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Sony MDRV6 Headphone Review (with/without BRAINWAVZ Pad)

Rate these headphones:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 88 55.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 52 32.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 11 6.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 8 5.0%

  • Total voters
    159

DonR

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Absolutely not. Had a pair of these way back for much less and they were not great then.
 

aagstn

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I still have a pair of these I bought 15 years ago for $25 new. These were always fine for what they cost back then, but the pads would fall apart pretty quickly.
 

Antagron

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I have the MDR-V600. Bought in 1996? $100 was a LOT for me then. Pleather disintegrated, folding mechanism basically failed. Recently I decided to bring them back to life with cheap replacement pads and EQ. Not mind blowing but not awful either. I felt pretty cool listening to these on my walkman cassette player when everyone else had those on ear headphones with a bit of foam.

That said, there was also a V900 with 50mm drivers if I recall. Does anyone have a set of those still? Or remember their retail price when new?
 

solderdude

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Only because it is no longer sold and some vendor tries to cash on it.
These are monitor headphones and they are well suited for that purpose just because of the flaws (aside from the bass distortion)
These have been replaced by the quite similar MDR-7506.
 
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IAtaman

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These headphones are not $485 headphones. Their MSRP when they were in production is less than $100. $485 is the price asked by one guy on ebay. There are other listings at much lower prices as well.
 

Stoutblock

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I’ve had a MDR-V6 headset from back when they very first came on the market (mid 80s?). Back then I was not really into listening to headphones but thought they would be handy to monitor when I recorded to tape (Cassette back then). They were light, fairly comfortable and I liked how they folded up and stored in their little bag. The leather pads self-disintegrated years ago but owning an early set made me probably one of the first to discover this which is now common knowledge. Back then there was not really a pad solution until someone discovered the Beyerdynamic pads of the day would fit perfectly. Mine have had Beyerdynamic velour pads for many years now and they are a big improvement. After years of irregular use I suddenly could not locate them around the house. About a year later I found them out in my yard under a bush and I’m sure my Schnauzer was the guilty party. They were partially consumed by the dog and the elements so I just threw them in the closet thinking they were toast. About 5 years ago I came across them and almost tossed them but was curious if they still worked. They seem to work as good as ever and now reside next to my open reel machine to monitor recordings. They are handy and comfortable to use for monitoring which is what I think they were designed for but I certainly would not be my choice for critical listening. They seem to be quite tough in my experience so I consider them a very durable and quality “tool”.
 
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PuX

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ok so now there is no argument about whether ear pads influence the sound or not
 

PuX

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These headphones are not $485 headphones. Their MSRP when they were in production is less than $100. $485 is the price asked by one guy on ebay. There are other listings at much lower prices as well.

yea, that price makes no sense. see the reviews above, the price was somewhere in $70-110 range
 

bobster

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I always thought that the V6 was the consumer version of the 7506, the latter being the "pro" version. I don't recall where I first heard this, but possibly from a recording engineer colleague.

When I started recording at home many years ago, I bought a few pair of 7506 because there were presumably an inexpensive studio standard. I liked that they were light weight, but I was never impressed by the sound - I found low mids and bass to be sorely lacking.

Over the years, the plastic outer layer on the ear pads flaked off. I replaced them with Sony's over-priced ones.

Then I read that Beyerdynamic EDT250V pads would fit, and tried a pair (Amazon link). They were a significant improvement - much better bass, much better seal. And the velour will hopefully last longer and won't peel.
 
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earlevel

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I always thought that the V6 was the consumer version of the 7506, the latter being the "pro" version. I don't recall where I first heard this, but possibly from a recording engineer colleague.
That was my impression too—having owned the MDR-V6, and later MDR-7506 (long since supplanted by MDR-7520). I bought the 'V6 in a consumer electronics store, and the '7506 some years later at Guitar Center after the former wore out. I don't recall much physically different, besides the 7506 plug being "gold".
 

lewdish

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Imo for a headphone design of its age and era it measures fine. People arent actually supposed to pas swap the Headphone because Sony state that they tuned the 7506/V6/cd00st all w/ a flat pad in mind. For a headphone in its original MSRP & age its doing just fine. I use them like a treat for their era, but by modern standards they are all wildly dated in terms of objective sound.
 

GXAlan

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Imo for a headphone design of its age and era it measures fine. People arent actually supposed to pas swap the Headphone because Sony state that they tuned the 7506/V6/cd00st all w/ a flat pad in mind. For a headphone in its original MSRP & age its doing just fine. I use them like a treat for their era, but by modern standards they are all wildly dated in terms of objective sound.

