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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
The isolation sucks. Hope you like lots of click in your overheads.
There's a harsh presence peak in the midrange. Sibilance correction turns into ears bleeding.
The ear pads either disintegrate or fall off, and replacing them is both a pain and expensive. This is a certainty.
The coiled cable will turn into a rat's nets. This is also a certainty.
Headband tension wears over time. In fact, a set of these flew off a drummers head 3 times last week.
The cable on each ear cup gets crimped when you try to fold them up.
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 02:38 AM..
Reason: edited for more humor
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.
Sony MDR-7506 has got to be the most sibilant headphone for the professional studio setting. I can't use this while tracking because it's so bad on the highs that it pierces my ears. It's also not physically sturdy, it's got to be handled carefully.
The one use I got for it is to check for hiss and noise. Coz if there's a bit of hiss or noise, this headphone will exaggerate it a great deal. That is all. Hope this helps.
most of the other reviews have already pointed out the major features and flaws of this headphones, so i will just add some of my opinions.
one of the strong points of this headphones is the upper midrange and sibilant forwarding sound and i use this if a singer has problems with intonation using the studios standard beyerdynamic dt 770. somehow this headphones can help those singers to better hear their pitch.
for my own mixing i use this headphones and beyerdynamic dt 880 as they sound rather different and can show me different aspects of the mix.
one thing that is not very good on this headphones are the faux leather earpads, because they tend to get used very fast and the faux leather which is a very thin layer comes of exposing the foam beneath it.
my solution for this problem, instead of buying the original sony replacements every couple of months, was to buy velour replacement earpads for the beyerdynamic dt 250. these earpads fit perfect on the 7506 and hold the test of time much better than the sony ones do and they are also even cheaper. they are a bit thicker than the original earpads, but that helped open the sound a bit and it also prevents leakage a bit more.
as i also use some sony mdr v500 headphones for djing which use the same drivers as i think, i am very familiar with the sound of these cans in loud environments and so i always use the mdr 7506 when mixing or recording live shows.
I have a pair of these I've owned for 12+ years. The original pads wore out a few years ago and the replacements are now almost worn out. But the headphones still sound like they did when they were new! These things have been used and VERY abused but still work like the day I bought them. YES, they're pretty bright and yes, if played very loud can bleed into a vocal mic! As long as you can put things into perspective (...$99) these are a great investment (...maybe 'were a great investment' as I have a couple of new pairs and time will tell if they hang). I've bought a couple other brand of $99 headphones and these are by far my favorite.