Sony MDR-7506 Studio Headphones
The Sony MDR-7506 have been a top selling pro headphone since ’91 favourited by audio professionals in music, film production, radio and all forms of broadcast media. Though designed for professionals they have become a hit among consumers who enjoy lively treble, a flat mid range, and an un-hyped bass response.
- System: Dynamic
- Design: Closed-back
- Frequency range: 10Hz – 20kHz
- Sensitivity: 106dB SPL/V
- Impedance: 63 Ohms
- Strong mid range
- Great value for price
- Substantial sound attenuation
- Ideal for on-site, live broadcast situations
- Foldable and overall durable
- Travel bag included
- Don’t serve well for mixing, sound design, or critical listening
- Introduce harmonic distortion around 100Hz (can serve well in some cases)
- Pronounced low-highs generate sibilance
You will typically see the MDR-7506 used in a lot of on-site scenarios such as live concerts and field recordings—they are undoubtedly a sound gaffers go-to. Or you may find them used while tracking instruments in a recording studio as their advantage is really between 100Hz – 2kHz where the bulk of musical information resides. However, the MDR-7506 are not intended for critical mixing—especially where spacial design is applied.
The MDR-7506 are practical for many on-site professionals because the characteristics of their frequency response, along with their closed-back design are excellent for narrowing in on many key aspects of the audio at hand. For instance, the bass rolls off at around 50Hz which is great for someone working in conditions where those frequencies are of no concern. This is not optimal in post-production where those frequencies need to be consciously heard, sculpted, and attenuated.
In the low highs, between 2kHz – 10kHz there are some high peaks in frequency. Again, this can have some advantages in many scenarios where you should want to be cautious of buzzing or hissing coming from amplifiers or poor connections while tracking. North of 10Hz, the high treble rolls off removing much air from the signal. This is a potential plus for recording, a big no-no for mixing.
The Sony MDR-7506 are decently portable, weighing in at 8 ounces and feature a foldable design with the ear cups tucking tightly into the frame. They feel quite durable and allow the pads to be swapped should they get worn out over time. The coiled cable is 9.8 ‘ long and doesn’t detach, but at this length it’s like unnecessary.
Though a rather quirky headphone in terms of frequencies, the Sony HDR-7506 have succeeded for so many years because they serve their function extremely well as a closed-back headphone. Customers of the HDR-7506 are very often return customers who swear by them to achieve the results they’re after. Certainly anybody would be happy to get professional results from a pair of headphones at an entry level price.
To help you out on your quest for the right set of cans, we’ve included links below to detailed reviews of a few models that feature similar characteristics to the Sony MDR-7506.
We’ve put together The Ultimate Guide to Studio Headphones for Music Production that will teach you about different types of headphones, the applications they serve best, and a long list of great candidates for your home studio.