Sony MDR-V900 Headband Headphones - Black

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Sony's best studio headphones

Mar 12, 2003
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Sound probably unlike anything you have ever heard.

Cons:Short cord.

The Bottom Line: Put simple, you get what you pay for. Incredible sound field produced by professional grade oversized earcups that house jammin' 50mm drivers.


I use headphones for listening to mutliple sources, including computer games (audigy x-gamer sound card), mp3's also via computer, and top notch stereo system. I use my headphones for extended periods of 4 to 6 hours (with short breaks here and there). I purchased these headphones to replace my old Sony 300s (their lowest level studio monitor headphones). I had the 300s for about 6 years. The earpieces never wore down the synthetic leather, they did develope a short near the end of the cord (so you can't dance around the room). I thought my 300s were the bomb. They put out great sound compared to top notch JBL speakers on my stereo system, Altec Lansing computer speakers, or my Explorer's factory stero system. But, alas, it was my birthday and a good time to move up.

First impression: When I first opened the box, I was worried. These things are bulky (oversized), the cord was short (same as my old 300s), and cut out too much background noise (gotta hear the wife yell for me or baby crying).

Warm on the ears? Not really. When you first put them on, you will instantly notice your ears getting a little hot because the earpieces surround the ear raising the heat. But, after wearing them for several hours straight I never noticed it again. When you start listening to your source, you'll loose yourself in the incredible sound and not notice the de minimus extra heat around your ears. Its very little. Don't buy what the other reviews said about them being hot on the ears. They are a little warmer at first, but its insignificant unless you are merely looking for it.

Cord: The cord is too short. Its a coiled cord that expands some if you need to walk away from your source. The solution for that is simple though. They make headphone extension cords you can get at any radio shack (make sure you buy the small plug that converts the extension cord's big plug into the dinky one if you are using this on your computer). Another review above stated the cord was not long enough to rearch their computer that sits behind their desk/table. Well, with the extension cord, you solve that problem without noticable degredation in your sound. Both big and small connectors off the headphones are gold plated to better signal transferance. My old 300s didn't have the gold plating.

Weight: As I stated above, 10.6 ounces and bulk may not seem like something you want to have on your head for hours at a time. Well, its not true. Once you put them on and your source begins to play, you'll forget they are even there. Its the same with the heat. If you are going to sit back and listen to some music, a dvd, mp3s, or a computer game, you don't want anything else on your head than these. After initially noticing these things once you put them on, you'll very soon forget about the apparent drawbacks.

Sound: Well, this is the real reason people like us buy headphones right? Audiophiles know that the best sound hands down when listening to a straight stereo source are headphones(excluding the surround sound off a great system and surround speakers - for movies). Headphones take out the background noise (closed heaphones, rather than dopey open air headphones). They encapsule you in sound.
Here are the sound highlights:
-Background noise suppression: these cut out a HUGE amount of background noise depending on the volume level of the outside source and the volume level of what you are listening to on the headphones. Last night as I was playing a computer game (Age of Wonders II), I could not hear my cellphone ring. It was right in front of me. I missed 3 calls.
-Sound overall: The first thing I noticed on these (after using my 300s for years), was that the sound completely envelopes you. Unlike the 300s that kinda blast right into your ear, the 300s have a larger listening cavity. There is more room around your ear (the listening cavity) for the sound to reverberate. What this produces is a sound unlike I have ever heard from any source. The sound 'appears' to be all around you. You are in front of orchestra. You are in the front row of the Jimi Hendrix ressurection tour. He comes down and does his solo right in front of you. I don't know how to explain it exactly, but I listened to my stereo speakers later... they are toasted by the 900s. I now hate my car stereo system... it is SO lame compared to the 900s. The 900s spoil you... a review above that's funny says the 900s are THE BOMB and that. Well, its true.

Treble/midrange: Treble with a hiss is bad. Midrange that hurts your hear or warps your music because its up too high are bad. You don't get that with the 900s. One reviewer above called the 900s best for "true sound." I understand now what he/she meant. The base is not over done. Neither is the mid-range or treble. Its merely a perfect reproduction of the source with its own highs and lows. "True sound." A lot of audiophiles like to listen to their sources with a flat line on their equalizer. I never understood that. Crank the base! Crank the treble! I think it was speakers/headphones that required the extra push. The 900s don't. For the first time in my life, I understand simply turned off my equalizer and any base or low end boosting on my stero system or other source. The 900s reproduce the sound perfectly.

Base: This is the true treasure to be found with these headphones. You've probably used small headphones in a linked to a walkman or a boom box, right? These sources always have and promote 'bass boost.' You need that for crappy headphones with no base. I thought my 300s had great base. Uh no, they can be pumped with decent base, but the 300s themselves have not base of their own. The 900s are different. The best way to describe the base to someone reading this is to say... remember the first time you sat down in a true surround sound theatre, or your friend's surround sound home system, or a store show room? The sound was everywhere! The base was everywhere, all around you. You could actually feel it. You were wrapped in a warm blanket of sound. That's what the 900s are like. Its like a theatre hall or a great surround system. Booms of bombs in a game or movie sound just like what they sound like at a great movie theatre. I never believed such sound was possible without paying thousands of dollars for a home theatre system. It is possible and its not that expensive. The 900s have it.

Technical notes: You can go to the sony website and read up on all the technical names of all the innovations used in making the 900s. Air cooled this. Special bound that. Neo-something magnets. Its all greek to me. I don't know what all that means, but there is one innovation I can explain a little. I figured this out by mistake. I put the headphones on and then put on some mp3 music off my computer. It was flat. The base was not good. I thought that I got shafted and these were not the great headphones I thought I was getting. That's when I notice the cord was on the wrong side. I had them on backwards. I switched them around and the mp3s sounded great. One part of these headphones is they are marked left and right for a specific reason other than just so you listen to your L/R channels correctly. The big 50mm drivers are angled within the cans/headphone ear cups. Worn backwards, they get angled wrong. The idea being these headphones being oversized and angled, create a sound field within each ear cup that is unlike anything you have ever listened to.

I know this review is long winded, but when you drop the big bucks on something like this, you want to know the facts. Not the hype. I tried to tie together all the negative and positive comments from all the above reviews in one mega review from someone who cares about 1 thing. The sound. If these things didn't deliver the goods in spades, they would have been shipped back already. If you are like me and care about 1 thing - the sound -, then you should buy a pair of these. They are superb. Unlike anything you have probably ever heard.


Recommend this product? Yes

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