Sony MDR V55 Review – Professional Headphones in Budget
Sony MDR V55 is one of the many headphones brought to users by Sony. Popular among DJs, the MDR V55 headphones are a starter set for many. Even though they’re not so well-known for their sound attributes, what makes them stand out are their looks and price. Beautiful, matte-colored designs, matched with the incredible feel of the cushioned ear cups, the MDR V55 headphones are a sight for sore eyes. Let us learn more about the Sony MDR V55 headphones in our Sony MDR V55 review!
Important Factors to Consider When Buying Professional Headphones
Buying headphones is not as easy as it sounds. Be it for casual or professional use, buying headphones has a great deal more than what it looks like at face value. With a multitude of different headphones available on the market, how do you pick one? Following are some important factors that you should consider when buying professional headphones.
- Style and Type
- Comfort and Design
- Sound Quality and Performance
- Durability and Product Quality
- Frequency Range
We have tested the MDR V55 thoroughly, along the aforementioned factors and have brought to you our in-depth Sony MDR V55 review!
Price is one of the major considerations when buying headphones, such as the MDR V55. This is due to the fact that they aren’t known to be the most high-end headphones. Still, being professional headphones for DJing, it is assumed that the price of these headphones must be slightly higher than normal headphones. However, in reality, MDR V55 is relatively cheaper. So, even though MDR V55 may not be a complete steal it is still pretty budget-friendly.
2. Style and Type
Sony MDR V55 headphones are professional headphones used mostly for DJing. But, the price at which they are available makes them a good choice for casual daily use also. Although the Sony MDR V55 headphones are over-the-ear officially, we would categorize them somewhere in between an on-the-ear and an over-the-ear headphones. This is largely due to the fact that the size of the earcups isn’t big enough to encapsulate the whole of your ear, especially for people with bigger ears. The earcups rest largely on your ear, which may also cause discomfort in hot and humid settings, if used for extended periods. Also these are wired headphones and not wireless one.
3. Comfort and Design
Headphones, such as the MDR V55, are known better for their looks than their performance. The overall look of MDR V55 is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. They boast matte colors, which is something that automatically makes anything more attractive. These headphones are available in matte black and matte white with optional color trims, such as red and blue.
The cable is an important aspect of every wired headphones. Is it detachable or not? Does it tange too much? What’s the length? The Sony MDR V55 headphones have a flat-wired cable. This has two advantages. Firstly, it ensures that the cable is tangle-free, i.e., every time you pick your headphones, you don’t spend 2 minutes sorting out the wire to use the full length of the cord. Secondly, it makes the wire more resistant to wear and tear. Cylindrical rubber cables are more susceptible to tears if folded often. Flat-wired cables are more resistant to the same. One shortcoming of these headphones is that the wire is a non-detachable wire.
Also, the wire has a total length of 1.2 m which is more than fair for a pair of headphones. Each wire ends in an angled 3.5 mm audio jack. The angled audio jack is often frowned upon in headphones as most headphones are used with smartphones. Smartphones users aren’t too much in favor of angle jacks as they may get stuck inside bags or pockets. Lastly, the wire isn’t as thick as one may desire for more durability and longevity.
Coming to the headband of Sony MDR V55, we were slightly disappointed. The non-plastic, rubber coated headband has minimal material at the top, so as to make these headphones much more flexible than otherwise.
The rubber coating ensures the headphones stay in place against your head comfortably. But, somewhat surprisingly, the underside of the top of the headband, i.e., the side that rests on your head, has less padding than the upper side of the headband. This means that the rubber padding is thinner, making the comfort level lesser than what it could have been otherwise. Although they aren’t uncomfortable to wear, in hot or humid weather, the headphones may feel slightly uncomfortable.
Seeing that Sony MDR V55 are DJ stereo headphones, they come with arms to support the ear cups for free rotation. These arms ensure that the earcups can be folded in whatever way you like. This makes these headphones easier to pack and carry around with you, in your bag. The plastic arms are big in size, which may appeal to some and may not appeal to others. The major problem with these arms is that these are a bit noisier than what you expect. The creaking sound can become a little overwhelming after a while.
4. Performance and Sound Quality
The Sony MDR V55 headphones aren’t really known for their sound quality. But, by no means does that indicate that the sound quality and performance of these headphones are poor. The MDR V55 headphones come with 40 mm neodymium dynamic sound drivers, which are dome-shaped. These have a rather brilliant sound output for budget-friendly headphones. Even though, if compared to headphones, such as the MDR V6 and MDR V7506, the sound quality isn’t that high, it is still high enough to be regarded as perfect.
What most budget-friendly headphones often miss out on are crystal clear and uncanny bass. However, it is almost a necessity for DJ headphones to have great bass output. Thankfully, Sony MDR V55 lies in both categories. The bass output, surprisingly for low costing headphones, is really clear, allowing you to enjoy sounds clearly and crisply from the lower curve of the frequency chart. While being clear and crisp, it is still not too overpowering to ensure the sound output is not all about the bass.
The mid-range frequency is also catered to in a fine fashion by the MDR V55. This is something that most bassy headphones miss out on, such as the Sony XB series (Extra Bass). To put it into perspective, if you’re listening to EDM (Electronic Dance Music), not only will you feel the thumps of the bass drops but will also the kick you should get from headbanging beats.
