Greetings mate and Welcome aboard! Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear) all over again, so…
Before we get into the Sony MDR-V6 vs. 7506 Review/Comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…
You’ve come to the right place!!
At A Glance
So without further ado, let’s get into it!
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
Ah, how time flies.
I picked up an MDR-7506 around 2010 and mixed on it for about a year.
Later on, in 2017 or so, I bought a V6.
Because the V6 has been discontinued, I plan on getting another 7506 because of how well it portrays recorded music and how much I enjoyed it.
You will, too!
In this article,
We’ll find out if there are any real differences between them.
By the time you’re done reading this, you should be convinced that the 7506 is worth the meager price tag.
Let’s dive in!
The Sony MDR-V6 was a highly regarded, closed-back audiophile headphone that first hit the shelves in 1985.
Intended for the studio, it proved to be very honest and neutral in its sound signature & presentation – hence why it’s still sought after today.
It boasted a pristine clarity and had just the right amount of bass in my experience.
The bass did roll off a bit, but the response was textured, nuanced, and extremely detailed.
It kind of just rumbled really nicely.
What the V6s provide for you is a tight, clear, controlled bass, but nothing overpowering.
The sound spectrum is almost flawlessly represented here, and for the most part, the mid-range is handled really well and turns out to be one of the V6’s main strengths.
You’ll start to hear things in recordings that you previously thought were absent, and for studio work, it doesn’t get much better here.
You won’t find yourself over or under-compensating when it comes to voices and instruments, and there’s loads of detail – so much so that it’s quite astonishing given their original asking price.
The treble may or may not be a problem spot for you.
I’ve always found it to be a bit “hot”, but the reason it still mostly works is that you’ll be able to easily pick apart your mix and determine what needs to be cleaned up.
In other words,
The V6 is incredibly revealing – highlighting even the most subtle of details and providing splendid overall resolution at this price point.
This is in large part why it remains relevant to this day.
If you take a look around, you’ll find individuals in various professions using these headphones for monitoring purposes.
They just sound right.
Let’s take a look at some Pros & Cons of the V6.
- Build. Both the V6 and 7506 are built incredibly well and will last you a lifetime given proper care.
- Portability. They fold up in a nice compact package and are excellent on the go.
- Reference Kings. These are true reference headphones and easily make my best studio headphones for mixing.
- 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 7506 as I mixed on them nearly every day.
I experienced all of the above but didn’t use the V6 nearly as often due to the fact that I had many other headphones at the time.
These don’t need an amp, and from my personal experience, they sound plenty loud enough out of a phone.
I did use a wide array of dacs including iFi’s Black Label (complete overkill but I was demoing it at the time), The E10K, xCAN, etc.
You can always opt for something like The FiiO E10K, but I wouldn’t get carried away with amplification here.
Buy anything more expensive than an E10K and you’re wasting money.
This is a headphone with 63 Ohms Impedance and 106dB Sensitivity.
This means that both the V6 and MDR-7506 are very efficient and don’t need much 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 will also really enjoy the neutral, uncolored sound, and I’ve personally had the most success with the following genres:
- Indie Rock
I probably wouldn’t purchase these for Jazz or Classical given they can sometimes sound a bit brash.
Classical tends to go from quiet to loud in a hurry, and the nature of these headphones really doesn’t match up all that well.
Jazz could work in a pinch, but I am by no means reaching for one of these when I listen to the genre.
At the end of the day, I’d mostly stick to the genres mentioned above.
A very neutral, flat, and even-sounding set of headphones.
The low end is tight and controlled, the mid-range is just about 100% perfect, and overall these work incredibly well for mixing and monitoring.
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!
Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H! | Check eBay! | Official Review: Here!
In The Box
Sony MDR-7506 Headphones
Limited 90-Day Warranty
- Type: Closed Back
- Fit: Circumaural
- Impedance: 63 Ohm.
- Sensitivity: 106dB/mW
- Frequency Response: 10Hz – 20 kHz
- Material: Plastic, Metal, Pleather
- Color: black, blue, red, and some gold
Similarities & Differences
- 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.
- 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.
- Jack. The V6 uses a silver headphone jack while the 7506 is gold plated.
Outside of those differences, these headphones are pretty much identical sounding.
The V6 is the original.
The 7506 is the younger brother and first came out in 1991.
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 on 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.
It’s also important to remember that with both of these headphones, you’ll want to replace the pads with OEM originals.
As mentioned in a comment below, pads can radically alter the sound signature and with these 2 it’s crucial that you’re careful when purchasing aftermarket products.
I’ve personally had experience with pads that totally ruined the overall response, and it should be avoided at all costs.
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 – a headphone that’s still priced incredibly well and sounds marvelous.
Out of all the headphones I’ve ever heard, the 7506 is surely one of the highest-rated, and for good reason. It’s a fantastic product!
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!!
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All the best and God bless,
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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.
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!
I got the Beyerdynamic ear pads for my V6s after they started peeling. More comfortable and a good, inexpensive upgrade to great sounding headphones.
Do the pads change the sound signature any?
To mix hip hop 7506 or v6?
I would go with the V6. It’s my #1 recommendation for entry level closed back headphone. 🙂
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!
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..
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
ATTENTION: The EARPADS are part of the “secret sauce”! If you know how good these headphones sound from the factory – you may be shocked to discover that the EARPADS are part of that sonic signature. This means that 3rd party REPLACEMENT PADS often make the sound terrible! From what I can tell, the Sony original pads are designed to crush down easily around the ear forming a good seal AND a smaller air cavity between the headphones & the ear-canal. This smaller air volume forms a tuned resonating chamber which is why these headphones have their stunning bass response. Replacement pads from 3rd parties often are stiffer and keep the drivers farther away from the ear. The result is total crap sound! So, replace Sony pads with OEM Sony pads or find a pair of 3rd party pads that don’t destroy the bass. And if you know of such replacement pads – please share that information. Be honest because the difference is so extreme that if you push inferior pads – you will get the cussing out of a lifetime from those of us who KNOW what these headphones are capable of!
Totally agree! This is why I am very cognizant when I buy pads and do so very rarely because I prefer the sound of the headphone stock and as is.
I will make a special note about this in the comparison because I really think, as you mention, that it’s super important.