Which of these headphones is best for mixing? Which is best for casual music listening? How do the V6 and 40x come into play? All of these answers and more, comin’ up…
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For all intents and purposes, this will be a 3-way shootout and we’ll throw in the 40x and V6 in there for good measure.
So are you ready for the Sony MDR7506 vs. Audio Technica ATH M50x vs. Sennheiser HD280 Pro comparison?
Good. Let’s dive in!
At A Glance
Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone (International Model) No Warranty
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Professional Studio Monitor Headphones, Black, Professional Grade, Critically Acclaimed, with Detachable Cable
Sennheiser HD280PRO Headphone (new model)
Black, Silver, Red, Blue
7.8 Oz. (221g)
10 Oz. / 284 g (Without Cable)
7.8 oz / 221.1 g
Closed Back, Dynamic
Closed Back, Dynamic
Closed Back, Dynamic
Plastic, Metal, Faux Leather
Plastic, Metal, Faux Leather
Plastic, Faux Leather
Non-Detachable into cup, 3.5mm termination
Detachable, 2.5mm, 3.5mm termination
Non-Detachable into cup, 3.5mm
10Hz - 20kHz
15Hz - 28kHz
8Hz - 25kHz
Heavier genres, casual listening, sometimes mixing
Uh, yeah. Lol.
3.9 to 9.8' / 1.2 to 3 m 3.9 to 9.8' / 1.2 to 3 m 3.9 to 3.9' / 1.2 to 1.2 m
Out of these three, I’d go with the 7506 first, followed by the HD280, and then the 50x.
Edit: In the video, I went with the above ranking, but the 280 is just terrible for mixing/mastering so I’m editing this to put it last.
I have mixed on all 3 in the past, but the 7506 is most certainly going to help you find flaws in a recording better than the other 2. It’s more predictable and neutral sounding, with a smoother overall response aside from the peaky treble. It just sounds the most “correct” if that makes sense.
The V6 is a pretty similar sounding headphone with a bit more bass roll-off. By and large, the 2 headphones are almost identical at the end of the day.
Because the V6 has been discontinued and goes for outrageous prices now, I’d just get a 7506 and be done with it.
The HD280 is certainly a flat sounding headphone for the most part, but it’s dull and there are some sucked out spots in the mid-bass and mid-range that make it sound kind of strange when you’re kicking back with some music or trying to listen critically. I could never quite figure out what the 280 was trying to be, and thus I gave it away.
The M50x and M40x are both marketed as mixing headphones which is a flat out lie.
They’re not. I wouldn’t personally purchase either for mixing. I was able to use an M50 back in the day for mixing, and my beats came out pretty good, but I wouldn’t advise it or use one nowadays for that purpose.
The M40x’s bass rolls off a bit more, but the mid-bass is a bit too punchy and the treble sounds metallic and weird a lot of the time. I actually prefer a 50x over a 40x for both mixing and general music listening, but both are incredibly flawed from a reference standpoint and should be used only in emergencies.
For casual listening, a 7506 sounds phenomenal outside of the peaky treble. While that’s great for finding flaws in a mix, I’d probably EQ 10kHz down by a few dB if I was just maxin’ and relaxin’. It just ends up being a bit too much of a good thing.
The M50x is still a fun sounding headphone, regardless of what some snob like Metal462 (or whatever number he’s using this week) tells you.
Haha just kidding. Love you Metal. Me love you long time!
Don’t expect good Soundstage out of any of these, as they’re all closed back and fairly boxed in sounding.
Genre-wise, they all do well with most genres that I love, including Rock, Metal, Hip-Hop, R&B, Indie Pop, EDM, etc. I wouldn’t really rely on any of them for Jazz or Classical, but I suppose they may work in a pinch. These are headphones mostly meant for studio purposes and harder stuff. Related:The Best Headphones for Jazz < Article is part of a genre series so definitely check it out!
All of these headphones are built pretty well with some caveats.
The 7506 and V6’s pads flake and peel over time, the coiled cable is a pain in the**, and it isn’t detachable. The pad itself on my 7506 came off altogether with hard daily use, causing me to have to re-wrap it around the cup constantly. That was definitely annoying.
The HD280 is built pretty well, boasting a hard plastic, but the headphone itself is a little bit too thick. It’s DUMMY THICC and then some. I’d consider it like that chick who’s pretty, but bordering on sloppy.
“I made ‘em extra sloppy for ya!!” 😂
The 40x is also built well, but its cups don’t rotate all the way around like the 50x’s. The 50x is the best out of these headphones, and in 5 years of daily use and abuse (from 2013 – 2018), I never had one single issue aside from the pads cracking, peeling, and then hardening over time. Definitely be ready to replace the pads on both the 50x and 40x depending on how much you use them. Related:Audio Technica ATH M40x vs. M50x
All 5 of these headphones fold and rotate in many of the same ways, and are generally very good for travel/on the go purposes.
As far as comfort, none of these are all that great if we’re being honest. The 280 is probably the best out of this lot, as the cups are large enough not to touch your ears, but the clamp is rather tight and they’ll start to dig into your head after a while, both on the sides and top. Still, I’d say it’s slightly above average in this department.
I’d consider both the 7506 and V6 a hybrid on-ear/around-ear, and both will need slight adjustments from time to time as the pads tend to dig into your ear-lobes.
The 40x and 50x bear a similar sentiment and aren’t that great for long term listening.
You won’t need an amplifier for any of these, but I’d invest in something like an E10K or K3 if you really want to get your feet wet with Amps & DACS.
It’s a perfect entry-level solution and will serve you well down the road as you upgrade headphones and Amps, as it can be used as just a DAC into a separate Amp.
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! Hope you enjoyed this Sony MDR7506 vs. Audio Technica ATH M50x vs. Sennheiser HD280 Pro Shootout/Comparison. I also hope you have a better idea of the similarities and differences between each.
Which of these sound like you? Let me know down below!!
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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.