Aloha friend and Welcome!!
Before we dive right into the Sony MDR 7510 vs. 7520, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
I will outline the MDR 7520, and then compare/contrast it with the 7510 towards the end. ?
- Video Review
- Amp/DAC requirements
- Who these headphones benefit?
- Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- Similarities & Differences
- Final Word
Sony MDR 7520
- Type: Closed back. Closed back vs. Open back headphones.
- Fit: Circumaural (over ear).
- Impedance: 24 Ohms. What is Headphone Impedance?
- Frequency response: 5Hz – 80kHz
- Material: Plastic, faux leather
- Color: Black & Blue with a hint of Gold
- Weight: Not specified
- Plug: 3.5mm with 1/4″ adapter.
- Cable length: 3m (9.8ft.)
The 7520 is a neutral headphone with a touch of added warmth in the bass regions, specifically the mid-bass. It’s an incredibly clear and articulate headphone, that does well with all genres, as well as movies, gaming, and field recording type of applications.
Comfort is very good overall, but the headphones have a clamp force that is a bit tighter than average. They improve upon the ear-cup issue that was prevalent in the older MDR V6 and MDR 7506 models. It’s now not as likely to flake or peel like aged sunburn 😛
The biggest thing to keep in mind with these is burn in time. Some users noted a harshness about them in the beginning, but rest assured they really open up over time and sound phenomenal after about 100 hours. Just let them play some ambient noise or random music for awhile on a relatively low volume.
- Build quality is very good.
- Comfortable overall, though you may need to take breaks every so often.
- Great precision and detail. Voice and instruments sound very natural, but also accurate. Subtle details start to emerge.
- Price to performance ratio incredible.
- Bass is clean and precise, while also having some nice impact.
- Soundstage is very good for a closed back headphone. What is Soundstage?
- Good sound isolation.
- Not comfortable over long periods. A few people said this.
These aren’t going to need separate amplification, and will sound great out of your mobile devices. However, the sound will be improved with an amp, but it’s not necessary. How to choose a headphone amp!
Amps worth mentioning:
- Asus Xonar Essence STX Soundcard. What is a soundcard?
- Audioquest DragonFly
- Denon AVR-1612 Receiver
- Micca Origen+ DAC / preamp
- Grace m903
Who these headphones benefit?
- Movies: Both Inception and Tron: Legacy got mentions.
- Mixing/Monitoring, and tracking purposes.
- Field recording
- Spoken word performances
- Gaming. Everything comes through very realistic sounding.
You’ll find that these excel with pretty much all genres.
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- An important thing to note is burn-in. A lot of people don’t believe in it (like Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs), but it kind of is a thing. I’ve had enough experience with headphones to know that a brand new set fresh out of the box isn’t going to sound it’s best. Most headphones tend to open up over time and the MDR7520 is no exception. It may sound strident/sibilant at first, but will calm down over time. What does Sibilant mean? Overall, these aren’t harsh even on sub-par recordings.
- The detail present in these headphones is more so in texture and articulation rather than timbre and tonal quality. What is Timbre?
- If you have medium to large ears, you may feel the headphone driver resting against them. Also, the clamp force is a bit tighter than you would expect, but it’s not a deal breaker.
- No need for EQ. These present the music in such a natural way that you won’t find yourself wanting to boost or cut off frequencies.
- You may start to notice not only subtle details emerging, but a better sense of what the artist is actually saying. Sometimes vocalists have a tendency to mumble or slur words, or the instruments kind of overshadow the lyrics. The 7520’s enable you to more clearly discern.
- The 7520 has liquid crystal polymer film diaphragms.
Durable headphone with exceptional clarity, detail, and warmth. Very comfortable but may need adjusting. Ear-pads much improved over other MDR models. Burn in is kind of essential. No amp needed, and great for mixing/monitoring.
Similarities & Differences
- Both come with a 9.8ft. coiled chord.
- Both are closed back.
- The ear-cups don’t rotate on either.
- Both have a 108dB sensitivity. What is Sensitivity in Headphones?
- Both are the same color.
- Both have the same Impedance.
- Both have the same driver size of 50mm. What is a Headphone Driver?
- Both are good with field recording.
- Frequency Response. The MDR7510’s is 5Hz – 40kHz, while the 7520’s is 5Hz – 80kHz. You may think that this means you can hear more, but the human ear is really only capable of around 20kHz.
- Adjustment band. It’s made of metal on the 7520 vs. plastic on the 7510.
- Detachable cable. The 7520’s have one and the 7510’s do not.
- Detail. The 7510’s are just a bit less detailed overall than the 7520’s.
- Price. The 7520’s are more expensive.
Outside of these differences, the headphones are almost identical, so…
I would say go for the 7510’s for right now as they’re more affordable, and perhaps try the 7520’s later on. Or, you could buy both, compare them, and return the one you don’t like as much. That said, both are phenomenal headphones, and actually are a step up from the MDR7506 and V6.
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Sony MDR 7510 vs. 7520 comparison.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Looking for something else? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
Which of these tickles YOUR pickle? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..
All the best and God bless,