The Best Headphones I Have Ever Owned
I grabbed the Sony* MDR7506 headphones on the advice of a single salesman, something I do not make a habit of. But he swore to me that they were the best headphones in my price range (under 100 bucks) and well beyond. Meaning headphones with much higher prices paled in comparison. I was told the reason they are so cheap is that they are so popular with recording gearheads and djs, that for Sony it’s all about Volume, Volume, Volume!! They sell so darned many of them, they can keep them reasonably priced.
And speaking of volume…
These babies sound SO good on a portable media player. Most headphones don’t achieve the volume and quality these do on an mp3 player, not even close. I have read this is due to ultra low impedance (24 ohms) in several reviews of these cans, but buyer beware as the impedance is different in the current specs for this pair(reported as 63 ohms as opposed to 24). Either my ears are fooled, or I got one of the 24 ohms pairs before they changed them. In any case, the quality when listening on my Zune (as well as an old Zen I have that still works) is just mind-blowing. And when I plug them into my Tascam, CDs are even better sounding. By leaps and bounds.
I wouldn’t normally review hardware, especially headphones. But it can be so difficult to shop for headphones, when I find something outstanding I feel I must report on it. And these are beyond outstanding. Now, I’ve listened to some expensive pairs in my time, and I do not recall all of them sounding anywhere as good as these. Maybe some, and just as, but in my memory not better. Another reason I feel I must write about these is that I know I’m a review source that people can trust. You will notice no links in this review (other than a link to a site with tutorials on encoding better mp3s) . You can look it up yourself on the search engine of your choice and find the best deal on these. In my experience, they can be had as low as 49.00 (dubious..) but more realistically on a good day in the right place between 60 and 99 (I did get mine for 50 bucks, but that was a special, partially haggled deal). My best advice is to pay attention to shipping and handling rip-offs and maybe shop locally. For that price range, these cannot be beat, period. Find a place where you can try them out, like a Music store that sells pro or semi-pro audio recording gear. To make it easier, bring along your mp3 player and some great sounding (320kbps or lossless) files and plug them right into your player to give them a listen. Worth the trouble.
Some specs –
|Headphone Type:||Dynamic, closed|
|Driver Size:||40.0 mm|
|Frequency Response:||10Hz – 20 kHz|
|Power Handling Capacity:||1000mW|
|Plug Type:||Gold, Stereo Unimatch plug 1/4″ and 1/8″|
|Cord Length:||9.8 feet|
When I first tried them, even listening to mp3 files, I was hearing aspects of the music I’d missed in the past. Even things perhaps engineers missed during mastering, or assumed no-one would ever notice. The sound of mics bumped, paper, mechanical noises from live instruments, being able to fully distinguish background vocals and various other previously missed details. (it was fun in one case picking out background vocals that were dubbed with the lead vocalist himself , then actually noticing when the guitar player was singing as well) Astounding! Did I use that word already? But then, after trying listening to a CD of a favorite album, I was in music heaven. It was like listening to it for the first time again. To be honest, it reminded me of how far back we’ve all gone quality-wise, being so used to all this compressed music. Although these headphones can bring out the best of compressed music, they can also reveal the worst of it. But that’s not the fault of the headphones, that’s the fault of people who don’t know how to properly encode or don’t care. There are some good sounding 128kbps mp3s out there, as well as some not-great sounding 320kbps mp3s.
If I had to go the route of star reviews, these would get 5 out of 5. They sound amazing, are extremely comfortable after hours of use and really are good at preventing bleed from the headphones into the mic when you’re recording live instruments/vocals. And if you don’t mind wearing larger headphones when you’re out and about, they are stunningly good with an mp3 player, especially when you compare them to similarly priced cans meant for portable media players and mp3 players. Just cannot be beat. And they truly seem very durable, very important with headphones for me as I usually ruin a pair within a few months. Pretty bad stuff when you tend to buy decent pairs. These feel solid and have lasted a while already with some pretty rough and tumble habits. My only negative in this regard is that they tend to SLAM into themselves with a loud CLACK when you set them down, trying to fold in on themselves when not attempting to fold them on purpose. Just setting them aside. I fear that this repeated self-inflicted violence will eventually be the cause of their demise. We’ll see. So far so good. I’ve had them for several months and they still work perfectly and do not even have any cosmetic flaws so far. The included case is nice as well. At first I thought I would dislike the screw-on plug adapter (from 1/8 stereo to 1/4 stereo), but I have grown to prefer it.
So if you’re looking for decent, comfortable headphones that sound amazing and are under 100 bucks, these could be your perfect choice.
*I have had these since right about when news came out that Sony was preventing alternative Operating System installs on it’s PS3 and suing it’s fans and enthusiasts. I will no longer be purchasing any Sony products, in spite of any superior quality or features until this policy is reversed. And when my ps3 decides to start reading disks again/is replaced (not gonna happen). I publish this article merely because it is a. the truth and b. is the product of nearly an hour of my time. Yeah. *sigh* Perhaps a good suggestion would be to purchase these cans from ebay only. I hear they are very tough headphones to ruin, so used perhaps isn’t a bad option in this case.
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