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PSA: Please stop using Sony MDR7506


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I use 7506/V6 cans and have for years. That happened due it being the standard when I started.

Much like ProTools and Michelin and Sennheiser, they were and are standardized accepted benchmarks.

Not always the best but a standard.

One can work for a long time with a standard and still get great results and notice differences if one is constantly using a standard.


Definitely, there are better sounding headphones and places to go with that.

For me, it's not always about using the best but rather knowing your tools and having a familiarity with it.


When I get in a car I don't drive much, I first off notice things that are different than my car and may like it. But I will need some time to notice things that are off for that flavor of car. It takes a good while to get to the point where I would notice something amiss whereas I will pick it up quickly when driving my car/7506s.


There's truly more decisions to be made in mic placement and wardrobe than there are in headphones in my world.


There's a whole slew of factors in play with selection but for me, I still use and quite like my daily 7506s.

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  • 2 months later...
On 11/10/2019 at 12:20 AM, Dalton Patterson said:

I deal with this conversation regularly on the job. 


Here is a version of my response. 


One day after school a young girl noticed that her mom was cutting off the ends of a pot roast before putting it in the oven to cook for dinner. She had seen her mom do this many times before but had never asked her why. So this time she asked and her mom replied, I don't know why I cut the ends off, but it’s what my mom always did. Why don't you ask your Grandma? The mom may have said this because she didn't think she had the time to think about it. Which is always a mistake. We always have time to think. We just think we don’t.


So the young girl called her grandmother on the phone and said, Grandma why do you cut the ends off the pot roast before cooking it? Her grandmother replied, I don't know. That's just the way my mom always cooked it. Why don't you ask her? ). So, undeterred, the girl called her great grandmother, who was living in a nursing home and asked her the same question - why did you cut the ends off the pot roast before cooking it? (I’m sure she said hello great grandma, how are you, before asking her the question. Being smart is not the same as being rude, in fact the smartest people are often the kindest and most compassionate.) And her great grand mother did not reply “I cut off the ends of the pot roast because that's what my mother did.”


And she did not say because it makes the meat juicier. She said, when I was first married we had a very small oven, and the pot roast didn't fit in the oven unless I cut the ends off.

Whether or not this actually happened the story has a point, a truth. Not just about wasted amounts of cheap cuts of beef. The truth of the tale is about what happens when we don't ask questions, especially simple questions. When we just make assumptions.”


I heard this story before but as a new story (rather than a parable) on a talk radio show and with a roast chicken cut in two. 


There's an important part missing in the way you've told it: An important part is that every person thought their mother's roast chicken tasted great and was better than other's cooking. 


  That's the important part because they were looking for why it tasted so good and immediately fixated on the unusual method that stood out.


 It's a very common human trait to assume a direct causation between something that stands out and a particular result - it's the basis of superstition, very bad science, real witch trials, political populism even (e.g. associating economic downtown with arrival of certain people to their community)... and worse of all, audiophile-nervousa : )


So, your headphones are recommended to you as being great. and then you have a happy client. Automatically you've associated the good result with your headphones and confirmation bias kicks in. So they are in turn recommended to others.  


Could just be that everyone in the chain isn't really listening to the results very clearly and the client is happy because they know no different. 


I am only a hobbyist in this recording field, but as a production carpenter, I am always surprised how happy many end clients can be with really shoddy work! 

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On 6 February 2020 at 10:17 PM, LuckyNat said:


I am only a hobbyist in this recording field, but as a production carpenter, I am always surprised how happy many end clients can be with really shoddy work! 


Nat, you really have to listen to the 7506 if you haven't already. You'll love the experience!


As a carpenter have a look back for a previous recentish post (4 months at a guess) with some lovely wooden cans ...



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  • 1 year later...

I completely agree with the OP. My 7506s were unbelievable when they were new. But they have been left in a drawer for 3 or 4 years because I have only been using loudspeakers lately. 

Last week I had to do some accurate vinyl ripping so I pulled them out and... surprise!!!! Not only the earpads were crumbling (literally), but the sound had changed in a way I couldn't explain: bass and midbass completely gone, treble harsh and overwhelming as if I were listening to loudspeakers with foam suspension damaged. 

