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Decisions, decisions... (Sony MDR-7506 or Audio Technica M50)

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I have a pair of Sony MDR-7506s that I used for just a few months until the plug got slightly bent. I've yet to have it repaired, an am exploring some other options. The Audio Technica M-50 seems to be the perfect headphone for my needs, but I just want to be completely sure. 

 

Info that might be useful: I listen to a lot of different types of music, I like bass (but nothing stupid, like, I'm not the guy that drives around with his car all shaky and muffling), and I like accuracy as well. Comfort is a big plus too. My 'phones will be used primarily (like almost 100%) at my home desk, plugged into my iMac, and unamped. 

 

Now, I went to my nearest Guitar Center a few weeks ago to compare the MDR-7506 and the M-50 and here's what my amateur ears heard...

 

(note: the pair of Sonys seemed pretty worn in, and therefore most likely burned in a good amount, while the M-50s seemed almost (if not) brand new. The salesperson plugged them into something that I would assume would be more powerful than an iMac, so take my home source into account when making your recommendations.)

 

The M-50s sounded more "real" than the 7506s. Like, it was as if you were listening to an actual song, not just a collection of sounds and instruments. They also seemed to have better bass. Another thing I think I noticed (or my memory could be deceiving me) was that the soundstage (right word?) seemed to be more spread out on the M-50s, and more cramped on the Sonys. But idk. 

 

(I also tried some Beyer Dynamic DT 770s, the Pro model I believe, not sure which ohm version. While they were great, unless I can get them brand new for under, around, or slightly over $100, they're a little out of my price range . I'd also like to know more about them, if that price is possible, but it's not looking too good lol.) 

 

So, I'm looking for better, more knowledgable opinions than my own on what I should do.

 

Is the difference between the 7506s and the M-50s small enough that I should just get my Sonys repaired?

 

Does the difference justify the extra money I would spend if I decided just to sell the Sonys and get the M-50s? I'm guessing I could probably sell them for around $40, they're in really great condition, just with a bent plug. Someone with more do-it-yourself knowledge than me could get a pretty good deal. 

 

Help me Head-Fi!

 

post #2 of 28

The 7506's and the M50's are opposite ends of the spectrum. Your sonys are very treble oriented, which is why they sound a little unnatural, unlike warm Senns. 7506's are cold and quiet a bit analytical. You really don't get the bass response liek you would on similiarly priced closed cans, yet they are more balanced at the lower end then most others.

 

M50's on the other hand are flat response and nicely balanced at the top end with the Bass emphasized. The are very different to my ears, personally I like both.

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:

personally I like both.

Ouch, lol. Thanks for your input though!
 

post #4 of 28

The two phones have very different signature, just use your ears and decide for yourself.

 

If you still can't decide, order a M50 from pro audio mart on ebay for 90 shipped. You can always resale to other head-fiers if you truly don't like the sound signature.

post #5 of 28

Buy the m50's and while you're at it buy a replacement 3.5mm plug for your other headphones for less than 5 bucks and google a tutorial on how to wire a 3.5mm plug.  Problems solved.  Save money and fix them yourself.  

post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mootookang View Post

The two phones have very different signature, just use your ears and decide for yourself.

 

If you still can't decide, order a M50 from pro audio mart on ebay for 90 shipped. You can always resale to other head-fiers if you truly don't like the sound signature.


Well, I did use my ears, and I liked the M50 better. Buuut: the Sonys and ATs were compared on a source that is most likely more powerful than my iMac, and they didn't have an equal amount of burn in (unless Guitar Center burns in all their headphones or something, lol). So I'm just wondering if someone with more knowledge of the sounds of each, unamped, burned in, could provide some assistance.

 

Oh, and as far as the DIY plug thing... not gonna happen, lol. 1) I've seen/read some tutorials... kind out of my skillset, lol. 2) I'd rather have a professional (or someone reliable who knows what they're doing) do it, just my personality I guess.

 

Thanks for the responses so far guys, keep 'em coming! 

post #7 of 28

The m50 is pretty easy to drive, a lot of people use them with DAPs and still find the sound to be excellent. 

 

Your iMac should be able to drive it properly. If not, it wouldn't hurt to invest in a decent sound card.

post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 

Soooooo...

 

- for my personal preferences/music selection/source should I get the M50s or just stick with the 7506s?

 

- could anyone who has listened to either (or both) the M50/7506 comment on if my observations of their sounds and stuff were correct (and possibly add some of your own thoughts on the matter as well)?

