The headphone market has exploded. If you are still looking at those bulletproof bulky paper weights specialized for the DJ, you have been been sleeping on the train. Thanks to companies like Sennheiser, AIAIAI, and a few others, cans have gotten lighter, louder, shock resistant, and most of all, the cords are bustin’ out the kink free design. But stepping back in time when DJ’s actually made a living spinning in local clubs or bars, there were the standards among standards that most DJs that I knew used: the Sony MDR-V6. They are incredibly nearly 30 years old, still kickin’, and they are still used today by filmakers, engineers, broadcasters, and of course DJs. They were released by Sony in 1985 at about the street price of $79, discontinued for a short stint at the approach of new millennium, but were brought back by the demand of many disgruntled conservative audioholics.
In house music circles, the MDR-V6 has been widely popularized and modded as the official Lollipop Headphone fitted with its notoriously handy bicycle grip stick design and a pulsing beat-syncing LED light pinned at the center of the can, which to me really didn’t make much sense as a visual aid while it was sucked up against your ear. But like the Playstation, it caught on and became a huge hit for the Sony catalog. This street mod design was later replaced by the MDR-V6’s successor, the MDR-V700. I still don’t know why Sony never bothered to make their own official version of the Lollipop Headphone stick, but I guess they had their head up their ass with all their other electronic crap!
So with all the fluff that is out there, I just thought I would pay homage to the most widely accepted set of DJ headphones since the 80s. They certainly need to be respected and taken care of, if you happen to have an old pair, and they are ranked pretty high in my unofficial (DJ) Headphone Hall of Fame.