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Are there any headphones better than the Sony MDR-7506?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Are there any headphones better than the Sony MDR-7506?


Hi guys. I have owned my Sony MDR-7506 Professional Studio-grade headphones for over 7 years and they still sound FABOULOUS! I would like to know if any of you have owned or used these cans and compared them to others in this range? I think they go for around $80 now but went for around $200 new back then.

I have heard you guys throw out names like Sennheisher and Grado, but I've yet to hear those cans. Actually wait a minute....I DID sample some Sennheiser cans about 6 years ago and I didn't like them. They sounded muffled compared to the Sony MDR-7506.

Anyway what do you think? Are Grados really all that cracked up to be? What makes them so good?

On another note, I used to own a pair of Sony cans that sounded even better than the MRD-7506....they were called the MDR-CD555 Studio Headphones. Bought them back in 1990 along with my CD-555 Sony Discman. Man these cans were AMAZING. Anyone know where I can grab a pair?
post #2 of 34
There are a lot of headphones better than the MDR-7506.

I think what you are referring to is the "sennheiser veil". Some people prefer it.

Vintage Sony cans show up on eBay at a pretty regular rate. Just search for them every week or so and a pair will turn up.

I can't say whether Grado are all they're cracked up to be because I am a cheap bastard, and even their lower-end headphones have far too high of a resale value. I've seen broken pairs of SR-80's sell for $60 on eBay, and really they should probably be going for less than $40 (broken, remember) before I'll be interested.

If you're interested in more closed cans, like the MDR-7506, it sorta depends on your budget. In the $100 neighborhood i would be very surprised if anything beats an Equation RP-21. If you're willing to pay more money, Beyerdynamic DT-250/80 or DT-770 Pro/80 are excellent. There are probably some audio-technicas that would be good too, but, I haven't heard them.

Grados are fully open - they leak a lot of sound, and don't block out anything.
post #3 of 34
I don't really like the Sony's cold tone rendering of musical textures honestly.

Grado's are more objective, flatter tone and they render the sound in a much more reasonable manner that doesn't push the high freqs into a shrill bite like the way the Sony's does.

However, i would just get a pair of Stax electrostatic headphones. Those are incredible!
post #4 of 34
This site attempts to provide some quality statements about headphones. Many disagree on how valid these ratings are but the site will give you some quantitative level of performance for various headphones. Ratings are from 1 to 10.

http://headphonereviews.org/headphon...headphoneId=74
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by prince_alfie View Post
Grado's are more objective, flatter tone and they render the sound in a much more reasonable manner that doesn't push the high freqs into a shrill bite like the way the Sony's does.
This statement made me laugh out loud.
post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser View Post
This site attempts to provide some quality statements about headphones. Many disagree on how valid these ratings are but the site will give you some quantitative level of performance for various headphones. Ratings are from 1 to 10.

http://headphonereviews.org/headphon...headphoneId=74
Nice link. Thanks!
post #7 of 34
I used to own the 7506s and enjoyed them. I highly recommend the Beyerdynamic DT250/80 as a possible replacement. It is physically similar to your 7506s (you can even swap earpads) but when it comes to sound quality, they offer far more extension and detail. One of the things I used to love about the Sonys was their bass presence. But then when I started to listen to other cans I discovered how uncontrolled the Sony's bass presentation is.

If you can, try the Beyers. It'll be like the clouds parting, the heavens shining down on you and angels singing. Ahem... okay, maybe a tad over the top. But they present sound quality that is far and above the 7506s.
post #8 of 34
Hmm... in rereading your original post I feel I must post an addendum to my recommendation. The reason I went with the Beyers for you is that they are a very nice step up from the 7506s and can be had for a reasonable price - $80-$95 - on the used market. I think they will provide you an insight to how much better there is to be had.

Sure, there are many headphones that are better than the 7506s and the DT250s I recommended but I would hate to see you blow large amounts of cash especially if you aren't looking to get into this crazy hobby of ours full bore.

Everything about this hobby is subjective. It all comes down to your ears and what floats your boat. You can try and experiment with different kit for relatively little cash if you play the used market. Heck, the Koss KSC-75s are crazy popular around here and they are $10-15!

Since you mentioned and a couple of posters mentioned Grado I will say this. Grados have a distinct sound sig and tend to inspire opinions on opposite ends of the spectrum with few 'tweeners. If your ears happen to agree with how John Grado developed his sound, they are absolutely terrific headphones. But if you don't, you'll probably run away screaming from them. I will say this, however - if you love how the guitar sounds, to my ears no other cans does better by the guitar than the Grado/Alessandro line. I stand by this as I just blew a wad of cash purchasing a pair of wonderful RS-1s.

Good luck and enjoy!
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdelayer View Post
This statement made me laugh out loud.
x2
post #10 of 34
Try any Grado
post #11 of 34
If you can handle the highs of the 7506s, you can handle Grado highs.
(I had to EQ them down though :P)
post #12 of 34
yeah, there are certainly better cans, but what are you willing to spend? In their price bracket, nothing is really perfect. Also, I wonder if an older 7506 sounds better than a modern one (some talk flying around about how the old ones were made in Japan, newer ones in China or something).

Curious about that CD555 you mentioned. sounds like it was from around the same time as the CD3000, one of their old flagships and a very well regarded headphone. The 555 probably sounds pretty good.
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by isamu View Post
Are there any headphones better than the Sony MDR-7506?


Hi guys. I have owned my Sony MDR-7506 Professional Studio-grade headphones for over 7 years and they still sound FABOULOUS! I would like to know if any of you have owned or used these cans and compared them to others in this range? I think they go for around $80 now but went for around $200 new back then.