 

- while these headphones are both fairly easy to drive, will the fact that they're just plugged into an iMac say, "lessen" the difference between the two to the point where it would just be best to stick with the 7506s?

 

 

Sorry for all the questions, lol

post #9 of 28

If you like the M50 and have the money to spend, then get it. That's really all it comes down to. The M50 doesn't benefit much from amping in any regard.

 

For cheap, you can get yourself a solderless stereo plug for $4.

post #10 of 28

I haven't heard the 7506 but I was in the same predicament as you are now. Based purely on recommendations and reviews on those who have had the chance to listen to both, I went with the M50's. After messing with the EQ a bit, it's gotten a bit better. I still have a long way to go before they're burned in so I can't say much.

post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
For cheap, you can get yourself a solderless stereo plug for $4.

 

I can't (nor do I really want to try to, lol) do it myself. (Btw, what's the difference between a "normal" stereo plug and a solderless?)

 

When it's all said and done it'll probably be around $5-14 for the plug ($14 if I order online -- shipping), and I'm guessing somewhere in the ballpark of $10-40 for the labor (already called one big store, they said it'd be $40... I'm not sure what others charge).

 

I'm guessing I could sell my Sonys (in great condition) for around $40 to someone here or wherever who knows how to solder, saving them some money. $90 M50s - ~$40 selling price of Sonys = ~$60 lost, compared to the ~$15 to $55 (assuming realistic best case/worst case scenarios) labor/parts cost I would have if I just had my Sonys repaired. Not bad.

 

I just want to make sure the M50s are better for what I want out of headphones (see: original post). I don't want to use my 7506s everyday knowing that the M50s are my soul mate and can be had for under $100. I mean, like, if someone said they'd fix my 'phones for free, and I knew the M50s were exactly what I wanted, I'd let the dude fix them and sell them to someone who wants them, and I'd buy the M50s. I'm not tight on money or anything, I just don't want to spend it stupidly.

 

Thanks for all the replies so far guys!
 

post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyjae View Post

I haven't heard the 7506 but I was in the same predicament as you are now. Based purely on recommendations and reviews on those who have had the chance to listen to both, I went with the M50's. After messing with the EQ a bit, it's gotten a bit better. I still have a long way to go before they're burned in so I can't say much.


Thanks! Could I ask what swayed you to the M50s?

post #13 of 28

A "normal" plug requires that you solder the wires to it (which obviously requires a soldering gun). A solderless one is pretty much as the name implies. The connection is typically achieved by feeding the wires into holes or slots and clamping a fixture down with pliers. Some might also have tiny screws that hold the wires in place. It really doesn't take much skill to do, and all you'd need is a pair of scissors and pliers. Wire strippers are handy, or just use the old school method and use your teeth. It's $5 from radio shack and it doesn't hurt to try. If it doesn't work, well... you're only out $5. Sell it off on the forums for someone else to fix (and might as well include the spare plug) and buy yourself the M50.


Edited by Armaegis - 9/24/10 at 1:38pm
post #14 of 28

I was right where you are now a week ago.  Just auditioned a pair of ATH-M50's at Guitar Center a few days ago myself.  Also, I'm currently listening to a pair of MDR-V6's (identical to your 7506) right now - just got them in the mail today.  Based off of what I've heard from both so far, I'd say your initial evaluation of each is pretty accurate.  Personally, I prefer the M50's - I honestly think that they're better headphones, but I just couldn't justify the extra $40 ($70 vs $110) for them, being a college student.  Thus the reason for these V6's I'm listening to.

 

It really is just a case of "can I justify this extra cost," because like with all headphones, the law of diminishing returns applies here.  I judged the difference not worth the cost, but that's just me.  I say if you can swallow the price tag, then by all means go for it.


Edited by Nestor - 9/24/10 at 2:09pm
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

A "normal" plug requires that you solder the wires to it (which obviously requires a soldering gun). A solderless one is pretty much as the name implies. The connection is typically achieved by feeding the wires into holes or slots and clamping a fixture down with pliers. Some might also have tiny screws that hold the wires in place. It really doesn't take much skill to do, and all you'd need is a pair of scissors and pliers. Wire strippers are handy, or just use the old school method and use your teeth. It's $5 from radio shack and it doesn't hurt to try. If it doesn't work, well... you're only out $5. Sell it off on the forums for someone else to fix (and might as well include the spare plug) and buy yourself the M50.


Hm, interesting.

 

This might be a stupid question, but can the plug just be bent back into normal form? I mean, it's just bent slightly, but enough to cause fitting problems.

 

Again, thanks for the responses. Keep 'em coming!

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