Home Closed Back Headphone Reviews Sony MDR V6 Review | Could’ve had a V6!

Sony MDR V6 Review | Could’ve had a V6!

by Stuart Charles Black
Sony MDR V6

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Updates:

  • 9/12/19.
  • 6/4/2020. Well, after 35 years the V6 has finally been discontinued. It may come back again, but I don’t know. We’ll have to see. For now, I’m switching the V6 for the 7506 as Budget King #2 because the V6 is no longer an “Under $100” headphone. Sit tight as I re-arrange some things! R.I.P. Sony MDR V6 (1985-2020).

1,265-word post, approx. 3 min. read

Greetings friend and Welcome aboard!

Before we get into the Sony MDR V6 Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

Table Of Contents

  1. Quick View
  2. Specifications
  3. Summary
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Video Review
  7. Photo Gallery
  8. Amp/DAC requirements
  9. Who these headphones benefit?
  10. Consensus/Conclusion
  11. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Quick View

  1. Longevity through the roof. This headphone has been around since the mid-1980s. Folks have reported having these puppies anywhere from 10-30 years!
  2. A+ Price to Performance Ratio. I consider these just about the best purchase you could possibly make when starting out. There isn’t much these don’t do for the price. They are an absolute steal, and you would be hard-pressed to find a headphone that delivers like this one.
  3. Overall incredible sound for the price point. Never mind what they cost, these compete with headphones way out of their price range. I was absolutely floored when I first put them on. They could easily go for $200-300.
  4. Ridiculous build quality. There’s a reason people have had these for years and years. They just don’t break. Go ahead, toss ’em around and try to justify spending money to get a different brand. The V6 will be sad, but it still won’t break just to appease you! Lol.
  5. Amazing tonal balance and instrument separation. Tired of cluttered instruments? Wish you could hear all the intricacies of the music that you’ve been missing for years? The V6 is the solution.
  6. Works as a critical listening headphone as well as a fun headphone. I can sit back and analyze the music in an enjoyable way because listening with the V6 never becomes a chore. The sound somehow works in both ways, which makes it all the more versatile.
  7. Hybrid wonder. Can be used in the studio or on the go. They are small and compact enough to travel with. I have no issues carrying these around because they fold up nicely and the coiled cord works pretty well for travel.
  8. Genre happy. Good with nearly anything you pair it with. I’ve yet to come across a genre that the V6 is bad with. It’s an all-around phenomenal studio solution!

 

 

Read on for a more in-depth review!

Sony MDR-V6

Sony MDR V6

The V6 has been a quintessential studio headphone for many years.

Specifications

  • Price: check amazon! | check eBay!
  • Type: closed-back
  • Fit: circumaural
  • Impedance: 63 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Frequency response: 5Hz – 30 kHz
  • Material: plastic, a bit of metal, pleather
  • Color: black, blue, red

Summary

The Sony MDR V6 is a highly regarded, closed-back audiophile headphone that is at it’s best in a studio environment. Though it’s flat and balanced overall, it doesn’t cease to really impress. It’s a mixing/reference can that proves to be very honest and neutral in its sound signature & presentation. It boasts a pristine clarity but isn’t bass-heavy. What the V6’s will give you is a tight, clear, controlled bass but nothing overpowering. It’s nothing like Beats by Dre, as these aren’t really made for bass-heads.

What is the difference between Closed back vs. open back headphones?

What’s startling to me about the MDR V6’s is that they have been around since the early ’80s, and maybe even the late 70’s. If you look closely enough, you will see these around everywhere. They will last you a LONG time and are about as reliable as it gets for studio monitoring. The sound spectrum is flawlessly represented here, although there may be a slight grain in the mid-range at first. You will start to hear things in recordings that you previously thought absent.

They are very closely related to their younger brother, the Sony MDR 7506. The only real differences are that the 7506 is said to have a bit more bass, but the treble end is compromised. Consumers wanted a top end with more clarity, and trust me it’s clear as crystal. But it’s also a bit harsh/shrill/sibilant. What does sibilant mean?

Check out my article on the Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR 7506 for an in-depth discussion on the subtle differences!

Sony MDR V6 Review

Sony MDR V6 Review


My Video Review!

