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My review of the Sony MDR-V6

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by kodhifi, Jan 13, 2013.
  1. Kodhifi
    A bit about my collection
    Beyerdynamic DT880 250ohm
    AKG Q701
    Sony MDR-V600
    Sennheiser HD201
    Sennheiser HD205
    Sennheiser HD419
    Grado SR60i

    The V6 used to be a standard in the recording and video/music production worlds and Sony decided to cash in on this by discontinuing the V6 and rebranding it as the 'Professional MDR 7506". They introduced the MDR-V600 as the consumer replacement to the V6. The only problem was that they didn't sound anywhere as good, had an all plastic construction, were bulkier, had strangly shaped earpads that were impossible to find replacements for, and were generally a much hated and inferior replacement. Sony took so much flack for this move in fact that they brought back the MDR-V6 from retirement just to shut everyone up. I can confirm after having listened to both that the V6 and V600 are a night and day difference.

    The V6 hits you immediately with it's build quality. These are small for on ear headphones with a compact but sturdy construction, a metal headband, and a somewhat dated style that comes out as 'classic'. They are the finest closed back headphones I own and that says something..... They are a little bass heavy but not in a heavy handed way and it in no way shadows the mids or highs. They do not color the sound much at all and should be excellent for mix down and mastering work as well as monitoring of live field recording. They drop off quickly above 10,000hz, far more than say the DT880 but in presentation it just doesn't sound like you're missing highs. They sound crisp, detailed, and musical.

    Because of their slim proportions and sturdy quality, and aided by their efficiency and ability to drive loudly from just about any source, these are perfect portable closed backs. I could drive them to uncomfortable levels with an Iphone and the coiled cable does not get in the way for portable use although it's a little on the heavy side. I prefer the metal headphone connector on these to the plastic ones on the 7506, and it looks better. The lack of gold plating has no effect on sound since plugging and unplugging ensures any oxide buildup is quickly worn back off.

    These headphones are a lot of fun to use and are very musical. They would work well for hard rock but sound good with any source material. Tracks I used to audition them include the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Nina Simone, Handel, Grieg, Skrillex, Arcade Fire, Angus and Julia Stone, Arch Enemy, they presented well with just about any genre of music.

    For the purchase price of $70 these are a better deal than the Grado SR-60i. They are much closer in quality to the large open back headphones in my collection than to the other consumer cans like the Sennheisers. I am incredibly happy with these and with a little EQ work they go from good to great.

    I performed some pink noise and sine signal sweeps and do not detect any major resonances other than HRTF's you get with any on ear headphones. They did drop off quite a bit above 10,000hz but extended at a lower level up to 16,000. You aren't going to dissect music with these but you will be able to mix and master with confidence the sound you create will sound good on any system you play it on.

    I would buy these again even if they were $120.

    Excellent build quality
    Compact design and light weight
    Excellent sound that is transparent and detailed, playful and punchy without sounding veiled.
    The style is retro in a pleasing way.
    Nobody is going to hear what you're listening too. Excellent isolation
    Excellent noise reduction from outside sounds.
    An excellent value

    They roll off quickly above 10khz
    The included headphone bag is a stiffer kind of plastic than the V600's and seems cheap.
    They are over ear but on the small side. It felt more like on ear and they do make my ears sweat after a few hours

    I wholeheartedly recommend these to anyone wanting headphones that don't need any EQ at all to sound good, whether you use them at home, or with portables, for music listening, or music production, these deserve a spot in any collection.
  2. kramer5150
    I had two of these around 2002/3 time frame and found they both had a very pronounced "V" curve overall, with deep recession from  about 350~900 Hz.  Not unlike the DT770-80 I also had at the time.  I eventually sold all 3 cans.  I found the V6 had very shallow earpads and would compress my ears and cause soreness on my ear cartilage.
    But those are my impressions and opinions.
    nice job on the write-up!!
  3. soundisee
    I'm about to buy the DT 880's but I always had my eyes on the V6's for portable and home use. I like what I hear about the crisp and detail of the sound. I bought the m50's a few weeks ago for $80 while they sound good they are uncomfortable. I hear a lot of people recommending the Velour DT 250 pads (which I have already) on the V6's, so that's a plus since I like how how they feel on my cheap $30 HTF600 headphones. Would you say it would be worth getting these as I have the m50's? Also would you recommend a cheaper set like the v6's before dishing out an extra $200 on something like the DT 880's?
  4. Kodhifi

    Yes they 'sound' like a slight V curve but if you look at the actual measured curve it is relatively flat, IE no harsh resonances or sudden spikes, and they drop off at the top end quite a bit negating the right side of the V. Regardless of the curve they still sound transparent and are good for mix down work and monitoring. You might not nail the bass because of the accentuation but really you should be mixing down on monitors too because of the resonance peaks in the upper midrange all headphones possess. I have slept with them on twice and didn't find them to be uncomfortable for long listening periods and I have a large head. They do make your ears sweat a little though. Clamping force was perfect, won't fall off, don't crush your cartilage.
    For listening purposes they sound great and really don't require any EQ to sound great.
    Regarding the last posters question about the 880's and V6, I haven't heard the 50's so can't comment. I have the 880's already but still bought the V6 and I will be using both. What the 880 is going to get you over the V6 is more detail, a flatter sound and extended highs. The 880's are truly exceptional for their crystal clear utterly transparent high delivery which makes classical music sound incredible, like you are there. But they are very power hungry even compared to other 250ohms. You will need an amp to drive them to high levels. You can get loud enough, but not loud, without one.
    The V6 on the other hand have a more pronounced bass that makes listening a pleasure because it doesnt' destroy or color the mids or highs like say the XB500's or HD419's. They are incredibly sensitive and easy to drive, and much more portable than the 880's and for the price you really can't beat them. I don't know if I'd call them audiophile quality, but definitely professional quality.
    It's like wine, there are some very good wines for $10 like Bonnie Doon, but if you truly love fine wine, you will always be looking for the $50 bottles.
    If you plan to listen on the go, V6, easy. If you will do most of your listening at home with an amp, 880's are fantastic.

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