A good pair of headphones is an essential piece of gear for any producer. They can help give you a different perspective when mastering a track or allow you to work on your beats without pestering any neighbors or roommates.
Needing a good quality pair of headphones is one thing, but choosing the right pair of headphones to meet your needs and standards in the studio is a whole different story.
Two of the most popular studio headphones out right now in 2021, are the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro and the Sony MDR-7506. Both pairs are very good, with head to head stats, but which one is right for you?
Overall, the choice between the two headphones comes down to preference as both pairs have significant pros and cons that may make or break the choice for you.
The Sennheiser HD Pro’s have a great quality build, built for long-term use and comfort with strong plastic and durable faux leather-covered padding. Their sound is nicely neutral and flat for good studio monitoring use and they have good sound isolation. This pair’s main drawback for some is its strong clamping force when worn for longer periods.
The Sony MDR-7506’s have a slightly lighter build but are equally as durable in the long-term, made with a finer plastic, metal size adjusters, and faux leather-covered padding as well. These headphones have a brighter, V-shaped sound profile, great for studio and general use. The main drawback of this pair is the smaller sized ear-cups that sit slightly on the ears instead of resting around them.
Read on for a more in-depth comparison of these two pairs of studio headphones to help you decide which one you’ll be bringing to your next studio session.
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro
The Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones are a pair of closed, dynamic stereo headphones. These headphones are designed for studio use with an accurate linear sound and ambient noise attenuation.
For optimal comfort, the ear cups on these headphones have good padding with faux leather covering. They are also collapsable and rotatable to help save space for use on the go and when packed away.
The HD 280 Pros are a good quality pair of headphones. Let’s take a look at some of the pros that make this pair stand out among the rest.
- Great sound quality for the price
- Very good sound isolation from background noise
- A pleasantly neutral, balanced sound.
- Solid, quality build with replaceable parts
- Comfortable ear pads
Although the HD 280 Pros are well-loved by so many producers, there are still some cons to be aware of.
- The heavier weight of the headphones is a problem for some
- Some report discomfort after long use due to a tight clamping force
The Sony MDR-7506 headphones are a pair of popular sound monitoring headphones commonly used in audio production studios. These headphones have a closed-ear design with comfortable padding around the cups.
Known for their durability, the MDR-7506’s are ultra-portable and have a consistent sound profile amongst their users.
The MDR-7506’s have a solid reputation for being good headphones amongst music producers. Let’s take a look at some of their pros to see why.
- Has accurate stereo imagery
- Clear industry-standard frequency response
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear
- Good sound isolation from background noise
- Compact and foldable for travel
These headphones are well spoken of amongst producers. However, there are a few small cons to be aware of for these headphones.
- Some users find the headphones to be on the small side regarding size
- Some users found the ear cups to sit more on-ear
- Boosted low-end and high-end for a V-shaped sound profile which may be a pro for some but for audio monitoring, flat is generally more accurate.
Sennheiser HD Pro Vs. Sony MDR – 7506
When comparing these two headphones, the Sennheiser HD Pro and the Sony MDR-7506, it is important to remember that both are of great quality.
Which headphone you decide to go with may come down to preferences as both have qualities that some may consider pros while others consider them cons.
To help you make the choice between the two, let’s compare the various aspects of each pair of headphones from their general specs, to their build and audio differences.
The specifications of the HD Pro and the MDR-7506 are fairly similar with not much of a significant difference between the two. Both pairs are of high quality with good specifications for their level. See the chart to compare the specs of the HD Pro and the MDR-7506.
|Sennheiser HD Pro||Sony MDR-7506|
|Impedance||64 Ohm||63 Ohm|
|Min. Frequency range||8Hz||10Hz|
|Max. Frequency range||25kHz||20kHz|
|Material||Strong plastic, Faux Leather||Plastic, Faux leather, and metal|
As the table shows, the main spec differences between the HD Pro and the MDR-7506 is the higher frequency range of the HD Pros and the lower impedance and physical weight of the MDR-7506s.
A comfortable, durable build is a necessity for any headphones used for audio production. With long hours in the studio, being comfortable is important. An uncomfortable pair of headphones can become more of a hindrance than an ally to your production.
General listening doesn’t necessarily put a lot of strain on a pair of headphones, but for professional use in a studio, even a home studio, you need a pair that can physically endure the long hours of intensive usage.
First, let’s take a look at the Sennheiser HD Pro’s build and then the Sony MDR-7506 to compare.
Sennheiser HD Pro Build
The Sennheiser HD Pro has a bulky-type build made of thick, quality plastic. Despite the bulky appearance, these headphones are still quite lightweight and have good portability with a fold-in feature and rotational cup joints.