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to my growing channel. Any support is much appreciated! 🙂

Click to see the V6!

jack of all trades.
1/4" adapter.
Coiled wonder.
The gang's all here.
Adequate.
Folded like the 2007 Mets.
Lefty loosey.
Righty tighty.
Top.
Chillin'

Amp/DAC requirements

These don’t need an amp and will sound plenty loud enough with any of your portable devices. There were a few reviewers who mentioned that the sound and bass is boosted a bit overall with an amp like: The FiiO E10K

One reviewer, in particular, said that he had previously owned them years back, loved them, but was not as impressed with the sound after he bought them years later. Only when he added a portable Amp/DAC combo did he recall that amazing sound again.

I would say you can always add an amp later if need be, given how impressed I was with them right out of the box. They are more than sensitive enough in my view. 🙂 What is Sensitivity in Headphones?

I use them with:

Who these headphones benefit?

People looking for a flat neutral sound, conducive to mixing. Critical listeners.

Casual listeners looking for a crispy, uncolored sound.

They do great with:

  • Jazz
  • Orchestra/Symphony
  • Classical
  • Gaming
  • Pod-casting
  • Live monitoring
  • Indie
  • Hip-Hop
  • Rock
  • Metal

Consensus/Conclusion

A very neutral, flat, and even sounding set of headphones. The bass is crispy, articulate, tight, and controlled. Overall they give you a pristine clarity and are some of the longest-lasting cans in existence. The main gripe is the ear-cup issue. Other less common complaints are:

  • somewhat loose construction
  • the left or right side of ear going out
  • folds when you don’t want them to fold; i.e. a bit flimsy

I should note again that these are true monitor/reference headphones that work wonderfully as a casual listening can. If the mix is bad you will know right away. You will also be able to decipher a good mix pretty easily as well.

Final Word

These are still around after 30+ years for a reason. They are solid, reliable, flat, and true to mixing. If you had to choose a set to last you the rest of your life, the V6 should be in your top 3 for sure!

 

Well, that’s about it for today folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed my rundown of the Sony MDR V6 studio monitor series headphones.

What do you think about them?? Let me know!!

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Let me know in the comments below or Contact me!! I would love to hear from you…

Until then, all the best and God bless…

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Can’t decide which headphones to purchase? Interested in a complete buyers guide outlining over 40 of the best options on the market? Click on over to the best audiophile headphones to learn more!!

Be sure to also check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

Save

Save

Sony MDR V6 studio monitor series headphones

4.7

Value

5.0/5

Sound

4.8/5

Build Quality

4.5/5

Isolation

4.8/5

Comfort

4.5/5

Pros

  • Clear, crisp, and tight sound
  • Good Build overall
  • Long term Reliability
  • Good Reference Sound
  • Amazing Value

Cons

  • Pads crack and peel over time
  • Coiled Cable tangles over time
  • Treble can be bright at times

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36 comments

Enid @BeginPreppingNow.com July 24, 2015 - 1:20 am

Thanks for this article. I’ve been trying to find some solid headphones as a gift, but I am kinda clueless. I have heard the hype about beatz, but they seem overpriced and fad driven. I appreciate the comments of someone who uses the product and who obviously is passionate about music. Thanks for providing a link to them… that makes finding them so easy…you rock!!!

Reply
Stu July 25, 2015 - 2:51 am

Enid!

Thanks for stopping by, that’s what I’m here for 🙂 Hope you do decide on something sweet!! And yes, I’m very much passionate about all things music. Check out some of my beats as well!!

Reply
Ian July 24, 2015 - 1:46 am

I agree with what you said about beats by Dre. Totally overpriced for decent quality. The beats have a big margin because of all the advertising (packaging, advertising with celebrities etc.) while headphones like the MDR don’t spend that much on advertising. This definitely beats the price and quality of beats by a long shot.

Reply
Stu July 24, 2015 - 2:13 am

Yeah man, this is an old school model that garners some of the most positive reviews on the planet! The V6’s definitely have flown under the radar for years now.. I had never even heard of them in passing.. The 7506’s are very similar and get most of the attention..

Thanks for stopping by!

