Closed back monitor comparison - Sony 7506 / AKG 270s / AT ATH-M40s / BD DT48

Sony MDR-7506

AKG 270 Studio

audiotechnica ATH-M40fs

beyerdynamic DT48

bass test : 1More Triple Driver H1707 running balanced as the control

sony - 5hz cranked, you can hear the driver twitch, 10hz some rumble, 20hz viable-ish, 30 almost musical
AKG - 10hz inaudible until high volume, 20hz took a lot of power, 30hz viable
audiotechnica - 15hz heavy flutter, 20hz almost solid, 25hz still fluttering -> 40hz
beyerdynamic - 15hz N/A, 20HZ dim flutter, 30HZ almost usable, 40HZ exists

untitled 04 | 08.14.2014. Kendrick Lamar : used for width and imaging test - audiotechnica ATH-AD700 control

sony - BG noise sounds authentic, guitar is dancing between the space just outside my ears - 8/10
AKG - BG noise is a dim hiss, clear imaging, less width 5/10
audiotechnica - BG noise is clearly equipment hum, no imaging outside of the cans 3/10 [NOTE - holy detail and bass)
beyerdynamic - BG noise is clearer than AKG but still third, imaging is 10/10 width is ?/10 because it feels a bit locationless - strange for the oldest design by 4(?) decades

Hunting Bears Radiohead : detail, how do the smallest sounds render - Hifiman/Drop HE-4XX control running balanced

sony - the crack, the ring, the strings - the bending of the strings, tiny flutters truly modern 10/10
AKG - sounds like the song (resistant to analysis), I am not expecting fine detail of these headphones pulled from the dump 5/10
audiotechnica - harmonics of fading sounds are very apparent, almost too much bg detail 7/10
beyerdynamic - string touches are CLEAR, bell like guitar, buzz is buzz, (this might be the control!) sound washes at 1:30 are perfect even at first 11/10

The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn) Weezer : I tried to use my Tin P1 and a pair of beyerdynamic T51i as a control, both performed really poorly in this test

sony - clarity almost all the way through the transition, distortion sounds like distortion, vocals like vocals 8/10
AKG - even more separation than the sony, the dual drivers might be what makes the difference here 10/10
audiotechnica - flat (in a good way?), seemingly unaffected by the transition, might need more power than my little Zen DAC can give 9/10 in the test, but not in good way
beyerdynamic - similar to the AT - I just don’t think I have enough power to push them, even at max 8/10

King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1 Neutral Milk Hotel : how “badly” recorded / mixed songs sound - KPH30i control

sony - the mods I’ve made to this pair might be at play with the vocal placement (had them on backwards, meaning the right way around) feels like the blend of all the other monitors and the KPH30i 10/10
AKG - almost manages to image this recording, instruments move, good blending 8/10
audiotechnica - blending dual voice closer to KPH, nice centered instruments between voice(s) 7/10
beyerdynamic - you can hear the split voice tracks entirely separate, analytical AF 4/10

Red House (Live at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, August 18, 1969) Jimi Hendrix : “live” sounding - beyerdynamic DT550 control

sony - rocking good, sounds more recorded than the DT550 (no surprise) 6/10
AKG - is that hiss record or power to the amp? a lot of detailed gear noise - liveish - 8/10
audiotechnica - bass forward, these do a lot to undo a mix enjoyable 7/10
beyerdynamic - the “hiss” is a snare drum rattling, fuck me these things are nuts - these and a sub and you’re in the front row 10/10 (-4 for the lack of bass) 6/10 (cheated and turned on the Zen DAC’s “TRUEBASS” 8/10)

Summary is a shocker - were I in search of a great all-around budget closed back headphone, I would absolutely buy a pair of the 7506’s instead of spending months picking through Urban Ore and refurbishing someone else’s trash (I did not actually find the DT48 at a reclamation center, unless you consider the forums on Head-fi a dump). These were setup with the YAXI Comfort pads, they’re sweet.


Very nice read.

I would be interested what you think of the Sony 7510’s compared to the 7506 as they are kind of a “revamped version” (if you happen to get your hands on them by chance).

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the 7510’s look like they’re ripe to find on sale - I’m curious about the 7520s - detachable cable!

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