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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

majingotan

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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.View attachment 345120

Really nicely done!

Mine is also modded 7506 (neodymium magnets) with a black brainwavz pads :) and a Hifiman stock cable. I agree with you, it’s unbeatable value and shames all Sennheiser 6X0 series out there in subjective sonic performance

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have two sets of these with audio technica velour pads on them, use them for gaming mainly with a mod mic. they sound fine to me they're running off an su-8/sh-8 stack, durable to ran them over with computer chairs and sat on them countless times.
 

bmwr75

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I bought a pair of MDRV6 probably back in the 90s. They were a sub-$100 HP back then. I gave them away over 15 years ago.
 

Paweł L

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They always sounded too bright for me, with some fatigue in upper mids/low highs. The dip in low mids around 200-300Hz is common for most closed backs. I think ATH-M50x is a nicer HP to listen.
 

Snackcakes

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They always sounded too bright for me, with some fatigue in upper mids/low highs. The dip in low mids around 200-300Hz is common for most closed backs. I think ATH-M50x is a nicer HP to listen.
The MDRV6 are really my only pair of closed back wired headphones. If these are truly subpar these days, what does the hive mind recommend as a replacement at the 7506 price point?
 

GXAlan

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The MDRV6 are really my only pair of closed back wired headphones. If these are truly subpar these days, what does the hive mind recommend as a replacement at the 7506 price point?

I sent in my MDR-CD900ST to Amir to do an apples to apples comparison. The CD900ST is the successor of the MDR-V6 (see my link earlier in this post). It sounds less bright to me.

I also sent in a vintage Made in Japan 7506 with samarium cobalt magnets instead of the current neodymium ones with newly replaced OEM pads.
 

Paweł L

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Are Sony V6 beaten by other closed back models ? Not really, especially if someone has to spend over 100 - 150 dol. or Euros. Sure, K371 or M50X will sound better but they aren't without flaws. If the V6/7506 are in good condition and can be run with EQ, meet users needs, then I wouldn't necessarily jump with excitement when something new comes up.
The problem with my Audio Technicas, and actually with most HPs, the replacement pads aren't cheap and aftermarket pads can make them sound like trash. Currently Audio-Technica doesn't even have them in stock and it's like hunting game to get them. Most fake leather pads flake after a while, but their design/materials used determine the sound of the headphones more than in case of velour pads used in some open back HPs. So when buying a headphone it would be nice to have support of OEM replacement parts provided by the manufacturer for useful life of the device.
 

Pursuit

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I sent in my MDR-CD900ST to Amir to do an apples to apples comparison. The CD900ST is the successor of the MDR-V6 (see my link earlier in this post). It sounds less bright to me.

I also sent in a vintage Made in Japan 7506 with samarium cobalt magnets instead of the current neodymium ones with newly replaced OEM pads.
Just bought MDR-CD900ST, definitely not as bright as the V6. Is it laidback? I don't know. It has enough bites for me. It didn't even come with a 1/4 to 3.5 adapter, so I have to use my Sennheiser's adapter. I also wish it had the folding mechanism and coiled cable like V6. But other than that, I am quitting the audiophile game with it. It has the details in V6 and Sony's liveliness without pushing hard on treble, even sibilance sounds natural and good.

For people's reference, I have the old Sony brothers, Sennheiser brothers 660S/S2, and the new Sony MDR-MV1.
 

GXAlan

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Just bought MDR-CD900ST, definitely not as bright as the V6. Is it laidback? I don't know. It has enough bites for me. It didn't even come with a 1/4 to 3.5 adapter, so I have to use my Sennheiser's adapter. I also wish it had the folding mechanism and coiled cable like V6. But other than that, I am quitting the audiophile game with it. It has the details in V6 and Sony's liveliness without pushing hard on treble, even sibilance sounds natural and good.

For people's reference, I have the old Sony brothers, Sennheiser brothers 660S/S2, and the new Sony MDR-MV1.

I would really like to see how the CD900ST measures with Amir’s rig and thoroughness for comparison. It is impressive to see how it behaves relative to the Harman Target and even something like a pricey Utopia on Crinacle’s measurements. If anything, the vocal range is unusually flat in my opinion even though it doesn’t match the Harman target.

I have two. One stock and one modded to have an XLR4 connector.

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razorblader

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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.
That's how they were marketed by Sony back in the day. Meant that you could order all the replacement parts for the 'Pro' 7506 and not the V6 consumer version.
They weren't designed to sound like a 'HiFi' headphone, they have that 2 kHz+ peak which helped to more easily detect if there were problems especially in voice recordings, like on-location shoots and the like.
 

formdissolve

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I still use a pair of these for the occasional DJ set at a bar - accuracy of sound in the headset is not important there. While the pads leave a lot to be desired, they are easy to drive and get pretty loud.. I might actually look into some of those thicker earpads to block at least some ambient noise.

Also, people convert the MDR-7500 series (and other Sony's like the V6) to "lollipop" style DJ headphones which is kind of cool:
iu
 
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Jimster480

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Back in 1990s when I was working closely with major use labels, the Sony MDRV-6 was one of the accepted "standards." (the other two were Stax and Sennheiser HD560 (?)). This is why I bought all three to test our audio system fidelity as to predict what the label reaction would be. They definitely took you seriously if you showed up with any of these three.
I wonder what the standard is today? Some kind of apple airpod or some other mass market headphone? Not many people use wired headphones today specifically and in the audiophile / Hi-Fi world; there are so many products now that I cannot imagine there is really a "marketshare" of much of anything anymore.
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.
IEMs really are a great value these days and actually have been for a while. I look at my Quad driver IEM from 1More that I bought like 5 years ago. When tested here it literally got some of the lowest distortion figures of any headphone ever tested here... I paid $275 on launch day / pre-order... Still use them to today; just not that often as I don't really like IEMs for extended use.
 

formdissolve

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I just installed some Brainwavs pads. It's worth noting that it's a VERY tight fit on these headphones. In fact, I had bass rattling from the left channel after installing and had to slightly pull out the pads to stop it. I wonder if that extreme dip could be the pads physically touching the drivers? Or is it that the pads themselves are actually a smaller internal surface area compared to stock pads? My stock pads were shot after a year - squished beyond recognition and flaking plastic all over my ears and face.
 
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