Home Headphone Comparisons Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR-7506 – Identical Twins?

Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR-7506 – Identical Twins?

by Stuart Charles Black
Sony MDR V6

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Originally published 12/13/15.

Updates:

  • 12/22/18
  • 1/26/21. Added 7506 video and updated Final Word to reflect the V6 being discontinued.
  • 4/5/22. Article revisit/impressions update.

Hi friend and Welcome!

Today I’m the mailman (but not Karl Malone) and I’m going to be delivering some news about the Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR-7506! These are two well-regarded headphones in the world of audiophiles and have a few differences to speak of.

Before we get started though, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!!

At A Glance

Preview
Flatter Sound
Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones with CCAW Voice Coil
More Bass
Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
Title
Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones with CCAW Voice Coil
Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
Color
Black
Black
Weight
230g (8.1 Oz.)
230g (8.1 Oz.)
Type
Closed Back
Closed Back
Fit
Circumaural (Around Ear)
Circumaural (Around Ear)
Impedance
63 Ohms
63 Ohms
Sensitivity
106dB/mW
106dB/mW
Primary Use
Mixing/Mastering/Reference
Mixing/Mastering/Reference
Amplification Required?
Prime
-
Price
$494.85
$93.47
Flatter Sound
Preview
Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones with CCAW Voice Coil
Title
Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones with CCAW Voice Coil
Color
Black
Weight
230g (8.1 Oz.)
Type
Closed Back
Fit
Circumaural (Around Ear)
Impedance
63 Ohms
Sensitivity
106dB/mW
Primary Use
Mixing/Mastering/Reference
Amplification Required?
Prime
-
Price
$494.85
More Bass
Preview
Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
Title
Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
Color
Black
Weight
230g (8.1 Oz.)
Type
Closed Back
Fit
Circumaural (Around Ear)
Impedance
63 Ohms
Sensitivity
106dB/mW
Primary Use
Mixing/Mastering/Reference
Amplification Required?
Prime
Price
$93.47

So without further ado, let’s get into it!

Sony MDR V6

Specifications

  • Price: Check Amazon! | Check eBay!
  • Official Review: Here!
  • Type: Closed Back
  • Fit: Circumaural
  • Impedance: 63 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Sensitivity: 106dB/mW
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz – 30 kHz
  • Material: Plastic, Metal, Pleather
  • Color: Black, blue, red/pink, some gold

Summary

Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR-7506

The Sony MDR V6 is a highly regarded, closed-back audiophile headphone that is at its best in a studio environment.

It’s a mixing/reference can that proves to be very honest and neutral in its sound signature & presentation. It boasts a pristine clarity and has just the right amount of bass in my estimation.

It does roll off a bit, but the response is textured, nuanced, and extremely detailed. It kind of just rumbles really nicely. What the V6s will give you is a tight, clear, controlled bass, but nothing overpowering.

What’s startling to me about the MDR V6 is that they have been around since the early ’80s, and maybe even the late ’70s.

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 were absent.

The treble is also a problem area for some. For me, it’s not. They are definitely on the brighter side, but I’ve been using them in my studio for a while now and I don’t hear any hiss, metallic hue, or essy character. I think they just tend to get “hot” in the treble sometimes, meaning there’s a bit too much energy.

Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR-7506

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.
  • 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 a 1/4″ adapter.
  • No amp is needed. They will play plenty loud on anything you use them with.
  • 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
  • Very comfortable. Across the board, this was an almost universal consensus.
  • They fold up nicely but aren’t really meant for on the go situations due to the coiled cord.

Cons

  • Coiled cable tangles and becomes a real pain after about a year or so.
  • Earpads will flake and peel after about a year or so.
  • 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. Being that I’ve also owned the 7506, I can attest to this problem. The 2 are nearly identical, and the ear cup issue was one of my main dislikes about the headphone.

Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR-7506

My Video Review!

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Amp/DAC requirements

Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR-7506

These don’t need an amp, and by most accounts, they sound plenty loud enough with any of your portable devices.

You can always opt for something like The FiiO E10K, but I wouldn’t get carried away with amplification here. This is a headphone with 63 Ohms Impedance and 106dB Sensitivity. That basically means that it’s not going to need a lot of power from an amp to reach peak loudness. 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:

  • Jazz
  • Orchestra/Symphony
  • Classical
  • Gaming
  • Podcasting
  • Live Monitoring
  • Mixing/Mastering/Reference
  • Hip-Hop/Rap
  • Rock/Metal

Consensus/Conclusion

A very neutral, flat, and even sounding set of headphones. They will not amaze you in any way in regards to bass response, but the low end is tight and controlled.

Overall they give you pristine clarity and are some of the longest-lasting cans in existence. The main gripe is the ear-cup issue.

Sony MDR V6 Mod?

