Reviewed on May 04, 2018

Sony MDR-7506 HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
5.7
Mixed Usage
7.1
Neutral Listening
5.5
Commute/Travel
5.4
Sports/Fitness
5.9
Office
4.3
Wireless Gaming
6.1
Wired Gaming
2.0
Phone Call
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : No
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sony MDR-7506 are comfortable, closed-back critical listening headphones with a good sound. They're a little cheaply built but they don't leak much, which makes them a good option for recording. However, they're not the most versatile headphones, sot they won't stay on your head if you run with them and poorly isolate you from the ambient noise of your environment.

Test Results
Design 6.1
Isolation 5.5
Microphone 0
Active Features 0
Connectivity 3.6
Pros
  • Good audio reproduction.
  • Lightweight and comfortable design.
  • Low leakage.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Unstable fit.
  • Plasticky and weak build quality.
  1. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  2. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  3. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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6.1

Design

The Sony MDR-7506 have a simple studio design and a comfortable fit. The wide headband and large ear cups are decently padded, even if the padding material feels a little cheap. Unfortunately, the build quality is slightly weaker at the hinges and although there's a thin metal frame to strengthen the headband, they don't feel like very durable headphones. They're also not the best for sports or physical activity. They will quickly fall if you run or jog with them.

Style

The Sony MDR-7506 have a straightforward over-ear design that feels a bit bland but will work for most. The understated, all-black color scheme, is highlighted by a few branding logos. The ear cups are large and oval and the wide headband is lightly padded and covered in a faux-leather like material. They look a bit cheap and won't stand out in a crowd but the minimal, studio aesthetic and and simple style will please some listeners.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.46 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.85 lbs

The Sony MDR-7506 are comfortable and lightweight headphones. The ear cups are large enough to fit well around most ears. They're not too tight, so they don't get uncomfortable during long listening sessions. However, although soft, the padding fabric used feels a little cheap and susceptible to wear and tear. It also feels a bit rougher on the skin than the padding on some of the more premium models.

0 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Ease of use : N/A
Feedback : N/A
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : N/A
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A

These headphones do not have a control scheme and do not come with an additional audio cable with an in-line remote like some of the other wired designs.

6.6 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.3 C

The Sony MDR-7506 are decently breathable headphones but will still make you ears make your ears fairly warm during long listening sessions. They have a closed back over-ear design that prevents airflow so they won't be suitable for exercising or working out but should be okay for more casual listening.

6.2 Portability
L : 5 "
W : 5.7 "
H : 2.9 "
Volume : 82 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The MDR7506 are decently portable headphones. They're about average sized for an over-ear model, but the foldable design tightly tucks the ear cups within the frame to save space. They won't be the easiest headphones to carry around on your person, but they will comfortably fit into most bags. Unfortunately, they don't come with a pouch or case.

0 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones do not come with a pouch or case.

7.0 Build Quality

The build quality on these headphones feels mediocre-at-best. They have a thin metal frame that somewhat reinforces the build, and they're lightweight with dense enough plastic to withstand a few falls without damage. However, these headphones feel a little cheap. The rest of the design is a bit too plasticky for their price and creaks a bit when putting on the headphones. The hinges are relatively weak, and the wiring is slightly exposed which could get damaged through regular use. They're decently built just not as durable as some other headphones even within the same price range.

5.5 Stability

These headphones feel very loose on the head. While the lack of tension is good for comfort it makes the fit less stable. They won't slide off your ears during casual listening sessions but they're not meant for physical activity or sports. They will easily fall off your head if used while running or jogging. Also the non-detachable audio cable is a bit bothersome and makes the headphones more likely to fall if it get hooked by something.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

They have a very good, deep, powerful, and punchy bass, an excellent and clear mid-range, and a better-than-average treble. However, their bass is a bit on the heavy side, but without being muddy or boomy which some may like. Also, their treble could sound a bit harsh and piercing on S and T sounds (sibilant), especially on overly bright tracks. Overall, they are a very versatile pair of headphones suitable for a wide variety of genres, from bass-heavy dubstep and film scores, to rock, folk, and even audiobooks. Additionally, they have great imaging, but like most closed-back headphones, don't have a large and speaker-like soundstage. For a more neutral bass, consider the Beyerdynamic DT 770, which also sounds a bit sibilant. For a better treble and overall sound, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x would be a good alternative.

Sound Profile
Neutral
:
8.5
Bass-Heavy
:
7.3
Warm
:
6.2
Bright
:
6.7
6.7 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
2.25 db
Dips
:
1.51 db
7.5 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.51 dB

The frequency response has good consistency. In the bass range, the maximum deviation across our five human subjects is about 5dB, which is subtle but noticeable. The treble range shows more consistency below 10KHz with the maximum deviation of about 5dB and in very narrow ranges.

8.6 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.28
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.61
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.51
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
5.33

The imaging of the MDR-7506 is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.28, which is within very good limits. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold. This ensure a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched. This is important for the accurate localization and placement of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo image.

5.0 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.87 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
1.72 dB
PRTF Distance
:
9.66 dB
Openness
:
5.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
3.0

The Sony 7506 has a sub-par soundstage. Due to its shallow earcups, this headphones interacts with the pinna more like an on-ear headphones. This can be seen in the low amount of pinna activation (PRTF size). This suggests a soundstage that is perceived to be small, and located mostly inside the listener's head. Also, because of their closed-back design, their soundstage may feel less open and spacious compared their open-back counterparts.

