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

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

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This is part of my “Budget Kings” Series, which takes a look at some of the best options for under $100. Check out:

Why did I place this second?

It’s really the first closed back option, but comes in second because I do think overall the 9500 is a slightly better buy. It’s about the closest photo finish you can have though. That said, if you’re looking for a closed back neutral headphone, this is what you’ll want to consider first. The reasons are fairly obvious, but if you’re new to the hobby, the V6 has been around since the 80’s. It’s a studio staple, and should have a place in every engineers cabinet. Build and comfort are both extremely solid, but one reason it can’t take top honors is because of those flaky pads. They will start to crack and peel after a year or two, and it’s really, really annoying. Lol. Luckily, they are replaceable so that’s a plus. The other thing that holds these back is the propensity for the coiled chord to tangle. Both the M40x and CB 1 improved on this by making the actual coil portion of the cable a bit shorter and more compact. That said, I think the overall sound signature of these is a bit better than those, and thus it’s placed higher.

What I will bring you in this review

  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 1980’s. 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. Awesome Soundstage for a closed back model. This was a nice surprise for me. You occasionally get that out of your head feeling, where you think the sound may be coming from outside the headphones in various directions. It’s a cool feeling. What is Soundstage?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Hybrid wonder. Can be used in 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 chord works pretty well for travel.
  9. 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 the more in depth review!

Sony MDR V6

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 it’s 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 80’s, and maybe even 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!

Pros

  • Long life. As mentioned above, there have been people raving about the longevity factor with these. Being that they came out before I was even born, you can see why. If the term revolutionary could ever be used properly in context, it would be regarding these headphones.
  • Nearly indestructible. These have a proven track record of being some of the most rock solid headphones on the planet.
  • Trusted. These will be your go to solution, and they have proven time and again to deliver results in a studio monitoring environment as well as a casual setting. Some reviewers claim to have had them anywhere from 10-25 years.
  • Plug. All metal plug with strain relief is a nice added touch. It contributes greatly to their build and reliability over time. Uses a 3.5 mm jack with 1/4″ adapter.
  • No amp needed. They will play plenty loud on anything you use them with.
  • Very comfortable. Across the board this was an almost universal consensus.
  • Also good for gaming because of that comfort factor, and the fact that you can hear very subtle nuances in sound.
  • Excels in both critical and casual listening situations.
  • They fold up nicely, and become pretty portable even though they are meant for the studio.

Cons

  • Ear cushions will need to be replaced after some time, and the ear-cup may actually fall off. This was one of the main gripes with the V6’s. Being that I’ve owned the 7506’s, I can attest to this problem. The 2 are nearly identical, and the ear cup issue was one of my main dislikes about the phone.
  • A few reviewers have said that the left (or right) side has gone out after about a year + of use. Perhaps they got a lemon.
Sony MDR V6 Review
Sony MDR V6 Review

Check out this graphic on my other site Painterly Stew!


My Video Review!

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Click to see the V6!

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. Main gripe is the ear-cup issue. Other less common complaints are:

  • somewhat loose construction
  • 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 wonderful 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!

SEE THEM FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!

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]

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