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!!
Today we’ll discuss the V6 on its own merits and ultimately determine if it’s still worth a purchase today!
By the end of this review, you’ll be equipped to make a sound purchasing decision based on the current situation.
So stick around and let’s get rolling!
Price: Check Amazon! | Check eBay!
In The Box
Sony MDR-V6 Closed Back Stereo Studio Headphones
1/4″ Stereo UniMatch Adapter
Limited 90-Day Warranty on Labor
- Type: Closed Back
- Fit: Circumaural
- Impedance: 63 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
- Frequency response: 5Hz – 30 kHz
- Material: Plastic, Metal, Faux Leather
- Color: Black, Bue, Red
Introduction & Sound
Put simply, there’s a reason the V6 is still talked about today.
Pound for pound, there weren’t many studio headphones below that $100 range that performed quite as well as this venerable classic from 1985.
The reason is that the sound signature is mostly neutral and flat, with an emphasis on all of the right frequencies:
There’s a 3kHz rise which gives vocals and instruments, the treble sparkles and provides plenty of air and transparency, and the bass sounds mostly neutral aside from a bit of mid-bass emphasis.
So is it a perfect mixing headphone?
No, but it comes pretty close.
Even despite hearing over 120 headphones at this point, I nearly always reach for one of these because it’s going to tell me how something actually sounds.
This is a bit hard to explain, but the V6 is incredibly honest and revealing.
Because of its superior clarity and excellent tuning, it highlights flaws in a mix rather easily which is why I always think of it first when I discuss the best headphones for mixing, mastering, and music production.
Build & Comfort
If you look closely enough, you will see them around everywhere. They will last you a LONG time and are about as reliable as it gets for studio monitoring.
There are some caveats though:
The coiled cable
is a bit of a pain and starts to tangle in on itself after about a year or so.
will flake and peel around the same time, and they may even become dislodged from the cup. This is a semi-easy fix but tends to be rather inconvenient.
There’s a small slit where the thin part of the pad inserts and it runs around the circumference of the cup. This piece can come loose and sort of fall out partially, which can be annoying as you try and run it back through the slit and keep it in place.
Other than those things,
the V6 is wonderfully built, malleable, and very robust for being such a small-statured headphone.
There’s metal for the headband adjustments, and even despite moving and folding in a variety of ways, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to break down – and quite frankly never has for me.
I wouldn’t call these the most comfortable headphones of all time, but I suppose they’re adequate enough.
Do keep in mind you’ll likely be making adjustments rather frequently, and they aren’t really Circumaural or Supra-Aural.
They kind of lie somewhere in the middle as the cups both rest on your ears and sort of around them if that makes sense.
The faux leather padding feels okay at first, but can heat up rather quickly.
I suppose these have shown their age a bit, but you may just tolerate it given the excellent sound.
These don’t need an amp and will sound plenty loud enough with any of your portable devices.
If you do opt for something, I wouldn’t go any farther than a FiiO E10K.
Spend any more than that and you’re wasting money as these are incredibly efficient and don’t need much juice to get pumping.
People looking for a flat neutral sound, conducive to mixing. Critical listeners.
Casual listeners looking for a crispy, uncolored sound.
They do great with:
- Live monitoring
The MDR-V6 is a very neutral, flat, and even-sounding set of headphones for the most part. The bass is tight, articulate, and doesn’t lack for impact.
Overall they provide pristine clarity and are some of the longest-lasting cans in existence.
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.
Because they have been discontinued, I’d look to the ever-popular MDR-7506 as the best solution here.
Worry not, both of these are nearly identical headphones but the V6’s price has skyrocketed considerably.
the MDR-7506 can still be had for a phenomenal price and does tend to be the more sought after headphone out of the 2:
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Well, that’s about it for today folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed my review of the Sony MDR-V6 studio monitor series headphones.
What do you think about them? Any experience with the 7506? Let me know!!
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
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Until then, all the best and God bless…
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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!!!
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!!
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.
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!
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.
I completely agree, and I hope you come back to my site in the future!! Thanks for dropping by..
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
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!!
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.
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..
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!
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!
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.
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 🙂
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.
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,
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!
No problem Tariq!
Glad to help. If you have any other questions let me know!
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!
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!!
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, donâ€™t you think itâ€™ll be nice to have more coloured options?
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!
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?
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!
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!
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!
What about a Dragonfly Red with the Sony MDR V6? Audible enhancement or no?
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
Great Article!! Do you think they’re a good choice for producing/mixing electronic music?
Yes sir! Thank you for stopping by. Let me know what you decide and how you like it 🙂
I’ve been using mine since 1989! I just refoamed them this week and am thrilled to have the same excellent performance and comfort returned.
I bought them as just mid-high tier set as I was starting to do some recording and mixing on analog tape multi-track units. I got incredibly lucky.
I agree with the full assessment here.
What an incredible testimony. 1989. That’s pretty crazy. I was 2 going on 3 (December). xD Should convince people that they’re worth the investment (well, the 7506 anyway). V6 has been discontinued.
Have you tried re-wiring them to make the cable detachable? I really want to do that to a pair of 7506s in the future.
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.
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!
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! 🙂
Awesome my friend! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
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.
Hey man, yes! The 9500 would be a perfect compliment! Have you seen my most recent video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9OAl03H5sg
Here’s the pads you should get.
Beyerdynamic EDT250V Headphone Ear Pads Black
No more flaky fake leather, they’re velour.
Woop woop!! Thanks, David! I think I actually have those bookmarked already somewhere in my thousand million bookmarks lol.
SONY MDR-V6 headphones:
Vinyl ear cup flaking: simple fix: peel off all of the vinyl. Then you’ll have comfy cups and avoid hot sweaty ears!
I’ve been using these since 1986; indestructible, rugged, sound great, ANY kind of music or for lectures, etc.
Their design: distinctive, easy to spot, when they turn up in any well-known personalities’ pictures of their music studios.
Haha! Yeah I actually did that same thing for my original M50. Peeled everything OCD style. Perhaps not a long-term solution though. I really wish Sony would come out with a refresh of the V6 and 7506, doing all of the following:
1) Make the cable detachable.
2) Include a few cable options of varying lengths and sizes.
3) Figure out an ear pad solution that doesn’t compromise the sound.
Would be a huge hit! Especially considering how many people still buy these.