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.
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.
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.
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.