Originally Posted by CKS
I've been using Sony MDR-E888 for over 8 years, it was the king back then, and I lost it recently, so I am looking for a replacement that is just as good if not better; price doesn't matter, preferably a bio-cellulose diaphragm earbud though.
Bought a pair of top consumer rated and best buy Sony MDR-V6 with 5-30,000Hz response, 106db at 1 milliwatt and 1000 milliwatt (1 watt...but I know you knew, right?) maximum signal input. A 1000 milliwatt input corresponds to just shy of 127db SPL...beyond the threshold of pain...been there done that...not pleasant, and not good. Swear it was 20 years ago I bought these. Use them with the computer mostly and they are still amazing. Several replacement pads later, the Sony MDR-V6 still kick buzz free and do the job. 40mm neodynium magnet supported extended range toughies they are. I have read in professional audio journals that they are the "preferred" headphone used by studio recording engineers. Sony has capitalized on this popularity and come up with similar but even more extended MDR-7506 and the best of the best, with 50mm drivers and a 3 watt maximum input, the MDR-7509's. (Which I covet and intend to buy, unless Santa gets to it first) Sony has been manufacturing the "winning" MDR-V6 model for over 20 years...which should tell us something.
Highly recommend that you give the Sony MDR-V6's a try. They are available at www.bhphotovideo
for only $69...an absolute steal. We've had other Sony models and though none of them are "bad", nothing comes even close to the articulation and extended response of the MDR-V6. They will reproduce the "crush depth" chapter's subsonic frequencies of "K-19 the Widowmaker" more accurately than an SVS subwoofer (albeit the SVS filled the house with earthquake-like sonic energy and it was not a fair comparison because the headphones weren't rearranging the room...just my head
...but it was real clean!)
Sony's more expensive models may be of interest if you are particularly fussy but I've used the MDR-V6 for critical listening on more speakers than I can name. Only speakers costing more than average (like $1000/pair) or those garnering a "best buy" rating have kept up to the Sony headphones over the years. As a matter of fact, my middle son's (I have 3) birthday gift is a pair of Sony-MDRV6's. He is a professional musician and teaches students in Jazz Piano and Vocal Performance. I would never press an inferior sound product into his hands...he'd pick up the deficiency in the first three bars.
Oh yeah, I apologize and should have mentioned that the MDR-V6's can be worn pretty much all day without discomfort. I've only felt the "my ears hurt" thingy the next day after having the phones on for loooong hours of listening. For me, 6 hours was possible without next day ear soreness. They are very comfortable and gentle as headphones go. And...I don't work for Sony! I like Pioneer, dammit.