SONY MDR V250V STUDIO MONITOR HEADPHONES
Recommend this product?
Sony is a trusted name in the field of consumer and professional electronics, and I have owned a number of different types of Sony brand electronic equipment over the years, as well as having firsthand experience with using many their products. Today I am going to be reviewing a set of Sony Headphones. There are literally thousands of different headphones on the market today. Each has its own strengths and weakness, depending on the specific use and job that the headphones in question are being called upon to perform. Today I am going to be reviewing a set of headphones that are part of the Sony Studio Monitor Series of headphones. The headphones that I am talking about specifically are the Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones. Read on and see if these headphones have some of the sonic characteristics that you might be interested in looking into the next time that you are auditioning a set of headphones for yourself.
The Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones have a retail list price of $29.99, but they can easily be found selling at a discount for as little as $17.88 at some of the large national musical instrument chain stores or better Internet electronics dealers. Does it seem strange to you that a set of "Studio Monitor" quality headphones could possibly be selling for under $20 Dollars? It should seem strange, because there is a problem here. Many companies lately appear to be very liberal with using terms such as "Studio Monitor" or "Professional" when they describe their audio products, and I feel that this is very misleading in certain circumstances. There is no way that a real professional would use a set of headphones like these for studio monitoring purposes. In my opinion, this is a real shame, and I say so for a number of reasons. The use of terms like "studio monitor" or "professional" to describe these headphones is misleading, and not only potentially hurts the novice consumer, but it also leaves a bad taste in the mouth for the Sony brand name for any person who buys these headphones and is disappointed that they are not studio monitor quality. The Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones are fine for casual use for the average MP3 user, but they are in no way suitable for studio monitoring or any other professional purposes. That being said, there are some positive characteristics that these headphones do have, and I shall discuss these, as well as their weaknesses during the rest of the review.
The Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones have a supra-aural, closed design. O.K., so what that that mean? Supra-aural headphones have ear pads that sit on top of the ears rather than around them, and they feel more comfortable and less confining than circumaural headphones which encircle your ears and form a tight seal. Closed headphones will allow less sound to leak out of the headphones as well as to leak in. However, closed supra-aural headphones tend to be much less sonically isolating than closed circumaural headphones. This can be both good and bad depending on the purpose for which a set of headphones is being used. For example, in a recording situation where a singer may be using a highly sensitive condenser microphone and is singing a song which requires close up microphone techniques, there is always the chance for leakage from the headphones into the microphone with a supra-aural design, and this can be very problematic. On the other hand, I was recently doing a session at a friend's studio, and was recently using a set of headphones (not this model) with a supra-aural closed back design as I was laying down a nylon acoustic guitar track. These headphones I was using were far better than the Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones, and had less leakage than the Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones, and yet I had to have the volume of the guitar in the headphones set at a very low volume in order to avoid leakage from the headphones feeding back into the live microphone. There is just no way that I could have used the Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones in this same situation specifically because of the sound leakage.
Headphones that have a supra-aural closed design, such as the Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones are good for those situations where one is using them for casual listening to music for prolonged periods of time. They are comfortable and not overly confining or constricting, and they let just enough sound in from the outside world so that you are aware of your surroundings, but not overpoweringly so. A nice feature of these headphones for casual listening purposes is that the headband is wide, and more evenly distributes the pressure of wearing them. A downside is that the headband does not appear sturdy, and I do not think that these headphones are going to be able to stand up to the rigors or long term use, unless they are treated with a lot of respect. The ear pads of the Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones were one of their best features, as they felt comfortable and not too stiff or too mushy. There is a swivel feature which allows one to cover just one ear at a time, sort of like a DJ set of headphones. However, the swivel mechanism just did not appear to be very sturdy at all, and I can not imagine that it would hold up over the long term. A positive feature of these headphones is that they are very light in weight. The cable is a little over 6 feet 6 inches or 2 meters. This is long enough for use with a personal audio device, but it is far from long enough to be used with a home stereo, unless one is sitting right next to their tuner. Another useful feature is that there is a volume control built into the cord, and it has a rotary control to turn the sound up or down. This is a useful feature to have, as one can turn down the volume of the music one is listening to without having to adjust the controls on the device the headphones are plugged in to. These headphones also come with a straight, stereo UniMatch plug with fixed mini plug and detachable phone plug. Thus these headphones can be adapted to be used in a variety of different situations.
The Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones have a Frequency Response of 18 Hz. to 22,000 Hz. This means that these headphones are able to handle frequencies between 18 Hz. to 22,000 Hz. without distorting at normal volume levels. Of course any pair of headphones can distort if they are pushed to volume levels beyond normal listening levels, but if you want to preserve your hearing you should refrain from doing so. This extended frequency response may seem a bit odd to some of the readers of this review, since the range of hearing for a healthy young adult is usually between 20 Hz. and 20,000 Hz., and most musical instruments do not come anywhere near producing sounds above or below the range of human hearing. So why would anyone want or need a set of headphones that has such an extended frequency response, unless of course they are planning to let their pet dog listen to their favorite recording of a chorus of dolphin's vocalizing. Well the answer to this question is deceivingly simple. If a set of headphones has a frequency response that is greater than the range of the musical source that is being listened to, then the likelihood of the headphones distorting in response to frequency overload borders on being nil. Further, although most musical instruments do not produce frequencies or sounds above or below 20 to 20,000 Hz., it is extremely important to be using a set of headphones that will not distort when one is trying to listen to musical passages over extended periods of time, as listening to distorted sounds can very easily fatigue a listener. Thus, a set of headphones with an extended frequency response, such as is the case with the Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones, are less likely to be subject to distortions from musical notes or their high or low overtones.
For me, a problem with the Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones is that they have a sweetened versus flat frequency response. Headphones or speaker systems that are used for home music listening often sound different from one set to another. The reason for this is that many of these headphones or speaker systems are "sweetened" to make the music sound better or in some way more exciting to the listener. This is achieved via an emphasis in the equalization of the bass and treble response, which makes the music sound fuller or brighter, depending on what type of music is being played. The Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones are not flat or unsweetened. Why is it so important for a set of headphones to be flat or unsweetened for studio monitoring situations? The answer is very simple. If you have been working to achieve a certain sound on the instrument you are recording, you will want to be able to hear that exact sound during playback of the recording, and not be fooled into thinking it sounds somehow different because of the sound being "sweetened." Thus, a pair of headphones that is flat and unsweetened is crucial in certain listening situations, and that is not the case with the Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones. To my ear, these headphones seemed to accentuate the bass, while at the same time not being very clear in the highest registers. They seemed to be O.K. for most of the lower midrange, especially where the sound of the human voice was concerned. But the high end appeared to be shrill to me and it grated on my ears. Once again for casual listening to music that is already somewhat compressed, such as might be on an MP3 player, this might not bother most casual listeners.
The Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones have a Sensitivity of 98 dB/mW. O.K., so what does that mean? Headphone sensitivity is measured using 1/1000 of a Watt of power (1mW), and then measuring the sound pressure level (SPL) in dB at the earpiece of the headphones. The Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones have an average degree or level of sensitivity for headphones in this category. They Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones have an Impedance of 24 Ohms. This means that they would be considered to be low impedance headphones, and this is a reasonable impedance rating for a set of headphones that are being used for an MP3 player.
So who are the Sony MDR V250V Studio Monitor Headphones best suited for? If you are a person wwho wants to listen to recordings of music which are not colored or sweetened, then these headphones are clearly not for you. If you are a person who is looking for a pair of headphones that can be used for studio monitoring headphones, then these headphones are again also not for you. If you are a person who wants a set of light weight headphones that sound adequate for use with a portable listening device, such as an MP3 player, then these headphones are worth your time in giving a listen to. In my opinion, the Sony MDR V 250V Studio Monitor Headphones are little better than entry level headphones, and I would not suggest tem for serious listening purposes or professional or even semiprofessional use. I would again, only recommend these headphones for casual use, and for that purpose, they are quite adequate.
Well I would likee to thank you for taking thee time to read my review, but now if you will excuse me, I must get back to my practicing.