The trebles, much like the mid-range sounds, are also well taken care of by the MDR V55. Their crisp and sharp high-pitched sounds compliment the thumping low-pitched bass sounds to give a proper overall sound output. Even though these headphones look well after all three sound ranges, the sound signature is still somewhat suggestive of bassy headphones. One must keep in mind that finding treble-rich headphones at a cheaper price is relatively easier to finding headphones with a great bass signature at the same price.
5. Durability and Product Quality
You do not expect the words ‘low-quality’ and ‘Sony’ in the same sentence. The case is similar with Sony MDR V55 headphones. They’re good quality headphones but with certain scope of improvement, especially when talking about the overall comfort of the headphones. The build of the headphones is mostly metallic with the use of plastic and rubber here and there, where necessary. We genuinely feel that the plastic leather used for the earcups can be upgraded to something a bit more comfortable for the ears. Also, if the size of the earcups was slightly bigger, the MDR V55 would truly give the feel of a pair of over-the-head earphones.
The foldability of the headphones make it a great pair to carry around with yourselves as it is easier to pack. But the fact that the headphones do not come with a carry case is kind of a let down. After testing the foldability as well as all the other design features of these headphones, we can state for sure that these would make for a durable pair of headphones. But again, we feel that Sony could have given a better look at the comfort level of MDR V55.
As for the quality of the sound drivers, we believe that the 40 mm neodymium drivers do more than enough justice to the headphones’ price-point. Nevertheless, who doesn’t want to get better things at lower prices?
6. Frequency Range
Sony claims to cater a range of 5 – 25,000 Hz with the MDR V55 headphones. The frequency response chart above is proof of why these headphones earn a bass sound signature. Even though there is a dip in the region of 3,000 – 5,000 Hz range, it isn’t that noticeable thanks to the neodymium sound drivers. The overall frequency response is well balanced but truly, the bass output is brilliant.
As the graph indicates, little to no distortion is present except at the lowest of frequencies, which in reality are inaudible among other sounds. For low-budget headphones, such less distortion deserves applause.
|USES||DJing, mixing, monitoring and recording|
|DIMENSIONS||7.53 x 140.8 x 9.59 inches|
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE RANGE||5 to 25,000 Hz|
|ITEM MODEL NUMBER||MDR-V55/WHI|
|AVAILABLE COLORS||Black, grey, and white|
- Reversible and rotating ear cups
- Good sound quality
- Flat, lightweight cord
- Tangle-free cable
- Good mid-range response
- Fixed-cable restricts movement
- Headband may squeak
- Ear padding may wear off
- Cable length is small; can be annoying
Frequently Asked Questions About Sony MDR V55
Does the Sony MDR V55 headphones have Bluetooth?
A frequent question about the MDR V55 is that if it has Bluetooth connectivity? Sadly enough, these headphones are completely wired headphones and have no kind of wireless connectivity. Generally, Bluetooth headphones are costlier. If you’re looking for Bluetooth headphones, check out our review of the Sony WH-1000XM3 Bluetooth headphones.
How is the noise-cancellation in Sony MDR V55?
A common feature with most over-the-ear headphones is that they have noise-cancelling capabilities. It is either due to the over-sized ear cup or due to an in-built noise-cancellation feature. The MDR V55 does not have an in-built noise cancellation feature, and in all honesty, the size of the earcups, as we discussed earlier, is not large enough to be considered noise-cancelling.
Yes, the headphones due eliminate some ambient noise but do not completely block it out. Also, there is a sound leakage of upto 20 dB, therefore one may want to keep a check on the volume of their music. If you’re looking for headphones with noise cancellation, check out our review for Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones.
What’s the comparison between the Sony MDR V55 vs Sony MDR V500DJ?
It would be unfair to compare the Sony MDR V55 vs the Sony MDR V500DJ. This is mainly due to the fact that the latter costs slightly above $150. Now, we simply cannot expect two different headphones with a price difference of about $100 to be similar. The MDR V55 is more of a starter pair of DJ headphones whereas the MDR V500DJ headphones would be recommended to experienced professionals for DJing and mixing. The build quality, comfort and sound quality of the MDR V500DJ are far superior than the MDR V55 headphones.
Can the Sony MDR V55 be used other than for DJing?
Yes, definitely. No headphones come with a mandate that they are to be used for a specific purpose. The Sony MDR V55 can be used for gaming as well as listening to music in day-to-day life.
The Final Verdict
Sony MDR V55 can be called “perfect budget headphones.” They aren’t very high-end or extravagant, but at the same time, they aren’t throwaways either. As these are DJ headphones, we recommend it for DJs who either do not wish to spend a fortune on headphones, or are still new at their profession.
Talking about the headphones themselves, the design and aesthetics are right on point. Sony can definitely improve upon the comfort level of these headphones. How so? By providing better padding at the top of the headband, as well as by providing bigger earcups with a better covering material. As for the sound quality, we would call it slightly above satisfactory. The bass, mids and treble are all very clear and crisp. Even though the headphones have a bass sound signature, the balance between the three range is well-maintained throughout.
We hope our review of the Sony MDR V55 was helpful to you. If you have any queries, questions or suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments section below!