Luckily enough in the same drawer I had my old AKG 240 monitor, that I had abandoned  for the Sony: less punchy and tight than the Japanese wreck, but still reliable after more than 15 years. 


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17 hours ago, Faustus said:

[not wishing to misquote, Faustus, just wanted to quote this middle part!]

(...) Not only the earpads were crumbling (literally), but the sound had changed in a way I couldn't explain: bass and midbass completely gone, treble harsh and overwhelming (...)


Not sure if it was because I was the last of the thread previously or because I’ve just had a few socially distant beers bought for me ... but,

I’ve actually recently picked up my FOURTH set of 7506s despite what I’ve said and think about them, this time second hand because they were a cheap extra set of level limited phones which I can always use. All my sets now have crumbling pads (with new covers over them) but the “treble harsh and overwhelming “ was always there from new!


For me, so far, apart from the earpads (in all cases less old than my DT phones where the ear pads are fine) I am pleased to say that they have not changed one bit!



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To the OP, what do you think of NS10’s? Do you have a spot for them in your mix room? I guess they’re more useful in music since it has that boom box sound with hyped mids and highs. I guess in the control rooms that I’ve worked in one can switch between speakers and such. I believe the 7506’s are like the NS10’s. They’re the standard and everyone (or a lot of people) know the sound. I wish I had the opportunity to have a director that pays attention to and cares that much about sound. I feel like the younger newer directors are less keen to give sound a shot to get the best sound. Interesting conversation!

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Ivanovich - excellent comparison; Jim, I’m with you!


But somehow I’ve ended up with two sets of Genelecs, four pairs of Sonys, and not an NS10 in sight. Though I rather like another cheap Yamaha monitor my friend uses ... my cheap choice is the Fostex FM series

edit (new to jw changes sorry)

fostex pm 

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The NS10 do sound awful, but I think thats the point. In the comfort of a control room, you can switch between speakers, and for me NS10’s were for checks, to make sure the mix sounds good on s$&ty speakers. Yes a lot of people put TP or napkins on top of the tweeters. 
Interestingly Barefoot monitors came out with a switch which allows the monitor to mimic the sound of an NS10 and other profiles. Bringing this back to 7506’s, I wonder if through recorders DSP the headphone amp could have the same processing. That is to have different sonic profiles so one could hear the “7506’s”. I think with PSMing we have so many other challenges to deal with, maybe we should just pick your fave pair of cans and stick with that. If you can make great sounding mixes with the cans you like, then its all good.

I believe SD has been pretty innovative lately and I could see them do a DSP monitoring plug in but who knows!

I’m all into the in ear monitors nowadays. Been using the Westones W-30’s and I love them 😎

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  • 2 weeks later...

7506s are the best location sound headphone in my opinion. They are terrible for music and dont sound very good in general,  but because you can hear all the problems very clearly they are the best. With upgraded cushions they are very comfortable. Also they are well priced and fairly reliable, and they are easy to fix or replace, and they fold, and the cushion on top is nice to rest a boom on, and the list goes on..

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  • 3 weeks later...

I really like where this has led.  I’m in the “I realize it’s imperfect but it tells me the important stuff” category.

The OP seems to assume it’s some kind of choice.  “Oh hey the lavs aren’t clear enough, let’s just move them to where they’re clearer.  I’ll be able to tell because of my headphones, which are way better than the headphones everyone else uses.”  But forgot to add the fantasy “The AD, DP, wardrobe, talent, hair, and everyone else in the crew will let you do whatever you need.”  I mean come on!  It’s not always t shirts and skin mics!


To be honest, a better set of cans would make me die a little more than normal each day.  They would allow me to better hear the clothing noise, gennys, footfalls, prop noise, extras noise, walkies, water bottles - I’d hate it!

I use 7506s because I use the HNs.  They are the only option inside the HN cans from Remote Audio.  If there were an alternative I’d be open to it.


HNs have the guts of a set of 7506s.  Maybe they are extra sealed or something, but my 15 year old pair sound just as bassy and full as the five year old ones.  I did start using the newest ones when they were new, and did not notice any differences from the pair that was ten years older.  Tldr, I have not heard a change in performance with the 7506s in any HNs.  Maybe it’s different because they are in that cool beefy housing?


Dan Izen

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