These can be modded to fit a removable mini xlr cable as well as velour ear pads. Try at your own risk!

Now onto…

Sony MDR 7506

  • Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H! | Check eBay!
  • Official Review: Here!
  • Type: Closed Back
  • Fit: Circumaural
  • Impedance: 63 Ohm.
  • Sensitivity: 106dB/mW
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz – 20 kHz
  • Material: Plastic, Metal, Pleather
  • Color: black, blue, red, some gold

Summary

Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR-7506

There’s so much to be said about the 7506s that it’s hard to begin. These were the first pair of “higher-end” headphones that I purchased when I made my foray into the world of audiophiles. Being that I had never spent more than $20 on headphones, it was quite a monumental purchase, to say the least.

These were the first set that made me look at music in an entirely different way. The 2nd pair is the Audio Technica ATH M50x!

These are studio reference cans, and really improved my mixes tenfold when I was first starting out. They have a ton of clarity in the treble range most notably, but be aware that they, like the V6 can get a bit hot at times, especially after a long listening session.

The best way I can describe them is that they are technical and analytical. They can bit a bit cold, which is perfect if you’re looking for an honest reference headphone. They do well as pure listening devices, but the main focus with these should be in the studio.

After putting them on for the first time, you will quickly see why they have been an industry standard for years. You may have seen them on TV and radio in various instances, they are used heavily by professionals and amateurs alike.

Pros

  • Amazing reference headphones. An accurate reproduction of the music.
  • Neutral and flat, ideal for mixing.
  • Durable and long-lasting.
  • Great mid-range. It’s nice and flat, with vocals and instruments having much life.
  • Subtle nuances will be heard in your favorite records, which leads to a really enjoyable listening experience.
  • Folds up for easy storage.

Cons

  • The coiled cable is not detachable and can get tangled frequently.
  • Can sound a bit hot in the treble area.
  • Ear cups will start to peel after about a year or so, and leave little bits of black in your ears. One of mine actually came off and I had to frequently re-attach it.

My Video Review

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Amp/DAC requirements

FiiO Q1 vs. E10K vs. DragonFly Red

At 63 Ohm and 106dB Sensitivity, None! How to choose a headphone amp! 

An amp can help out the sound quality a little, but like the V6 I wouldn’t go overboard here. Here are a couple of options that you may consider and ones that I’ve personally had a lot of experience with.

Budget

  • FiiO E10K. This is just about the perfect Amp/DAC under $100 that will power the majority of headphones. It’s perfect for headphones like the V6 and 7506 because A) They don’t need much power, and B) Because even so, this Amp will improve sound quality by using the dedicated DAC that comes inside the E10K. Related: What is a USB DAC?
  • Learn more about it: FiiO E10K Review!

Step Up/Portable Option

  • Audioquest Dragonfly Red. If I had to choose one Amp/DAC to use in every circumstance, it would be the Dragonfly. Super convenient, portable, and works with your phone, on your desktop, on the go, etc. Small and compact, and only requires a roughly $8 adapter for use with a phone. Learn more: Audioquest Dragonfly Red Review!

I wouldn’t worry about anything else outside of these two options for these two headphones specifically. They will be more than enough to make you smile and get some nice sound quality out of the tracks you listen to.

Who do these headphones benefit?

  • Producers, or anyone looking for neutral and honest sound for their projects
  • People who want a crisp clear sound, with a lot of detail. They are very revealing in this sense.

They work with all of the same genres and applications as the V6.

Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR-7506

Consensus/Conclusion

These are the industry standard for a reason. They are some of the most reliable and honest headphones you will find at this price range or otherwise. Build quality is above average overall, but the ear-cups may present problems. They are meant for studio and don’t really do well on the go.

Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • The replacement driver part numbers are exactly the same, and the drivers are both neodymium.
  • Both have non-detachable coiled cables coming out of the same ear cup.
  • Both are built exactly the same and have identical comfort levels.

Differences

  • Wording. The V6s say digital on the side of the ear-cup while the 7506s say, Professional. This may not sound like a huge deal, but because of that “Professional” moniker, some are saying the customer support is better with the 7506s. However, being that the V6s are some of the most durable cans ever, you most likely will not have to contact them.
  • Jack. The V6 uses a silver headphone jack while the 7506 is gold plated.

Outside of those differences, these headphones are almost identical sounding. The V6 is the original. The 7506 is the younger brother.

I had read somewhere that the 7506 was created due to consumer demand for more bass, but I’m not sure that’s entirely correct as both headphones look to be very similar when looking at graphs.

While I may have remembered the 7506 being more “fatiguing” way back in 2010/2011 when I first bought one, that could have been simply due to the fact that I used to mix on them almost every single day into the wee hours of the morning.

When I bought a V6 years later around 2017, I didn’t use it nearly as much but it also didn’t sound quite as bright to me. Again, the passage of time, as well as our minds play funny tricks on us, and in actuality, these 2 headphones are about as close to being the same as it gets.

