Most helpful customer reviews
780 of 801 people found the following review helpful.
Review for Casual Music Listeners
This is a review for non/ semi-audiophiles and casual music listeners looking for the best deal headphones in this price range.
These are classic headphones. Studios have been using them for years and EVERYONE in the music/ producing industry immediately recognizes these babies. And if you look for it, you can find them everywhere too.
BUT, what if you're just in the market for some good music headphones? You're not an audiophile per se, but you do enjoy good sound.
Well first of all, you have to understand these are "studio" headphones and the sound is "uncolored" and "flat". Yes the eq is flat. A lot of manufacturers "color" their headphones with extra warmth or bass. If you've owned Skullcandies, their sound is heavily bass emphasized. Same thing Beats by Dr. Dre, a very warm sound. The MDR-V6's don't have any of this extra coloration. Their purpose is to playback the natural, original sound of the recording. And in that regard, for the price, these CANNOT be beat. They have pristine clarity. And you will definitely find things in your music you have never heard before. The whole sound spectrum (bass, mids, treble) is perfectly represented. In other words, the quality of the sound is phenomenal, for any genre of music.
So if you want to hear your songs naturally as they were recorded, stop no further and click "Buy Now".
But what if you're more into bass-rich headphones, like Skullcandy. Or what if you were impressed with Beats by Dr. Dre or the Bose at the Best Buy sample booth. Those are warm headphones, and if you were expecting to find something similar to those at a fraction of the cost, these may not be for you. Sure the quality of sound of these Sony's is infinitely better than the Beats or Bose sets. But it is definitely not the same "type" of sound. The sound curves are completely different. Like I said before, the MDR-v6 is flat while the Beats and Bose are warm/ bass heavy.
But do not waste your money on the Beats or the Bose. The sound might be impressive, but it really is cheap bloated bass. The MDR-V6, while it doesn't have as much impact or quantity, the bass is much more clear and tight. The quality is a million dollars better. Still, if you were looking for that warm type of sound (for hip hop and those sorts of genres, although the MDR-V6 do fine in ALL genres, some hip hop/ rap fans might prefer a more colored sound) you can find even BETTER headphones for the same price as the Sony's.
There are plenty on the market, but a quick look on the Amazon top sellers and I found these.
Sony XB500: $49 Amazon
-Wonderful alternative to the Beats or Bose sets. Phenomenal bass and mids. Treble is also very present. No muddy/ bloated/ leaky bass like the Beats, but even more in quantity and impact.
JVC HARX700: $54 Amazon (little bit more bass than 900)
JVC HARX900: $60 Amazon (900 has a better soundstage i.e. better gaming/ movie headphone)
Panasonic RP-HTF600: $33 Amazon (super budget)
The Klipsch Image S4: $79 Amazon
-Similar sound spectrum to the Beats/ Bose except with a much better quality of sound. No muddy/ bloated/ leaky bass, but just as much in terms of quantity and impact.
Brainwavz M2: $54 Amazon (similar sound signature)
Meelectronics M6: $15 (super-super budget, only downside is the fit may not be for some/ takes getting used to)
Those are my recommendations. Although ALL in ear headphones break after a few months/ years, which is something to keep in mind. Headphones tend to last much longer. In terms of durability, the MDR-V6 lasts decades according to many accounts.
So if you are looking for the best quality sound for under $100, the Sony MDR-V6 is and has always been the KING!
But if you are looking for a bass-heavy thumping set(the MDR-V6 do thump, but maybe not as much as the Beats you heard at the Best Buy display), if that's the case you might want to look for a more warmer sounding model (XB500 is my first choice recommendation- for $15 dollars cheaper too on Amazon)
Note: if this is your first foray into the hi-fi audio world and these are your first headphones, you must realize that studio headphones like these are unforgiving to the source. Unforgiving means they will playback any and every single sound/ static in the source file. If you've downloaded most songs legally through itunes, you should be fine for the most part. But if some of the mp3s in your collection have been downloaded illegally, you might find that they sound significantly worse than before. Why? Because it might be of really low quality. The static noise and any other imperfections will be made apparent.
I recommend you look into lossless audio formats like FLAC files. If you are using iTunes with an iPod/ iPhone, ALAC is the format you should use. ALAC files are much bigger, but are much higher quality than mp3. There is an option in iTunes to rip CD's with ALAC instead of mp3. You will notice the difference. Either that or make sure your mp3's are 320kb/s.
Some headphones require an amp to pump out the best sound. These headphones don't require much to be driven. It works fine in just my iPhone. It's unnecessary but it would always benefit. But a better DAC would greatly improve the sound of a portable device/ laptop. If you are in the market for one, I'd recommend the Fiio E7. It's a portable amp/DAC combo. The sound difference is very noticeable. And it has a bass-boost EQ which is very good (don't put it at maximum though, it starts to distort a tiny bit there). It actually produces that "warmer" colored sound I was talking about before. So this could be a solution if you don't mind spending another $89. But if you're willing to spend that much in total ~$150. The Audio Technica M50 might be a better deal? Well, that's a tough question. But my personal preference still goes to the MDR-V6.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful.
