Sony MDR V6 headphones – An honest audiophile review

The Sony MDR V6 Studio monitors.

Update: It is highly recommended that you go for the MDR V7506s as they’re virtually the same for less. You can find them here.

Today, we’re going to be talking about a set of headphones that have been around for almost 35 years and counting. That would be the Sony MDR V6 studio monitor headphones. The MDR V6s were introduced all the way back in 1985. They immediately took the audio industry by storm. Little did Sony know, there’d be strong demand for these monitors for the next 35 years. This demand came from audio engineers in many different fields who swore by their accurate sound and rather durable design. In fact, you can still buy them brand new! In this article, I’m going to express my thoughts on these 1980s studio monitors.

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The “studio” sound:

The headband that is labeled 'Studio Monitor".

The MDR V6s are studio monitors with a very flat sound. Most people refer to “flat” as bad. As an audiophile, when I refer to gear having a flat sound, I mean an overall even frequency response. This is a good thing when it comes to studio use. This allows proper mixing of audio material so that it sounds good on consumer audio gear. I’m currently listening to the Sony MDR V6s being driven by my JCPenny receiver while writing this article. I could describe the sound as very accurate. Details are revealed very easily. The bass is strong but not overpowering but rather clean and punchy. The upper mid bass is a little laid back. But the mid range comes in strong and clear while not overpowering the low end or upper end of the frequency response. The treble, although very present is a little laid back.

The imaging:

Imaging on a pair of headphones is harder to describe than on a pair of speakers. The Sony MDR V6s fair well in this regard. They especially fair well considering the fact that they are closed-back headphones. Open-back headphones tend to be much more open sounding. The MDR V6s, being studio monitors must be closed-back in order to stay isolated from the environment. Not only this, they also need to image well. The MDR V6s do well in this regard. The soundstage is very open.


The OEM Earpads for the MDR V6.

I’ve owned my set for 2 years now. I’ve not had anything happen to them. They were used daily during my senior year in high school. From what I’ve read about the Sonys, others mentioned that the ear pads do deteriorate. My set just now started showing this. There are hundreds of replacement ear pads on Amazon (both OEM and aftermarket). As of writing this, I still have the original ear pads. Replacement pads can be found here.

I’ve also read of people having their sets last for decades. For anyone familiar with headphones, they know that it’s hard to find a set of headphones that last this long. You shouldn’t have to worry about these Sonys breaking anytime soon.

The coiled cord:

The MDR V6's coiled cord.

There is a mixed reception regarding the coiled cord that these Ol’ Sonys are rocking. I personally like it. It can literally stretch out to 10 feet. I could get up from my desk and walk up to 10 feet away with them on. For mobile use, I put it in my pocket. Some people are however modding the MDR V6s to have a removable plug. I would rather keep my set all original. The included 3.5mm to 5.25mm adapter more than likely not fit an aftermarket  plug.

There you have it.

The MDR V6s folded.

I hope that this review was helpful. The Sony MDR V6s are a great addition to one’s headphone collection. They’re also great when you just want to critical listen to your music while laying in bed. These Sonys don’t need an amplifier but they do benefit from having one.

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