-Stu

Reply
robert Lawrence August 1, 2015 - 8:00 pm

I love that you’re exposing the beats by dre headphones. I’ve always thought that they over emphasized the bass and yet people seem obsessed with them.

These seem like great headphones for people who are into high quality music who aren’t looking to stream crap for free. I know I’ve had a few pairs of headphones over the years that I paid a lot of money for and was greatly dissapointed.

I’ll be sure to check out your website before i buy my next pair.

Cheers,

Robert

Reply
Stu August 1, 2015 - 8:32 pm

Hey Robert!

I completely agree, and I hope you come back to my site in the future!! Thanks for dropping by..

-Stu

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jjenkins373 August 3, 2015 - 6:42 am

I would agree with the Dr. Dre being overrated with price and quality. I’m very into audio as i like my sounds to be together not feel like one is overriding another or distorting.

If you had to chose which would be your choice for the best headphones? would it be these or another preference? like a few choices

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Stu August 3, 2015 - 11:44 pm

Hm.. a tough question indeed. It really depends on a lot of factors: your budget, your intended use for them, open vs. closed back, etc.

So I will try and categorize them. Keep in mind this is based on my experience with what I have, as well as what I’ve read. I’m sure there would be people that disagreed, but it’s a moot point.

Great budget mixing cans: (all pairs I own or have owned) & closed back.

1) Audio Technica ATH M50

2) Sennheiser HD 280

3) Sony MDR 7506 (very comparable to the MDR V6’s)

Comparison article between 1 & 2!

Article comparing 2 & 3!

Higher grade mixing cans (flagship models): Open Backed

Article comparing the three!

1) Sennheiser HD 600

2) Beyerdynamic DT880

3) AKG K701 and 702

Those are really the ones I have done the most research on. I have talked ad-nauseum on how great the M50’s are. If you’re just starting out I would go with those. None of them you can go wrong with though!

Thanks for stopping by!!

-Stu

Reply
Sirio August 7, 2015 - 8:03 pm

I love this WordPress theme!
Nice Niche you picked here and I see you are writing good content.
Which plugin do you use for the ratings? It really looks good and informative.
I hope this works out for you and you will achieve your goals!
Wishing you the best of luck.

Reply
Stu August 8, 2015 - 4:04 am

Hey Sirio!

Thanks much for the kind words. I work quite a bit on this site, and strive to deliver the most unbiased information. I also aim to make my posts and articles as thorough as possible without getting so analytical that it compromises the structure and layout of my posts.. There comes a point when a consensus on a product must be reached. Because we are all different and have slightly differing opinions, what may be a positive to me might be a negative to another person. I simply cannot account for these finer subtle nuances in opinion. I would never get the article done! Lol.

But anywho, I appreciate you stopping by. Come back anytime..

-Stu

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Paul C August 12, 2015 - 4:34 am

Clear and tight bass is always essential when looking into good headphones. especially studio monitors. This is a great post and is very well laid out. I’m not a huge fan of the coiled cables either, but I do have a set of Bose that have it and it’s really not too bad. I just put the coil behind my head. As for the color, meh. I like the pair that SOUNDS the best and it seems these are ranked up there with some of the better ones. Thanks for an informative post!

Reply
Stu August 13, 2015 - 2:25 am

Hey Paul!

Thanks for stopping by! I have always hated the coiled chord, but since I got a pair of Sennheiser HD280’s they haven’t given me a problem at all!! I wonder if the Sony cable is just a pain? Lol. I have not tried the MDR V6’s personally, but I used to own a very similar model in the 7506’s. Another industry standard!

Hope to hear from you again soon!

-Stu

Reply
Maureen September 27, 2015 - 4:27 pm

Hey Stu I’ll be honest I do not know much about headphones. As Far as rap music I am not a big fan. You could say I am from the old school when it comes to music and these new genre are just not my thing. For the type of music that I would listen to like slow rock etc would these headphones be good for that? They sound like a great set of headphones from your description.

Reply
Stu September 27, 2015 - 10:24 pm

Hey Maureen!

The MDR V6’s are a great set of headphones, and are flat and neutral in their response. This is very conducive to mixing. I don’t think they would necessarily be the type of headphones that you’re looking for. If you want something good for any kind of rock in general, I would recommend the Grado SR80i’s if you’re starting out. They are affordable and do very well in this application.