Superb Headphones and Excellent Value (with comparison to Sony MDR-7506)
By Phil (not) in Magnolia
I've recently purchased the Sony MDR-V6 headphones, after purchasing Sony's very similar (but not identical - see below) Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphone just a few months ago. My reason for purchasing a second pair (and getting both models) was because these V6's were very inexpensive at the time I ordered, and because I was curious to see if I could tell a difference between the two. In reading many of the reviews here on Amazon and elsewhere, I knew that the two are constructed very similarly but there were different opinions regarding both the differences (if any) and which has the superior sound.
These are both headphones in the $100 and below price category, which seems like a reasonable price to pay for high quality sound. I do not like to listen to music using earbuds, I prefer this style of "over-the-ear" headphone. although it does take some getting used to. I also have very inexpensive Koss KSC75 Portable Stereophone Headphones for occasions when I don't want to use my more expensive Sony's.
I am very satisfied with the sound quality from these headphones (both models), and with the comfort. They are the first "quality" headphones that I have owned, and the level of detail in the sound, lack of distortion, and overall quality is simply superb. I am completely satisfied.
Now, regarding both similarities and differences between the Sony MDR-7506 and Sony MDR-V6, here is what I have observed:
- externally, they are almost identical in construction and appearance. The V6 has red stickers on each headphone "for Digital", and the 7506 has blue stickers "Professional". The phono jack for the V6 is silver metal (all metal), for the 7506 is gold (rubber and gold). Those are the only visible differences I am able to detect.
- when I listen to the two headphones back to back, at the same volume level and with the same music, I can detect a slightly clearer treble and midrange from the 7506, and very slightly clearer sound. This is consistent with several of the other reviewers on Amazon for the 7506, who say they can detect a slightly better sound separation and more open sound for the 7506, with the V6's sounding a bit warmer. One reviewer also says that the internal grounding for the two headphones is different - the 7506 uses a separate internal ground for the left and right channels, where the V6 uses a single ground for both channels. (It seems to me that both grounds are going to the same place anyway, but maybe this contributes to a slightly different sound).
- some reviewers state that the internal speaker drivers are different for the two headphones. However when I went to Sony's website to check the specifications for the two models, that is not what I found. And here is what the Wikipedia page states for these headphones: "both models share the same part number for their driver, but the magnet therein is known to vary. The MDR-7506 was introduced with a samarium-cobalt magnet, as is currently used in the MDR-V6. However, at some point, the MDR-7506 switched to the slightly more powerful neodymium magnet. These changes were made without changing the driver part number."
- The box for the 7506 states "neodimium magnet". The operating instructions included with the V6 state "samarium cobalt magnet". Possibly either or both of these are out of date (as Wiki states, they may make spec changes over time) - the 7506 box is copyright 1994, and the V6 copyright is 1996.
- The 7506 box includes an exploded view and parts list, which is very nice to have. The V6 box does not.
- Both headphones include a soft case for storing/carrying the headphones, and both include an adaptor plug so that the headphone can be used with either a stereo mini-plug or a normal size plug.
UPDATE 7/22/13 and 7/30/13: The Sony MDR-V6 and MDR-7506 headphones have just recently been reviewed by CNET, with similar comments to my own regarding the small differences in sound quality. Both headphones receive a very high recommendation from CNET. See the MDR-7506 review at [...] and the MDR-V6 review at [...]
According to the specifications on Sony's website (which should be up-to-date), the only difference between the two headphones is frequency response:
- Neodymium magnet, 40.0 mm driver, 10-20kHz frequency response, 63 Ohm impedance, 106 dB/W/m sensitivity
- Neodymium magnet, 40.0 mm driver, 5-30kHz frequency response, 63 Ohm impedance, 106 dB/W/m sensitivity
I am not able to explain how Sony is claiming different frequency response for the two headphones if all of the other specs are identical, but this is what they are saying. And the two headphones do have slightly different sound.
Although there is a slight difference between the 7506 and V6, the sound from both headphones is very neutral. The "professional" choice between the two seems to be the 7506, and it is the more expensive model. If you read other reviews you will find that the 7506's are commonly used by studio engineers, because they are designed to reproduce the sound just as it is, without adding emphasis to the bass as some other headphones are designed to do. At this point, for me they are both excellent, and for thirty bucks less I'd go with the V6 if I could have only one of the two.
I've been using these headphones with the Audioengine D1 24-bit digital-to-audio converter, and I am extremely pleased with the quality of the sound.
As a final comment, some owners of these headphones comment that the ear pads wear out over time, and some owners also prefer different ear pads for better comfort. I also purchased a pair of Beyerdynamic EDT 250 Velour Padded Earcushions for this reason, and although I have not yet given them a try to compare them with the ear pads that come with the Sony headphones, I do like the fact that it is possible to fit different ear pads if desired in order to provide more comfort, as well as replace them when they have become worn (some owners use these headphones for many years).
I notice that there are a very large number of reviewers for these headphones, many of them long-time owners who feel very strongly that these Sony headphones are the best. I'm just beginning to use them, but I have high hopes that they will be durable over time and that I will continue to be as satisfied with them as I am today.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful. See all 2598 customer reviews...
THEY'RE LIKE HAIRS.
By Omar Reyna
Heres the only reason i gave it 1 stars.. THE FLIMSY CABLES THAT CONNECT TO THE EAR SET>> WHAT THE HECK. THEY'RE LIKE HAIRS.. Fix that Sony.. Mine are already falling apart and i take good care of my gear :(. I think they're a great headset in terms of sound quality. But why should I pay over $80 for a pair of head phones that will fall apart in days.. Please fix this