The Best Sony Headphones | CAREFUL SELECTIONS!

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Before we get into the Best Sony Headphones, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

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What I will bring you in this article

  1. Introduction
  2. The Goal
  3. Sony MDR V6
  4. Sony MDR 7506
  5. Sony MDR 7520
  6. Sony MDR1A
  7. Sony MDR Z1R
  8. Sony MDR 1000x (WH1000xM2)
  9. Sony MDR CD900ST
  10. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!

Introduction

Choosing the right Sony headphone doesn’t have to be an exercise in futility. There are a plethora of Sony’s around, but in reality you can narrow down your selection to just a few and beat the odds by picking the correct one. The unfortunate truth about Sony is that while there are a lot of models floating around, only a handful are really worth investing in.

The best one will not have a boosted bass, but the bass will be plentiful, deep, articulate, textured, and engaging. I focused on headphones that have more or less a balanced sound but are still very detailed and accurate.

The Goal

My goal for this article is for it to ebb and flow with the times and stay current. My opinions may change over time as new models come out, but unless something drastic occurs, a few of these options will likely always be the cream of the crop as far as Sony headphones are concerned. That said, stay tuned for future additions and subtractions!

Now let’s get into it!


Sony MDR V6

Specifications

  • Price: Check Amazon! | check eBay!
  • Type: Closed back.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Impedance: 63 Ohm.
  • Frequency response: 5Hz – 30 kHz.
  • Sensitivity: 106dB/mW. What is Sensitivity in headphones?
  • Driver size: 40mm. What is a Headphone driver?
  • Material: Plastic, a bit of metal, faux leather.
  • Color: black, blue, red
  • Cable detachable: No.
  • Cable coiled: Yes.
  • Cable length: 3m.
  • Plug style: straight.
  • Comes with straight cable: No.
  • Ear-pads replaceable/detachable: Yes.
  • Rotating ear-cups: No.
  • Headband Padding: Minimal.
  • Headband Style: Traditional.
  • Fold-able: Yes.
  • Weight: 8.1 0z.
  • Accessories Included: Black Carrying pouch (faux leather), silver plated 1/4β€³ adapter.
  • Amp needed: No.

Summary

The V6’s in my opinion represent just about the best price to performance ratio headphone in the entry level category or otherwise. In all honesty, you’re getting about 90-95% of what a headphone is supposed to sound like.

The law of diminishing returns looms large in this industry, and it’s a sobering reminder that marketing and hype still dominate the landscape. As you pay more and more, you’re getting less and less of an improvement in the sound.

Enter the V6. It’s got a deep and tight bass, great and balanced mid-range, and some sparkle at the top. It pretty much sets a standard for the closed back outfit, and has been around since the mid 80’s.

If I had to choose one headphone that will sound good with any source and most any genre, I would choose the V6. I would also choose it over the 7506 because it’s less fatiguing. More on that later. πŸ™‚

Things to be aware of

  1. The ear-cups do tend to peel over time. It’s one of the only negative qualities about them, but it doesn’t happen immediately. Expect to replace them after a couple of years.
  2. The ear-pads may fall off as well. This happened with my MDR 7506, but hasn’t happened with the V6. Something to keep in mind.

Check out my video review!

Please help support my growing channel by liking, commenting, and subscribing! I could really use your support friend!

SEE THEM FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!

AND

CLICK HERE TO READ MY OFFICIAL SONY MDR V6 REVIEW!!


Sony MDR 7506

Specifications

  • Price: Check Amazon! | Check eBay! | Check zZOUNDS!
  • Type: Closed Back.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Impedance: 63 Ohm. What is Headphone Impedance?
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz – 20 kHz.
  • Sensitivity: 104dB/mW.
  • Driver size: 40mm.
  • Material: Plastic, a bit of metal, faux leather.
  • Color: black, blue, red, some gold.
  • Cable replaceable/detachable: No.
  • Cable coiled: Yes.
  • Cable length: 3m.
  • Plug style: straight.
  • Comes with straight cable: No.
  • Ear-pads replaceable: Yes.
  • Rotating ear-cups: No.
  • Headband Padding: Minimal.
  • Headband Style: Traditional.
  • Fold-able: Yes.
  • Weight: 7.8 0z.
  • Accessories Included: Black Carrying pouch (faux leather), gold plated 1/4β€³ adapter.
  • Amp needed: No.

Summary

The 7506 represents my very first foray into the audiophile world. This headphone really changed the way I perceived music, and for that it deserves a spot on the list.

I do prefer the V6 over this one, as the 7506 has a more fatiguing treble end. Some would argue this makes it better for mixing, but that’s debatable. I feel like I can mix more effectively when I don’t have to take frequent rest periods due to being exhausted.

