What Is MDR On Sony Headphones? (Explained For Beginners)

The MDR headphones are one of Sony’s popular headphones. 

While not the best headphones from the brand, the MDR headphones are known as budget-friendly options for anyone looking for quality sound. 

But what makes headphones MDR? Is it a designation, or does it have something that other headphones don’t have? 

What is the MDR in Sony Headphones? 

Here’s What you Need to Know About MDR in Sony Headphones:

MDR stands for Micro Dynamic Receiver, referring to the small drivers, or small speakers, used inside some Sony headphones. In theory, all headphones have tiny receivers like the MDR built into them, but MDR is primarily a trademark of Sony.

What Exactly Does MDR Stand For?

Initially known for its flat response, the MDRs have been developed to cover different applications outside professional use.

Sony is known for MDR; hence, this acronym has become synonymous with the brand.

How Is This Different From Any Other Headphones?

MDR came to the market as a professional solution that delivers users’ neutral sounds.

While other brands also offer neutral sound profiles, the MDR became the standard for much entry-level pro-audio equipment.

If a range were set as a lower and upper limit for entry-level pro-audio headphones, the MDRs would be at the upper tier.

What Do Sound Experts Think About The MDR Technology?

Many sound experts are impressed with Sony’s MDR technology. It’s able to provide quality audio at an affordable price.

A case in point would be the Sony MDR 7506. These headphones are a standard issue for many recording studios and music producers due to their flat response.

While there are more expensive options, the sound quality you get with these headphones is at par with slightly more expensive models.

Can You Hear The Difference With MDR Headphones?

You can hear the difference with MDR compared to cheap headphones in the market.

You’ll notice more detail with MDR, while cheap and even the prominent budget headphones tend to have more exaggerated frequencies, often in the bass spectrum.

Which Headphones Have This Technology?

MDR is found on Sony headphones, although not all models use MDR.

In theory, all headphones have tiny receivers like the MDR built into them so that you can hear sound. MDR is primarily a trademark of Sony for the small speakers used by many of their headphones.

Is MDR Compatible with Dolby Atmos?

Not all MDR headphones of Sony are compatible with Dolby Atmos.

If you’re looking for Sony MDRs that work with Dolby Atmos, you can look into the Sony MDR-HW700DS. These headphones use a 50 mm neodymium driver and work well with different applications. Likewise, the HW700DS are also wireless and have broad compatibility for decoding audio formats.

Is MDR Compatible with Spatial Audio?

You can use Sony MDR headphones for Apple’s Spatial Audio, but you need to use wireless headphones for it to work. Spatial Audio was designed for the newer iPhones and iPads running iOS 14.6.

To activate Spatial Audio, open the Settings on your device, then go to Music settings. Tap on Dolby Atmos and change the preference to Always On.

While you can use these to enable Spatial Audio on other Bluetooth headphones, your mileage may vary. There have been reports that some headphones or speakers produce less par sound quality when using the Dolby Atmos feature.

Are MDR Headphones Good for Gaming?

Not all MDR headphones are suitable for gaming.

An excellent example of this would be the Sony MDR 7506. Since these are studio headphones, you may miss specific details due to their flat or neutral sound profile.

The consumer-centric MDR headphones would be a better choice, although they aren’t the best option.

Are MDR Headphones Good for Podcasting?

Sony MDR headphones are suitable for editing and even listening to your podcasts. While your mileage may vary, you get the best results when using the Sony MDR 7506 for editing your podcast.

For listening, any of the Sony MDRs will work fine.

Are MDR Headphones Good for Calls?

Not all MDR headphones are suitable for calls.

For instance, the Sony MDR 7506 does not have built-in microphones or controls to accept calls. Some models have a built-in microphone that allows for calls.

These models include the Sony MDR-EX14AP and the MDR-ZX110AP.

Are MDR Headphones Good for Listening to Music?

Although your mileage may vary, Sony MDR headphones were designed for music applications.

