With all the new headphones flooding the market, I’m reminding of a headphone that doesn’t get much press. However, this retro-looking on-ear can is just $50 and is considered a classic by many in the audio industry. Does it still work for today’s audio standards? Let’s take a closer look with this Sony MDR-7502 Review.
A Forgotten Favorite – Sony MDR-7502 Review
In the Box – Sony MDR-7502 Review
-Sony MDR-7502 headphones
-3.5 mm to 6.35 mm adapter
Specifications – Sony MDR-7502 Review
-Type: on-ear, closed-back
-Transducers: 30 mm dynamic driver
-Impedance: 24 ohms at 1 kHZ
-Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW
-Frequency Response: 60 Hz-18 kHz
Design – Sony MDR-7502 Review
The headband design of the Sony MDR-7502 is simple. It consists of a strip of aluminum that is coated in plastic. As a result, the frame of the headphones is flexible and durable. Additionally, the thin frame is super lightweight. This fact is a fortunate because there is no padding on the headband. This might turn some folks off. However, while it isn’t luxurious, its sense of weightlessness makes these headphones more comfortable than one might expect.
The aluminum inside the headband of the Sony MDR-7502 reveals itself via the headbands’ extenders. Then, the bass of the headband attaches to a plastic, Y-shaped yolk that attaches to both sides of the earcups, letting them rock modestly.
The earcups of the Sony MDR-7502 are light and compact. They are circular and made of plastic. There is a humble, retro feel to their look. In reality, they look like the small offspring of the MDR-7506, the more popular, over-ear version of these headphones.
The earpads of the Sony MDR-7502 follow the circular shape of the earcups. Their thin, foam padding is coated in a wrinkled pleather material, quite similar to the 7506. The hard plastic cover of the driver is coated in a soft cloth that feels somewhat felty, somewhat fleecey. As a result, while the on-ear nature of these won’t be for everyone, the hardness of the plastic is curbed by the padding and helps make these headphones more comfortable.
The cable of the Sony MDR-7502 feels strong and durable. It attaches to both earcups in a Y-style. The cable is a little bit bulky compared to other on-the-go headphones, but for a professional cable, it’s actually quite manageable.
Sound – Sony MDR-7502 Review
The low frequencies of the Sony MDR-7502 have a boost at the upper end of the lows. Many kick drums’ fundamental frequencies are there. As a result, while the rest of the lows are relatively mild, kick drums sometimes come through with extra energy than normal.
For example, when I was listening with the Sony MDR-7502 to the song The Changing Man/White It Still Beats by Ray LaMontagne, the kick drum and toms had a greater sense of bombasticness than normal. The bass guitar comes through with a little bit of a sense of vagueness, however the feeling of bigness contributes to the effectiveness of the role it plays in the song.
The low-mids of the Sony MDR-7502 seem to benefit a little bit from the boosted upper lows. As a result, synths, strings, electric guitars, and basses come through with a sense of thickness. Additionally, the middle part of the midrange feels full and actually quite flat and revealing. As a result, there is a sense of harmonic complexity to midrange rich instruments. However, as the midrange approaches the high-mids, the headphones feel cut and a bit uneven. As a result, vocals tend to feel emphasized toward their body and upper treble. Therefore, they come through with lots of texture but aren’t as articulate as normal.
For example, when I was listening with the Sony MDR-7502 to the song When It Was Wrong by The California Honeydrops, the bass guitar felt big and thick and groovy (although a little bit cloudy). Additionally, the guitars, horns, and organ felt full and accurate timbre-wise. The vocal sounded a little bit less clear in the consonants than normal, yet felt full-bodied and maintained its level in the mix.
The high frequencies of the Sony MDR-7502 lean toward the upper treble, but also have some emphasis in the lower treble. The upper octave doesn’t feel particularly emphasized, but feels relatively even. As a result, the harmonic composition of cymbals is a little less rich than normal. However, they come through with a sense of aesthetic pleasure. Additionally, the placement of the high-mid cut next to the bit of lower treble boost creates a nice sense of space and separation for the high end.
For example, when I was listening with the Sony MDR-7502 to the song Inception by McCoy Tyner Trio, the cymbals experience a nice sense of separation from the the midrange. They feel a bit smaller, further off, and thinner than their normal harmonically intricate selves. However, they do have a sense of texture and air which makes them pleasing to the ear.
The soundstage of the Sony MDR-7502 has a good sense of height. Because of the sense of separation from the highs and the mids, as well as the low frequency boost near 100 Hz, the contrast height-wise is effective. The sense of width also feels quite accurate, with a strong sense of phantom center and clarity between the two speakers. The sense of depth isn’t as made by the headphones themselves. However, their strong midrange reveals room mics and reverbs, and as a result, reveals depth if the mix engineer used those techniques to create it.
For example, when I was listening with the Sony MDR-7502 to the song The Good Side by Troy Sivan, the attack of the wide-panned acoustic guitar felt high in the vertical domain, and also contrasted nicely with the strong center of the vocal. Additionally, when the bass synth first comes in, it felt lower down in space and created nice contrast from the highs of those guitars.
Overview – Sony MDR-7502 Review
Overall, the Sony MDR-7502 has a strong midrange. They are light and compact and will be good for those needed a pair of easy, small headphones for working on-the-go.
The Sony MDR-7502 are available for the best price here: