Sony MDR-7506 Closed-Back Headphones
The MDR-7506 was introduced in 1991 as a "studio" version of the DJ oriented MDR-V6 and quickly became a favorite for studio engineers for their honest sound signature which helps make critical mix decisions easier.
This three decade span is a testament to their timeless sound signature which is well suited to hearing yourself properly while tracking or making critical mixing decisions.
The MDR prefix is an initialism of the Micro Dynamic Receiver trademark. Initially released with Samarium-Cobalt Magnets, Sony changed the spec to Neodymium somewhere along its nearly 30 years of production.
The earcups also swivel outward to enable you to hear your environment or voice better during tracking.
- Type: Closed back
- Driver Size: 40mm
- Magnet Type: Neodymium
- Frequency Response: 10 - 20,000 Hz
- Maximum Input Power: 1,000mW
- Sensitivity: 106 dB/W/m
- Impedance: 250 Ohms
- Weight: 9.52 oz.
- Cable and Connectivity: 9.8 ft. coiled cable Connection, 1/8" Gold plated stereo jack plug and 1/4" adapter (6.35 mm)
- Best For: Tracking, Monitoring, Mixing, Mastering
The positive reviews are consistent in saying that they have a great flat response and produce a level high clarity when used for monitoring. Along with clear mids and highs they have a present yet not overpowering bass. They also report that they're a durable set of headphones. These two qualities alone are what make the 7506 an enduring piece of gear for many studios around the world. Users found the folding feature to be handy for on-the-go monitoring and mixing especially with working with live sound and field recording. The sound leakage from these headphones is fairly low and which also makes then a good option for tracking. Decent soundstage despite the closed-back design allowed some to make confident instrument placements. Users agreed these are a good workhorse option in the studio.
The earcups get warm according to a few users. There are a minority who find the ear pads are uncomfortable for them as well as being flimsy and susceptible to tearing. High frequency emphasis may be fatiguing over long mixing sessions. There were a few people who complained that the coiled cable can get tangled with itself into a knot which is hard to untangle. This also makes it difficult to travel with as the cable might snag on things. In terms of frequency response, there is a feeling that these are actually too bright and clear for mixing purposes, leading to mixes that sound too muddy on more neutral speakers or headphones.
A perennial favorite, the MDR-7506 is a must-have for any studio, large or small. With its clear and critical frequency response, good isolation, portability and price range, it's a good pick for those who want one headphone to do as much as possible. They may be a bit harsh for casual listening but time has proven that if a mix that sounds good on the 7506 will sound good anywhere. These have been compared to the legendary Yamaha NS-10 studio monitors for this reason. The inherent honesty and unforgiving nature of these headphones is a necessary tradeoff.
Although these were previously on several of our recommended lists, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in our guides to: