MDR-Z7by Sony

  • MDR-Z7
  • MDR-Z7
  • MDR-Z7
TECHWALLA
VERDICT
Clearly above average. Only a couple of issues keep this from being best in class.
82%
TECHWALLA SCORE
based on the following sites

PROS

  • Classy in looks as well as in sound, the MDR-Z7 boasts a headband embellished with real leather.
  • Although large and not exactly lightweight, these cans are comfy enough to wear for many hours at a time.
  • Sony' headphones come with two cables, one of which is designed for use with balanced audio headphone amps and players.

CONS

  • Quality this fine doesn't come cheap. The asking price is hefty.
  • Sony fails to include a protective carrying case or pouch.
  • You might find that these headphones only sound phenomenal when volume is cranked up to full blast.
Sony's first high-end headset in years, the MDR-Z7 does a great job of going toe-to-toe with top-of-the-line audiophile offerings from company rivals. The design is essentially closed-back, except for one unique twist: vents on the underside of each housing. Although noise isolation is quite good, you get the wider soundstage that typically accompanies open-back cans. For deep and accurate bass, the MDR-27 is powered by new 70 mm audio drivers touted as attaining a realistic minimum frequency as low as 4 hertz.
NameMDR-Z7EL-8 HeadphonesZik 2.0BeoPlay H8Chord MS 530
ManufacturerSonyAudezeParrotBang & OlufsenPhiaton
Techwalla Score
82%
89%
87%
86%
78%
List Price$700$700$400$499$349
100%

The sound is huge and loud, so if you’re using them in an office environment coworkers may complain that too much of your music is leaking f…

The sound is huge and loud, so if you’re using them in an office environment coworkers may complain that too much of your music is leaking from them. If you lower the volume too much, they just don’t sound as good. These headphones sound best when they’re cranked up.

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90%

What if you can grab a pair of big headphones that offer just enough line volume to work with mobiles, tablets, and plenty of room to move o…

What if you can grab a pair of big headphones that offer just enough line volume to work with mobiles, tablets, and plenty of room to move on a computer? For that, you turn to something Sony has spent time working on, a pair of headphones named the MDR-Z7...

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80%

The Sony MDR-Z7 is a well-crafted, very comfortable audiophile-grade headphone that features well-balanced, articulate sound. For a closed-b…

The Sony MDR-Z7 is a well-crafted, very comfortable audiophile-grade headphone that features well-balanced, articulate sound. For a closed-back headphone, the soundstage is wide (it sounds more like an open-back headphone). Two cables are included, one of which is designed for use with balanced audio headphone amps and players.

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80%

They have a big, bold sound that doesn’t demand a perfectly silent room to get the most out of. At a push you can even wear them outside...I…

They have a big, bold sound that doesn’t demand a perfectly silent room to get the most out of. At a push you can even wear them outside...If you're out for the most revealing, searching sound possible, the soft, caramel-coated mid-range of the Sony MDR-Z7 may not be quite what you’re after, though.

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79%

In a headphone of this calibre, it’s not about the volume of the bass that is produced but the minimum frequency to which it is accurately r…

In a headphone of this calibre, it’s not about the volume of the bass that is produced but the minimum frequency to which it is accurately recreated, and larger drivers (all else being equal) mean more low-end potential. To that, Sony claims the MDR-Z7 can reach a maximum realistic minimum frequency of 4Hz.

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74%

Musicality is a hard thing to come by these days and much to my dismay, it seems more neutral and critical headphones are being produced tha…

Musicality is a hard thing to come by these days and much to my dismay, it seems more neutral and critical headphones are being produced than ever before. Luckily, Sony knows better and hasn’t forgotten that the core of this hobby is supposed to be about enjoyment and not being able to sit in your chair and say “yep, that sounds super accurate…so now what do I do?” as you cringe at the harshness and hiss happening in your “reference” headphone setup.

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70%

Unusually for a headphone at the price point, the Sony is a closed back design although Sony’s definition of ‘closed back’ extends to there …

Unusually for a headphone at the price point, the Sony is a closed back design although Sony’s definition of ‘closed back’ extends to there being vents on the underside of each housing - in fairness these don’t appear to leak any noise. This makes the Z7 perfectly suited for use in busy spaces provided that you don’t mind their sheer bulk.

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I usually find headphones to be too uncomfortable and confining. They make me feel a little claustrophobic to be honest. So I was most pleas…

I usually find headphones to be too uncomfortable and confining. They make me feel a little claustrophobic to be honest. So I was most pleased to find the Sony MDR-Z7’s were different than most.

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