Thanks for stopping by! Any other questions just ask 🙂

-Stu

Reply
Tara October 4, 2015 - 12:58 am

Your post is very well laid out. I found it very informative. I would like to have seen the price as compared to other headphones within its respective field such as the other mentioned brands. I do like how the article is written and I feel it connects with the younger audiences.

Reply
Stu October 4, 2015 - 8:50 pm

Thanks for stopping by Tara! I will put up a little price comparison with some of the other models. Thank you much for the constructive feedback!

All the best,

-Stu

Reply
Tariq Baker November 28, 2015 - 11:46 pm

Well you surely have some interesting views! Thank you for the deeply detailed explanation of your experience with the headphones. I always like an estimation how long the headphones tend to last, which was a great addition to the article. You fully described how the headphones sounded to you, giving us helpful adjectives to go by while we contemplate our decision! Thanks mate!

Reply
Stu November 29, 2015 - 4:17 pm

No problem Tariq!

Glad to help. If you have any other questions let me know!

-Stu

Reply
Anthony December 31, 2015 - 6:51 pm

Awesome post!! I am really interested in audiophile headphones. For too long I’ve been using “gaming” headsets and you pay all your money for plastic shrouds and poor sound quality. The Sony MDR v6’s look very elegant. Do you recommend the close back over open back? I have heard they can be good but the only problem is you can hear the outside world too much.

Thanks in advance!

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Stu January 1, 2016 - 3:58 am

Hey Anthony!

Glad you stopped by. It really depends on what you’re looking for. Are you searching for a good gaming headset? Some of the Open back models that I’ve reviewed do exceptionally well in this regard, because of their amazing sound-stage. This basically means that you are able to individually place the musicians on stage, and feel as if you’re there. For you, instead of hearing the music, you’re able to hear all the individual nuances of sound around you while playing, and can therefore make quicker and smarter decisions.

Closed back models work better for sound isolation, and excel with genres like hip hop, EDM and the like. They are much more common, and work better as portable listening devices. They also won’t bother others around you.

My top recommendation for an affordable open back model that does well for gaming? The Sennheiser HD 598. Can’t say enough good things about these.

If you have any other questions, let me know!!

-Stu

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Tar January 17, 2016 - 4:21 pm

Hello Stu. From my point of view, there are two different worlds in headphones. Marketed ones like Dr.Dre and the quality ones like Sony.

I can see your passion, learning and adapting the revolutionary of headphones. I am sure you know most technological aspects of them.

While the quality and experience is your first choice, don’t you think it’ll be nice to have more coloured options?

Reply
Stu January 17, 2016 - 5:45 pm

Yes Tar,

You’re very right. It depends on the situation however. Most people looking at the Sony MDR V6’s will indeed be searching for flat reference monitor. I myself do enjoy a bit of added bass emphasis for general listening, but when I need to mix a track down I prefer an honest signature. The DT 990’s are a great all around, open back bass head can. As for closed back, some criticize the M50’s weird frequency response, and awkward “bloat” at the mid-bass range, but I still have had them for 3 years and enjoy the “fun” quality that they possess..

If you have any other questions let me know!

-Stu

Reply
Benedetto February 12, 2016 - 6:38 am

Ha I knew those Beats by Dre weren’t the real thing. It’s good to read it from someone who really knows about this stuff.

Soundstage lacking? Lol I just had that today and I got confused for a while thinking someone was talking to me when nobody was there.

Also I had a question, it surprises me that they have been around for so long! Usually when I buy headphones from Sony they break easily and its usually cheap quality from china.

I had better a better experience with Panasonic. What do you think? do you know of any Panasonic products compared to Sony?

Reply
Stu February 13, 2016 - 4:31 am

Benedetto!

Hey man, the only real experience I’ve had with Panasonic is a fantastic one. In 2003 my dad bought me a Stereo system with 5 CD changer. I still have it to this day, and it still works like a charm. I really can’t recommend Panasonic enough, but I haven’t tried any of their headphones. I may have way back in the day, but can’t remember specifically. I think they used to sell them in drug stores if I’m not mistaken?

