CNET First Look
Sony MDR-Z7: A high-end audiophile headphone that makes the gradeFinally, Sony has made a headphone that can go toe-to-toe with the top audiophile models.
[MUSIC] I'm David Carnoy and this is the Sony MDR-Z7, a high end headphone aimed toward audiophiles that lists for 700 dollars but can be had online for less than 600. Sony offers a huge range of headphones but it hasn't made a headphone that goes toe to toe with the top audio models in quite some time. The MDRZ7 is such a headphone. It looks, feels, and sounds like the real deal. This is a really comfortable headphone and while not as light as Sony's step-down MDR1A, another great headphone, it's relatively light for a high-end model at 335 grams or 11.8 ounces. And I was able to work for long stretches without a problem. At this price point, a lot of audiophiles choose to go with an open-back design to get that more open area quality that open-back headphones deliver. The MDRZ-7 is a closed-back design, but manages to sound more like an open-back headphone, so imaging is broad and beautifully focused. And that really describes this headphone's overall sound, which is very linear and transparent. You hear more of the recording, good or bad, which is exactly what audio files want. You get the feeling the Z7 isn't adding or taking away anything from the sound of your music. Harsh recordings will sound harsher than you've heard them before, but the best ones will sound better than ever. The Z7 will appeal to folks who crave lots of bass. But it's not overemphasized the way it is with a lot of today's headphones. This headphone will sound terrific plugged into your phone. But to really hear it at its best, it should be paired with a high-end headphone amplifier. With a great amp, the Z7's dynamic punch improves Treble is more delicate and the base plums deeper. If you are going to invest in a high end headphone like the mdrz7 it makes sense to see what it can do. I'm David Carnic from cnet.com. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC]