Sony MDR-V6 Monitor Series Headphones

rbjones1

New Head-Fier
Pros: Held up for over 27 years with no issues, Sound great
Cons: They carry the 30 year old design
I wouldn't trade anything for my Sony MDR-V6's, including Bose or even some of the other higher end units.  I have owned these for well over 27 years and have never had anything go wrong with these headphones.  I have over driven them, thrown them around like a $10 set expecting them to break so I could justify going to get another set, and they just continue keeping on.  The only thing that needs any attention is the ear pads which I am now replacing for a measly $10.  I use these for all listening situations including music, and gaming.  I just happened to add up some of my gaming times and I came up with over a 100 days of gaming over the last 10 years (ps3) which equated to over 2400 hours of those same headphones beating out mind numbing explosions, rapid gunfire, while still able to sound harmonic while playing symphony, country, blues/jazz, country or rock.  They still sound as crisp as the day I bought them 28 years ago.
 
Funny thing, i remember the day I bought them and the turmoil I went through to justify spending the $85 dollars (mind you $85 back 25 years ago was like $400 today) and wondering if they would sound as good as I hoped, and last long enough for me to feel like I got my monies worth.
 
I am contemplating buying my next set (MDR-10BT) for travel and again wondering if they will be justified.  They don't make things like they used to, but I feel comfortable always going back to these if there is any question.
Regards,
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tdotdotdot
tdotdotdot
Question for you- Have you used these with any sort of simulated surround sound system while you were gaming? if so how did they hold up with that?   I am seriously considering getting either these or 7506s for my closed back headphones.
cs098
cs098
if you want to upgrade consider getting other studio headphones that would probably last as long. Like the dt 150 from beyerdynamic or the Sennheiser hd-25.
Dabidoh
Dabidoh
Turns out that 27 years is how long I've had mine too. I keep buying other headphones hoping to find some audiophile nirvana but these continue to hold their own. My only other headphones I've kept for as long are a pair of Sennheiser HD 560 cans for when I want that open-back sound. All others haven't lived up to their marketing hype. Best thing about the V6's, besides their great fidelity, is their sensitivity. They work well even with underpowered headphone outputs. It's almost a cliche now in movies & tv that when the role is an audio engineer or dj that they're always, and I mean always wearing these. Instant credibility.

Chu

1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: The standard for 3D imaging in games
Cons: For audio, there are better for the price
I don't really want to talk about the use of these for music.  They were once the king under $100, and still are very good for the price -- but the best low-end headphones today would give all but a few midrange headphones of a decade or two ago a run for their money -- so it's impressive how well these have held up.  But there is just better out there for under $100 now.
 
That being said, over the years I've tried many popular headphones from the major brands while gaming -- and for gaming these are still by-far the best in terms of 3D positional accuracy.  If you play games like CS:GO where audio cues are absolutely vital I cannot recommend these highly enough.  Sony really needs to produce a version of these with a mic and market to the pro gaming community -- they would be incredibly well received.
IAmSovereign
IAmSovereign
You mentioned that there are much better headphones out there for under $100 now... but can you please name some? I'm new to this audiophile thing :)
 
Another one I've read about is the Audio Technica ATH-M50. Is that the one?
DBX1
DBX1
I find these to be very exceptional headphones for $100 when I purchased them 28 years ago.

Moved on since then to much higher-end headphones.  I am not certain if I still have these headphones.  I have to look and compare.

AKGQ701

New Head-Fier
Pros: Versatile, comfortable, price
Cons: cable
This was my first step into higher-end audio, and I recommend it to anyone in this position as well.  Never had comfort issues (especially if the cups are replaced), and the price is very reasonable.  I had great success when listening to music such as classical to R&B.  The only issue I had with the headphone was the coiled cable, which is long and prone to becoming tangled. 
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professorwiki

New Head-Fier
Pros: Solid construction overall, fold for portability, great sound
Cons: I can tell ear pads won't last
I reviewed the Bravo V3 amp with these headphones here , which in part ended up being a review of these headphones. I recommend reading that review as well. Here I will elaborate on how they sound outside use with the Bravo V3.

Before the V3 arrived in the mail I was using the Fiio E5 to drive the headphones. I found that while they can be driven without them well enough from my laptop, they needed a boost in order to open up the soundstage and give the bass proper impact. This is likely due to them being 63 ohm headphones, meaning they take a little more power to drive well compared to common headphone impedances like 32 ohms. I did not find that I needed the FiiO when using them with my desktop, as it has a fairly high end sound card more than capable of driving them. 


As for the sound, the frequency response is amazing. Previously the two pairs of headphones I used were the Panasonic RP-HTX7 and Sennheiser HD202s. The Sennheisers are the superior of thos two headphones all around, but the Sennheiser is a little lacking in the high end. These headphones have a powerful high end. Some have found it overbearing and report sibilance, but with my set up and to my ears I heard no such thing and it did not sound overbearing, although the Fiio E5 can exaggerate the high end a little much. When using the bass boost with the E5 it can help that, however, anything bass heavy will be very distorted. This is a problem with the E5, not the headphones, which led to me buying the tube amp mentioned at the beginning of the review. In short, when using with the Bravo V3 I found these headphones to have completely wonderful sound quality. 


I have read that these do not have a good sound stage. I have even read that if you try those 3D sound/binaural videos like the virtual barbershop that they won't give you the 3D illusion. This is not true. When being properly driven they have a good sound stage which replicates 3D effects. 


As always, the quality of the headphones in part depends on the sound sources. I went into detail on my set up in my Bravo V3 review, so I suggest examining that in order to get an idea of how these might sound with your set up and musical preferences. However, considering I have used these with a laptop both with and without the FiiO E5, desktop, and from my AT-LP120 w/ART DJ pre ii preamp with the Fiio E5, and finally, a Sansa Fuze Mp3 player with and without the FiiO E5, I believe I have ascertained that these headphones have superior sound quality and are quite versatile, but need a little more "juice" than lower impedance headphones in order to get the best quality. 

These are also very comfortable to me. The only downside is that the ear pads seem kind of thin. However, replacement pads are cheaply and easily available, and Beyerdynamic offers more expensive but nicer pads to upgrade/replace the stock ones. In time I likely will get some of these. 

dantelectro

New Head-Fier
Pros: Good sound, affordable
Cons: Faulty design, poor quality control, cramped packaging
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]I've had 2 pairs from 2013 and they both had the same problems.[/color][color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)][/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)][/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The moving parts of the headband make clicking and knocking noises. It's super annoying and I couldn't find a way to permanently fix the issue. It's a design oversight.[/color][color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)][/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)][/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The pleather covering of the earpads flake, badly, as many reviewers have pointed this out. It started after a year on mine. Replacing them costs more than half the price of the headphones, and would have to be done every year. No thanks.[/color][color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)][/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)][/color]
[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]The sound is alright, but because of the above intolerable issues, they're useless to me.[/color]
dantelectro
dantelectro
Thanks for the tip but i don't like buds :wink:, i always prefer IEMs for portable. I stuck with my cheap EX10, i rarely use it, and not for critical listening.
Yeah i couldn't believe the issues myself, it may seem i'm too fussy. I'm not sure it's QC, it may also be by design.
Sony doesn't give a rat's ass about my country, and they don't have the V6 on their UK website. I'm now navigating the maze of their US support site.
Hutnicks
Hutnicks
Shame you don't like earbuds. The best fifty bucks you could spend on audio, period.
Good luck with Sony, if the US site is unresponsive you might try the Japan site. I had some luck a while ago getting drivers for a USB MD player there.
dantelectro
dantelectro
The US customer service first didn't want to acknowledge my concern and gave me the usual dodgy BS, then i further explained my intentions and they said they'll "forward my message to the appropriate department" (which i suspect was really only to shake me off).
Do they speak english at the Japan site?

SoundMan48

New Head-Fier
Pros: Great Sound across the whole sound spectrum. So SMOOTH! Comfort and great soundstage.
Cons: Absolutely None.
      I got these in the mail 2 days ago. I got a pair of Sony XB800s last week and was blown away by the sound but the soundstage and comfort weren't there. I read about the MDR V6s on this site and ordered them to compare. I was pretty sure that I'd be keeping the 800s. They sounded that good.
     I plugged in the V6s expecting less. Wow they blew away the  800s except for the bass. It's not as strong in the V6s but tighter and cleaner. (The way I like it) I've been listening to my music collection all over again so I can hear all the little things that I missed before. Everything is so clear, never cluttered, and is reproduced with such ease. The soundstage is great, like I said above no clutter, just great separation and effortless space. Crank 'em and they won't miss a beat. They are the best
      I don't usually write reviews, but I'm just so happy with these I had to.
PS They sound OK with my phone to. The price above includes s/h and tax.
 
Important
     I don't listen to these without an equalizer. The sound is reproduced so perfectly that it's, ...well flat. I like to have a little punch in my music. These are a PERFECT match for an equalizer, because of the even reproduction, with the equalizer that PERFECT sound you want is there for the taking.
      Pure BEAUTY!! I can't get enough of these beauties. In my first 3 days I've logged in OVER 20 hours. Every chance I get I listen to them. I'm listening to them right now. Enough said.
 
Update
      I recently got the EQ app for my phone. Now they sound GREAT with the phone, not just OK.
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MrViolin
MrViolin
:) man I thought the exact same when I got these guys. Congrats on the purchase!

shrecks

New Head-Fier
Pros: great range, great detail, great build,comfortable,flat sound
Cons: none i can think of
These are my first pair of serious headphones if you can call it that. I am not a professional in the field , but i appreciate good detailed audio. Sony MDR V6s give u exactly that . These cans are brilliant at giving you some details that you might have never noticed with the stock headphones that most people buy out. The sound is true and very detailed . It may not be the thumpiest cans out there , but thats only because thse are studio headphones , and hence deliver flat audio. Great for appreciating how music gets produced and recorded. Very easy to tell good records using this , especially since it gives unadulterated outputs.
H20Fidelity
H20Fidelity
Very good headphone!

MrViolin

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Detailed, comfortable, sexy, built like a tank, coil cord
Cons: Ear Sweat
Well, I've had these for 2 months or so, and they've served me well. Compared to my JVC's, these were crystal clear. I won't go into sound-stage and all of that, simply because I can't understand it at the moment. 
 
These are my impressions after using them for some time, so I can't say much about burn-in. Although at first, they did sound a bit weird when switching over from my JVC's. 
 
Highs & Mids:
Ever since upgrading from my $10-20 JVC's, I was awe struck when I did some A/B testing. These were a lot clearer. The muffled voices that heard on my JVC's were crystal clear on the V6. Tracks I'd once thought were good were actually bad. It was like bringing color to black and white TV (no, not literally, just using it as a figure since I'm not that old 
tongue.gif
). Vocals (jpop) sounded like they were supposed to. With my JVC's, I'd always thought that the singers had some pretty deep voices. 
 
Lows: 
I'm not by any means a bass-head. Bass hurts my head if it's too much or something like in rap or current day American pop. Well, they already hurt my head from the bad lyrics, etc, but the bass and synthesized stuff hurts it even more.
 
The bass on these cans are clear. Or refined if that's what you prefer :p They've pretty much handled all the bass that I've thrown at them. 
 
Build:
Nice stuff. Cups are magnesium or some metal/alloy. The extenders are made of metal too, so I'm pretty pleased with the build. Dropped them 2-3 times within the past 1-2 months, and they're still fine! I've yet to take them on a trip (which should be within the next few months). There's also a neat pouch that comes with it 
smily_headphones1.gif
 something I wasn't expecting at all. 
 
This is also my first phone to have a coil cord, and man, I love it. It's not too long or too short! It's long when you need it, and it retracts when you don't need the extra length. 
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conheo
conheo
Purchase price is very very nice. To comparision to Australia where a pair of V6 is cost arround 140aud... =))
I also get one pair in 11-12 on amazon which must better price (38dola, not include shipping). And I strongly agree that it really looks cool when go out with it (better than zx700, dt700 and so on...). V6 has a good sub-bass as well (before it comes, my dt770 is the only one shine in that area)
It is a very very nice can....highly recommend and would buy more on boxing day if amazon sale off again.