As far as Sony, I can’t really say anything bad about them. They have been a reliable company for me for a long time as well. I’ve had countless Sony products and for the most part they are pretty solid.

The MDR 7506 and V6 are both industry standards, and I’ve heard about people owning these for extremely long periods of time. I can’t personally vouch for that, because 1) I kind of abused them when I was more careless with my gear, and 2) I had problems with the ear-cups on the 7506 (peeling and also falling off completely).

I still recommend them though because they were really reliable and had a very neutral sound overall. The 4.6/5 score on amazon out of almost 5,300 reviews combined (V6 + 7506) doesn’t lie.

Some of the cheaper Sony models that I’ve had (The $20 sets) weren’t very reliable at all, and did end up snapping on me a few times. The funny part about that is that I continued buying them because I liked the sound so much. The Sony MDRV150 is a classic example of a great low end headphone that suffered from mediocre construction. It’s now considered old school, but I had a few pairs and they always snapped on me. Still a good headphone for what it was.

Any other questions just ask!

-Stu

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Lewis Orton June 29, 2016 - 12:14 am

These seem like great headphones! I’m on the currently on the hunt for some monitoring headphones for when I’m in the studio. Obviously it’s good that they’re flat response for studio work but when I’m outside of the studio do you think these won’t be as good? For everyday listening? Thanks again – interesting read!

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Stu July 1, 2016 - 6:02 pm

Hey Lewis!

They do good for everyday listening, but may not be as portable as you would like due to that coiled cable. But as far as in studio, they are phenomenal. If you have any other questions please ask!

Blessings

-Stu

Reply
escocesrojo January 20, 2018 - 2:46 pm

What about a Dragonfly Red with the Sony MDR V6? Audible enhancement or no?

Reply
Stuart Charles Black January 20, 2018 - 2:53 pm

Yeah it would definitely give the headphones a boost. Music will become a bit more clear, articulate, and crisp. The Dragonfly Red is a seriously great investment, and will serve you well for the long haul. 🙂 Here’s my article: Audioquest Dragonfly Red Review

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John February 2, 2018 - 8:22 am

Great Article!! Do you think they’re a good choice for producing/mixing electronic music?

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Stuart Charles Black February 2, 2018 - 9:05 pm

Yes sir! Thank you for stopping by. Let me know what you decide and how you like it 🙂

Reply
Jesus Colmenares September 8, 2018 - 7:37 pm

Excellent post
I have used the Sony MDR for years, basically to listen to lectures, the sound is really good. I am not a specialist like you, but I can recommend them, I have used a few headphones, but this has definitely been the best quality for me.

Jesus C

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Stuart Charles Black September 9, 2018 - 1:11 pm

Thanks for the endorsement man. Every time I go back to listening to these after a hiatus, they amaze me all over again. It’s pretty much the quintessential studio headphone for sure. A tad bright maybe, but what do you expect for under $100? Overall sound is stunning and really rivals more expensive cans.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Stu

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Justin (collegejus on Youtube) November 28, 2018 - 4:49 am

What’s up Stu! I’ll let you know what I think of them once I receive them and give them some time to show me what they are made of. Thanks! 🙂

Reply
Stuart Charles Black November 28, 2018 - 2:48 pm

Awesome my friend! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

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Richard Marcum January 25, 2021 - 5:38 pm

I recently discovered your channel and website when I was looking into DACs and AMPs. I have been using the Sony MDR-V6s for about 10 years now. I initially bought them to replace the Sony MDR-V700s which broke into a million pieces due to the crappy design.

I have been very happy with the V6s and recently decided to take the AMP/DAC plunge after watching a lot of your videos and reading articles around the internet. I decided to go with the JDS labs OL DAC and I ended up getting the Objective2 from Mayflower since it was unavailable for purchase when I decided to take the plunge.

Do you have any recommendations for headphones to get as follow-ons or to supplement the MDR-V6s? I am leaning towards the Philips SHP-9500s due to how well you and plenty of others have reviewed them. I don’t have any open back headphones and have no experience with them.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black January 27, 2021 - 2:42 pm

Hey man, yes! The 9500 would be a perfect compliment! Have you seen my most recent video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9OAl03H5sg

Reply

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