Originally posted 5/3/15.
- 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).
- 3/21/22. Article revisit/link updates.
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
- Quick View
- Video Review
- Photo Gallery
- Amp/DAC requirements
- Who benefits?
- Final Word
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!
- Longevity through the roof. This headphone has been around since the mid-1980s. Folks have reported having these puppies anywhere from 10-30 years!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Seeing as how the 7506 is essentially the same headphone but still available, I will link it instead:
- Price: check Amazon! | Check eBay!
- 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
The Sony MDR V6 is a highly regarded, closed-back audiophile headphone that is at its best in a studio environment.
Though it’s flat and balanced overall, it really aims to impress.
A mixing/reference can, the V6 proves to be very honest and neutral in its sound signature & presentation. It boasts a pristine clarity but isn’t bass-heavy. What the V6s 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.
Related: Closed back vs. Open back headphones
What’s startling to me about the MDR V6s is that they have been around since the early ’80s, and maybe even the late ’70s.
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.
The sound spectrum is almost flawlessly represented here, although there may be a slight grain in the mid-range at first and a tad too much sparkle in the treble.
Even so, 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 by and large these are mostly identical headphones.
Check out my article on the Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR 7506 for an in-depth discussion on the subtle differences!
My Video Review!
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Click to see the V6!
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.
- Related: How to choose a headphone amp
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 efficient enough and don’t really need amplification per se. Related: What is Sensitivity in Headphones?
Who do 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:
- Live monitoring
As great as these headphones are, there are some caveats:
The cable is one of the most annoying things about these as it will start to tangle and become almost impossible to straighten out after a year or 2. Since it’s also not detachable, replacing it is quite cumbersome but still possible if you have a soldering iron handy.
Not only do the pads flake and peel, but they have a tendency to become loose from the headphones. I didn’t experience this specifically with the V6 but did with a 7506 since I used it almost every day exclusively back around 2010-2011.
Yes, the treble can be a bit sibilant at times which will bother some folks but for the most part, it’s not a complete deal-breaker. Either EQ it down or just live with it as a minor quirk to an otherwise great product.
Some even more minor nitpicks are even despite the headphones being very rugged and portable, they sometimes fold when you don’t want them to. In other words, they tend to have a mind of their own and are a bit loosey-goosey for lack of a better term. You’ll understand this once you have them for a while.
A very neutral, flat, and even sounding set of headphones for the most part. 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.
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.
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? 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…