Sony MDR-7509 by theozzy
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.