As far as the intended application of the Z1000, 7520 discussion is concerned, I suspect that Sony uses it's studio reputation (which started AFAIK when the MDR-V6 became widely used in studios and then Sony made a 'professional' version of it with the 7506) to market and promote new headphones. It seems to me that's what happened with the Z1000. Sony's pro headphones have long been distinguished by a 'professional' sticker and have the familiar all black colour scheme and coiled cable, so despite the information on the Japanese site about the Z1000 being designed for studio work, it clearly wasn't intended as part of their professional range. If it was, why would they have introduced the 7520? I seem to recall similar 'pro application' marketing for the MDR-R1...................
Great info though from M-13 and Shinnbone!
This is my last post about Z1000 / 7520 and their intended market / use.
One thing to keep in mind is that 7520 has not been released in Japan by Sony. It is available through third-party retailers, but it is not listed on Sony's Japanese website.
MDR-Z1000 is what Sony considers their top-of-the-line studio monitors. 7520 is the overseas version of the Z1000. So, the 7520 is Sony's top-of-the-line studio monitors for non-Japanese markets.
That really sums it up.
And as for designations like "professional range" and such, Sony may not use the same classification / nomenclature in Japan. I don't think you can look at the lineup available in your country and assume the Japanese market has the same products and same categories / lineups. Looking at the Japanese and American pages, Sony has different categorizations on their respective headphone pages.
So *in my opinion* speculating what Sony intended the Z1000 to be as opposed to the 7520 is really not relevant. For some reason Sony felt they had to retune the Z1000 for non-Japanese market. And for some reason they are not selling the 7520 in Japan.
Perhaps what the "consumers" and "pros" in Japan tend to want are slightly different from their overseas counterpart. I tend to believe Sony knows its markets, and has its reasons. The consensus at least here at Hed-Fi seems to be that most people prefer the 7520 to the Z1000 by a pretty good margin, so introducing the 7520 as the overseas model was apparently the right move.
One last thing: NONE of the Japanese reviewers who compared the 2 said either was significantly better. They pretty much all say they are different, but they don't call one the winner. So I dare say *for the Japanese market*, the 7520 is not a marked improvement.
Edited by Shinnbone - 12/30/13 at 10:25am