Thisten

New Head-Fier
Pros: cheap where i got them. Decent sound.
Cons: The top of the headphones sometimes gets heavy and hurts. Mids are piercing and sometimes too much for my ears to handle.
I had high hopes for these headphones. Heard so many good reviews and i had to get my hand on them. They're good, but not as good as i expected. Some songs sound better on some of my cheaper headphones ex: klipsch image s4's. Good thing i got them for 50 dollars at Fry's. If i bought them at retail price which was $109 at the time, i would've returned them.
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burlak89

New Head-Fier
Pros: sound quality, look, build quality, collapsible, high quality plug
Cons: earpads (can be replaced), long heavy coiled cord
Let me begin by saying that this was my first foray into quality headphones. Previously, I would use crappy earphones that have been passed down or that I'd find here and there, I've never paid much attention to the quality of my music. I've tested out different ones at B&H - best place to go to if you want to actually listen to headphones before buying them. I guess J&R is the same but I haven't been there yet. And after a long search, I am so, so glad that I chose these headphones. 
 
I'll preface by saying that these headphones require burning in. However, it's not a mechanical burn-in that I'm talking about, as I've had a set for a couple weeks, and then I returned them to get a better price from Amazon, so I've tested a new set with a "burned-in" set and they actually pretty much the same in terms of overall quality (I was surprised, since I expected some change in sound - I'll get to that in a bit). No, the burn-in is for the most part psychological. Expect about a week of listening before you get to the good stuff. But what a sound they create after getting used to them.
 
The trebles are sharp and sparkly. Some complain about sibilance. They are right - there is sibilance, but it does not take anything away at all from the overall quality of the sound, and when the music calls for it, you hear it well - as you should. The mids are pronounced and easily discernible from one another - it's easy to tell between mid range instrumentation. And the bass is exceptionally clean and warm. It isn't boomy or muddy and it doesn't bleed into the upper registers. Depending on the track and how it was recorded, I've heard instances where I didn't so much hear the bass but felt it coming from within me. The soundstage is pleasingly large and airy for a closed headphone. Speaking of that, when music is playing, it doesn't leak out. That is, you can use these in a quiet library without bothering anybody.
 
However, to be fair I will have to point out some cons in these cans. And they exist. First, if you are going to use these headphones outside, do yourself a favor and spare yourself the hassle. The card is super long, coiled, and somewhat heavy. You won't find a place to put it unless you have really large pockets. The way these are built, even though you can fold them, there really isn't a very neat way of storing them. They come with a pouch, but to be honest it's not very useful as I find it isn't big enough to contain the entire set. These are indoor headphones, plain and simple. Second, the ear pads may tend to hurt after some time of listening as the drivers are pretty close. But hear me out here. If you do go ahead and get these, do yourself a huge favor and get the Beyerdynamic Velour Padded Earcushions. Not only do these improve comfort as well as appearance (the headphones really do look like they would cost at least $30-50 more), but they also add some EQ to the sound for those who don't like a flat monitor sound. The only thing is they reduce the bass a little bit, but I didn't find this to be a huge letdown. Otherwise, sibilance is improved, mids are tighter, cleaner sound as the velour considerably dampens any lingering sound. This is a good thing. When the music calls for an abrupt stop, there is actually silence. When there is too much going on in the music, it helps to differentiate between tonality and timbre. Installation of the velour pads was somewhat aggravating, but with a bit of patience, you can get them on.
 
Ah, one more thing. I've mentioned I had a pair of these for about 2 weeks before getting a replacement to get a better price. I have found through testing both that the sound was only somewhat different. Now, I can't be too sure whether it was burn-in or just differentiation between the two, and I've read other reviews that mention that each V6 sounds different. The burned-in pair had more sibilance, the new one has more bass. Could be that the bass went away - however, my impression is that burn-in improves rather than removes bass. But your mileage may vary. Between the two though, after installing the velour pads, they sound equally amazing.
 
I can safely say that these headphones redefined my listening experience. I am enjoying music I've heard before so many times, but now in a new and different light. If you are going into quality headphones, I highly, highly recommend these. They will not break your wallet, and have been around for 2 decades - there's a reason for that. (There's also a reason for when you go to Wikipedia and search for the term "headphones", the first picture are the 7506 - the V6's twin.)
 