Final Word

Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR-7506

The V6 has been discontinued after 35 years (1985-2020) and goes for ridiculously high prices now. Just save your money and get a 7506.

 

 


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! Hope you enjoyed my Sony MDR V6 vs. MDR 7506 comparison review. I also hope you have a better idea of the similarities and subtle differences between each.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

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Which of these do YOU like more? Let me know down below!!

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to drop a comment in the box, or Contact me! I very much look forward to speaking with you…

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!!

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14 comments

Steve J May 17, 2016 - 3:59 pm

I owned a pair of Koss cans because they weighed practically nothing, gripped my head so they didn’t fall off, were practically transparent to outside sound (so I could hear the world around me as well,) and the soundfield seemed to be *outside* the headphones. I’d still use them if I could reliably find pads for them, but the earcup material eventually deteriorated to a powder.
The MDR-7506s I got in 2003 were a little less comfortable, a little heavier, and the soundfield was obviously inside the cans, but they were more robust. Their earpads have an outer layer of vinyl or faux leather that also breaks down with a few years’ use. (In fairness, I used them without the leather outer layer for most of a decade.) But Beyerdynamic DT250 pads (which seem to have an outer layer of *velvet* of all things) are a brilliant replacement. When I finally replaced my first set of 7506s with another pair, I put the DT250s on immediately. Though they feel a little scratchy at first, they don’t make my ears sweat (so I can wear them for longer,) and best of all, they don’t make it look like I have developed black dandruff. If you buy a pair of 7506s, I strongly recommend getting a package deal with the Beyerdynamic pads.

Reply
Stu May 18, 2016 - 1:51 am

Hey Steve! Really helpful comment here. Glad you stopped by! Funny you mention the Koss headphones. Someone had mentioned them months back when I was researching and said they were some of the most reliable cans on the planet way back when. They look super retro lmao (if we’re referring to the same or similar model). I saw them on amazon and had to laugh. Aren’t they beige or something? I was actually tempted to buy ’em!

Anywho, I know what you mean about the 7506’s. I had a pair for a couple of years and the ear-pads peeled like aged sunburn, lol. My question to you is would the Beyer DT250 pads fit the Audio Technica ATH M50? I actually am in a similar dilemma with those. They have lasted since Jan 2013 and are still going strong, but the ear pads had started to crack within the last year or so. I finally got tired of them scratching my ear real bad and peeled off the faux leather completely. The sound isn’t quite as good, and I’m looking into some ear-cups before I sell them. I had heard about the Brainwavz pads, but they get mixed reviews.

Thanks for any help and I appreciate your comment!
-Stu

Reply
Tim April 19, 2017 - 9:28 pm

I got the Beyerdynamic ear pads for my V6s after they started peeling. More comfortable and a good, inexpensive upgrade to great sounding headphones.

Reply
Stu April 21, 2017 - 12:46 am

Hey Tim!

Do the pads change the sound signature any?

Reply
fernando borges July 17, 2017 - 5:23 pm

To mix hip hop 7506 or v6?

Reply
Stu July 17, 2017 - 5:49 pm

I would go with the V6. It’s my #1 recommendation for entry level closed back headphone. 🙂

Reply
Jay L. December 4, 2017 - 5:55 pm

I am currently a professional sound editor for episodic television and previously a production sound mixer on location. I have been using the Sony MDR V6s since they came out in the early ’80s. I have found them to be rugged and for my purposes, accurate enough to properly do my job.

As a sound editor, I wear them 8-10 hours a day, constantly putting them on and taking them off. I am probably on my third pair in the past 35 years. The ear pads are definitely the weakest part of the product but I’ve also replaced drivers and cables which have gone intermittent. We had a bunch of them in our ADR studio for talent to wear including walla groups and they were very reliable and cost-effective over periods of time even with that heavy use. Our engineers generally always replaced the cables with heavier duty straight wire as the coiled factory cables often failed. We also kept a supply of replacement earpads on hand. Almost everybody liked them.

About two years ago I dropped the $20 bucks on a pair of the Brainwavz velour pads. Best investment I’ve made besides the headphones themselves. They are more comfortable than the originals, don’t make my ears sweat and so far, show no visible signs of wear using them 5-6 days a week for the 8-10 hours a day I mentioned earlier. Amazon sells them and also sells another brand (Poyatu) for $11 bucks the pair, but those were not available when I bought the Brainwavz so I can’t comment on them. The Brainwaves have an excellent track record so I will vouch for those.

I rarely use the V6s for listening to music although I’ve heard some grumbling about then sounding “too sterile,” but for cutting dialogue and SFX and recording production sound, they’re great!

Reply
Stuart Charles Black December 4, 2017 - 8:14 pm

Wow! That’s pretty awesome. I would agree with whoever called them sterile. I find that for easy listening, they work but are brutally honest. Not every track is going to sound good, and that’s what I appreciate most about them. They’re accurate and balanced for the most part, with a great bass response and awesome mid-range.

I also would agree with you about the pads. Definitely their weakest area, with the cable coming in at a close second. My 7506’s pads actually came out after 2 years, but I didn’t have them long enough to replace anything. Back then I was immature and broke them over a Call of Duty match. Would love to snag a pair again.

My V6’s are awesome too, and those velour pads sound like a great option for these. Does it affect the sound signature at all? I have a pair of M50’s and had to replace the pads on those. I bought the Brainwavz HM5’s, and while they opened up the soundstage a bit, they became harsher and less listenable, with a decreased bass response as well.

What pads are you referring to specifically for the V6’s? I would love to check ’em out.

Thanks much for stopping by! Talk soon..

-Stu

Reply
The-K-Man December 30, 2017 - 8:22 pm

I recently found out that earpads for the MDR-V6 will not fit the earpieces of the MDR-7506. This implies that the 7506′ earpieces(the flat plastic part to which the driver is mounted) is slightly bigger – 1-2mm bigger – but enough to be a difference. Attempting to fit V6 earpads on the 7506 ear piece will *likely* result in ripping the earpads. This is precisely what happened to me!

They even have different part numbers for earpads: 7506 = ‘X21131241’ and V6 = ‘2-115-668-03’

They are different for a reason: The pads from the V6 will not fit on a 7506.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black December 30, 2017 - 8:34 pm

That’s interesting, thanks for the head up!

I was going to buy a pair of 7506’s again.. I had them a few years back.

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you ever need help with anything.

-Stu

Reply
Jesse August 26, 2018 - 6:46 am

Hey Stu. I really appreciate the content created on your behalf. Within the last year, I purchased a few headphones. In particular, both the Sony MDR V6 and 7506. Originally, I established based on quite a lot of research done on my part that I’d purchase and try out the 7506. During that time, I discovered that the 7506 was based on the V6 which still remains in production after 33 years. I first got the V6 to use as somewhat of a guinea pig regarding whether or not I’d enjoy the 7506 especially knowing their similarities. In short, I have enjoyed both headphones. Though I have to say I’ve come across some interesting things since owning both cans. When I’ve plugged the V6 and 7506 into unamped sources such as my laptop; they are quite similar though a few things stood out. The midrange and top end on the 7506 to my ears was more pronounced compared to the V6. Though both headphones came across as very clear and balanced. When I put both cans through a DAC/Headphone amp setup like the Fiio E10k, I noticed that the bottom end on the 7506 became meatier and more detailed. While it still retained very good tonal balance, I actually preferred the V6 due to it sounding less hyped. The balance between bass-midrange-treble on the V6 is great plus it presents great detail without becoming overbearing. Granted, one of the first things I did with both headphones was swap the stock Sony pads with Wicked Cushions pads tailored for the headphones. They feel more upscale, durable, and improve/clean up the sonic profile of the Sonys. Anyway, keep up the good work Stu.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black August 26, 2018 - 12:29 pm

Jesse,
Thank you so much for this comment as it sort of validates my thought about the comparison between both. I had owned a 7506 back in 2010-2011/2012 or thereabouts and I felt like the bass was more pronounced than the V6’s. I also thought the treble was “hotter” and more prone to sibilance. Did you get this feeling as well? This is why I tend to recommend the V6 over the 7506 because of exactly what you said. It just feels less intrusive. I remember having to take breaks from the 7506 as it tends to get a little shrill after some time. I don’t really feel this with the V6. I would like to get my hands on a 7506 because I want to re-evaluate both of them and perhaps do a comparison video for YouTube. I appreciate you stopping by!
Blessings,
-Stu

Reply
Jesse August 26, 2018 - 8:21 pm

From my experience, the treble on the 7506 can sometimes become “hot” and sibilant. Though both the V6 and 7506 can have varying degrees of sibilance depending on music genres. Both are what I’d classify as transparent, very accurate, and picky regarding audio sources. They will not mask poor recordings or excessively color the sound. Which is very impressive considering how both cans retail under $100. One thing that amused me a bit when I researched the 7506 prior to purchase was Zeos’ Youtube review on the Sony MDR 7506. It was mentioned in the video that the Sonys lacked midrange; to my ears they had more than enough. Anyway, I appreciate your feedback to the comment I posted.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black August 26, 2018 - 10:01 pm

Yeah that’s totally wrong lol. Both have an extremely flat mid-range which is like the main reason to recommend them hahah. Not sure what that was all about but whatever. Agree about the treble but it’s not overly bright. I would say it flirts with the border of being too hot and just simply bright. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Reply

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