First released in 1985, the Sony MDRV6 is considered a classic headphone.
Despite the arrival of newer, higher-end models, it remains one of the most preferred headphones by DJs, music producers, hobbyists, and even casual users worldwide.
If you’re thinking of getting these headphones, it might be best to learn more about them first.
In this Sony MDRV6 studio monitor headphones review, we’ll dig deeper into its design and features, benefits, and drawbacks.
This way, you can confidently decide if it’s the right audio gear for you.
Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones Review
The MDRV6 is a headset system initially designed for digital audio production.
For more than three decades, it has become a favorite tool of sound engineers and audio mixers.
Over the years, however, Sony has released a series of improved versions, such as the MDR-V600, MDR-7506, and MDR-7509HD.
Among these models, the MDRV6 is the most affordable, priced at less than 100 dollars.
Who Is This Product For?
Let us start our Sony MDRV6 studio monitor headphones review by talking about who it is made for.
Essentially, it is for audio professionals who want a compact and inexpensive pair of headphones.
You’ll see these headphones worn a lot by people in recording studios, newsrooms, film and video production, and more.
Some also use them for vlogging and podcasting.
That said, even if they are professional headphones, the MDRV6 is also a popular choice among casual users, hobbyists, travelers, and office workers.
The MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones arrive wrapped in fun packaging.
Right through the box’s window, you will see that the headphones are tucked in a bed of cozy red satin fabric.
Included in the box are a soft case, a quarter-inch adapter, and a certificate of authenticity.
The carrying case comes in the form of a leatherette drawstring bag with the SONY name embossed on the front.
While the case is well-made, a hard-shell case would have been more preferable, especially if you travel a lot.
It will ensure that your headphones won’t get pressed even if you place them in the innermost part of your bag or luggage.
By the way, the MDRV6 comes with a 90-day limited warranty.
Under this coverage, Sony will repair or replace a new or refurbished product if it has been determined to be defective.
Overview of the Features
Now let’s get into the meaty part of the discussion—the features. After all, the MDRV6 is loved by many professional users for several reasons.
Let’s take a look at the features that set these headphones apart from their competitors.
- Over-Ear Design
The MDRV6 is an over-ear headphone with large oval-shaped cushions that fully encompass the ears.
Such a design provides comfort and creates a seal around the ears, significantly cutting out external noise.
As such, they provide a better soundstage for a more immersive listening experience.
No wonder why music producers and audio engineers widely use the MDRV6.
- Rugged and Solid Build
The MDRV6 headphones feature a plastic construction. Even so, it feels pretty rugged and solid.
Since it’s mostly made of plastic, one major benefit of the MDRV6 is that it’s pretty lightweight.
It weighs eight ounces, slightly lighter than an average full-size headphone.
Its outer ear cups are made of metal, and the hinges seem reasonably durable.
Meanwhile, both the plug and adapters are made of metal, and the cable is copper.
Overall, the MDRV6 is a pretty tough pair of professional headphones built to take a lot of abuse.
We’ve heard many stories and reviews saying that the MDVR6 can last for more than 10 years.
Among the parts, the earcups are most prone to wear and tear. Luckily, you can always get replacement pads for about 30 bucks.
Furthermore, the V6 features a folding design, which means both the earcups snap inward toward the adjustable headband.
When folded, it has a size similar to a typical computer mouse, so it’s easier to store in tight spaces in your bag or drawer.
- Improved Comfort
If you use headphones for work, you probably want a pair that gives you the most comfort.
Generally speaking, you’ll find the MDRV6 comfortable to wear even for long periods.
Since it’s incredibly lightweight, it’s ideal for small ears and heads. Plus, the headband is nicely padded, so it feels good over your head.
Another thing that adds to its comfort is the headphone’s lightweight build.
The V6 barely feels like you’re wearing headphones. However, if you wear glasses, you might notice a slight discomfort.
Even though it may not be the most comfortable, we appreciate that the clamp is light enough.
What’s more, the ear pads are deep enough for extended listening periods.
That said, take note that the materials of the pads might get your ears a little sweaty in the summer or during hot days.
- Noise Isolation
The MDRV6 uses passive noise cancellation in which the earcups create a tight seal to block external noise.
At the same time, it prevents sound leakage to the outside.