GET THEM!
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JK1

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Very neutral sound. Great build quality.
Cons: Ears get hot after a while.The only thing not built well on this headphone is the earpads. When mine gave out, I bought the Beyerdynamic velour ones.
This headphone was my first high quality one. It sounds extremely neutral with good bass that is in proportion to the other frequenciencies. The midrange and treble also sound natural. What this headphone lacks and what you get by stepping up to the Sony V900HD(aka 7509HD) is a higher level of midrange detail. For the price though, this is an excellent value, however this is not on the level of the 7509HD or CD1000.
Sylverant
Sylverant
Nice, my brother's was passed down from our uncle and is from 1986. These things both sound good and really last don't they?

fe2cruz

New Head-Fier
Pros: loud, convenient, light, collapsible, rugged/durable, sounds better without pads
Cons: too much bass, weak pads, poor stereo imaging
These make everything sound huge, loud, big & boomy. But its an artificial bass sweetening that is not right for mixing, monitoring, vocals or classical music. You can decrease the bass by removing the cheap weak foam, but it still won't be flat enough for mixing. I suppose its nice for bass players, drummers or djs that want the rhythm section of a song maximized in noisy environments for beat matching and such. All the harmonics and overtones of middle and high frequencies are lost though, making vocals and strings sound like they are compressed or cut short with a pass filter or parametric eq. You'll never hear anything with reverb or spacial stereo properly either. They are very rugged and loud but not good for proper listening.
fe2cruz
fe2cruz
I believe you are correct at least in that the one I own is flawed. I've done some repairs and modifications. Once I find the right pads I will re-do my review.
takato14
takato14
You want the right pads? Beyerdynamic EDT-231V.
Pheckphul
Pheckphul
I don't know What Sony did with the pads. I've had a pair for 28 years. The pads were a bit worn on the edges after ~15 years when I came across Sony replacements for $20. These lasted about two years of very little use; basically the coating of the pads disintegrated.  Based on this experience I'd say Sony changed the formula for the rubber-like coating of the pads. Also, based on the age of my MDR-V6s, I'd guess they were actually made in Japan, which probably also has something to do with how well the originals held up.

Smiling Jack

New Head-Fier
Pros: Netural sound, Folds for portability, coiled cord, comfortable for lengthy listening sessions, cord out one side
Cons: Coil heavy for on-the-go usage, exposed wiring subjected to accidental fray/tear, earpads flake easily
One of the best investments I've ever made.
 
I picked these up in B&H New York to replace my previous set, Sony MDR V150.
 
It's been six months since then, I can safely say that these headphones won't be leaving me anytime soon. The sound quality is neutral, as expected from Studio Monitors. The build quality is sturdy, with a thick coil for durability.

Although purely subjective, I found that burning these headphones in changed the sound signature dramatically in comparison to their coming out of the box sound.
 
Pick these up, whether you're for a new set of cans, or if you just want a backup pair.
JamesMcProgger
JamesMcProgger
Hey, nice short review. from the V150 to the V6 was a big leap in soundquality. I think the V6 is kind at its pricerange, I dont think they are quite neutral though, but a good headphone nevertheless. and they are quite resistant, my father had a pair that lasted about 11 years.

kenellenberg2

New Head-Fier
One of the better ways to get addicted to the audiophile community cheaply. Neutral and beautiful. A bit hard to power with an mp3 player, but if you are using an Ipod to start with, you probably don't care about clarity. Build quality to last, I mean they have been around forever.

mxs1030

500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Clean neutral sound, sturdy construction.
Cons: Coiled cord gets a messy, pleather ear pads prone to wear and tear.
Great for studio work or anything requiring accurate sound and isolation. Not the most musical of headphones, these are pretty much flat through the frequency charts. Cheap, sturdy and reliable.

kem088

New Head-Fier
Pros: sound awsome
Cons: want to wear them all the time.
Thats right they are 23 years old, and still sound great .I have taken good care of them over the years. They are everything the sony discription says they are.
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