Sony MDR V6 vs it's competition
Dec 31, 2012 at 3:36 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6


New Head-Fier
Dec 31, 2012
I am now the owner of the Sony MDR V6 studio monitor headphones. Purchased based on the abundance of excellent praise and 5 star reviews on
I was looking forward to using them on my Casio AP420 digital piano and primarily on my Cambridge Audio Azur 640 seperate hifi system, listening mainly (okay all the time) to Dave Matthews/Band.
Unfortunately for me, i find them to be more like the very small handful of 2 and 3 star reviews on amazon - full of this sibilence thing. Listening to DMB's new tracks, most them, in particular "Mercy", the sibilence is astonishing. For seventy quid I'm afraid they're on their way back to amazon.
So the question is, what should I get instead?
This is what i don't want....sibilience. no sibilence at all. And i do want good accurate, punchy/pacey bass. excellent everywhere else. wide soundstage etc. obvioulsy im not expecting everything, seeing that my budget remains the same (£70-£80 / $100-$120) mark. Music i listen to includes 99% of the time Dave Matthews Band (live recordings), but also Ben Folds/Five, Phish, and other jazz/rock/blues stuff.
I've been researching Shure SRH550DJ, the various Sennheiser's and AKG. I just cant decide, and now i've found myself caught out by a product that 95% of people love, I've lost my confidence that judging by good reviews on the whole is enough to make a satisfactory choice.
Or.....after enough use, do things settle down with the Sony's??? Will the sibilence subside? To be honest, I like them otherwise. Albeit, even on the digital piano (a very good one by the way, much praised in the sub £1000 digital piano world) i hear a faint "sizzle" after each note in the right ear. Maybe....the headphones are so good that they're revelaing something in the piano samples that i've not heard before. or they are indeed broken in some way.
Thanks for any help in advance.
Dec 31, 2012 at 4:15 AM Post #2 of 6
It's "sibilance" (with an A) and it is generally on the recording (*generally*); FWIR the V6 are regarded as fairly top-heavy and a bit harsh though. Trying the DMB track you mentioned right now to see if it's just a problem child. Doesn't seem that bad but it certainly has some s-s-s-sizzle to it. Probably the cans that aren't jiving with you though; this track isn't really clashy or nasty.

Anywho - I'd look at any of the following based on that track:

- Koss DJ100 / TBSE (they're essentially the same headphone) or Ruk50
- Grado SR-60 or SR-80

Gimme a sec and I'll try one of the Koss 'phones with that track and let you know what I think (I don't wanna dump what I'm listening to right now :xf_eek:).

Alright, trying it out with the Ruk50 - not bad. Still has some sizzle, which I'm guessing is just on the track, but it isn't offensive or anything - could listen to this. Bass doesn't overpower it either (that was a fear with the Ruk50) - just because I'm bored I'll try it on the TBSE too.

Alright, TBSE now - I like this track better with the TBSE than with the Ruk50. Airier, wider, less mid-bass driven presentation. Vocals are brought forward, etc as you'd expect from the TBSE. They'd be my pick here, especially if you need a closed-back headphone. The Grados would probably do great too.
Dec 31, 2012 at 4:55 AM Post #3 of 6
crikey...many thanks for the audtioning time!
yes, i forgot to add in my opening post, they must be closed back so that i don't "annoy" the wife. personally i think the more DMB she's exposed to the better for her :wink:
so are the TBSEs the same as the plain DJ100s - just have with a Tony Bennett signature/approval???   (i'm in the process of doing a little research). I like their price btw, just 52quid on
I like the Grado's but i think they're open-backed.
Dec 31, 2012 at 5:06 AM Post #4 of 6
Yes the Grado are open backed (and they leak A LOT, even by open back headphone standards) - so that's a red light there. I'd say they're a no-go.

I'd take the TBSE over the Ruk50 here, and as far as "are they the DJ100" - my understanding is that more or less, yes they are. This is based on both comments I've read, and having played around with a set of DJ100 at a shop. They're basically identical, cosmetics and cabling aside - personally I think the TBSE are a bit sharper looking, but it's nothing you notice when you're wearing them. :)

The TBSE do, however, introduce a few "upgrades" over the DJ100 like a removable cable and hard-case - if that matters to you. There's also the commemorative stuff related to Tony Bennett (they came out to commemorate one of his albums and his 85th birthday) - if that does anything for you. It's tastefully done, but again, it's really for the fans more than anything else.

Looking on Amazon UK shows a fairly large price disparity between the two - something like £52 for the DJ100 and £90 for the TBSE. I'd probably go with the DJ100 and save the £40 unless you either really like Tony Bennett or want the few extras they offer (I don't think they're a bad deal for $150 US (which is roughly what Amazon UK wants for them (and roughly full retail SRP)) - but there's no reason to pay more for the same sound if you don't care about the extras).

Just for info's sake - because very little has been written about them - the Ruk50 will offer about equivalent if not a little better isolation (due to how their pads are designed), and are centered lower in the audio spectrum. The TBSE are fairly mid forward with pleasantly extended but rolled off bass and highs (they have good bass for acoustic and similar music, but if you want to rattle your eyes out of your head, they probably aren't the best candidate), while the Ruk center down in the mid-bass. They're certainly a more closed feeling headphone (again, a lot has to do with how their pads are designed), and don't reproduce vocals as naturally. Their upside is that they have more bass impact without getting harsh or aggressive (or overly boomy).

Personally I'm more inclined to go with the TBSE here, both because they're more to my taste, and because they seem better suited to acoustic music, but I figured it'd be worth spending a minute and writing a bit about the other guys.

I have no idea how either of these will handle for monitoring your piano - I'd assume both would do a fine job though.

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