Sony MDR7506 vs. Audio-Technica ATH-M30x: Headphone Battle & Reviews

Between the Sony MDR7506 and Audio-Technica ATH-M30x; which headphones are the best?

Here it is ladies and gentlemen. Three highly popular headphones side-by-side facing off. While each pair has its standard ups and downs, they also have their own unique benefits. Depending on what you’re looking for in a pair of headphones will determine which of these might be the best choice for you. After extensive research, personal experience, and reviews; We formulated an in-depth comparison between each one. May the battle commence!  

But first…

What Makes A Pair Of Headphones Good?

  1. Sound Quality: How good the overall audio quality of music, phone calls, or video.
  2. Comfort: The ability to remain comfortable for extended periods of time without itchiness, annoyance, or ear pain.
  3. Build Quality: The overall durability and longevity. Able to withstand harsh conditions for extended periods of time.
  4. Noise Isolation/ Active Noise Cancelling: If any at all, how well the active noise cancelling or noise isolating abilities are.
  5. Battery Life: How long the battery life of the pair of headphones is at a full charge.
  6. Added Features: A few examples of added features headphones offer can be Bluetooth capabilities, built-in AI assistant, headphone controls, built-in microphone for phone calls, flexibility, rotatable ear cups, etc.

We compared and contrasted each of these factors for the Sony MDR7506 & Audio-Technica ATH-M30x

Sound Quality

Especially for music listeners, the overall quality of sound is a massive factor in finding your perfect pair of headphones. There are various factors that impact a pair of headphones’ sound quality.

Sony MDR7506
If you want the most accurate sounding flat headphones for the lowest price, this pair may be the one for you! It uses 40mm drivers for a full and clean sound. Regardless of how loud you blast the volume, they will not distort. The Sony MDR7506 was designed to play the natural sound without any added eq or sound manipulation. However, these headphones are incredibly accurate to the point in which a lower format of audio will be noticed. Likewise, a higher quality audio source will be noticed and sound better as well. The wide frequency response of 5 Hz – 30 kHz picks up every audible frequency in the human ears spectrum.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x
With the copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils, 40-millimeter drivers, and rare earth magnets; It provides outstanding sound quality and clarity for the low-price. Amazingly, these are one of the few headphones in this price range that sound engineers happily use. The frequencies are well-balanced throughout the spectrum with a minuscule dip in the bass. If you prefer bass-heavy headphones, these may not be the best choice. However, I’m a huge fan of the clearly pronounced midrange sound. Overall, the sound quality is very detailed and precise. Especially for an affordable price, you will be pleased.

Overall, the Sony MDR7506 has the best sound quality.

Comfort

The ability for headphones to remain comfortable for extended periods of time without itchiness, annoyance, pressure, or ear pain. Considering many people use headphones for commute, air travel, or work; Comfort is a vital factor.

Sony MDR7506
The wide and softly padded headband equally dispenses the weight. Thus, designed for maximum comfortability with extended periods of time. You will be very satisfied with the Sony MDR7506 overall comfort levels. The lightweight also helps reduce the chances of annoyance and itchiness.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x
Not the best, but the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x is a relatively comfortable pair of headphones. I recommend these headphones for anyone who needs to wear them for 2-3 hours at a time. After a few hours, you may need to take a break.

Overall, the Sony MDR7506 is more comfortable than the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x.

Build Quality

What good are your amazingly sounding headphones if they break in a few months? The overall durability and longevity are crucial for any investment you make. Especially for those who need headphones for commute, it’s important they’re able to withstand vigorous traveling conditions consistently.

Sony MDR7506
Especially for the affordable price, the build quality is solid and durable. Many people have used these headphones for an extremely long time without any damage. The design is very modest and plain. Some people prefer it that way; others don’t. The headphones are foldable for added convenience and portability. We also like how lightweight they are.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x
Besides the semi-plasticky feel, these headphones are robust and sturdy. Especially for the low price, you will be satisfied with its durability and lifespan. If I had to be picky, the joints are a bit weak. It has a circumaural design that easily fits around your ears. They are collapsible for more convenient travel. Overall, you will be satisfied with the build quality and they will last you a much longer time than most headphones below $100.

Overall, the Sony MDR7506 and Audio-Technica ATH-M30x are tied in the best build quality.

Noise Isolation/ Active Noise Cancelling

Don’t be confused between active noise cancelling and noise isolation headphones. They are both entirely different. Noise-cancelling technology is very unique. Unlike noise-isolating headphones, noise-cancelling headphones do not eradicate outside noise by physical insulation. Within the ear cups, they have a mini microphone that picks up the outside environmental noise. It then triggers a frequency entirely opposite to the outside ambient noise. Thus, canceling out most outside ambient sound.

Sony MDR7506
Although the Sony MDR7506 covers the entire ear, the noise-isolation abilities are not up to par with the other pair. However, the oval ear-pads still provide decent noise isolation. These headphones do not provide active noise-cancelling.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x
These headphones do not have active noise cancellation. However, it provides extremely good passive noise-isolation. It easily covers the entire ear and blocks out a great deal of outside noise once you put them on. Unfortunately, these headphones have a bit of sound bleed. People around you can hear what you’re listening to at higher volumes. Once put on, they naturally reduce outside ambient noise by 50%. Especially for the low price, the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x are overall very good noise-isolation headphones.

Overall, the Audio-Technica ATH-M30x provides better noise isolation than the Sony MDR7506.

Battery Life

Battery life is an overlooked subject when speaking about over-ear headphones. Obviously, the only headphones that have a battery life are those which are wireless. Many headphones on the market do not have wireless capabilities. But for those who do, a more extended battery-life becomes a convenient factor.

Sony MDR7506
These headphones do not have wireless capabilities. They must be plugged in via wire.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x
These headphones do not have wireless capabilities. They must be plugged in via wire.

Added Features

Here we summarize each pair headphones and talk about some of the added features.

Sony MDR7506
Overall, the Sony MDR7506 is one of the highest-rated and most famous pair of wired headphones for a reason. They are a fantastic option for those who need high quality and affordable pair of headphones that don’t need maximum noise-isolation. Unfortunately, they do not have Bluetooth, a built-in microphone, voice-assistant, etc.

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x
These headphones do not have wireless abilities, a built-in mic, Bluetooth, etc. However, they are a superb choice for anyone looking for clear, precise, and detailed sound quality. With a solid build, decent comfort, and good noise isolation; They are a great bang for the buck under $100. I recommend them for sound engineers, video editors, audio editors, or mixers on a very tight budget.

Our Winner Between Sony MDR7506 & Audio-Technica ATH-M30x

Keep in mind that our opinion is not the end all be all. Like mentioned earlier, everyone has different needs, requirements, and budgets for their headphones. However, our winner is the Sony MDR7506 due to its sound quality, comfort, and durability. It’s a fantastic bang for the buck and we highly recommend it.

If you’re interested in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones under $300, see our top 5 here.

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