Sony MDR-7509HD Studio Monitor Professional Headphones Review




The Sony MDR 7509HD studio monitor professional headphones  worked very well for the year that we owned them, and in that time, we played them with many CD players, televisions, iPods, and headphone amps. Found them to be pretty fair audio devices in several respects. The MDR-7509HDs 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 significantly more.  But they may be more comfortable and encompassing, and sport a fuller, more realistic sound.

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

There was little to gripe about in this product, as it looked as though Sony had improved the earcushions over their earlier headsets, so as not to deteriorate so quickly and make such a flaky mess. The pair we bought were used, but the cushions showed no signs of wear or degradation. Still though, replacement ear cups are available if needed.

 

Benefits, Features, Advantages, and Pros of the Sony MDR-7509HD Studio Monitor Professional Headphones

  • Comfortable ear cushions.  The 7509HD, 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 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 I’ve adjusted them properly.  These are thus, more of an around-the-ear design, as opposed to the over-ear design.
  • More depth to the ear cups.  The rear wall inside the cups (the front of the driver speaker) touched my ear but not as heavily as did the smaller MDR-7506 phones. But again with the overall softness of these cushions and the cloth that covers the driver, this never interfered with long and comfortable listening periods.
  • Retractable speaker units.  This mdr 7509HD product 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 phones.  They’re are a bit heavier than I was 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 my eyeglasses. Thus, I never need to remove the glasses while wearing them, and I never need to straighten out my eyeglasses when I’m done.  I found this product moderately light for its size and sound.
  • Unobtrusive headband.  The headband includes malleable stuffing as well that raises overall comfy ness. Sony coated the wide and flexible headband with a black, shiny material that closely approximates the sheen of the cushions. Like all the headphones in the Sony line that I’ve tried, 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.
  • True audio reproduction, even at high volumes.  Their 50mm speaker drivers 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 disassembled for maintenance.  While the connecting audio cable cannot be unplugged from the unit, replacement goes easily with a screwdriver, cutters, a soldering iron.
  • Long wearable.  Thus, I could wear them for hours per listening session without discomfort. The music you’re listening to will bug you before these headphones themselves will.
  • Parts readily available.  New cables and cushions can easily be found from numerous Internet vendors.
  • Asymmetrical design.  The headphones can be worn with equal 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 these a good choice when other close-by people wish not to be bothered.
  • Ruggedly built.  These phones are quite tolerant of ill-treatment for a high fidelity headset. I’ve often dropped them on hard tables and floors with no bad effects.
  • Gold 3.5 mm connector   is provided.
  • Magnets remain fully magnetized, virtually forever.  Strong neodymium magnets for high efficiency and full sound.
  • 50 mm drivers.  Plus, the drivers (speakers) are very large (50 millimetres), for a truly enveloping sound stage, that offer very full bass yet crystal clear treble.

 

Disadvantages, Problems, Cons, and Limitations of the Sony MDR-7509HD Studio Monitor Professional Headphones

  • Non detachable coil cable.  The cables are not as easy to replace as they would have been if made detachable.
  • Too much bass emphasis.  As mentioned, these Sony stereo headphones seem to favor the low bass frequencies somewhat, and this can make my eardrums hurt a little after prolonged listening.  You may need to cut back the bass response with an equalizer. While they sound pleasant with “flat” music sources, they do tend to thump and boom a bit in the extremely low-end bass range. But this can easily be compensated for with minor equalizer adjustments.
  • Can make your ears sweat.  After wearing them a bit, my ears became warm, but not terribly so.
  • No longer made.

 

Product Rating

These earphones were a good value for the money, because they lack none of the important features found in high quality pro audio gear, though perhaps some of them could be improved in minor ways. Nonetheless, we would again buy the MDR-7509HD, and would rate their overall quality performance at 95 out of 100.  So if $150 to $250 is in your price range for a quality headset, then we highly recommend this Sony product. For this money, you get a bassy frequency response but with a clear high end, and a durable, substantial pair of quality professional audio earphones.

 

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References

Revision History

  • 2017-02-24: Originally published.