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Sony MDR-V6

Discontinued
MSRP $109.99
This product is no longer available for purchase.

The Sony MDR-V6 represent the evolution of advanced Sony headphone engineering at that magic 'around-$100' pricepoint. Easily amongst our HeadRoom Sony favorites, the V6 is ideal for studio work, serious DJs, and casual iPod use alike. The V6's combination of fresh looks, efficient sensitivity ratings and superb audio performance make it a top closed-back choice for any application from street-rockin' portable players to high-end home listening to serious studio monitoring.


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Product Features:

  • Potent sound amongst the best in the Sony on-ear models
  • Good for iPod digital/mobile music and excellent computer listening headphones
  • Excellent ergonomics and headband design with cool style!
  • Thorough yet comfortable isolation ideal for listening privacy

What's In The Box:

  • Soft storage case
  • 'Screw-on' 1/4" stereo plug adaptor
  • Sony owner's manual

Applications:

The Sony MDR-V6 represent the full evolution of Sony headphone engineering and design at that magic '$100' (give or take) price point. Freshly updated styling and superb audio performance make this long-running model a top closed-back candidate for any listening use from street-rockin' portable players to serious studio monitoring to tracking session vocals or recording instruments with GarageBand or ProTools. Sony has designed the V6 to be especially well-synergized with digital audio sources (i.e., laptop computers or digital mixing consoles) that can sometimes tend to be a bit bright-sounding; the V6's smoothly extended tone and cleanly punchy bass response will nicely make up for that shortcoming without coloring or darkening the overall sound. 63 Ohm impedance favors use with portable headphone amp for maximized musical punch, clarity and detail definition. Large 40mm dynamic drivers ensure you'll hear all the precise tones and extended dynamics present in your music with full impact intact.

The Sony MDR-V6 are a closed earcup circumaural construction and have an appealingly light leather-type headband that is quite nicely styled and also easy to adjust. The mid-sized slim-profile V6 earcups have the distinctive Sony horizontal red stripe flash and they will nicely collapse and fold up into the headband for travel/transit compactness. The Sony MDR-V6 coiled cord avoids straight-cord tangling issues when listening on the move, extends out to about 9ft, and comes terminated to a 3.5mm (1/8") mini-plug jack; a full-size 1/4" stereo plug adapter is conveniently included by Sony. The upscale purple silk-lined MDR-V6 packaging box also includes a soft Sony bag for headphone storage or transit.

Specifications:

  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 Year
  • Driver Type: Dynamic
  • Sensitivity: 106dB
  • Headphone Type: Full Size
  • Connector Type: 1/8
  • Weight: 8.1 oz. w/o cord
  • Impedance @ 1kHz: 63 Ohms
  • Isolation: -10dB ~ 15dB
  • Detachable Cable: No
  • Cord Length: 9ft
  • Cord Type: Coiled Left-Side
  • Ear Coupler Type: Full-Size
  • Acoustic Seal: Closed

Additional Resources:

Reviews At A Glance
2 Reviews
5 Reviews
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1 Reviews

Average Rating 
(Showing 3 of 8 reviews)



Legendary Headphones : Affordable price without sacrificing sound quality!
Posted by Louis from Montreal, QC (Canada) on 2013-05-20

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Great sound quality, Satisfying punchy bass response, Accurate detailed mids and high, Very durable
Cons: Sound a bit harsh when playing low-end mp3, Pads fall apart over time & need to be replaced

These are a legendary product that have served since 1986 as reference, "industry-standard" studio monitoring cans. They are as such neutrally equalized ("flat") headphones made for an authentic sound, when you actually want to hear what the artist recorded!
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This means that while you do get a very accurate reproduction of what you play, flimsy over-compressed mp3's will sound just exactly as they sould : flimsy! The V6 are quite unforgiving, and will sound overly bright and even harsh in these situations. Hence, be sure to acquire music files of good quality (usually 256 kbps+ mp3's are sufficient).
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This said, with a good recording in hand, and with a little EQing magic, you can make these headphones sing pure bliss! I personally have wide musical preferences, from rock to classical and including electronic, hip-hop and reggea, and I can assure you that they are quite capable of excellent performance in all of these musical domains. The bass response is great, and the mids and highs are accurate and detailed. Once again, with a little EQing, you will easily set it to your own preferences, be it extra-bass, recessed mids or just a good ole' flat line.
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Now, keep in mind that they are 100$ headphones, so while my review of SQ may sound over-preaching, I still believe that they may very well be the best sounding headphones there is for that price and under. Obviously, they will get blown out of the water by various more expensive headphones (Sennheiser Momentum, V-Moda Crossfade M-100, Sony MDR-1R just to name a few), but these are all at least 200$-350$...And even the so-often-recommended Audio Technica ATH-M50s (160$) aren't that much ahead in terms of sound offering!
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Having established that they sound awesome, I'll have to say a few words about the actual build of the headphones : their looks, comfort and durability.
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Being an almost 30 years-old design, they have a definite retro look that I personally find appealing, but that I could understand not everybody would dig... Apart from that they are all plastic and leather (the headband), with only the inner sliding headband piece being metallic. However, they have a long established reputation for being indestructible (some people have kept them for 25+ years), so maybe all that plastic isn't bad after all.
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Now, the only real con known to this headphone and that I find important to discuss is the pad issue. You see, they are made of some kind of pleather, and fall apart over time. Some people used them for less than two years before they were all flaked off. Moreover, they aren't that comfortable, as they are some hybrid on-ear/over-ear design (surround your whole ear but presses against it) and after a few hours I used to get tired of them.
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That said, there is an AMAZING solution to this pad issue. Beyerdynamic, this great German manufacturer of high-quality headphones, issue super-comfortable plushy velour pads for most of their models. One of them, the DT-250, is compatible with the V6. So, you just gotta buy some Beyer velour pads and exchange them with the stock V6 pads. Sure, it costs around 20-25$, but it's extremely easy and greatly enhances the comfort of your headphones, to the point of being able to wear them all day, as well as preventing any degradation of the pads over-time (the velour pads are extremely durable). Some people even say that this mod enhances bass a little (which i found to be true to a certain extent, but maybe placebo and expectation bias did the trick)!
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In conclusion, I simply can't believe you will find a better all-around headphone for 100$. It sounds great, it lasts decades, and with a simple not-too expensive mod, it is an incredibly comfortable headphone. For casual music listening, be it from a computer or a portable device, for studio monitoring or just for general purpose multi-function headphone use, you can't go wrong with these!