Don’t get me wrong, the sound is still excellent, but the treble is definitely brighter overall. There’s more bass, but it’s not necessarily better. I believe the V6 to be a little more resolving, with a crisper bass and a less tiring sound.

Things to be aware of

Like the V6, the same applies:

  1. The ear-pads will peel/crack over the course of about a year or two.
  2. The ear-pads may also fall off. Luckily you can buy replacements, so the headphone in theory should last you forever.

Video Review

SEE THEM FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!

AND

CLICK HERE TO READ MY OFFICIAL SONY MDR 7506 REVIEW!!


Sony MDR 7520

Specifications

  • Price: Amazon | Check eBay!
  • Type: Closed back.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Impedance: 24 Ohm.
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz – 80kHz.
  • Sensitivity: 108 dB/mW.
  • Driver size: 50mm.
  • Material: Plastic, faux leather.
  • Color: black, blue, some gold.
  • Cable replaceable/detachable: Yes
  • Cable coiled: Yes.
  • Cable length: 9.8 ft.
  • Comes with straight cable: No.
  • Ear-pads replaceable: Yes.
  • Rotating ear-cups: Yes.
  • Headband Padding: Yes.
  • Headband Style: Traditional.
  • Fold-able: Yes.
  • Weight: 9.5 oz.
  • Accessories Included: 1/4β€³ adapter (gold connectors), carrying case.
  • Amp needed: No.

Summary

The MDR 7520’s are a nice continuation of the 7506’s, and improve upon the ear-cup issue apparent in both those and the V6’s.

The 7520’s can be thought of as even more balanced, revealing, and tend to be less likely to break down over time. Because the ear-cups are made of a better protein type of leather, you won’t have to replace them nearly as often.

While the 7506 and V6 have a tendency to become fatiguing (the V6 less so), the 7520 improves upon this, and also improves upon detail and clarity. If you thought the V6’s were good, wait until you hear these babies!

The bass is not exaggerated, but comes across as deep, tight, and engaging. The Soundstage here is very good for a closed back, and the treble response is crisp and sparkling. What is Soundstage?

Things to be aware of

  1. They do sound better with more break in time, and really start to open up after about the 100 hour mark. There’s a bit of harshness at first, but it will go away with time. πŸ™‚
  2. Comfort may not be exemplary if you have bigger ears.
  3. They are not fold-able/collapsible like the 7506’s and V6’s.
  4. Their joints may creak after a couple of years.

Video Review

SEE THEM FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!


Sony MDR1A

Specifications

  • Price: Amazon | Check eBay!
  • Type: Closed back.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Impedance: 24 Ohm.
  • Frequency Response: 3Hz – 100kHz.
  • Sensitivity: 105 dB/mW.
  • Driver size: 40mm.
  • Material: Not specified.
  • Color: black, red.
  • Cable replaceable/detachable: Yes, and includes 2. A 47-inch cable with in-line remote and microphone for taking calls and controlling music with an Android device, and a 47-inch mini-plug cable (no remote)
  • Cable coiled: No.
  • Cable length: Not specified.
  • Comes with straight cable: Yes.
  • Ear-pads replaceable: Yes.
  • Rotating ear-cups: Yes.
  • Headband Padding: Yes.
  • Headband Style: Traditional.
  • Fold-able: Folds flat.
  • Weight: 7.94 oz.
  • Accessories Included: L-shaped plug, Smart-Key, multi-function key, single-sided cable, carrying pouch.
  • Amp needed: No.

Summary

The MDR1A provides a mellower sound, with a lot of detail in the treble regions. The Soundstage is also very good, and the overall sound of the top end remains intricate, smooth, and clear without becoming grating or sibilant. What does Sibilant mean?

I got a chance to try these out at my local Audio advice and I think Lachlan has it right regarding the bass. The sound signature overall is very good. It’s open and airy, but still somehow has impact. To me it actually feels more like an open back when I’m listening, but the bass comes across as kind of flabby and a bit disappointing in my estimation. It’s just a little too loose for the price.

Comfort wise these are exemplary, and though they’re lightweight, I kind of expected them to feel a bit more sturdy in the hand. They feel a bit underweight like a guy 6 feet that weighs 140. Lol.

Things to be aware of

  1. In tracks with a stronger bass line, the MDR1A may prove to be a bit too loose. I noticed that while these aren’t on a Beats level of bad, there is something amiss about the low end. An otherwise very pleasant sound signature is kind of spoiled by a somewhat muddy bass.

Video Review!

