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Sony MDR-Z7 Hi-res

Over-the-ear headphones

14 Reviews | 4 questions - 7 answers

Overview

Our take on the Sony MDR-Z7 Hi-res

I had a good feeling about the Sony MDR-Z7 headphones from the moment I unboxed a sample pair at my desk. They're impeccably built with the all-metal design interrupted only by soft leather on the earpads and headband. Listening to these headphones confirmed my suspicions. They offer an extraordinary amount of detail, excellent instrument separation, and an appealingly smooth finish in the high frequencies. They also go plenty low enough to cover the depths of the bass register. Music sounds big and punchy with the 'Z7 headphones, especially with a good source like Sony's Hi-Res Walkman. That's a killer combo for outstanding sound on the go.

Living up to high expectations

I had a good feeling about the Sony MDR-Z7 headphones from the moment I unboxed a sample pair at my desk. They're impeccably built with the all-metal design interrupted only by soft leather on the earpads and headband. Listening to these headphones confirmed my suspicions. They offer an extraordinary amount of detail, excellent instrument separation, and an appealingly smooth finish in the high frequencies. They also go plenty low enough to cover the depths of the bass register. Music sounds big and punchy with the 'Z7 headphones, especially with a good source like Sony's Hi-Res Walkman. That's a killer combo for outstanding sound on the go.

Sony MDR-Z7 hi-res headphones

The MDR-Z7 headphones offer up lots of detail — great for enjoying high-resolution music with your computer.

Exquisite detail, accuracy, and smoothness

The design of the MDR-Z7 headphones is all about high-performance sound. The key to their level of detail and spaciousness is the 70mm drivers — they're 40 percent larger than the drivers found in most over-the-ear headphones. The 'Z7's large drivers help reduce reflections and uneven dispersion that can occur within the earcups. The result is sound that's tighter and more accurate when it hits your ears. And the earcups are made of aluminum to limit resonance within the chamber, to keep your music sounding clean and natural. Each earcup features a small acoustic port near the bottom. This helps control airflow for more accuracy in the lowest frequencies. The bass is consistently bold and tight without ever being boomy.

Like a glove

I expected great sound from the MDR-Z7 headphones. What I didn't expect was for them to be so incredibly comfortable. They're rather lightweight for an over-the-ear design, and the leather on the earpads and headband is flat-out luxurious. That's important because you're going to want to listen to these headphones for a long time once you get a taste of their sweet sound.

Balanced and unbalanced cables

There are two detachable cables included with the Sony MDR-Z7s. There's one with a single miniplug connector for portable devices (a 1/4" adapter is included for home stereos). The second is a balanced cable with separate miniplug connectors for the left and right channels — it's tailor-made for Sony's PHA-3 DAC/amplifier. Both cables attach to the left and right earcups with clever screw-on connectors to ensure they only disconnect if you want them to.

Product Highlights:

  • over-the-ear, closed design
  • extra-large 70mm drivers offer exquisite detail and accuracy
  • acoustic ports on each earcup control airflow for deep, accurate bass response
  • includes two detachable cables:
    • 118-inch miniplug cable
    • 79-inch balanced dual-miniplug cable for connection to a compatible source or headphone amp
  • includes 1/4" plug adapter for home stereos
  • soft, thick leather earpads offer supreme comfort
  • aluminum earcups offer clear, accurate sound
  • all-metal frame and hinges offer durability
  • frequency response: 5-100,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 102 dB
  • impedance: 70 ohms
  • weight: 11.8 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • MDR-Z7 over-the-ear headphones
  • 10' Stereo cable (3.5mm plug)
  • 81" Balanced audio cable (dual 3.5mm plugs)
  • 3.5mm-to-1/4" Adapter
  • Operating Instructions
  • Warranty sheet (US)
Reviews

Sony MDR-Z7 Hi-res Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(14 Reviews)
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Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
Earcup Type Closed
Earcup Width x Height 3.938" x 3.938"
Noise-canceling No
Bluetooth No
Mic For Taking Calls No
iPhone Control No
Lightning Connector No
Android Control No
Frequency Response 5-100k Hz
Sensitivity 102 dB
Impedance 70 Ohms
Weight 11.8 ounces
Cord Length 120" + 81"
1/4-inch Adapter Included Yes
Volume Control No
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Features

Overview: The Sony MDR-Z7 high-resolution, over-ear headphones feature exceptional sound quality. These ultra-comfortable headphones have soft urethane cushions that provide an acoustic seal around your ears. With silicon rings around every moving axis, you'll get smooth and silent earcup movement in all directions. Two cables are included with the headphones, along with a padded storage box.

Drivers: The MDR-Z7 is equipped with 70mm ALCP (Aluminum-coated Liquid Polymer) dome-type drivers that deliver a wide frequency response, ranging from sub-harmonic lows (4 Hz) to ultra-sonic highs (up to 100kHz) for natural, soothing sound reproduction.

Detachable Cables: The headphones come with two detachable cables with OFC (oxygen-free copper) conductors. At the headphones, the cables have 3.5mm plugs with screw-on collars to ensure they stay plugged in. The 10-foot stereo cable has a single 3.5mm plug with a narrow collar that works with most smartphone cases. A 3.5mm-to-1/4" adapter is provided for those times when you want to listen to your home audio components or use a headphone amplifier. For the ultimate headphone experience, the included 6.5-foot balanced audio cable with dual 3.5mm plugs is compatible with amplifiers that have balanced audio outputs, such as the Sony PHA-3.

Specifications:

  • Frequency Response: 4Hz - 100kHz
  • Impedance: 70 ohms at 1 kHz
  • Power Handling Capacity: 2000mW
  • Sensitivity: 102dB / mW
  • Weight: 11.8 ounces (w/o cable)

Our Product Research Team

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Accessories
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

70mm drivers and amazing freq response range. [ PAUL  Jun 25, 2016 ]
reserch [ William  Apr 01, 2016 ]

4 questions already asked

Michael, I don't own the HA-2, but I've found that my iPad will drive the MDR-Z7s quite well. Based on that, my thought would be that the HA-2 would perform well with them. [ Steven M.  Apr 21, 2018 ]
They are, yes. [ Ryan  Aug 28, 2017 ]  Staff
They would go well with metal and hard rock. For the money good cans. But if you want to really rattle your skull and don't have to have closed cans look at the Hifiman HE 560. [ michael  Mar 01, 2016 ]
the highs are pretty good and clean but not a lot of bass when put it on a headphone amp and up the gain [ Roger  Mar 01, 2016 ]
Peter. I love them. I have 6 hi end pairs and these are excellent phones. I use these constantly. They blew me away. Cant go wrong here. [ DARYL K  Mar 01, 2016 ]
Unfortunately, the best I can do is what I have assumed to be the case, that like speakers the rating is per channel. The headphones work fine with the headphone amp in my Rotel pre-amplifier. [ Paul  Aug 05, 2015 ]
I am very sure it's per channel. You can download the manual and get the official specs there. [ PAUL  Aug 05, 2015 ]
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