Replacement Pads For Sony’s MDR-V6 Headphones

I love my oversize Sony MDR-V6 headphones to death. I wear these things at least 8 hours every single work day. They’re over my ears on my commute in to work, all day while I’m at my computer, and on my ride back home. One would expect the pads to slowly breakdown after almost 2.5 years of heavy use. So I finally broke down and ordered replacement headphone pads.

Amazon has them for about $7 per pad. A little expensive for a round piece of foam but for something that sounds so good and is super comfortable, it’s a small price to pay. Before these I bought a pair of knock-off replacement pads for the low, low price of $4.65. They fit as advertised but after only 4 hours of wearing them, my ears were throbbing. The material was not as soft and a bit smaller so it would actually press against my ears. I ended up going back to the old, falling apart pads.

The moral of the story is if you need to replace something that you use all day everyday, don’t cheap out. At least, in this instance, your ears will thank you.


Review Of Sony MDR-V6 Headphones

Sony MDR-V6 and Sony MDR7502 headphones side by side.

I’ve been using Sony MDR7502 Headphones (right in the image above) for the past six years. They came with my supply kit that I received before my first year at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. For the last two and a half years I have put 2 hours of a day, 5 days a week of use into them as they were an integral part of my commute. The pads started deteriorating and the end of the cable started to fray. But what pushed me to buy a new pair of cans was my new job.

When I was at U.S.News & World Report I had my own office so I could listen to music through speakers. My new job at the Pew Research Center has me in a cubicle, so headphones are a necessity.

My old headphones sit right on top of my ears so after about 2 hours of use, my ears begin to throb. The Sony MDR-V6 appealed to me because they fit over the ear which should be more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time.

Sony MDR-V6 headphones fit over the ear for added comfort.

And the $75 price tag is a bargain considering I would need to wear these for eight hours every work day. I’ve been using them for the past week and here are some take-aways:

  • The bigger cups are a lot more comfortable than headphones that sit right on the ear. They also block out more noise which is a big plus while riding the Metro.
  • My old headphones sound a bit better with a fuller, deeper sound especially for speech like podcasts. To be fair the MDR-V6’s still need a couple hundred more hours to break in properly.
  • The coiled-cord of the MDR-V6’s is a heck of a lot easier to manage than the straight cable of the MDR7502’s. Straight cables tend to get twisted easily. Both headphones have super long cords that can catch on things when walking around. I would tie up the straight cable into a figure 8 with a twisty tie to take up some of the slack. Sony MDR7502 connector and coiled cable
    The coiled cord can be gathered up in my pocket with my Zune without a problem.
  • The plug of the MDR7502 headphones is connected to the cable with a plastic webbing. When the webbing breaks, the connection can loosen which requires a bit of fiddling with to keep the connection sounding good. The MDR-V6 fixes that problem (hopefully) with a flexible, rubber tube at the base of the connector.
  • The MDR-V6’s fold up for easy storage. It doesn’t take much effort to make the headphones collapse and as a result I found them configured in weird positions when carrying them in my backpack. It’s a little annoying to have to untwist and unfold everything before you can use them. Sony MDR-V6 collapsed
  • More comfortable headphones come at the price of fashion. The MDR-V6 headphones are a bit bulky which is a fair trade-off for the superior comfort and build quality. If looking like a DJ on your morning commute isn’t your thing, then studio headphones in general aren’t for you.

Overall I am very happy with my bigger, sturdier headphones. Even though they don’t sound as good as my Sony MDR7502’s they still sound better than most any other headphones out there. I didn’t buy these with sound quality being the number one deciding factor; I bought them for comfort. There are probably much better sounding headphones that cost a heck of a lot more money. The Sony MDR-V6 headphones are great for my everyday listening needs at work and on my commute.

Sony MDR-V6 ear cup

Other Reviews of Sony MDR-V6 headphones:

Russell The Poet

My roommate, Jaime, had to make a website about poetry for one of her classes. Her idea was to present the poems of several 19th century American poets along with a recording of a reading. Guess who got to lend his voice to the poetry reading? That’s right, it was me!

Bullwinkle Performs Poetry.

I was happy to help out with voice over work and recording. I borrowed a R0DE Podcaster Microphone from work and recorded everything into Garageband on a MacBook. I recited poems from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman.

In fact in the 8th grade one of my assignments was to memorize and recite in front of the class Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” Even after all of these years the words flew off my tongue with ease.

Jaime’s site is pretty interesting and well designed for a first time website maker. Take a look around and take a listen to the other poems.

Steve Gibson Explains Internet Congestion

There has been a lot of commotion about net neutrality and packet shaping in the news recently. All of the stories that I have read have been from the point of view of the common Internet user whose freedom of access has been threatened by the gatekeepers of the Internet, the service providers. On the recent episode of Security Now, Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte take an objective look at how the Internet clogs up and what the ISPs have to do to manage their network. Starting off at how the HTTP protocol was designed through how ISPs swap traffic at the backbone of the Internet (known as peering) to the future of fatter broadband pipes, Steve doesn’t miss a beat.

To be frank about it, the Internet is short on bandwidth. There is simply too much demand and not enough space to squeeze all of the data around the world fast enough. Everybody wants fast, snappy web pages to spring up as soon as they click a link. But services like Bittorrent tend to max out the network’s resources causing the other web traffic to grind to a halt until the bottleneck is gone.

Submariane Cable Map of the Internet - 2008

Map of the under-sea cables connecting the continents to the Internet. If one should fail then the packets will be sent through an alternate route.

The Internet was designed for traffic to automatically re-route itself for the best available delivery route. But if the packets encounter holes, your connection will slow down the sending of packets in hopes that the strain on the route to the destination clears up. This is why your connection might seem to slow to a crawl around the time people are getting off of work and heading home to surf the web there.

The Internet was never designed with the scale that it is today in mind. ISP’s are simply trying to manage their networks for the sake of everybody’s experience. For the sake of the net, researchers are busy devising new protocols to make network traffic more efficient but it is a tough nut to crack with many variables to take into consideration. And then there is always the ethical and political issues. Internet congestion is one tough pill to swallow!

You can listen to the 1:21:12 mp3 for Security Now Episode #139 and follow along with the transcript.