With these headphones on, you’re less likely to disturb other people inside the bus or plane while you listen to your favorite tracks.
The MDRV6 has a sensitivity rating of 106 dB, about 10 dB more than most headphones, even those that sell at premium prices.
You don’t need to crank the volume up to enjoy your music, even if you’re listening from your iPod or camcorder.
- Sound Quality
There’s a good reason why the MDRV6 is still in the market for more than 30 years, and that’s the superior sound quality.
Overall, these headphones produce a smooth and clear sound.
You will find that the bass is punchy but not too overpowering.
The mids and highs are good, although some people think it’s a little too trebly, especially if you turn the volume up.
Even so, these headphones feature a sharp, crisp, and dynamic soundstage, thanks to the large earcups that create a nice seal around the ears.
Moreover, the MDVR6 excels in almost all musical genres and is loved by many DJs and audio engineers for their near-flat response quality.
A flat response means that it doesn’t change the sound in any way as it outputs all frequencies at equal levels.
In other words, no frequency is boosted or cut, so you hear the sound the way it’s supposed to sound directly from the source.
Lastly, the V6 has a frequency response range of five to 30000 Hz.
With this broad range, you’ll be able to enjoy a wide range of music without too much distortion.
As expected from a classic pair of headphones, the MDRV6 connects to your audio devices via a wired connection.
The cord is 10 feet long and isn’t detachable.
For some, this is a drawback because it means you can’t replace the cord or remove it for storage purposes.
The good thing is that the cord is made of oxygen-free copper, which is resistant to corrosion and can last a long time.
Another advantage is that the cord is coiled, which is ideal if you’re after portability and freedom of movement.
Finally, the cable is terminated with a 3.5mm plug.
Nevertheless, the package comes with an additional screw-on 6.3mm adapter plug for versatility.
- Crisp, well-balanced sound
- Very durable
- Excellent bass response
- Not comfortable if you wear glasses
- The cable isn’t detachable
How To Get the Most Out of It
The MDRV6 headphones feature a rugged design, making them suitable for heavy-duty use.
You can use them for a variety of audio production tasks, such as creating, mixing, and editing.
They also offer enough clarity for audio repair projects and dialog editing.
Check out these tips to maximize your use of the MDRV6:
- Use an Amp/DAC.
Generally, studio monitor headphones don’t need an amp, as they will sound pretty loud enough with any of your portable devices.
However, if you need a little more boost, you can add a portable Amp/DAC.
These studio monitors have a high impedance (60 ohms), which is why they are more suitable for in-studio applications.
For some context, headphones with higher impedance are less likely to get damaged by overloading or when used with more powerful amplifiers.
- Store Them Properly.
As mentioned, it’s best to get a good hard case to store your headphones in.
This is very important especially if you travel a lot.
Your headphones can get easily smashed or bent out if you carry them around in your purse or the soft fabric bag they came in.
- Give the Earpads Extra TLC.
The earpads are the most susceptible to wear and tear because of their constant exposure to sweat, oil, and dirt.
To prevent cracking or peeling, always clean them by wiping them with a dry, soft cloth or cotton swabs.
At this point, you have a better sense of whether or not the V6 is the best headphone for you.
Here are a few alternatives if this audio device falls short of your expectations in some areas:
Some people say that the Sony MDRV6 isn’t great for traveling because it’s less compact and portable.
If you travel a lot, you may find the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x a better fit for two reasons.
One is that its cord is detachable. Secondly, it lies flat against your device when folded instead of folding like a ball.
Performance-wise, both the MDRV6 and MDR-7506 are undeniably reliable, and they sell at the same price point.
For most music and audio work, the V6 is a great choice.
However, for DSLR video monitoring, the MDR-7506 is the better option.
While the sound quality is very similar, the MDR-7506 is optimized for professional monitoring.
It lets you hear clicks, noise, pops, and other forms of distortion.
It also has a bit more bass, although it lacks refinement on the treble.
Is the Sony MDRV6 Any Good?
Do you need a pair of digital audio headphones that deliver a crisp and rich sound with a near-flat response?
If so, the Sony MDRV6 studio monitor headphones make an excellent choice.
It packs a punch for its smooth and clear sound quality, durability, comfort, and affordability.
For its price point, you will find that the V6 is the real deal, especially if you’d be using it for recording, mixing, and audio editing.