't the CD900ST the Japanese version of the 7506 (or... maybe the V7/7509) ???
post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
gloco,
i agree with everything you said. that's why i said i would trust head-fi'er's opinions over that reviewer, for exactly the reasons you stated. while it may weigh against his claim they are different, it still does not disprove it.

timd,
good point regarding product variances, but again we don't really know if there is any variance. one way would be to test five v6's and five 7506's against themselves as see if there is any differences between the same line. it would not rule out product variance, but if they test the same it would i think reduce that factor.
"Also the 7506 is a part replacable headphone...if you lose one driver...do you need to send in your entire headset for a matched set...or do they just send you the driver which would imply that matching isn't really the strictest of priorities and making the rumor suspect that the 7506 is truly that much a better matched headphone."
do we know how sony handles this? even if they do just replace the broken transducer without matching, this still does not rule out driver matching at the factory. it would only show their service department does not follow as strict procedures.
i'm sure the ham radio reviewers have years of experience using the v6 and 7506, but most of the claims are what i have been seeing elsewhere "they are the same headphones", but no mention of how exactly they determined this. dbt? frequency tests? emailed sony? magic?

jlo,
nice pic. it looks like the cd900st uses a straight cord and a 1/4" plug. there is also a ring of silver on the earcups, and the silly "for digital" stickers. perhaps the cord is upgraded from the v6?
post #8 of 35

Re: sony 7506 vs. v6: are they really the same headphones?

Quote:
Originally posted by redshifter
there has been a great deal of discussion about the v6 and the 7506 headphones being the same, aside from some cosmetic differences. almost all of the comments i've been able to find are hearsay: "i've heard they are the same cans", etc.
Hehe... someone's going to comment about a rant I made in another thread about this Here's my list of evidence that they're the same:


1) They sound the same (or at least as close as can be expected given Sony's manufacturing variances -- two random pairs of 7506 can have significantly different frequency response graphs). I've read lots of comments on Head-Fi and HeadWize where people have heard both and couldn't tell the difference.

2) They are cosmetically identical. If you take the label off of a pair of each, no one could tell the difference.

3) All of their service parts and accessories are identical. If you damage a driver in a pair of V6 or 7506, the replacement part number is the same. The replacement *part* is the same. This fact alone disproves the theory that there is better/worse driver matching in one model or the other.

4) They come off of the same production lines. In addition to me being told this by Sony, I have a pair that proves it.

5) I've been told by several Sony repair and service techs that they are exactly the same headphone, just labeled differently for different markets.

So I believe that any difference in sound between the two models is due to manufacturing variance, and is no bigger than the difference in sound between two samples of the same model.



Quote:
here is a part of a review of the sony v6 that discusses the differences between the v6 and 7506:
I've actually corresponded with that guy about his review. That statement ("after measuring them I can definitely say they are different") is actually taken from another review of just the V6/7506. After providing him with the above facts, and suggesting that the differences he "measured" could just have easily been due to poor quality control and sample variation, he actually softened his stance in the original review. Unfortunately, he didn't update this one, as well. Here is his edit to the original review:

Quote:
Quote:
I first reviewed the Sony V6 studio headphones a few weeks back in the headphone roundup. Some have stated that the 7506 and V6 are the same headphones remarked. After testing the EQ response of both I had I_can't really say either way. I_bought a pair of both V6s and 7506s and the later sounded much better, and tested much better. But this could be explained by normal variations in the manufacturiing process. I would have to test a bunch more before I could be certain as to whether they are the same. In any case there does seem to be a good bit of evidence they are the same.

And here are the measurements he took; the bottom two are the V6 and 7506. Their FR curve shapes look identical; one is simply "fatter" at every position (further from flat):



This strikes me as more of a production difference than anything else, since the curve shape itself is identical.
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
thanks for the details, mac.

a few questions (of course )
1-how do you know there is manufacturing variance with sony, and the v6/7506 in particular? if there is variance, don't you think it is possible the 7506 could get the better sounding transducers, and the v6 the rest?

2-the plugs are different colors, so they are not identical. a big deal? maybe not. but they are not exactly the same.

3-how does having the same transducer part # prove they do not driver match when the 7506 is manufactured? yes it may be the same part, but this has nothing to do with how two drivers are matched in the factory, or if better runs of drivers are used.

4-okay, they come off the same production line. this still doesn't address questions of quality control. spending extra man-hours picking out the better transducers and/or driver matching would increase the price. the 7506 costs more than the v6.

5-ok, they're sony service techs, so their words have more weight. but were they told this by sony? how do they know? did they visit the factory in japan and watch?

the two curves are not the same, close, but not the same. the one on the right seems to have a flatter response. how do we know this is simply random chance and not by design?

i think there is still some room for argument here. you've got a compelling case, macdef, but for whatever reason the reviewer (1) prefers the 7506 sound to the v6, and (2) the 7506 costs more. to me this seems more a case of better quality control with the 7506 rather than chance manufacturing variance.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by redshifter
1-how do you know there is manufacturing variance with sony, and the v6/7506 in particular? if there is variance, don't you think it is possible the 7506 could get the better sounding transducers, and the v6 the rest?
Manufacturing variance is present in any mass-market electronics; if the manufacturer gives even modest attention to reducing it, they generally advertise how well they "match" or "test" to keep their stuff within a certain spec. Sony makes no such claims. Plus, as I mentioned above, if the drivers were somehow "better" in the 7506, the replacement drivers would be different, too.


