Sony Headphones Chester VA
Colonial Heights, VA
Audio / Video, Home Automation / Systems Integration / Home Networking, Home Theater, Multi-Room Audio, Security / Access Control / Surveillance / Gate Access
Denon Pro, Marantz, Artison, Canton, Proficient Audio, Episode, Velodyne, Universal Remote, RTI, Epson, Panasonic Pro, Samsung Pro, JVC Pro, Honeywell, Elk, HAI, On-q, Harmon Kardon, Russound Sphere
One or more employees at this company have achieved CEDIA Professional Certification status:- Lonnie Stabler, CEDIA Certified Professional Designer
Home Automation / Systems Integration / Home Networking, Home Theater, Lighting Control, Multi-Room Audio, Security / Access Control / Surveillance / Gate Access
Bose, PolkAudio, Marantz, Russound, Niles, Samsung, Harman Kardon, Pioneer, Panasonic
One or more employees at this company have achieved CEDIA Professional Certification status:- George Clifford, CEDIA Certified Professional EST II- Henry Clifford, CEDIA Certified Professional EST II- Mike Longo, CEDIA Certified Professional EST II- Marshall Lupejkis, CEDIA Certified Professional EST II- Mark Polansky, CEDIA Certified Professional EST II
Colonial Heights, VA
Audio / Video, Furnishings, Home Theater, Multi-Room Audio, Multi-Room Video, Wire and Cable / Power Management, iPhone / iPad integration
Colorado vNet, Onkyo, Pioneer, Nuvo, Canton, Russound, Panasonic, Jvc, JBL, Da-lite, Denon, On-Q, Legrand, Proficient, Pinnacle, Velodyne, Panamax, Universal Remote Control
One or more employees at this company have achieved CEDIA Professional Certification status:- Raymond Rooks, CEDIA Certified Professional EST II
Home Audio, Design & Installation
as reviewed by Ed Kobesky
Winter comes early to my chunk of the planet. Maybe that's why I've been on a serious headphone bender—with a Discman and a set of cans, I can curl up in whatever wing of the house is nearest the sun. Luckily, I've had plenty of headphones to choose from lately. I recently picked up some Grado SR60s, and I'm reviewing Beyerdynamic's new DT880s. I won't make you wait for my reviews to tell you that both are outstanding, even remarkable, yet it's a set of Sony—yes, Sony—headphones that I'm recommending today. Keep reading, though, because there are some serious conditions attached.
Sony's MDR-7506 headphones are part of their Professional line, and sell for a reasonable $100 nearly everywhere (retail is $130). You'll probably recognize them as the headphones of choice for many recording studios and movie sets, but they also qualify as audiophile cans, except at home, where they leave a lot to be desired. Plugged into the headphone jack of good components, they're thin, bright, and nasty on top, with soupy bass below. HeadRoom's excellent Little headphone amp (with the optional Premium Module) laid bare their other shortcomings. The bass tightened up, yet the sound was not only lean but dull and decidedly unmusical. I was ready to chuck them until I plugged them directly into some downright lame equipment. Ta-dah! The Sonys began making music.
Why? I guess you could ask Sony, for all the good it would do. Rather than wait to hear from a 23-year-old product manager, I formulated my own answer. Here goes: The MDRs, given their role as monitoring devices, are designed to be plugged into a wide range of equipment, from expensive mixing boards to low-end handheld video cameras. Driven by good amplification, as in a recording studio, they'll be ruthlessly revealing, precisely as they should be, yet less highly resolving sources benefit from their high sensitivity. My $60 Sony portable CD player (model D-EJ368CK) is a sluggish source, as I discovered when I tried it with the HeadRoom Little and my Sennheiser HD580s, yet connected to the MDRs, it produced plenty of detail, and its wimpy output sanded off all of the overtly rough edges. I've been using this as my travel system ever since.
But aren't the Grado SR60s superior in every way? Yes, they are. Unfortunately, because they are an open-back design, they let in all kinds of outside noise—the college party in the hotel room next door, crying babies in an airline terminal, and every other nerve-shredding sound I don't want to hear when I'm on the road. Without resorting to noise-canceling circuitry, which sacrifices sound quality, the closed-back MDRs reduce much of the din, allowing me to truly relax. They're also comfortable. They surround my ears, though just barely. Folks with big heads may find that they sit on their ears, not around them, which could be a problem. They don't give B...