Remember that some of Sony’s MDR products were designed for studio work, which will result in a more flat sound profile. You hear things as if you were sitting in front of the mixing console, like the sound engineer preparing the song for pressing.

How Durable are MDR Headphones?

You can expect these headphones to last a long time when properly taken care of.

What are the Notable Headphones With MDR?

Here are some of the notable Sony MDR headphones in the market:

Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Headphones:

The Sony MDR-1000X headphones are one of the most versatile MDR headphones you can get in the market today. While it can’t cover all bases, it does come with solid features that non-professional users would enjoy.

First of all, the MDR-1000X are wireless and feature noise-canceling.

These headphones would be fabulous for daily commutes or listening to a podcast while in a coffee shop. If you like having a pair of headphones to shut out sound while on a flight, the MDR-1000X won’t disappoint.

A remarkable feature of the MDR-1000X is letting in external noise by cupping the right earcup.

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This feature comes in handy when you need to make a quick conversation or hear the PA system without removing your headphones.

While Sony has far better options, these headphones still do a good job, especially if you’re after the MDR technology. Even so, the MDR-1000X has an impressive battery life at 20 hours of continuous playback with Active Noise Canceling activated.

Sony MDR-EX650AP:

For those looking for in-ear headphones, the Sony MDR-EX650AP is worth a look.

The MDR-EX650AP features a mix of brass and plastic components to have that durable and light build.

The cable itself is rubberized and comes with anti-tangling.

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These cables also have better stain resistance and an angled 3.5mm plug.

The cable’s control is straightforward, with a single button that lets you skip songs, answer, or reject calls. You can also program this button for other functions with the Android app.

While a wired in-ear, the MDR-EX650AP comes with the option for a microphone and no microphone for those wanting a specific music listening device.

Sony MDR-Z7M2:

The Sony MDR-Z7M2 are over-ear headphones that fit comfortably, even with large ears.

Comfort-wise, these headphones have leather padding, making them more pleasing to use during extended periods. The headbands are also wrapped in leather to add better grip.

It’s also worth noting that the MDR-Z7M2 features a Y-cable but is also detachable for storage. You get to reduce the risks of damage when in storage.

The ends of the Y-cable attach to a screw-on collar, which prevents damage from accidental pulls.

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The MDR-Z7M2 is powered by a 70mm driver designed for lower sensitivity without sacrificing efficiency. The bass is quite prominent, without overpowering and the mid-frequency has a good amount of detail, despite having a slight dip.

The treble side of the spectrum has some good articulation, which many attributes to the Fibonacci-patterned grill.

Sony MDR-ZX110:

The Sony MDR-ZX110 is an excellent entry-level pair of headphones that are worth looking at if you plan to get MDR technology.

While not wireless, these headphones have great Active Noise Canceling, powered by a AAA battery.

Depending on the battery you get, you can get up to 87 hours of use, which isn’t bad at all.

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The MDR-ZX110 has a bass-centric sound profile, which is good for listening to EDM and hip-hop. According to some users, other genres also work fine, although the treble isn’t as pronounced.

The Y-cables of the MDR-ZX110 are also flat, which makes them less prone to tangles. The cables also feel more rugged, which gives you peace of mind if things get rough by accident.

Storing these headphones is also not a problem, as they fold for a more compact form.

Sony MDR-7506:

The Sony MDR-7506 is the most popular headphone among all MDR models due to its use by many professionals.

These headphones are one of the most neutral-sounding headphones you can get today. They are ideal for sound engineers who want to hear the sound without colorization.

Another reason why these headphones are a popular choice is the price.

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They don’t cost as much as the high-end studio headphones but can deliver quality sounds that will help you create your mix.

While designed primarily for music production, audiophiles will also love these headphones, as they allow users to hear music as if they were in the mixing room where the artist produced the music.

Final thoughts:

Sony MDR headphones are an excellent option for those who want quality headphones from an established brand without breaking the bank.

It’s great if you’re on a tighter budget, but if you can spare more, then you may want to widen your horizon and check other brands and models too.


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