Sony began in 1946, just after the end of the Second World War. The company was founded by Masaru Ibuka, who began with a humble radio repair shop in Tokyo.
From their modest beginnings to the Sony Walkman to iconic brand status and entertainment industry giant, they are one of the most recognizable companies in the world today. And Sony continues to capture our imagination with their innovative technology.
The Sony MDR-7506 headphones have certainly been around for a long time. I can remember buying a pair when they first arrived in 1991. At the time, they were the must-have headphones, and everybody in the studio wanted a pair.
They eventually became an industry standard, treasured by recording engineers and broadcasters worldwide. And today are some of the best studio headphones you can find at any price.
The history of these headphones goes back as far as 1985, as they were a revitalized version of the Sony MDR-V6 headphone. They are still very true to the original form, apart from the change of a Samarium-cobalt magnet to a more powerful Neodymium one.
So, let’s go through our in-depth Sony MDR-7506 Review and see what it is all about…
It is quite nostalgic and comforting seeing these headphones again. But looking at them now, they really could have been built a lot better. They are lighter than I remember, with almost an entirely plastic build. They also have a blue sticker on each ear pad that says “Professional.” That’s old school right there.
To be honest, they would not be considered a thing of beauty alongside many new headphone designs today. But they did come out a few decades ago, so it’s understandable.
The MDR-7506 headphones contain 40mm drivers with a frequency response of 10Hz to 20kHz. This simply means that at the same sound-pressure level, these headphones are capable of all the frequencies in that range.
The earcups do feel a bit thin. They are filled with foam, but not memory foam, and the covering is a thin artificial leather material that I don’t think would wear well in humid conditions. They do genuinely sit well on the ears, feeling very comfortable indeed and creating an adequate seal for a proper audio response.
The headband is also covered in black synthetic leather. There are certainly more comfortable headphones on the market, but these do feel perfectly fine. To set the headphones correctly on your head, push the earcups towards the headband, and a click will let you know when they are in the right position.
Worth a mention…
If you do find that you need earcup replacements, the internet is full of quality options filled with different types of foam and different covering materials. We particularly like the WC Wicked Cushions Replacement Ear Pads for Sony MDR 7506 and the Krone Kalpasmos Cooling Gel Replacement Ear Pads for Sony MDR-7506.
This is pretty heavy and long, with a coiled design. This is great if you are sitting around but a little awkward if you wanted to use it with a mobile device. Also, it is not a removable cable, so you cannot buy a replacement.
The clever plug on the end of the coiled cable has been a nice feature for over thirty years. The ¼-inch adapter screws onto the 3.5mm jack, making a professional quality connection. It is also interchangeable.
They do fold nicely into themselves, creating a compact size that is easily pushed into a bag for carrying purposes. This does make them some of the best portable headphones on the market despite the wired cord.
The Sony MDR-7506 headphones have a very detailed and clear sound response. They pick up across their frequency range with great clarity. The MDR-7506 is so well balanced for the production side of things that they will also pick up intricate issues clearly within a song.
The bass is not that warm low-end, that you may prefer, but it is accurate and deep. These headphones don’t relay the kind of response that you would want for relaxing with your favorite songs, but then that’s not really what they’re for. These are meant as some of the best monitoring headphones currently on the market.
The mid-range and high-range are lifted slightly and more emphasized. This gives you a more peppy and crispier clarity in the sound. At this price point, they are a very well-balanced pair of headphones.
For headphones of this size and weight, they do give pretty good isolation. They certainly won’t annoy anyone sitting next to you on a train if you can be bothered to carry around that cumbersome cable.
Many engineers I spoke with did prefer the earlier and almost identical MDR-V6. They look the same, but the MDR-V6 had a more pronounced bass-range and less pronounced high-range. Many engineers seem to prefer the MDR-V6 sound, but sadly it looks like Sony has discontinued them.
There is no need for a boost in amplification when using the Sony MDR-7506 headphones. They are very loud, even on portable devices. With a sensitivity at 106dB with 1mW of input, they exceed most headphones output by about 10dB. Therefore, these are some of the best loud headphones you can buy.
The mid-range boost doesn’t really allow for an accurate mix listening experience. However, the extra coloring does give you the ability to easily hear mistakes that need addressing in your recordings.
These are some of the best headphones for podcasting, fieldwork, streaming, and referencing mixes, to name a few possibilities. Back in the day, I saw people using them to help with mixing, but I don’t think I have that kind of confidence in them today. However, they could obviously be used along with some decent studio monitors and other pairs of headphones as a reference comparison.
- 40mm Neodymium magnet driver.
- Over-ear closed headphones.
- Impedance: 63 ohms at 1 kHz.
- Sensitivity: 106 dB SPL at 1m.
- Frequency response: 10 – 20,000Hz.
- Weight: 230 grams (8.1 ounces)
- 3-meter cable (10 feet)
- 3.5mm plug with screw-in ¼ inch adapter.
Sony MDR-7506 Review – Pros and Cons
- Good price point.
- Great sound.
- Industry-standard headphones.
- Awkward coiled cable.
- Not a removable cable.
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Sony MDR-7506 Review – Final Thoughts
The Sony MDR-7506 headphones are an old design. For some people, that might give the impression of boring work headphones. They are not everyone’s cup of tea, and yes, today’s market is flooded with cooler-looking, better-sounding headphones.
This design has remained the same for a very long time. They are well-trusted and are the industry standard for quality and reliability. However, for the younger generation looking for something to really feel that bass, they are not the headphones for you.
On the other hand, for anyone looking for a quality pair of headphones for production work, home studio, or podcasting, then the Sony MDR-7506 is a significant option. They have superb clarity in the sound that will help you maximize your production skills.
With such a reasonable price point, lots of history, and great sound quality, how could you go wrong? Get a pair; I promise you won’t regret it!
Until next time, happy listening.