Sony MDR-7506 Review
Pros: Bright, and clear sound, realtively inexpensive
Cons: Brighness can sound harsh to some
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|Pros||Bright, and clear sound, realtively inexpensive||Superb active noise cancellation and overall sound quality, multipoint Bluetooth pairing, auto-pause, relatively comfortable for most people||Excellent sound quality, field-leading noise cancellation, comfortable||Great sound quality, good noise cancellation, comfortable, built-in Google Assistant||Great sound quality, great noise cancellation, comfortable, user friendly features|
|Cons||Brighness can sound harsh to some||Expensive||Expensive||Expensive||Expensive, both sound quality and noise cancellation fall just short of being the best in the field|
|Bottom Line||Simple wired phones that emphasize the treble range||An excellent choice for both audiophiles and those looking to enhance their concentration by drowning out distractions||The clear choice for those that place a premium on sound quality and noise isolation||Perfect for audiophiles that want the best possible sound and good noise cancellation||Though not the absolute best noise cancelling phones on the market, these puppies come close|
|Rating Categories||Sony MDR-7506||Sony WH-1000XM4||Bose Noise...||Bose QuietComfort...||Jabra Elite 85h|
|Sound Quality (30%)|
|Noise Isolation (25%)|
|User Friendliness (10%)|
|Specs||Sony MDR-7506||Sony WH-1000XM4||Bose Noise...||Bose QuietComfort...||Jabra Elite 85h|
|Manufacturer Reported Battery Life (hours)||N/A||30||20||40 wired, 20 BT||36|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Sony MDR-7506 and it's bright clarity brings out lots of detail in the mid and treble ranges, making it great for people who like to appreciate detail and nuance in those ranges. They sound noticeably different from the bassier and warmer headphones that currently dominate the marketplace, so not everyone will be enamored with their sound.
These are some of the brightest headphones we've listened to, meaning they produce higher-pitched sounds with incredible accuracy and clarity. In fact, many audio professionals love these headphones because of their ability to reveal any unnatural hisses or whines creeping into a recording. For the casual listener, this means vocals and higher guitar notes are going to sound sharp, crisp, and in your face. This adds some impressive detail to acoustic arrangements, and makes podcasts sound great.
While this bright sound can reveal a lot of detail in the treble and even mid ranges, it is not balanced by much power or depth in the bass range. The bass is still represented and well defined, but generally doesn't come to the forefront. Because of this some people find the overall sound of these headphones to be a bit harsh, and fans of bass-heavy genres may think they sound a bit too light.
Without active noise cancellation, these headphones manage only to muffle rather than block most ambient noises. Turning the volume up on your music can generally drown out those muffled sounds, but louder environments require that you either blast your music or just deal with some ambient noise making it to your ears while you listen to music.
The Sony MDR-7506 features fairly soft cushioning on the earcups, but those cups are fairly flat. This means the cups sit against your ears, almost like a pair of on-ear headphones. In general we still found this fit comfortable enough for hours of wear, but if you don't like things touching your ears you probably won't like the fit of these headphones.
The Sony MDR-7506 leans into its wired simplicity, not offering any sort of controls of extra features. We do like that the coiled cable offers some literary flexibility, but otherwise these headphones are about as bare-bones as it gets.
The Sony MDR-7506 fold up impressively small, but provides only a soft bag to use as a carrying case. When traveling with these headphones you either have to be careful about where you pack them, or pick up a more durable carrying case.
When it comes to sound quality, the Sony MDR-7506 offer great value per dollar. However, that sound quality is somewhat specific, so it's only a good value if you like bright sounding headphones.
The Sony MDR-7506 offers a great but very specific kind of listening experience. If you like exceptional clarity and detail in the higher frequencies (vocals and high guitars) of your music, these are fantastic headphones. If not, you should likely pass on these.
— Max Mutter