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Sony MDR-7506 Review

Offer impressive clarity in the treble range on the cheap
Sony MDR-7506
Credit: Sony
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Price:   $130 List | $86.34 at Amazon
Pros:  Bright, and clear sound, realtively inexpensive
Cons:  Brighness can sound harsh to some
Manufacturer:   Sony
By Max Mutter ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 26, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 13
  • Sound Quality - 30% 8.0
  • Noise Isolation - 25% 3.0
  • Comfort - 25% 7.0
  • User Friendliness - 10% 6.0
  • Portability - 10% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Sony MDR-7506 provides an exceptionally bright and clear sound at a very low price point for over the ear headphones. If you're one that likes to pick apart every lilt and twang of vocals and guitars, these headphones provide tons of detail for you to enjoy. However, they don't balance that brightness with much bass power. That top-heavy bright sound, though cherished by some, may feel taxing to listen to for others. These headphones are also wired and don't have active noise cancellation, so they're better suited for listening in quiet locations and aren't particularly convenient for travel.

Editor's Note: This review was updated on January 19, 2022, with more information about the headphones we'd purchase or recommend to a friend.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Sony MDR-7506
This Product
Sony MDR-7506
Awards  Best Buy Award Top Pick Award   
Price $130 List
$86.34 at Amazon
$60 List
$59.99 at Amazon
$150 List
$169.00 at Amazon
$159 List
$159.00 at Amazon
$40 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Bright, and clear sound, realtively inexpensiveInexpensive, powerful bass, effective active noise cancellation, comfortableGreat overall sound, punchy bass, comfortableIncredibly well balanced, detailed and articulate sound, comfortableIn inexpensive, reasonably good sound quality, portable
Cons Brighness can sound harsh to someLacks some brightness in mid and vocal ranges, headband may be to large for smaller headsNot particularly portable, mediocre noise isolationNot very portable, mediocre noise isolationPoor noise isolation, not comfortable for large ears/heads
Bottom Line Offer impressive clarity in the treble range on the cheapImpressively inexpensive given the sound quality, active noise-canceling performance, and comfortWell-rounded and impressive, high-quality sound in an inexpensive wired designA great and relatively inexpensive option for audiophiles looking for a flat frequency responseOffers 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-... Beyerdynamic DT 770... Tribit XFree Tune
Sound Quality (30%)
8.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
Noise Isolation (25%)
3.0
6.0
3.0
3.0
4.0
Comfort (25%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
User Friendliness (10%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Portability (10%)
4.0
7.0
4.0
2.0
9.0
Specs Sony MDR-7506 Soundcore Life Q20 Audio-Technica ATH-... Beyerdynamic DT 770... Tribit XFree Tune
Noise cancelling? No Yes No No No
Wireless? No Yes No No Yes
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
App No No No No No
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
Bluetooth version N/A 5.0 N/A N/A 4.1
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 its bright clarity bring 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 brassier and warmer headphones that currently dominate the marketplace, so not everyone will be enamored with their sound.

Performance Comparison


Sony MDR-7506 over ear headphones
Credit: Max Mutter

Sound Quality


These are some of the brightest headphones we've listened to, meaning they produce higher-pitched sounds with incredible accuracy and clarity. 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 much 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.

Sony MDR-7506 over ear headphones - the sony mdr-7506 offers impressive brightness and clarity.
The Sony MDR-7506 offers impressive brightness and clarity.
Credit: Max Mutter

Noise Isolation


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.


Comfort


The Sony MDR-7506 features relatively soft cushioning on the earcups, but those cups are fairly flat. This design 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.


Sony MDR-7506 over ear headphones - te earcups are large and plush.
Te Earcups are large and plush.
Credit: Max Mutter

User Friendliness


The Sony MDR-7506 leans into its wired simplicity, not offering any controls of extra features. We do like that the coiled cable provides some literary flexibility, but otherwise, these headphones are about as bare-bones as it gets.


Portability


The Sony MDR-7506 folds 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.


Sony MDR-7506 over ear headphones - the sony mdr-7506 packs down quite small.
The Sony MDR-7506 packs down quite small.
Credit: Max Mutter

Should You Buy the Sony MDR-7506?


The Sony MDR-7506 offers a great but particular 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.

Sony MDR-7506 over ear headphones - the included carrying pouch isn't particularly protective.
The included carrying pouch isn't particularly protective.
Credit: Max Mutter

What Other Over Ear Headphones Should You Consider?


We can see how some would be drawn to these headphones for the Sony name or the more reasonable price. However, given the specific sound quality of these wired headphones, it is unlikely they are a suitable match for most. If wired headphones or this price range is your draw, we prefer the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. This pair has a similar price but scored better overall and in most test metrics. If your budget is tighter, the Soundcore Life Q20 has a list price less than half of the Sony, and it earned significantly higher test scores. We think they are a better value and that most readers will prefer them over this pair of Sonys.

Max Mutter

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