Sony's new wired audiophile headphones are built for incredible spatial audio

A pair of Sony MDR-MV1 headphones
(Image credit: Sony/B&H Photo Video)

Sony Pro is updating its studio-grade headphones by revealing the MDR-MV1 which is said to be specifically “designed for professional sound engineers and music creators," and the rapid rise of spatial audio.

Although the company is pitching this as something meant for studio production, the output it produces will almost certainly appeal to audiophiles and it starts with the device’s structure.

The headphones sport an open-back design allowing them to accurately replicate sound from a “wide frequency range.” According to Sony, this makes the MDR-MV1 a good option for producers “mixing and mastering immersive spatial [audio]... as well as stereo sound with hi-resolution capability.” Non-professionals can still enjoy the headphones as the open-back design “reduces internally reflected sounds” in order to ensure a rich output. Keep in mind audio from the outside world will leak in from the rear because of the open-back structure. As a result, the MDR-MV1 does not have active noise cancelation. 

You may notice on the specs page the wide frequency range goes far beyond normal human hearing, maxing out at 80 kHz (human hearing peaks at around 20 kHz). Sony states this is another feature meant for sound engineers as the range makes it easier for users (both professional and casual) to note “detailed changes in sound”.

Catching an audio trend

Apart from the impressive audio output, there isn’t a whole lot to the MDR-MV1. It’s a pretty straightforward pair of headphones. Other features include lightweight, fitted earmuffs that reportedly provide hours of comfort. The device also sports a detachable 6.3mm stereo plug complete with a special adapter to transform the cable into a 3.5mm stereo mini jack. And that’s pretty much it when it comes to features. 

The MDR-MV1 will launch later this month for $399.99 / AU$699.95 (UK pricing yet to be confirmed). Currently, the headphones are available for pre-order on select online retailers like Sweetwater Sound. There’s no Amazon listing available at the time of this writing, but we hope that changes soon. 

Meeting people's needs

Sony states in the announcement it created these headphones to meet the “rise in spatial sound and high-quality streaming music services”. For example, you have the recently launched Apple Music Classical, housing well over five million classical tracks with thousands supporting spatial audio no less. There’s also the music streaming service Tidal which has High-Res music as part of its subscription plans. Spotify users, however, still have to cope with the fact the HiFi tier isn’t a thing, although the dream remains alive in some form. But maybe it’s for the best that Spotify HiFi stays as vaporware. The platform is no longer just about music, anyway.

Be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best headphones for 2023; some sport active noise cancelation.

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.