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Sony MDR-V55 review

Andrew Williams




  • Recommended by TR

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Our Score:



  • Bags o' fun sound
  • Decent looks
  • Powerful bass
  • Decent clarity


  • Not very comfortable
  • Creaky plastic frame

Key Features

  • 40mm driver
  • Folding design
  • White/black with optional colour trim
  • 5-25,000Hz frequency response
  • 1.2m cable
  • Manufacturer: Sony
  • Review Price: £51.25


DJ headphones are a funny breed. What they are meant to be is headphones used by DJs to monitor tunes while performing. What that frequently translates to these days, however, is a street-style set with way too much bass and poor sonic balance. But are the Sony MDR-V55 worthy of what the DJ headphone title should mean? For the most part, they are.

Sony MDR-V55 Design and Comfort

There are three main physical criteria for a DJ headphone set like the Sony MDR-V55. They need to be fairly robust, should offer at least some isolation and have to be pretty portable.

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These headphones come up trumps on most counts, but do end up alienating some "normal" buyers in the process. Point one - they use fairly large, hard plastic arms that join the cups to the headband. They feel robust enough, but the Sony MDR-V55 are some of the creakiest non-budget headphones we've used in quite some time. They may survive the bumps and scrapes expected, but they don't leave a great first impression. They even creak noisily if you move your head, and it can sound like you're in the hull of a creaky old galleon at times.

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The headband tells a similar story. It's coated in rubber to help the headphones stay in place on your head, and the inner structure is minimal at the top arch, letting them flex much, much more than the average pair. The problem? It's not comfortable. Bafflingly, there's more padding on the top of the headband than the bit that rests on your head, leaving just a thin layer of rubber between you and the metal skeleton of the band.

The Sony MDR-V55 earpads don't help out much either. Mid-softness foam topped with a thin layer of basic - and again thin - plastic-leather, they don't offer any of the bouncy comfort of the XB-series models, such as the Sony MDR-XB500.

Give them time to bed in and they don't feel too bad, as the hinged designed makes them fit to your head easily. It's two minutes of "these don't feel too great", followed by a relatively easy wear, but these are far from the most comfortable headphones at the price. There are some practical benefits to the design, though. The cups fold up right into the headband and the ultra-flexible headband lets you scrunch them up into quite a tight bundle. Sadly, though, there's no bag included with the cans.

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Despite their fairly large size, the Sony MDR-V55 are on-ear headphones. The pads rest directly on your ears rather than around them, which will cause your ears to heat up on a warm day - or during a hot gig. Again, this doesn't help the comfort factor.

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The Sony MDR-V55 cable is non-removable and has a flat design, which we assume is more for the look than anything else. Flat cables can reduce tangling, which isn't too much of an issue here, but they are also quite trendy at the moment, along with fabric-braided cabling.


January 7, 2013, 1:05 pm

Says a lot about a company that doesn't care about anything their clients say for years. The swivel part WILL eventually break like it did on the MDR-V700, then you'll find out that sony doesn't sell the part separately. So you'll have to throw away a perfectly good set of headphones because of REPEATEDLY BAD design.

Red Purser

January 10, 2013, 12:18 am

Great Headphones!
Pros-Sound Quality is Amazing, Great folding mechanism, Comfortable
Negatives- Yes they are creaky but thats not too bad, No case, No detachable wire


February 17, 2014, 5:12 am

I'm looking for some cans that have really really good sound. Are these the ones that I'm looking for.?? Sound quality is of the utmost . For use only in home.
For the computer and possibly the Reciever. Any input would help.

Dusieqq Maciej

March 8, 2014, 8:51 am

I've just recieved them, they are by far most powerfull headies i ever had, the bass is tasty, trebles are clear and they are very comfy! Don't believe the review, yes they are big but they arent uncomfortable as they chokes on your head so its not an ear that holds them but whole skull what makes them weight less than they really do. It's 11 out of 10 for me. Highly recommending, now beg me pardon im back to my music <3


June 12, 2014, 11:31 pm

I absolutely love my MDR-V55s. The sound quality is just amazing. These are also frequently on sale for $60 in the states (regularly $80), but even at $80 they're worth it.

The comfort thing, I can kind of agree with but kind of not. At first they can be a little uncomfortable, but after a while of using them it feels better, I'm guessing my head just builds up some resistance to it or something. It's similar to playing a trumpet or something similar to it, your lips (or head and ears in this case!) sort of get used to it and can play for longer.

The cord is very nice. With it being single-sided as well as flat, tangling is not an issue, and the length is just right for me. It's very solid too, I wouldn't expect it to break unless you just beat the heck out of your stuff like money is no object.

My headphones were not creaky at the hinge, however I've had a cheaper pair of Sony on-ears with a similar design that did creak, and I was able to fix it by spraying a little silicone spray in there (do NOT use WD-40 or anything else that's oil-based, it will just wear it down over time and it'll eventually break then).

BTW, if you truly need more padding for your head, it's not like you can't add something there yourself to help with it.


May 26, 2016, 12:56 am

Have yours broke? I have 3 pairs I've used for 2 1/2 years with 0 problems. I even got mad and slammed a pair with no damage. So...?..


December 20, 2016, 3:19 pm

the sound of these for general listening are my favorites even over 200 dollar cans but I'm not a DJ and was wondering if Sony put these speakers in a standard normal headphone design? Anyone know what model it is if it exists? thanks!!

Harsh Kumar

January 3, 2017, 7:23 pm

mine broke. good sound quality, looks stylish but horrible design esp at the swivel-joint.

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