Review: Sony MDR-MV1 : Reference Open Back Headphones

Review: Sony MDR-MV1 Open Back Reference Monitor Headphones for mixing, mastering and more. with Detachable cables for professional use

With the Sony MDR-MV1, the manufacturer is launching headphones specially developed for mixing and mastering engineers. We took a closer look at the chic sound supplier.

Sony MDR-MV1: An Overview

With the Sony MDR-MV1, the manufacturer recently launched open headphones that were specially developed for the requirements of mixing and mastering engineers.

So these are primarily high-quality reference headphones for professional use, which should also inspire demanding music listeners.

The open over-ears are equipped with 40 mm neodymium drivers, which, according to the manufacturer, cover a frequency range from 5 Hz to 80 kHz.

Areas of application for the Sony MDR-MV1:
The Sony MDR-MV1 reference headphones are perfect for mixing and mastering applications in the studio, but they are also the right choice for music lovers who would like to hear their favorite songs in the best possible quality.


Weight 223 g
Price (RRP) 474.81

Design Over-Ear
 Open, dynamic
 40 mm neodymium (newly developed HD driver, supports 3D audio)
Frequency response
 5 Hz to 80 kHz
 24 ohms at 1 kHz
Sensitivity sound pressure level
 100 dB
Cable routing
 One-sided (left)

2.5 m jack cable (3.5 mm to 6.35 mm; detachable); Adapter Cable (6.35mm to 3.5mm)

Low weight, high wearing comfort, detailed sound pattern

Sony MDR-MV1: First impression of the scope of delivery:

The Sony MDR-MV1 comes in a compact cardboard box. The manufacturer did not use plastic packaging elements, which is excellent. There is a green thumb up here.

The scope of delivery is quite clear. A 2.5 m jack cable is included. This is equipped with a 3.5 mm plug on one side and a 6.35 mm plug on the other. This underlines the professional application area of ​​the headphones.

An adapter cable back to 3.5 mm is also included. It can be used with smartphones and laptops out-of-the-box. I would have wished for a chic transport box or a small bag for storage or on the go.

By the way, the headphones are not foldable and therefore take up more space in the backpack. The Sony MDR-MV1 also shares this fact with other headphones for professional users, such as the Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X. And let’s be honest, open headphones are only suitable to a limited extent for use on the go in Bus and train.

Visually, I find the Sony MDR-MV1 very appealing. The design of the headphones, which are only available in black, seemed modern and calm to me. Only the “L” and “R” markings provide some color.

The one-sided connection cable is screwed to the left earphone, making a very good impression regarding workmanship and the built-in plug. By the way: The housing shells of the Sony MDR-MV1 are made of aluminum.

Processing quality of the Sony MDR-MV1

There is little to complain about the processing quality of the Sony MDR-MV1. The suspension of the listeners is stable and should easily withstand the sometimes quite rough daily routine in the studio.

The seams of the flexible, padded, and covered headband are neatly worked in, and the side covers with the Sony logo also seemed quite scratch-resistant to me. The rasterized height adjustment can be set from ​​1 to 10; the numbered metal element ensures great stability.

The Sony MDR-MV1 in detail

The open Sony MDR-MV1 over-ears are equipped with 40 mm neodymium drivers, which, according to the manufacturer, cover a frequency range from 5 Hz to 80 kHz. This is more than sufficient, especially since the range humans can hear is far below that.

The impedance is 24 ohms, so the headphones can also be used with smartphones, tablets, and laptops without any problems. During the development of the Sony MDR-MV1, particular focus was placed on precise and neutral reproduction of sound sources, first-class spatial representation, and high wearing comfort.

Let’s see how the headphones perform in practice.

The Sony MDR-MV1 in practice

My high comfort level is a particularly important aspect of mixing and mastering applications. Working on a song can take several hours, and the fun can quickly evaporate with uncomfortable headphones.

So it’s a good thing that one of the strengths of the Sony MDR-MV1 is its excellent wearing comfort. The breathable ear pads and the open design ensure good ventilation and effectively counteract “hot ears.”

In addition, just enough pressure is exerted on the user that he notices that he has nothing on his head at all. The very comfortable ear pads provided enough space for my large ears. Thus, the majority of buyers should not have any space problems.

The swiveling suspension, the flexible and padded headband, and the notched height adjustment work great together and ensure an almost perfect fit. In addition, the Sony MDR-MV1 is quite light at just 223 g.

The crosstalk of the sound to the outside is quite present due to the open design. This sound supplier is, therefore, less suitable for mixing sessions in the quiet area of ​​the ICE. The headphones are also less suitable for recording sessions in the studio. A closed variant is the right choice here.

The sound of the Sony MDR-MV1

After an appropriate burn-in phase of several nights of continuous operation ordered by the sales department, the Sony MDR-MV1 was tested on various playback devices such as digital audio players, smartphones, and my laptop.

This was followed by a longer mixing session using the Antelope Audio ZEN GO Synergy Core. To get a feel for the headphones, I listened to my reference playlist with songs from various genres and then did a few mixing sessions.

The honesty of the Sony MDR-MV1 was particularly evident when listening to my mixing sessions. “I have to go here again,” I thought to myself more often than I would have liked. Jokes aside. The neutral, precise, and honest sound makes the headphones a great companion in the studio.

The bass range is reproduced precisely and defined and extends quite far down. In particular, home studio operators with small near-fields on the studio table should have a great tool for assessing the bass range with the Sony MDR-MV1. But the headphones are also perfect as a reference system for more professional setups.

The mids are transparent and present without being obtrusive, and the highs are also convincing with a clear and unexcited reproduction.

I particularly liked the detailed depth gradation, the lack of distortion even at high volumes, and the stereo image of the Sony MDR-MV1. Rooms are presented realistically, and the instruments are precisely located in the room.

I recommend anyone interested to enjoy Radiohead’s song “How To Disappear Completely” through these headphones. In any case, I’ve done it several times, and I’m still impressed by the richness of detail, the spatiality, and the dynamics the headphones brought to my ears.


The Sony MDR-MV1 is a well-made headphone that fits perfectly into the studio thanks to its neutral and honest sound. The wearing comfort is excellent, and the headphones showed their pleasant side even after prolonged use.

The processing quality is also convincing. I would only advise against mobile use among people due to the crosstalk of what the outside world hears.

The Sony MDR-MV1 reference headphones are perfect for mixing and mastering applications in the studio. Still, they are also the right choice for music lovers who want to hear their favorite songs in the best possible quality.

Top features of the Sony MDR-MV1:

  • Outstanding wearing comfort
  • Neutral, honest sound
  • Very good processing quality


  • No carry bag/carrying box included


SOUNDPoints (out of 100)
Neutrality (2x)90
fine drawing (2x)88
impulse behavior89
dynamic behavior87
bass depth88
Sound quality (50%)89
Comfort (25%)87
Processing (15%)88
Equipment + service (10%)83