I would agree with Lachlan here. If bass is what you’re after, there are better options. That’s not to say that the MDR1A’s are bad. I really do like them, but wouldn’t rely on them with bass heavy genres. I think the M100’s bass provides what you’re looking for, and ends up being a better option than the MDR1A in that regard. Interested in learning more?

CHECK OUT MY OFFICIAL V-MODA CROSSFADE M100 REVIEW!!


Sony MDR Z1R

Specifications

  • Price: Amazon | Check eBay!
  • Type: Closed back.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Impedance: 64 Ohm.
  • Frequency Response: 4Hz – 120kHz.
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW.
  • Driver size: 70mm.
  • Material: Beta Titanium Alloy.
  • Color: Black.
  • Cable replaceable/detachable: Yes, comes with 2. A 3 meter (9.8′) cable terminated with a straight 3.5mm TRS plug with 1/4″ adapter, and a 1.2 meter (3.9′) cable. Cables are comprised of silver coated oxygen free copper conductors and gold plated connectors.
  • Cable coiled: No.
  • Cable length: 9.84 ft.
  • Comes with straight cable: Yes.
  • Ear-pads replaceable: Yes.
  • Rotating ear-cups: No.
  • Headband Padding: Yes.
  • Headband Style: Traditional.
  • Fold-able: No.
  • Weight: 385g.
  • Accessories Included: Hard Case.
  • Amp needed: No.

Summary

Boy howdy what a treat these were to listen to. Zeos had it right; these are definitely for hippies. The sound is mellow yellow all the way, but there’s a magnificent sense of instrument separation and air going on.

To be honest, these are some of the most natural sounding cans I’ve tried, and I do think they’re worthy of being Sony’s flagship model. The bass is tight and well defined, while also having a nice thump. I never got the sense that it was trying to overpower the signature or get in the way of the mid-range and treble. This is how it should always be.

The overall sound is totally Pleasantville all the way like the QC35, but unlike those, these somehow excite you at the same time. I listened to a good bit of selections, but my favorites were definitely Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, and Dave Matthews Bands’ “Ants Marching.” The latter provided an excellent amount of Soundstage, especially for a closed back. It almost felt live. Billie Jean took on a new character, and really came to life as well. There was so much more presence and liveliness to the signature.

With not a hint of sibilance, these bad boys just sound wonderfully full bodied and alive. You really come to an understanding of how intricate lyrics are. There’s a lot going on with the human voice, and you’re able to discern words better than you could with your average Joe schmo headphone. On Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide, Steve Nicks never sounded so present.

To me, Billie Jean seemed more detailed, and I’ve heard the song a thousand times. Stuff was going on in all directions, but each sound had a purpose and clarity that I really appreciated.

Overall, the Z1R has a fast response and handles music with ease. There’s a real sense of distinction with these, as the sound really stands out in an enjoyable way.

Build and comfort are both top notch. For such a huge set of cans these sit comfortably on my dome and are extremely lightweight. You can tell they took great care in crafting these. There isn’t any waste to be found on them. It’s form and fashion combined. A beautiful looking set.

Things to be aware of

  1. They are going for a pretty penny. Are they worth the price tag? At $1,700, yes. At retail it becomes a bit harder to justify, but everything in me wants to say yes. πŸ™‚

Video Review


Sony WH1000x M2 (formerly MDR 1000x)

Specifications

  • Price: Amazon | Check eBay!
  • Type: Closed back.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Impedance: 46 Ohm.
  • Frequency Response: 4Hz – 40kHz.
  • Frequency Response for Bluetooth: 20Hz – 20kHz.
  • Sensitivity:
  • 103 dB/mW (1 kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned on), 98 dB/mW (1 kHz) (when connecting via the headphone cable with the unit turned off). What is Sensitivity in Headphones?
  • Driver size: Not specified.
  • Material: Plastic, Protein Leather.
  • Color: Black or White
  • Cable replaceable/detachable: Yes.
  • Cable coiled: No.
  • Cable length: 4.92 ft.
  • Comes with straight cable: Yes.
  • Ear-pads replaceable: No.
  • Rotating ear-cups: No.
  • Headband Padding: Yes.
  • Headband Style: Traditional.
  • Fold-able: Yes.
  • Weight: 275g.
  • Accessories Included: Carrying case.
  • Amp needed: No.

Summary

The Noise cancelling WH 1000x M2 is really giving the QC35 a run for it’s money, but I still think the 35 edges it out ever so slightly. Learn more: Bose QC35 vs. Sony MDR 1000x.

See: How do noise cancelling headphones work?

The WH 1000x M2 is basically the updated version of the MDR 1000x, and it doesn’t disappoint. The sound is super crisp overall, with a great comfort factor and nice durability with plenty of cool features. The bass has nice impact, but never feels bloated or overbearing.

