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Sony MDR-7509 Closed back headphones

Sony MDR-7509

4.25 4.25 out of 5, based on 3 Reviews

Excellent, neutral sounding, closed-back headphones

31st January 2012

Sony MDR-7509 by theozzy

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Sony MDR-7509 Closed back headphones

I have had a pair of Sony MDR-7509 for 10 years. In short they are a stunning pair of headphones. By way of comparison, I have also owned and used HD250, DT770 PRO, DT250, DT100, DT150, SRH840 and ATH-M50 (the new studio industry standard). Overall the MDR-7509 are better than all of them (I haven’t tried the newer ‘HD’ variant though) with the ATH-M50’s coming a close second.

They are lightweight and are not too tight, therefore you do not get too hot in them – they are the most comfortable headphones I have used. They well made and have survived many drops and throws!!! Physical downsides are they do not isolate noise in and out as much as others cans and the ear cups fall to bits after a few years (when in turn makes them very mid dominant – a good thing in some ways). I have replaced mine for cheap off ebay.

Sound wise they are not ruler flat, but in my opinion they are flatter than every other model above. From bottom to top – you can ‘feel’ them down to 20Hz, but they start to roll off at about 50Hz (the ATH-M50 go lower). Low mids are a tad prominent, but articulate. They really excel in the mids up to about 8KHz – very neutral, well balanced and therefore you can hear deep into them. Makes balancing of EQ and volume easier when mixing. The top end is a little recessed. Sometimes it can feel like a bit of a guessing game with making overall brightness adjustments in the top end. Upside of that is it is easy to tell when a vocal is too sibilant, as it pops out. The soundstage is very wide and ‘3D’ – it makes panning easy. The soundstage is better than any of the others previously mentioned. Overall I would describe them as a neutral sounding headphone that is on the ‘warm’ side. They have none of the artificial hyping of the top or bottom, unlike the HD250’s or DT770 PRO’s. The ATH-M50’s are the only pair I have kept besides – they go deeper and higher and have great isolation for tracking and checking mic placement, but the soundstage is not as wide and the presence frequency range is a bit ‘metallic’ compared to the Sony’s.

I have mixed and mastered quite a few records on these (as well as monitors) and have always been confident using them. People say not to mix/master on headphones, but I think when you get to know a piece of gear so well, you can. It is also testament to how good the Sony’s are – they are neutral enough that you can make good sounding recordings on them.

  • 3
8th November 2015

Sony MDR-7509 by blackmelanite

  • Sound Quality 2 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
Sony MDR-7509 Closed back headphones

I bought a pair when I first started recording myself at home... Almost immediately after my purchase, my friend left a sennheiser hd280 at my place.... The Sony mdr 7509hd is shrill and anemic, where the hd280 is way more neutral.
The Sony's make me wince in pain when turning up the volume. Imagine an anorexic click track playing in your headphones while you track drums or crank an amp ... One can only try to imagine, because in real life, one does not hear much coming from the mdr7509 :( and when one does, their ears might be in pain. Think, Icepick.......

After years of reading about different designs and models, it is apparent to me that these headphones have no place in the market... They aren't a good choice for sound, isolation, or durability. They are light and comfortable... That's about it... Let my despair drive you away from these

  • 1
8th May 2020

Sony MDR-7509 by Aurelius Music

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Sony MDR-7509 Closed back headphones

These are hands down THE BEST headphones I have ever used and for the past almost 20 YEARS they have literally become THE de facto standard by which I judge everything else in comparison.

And 9 times out of 10, to say that I am disappointed is a gross understatement. I am literally disgusted by so many headphones because there's either TOO MUCH mid-range that results in a disgusting nasally sound, which is most often the case. And what upsets me the most in this case is that many of them have GREAT bass!

Other times, the high end clarity is astounding, BUT! The bass is recessed?! WHY?! The ATH-M70x sound like this! WTF?! WHY IS THE BASS RECESSED?! That upsets me SO much, I don't even know where to begin!

Others are well balanced, but something is almost always lacking...And to make matters even MORE complicated, the frequency response, power ratings and impedance rating also contributes to everything I mentioned above as well.

Here's a prime example. The VERY FIRST THING I look at in headphones is the frequency response....why? In a word, HEADROOM. Headroom to me is THE distinguishing factor in a pair that sounds absolutely fantastic from a pair that sounds like absolute sh*t.

So REGARDLESS of what the rest of the specs are, if that Frequency response is 20-20Khz, FORGET IT! There's ZERO headroom because that's the human range of hearing.

It's what you CANNOT hear that makes the different, NOT what you CAN hear. Kind of like those extra notes on a concert grand piano that are almost NEVER played, but are there for RESONANCE and result in a much deeper bass in the lowest registers of the piano, that you wouldn't otherwise be able to get without those notes. And if you play those notes, they won't sound very good, either because they are usually NOT meant to be played, except for rare occasions.

Likewise, the 7509's EXCEL not only in the Frequency Response at 5 - 30Khz., but the power of these cans are RIDICULOUS! 3000mA per driver at an odd 27.44 ohms in impedance! WOW! That perfect balance results in an insanely well balanced, accurate sound signature that I have yet to see in any other pair of headphones in its class...

One of the reasons the Beyer DT770's sound like absolute sh*t with the 32 and 80ohm versions is because the pawer ratings are at a WEAK 100mA per driver! So you'd need a GOOD headphone amp to get ANYTHING GOOD out of them...That's a HUGE imbalance of impedance levels and power ratings!

So if you take higher impedance headphones that are 150, 250, 300 ohms, etc....The power ratings almost don't matter because once you drive them with a GOOD headphone amp with GOOD power, you'll get the full potential of how amazing these headphones can sound.

Now the 7509's can get sibilant at times, but because the mids are recessed, mostly in the mid-bass region and have a peak in the treble, with the DEEP bass, that can also BOOM at times, the result is a very neutral, accurate sound signature that makes them very easy to mix with...

They are NOT reference quality, though. As AMAZING as they are....They are an amazing, accurate pair of headphones that also sound GREAT...The low impedance with the insane power rating (that I have yet to see in ANY other pair, by the way at ANY price point, by the way) allows these to be driven on ANY device directly without a headphone amp and sound insanely good.

And for the last 20 years I haven't found ANYTHING comparable that I can truly enjoy and mix with.

Bottom line is this:
If you come across these headphones, JUMP on them! If bass and accuracy are important to you and you're looking for an analytical sound signature WITHOUT an emphasis on the mid-range....Then these headphones are for you!

Higher quality reference headphones, like the HD800's 820's etc. are a COMPLETELY different story altogether, though....

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