picture of the Sony MDR V6 studio monitor headphones, showing coiled cable, connector, and the headphones.

Sony MDR V6 Studio Headphones Review

We listened to the Sony MDR V6 Studio Monitor Headphones  for several months in 2006. Played them over many evenings with several CD players, iPods, headphone amps, mixing boards, radios, and computer sound cards. WE thought them exceptional headsets for many reasons.  We’ve owned more Sony headsets than any other brand so far, and the MDR V6 is certainly one of their best for the money.

Sony MDR V6 Studio Headphones Introduction

They look and perform very much like the Sony MDR-V500  and  MDR-7506 units in terms of the qualities listed next.  We discuss these headsets further at these links.

  • Overall sound.
  • Weight.
  • Comfort.
  • Ear cushion style.
  • Ease of ear cushion replacement.
  • Headband composition.
  • Size adjustment.
  • Cabling.
Picture of the Sony V6 studio monitor headphones, original package, front view.
Sony V6 studio monitor headphones, original package, front view. Sony MDR V6 headphones review.

The only real difference we found between the MDR-7506 headphones and these, is that the MDR-7506s come with gold-plated 3.5mm connectors. The MDR-V6s and MDR V500s appear to have either nickel or silver-plated connectors. However, we heard no difference in performance due to the gold connectors. Otherwise, just about everything said about these other headphones, also applies to the MDR-V6.

Given how little the MDR-V6 costs (less than $100 on eBay currently), we found little to gripe about, except that the ear cushions.  These quickly wear out (after less than two years). We had to replace them on our set because they begin shedding bits and pieces of the fake leather coating. But you can buy new ear cushions for roughly $10 a pair on eBay.  Or, buy them right from Sony. So this drawback is minor.

Therefore, if $50 to $100 is all you care to spend on a quite-adequate pair of earphones, then we suggest these. For the money, you get a decently flat and hard-wearing pair of quality earphones.  They work well in the studio, in transit, and in just about any casual listening environment.

Picture of the Sony MDR V6 studio monitor headphones, original package, back view, showing specifications.
Sony MDR V6 studio monitor headphones, original package, back view, showing specifications.

Pros, Benefits, Features, and Advantages of the Sony MDR V6 Monitor Earphones

Very Light

In fact, they’re light enough, and offer a wide enough range of headband adjustment, that they do not press too hard against my eyeglasses. So we could wear them for hours at a time without any discomfort at all.

Soft Headband

The headband features spongy padding as well that enhances overall comfort.  It matches the sheen and texture of the ear cushions. These phones feel as comfortable, as they sound good.

Comfort and Great Sound Together

They feel as good as they sound, and look as good as they sound too. They’re black with silver trim with a red and gold “For Digital” sticker on the back of each driver case. So they have a simple yet elegant, sleek, and modern hi-tech veneer.

Foldable Speakers on the Sony MDR V6 Studio Monitor Headphones

The MDR-V6 headphones offer fold-able ear pieces, which withdraw up into the headband. This shrinks the bulk of the unit to a small enough size, that it fits in the included black pouch for protection from dust and liquid spills.

Not Afraid to Get Loud

They play loud enough, with the wide dynamic range over most audio frequencies. This suits them particularly for widely varying musical volume levels, such as found in classical music.

Low Distortion

For listing to the more “always-loud” pop style music, these earphones can play sufficiently loud to sting my ears without any noticeable gain in distortion or fidelity loss.

Great High Frequency Response

These Sony headphones replicate the high frequencies with crisp, crystal clarity.

Cable Replacement Fairly Easy on the Sony MDR V6 Studio Monitor Headphones

While you cannot disconnect the audio cable from the unit, replacement is easy with a screwdriver, cutters, and a soldering iron. We’ve done several.  Find new cables for the MDR-V6 from many internet vendors including eBay.

Fit Well Either Way

Wear them comfortably either way (left earphone on left ear, or left earphone on right ear).  So they work well when single-ear monitoring, especially when you get tired of the one earpiece.  You can switch to the other without much change in the fit.

Decent Noise Isolation

They reduce surrounding noise well for somewhat quiet environments; a hallmark of their closed-air design. A metal back plate boxes in each speaker in each earpiece.  This helps keep sound both in and out. Thus you get little audio leakage. So, use these when other people are near, and wish to be uninterrupted.

