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||Inexpensive, powerful bass, effective active noise cancellation, comfortable||Great overall sound, punchy bass, comfortable||Incredibly well balanced, detailed and articulate sound, comfortable||In inexpensive, reasonably good sound quality, portable|
|Cons||Brighness can sound harsh to some||Lacks some brightness in mid and vocal ranges, headband may be to large for smaller heads||Not particularly portable, mediocre noise isolation||Not very portable, mediocre noise isolation||Poor noise isolation, not comfortable for large ears/heads|
|Bottom Line||Offer impressive clarity in the treble range on the cheap||Impressively inexpensive given the sound quality, active noise-canceling performance, and comfort||Well-rounded and impressive, high-quality sound in an inexpensive wired design||A great and relatively inexpensive option for audiophiles looking for a flat frequency response||Offers a decent listening experience for a relatively low price, but certainly doesn't stand out in any aspect|
|Rating Categories||Sony MDR-7506||Soundcore Life Q20||Audio-Technica ATH-...||DT 770 Pro 32 ohm||Tribit XFree Tune|
|Sound Quality (30%)|
|Noise Isolation (25%)|
|User Friendliness (10%)|
|Specs||Sony MDR-7506||Soundcore Life Q20||Audio-Technica ATH-...||DT 770 Pro 32 ohm||Tribit XFree Tune|
|Manufacturer reported battery life (hours)||N/A||40||N/A||N/A||40|
|Measured weight (ounces)||8.1||9.3||10||9.5||10.3|
|Included case||Soft carrying pouch||Lined drawstring pouch||Soft carrying pouch||Soft carrying pouch||Semi-hard case|
|Earcup padding cover material||Leatherette||Leatherette||Leatherette||Soft cloth||Leatherette|
|Charging cable length (inches)||N/A||40"||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Microphone for voice?||No||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Onboard buttons||None||Volume, multifunction, power, NC||None||None||Volume, play/pause, forward/back, noise cancelling|
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