We owned the Sony MDR-V700 DJ headphones for a few years in around 2004, and used them with varied CD players, iPod Nanos, headphone amps, and mixers at numerous mobile DJ gigs. While the durability of the MDR-V700DJ was very noticeable, we nonetheless were disappointed with these phones over all, particularly in how they sounded. Due to their solid construction, they’re an excellent choice for the novice listener; a well-put-together and durable starter pair. They worked well for listening to the other CD player as we cued up the next song to play, while the main program blasted out the nearby speakers. But they’re sub-state-of-the-art for serious high fidelity music listening in our view, and were not very comfortable besides. Either the ear cups pressed too hard against the ear lobes, or the headband flattened the hair too much, leaving a depression in it that lasted the rest of the day after removing these heavy cans. Adjusting the headband size did little to resolve these issues. For the mobile DJ however, who does not wear these full-time during a gig, the MDR-V700DJ is comfortable enough. Just don’t listen for long periods, as the head band can press uncomfortably on your head, and the ear cans can leave your ears feeling like you tied them up in a tourniquet.
The MDR-V700DJ offers unimpressive sound as compared to other headphones in their price range. We paid approximately $120 for ours from (RIP) Circuit City electronics store. They reproduce the high frequencies shyly, and seem excessively bassy. While the musical low end can be regulated with an equalizer, no such adjusting can completely balance out the raspy harshness of sound we noted in these professional DJ headphones. The excess boom and thump happens particularly when listening to iPods.
We found the MDR-V700DJ to be among the worst-sounding gig headphones for the cost that we’ve ever evaluated. Given this premium cost, there was lots to grip about. But unlike the MDR-V500s (which we liked much more), the MDR-V700DJ ear cushions did not wear quickly. At six years of age, our set showed no signs of ear cushion wear or deterioration, and that’s after having taken them on numerous DJ gigs.
Replacement cushions for these professional headphones are available on eBay and Amazon. Check out the eBay listing for the Sony MDR-V700DJ DJ headphones for deals on parts as well as a complete headset.
Benefits, Features, Advantages, and Pros of the Sony DJ Headphones MDR-V700dj
- Rugged construction for the most rigorous and abusive mobile disc jockey situations.
- Static free connectors. They are equipped with gold connectors, which minimize dropouts and static clicks and pops.
- Noise reducing. They reduced surrounding noise adequately, which is a feature their closed-air design. They used a metal-looking plate that encloses the driver speaker in each earpiece, and keeps program sound in, and ambient surround noises out.
- Closed back design. Little audio escapes these phones while wearing. So they’re good to listen to, in order to avoid disturbing close-by other people.
- Circular over-the-ear cans / cups. The black ear cushions sport circular-shaped openings, that give these headphones a decidedly high-tech, space-age look.
- Plush surface headband. The headband includes resilient, soft padding that helps mitigate the rather limited overall comfort level.
- Not cheap construction. The unit looks nice and feels substantial, which is probably what enticed (misled) us into buying them initially. Well, that, plus the good Sony name too. These headphones appeared mostly dull silver / gray, with the headband and ear cushions done up in black.
- Foldable headphones. These headphones offer “retractable” ear pieces. These could fold up inside the headband, and that shrinks the size of the overall unit. When retracted, they are not much smaller than when fully extended. This is a hold-over feature from the MDR-V500s, that are smaller in size to begin with. Those older phones retracted more completely than these, the MDR-V700s.
- Very sensitive, easily driven with low power, and lots of volume. The MDR-V700DJ plays sufficiently loud, with fairly wide dynamic range over most of the audio frequency band. This suits them well for widely varying musical volume levels such as found in classical music. However, they lack the fidelity required for that level of audiophile listening. Much better for mobile DJ applications.
- Hard to drive to distortion. For pop music, they play loud enough to irritate the ears, without noticeable gain in distortion, or loss in faithfulness.
- Reversible, symmetrical. This headset can be worn with equal comfort either way (left earphone on left ear, or left earphone on right ear). The ease, with which the correct angle adjustment on each earpiece can be made, no matter which way we wore them, allows for simple “reversing” of the stereo channels when needed. No need to switch audio cables around. Just reverse these headphones on your head.
- Built like a tank. The MDR-V700DJ headset is rugged, and can survive lots of abuse. We’ve often dropped them on hard tables or floors. Yet they’ve held up very well. They tolerate rough listening environments such as at DJ gigs and mobile recording studio sessions.
- No longer made. Normally, this would be a bad thing for most products. But the fact that the MDR-V700s are headed into oblivion is a good thing in our view.
Problems, Cons, Disadvantages, and Limitations of the Sony DJ Headphones MDR-V700dj
- Excessively weighty. They are rather heavy; definitely heavier than the Sennheiser HD-650 phones.
- Discomfort quickly arrives. Thus, we could not wear them for hours at a stretch without excessive discomfort developing. Perhaps thirty minutes of listening was all we could bear.
- Ear cups could have been better. They sport foamy, but hard and rough-to-the-touch ear cushions. Rather than expensive and soft leather, the coatings on these ear cushions felt like hard, cheap plastic. But then again, this construction helps make the V700s so durable.
- Too much bass, harsh midrange, an not enough treble. An equalizer to roll back the bass response is essential, we feel. These phones sound too boomy and muffled with “flat” music sources like portable CD players and radios.
- Drivers ride too close to the ear. The rigid ear pads are round and medium-sized in circumference, but not deep enough to completely clear our ears, not as completely as they should in this over-the-ear design. Thus, the front of the driver speaker touched our ears, and pressed into them excessively, leaving the outer ear aching after prolonged listening sessions.
- Non detachable audio cable. The cables are not easily replaced as they would have been, if detachable via connectors, such as those found on some Sennheiser headphones.
- Listener fatigue noted. These Sony earphones favor the bass and low treble frequencies, and this often made our ears hurt and ring after extended listening. However in a mobile disc jockey gig environment, any harshness in these phones would likely be offset by the loudness of the main program speakers nearby. So, this is not a major issue on the road.
- Not enough wiggle room on the adjustments. Their head adjustments are inadequate. Even at the smallest setting, with each ear cup fully retracted, these phones fit too loosely, and would often fall off if we rocked or walked around while listening to them.
- They press too hard against eyeglasses. Thus, we had to remove the specs while jamming. If we did not, the eyeglasses would become bent and distorted, requiring straightening after each listening session; not good to repeat very often with today’s thin-framed eye ware.
- Impressive look, but lousy sound. These phones looked way better than they sounded, with lots of brawn, but little brains, to speak of, so to speak. However, this may not be so bad for pop and hip-hop musical genres, which apparently, is the sorts of music the MDR-V700DJ was designed to reproduce well.
We found the Sony MDR-V700DJ mobile disc jockey headphones to be decent head gear for our DJ gigs. However, we felt that they’re missing many of the top-rate features that we look for in a perfect audio earphone, including above-average sound and comfort. So we would likely steer clear of them in the future, and would thus rate them at 50 out of 100.
Where to Buy the Sony DJ Headphones MDR-V700dj
You can still find this Sony product on eBay and Amazon. Check the links below for an up-to-date list of vendors who sell them, along with the repair parts.
- Sony MDR-V700DJ Headphones Review on CNET
- Where to buy the Sony MDR-V700DJ Headphones
- Where to buy Sony MDR-V700DJ Parts
- 2017-02-22: Originally published.