Sound Quality
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Durability

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?


Do not buy for more than 40 bucks
Posted by peterius from NE Connecticut on 2013-02-04

Recommend Product: No
Pros: decent sound quality
Cons: poor design, high price

I bought these expecting them to last ten years. The sound quality is not amazing but its decent.

As many other reviewers have mentioned the earpads fall apart and people talk about replacing them. This was a little frustrating for me but not a big deal. I'm very careful with things, but for 90 dollar headphones that come with a leather? bag, I expected them to last a long time.

After less than a year of daily usage, the black plastic wrap covering the headphone cushions started flaking off all over the place.

After two years, the glue holding one of the pads has come off, but still can be held in place. The black plastic wrap is completely gone and the foam pads are exposed.

After two and a half years, the sound has started to go out completely in one ear and I have to jiggle it to get it to come back.

I think this is because the exposed wires between the earphones and the headband slip underneath the hinges, and so every time I've put them on, the hinges have slowly rubbed the insulation off of those wires. The hinges don't clear the wires and one can easily see where its rubbed the wire down to the copper. I'm going to try to patch them up myself, but these are not 90 dollar headphones. Its also possible that this won't always happen, maybe the pair I got had a bad coil of wire, but the construction still isn't good enough for the price.

I was also disappointed that Sony did not offer any solution to repair them at first, saying that they were designed in 1986, what did I expect. After much complaining, they offered a discount on another pair or possibly that they could try to repair them but no guarantees.

Bottomline, these headphones aren't worth 90 dollars for the sound quality, what they had going for them was the construction and its no good.

I would give them a 3 or 4 star rating at 40 dollars. But Sony's website still has them out of stock for 120.


Sound Quality
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11 out of 14 people found this review unhelpful. Did you?


A Legendary Classic
Posted by Vito from California on 2012-06-09

Recommend Product: Yes
Pros: Astonishingly detailed sound; best phones for studio mix checking
Cons: Earpads need periodic replacement; plug adapter isn't durable

I'm a studio engineer/producer/musician. I've had my MDR-V6 phones for over 20 years, and they still sound terrific. There are only two downsides (and these are both well-known shortcomings):
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• The 1/8” to 1/4” plug adapter breaks too easily…usually after a few years if you use it often. Just get yourself a good plug adapter and that takes care of it. (The 1/8” stereo mini-plug is rock-solid with good strain relief.)

• The ear pad covering eventually breaks down and the pads need to be replaced (mine lasted 15 years). But the pads are available on eBay for about $5, and it takes just a few minutes to remove the old ones and install the new ones. (No tools or special skills required.) Even so, 15 years of steady service for earpads is pretty darned good…and the phones themselves are still going strong.
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Now, let me explain to you why these phones have been the choice of many studio mix engineers for the past couple of decades. It's NOT because they have perfectly flat response (they don't, but except for a 5 dB dip at about 5K and a 5 db bump at about 9K, they're pretty close), or because they have great ambient noise rejection (they don't), or because they're super comfortable (they're much better than average, but there are more comfortable phones). Rather, the reason these phones are so valuable in the studio is because you can hear things on them that you can't hear on other phones. I don't mix on them, but I CHECK my mixes on them, and without exception, they reveal things that I otherwise wouldn't hear...even on my state of the art tri-amped Genelec studio monitors.

The imaging is excellent -- very clear and tight (not time-smeared or "smushed"). That's especially true in the bass and mid-bass range, where so many other headphones fail. I don't want "killer" bass; I want ACCURATE bass. Sony probably could have tweaked the ample 40 mm drivers to deliver more bass, but I’m grateful they chose to stick with accuracy. The bass response is smooth, ultra-realistic, and super clean.

I have no idea how these phones compare to what an "audiophile" would want. I only know that the music audiophiles listen to (if it's well mixed), was probably checked on a pair of MDR-V6 (or MDR-7506) phones. (They're essentially the same.) Now you know the "secret"...the reason why these phones are legendary, and deservedly so. In fact, I've become so accustomed to the vivid clarity of the MDR-V6 phones that I use them for everything...even everyday listening. They're simply superb phones for that purpose --- better than any other phones I've ever used.

If you want phones that do something different --- like explosive bass response or other coloration --- then these aren't for you. But if you want a set of super-durable phones that will reveal musical detail in a way that most other phones can't --- especially at such a remarkably reasonable price --- you'll be hard pressed to find another set of phones (except MDR-7506) that even comes close.


Sound Quality
Comfort
Look & Feel
Durability

37 out of 39 people found this review helpful. Did you?


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