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Sony MDR-7506 review

In this review, I’ll be taking a look at the MDR-7506, a closed-back pair of headphones from Sony. Originally designed for radio broadcast monitoring, these headphones have firmly held on to their status as an industry standard since they first hit the shelves in the early 90’s. Let’s see if they hold up to the acclaim.

About the author

I’m a producer, audio engineer, and songwriter with a decade’s worth of experience with a wide range of gear and recording techniques. I have worked with and tested a huge variety of headphones, including Shure, Sennheiser, AKG, Beyerdynamic, Sony, and Audio-Technica, among others.

testing the Sony MDR-7506 professional headphones
Image: Higher Hz

Final verdict on the Sony MDR-7506 4.0

The MDR-7506 headphones are totally fine, and while not without their flaws, they can serve their purpose extremely well, especially when considering how cheap they are. Not the most comfortable nor the best built, but nominally flat in their sound signature and reliably detailed.

What I like

  • Extremely detailed.
  • Highlights flaws.
  • Lightweight.
  • Affordable.

What I don’t like

  • Sibilant.
  • Not great for casual listening.
Buy Sony MDR-7506 at: SweetwaterAmazon

Power and frequency response 3.8

The Sony MDR-7506 have a frequency response of roughly 10 Hz – 20 kHz, which is pretty standard. Keep in mind that these headphones were originally designed for radio broadcast monitoring, and were intended to help point out hiccups within the voice broadcast engineering.

That being said, they aren’t necessarily the most perfect headphones to be used when it comes to more musical settings, but they certainly hold their own.

The high end can be a bit sibilant, and the bass won’t be as overpowering as on other studio headphones, but you’ll get a whole lot of detail. Any flaw in the engineering will be extremely apparent when listening back with the MDR-7506, so they definitely have their place in the studio.

Build quality 4.0

They might feel a bit cheap and plasticky, but the Sony MDR-7506 headphones are surprisingly durable and can last you years with proper care and treatment. You may want to find some replacement pads, as the padding they come with are a bit cheap.

Sony MDR-7506 headphones closeup
Image: Higher Hz

Comfortability 3.8

Like I already mentioned, the ear pads feel pretty cheap and pleathery for my taste. The headphones are lightweight and won’t be too uncomfortable for longer-running sessions.

MDR-7506 headphones comfort
Image: Higher Hz

Stability 2.5

If you’re looking for a good pair of running headphones, I advise you look elsewhere. The Sonys are fairly loose on the head, and while they’re stable enough to stay put when you’re in the studio, they’ll fly right off when the cable gets snagged on some gear.

Noise cancellation and isolation 2.0

These aren’t the best when it comes to noise cancellation and isolation. They might do a decent job at buffering out some high frequencies from interfering with your work, but any low rumbles will quickly cut through.

These aren’t the best recommendation for commuting as trains, planes, and automobiles will sound the same as not wearing headphones at all.

Accessories 4.0

The Sony MDR-7506 headphones come with a soft carrying pouch and an 1/8 to 1/4-inch adapter. It’s a shame that these don’t have a detachable cable but what can you do?

MDR-7506 headphones with accessories
Image: Higher Hz

Compared to other studio headphones

The Sonys are a great choice for anyone looking for studio headphones for $100 and can also serve quite well as mixing headphones. But here are a few alternative options to consider.

Sony MDR-7506 vs Audio-Technica ATH-M40x

The ATH-M40x headphones are a bit too hyped to be considered a better alternative for mixing and monitoring, but they’re better for casual listening.

Read the full Audio-Technica ATH-M40x review

Sony MDR-7506 vs Sennheiser HD 280 Pro

Again, the MDR-7506 headphones are better for mixing despite the Sennheisers having a lot more clarity in the midrange. The Sonys are much more comfortable, oddly.

Read the full Sennheiser HD 280 Pro review

Sony MDR-7506 vs AKG K240 Studio

The AKGs are a bit cloudy in the upper registers, and the Sonys in comparison sound hyped. The K240 Studio headphones are extremely comfortable as well. It’s really a toss-up.

Read the full AKG K240 Studio review

Who are the Sony MDR-7506 headphones best suited for?

The MDR-7506 headphones are best suited for professional studio and live engineers, as well as podcast creators and recording artists. They aren’t typically used for casual listening, but offer a bare-boned lens for accurate monitoring.

Buy Sony MDR-7506 at: SweetwaterAmazon