Published by asdfdsa on 27th January 2012
SONY MDR-7506 Headphones
These phones are a common choice in the $100 and under price bracket, but I don't think they are the best choice. They are pretty reliable, but like most [cheap] headphones, are built kinda cheap. They don't feel very 'solid', though they'll work fine and can take fair amount of abuse and drops. One thing that really annoys me with these phones is that the muffs don't completely seal around your ear to your head, leaving the space open for sound to leak in or out. That for me is a definite reason why I prefer the Senheiser HD280 - way better isolation, and I prefer the sound, feel, and construction of them as well, overall better. Another thing I'm not such a fan of is the spiral/stretchy cord. It always needs to be stretched out, and it just adds more weight hanging off one side of the head phones when a straight cord doesn't do that. Both these and the 280's have that ''issue'', though it keeps it easy to 'roll-up' and stay neat.
The 7506's don't have a very full sound or very deep sound, but really, they are good for tracking or listening to tunes and aren't bad for the price, but like I mentioned earlier, I'd definitely get the HD280's over these everytime, as they're better for tracking, more comfortable for listening, and I think they sound better being bother wider in image and deeper in perception. The frequency response on the 7506's is 10hz to 20khz which is relatively flat, but don't rely on these for true monitoring, but you can check them for a cans reference and imaging.
The headband isn't very tight, and makes for a some-what sloppy fit, so opints off for ease of use. It comes with a 1/8 - 1/4 adapter, but the muffs don't spin or bend back or have any real features, so points off for features. Sound, eh they work but nothing great. Bang for buck, honestly I feel $100 is too much, $50-$70 is better (which is what I paid for mine new), especially when the 280's are $100. But the good thing about these is they are useful, simple, and you don't have to worry about them too much.
By bigmoods on 3rd March 2012
A standard reference point
These aren't the best cans in the market, but I have seen these in nearly every studio and live rig I've seen. They are reference cans. After a short break in time, the near flat response is consistent over time. While the ear can acclimatize to any headphone, the MDR 7506 provides a pretty neutral space for evaluating any mix. It is especially good for evaluating in-ear mixes and eq-ing live sounds, but they are also good for doing first mixes in a recording environment. If anything, the clarity of the harmonic extremes can be misleading. For example, guitars which sound full and balanced in the headphones will sound somewhat hidden in the studio monitors or the radio mix.
Regarding form factor, they're not completely enclosed, but for live use, they are great for clapping one ear and opening the other. The ability to flip the cans make them great for just holding one side up to the ear to do a quick check. This is much easier than trying to quickly listen with a more rigid fitting can.
Again, they're not perfect, but I think every engineer should have a pair because they are really versatile. They're also remarkably rugged. My first pair is going on 15 years and been through over a 1000 shows without problems.
By Yenrah on 13th June 2012
Love these phones!
I love my Sony MDR 7506s. My first pair is a hand me down that the previous owner had for years and thought would give out any day. That was almost two years ago. I still use them every session. They sound great. All of my other headphones would break after 1 year of use (right outside the warranty window). I couldn't be happier. They give a very fair representation of the sound in my opinion.
By TheOtherRob on 14th June 2012
First/best set of phones
They have a very honest sound and are nearly colorless. I used Yamaha NS-10's for my near field playback and used these phones to make sure that the mix was correct - comparing these two references. Ah; it was the way I did things at the time. But it worked. Very honest sound that I felt was reliable.
The quality of the build materials was first-rate at that time. They can get to feel a bit heavy after a few hours. But not cumbersome nor too heavy by any means. They could have made them a bit lighter. Solid build. But I would chose these because I could tell they would be honest and not let me down. Better materials and technology today haven't made them obsolete yet.
You can spend a lot more money and do better. But if I needed something reliable and accurate while not too expensive, they would be my first choice. Unless you could get a better deal for a better set or buying them used.
I have always considered Sony products with a great deal of respect and curiosity. Always been positively impressed to some degree. Never disappointed to any degree of significance. I did more than a little research before I spent my hard-earned duckets when I purchased these. When I first bought these set of phones back in the late 90's; they weren't selling for $100. More like $325; got mine for $275.
Get a pair if they are now ~$120. You can decide if you need more. At that current price, they are a bargain.
By DanH on 10th October 2012
Boy, do I hate these headphones
Disclaimer: I have developed a healthy hatred for these cans over the last 3 years.
