Sony MDR V500DJ Professional DJ Headphones Review

WE owned the Sony MDR-V500DJ Professional DJ Headphones for twenty years. So we’ve used them with many and varied CD players, iPods, mixing boards, headphone amps, and headphone pre amps. We found them exceptional audio devices in so many aspects on our mobile disc jockey gigs.

These dynamic earphones offer probably the best sound of any unit in their price class. They reproduce the high frequencies clearly. Plus, not too strong on the bass either, especially once you get used to them.

Actually, the reduced bass output makes these pro DJ phones quite suitable for mixer monitor listening.  How so?  Because many DJ mixers tend to be heavy on the bass anyhow. We found this headset the best-sounding for the cost.

Given the relatively cheap price, we don’t have too many gripes about them.  Well, except that the pads wear out too quickly.  E.g. After only two years for us. We’ve replaced them a few times now. But you can get replacements for roughly $20 a pair. So periodic pad replacement is but a minor concern.

So if $50 to $100 is all you’d want to spend on earphones, then we highly recommend the MDR-V500DJs. For that cost, you get a fairly flat and durable pair of quality phones.

Benefits, Pros, Features, and Advantages of the Sony MDR-V500DJ Professional DJ Headphones

Lightweight DJ Headphones

I found these extremely light on the gigs; especially after having adapted to wearing the Koss Tech 2 for eleven years prior. This offering is even lighter than my Sennheiser HD-650.  Easy to whip on and off while going between cuing music and accepting requests from party patrons.

Long Wearing Comfort

Thus, I could wear these for many hours at a stretch without discomfort. The music will fatigue your head before these phones fatigue your ears.

Noise Reducing

They reduced surrounding noise adequately, which is a feature their closed-air design. They have a black metal plate on the back of each can.  This encloses the driver speaker. So it helps keep program sound in, and ambient noise out.

Soft Muffs

There are foamy, soft ear cushions. They coat these with a thin, highly flexible black film. This gives them a soft, leathery feel, which raises comfort even more.

Circular Cans / Cups

The black ear cushions sport circular-shaped openings, that supply additional comfort when wearing these headphones.

Over-Ear Design

The cushions have oval-shaped openings that work well as an ear-surrounding or over-the-ear design.  Much better for disc jockeys than earbuds.

The Drivers on the Sony MDR-V500DJ Headphones Rest Very Close to Ear Entrance

The round and soft cushions are medium size. But they’re not too deep. Thus, the front of the driver touches the ear gently. But this does not detract from comfy but long listening periods.

Adjustable Size Headband

The MDRV500DJs offer a wide range of headband adjustment.   So they can fit most any head.  Thus, we’ve never had trouble finding the right setting to prevent the cans from pressing too hard against eyeglasses. So, we need not remove our glasses at all while listening.

Same Soft Padding on Headband as Found on Ear Cushions

The headband includes spongy soft padding as well that further enhances overall comfort. These phones indeed feel as comfortable as they sound good.

Look as Good as They Sound

They look like they sound as well. The unit is black with silver trim. Plus, it has a red and gold “Digital” sticker on the back of each phone. This look gives them a modern, hi-tech luster.

Compact, Fold-Up Speakers

It offers “retractable” earpieces. They fold up inside the headband.  So, this shrinks the overall unit size enough to fit into the included small black pouch.

You can Drive the Sony MDR-V500DJ Headphones Easily

The MDR-V500DJ plays quite loud. This means that these headphones work well for widely varying musical volume.

Exceptional Headroom

Can play plenty loud. They have good dynamic range over most of the audio frequency band. You find large dynamic range like this in classical music. But these phones play it well, from the softest of the soft to the loudest of the loud.

Plenty of Volume and Treble

For pop music listening, these play loud enough to hurt the ears.

Repairable Coil Cord

While the connecting audio cable is not detachable via unplugging it, replacement is not terribly difficult.  You can buy new cables as well from many vendors. These parts they still sell even today, nearly two decades since Sony sold the MDR-V500DJ headset.

Non Symmetrical Shaped Earpieces

Wear these with equal comfort either way. E.g. The left earphone on left ear. Or the left earphone on right ear. Further, the angle adjustment on each earpiece makes this this feature possible.  We use it when hearing those cheaper hit compilation CDs. On these, we often find that the stereo left and right channels are backwards. And being the purists that we are, we indeed want to hear the stereo right.

The Sony MDR-V500DJ Headphones are Noise Isolating

They cut outside noise pretty well.  They use a metal plate that boxes in the driver speaker in each earpiece. Indeed this helps keep sound both in and out.  Thus, there’s not much audio spill from the MDR-V500DJ headphones. Thus, these are a good choice when you wish not to disturb others nearby.

Flat Sounds Great

There’s no need to use an equalizer to cut down on the bass response of the MDR-V500DJ headphones. They sound pretty good with “flat” music sources indeed.

A bit strong on the mid-range audio though. But they’re not so bad that they need an equalizer. Yet one does make them sound much better when you lower the mid-range a little.

Disadvantages, Cons, Limitations, and Problems of the Sony MDR-V500DJ Professional DJ Headphones

Bigger Ear Openings Needed

These openings for the ears are rather small, such that my ears just barely fit inside. Thus the inner edges of the leathery cushion rims always touch my ears. This might be a problem with other headphones, whose earcushions are not as soft as those found here. But this causes no discomfort with these studio monitors.

The Sony MDR-V500DJ Headphones Have Somewhat Low Bass Output

These phones have notably less bass than the MDR-V700DJs. Plus, the base here you can easily distort if you boost it with an equalizer.

Short Life Ear Cushions

The ear cushions begin flaking and pealing only a year or two after purchase. They’ve left little black specks in our hair.

No Longer Made

We’re sorry that Sony stopped manufacturing the MDR-V500DJ headphones.  We miss them, and feel that the good sound they produced has not gone out of style.  So it’s confusing as to why these are no longer sold new.

Non Detachable Cable

The cables are more difficult to replace than they would have been, had they been made detachable.

Not Completely Flat Output

These earphones favor the higher mid-range frequencies. So this punch can cause ear ringing after hours of gigging. To cut this effect, we we trim down these frequencies with an equalizer.

Our Rating for the Sony MDR-V500DJ Professional Headphones

We find the Sony MDR-V500DJ audio headphones to be decent for our listening and DJ purposes. So we would definitely purchase them again, and would rate them at 95 out of 100.

Where to Buy the Sony MDR-V500DJ Professional DJ Headphones

These are widely available on eBay and Amazon.  Look for them in a clear plastic box, that shows the headphones inside, and is black in color.

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Suggested Reading

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  8. Apple Headphones Volume Control Gripe
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References for Sony MDR-V500DJ Headphones

Revision History

  • 2019-08-29: Added key word targeting for ‘Sony MDR-V500DJ’, removed ad code, and added more links and tags.
  • 2017-02-23: Originally published.