The Sony MDR-V6 has been in production for over 30 years. Sony has since released multiple successors to the V6 including the MDR V600, MDR 7506 and MDR 7509HD.
With the release of these follow-up models, Sony has since discontinued the V6. A truly classic headphone is still a popular favorite for music professionals all over the world. Having over 2,000 reviews on Amazon, with a current average rating of 4.6/5.
With so much attention and a long reputation, we at Unbeatable Sound had to review the MDR V6 to test its true potential.
|Item Weight||10.6 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||3.9 x 4.2 x 8.6 inches|
|Shipping Weight||1.3 pounds|
Out of the box, the MDR V6 is assembled in a premium gold tinted box and settled in a red satin fabric. When you first open the box you feel as if you were unboxing headphones back in 1985. The V6 is extremely lightweight, weighing in at only 0.5 lbs! Which is definitely one of the lightest weight headphones we have ever reviewed. Though like many modern headphones, the build is made mostly of plastic. Additionally, they have 63-ohms, which is slightly lower than some other headphones in its current price range. The ear pads are thinly padded but are replaceable for about $10. Although the headband, as well as the ear pads, are surprisingly comfortable for lengthy listening. The coil cable is about 10 feet long and is connected to the left ear cup. The cable has no microphone control, which may not be the best choice for mobile users.
The V6 is an older design and definitely shows it’s true quality. Portability is convenient since the V6 is so lightweight and accessible for on the go use. The ear pieces also fold under the headband for a compact feel. Fitting nicely into the black leather bag available within the original boxing. In conclusion, the MDR V6’s design is very solid though made primarily of plastic, extremely lightweight for on-the-go use, comfortable for lengthy periods of listening and strong enough to withstand moderate to heavy usage.
In regards to the original release date of this headphone, the sound quality is surprising exceptional. If you are expecting to get the next best Sony headphone in their MDR-Series, the MDR V6 might not be for you. More recently released headphones in Sony’s MDR-Series, like the MDR 7506, MDR 1A and the MDR XB950 all offer better sound quality for under $200. Though the V6 would more likely be better for someone looking to enjoy music on-the-go and is not looking to do any professional studio recording. Although you could use the V6 for studio recording, mixing and mastering, but Sony and other brands like Audio-Technica offer better options for studio use for the same price point.
When testing this headphone to multiple genres of music, we found that the V6 delivers a stunning level of bass without overemphasizing. Though mids sounded poorly and gave a muffled range. While highs offered great drum and bass accents that were enjoyable to listen to. Interestingly, the highs and lows for the V6 were surprising good considering the release date of this headphone.
Due to the significant price drop since the original release date, Sony’s MDR V6 is still among the best headphones under $100. Offering great sound quality for a headphone originally released over 30 years ago! For the price of this headphone, there are only a few headphones available under $100 to compete with its unbeatable quality. When compared to Audio-Technica’s ATH M50X, the V6 delivered a better level of bass but not as smooth of treble. The M50X also offers better results when in the studio while the MDR V6 was average. While at similar the price points, for only $50 more you can get better results when used professionally, but for $50 less, you can have the same amount of listening enjoyment as the M50X
The M50 had more bass oomph, but the MDR-V6’s definition and clarity in the low frequencies were just a wee bit better. In the midrange — pianos, guitars, and vocals — the M50 had more body, but the MDR-V6 sounded clearer. The M50 has less forward treble, which I like. I found the MDR-V6’s high-frequencies brighter (more forward), but not so bright that they became annoying.
The spacious soundstage I heard from Brian Eno’s ambient classic “Music for Films” CD was impressive on both headphones, but when I added it all up, I gave the nod to the M50 for its richer sound and better comfort. However, it’s nearly twice as expensive as the MDR-V6.
Comparing the MDR-V6 with the Sony was interesting. The two headphones look almost identical and sound similar, with a few key differences. First, the V6 produces a little more bass, but the MDR-7506 is leaner, and its treble range is accentuated. The MDR-V6 sounds more laid-back and mellower, while the MDR-7506 crisper and livelier. I’d go for Sony MDR-V6, but others may prefer the MDR-7506.
Evaluating all aspects of the Sony MDR-V6, we have formed a solid analysis about these headphones. Many features have changed since the original release in 1980, from portability to sound quality, the HD 380 has some major improvements. The appearance of the 380 is still simple and the build quality does not offer anything special or premium. Though the sound quality surely makes up for its plastic build. The bass is tight and controlled, Highs and mids are evenly leveled, lows are great and go as low as 8hz, while the EQ response is excellent. But where the bass quality truly shines is during gaming or movie watching. 380’s portability is convenient, lightweight and foldable for on-the-go use. While the value of is most likely the best aspect of the HD 380, averaging around $150.
If you looking for headphones with excellent sound quality without emptying your wallet, Sony MDR-V6 is for you. Though if you are looking for headphones for professional studio use for under $200, I would recommend Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro or the Audio-Technica’s ATH-M50X over the V6. Particularly for those who have been within the music industry for awhile. Overall, I would recommend these headphones for music lovers seeking a convenient and portable headphone with excellent sound quality for under $200.