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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These headphones do not come with a pouch or case.
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.
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.
The MDR-7506 do not come with any additional cables.
The bass is great. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 11Hz, which is excellent. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass heavy genres like EDM and Hip-hop is above our neutral target by 3dB. This brings a bit of excess thump to their bass, which some people may find pleasant. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and punch of kick drums, is flat and even, but overemphasized by 2.5dB. High-bass, responsible for warmth, is well-balanced which is great, since overemphasis in this range is quite detrimental to sound and common among bass-heavy headphones. Overall, the Sony has a powerful and punchy bass, without being boomy or muddy.
The mid-range of the Sony 7506 is excellent. The response throughout the range is quite flat and even, and within 1dB of our neutral target. This suggests a well-balanced and clear reproduction of vocals and lead instruments. The dip around 250Hz could thin out vocals a little bit but this will also help bring out the punch and kick in the bass range.
The treble is decent. Low-treble is even and flat, but above our neutral target by about 2dB. This bring a bit of extra emphasis and presence to vocals and lead instruments. The 10dB peak around 10KHz makes the sound of this headphone noticeably sibilant (sharp on S and Ts) on vocals and cymbals, especially on overly bright tracks.
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.
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.
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.
The harmonic distortion performance is good. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is within good limits. However, the sharp peaks in THD in the mid and treble ranges could make the sound of those frequencies a bit harsh and brittle.
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.
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.
These headphones do not have a microphone so the recording quality has not been tested.
The Sony MDR-7506 do not have a microphone so the noise handling has not been tested.
The Sony MDR-7506 do not have a wireless range since they're wired. If you want a good wireless headset for critical listening, consider the Bose QuietComfort 35 II.
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.
These are passive headphones with no active components and no battery.
The headphones do not have a dedicated, compatible app for added customization.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Good for critical 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 critical 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.
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.
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.
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.
Mediocre for home theater use. The Sony MDR-7506 have a good sound that's suitable for music and movies and no latency since they're wired. However, the cable won't be long enough to comfortably watch TV from your couch, although the coiled cable does stretch farther than most.
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.