I have heard you guys throw out names like Sennheisher and Grado, but I've yet to hear those cans. Actually wait a minute....I DID sample some Sennheiser cans about 6 years ago and I didn't like them. They sounded muffled compared to the Sony MDR-7506.

Anyway what do you think? Are Grados really all that cracked up to be? What makes them so good?

On another note, I used to own a pair of Sony cans that sounded even better than the MRD-7506....they were called the MDR-CD555 Studio Headphones. Bought them back in 1990 along with my CD-555 Sony Discman. Man these cans were AMAZING. Anyone know where I can grab a pair?
Yes there are better cnas than the 7506's, but they are still a good deal for what they are selling. They are the studio-monitor flat cans.

But most running about $30-$50 more than it are better.
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdelayer View Post
This statement made me laugh out loud.
x3
post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkmo View Post
Curious about that CD555 you mentioned. sounds like it was from around the same time as the CD3000, one of their old flagships and a very well regarded headphone. The 555 probably sounds pretty good.
The MDR-CD555s sounded absolutely flawless to my ears. I kid you not. When coupled with Sony's old flagship 555 Discman they were ORGASMIC! Tracks like How Soon Is Now(The Smiths), It's My Life(TalkTalk), The Working Hour(TFF) and The Unforgettable Fire(U2) sounded sublime with this setup. I wish there were a few people here that owned/owns them. I would like to hear their thoughts on the old CD-555 cans from the late 80's/early 90's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrior05 View Post
Hmm... in rereading your original post I feel I must post an addendum to my recommendation. The reason I went with the Beyers for you is that they are a very nice step up from the 7506s and can be had for a reasonable price - $80-$95 - on the used market. I think they will provide you an insight to how much better there is to be had.

Sure, there are many headphones that are better than the 7506s and the DT250s I recommended but I would hate to see you blow large amounts of cash especially if you aren't looking to get into this crazy hobby of ours full bore.

Everything about this hobby is subjective. It all comes down to your ears and what floats your boat. You can try and experiment with different kit for relatively little cash if you play the used market. Heck, the Koss KSC-75s are crazy popular around here and they are $10-15!

Since you mentioned and a couple of posters mentioned Grado I will say this. Grados have a distinct sound sig and tend to inspire opinions on opposite ends of the spectrum with few 'tweeners. If your ears happen to agree with how John Grado developed his sound, they are absolutely terrific headphones. But if you don't, you'll probably run away screaming from them. I will say this, however - if you love how the guitar sounds, to my ears no other cans does better by the guitar than the Grado/Alessandro line. I stand by this as I just blew a wad of cash purchasing a pair of wonderful RS-1s.

Good luck and enjoy!
Nice post. Thanks for the suggestion. I was looking at the *beyerdynamic DT880s over at HeadRoom* they had some pretty interesting things to say:

Quote:
beyerdynamic has offered up a real challenge for world's best dynamic headphone with the DT880. Although these cans are ever-so-slightly brighter than what we can call "neutral", they serve up a wonderfully involving listening experience -- absolutely TONS of clarity, crisp detail resolution and a very precise, deep soundstage image... Boy, not a harsh note to be found here! The DT880’s mids and bass really hold together very well, so overall a totally seamless & smooth-sounding musical presentation. Amazingly expressive dynamics, superbly controlled highs and a sweet mid-range snap make the DT880 a nicely well-balanced headphone, but probably not the strongest headphone choice for the bass-loving rock/rap/funk/trance crowd since the DT880 lacks the truly authoritative, hefty bottom-end response required for anchoring modern electronic music. We think you will love these headphones if you like clear, clean sonics with plenty of airy detail, excellent treble extension and a lively, ultra-open soundstage presentation. They are especially strong performers for classical, symphonic, chorale, chamber and acoustic/folk music. The DT880 also seem particularly good at speech intelligibility and detail recovery for truly immersive movie/DVD watching.

Balanced Recabling

Unbelievably, there is still a lot of room for improvement by custom cabling your beyerdynamic DT880. Custom cabling will not only allow your beyers to accept a balanced signal, but upgraded cables also offers even richer detail and a more spacious sound. We start with a custom fabricated, highly upgraded cable at your specified length, specifically designed, trimmed, tinned, and finished for beyerdynamic DT880 headphones. Then we carefully disassemble your 880's and remove the stock cable; get rid of a couple of extra connections and solder joints; thread the longer right channel cable through the headband; and join the new cable to the driver terminal blocks. The result is a completely professional and fully warranteed upgrade that will long serve your listening pleasure.

Of course... you'll need a balanced headphone amp and a balanced source. We currently offer the Desktop Balanced Amp, HeadRoom Balanced Home Amp and Balanced Max amp. Kill two birds with one stone and get your balanced source too, by purchasing the DAC option. Our DACs allow you to get a truly balanced signal out of any source that offers a digital output. This means that anything offering optical, coax, or USB outputs will serve as an excellent source for balanced drive. That's right folks, this means that your computer can become one of the best balanced sources around.

More About HeadRoom Cables

Our newly-available HeadRoom connector cables are hand-crafted in our Bozeman Montana plant by highly skilled technicians using only the very best materials available. No cheapo, noisy wiring here, babe! The Fat Pipe geometry is a four-conductor with braided shield cable featuring Golden Ratio, oxygen-free, pure copper Litz wire with pure teflon dialectrics just like the big boys. The connectors are terminated by hand using Cardas Ultra Pure Quadeutectic solder. The connectors are mechanically inert, isolated from electrical noise and completely resonance-free, producing a very quiet, musical and superbly accurate cable capable of beautiful sound reproduction.

I wonder if the extra $300 for the Balance Fatpipe Upgrade is worth it? What do you guys think?
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