Picture of the Sony MDR 7509 professional studio monitor headphones.

Sony MDR-7509 Headphones Review

The Sony MDR-7509 headphones worked very well for the year that we owned them, and we review them here. Now in that time, we played them with many CD players, televisions, iPods, and headphone amps.  With their deep, bassy sound and a larger version of the ever popular MDR earphone series, we were over all pretty pleased with them.  Here, we detail our experiences with them in the Sony MDR-7509 headphones review.  The 7509s are one of the few headsets that we found more good things to say about, than bad.

Sony MDR-7509 Headphones Review: Summary

Found them to be pretty fair audio devices in several respects. The MDR-7509s appear similar to the MDR-V500 and 7506, units, also by Sony, tested previously, and reviewed elsewhere in this blog.  These phones are larger in size and weight than the other Sonys’, have a more bassy sound, and cost a fair amount more.  But they may be more comfortable and surrounding.  Plus, they sport a fuller, more realistic sound.

The MDR-7509s, as the higher model number implies, are a couple of steps up from the MDR-7506 and MDR-V5 units. So, they seem to do just about everything a little better. They play high frequencies with crystal clarity, though they favor the low bass frequencies more than the smaller diameter driver headsets. We’ve used them with portable CD players on several train trips and found them comfortable enough to sleep in. So to us, their sound comes close to that of the Sennheiser HD-600 earphones. But the Sony 7509 earphones are notably cheaper.

There was little to gripe about in the Sony MDR-7509 headphones.  Indeed, it looked as though Sony had improved the ear cushions over their earlier headsets.  How?  The ear pads appear to last longer. They do flake so quickly and make such a mess. The we bought a used pair.  But the cushions showed no signs of wear or degradation. Still though, you can buy replacement ear cups if needed.

Picture of the Sony MDR 7509 professional studio monitor headphones with travel bag.
Sony MDR 7509 professional studio monitor headphones with travel bag.

Sony MDR-7509 Headphones Review: Benefits, Features, Advantages, and Pros

Comfortable Ear Cushions

The 7509, like the smaller 7506 version, sport foamy, soft earcushions, coated with a thin, resilient black film that gives them a soft, leathery texture that enhances the comfort.

Around the Ear Design

The pads have oval, egg-shaped openings that allow them to work well as an ear-surrounding design. Now everything about these phones is significantly enlarged as compared to the MDR-7506 units. So the ear openings here are much bigger and a bit deeper as well. They fit completely over my ears with room to spare. Therefore, the inner edges of the leathery cushion rims never touch my ears when wearing them as long as we adjusted them properly.  These are thus, more of an around-the-ear design, as opposed to over-ear design.

Deep Speaker Cans

The rear wall inside the cups (the front of the driver speaker) touches the ear but not as heavily as did the smaller MDR-7506 phones. But again with the overall cushion softness and the driver covering cloth on these Sony MDR-7509 headphones, this never interfered with long and comfy listening.

Retractable Speakers on the Sony MDR-7509 Headphones

The Sony MDR-7509 headphones provides fold-able cans. These retract up inside the headband that shrinks the size of the overall unit significantly, making them easy to store and stow.

None Too Heavy, Though Bigger Ear Phones

They’re are a bit heavier than we were accustomed to. While they’re about an ounce heavier than the Sennheiser HD-650 (my all-time favorite headphones to date), these ones are light enough still, for great comfort. They offer a wide enough range of headband and phone angle adjustments, that they do not press excessively hard against eyeglasses. Thus, we never need to remove the specs while wearing these phones. Plus, we never need to straighten the eyeglasses when done listening.  We found this product moderately light for its size and sound.

Unobtrusive Headband

The headband includes malleable stuffing as well that raises overall comfortable fit. Sony coated the wide and flexible headband with a black, shiny material that looks about like the cushions. Like all the headphones in the Sony line tested, these indeed feel as comfortable as they sound good.

Attractive Styling

They are black with silver trim, and sport a blue and gold “Professional” sticker on the back of each phone. This gives them a lustrous and modern hi-tech fascia.

Sony MDR-7509 Headphones Review: Offer Faithful Audio Reproduction at High Volumes

The Sony MDR-7509 headphones can play quite loud without distortion, with the wide dynamic range over most of the audio frequency band. This suits them particularly for widely varying musical volume levels, such as found in classical music recordings.

Can be Taken Apart for Maintenance

While you can’t unplug the connecting audio cable from the earphones, replacement goes easily using just a screwdriver, wire cutters, and a soldering iron.

Long Wearable

We wore the MDR Sony 7509’s for hours per listening session without discomfort. The music you’re hearing will bug you before these headphones themselves do.

Parts Readily Available

Buy new cables and cushions from numerous internet sellers.

Asymmetrical Ear Cup Design on the Sony MDR-7509 Headphones

You can wear the Sony MDR-7509 headphones with the same comfort either way (left earphone on left ear, or left earphone on right ear).

Noise Isolating, Closed Air Speakers

They reduce surrounding noise pretty well for moderately quiet environments, which is a useful feature of their closed-air design that these incorporate. A metal back plate boxes in the driver speaker in each earpiece, which helps keep generated sound inside, and ambient outside noise out.  Thus, there’s little audio spill , which makes the Sony MDR-7509 headphones a good choice when other close-by people wish not to be bothered.

Ruggedly Built

These Sony MDR-7509 headphones tolerate ill-treatment quite well for a high fidelity headset. Indeed, we’ve often dropped them on hard tables and floors, but saw no damage.

Gold 3.5 mm Connector  

Magnets Remain Magnetized Indefinitely

Strong neodymium magnets for high efficiency and full sound.

50 mm Driver Speakers

Plus, the drivers (speakers) are very large (50 millimeters), for a truly enveloping sound stage.

Sony MDR-7509 Headphones ReviewL Disadvantages, Problems, Cons, and Limitations

As mentioned, we found none too much to complain of on the Sony MDR 7509 headset. But there are a few, albeit VERY few, undesirable qualities.

Non Detachable Coil Cable

The cables are not as easy to replace as they would have been if made detachable.

Too Much Bass

As mentioned, these Sony MDR-7509 headphones seem to favor the low bass frequencies somewhat.  This this can make eardrums hurt a little after extended listening.  You might cut the bass with an audio equalizer.

While they sound pleasant with “flat” music sources, they tend to thump and boom a bit in the very low-end bass range.

Can Make your Ears Sweat

After wearing them a bit, our ears grew warm, but not terribly so.

Picture of a replacement set of ear pads for the Sony MDR 7509 professional studio headphones.
Sony MDR 7509 professional studio monitor headphones replacement ear pads.

Sony MDR-7509 Headphones Review: Our Rating

The Sony MDR-7509 headphones were a good value for the money.  Why?   Because they lack none of the important features found in high quality audio gear.  But perhaps they could improve some of these in minor ways. Nonetheless, we would again buy the MDR-7509.  So we rate overall quality and performance of the Sony MDR-7509 headphones at 93 out of 100.  Thus if $150 to $250 is in your price range for a quality headset, then we highly recommend this Sony product. For the money, you get a bass, clear high end, and a durable pair of quality earphones.

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References for this Sony MDR-7509 Headphones Review

    1. Where to Buy the Sony MDR-7509 Headphones