This is a fantastic comparison given their similarities and is a fairly difficult choice to make. I’m glad you’re here though because we’re going to break it down extensively. By the end of this article, you should have a clear idea of which may suit your needs best.
At A Glance
Best For Metal
Best For Mixing/Mastering/Reference
Sennheiser Pro Audio Sennheiser HD 25 Professional DJ Headphone, Black, 1 (HD25)
Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
The interesting thing to note about these 2 headphones is just how similar they sound in regards to raw energy and liveliness. Both have similar sub-bass and mid-bass response, and roll-off similarly after 100Hz going into the mid-range.
Speaking of, both have an almost perfect mid-range. Vocals and instruments are lively and just forward enough to provide excitement in the music without overdoing it.
Note: The above image is of the venerable V6, now discontinued by Sony. I do not have any pictures of my original 7506, but both look and sound nearly identical.
The mid-range on the 7506 is excellent as well, with a bit more emphasis around 3kHz.
Treble on both is fairly similar, with each donning the typical 8-10kHz peak that will sometimes sound a bit too bright and bordering on essy in the case of the 7506.
I don’t actually find the HD25 to be as bright as some people claim, but it’s certainly emphasized by about 5dB.
Both are incredibly fast headphones, meaning they handle the fast-paced nature of Metal music and the crunchy guitars therein with ease. Detail on both is exemplary, as you’ll be able to pinpoint even the tiniest nuances in your favorite music. This is surely due to the treble to some extent, but neither of these headphones sounds sloppy like that chick who’s packing the Michelin tire. Lol.
These are lean, clean, and extreme! YEAH!
To me, the HD25 is an almost perfect headphone if not for its sub-par comfort levels.
In fact, both of these headphones suffer from some discomfort after a while, but I’d say the 7506 is a bit more tolerable in that regard.
The on-ear nature of the HD25 means it’s going to dig into your ears early and often; for me around the 30-45 min. mark is when I start adjusting. It tends to dig into your ear lobes and hurts after almost no time at all. This certainly holds it back from being a perfect investment, but I’ve always advised folks to listen to it in bursts. It’s an extremely intense, overwhelming sound that will result in some fatigue – musically or otherwise. To me, it’s worth it and I’ve said as much since I bought one in 2017.
Sony’s MDR-7506 is almost equally as uncomfortable, but I find myself adjusting it less while being able to wear it for extended periods more than I can with an HD25. Even despite it being Circumaural, the pads will still dig into your ears albeit less so than an HD25.
Both are built incredibly well, but I have to give the nod to the HD25 here. You may remember my stress test from 2017. I simply couldn’t believe how much abuse these headphones took without so much as batting an eyelid. It’s made of mostly plastic and feels rather light in your hand, but make no mistake, this puppy is in it for the long haul. There’s a reason it’s marketed towards DJs who perform in less than ideal working conditions. It simply doesn’t die.
The studio staple MDR-7506 is also quite rugged and durable and does utilize a bit of metal for the headband adjustment. Outside of that, it’s mostly made of plastic but does fold up into a compact, highly portable package for your on-the-go excursions.
The HD25’s right (or left) side can rotate up for DJs, but outside of that, it cannot be folded for easy transport.
Both come with a 1/4″ jack but the 7506 has an included case while the HD25 does not. Neither cable is detachable, but the 7506’s is infinitely more irritating. It’s great at first but will start to tangle in on itself after a year or 2. Be advised!
I enjoy the length of the HD25’s cable as it’s perfect for mobile listening on the go, or at your desktop for hassle-free enjoyment. Long cables tend to get on my nerves (unless I’m gaming on a console or watching film), and the HD25’s is a welcome deviation from the norm.
Its earcups don’t feel like they would crack and peel over time, but the 7506’s most assuredly will. I would highly suggest replacing the pads with these right away before you do anything.
The originals will flake, peel, and subsequently appear almost everywhere – in your hair, on the floor, in your ear, and even in your crotch! It’s incredibly irritating but certainly a byproduct of the headphones’ origins. This is a product originally appearing in the early ’90s and hasn’t aged well as far as the cups are concerned. Mine also started to come loose from the plastic piece as well, causing a lot of headaches.
Both will do well with most genres, but I’d steer clear of purchasing either for Jazz, Classical, or anything softer and quieter. The Soundstage on each is fairly abysmal, but imaging of instruments and sounds is very good. What is Soundstage? [Detailed Explanation]
For lighter selections, I’d look to the K702 or K712 – two of my favorite headphones and in the case of the 702, a daily driver.
The HD25 is going to sound its absolute best with Metal, so much so that I firmly believe Sennheiser created it for just that purpose. There are simply no other headphones I can recommend more for the genre.
The 7506 also excels but is more of a studio headphone you’ll rely on for mixing, mastering, and reference purposes. Surely the HD25 can work for that as well, but you’ll mostly be reaching for it when you want to bang your head and have a spankin’ good time.
Both of these are incredibly efficient and have a low impedance, so I wouldn’t worry too much about purchasing an Amp/DAC to pair. If you really want to test the waters, the E10K/K3 is about as much as I’d spend for either.
For a phone option, I like the FiiO Q1 MK II or Topping NX4, but again, we’re bordering on overkill. Something like a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 will work just fine if you’re switching back and forth from your monitors to your headphones in the studio.
So which one of these should YOU go with?
For mixing, mastering, and reference, the 7506 has been a staple for decades and it’s still one of my all-time favorites, even despite its other issues. The cool part is that it also sounds great for casual listening and you really can’t go wrong purchasing it regardless. I truly believe everyone should have one in their cabinet.
For Metal, EDM, Hip-Hop, and harder genres, the HD25 is the absolute best there is but comfort does hold it back quite a bit. Like the 7506, I can excuse its issues because of the amazing sound but definitely plan to use it in short bursts.
Stu is determined to help you make sound decisions, and strives to deliver the best and most in depth content on the internet! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, pray, rap, make beats, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His sense of humour, coupled with a knack for excellence and strict attention to detail are what allow him to stand out in an crowded industry.