Quote:
2-the plugs are different colors, so they are not identical. a big deal? maybe not. but they are not exactly the same.
LOL, ppl once tried to make this same argument. The V6 and 7506 are identical headphones except for a different *color* plug (silver vs. gold color) and the sticker on the side. Better? But seriously, the reason the 7506 plug is coated in a gold color is because Sony markets it as a "pro" headphone. People like gold. It's marketing. That's even what the Sony guys told me.


Quote:
3-how does having the same transducer part # prove they do not driver match when the 7506 is manufactured? yes it may be the same part, but this has nothing to do with how two drivers are matched in the factory, or if better runs of drivers are used.
If they come off the same assembly line, they aren't going to be better matched. Lines like that are made for producing huge numbers of products quickly. You don't just start hand-matching drivers on the line.


Quote:
4-okay, they come off the same production line. this still doesn't address questions of quality control. spending extra man-hours picking out the better transducers and/or driver matching would increase the price. the 7506 costs more than the v6.
The 7506 costs more because Sony markets it as a "pro" headphone while they market the V6 as the "consumer" version. Simply by putting a "pro" sticker on the box, people will pay more. Not because any extra care is going into producing them. That's what I was told. In fact, the exact phrase used to tell me this was "people are stupid and they'll pay more for a better label."


Quote:
5-ok, they're sony service techs, so their words have more weight. but were they told this by sony? how do they know? did they visit the factory in japan and watch?
I have no idea. But I tend to believe someone who works for the company and has direct experience more than some guy on a web site who reviews headphones out of a computer sound card. Plus there's the fact that while I've presented a good deal of evidence here, including sources from Sony and empirical "proof," the only "evidence" provided by this guy (or anyone else, for that matter ) that they aren't the same is his own "measurements." And those measurements really don't show any more "difference" than one might find between two pairs of 7506 or two pairs of V6.

Quote:
the two curves are not the same, close, but not the same. the one on the right seems to have a flatter response.
But that's what I was saying earlier -- one seems to be "closer to flat," but if you look at the curve itself, they're almost identical. It's just that they way he chooses to display his measurements is misleading. If you were to put that same graph on a standard FR scale, I think you'd see what I'm trying to say.

Quote:
how do we know this is simply random chance and not by design?
I (and other people here on Head-Fi) have heard two different pairs of 7506 next to each other sound significantly different. I've heard two pairs of V6 that sounded very different. If Sony can't even make two pairs of the same model number sound the same, I find it hard to believe that they can "better match" the drivers on the 7506 as compared to the V6.


Quote:
i think there is still some room for argument here. you've got a compelling case, macdef, but for whatever reason the reviewer (1) prefers the 7506 sound to the v6, and (2) the 7506 costs more. to me this seems more a case of better quality control with the 7506 rather than chance manufacturing variance.
If that's your conclusion, so be it But I disagree for two reasons. First, you're talking about one reviewer. Compare that one reviewer with all of the people on HeadWize and Head-Fi over the years who have claimed to have heard both and couldn't hear a difference. I don't know about you, but I respect the ears on this forum more than I do a guy reviewing headphones like he does.

But second, do you really put that much faith in price points? Marketers have known for decades that if they take a single product and put a different label on it, they can sell it for more, sometimes to the same people that already own it

I dunno. When I look at the arguments for (personal experience, my sample pair, part numbers, parts, Sony reps, HeadFi/Wize reports, etc., etc.) and against (one guy's two-headphone sample and questionable testing), the former is much more believable to me
post #11 of 35
By using silver plugs instead of gold plugs, can't the quality of the audio signal degrade over time? since gold is suppose to help with corrosion?
post #12 of 35
Well Badtz, the only thing gold does is to reduce/eliminate oxidation that caused that crackling. Any oxidation is not a permanent condition, it is not actually corrosion. Just use a contact cleaner and the crackling will go away.

P.S. I think those silver colored plugs are actually nickel, maybe chrome, but not silver.
post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 
i have heard that using a gold plug in a non-gold jack can speed corrosion problems. true or no?

mac,
the salient point in your rebuttal is that there have been some comparisons between different v6 and 7506 cans, and they sounded different. i'll take your word that the tests weren't biased. this proves your point that there are variances in the production of these cans. the rest unfortunately can best be described as educated guesses, and i can't think of anyone else more qualified than you to make these guesses. perhaps i got lucky with my v6 and got a good one. it would certainly explain why opinions are so polarized on these cans. the best way to buy headphones like these would be to open about a dozen boxes and test them all.

i fired off an email to sony today hoping to clear this up, but i am not holding my breath waiting for a reply.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally posted by redshifter

i fired off an email to sony today hoping to clear this up, but i am not holding my breath waiting for a reply.
i dont think sony is going to tell you that they charge $20+ more for a headphone with a "pro" label that is actually the same headphone as a cheaper one...
post #15 of 35

Why haven't I been here lately?

Why have I been away from this board for a LONG time? Because it's so damn boring! This thread is a perfect example. After all these years it's still being "debated" as to whether the MDR-V6 and 7506 are the same 'phones?

Well if you aren't convinced by the fact that the replacement parts list is IDENTICAL, then I don't suppose it's possible to convince you. Why should anyone try?

I own both. The FACT that they sound identical would, of course, be of no interest to someone who has already made up their mind, facts be damned!

Next topic? Is the MDR-7506 the same as the MDR-7506?

LOL!
GEEZ!
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