is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired in 2013), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “How They Got There: Interviews with Digital Designers About Their Careers”and “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children.
Please refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
You should look into the Grado Labs SR60 as an inexpensive semi-professional quality headphone. They run about $60, but out perform most other headphones that cost “five times as much”.
That’s a great tip, thanks. The foam pads worry me though; that is, I wonder if they’ll get destroyed in my backpack or if I’ll have to replace them in a year or two. The MDR-7506’s pads, though deteriorating, have held up for 5+years.
These are supercheap but I’ve had two of these headphones over the last six years. They’re Sony’s. MDR-v150’s. I’m not sure if they’re as quality as the 7506 but they produce an pretty decent sound for the price. I’ve had other headphones in the mid-price range and keep coming back to these. Admittedly, my friend’s $150 Sennheisers are pretty nice but if I ever broke a pair of those…yikes.
I’m a big fan of 7506’s. They’re a great headphone for the price. Thye’re not my critical listening cans, but I’ve used them nearly every day at work for 3+ years, and still enjoy their sound evey day.
I’ve owned grados in the past, and I think your hunch is right; the construction quality is nowhere near the tank-like build of the 7506. Grado’s have a really different sound than sony’s too, at the low end of the price spectrum (IMHO) don’t compete.
Also, the aural difference between v6/7506 with mp3’s and ipod will only be negligible.
you might want to check on head-fi or headwize for a used pair of 7506s. They can be found in great condition used for 60-100. You might also want to post your problem, and see what comes back. There’s alot of DIYer’s and audio geeks out there who might have some good ideas. http://www.head-fi.org
One thing on the 7506 earpads: You can replace the stock vinyl ones with velour beyerdynamic pads. It’s kinda pricey (for this level of headphone, around $30), but it makes them much more comfortable for long-term use. I did this to mine, and think it’s well worthwhile.
excuse the long post, headphones are a bit of an obsession of mine…
My Sony MDR-V600 (which your link claims aren’t as good as the V6!) are great, and I’ve had them for almost ten years now. They’re super comfortable and they honestly still look brand new. The foam cups are hardly deteriorated at all.
And they’re super warm to wear outdoors in the winter!
“slightly cheaper Sony MDR-V6 headphones, which are built nearly identically but lack the gold-tipped plug of the MDR-7506; I’m not enough of an audiophile to be able to tell the difference…”
There is NO difference in sound quality. The two headphones are completely identical (other than the color of the headphone jack, which does not affect sound quality). The V6 and 7506 are the same exact headphone, produced on the same assembly line from the same parts, simply marketed for the consumer (V6) vs. “pro” (7506) markets.
The AKG K240S (about $100) are the best and most comfortable headphones I have found for long listening sessions. Bot Sony and Sennheiser phones tend to have a peak in the high-frequency band which, while pleasing, leads to listening fatigue sooner. Another favorite is the Audio Technica ATH-M40FS, though these are not as comfortable as the AKGs.
Thank you! Your remarks have been sent to Khoi.