Sony has definitely outdone themselves here, with the advent of aptX. This new feature basically improves sound quality by employing better compression, and a better bit rate via LDAC. Learn more about this jargon: Bit Depth vs. Sample Rate.

Also, instead of pressing buttons, you swipe the right ear cup in various directions depending on if you want to raise/lower volume, skip tracks, or pause. While a nifty addition, it may hinder you from being able to sleep with them on due to the headphones inadvertently turning crap on. Lol. A common complaint among-st reviewers.

Things to be aware of

  1. Bluetooth will turn off after 5 minutes when not in use. Another complaint with reviewers. To remedy this problem, simply plug any jack into the 3.5mm hole and circumvent the issue by fooling your phone into keeping Bluetooth on. This will also extend battery life.
  2. On a bus, the 1000x’s may have trouble enduring the bumps of a rocky ride.

Video Review

Interested?

CLICK HERE TO READ SOME REVIEWS ON AMAZON!!

AND

CHECK OUT MY SILLY BUT INFORMATIVE SONY WH1000xM2 REVIEW!!


Sony MDR CD900ST

Specifications

  • Price: Amazon | Check eBay!
  • Type: Closed back.
  • Fit: Circumaural.
  • Impedance: 63 Ohm.
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz – 30kHz.
  • Sensitivity: Not specified.
  • Driver size: Not specified.
  • Material: Plastic, Faux Leather.
  • Color: Black & Red.
  • Cable replaceable/detachable: No.
  • Cable coiled: No.
  • Cable length: Not specified.
  • Comes with straight cable: Yes.
  • Ear-pads replaceable: Yes.
  • Rotating ear-cups: No.
  • Headband Padding: Yes.
  • Headband Style: Traditional.
  • Fold-able: Only with modification.
  • Weight: 200g.
  • Accessories Included: None. The cable terminates in a 1/4″ but is very durable.
  • Amp needed: No, but definitely recommended.

Summary

Last but not least is the long lost brother to the V6 and 7506. Enter the MDR CD900ST. Sounds like some kind of abstract computer program πŸ˜›

These babies are even more revealing than either of their siblings, but ironically remain a hidden gem. It can be pretty difficult to find them, as they’re usually halfway across the world in Japan.

Unlike their brethren, they are not made in Thailand, and come across as very cold but extremely revealing. The mid-range here is absolutely astounding, and puts some more expensive headphones to shame.

These puppies will reveal errors in the recording that you never thought possible. In a nutshell, the CD900ST’s are meant for mixing/monitoring purposes primarily.

The bass digs down when it needs to, but it’s not muddy or artificial sounding. The thing to remember most about these is how revealing they are. If a track or record is mastered well, you will know. If it’s not, you’ll also know.

In comparison to the V6 and 7506, the CD900ST’s have less sparkling highs (a more recessed treble in other words), and a more articulate bass (but less of it) while being infinitely more detailed and bright because of that forward mid-range. Strange to say, but the V6 sounds nasally by comparison, and I would never use that adjective to describe my favorite entry level headphone. πŸ™‚ The pads are also flatter on the 900ST.

Things to be aware of

  1. They do have a tendency to become slightly metallic. All this means is that they can come across asΒ  artificial at times.
  2. If you’re going to amp them, the Little Dot I+ or an Objective 2 is probably the go to solution.
  3. Because the mid-range is a bit forward, these have the capacity to sound somewhat harsh or sibilant at times.
  4. They tend to perform according to the quality of the source.

Video Review!


Final Word

So which of these should you go with first? It really depends on your budget, and where you live. If you’re in the United States and you’re on a smaller budget, go with the V6. It’s my favorite entry level unit and provides the ultimate studio solution. It’s cheap, detailed, articulate, comfortable, durable, etc. etc.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REVIEWS ON AMAZON!!

If you’ve got a little more to spend, and want to hear something even better, the CD900ST is your boy. It’s a definite step up from it’s brothers, but isn’t manufactured in the states. You’ll have to be patient in attempting to get a legitimate model, but the payoff is well worth it.

SEE IT FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!

Ready for Sony’s flagship? I would highly recommend it at a slightly lower price than retail. Around $1,700 and below sounds about right, and is what I would pay if I was in the market.

SEE IT FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!

Need noise cancelling? The WH 1000x M2 is a great option, but the QC35 may still reign supreme.

LEARN MORE IN MY OFFICIAL BOSE QUIET COMFORT 35 REVIEW!!

Because it’s such a close call, the WH1000xM2 still deserves a look.

CLICK HERE TO READ SOME REVIEWS ON AMAZON!!


Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the best Sony headphones, and came away with some valuable insight.

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

Which of these are you most likely to go with? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

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!!

Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

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