Where do I begin? For studio production applications, I hate these things so much that I make an effort to dissuade others from buying them. Here's a list of my grievances:
When an artist complains about harsh-sounding cans, I give them my DT-770 Pro's. After doing that, there are no more complaints. It's not an accident.
So I guess if you're looking to spend $100 on "industry standard" headphones for your own light tracking and editing, these are fine. But if you're looking for something you can actually have people do serious work on, you'd be better served by taking one step up the quality ladder.
Last edited by DanH; 10th October 2012 at 03:38 AM.. Reason: edited for more humor
By manysounds on 18th December 2012
Sony MD-7506 Headphones
This is basically a copy of a thread I started:
I know they have their issues that people don't like BUT:
I have been using Sony MD7506 headphones NEARLY exclusively since 1996 (I think) and I still love them.
I fall asleep on the airplane with them on, usually even before take-off.
They don't give me ear fatigue, even at decently high volumes (which we avoid of course) and don't find them harsh.
They have decent enough isolation for vocal tracking, provided the singer isn't a deaf doorknob.
The bass whump and hyped top are compensate-able.
They take abuse fairly well in the studio or on the road.
I've probably purchased some 20+ pairs for myself, the PA company or the studio over time.
You can get them realllllly cheap sometimes. Not $100, more like $40.
As long as you don't step on them, stretch the cord out or wear them in the rain (sweaty drummer?) they can last easily a dozen years. I can prove that.
I am seriously familiar with their response curve
There are some cans with better isolation but aren't as comfy and some cans that have better response that have less isolation. I think the 7506 is a nice balance of all the desired types of things you might want over-all. A good workhorse headphone. Maybe not the best for recording a whispering vocal from a deaf singer and maybe not the best to get an accurate sonic print of what you're mixing but somewhere in between.
By SeanBlake on 10th October 2013
I purchased my pair three years ago, but I've worked with them in several professional environments. They tend to turn up as one of those standard models that everyone has ten of. I've used them mainly for mixing music, mixing television and boom operating.
They come well secured in some fancy packaging along with a high quality leather pouch that, with care, has stayed in mint condition. I've worked in rental shops where a lot of the bags were starting to come apart at the seams but even then, I don't remember having to replace any. They worked anyway.
The cans themselves are well built. The padded, adjustable headband is nice and feels reliable. The padding on the headphones themselves is easy to remove, if not too easy. After coming on and off a few times, they seem to become more susceptible to popping off. Still, they require a fair but of pull to remove and probably won't come off during normal usage.
The closed back design compromises sound quality to cut bleed but it does it fairly well. They are probably the quietest headphones I've worked with.
Note: I'm sure there are headphones out there with less bleed
The coiled cord is great and stays out of your way; but remember to tell your friends and colleagues not to wrap the cord around the headphones when putting them away. I've seen more than a few pairs come back in their leather pouches with the cord wrapped tightly around the headphones, stretching out the coils. If they sit like this long enough (and it doesn't take much), your headphones will have a stupid looking, uselessly twisted and stretched cord.
It doesn't sound so bad until you are setting up for an interview with someone important and you have to pull those out of your sound kit.
Here's where I've got a bone to pick with these cans. They started out bassy and bright which is fine. I could spend a paragraph describing the response curve but you should just bring your iPod to the store and listen to a few of your favourite records with them.
What I want to highlight is that the response curve changed over time. I don't know if it will happen to you, but a little Googling shows that I'm certainly not alone. They've come to a point where they really highlight sibilance. Like painfully so.
We're talking about the kind of sibilance/top end that would be maybe a tickle too much on a pair of AKG K240s, but still acceptable. But this is also the kind of top end that gets highlighted on a lot of consumer playback devices.
So I now use my MDR-7506s as a magnifying glass for EQ problems. They actually do a fantastic job. If I can tame the tonal balance of a record on my 7506s while still getting things as bright as I want them on my regular monitoring chain, the mix will translate to almost anything.
It's also a great way to compare your mix to a reference because it emphasizes certain differences that you may not otherwise know how to listen for.
You may not have issues with tonal balance in your mixes, but if you do, this was a powerful learning tool for me. I'm getting to a point where I don't need them anymore. I check my mixes on them and more often than not, there's nothing to change.
The MDR-7506s appear to be well built but there may be an issue with their sound changing over time — which might cause you to believe that your hearing is just getting more sensitive. That being said, they are still handy to have around and can help with comparing mixes to references and perfecting tonal balances.