Rugged Build

Despite their lightness, these phones appear very forgiving of abuse. I’ve often dropped them on hard floors with no resulting problems. They’re not easily broken, and thus, hold up well in rough listening locations such as studios, DJ gigs, and overnight bus rides.

The Sony MDR V6 Studio Monitor Headphones Work Well with iPod and iPhone

An iPod drives them sufficiently. Plus, they spare the heavy bass. The lower bass levels makes these phones quite nice for iPod listening, since iPods are heavy on the bass anyhow. We used these stereo phones with iPods on lots of train trips.  Found them comfortable enough to sleep by.

Sound Great on Flat

They sound pretty nice with “flat” music sources. While a trifle strong on the high mid-range audio, they’re not so bad as to need an equalizer. But an equalizer does make them sound spectacular when you lower the mid-range just a bit. Be careful of too much bass. This can make the Sony drivers rattle, and potentially blow them.

Leather Like Appearance

These headphones sport foamy, soft ear cushions, coated with a thin, resilient black film that gives them a soft, shiny, leathery texture.

Around Ear Design

The ear cushions have oval-shaped openings that allow them to work nicely as an ear-surrounding design. These medium-sized silky soft ear pads, but not too deep. Thus, the speaker grill inside and at the back of the ear cup touches the ear sometimes. But again with the overall softness and the cloth that covers the driver, this does not detract from long periods of comfy listening.

Oxygen Free Cord on the Sony MDR V6 Studio Monitor Headphones

They come equipped with a 10-foot oxygen free copper cord that ends at the 3.5mm plug; Sony also includes a 1/4-inch TRS adapter.

Wide Audio Response

The frequency response is exceptional, at 5 Hz to 30 kHz, and the neodymium driver magnets make these phones highly responsive and efficient. Also, the low-mass aluminum voice coil enhances audio reproductive accuracy.

Cons, Disadvantages, Problems, and Limitations of the Sony MDR V6 Studio Headphones 

Given how cheaply priced these Sony headphones are, we found little to  complain about in them. Sony offers a top-notch earphone product.  But here are several gripes that did occur to us:

No Gold Connectors

These phones are not equipped with gold connectors; which provide the most reliable connection to the audio source. But I never had problems with corrosion or other forces to which a gold connector is immune.

Non Detachable Cable

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

Ear Cushions Don’t Last Long

Surprising of this Sony product, the ear cushions begin flaking and pealing less than a year after purchase. But this affects neither the comfort, nor the sound.

The Sony MDR V6 Studio Monitor Headphones Offer a Strong Mid Range Response

As mentioned, these headphones favor the mid-range frequencies. This can leave us with ringing ears after long listening sessions. We find this a trait of many mid-level Sony headsets.

Speakers Almost too Small for Our Ears

Our ears just barely fit inside the ear cup openings. Therefore, the inner edges of the cushion rims always touch our ears. This might be a problem with other phones, whose ear cushions are not as soft as those here. But this causes little discomfort.

Easy to Drive Speakers into Distortion

The drivers can rattle at surprisingly low volume levels with bassy audio content.  However I did not observe this in evey pair I tested.

Picture of the Replacement ear pads in black for the Sony MDR V6 studio monitor headphones.
Replacement ear pads in black for the Sony MDR V6 studio monitor headphones.

Our Rating on the Sony MDR V6 Headphones

We thought these studio monitor headphones a fine headset and fairly priced too.  They served well for our listening needs. The Sony MDR V6 unit lacks but a small list of the features we seek in a truly great pair of headphones. But this does not disqualify them from the truly great stature they’ve earned. So we would eagerly buy them again.  Thus, we rate them at 95 out of 100.

Where to Buy the Sony MDR V6 Headphones

You can buy Sony products at Amazon and eBay, and you may occasionally see these headphones at the high-tech audio shops.

References for this Sony MDR V6 Studio Monitor Headphones Review

  1. Sony MDR-V6 (MDRV6) Pro Headphones Review on CNET
  2. Where to buy the   Sony MDR-V6 Earphones

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Suggested Reading

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  2. Bose Wave Music System First Generation Review
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  5. Koss Earbud Headphones KEB30K Headset Review

Revision History

  • 2019-02-25: Added key phrase targeting and more subheadings and tags.
  • 2017-02-23: Revised the tags list.
  • 2015-09-30: Added appropriate tags.
  • 2014-11-25: Extended the References section, updated internal links, repositioned ads, added whitespace, and tweaked the content.
  • 2012-08-23: Published originally.