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Sony MDR-V55 - Sound Quality and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Sony MDR-V55 15

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Sony MDR-V55 Sound Quality

We're not all that impressed with the build and comfort of the Sony MDR-V55. The fit's fine, but there's no soft luxury here. It's a good job that they start winning your attention back as soon as you start playing tunes through them. These headphones use 40mm neodymium drivers and claim to be able to fire out frequencies up to 25,000Hz.

As a DJ style pair of headphones, it's no surprise that the Sony MDR-V55 are fairly bass-heavy. However, bass control and the curves of the lower-end of the frequency spectrum are remarkably well-handled for a pretty affordable set like this.

Sony MDR-V55 3

What so often kills bassy headphones is that there's a big hump in the upper bass/low mids, which clutters up the joint, making them sound incoherent. Here there's only a very slight emphasis in that part of the range, with the meat of the bassy tone supplied by deeper sound.

As such, the Sony MDR-V55 headphones offer significantly better mid-range clarity than the headphones of the XB (extra bass) range, which sits along these cans in price terms, but is a little more accessible for the average Joe.

The bass floor is impressively low too, providing a very satisfying thump to the kicks drum beats of electronic tunes. These headphones are best described as "a lot of fun", and it's the sort of fun that shouldn't turn off audio pedants too much - the best kind.

Sony MDR-V55 8

Treble performance is good too, with a forthright presence that partners up well with the full bass to provide a quite dynamic and vibrant signature. There's still a significant bass skew in the Sony MDR-V55, though, so if neutral sound is what you're after, the Sony MDR-ZX700 are a better bet.

Bass-heavy headphones at this relatively affordable price tend to fail to hit the mark on sonics. Too often, the low-end obsession leads to a muggy character that doesn't hold up to close inspection. In providing a fat bottom-end as well as decent clarity and separation, the Sony MDR-V55 buck this trend. The treble could be a little smoother, but these are not harsh-sounding headphones either.

Sony MDR-V55 11

If only the same attention had been paid to the comfort factor, they'd be easy to recommend. However, as-is we recommend seeing if you can wrap a pair around your noggin before parting with the 50-odd quid these otherwise pretty great headphones cost.

Sony MDR-V55 Verdict

There are two main questions to ask of any headphone of any type - are they comfortable? And do they sound good? The Sony MDR-V55 do just fine on the sound front, with a powerful bass-heavy sound that doesn't trade low-end grunt for clarity. Unfortunately, they're not the most comfy headphones around and our review sample creaks like a crypt door in a horror movie.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Design & Features 7
  • Sound Quality 9
  • Value 8

George

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

Bruce

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

MWisBest

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.

Spur

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...?..

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