For what it’s worth, Amir has my samarium cobalt 7506 (which can be compared against these neodymium V6’s and the previous neodymium 7506) and my CD900ST to measure right now :)
 

Hifihedgehog

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This headphone was and always will be a fail for me. As a teen, I would hunt down places to try headphones. This was a mainstay at the pro audio and musician specialty stores, and it was a real head scratcher. The overwhelming resonating distortion and disjointed frequency response was just too much. The sad part is how I still see these routinely used in recording studios.
 

LawrenceL

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How was the durability during professional use?

Revision history in the service manual spans over 20 years which is pretty impressive too. Another question stands, if the spare parts were available for reasonable prices..
View attachment 343487
I have had a pair of MDR-V6's since around 1988. Gone through a lot of ear cups over the years but they still sound fine.
 

earlevel

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This headphone was and always will be a fail for me. As a teen, I would hunt down places to try headphones. This was a mainstay at the pro audio and musician specialty stores, and it was a real head scratcher. The overwhelming resonating distortion and disjointed frequency response was just too much. The sad part is how I still see these routinely used in recording studios.
LOL, the overwhelming reason for headphones in a recording studio is not the enjoyable experience of listening to music. :D As crazy as that sounds.

Headphones are for cues with isolation for the musicians. And there needs to be a bunch of them (reasonable cost), and they need to be durable enough, and not overly fatiguing to wear. More than having "correct" response, they need to have a good midrange presence. They are supra-aural, and relatively light on the ears.

So, you end up with hilarious situations where Andrea Bocelli is in that Ed Sheeran video in his home, singing through his $7k Italian mic, while monitoring on $84.99 (Amazon, right now) 7506.

I used them for years, until I had enough of the shriek and wanted to hear my vocal low-end better...and was less financially constrained. I've been using the circumaural MDR-7520 for years since. But when I've gotten better listening headphones, I don't use the "better" headphones for tracking because the exaggerated midrange that the 7520 shares with 7506 makes it a lot easier to hear nuances when tracking vocals. This quality is also good for scrutinizing tracks and important details in a mix. Taken to an extreme, Andrew Scheps says he can mix on a laptop with 7506 because he knows them so well. Familiarity is more important than accuracy.

I guess the shorter reply would be that recording studios aren't about recreating someone else's music with high accuracy. :p
 

kelesh

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Aren't this and the still widely available 7506 almost identical? I don't see why anyone in their right mind would pay 500 dollars for a middling 100 dollar headphone

The drivers were the same, or at least were back in "the day". Things may have changed now as everyone is cutting costs. The stickers on the earpieces did differ, "For DIGITAL" on the "consumer" V6 and "Professional" on the 7506, so there :) I paid US$ 89 for my 7506 about 15 years ago, still have them but don't use them much. I remember them being overly bright to my ears, though they did have good isolation. I also hated the crumpled pads which also didn't last long before splitting open. Anything over $75 for a pair of either variation would not be logical IMO.
 

kelesh

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This shows how much better value the latest IEMs tested are comparatively. Much better frequency response, lowest distortion and a fraction of the price. To me this is as obsolete as a typewriter in 2024.

I love my old SK electro-mechanical typewriter. 75000 word built in dictionary, auto-correct and each keystroke sounds like a gunshot. You can't do that with a tablet.
 

ocinn

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IME, all of the Sony models in this style (7506, v6, etc.) benefit greatly from some very basic mods.

I own 7506 for DJ/Casual listening/beater use, with these mods (dynamat on driver cover and bass port addition)

They went from “fine but not great” as experienced by Amir’s reviews of both the 7506 and v6, to actually very, very good.

A/B of them next to stock units, it’s genuinely jaw dropping how much better the modded pair is. Considering you can do the mods for $free.99 to <$5 it’s a no brainer. Would I use them as a professional reference? No. But they are extremely enjoyable without EQ now, and an almost unbeatable value.

Also, AFAIK, the differences between the v6 and 7506 are so minimal they are dwarfed in measurement and setup variations. I’ve owned both and couldn’t tell a clear difference between them (corroborated by many other measurements and subjective trials).

I feel like the myths associated to the differences are akin to hd600 vs hd650. you get subconsciously programmed to hear a difference by previous testimonials when nothing significant exists in reality.
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