7.6 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.158
WHD @ 100
:
0.245
5.5

Isolation

Like most passively isolating headphones, the Sony MDR-7506 will prevent some high-frequency noise from seeping into your audio. Unfortunately, it's not enough for the loud, noisy environments of public transit. They won't do well as commuting headphones, but on the upside, they don't leak much, so no one will hear what you're listening to, even in quieter settings.

4.6 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-11.75 dB
Bass
:
0.53 dB
Mid
:
-7.14 dB
Treble
:
-29.17 dB

The isolation performance is sub-par. These headphones don't have active noise cancellation (ANC), and don't isolate in the bass range at all. This means they will fully let in the rumble of bus and airplane engines. In the mid-range, important for blocking speech, they isolate by 8dB, which is about average. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they achieve 30dB of isolation, which is good.

7.4 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
37.13 dB

The Sony MDR-7506 has a good leakage performance. The significant portion of the leakage is spread between 2KHz and 5KHz, which is a relatively narrow range. The overall level of the leakage is quiet too. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 37dB SPL and peaks at 50dB SPL, which is the same as the noise floor of most offices.

0

Microphone

Integrated
:
N/A
In-line
:
N/A
Boom
:
N/A
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

These headphones do not come with a microphone. For a wired headphone with a good in-line microphone, check out the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear II, the QuietComfort 25 or the Apple EarPods.

0 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
N/A
LFE
:
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
:
N/A
HFE
:
N/A
Weighted THD
:
N/A
Gain
:
N/A

These headphones do not have a microphone so the recording quality has not been tested.

0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise : N/A
Speech + Subway Noise : N/A
SpNR
:
N/A

The Sony MDR-7506 do not have a microphone so the noise handling has not been tested.

0

Active Features

These headphones have no active features and therefore do not require a battery. They also do not have a dedicated app or software for added customization options.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Continuous Battery Life
:
N/A
Additional Charges
:
N/A
Total Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
Charging Port : N/A

These are passive headphones with no active components and no battery.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

The headphones do not have a dedicated, compatible app for added customization.

3.6

Connectivity

The Sony MDR-7506 are straightforward wired headphones with no in-line remote or microphone on their cable. This means they have practically no latency for watching movies and videos but do not have the convenient range of a wireless headphone. Also, since they have no mic they will only have audio support when plugged into your console or PC.

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Default Latency
:
N/A
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

The Sony MDR-7506 headphones are wired and do not have a Bluetooth connection. If you want a good Bluetooth headset for more casual use check out the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2.

These headphones have practically no latency since they have a wired design. Unfortunately, this also means that they're limited by the range of the audio cable.

0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
9.0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
Detachable : No
Length : 4.17 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
:
0 ms

These headphones have a single non-detachable audio cable with no in-line remote. This means they will only provide audio when connected to your PS4 or Xbox One controller.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
Audio Only
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A

The MDR-7506 do not have a dock. If you need a headset with a dock that also has a wired connection for gaming or watching movies, then consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7.

In the box

  • Sony MDR-7506 headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/4" adapter

Compared to other Headphones

The Sony MDR-7506 are straightforward, closed-back, critical listening and recording headphones. They have a well-balanced sound that packs a good amount of bass but also a sharper spike in the treble range that could sound a bit harsh with already bright tracks. They're one of the best studio headphones we've tested. Unfortunately, they do not have the best build quality although they are lightweight and decently comfortable. On the upside, they are fairly affordable and a good alternative to most of the similarly designed closed back critical listening headphones below. See our recommendations for the best audiophile headphones and the best headphones under $100.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are better critical listening headphones than the Sony MDR-7506. They’ll be more comfortable to wear during long listening sessions and they feel better-built. Their sound is very good and more accurate than the Sonys, especially in the treble. Apart from that, the headphones are fairly similar, but you might be able to find the MDR-7506 at a cheaper price point, so they might offer better value.

Sony MDR-7520
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sony MDR-7506 are slightly better critical listening headphones than the Sony MDR-7520. The MDR-7506 offer a better value thanks to their mid-to-budget price range. They also have a more comfortable fit than the MDR-7520 and they sound better overall with more bass. On the other hand, the MDR-7520 are a much better build headphone. They have more premium look and design and feel a lot more durable than the MDR-7506. They also come with a detachable cable which further increases their durability compared to the MDR-7506.

5.7 Mixed Usage

The Sony MDR-7506 are mediocre mixed usage headphones but perform better for critical listening. They have a good sound and low leakage, but they're not the most versatile headphones so they won't be ideal for sports or loud environments but they deliver in the sound department.

7.1 Neutral Listening

Good for neutral listening. The Sony MDR-7506 have a well-balanced sound with a punchy bass that doesn't drown the excellent mid-range. Instruments and vocals sounded good if a little lacking in detail and clarity compared to some other neutral listening models like the DT 770 and the ATH-M50x. However, they have a decent soundstage, for closed-back headphones, and their sound quality is good enough to please most listeners.

5.5 Commute/Travel

Not ideal for commuting. They poorly block noise in loud environments and have no additional features, like noise canceling or inline controls, to make commuting easier.

5.4 Sports/Fitness

Subpar for sports. These headphones are not stable enough to exercise or jog with they also have a bulky design that will hinder your movements during more strenuous physical activity.

5.9 Office

Mediocre at best for office use. They don't leak much, so you won't disturb your colleagues. Unfortunately, they also won't block the chatter of a lively office.

4.3 Wireless Gaming

Below-average for gaming. They have a good sound and a low latency wired connection but are not as convenient or as customizable as most wireless gaming headsets. Also, they don't have a microphone, but on the upside, if you do not need voice chat, then they could be a decent option for consoles and PCs since they will provide audio for both the PS4 and Xbox One.

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