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…
The Sony MDR V6 is a highly regarded, closed back audiophile headphone that is at it’s best in a studio environment. It’s extremely flat, and won’t really amaze you in anyway. 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. In fact if you are looking for that hard hitting low end response, you may want to check out the Audio Technica ATH M50’s (or 50x’s). What the V6’s will give you is a tight, clear, controlled bass but nothing overpowering.
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.
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 1/4″ adapter.
No amp 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 chord.
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.
Don’t do well on the go, being that the coiled cable is bulky. It’s also non detachable.
Check out the video review/unboxing!
These don’t need an amp, and by most accounts they 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:
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 many people were really impressed with them right out of the box.
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:
A very neutral, flat, and even sounding set of headphones. They will not amaze you in anyway in regards to bass response, but the low end is 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
There’s so much to be said about the 7506’s 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 being the Audio Technica ATH M50!
These are studio reference cans, and really improved my mixes ten fold when I was first starting out. They have a ton of clarity in the treble range most notably, but be aware that they can get harsh and shrill 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 at times, 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 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 a like.
Amazing reference headphones. An accurate reproduction of the music.
neutral and flat, ideal for mixing.
durable and long lasting
balanced mids, lows, and highs, and a very pronounced mid range.
subtle nuances will be heard in your favorite records, which lends to a really enjoyable listening experience
folds up for easy storage.
1/4 ” adapter and synthetic leather carrying case included
pretty good movement in the ear-cups.
good isolation, but not noise cancelling.
Coiled cable is not detachable, and can get tangled frequently
Potential to sound a bit boring, being so analytical
harshness in the upper mid and treble range, leading to fatigue
a bit too bulky for consistent portable use
ear cups may 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.
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.
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
The replacement driver part numbers are exactly the same, and the drivers are both neodymium.
The sound overall is very similar. Some say the differences are negligible, but I have found a couple of differences below.
Both have non-detachable cables coming out of the same ear-cup.
Signature. Right off the bat, the biggest differences in these 2 sets of headphones is their slightly different sound signature. Both are pretty neutral, but the V6’s are more so than the 7506’s. However, the 7506’s have a slightly meatier bass, and are a bit more harsh and shrill/sibilant in the treble range. What does sibilant mean? I can attest to this because it was one of my main complaints with the 7506. The V6’s give you more of a smooth, even sound, while the 7506’s can become quite fatiguing after a long listening session. The bass on the 7506 is more bloated as well, and overall the V6 gives you a much warmer, cleaner experience.
Genre. The V6 is great for classical and symphony, while the 7506 isn’t because of that peak in the high end that we just talked about. The 7506’s are too bright for some peoples taste.
Wording. The V6’s say digital on the side of the ear-cup while the 7506’s 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 7506’s. However, being that the V6’s are some of the most durable cans ever, you mostly likely will not have to contact them.
Jack. The V6 uses a silver headphone jack while the 7506 is gold plated.
If you’re looking for a flatter and more neutral response, and want that extra bit of bass, go with the 7506. I’ve owned the 7506, and did enjoy it’s sound, but knowing about that harshness in the treble does turn me off a a little from ever buying another pair. If I had to choose, I’d go with the V6’s. Both have a proven track record, but the V6’s are just overall a better buy in my opinion.
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.