These headphones are great in the way of durability and seem to be able to endure years of handling, with a few accidental drops, without causing any damage.
The faux leather that the ear cup padding is lined with is of good quality. The material is thick and strong and does not flake or deteriorate over time like many other headphones do, including the MDR-7506s. There is also thick padding along the underneath side of the headband for added comfort.
The main build drawback of the HD Pro’s is the amount of clamping pressure that the headphones hold themselves closed with. Many users have negatively reviewed these for this issue, as the squeezing sensation can be unpleasant when the headphones are used for hours at a time.
Sony MDR-7506 Build
The Sony MDR-7506 has a much lighter and more compact build than the HD Pros. The MDR-7506’s are made with a lightweight plastic for the head piece and cups with metal size adjusters to connect them. The cups fold in to allow for good portability and compactness.
Despite the finer plastic and build, the MDR-7506’s are just as durable as the Sennheiser HD Pros.
The ear cups are adequately padded and lined with faux leather. In comparison to the good quality faux leather that the HD Pros have, the MDR-7506s have a much thinner and less durable faux leather. The padding underneath the headband is also not as thick as the HD Pro’s.
Although the quality and the density of the padding and lining on the Sony MDR-7506’s is not as good as the Sennheiser HD Pro’s, the MDR-7506’s have a much better reputation for comfort after long hours of wear. The clamp force on your head from these headphones is also less than that of the HD Pros and they are more lightweight, making them more ideal for longer usage.
The only drawback of the MDR-7506s is the size of the ear cups and padding. Some people find the ear cups to be a bit too small, acting in between an over-ear set of headphones and an on-ear set of headphones. However, once the cups are adjusted to the right height, the comfort should be improved if this is a problem for you.
For a music producer, the audio quality and range is the most important aspect to focus on when choosing a pair of studio headphones for monitoring purposes. The flatness and isolation are what can make or break the enjoyment of using headphones for audio production.
Generally, if you are using headphones to mix, you want to use monitor headphones that give you a flat signal without added bass, mids, or highs so you can get a true idea of what needs to be boosted by you while mixing.
If you are mixing on headphones with a lot of boosted frequencies like bass, for example, you might end up with a flat bass when you export your track and play it on a normal sound system. This is why a flat, neutral frequency is good when mixing.
Both the Sennheiser HD Pro and the Sony MDR-7506 have good sound for audio production. In this department, it really comes down to preference as some might enjoy the flatness of the HD Pro’s and others might prefer the brighter sound of the MDR-7506s.
Sennheiser HD Pro Audio
The Sennheiser HD Pro studio headphones are designed for studio monitoring purposes and are very flat. Although they have a very neutral sound profile from high-end to low-end, they still sound good enough for some general use like listening to music or playing video games.
In comparison, people using the MDR-7506’s have a consistent experience where the experience of HD Pro users is more inconsistent.
Some people report very good results using the HD Pro’s, and others report a few issues to be aware of. The main drawback that some people have experienced with the HD Pro’s is a poor bass response and an unpleasantly flat sound.
However, overall the audio of the Sennheiser HD Pro headphones is clear and neutral, making them great for fine-tuning audio.
Sony MDR-7506 Audio
The Sony MDR-7506 headphones are also designed for studio monitoring purposes, but they have a brighter sound than the Sennheiser HD Pro’s. These headphones will still give you good results for mixing and will be better for general use than the HD Pros.
These headphones have a brighter sound thanks to their V-shaped sound profile. They have a good reputation for great mids and have just the right amount of boosted highs and lows for a great quality sound without interfering with your mixing.
Unlike the HD Pro’s, there is a much more consistent experience between people who have used the Sony MDR-7506 headphones for studio monitoring purposes. Most feedback agrees that the sound is good quality, but some users find the bright high-end on these to be too much.
When it comes to price, these two headphones are neck-in-neck, making this fair comparison a difficult choice as price can often sway your decision.
Generally, the Sony MDR-7506 headphones are higher in price than the Sennheiser HD Pro headphones. However, the price range is just within a few dollars of each other.
As you can now see by this detailed comparison, both the Sony MDR-7506 and the Sennheiser HD Pro are equally as good in their own ways.
The MDR-7506’s win when it comes to comfort and enjoyment of sound, especially as a more “all-rounder” for studio monitoring purposes and general use as well.
The HD Pro’s win when it comes to flatness and durability, with a great, solid, quality build that doesn’t pick up wear and tear too easily and an even, neutral sound, very good for standard studio monitoring purposes, but not as much for general use.
Choosing which pair of headphones is the better of the two comes down to your subjective experience and preference. Hopefully, this article has helped guide you to the choice that is best for you!