Performance Build Quality Comfort Value PRICE $499 AT A GLANCE Plus Professional monitor sound, par excellence! Extended high-frequency response User-replaceable cable Minus No-frills design Not as open sounding as open-back headphones THE VERDICT Sony’s MDR 7520 is something of an “anti-Beats” headphone that fashionistas will shun, but its real strength is its neutrality. Just as I started working on this review, I met with Naotaka Tsunoda, one of the designers of the Sony MDR 7520, in NYC. This soft-spoken man is responsible for a number of Sony’s very best headphones including the legendary Qualia 010 ($2,400), a model that dates from 2004. That one had extraordinary high-frequency response, all the way up to 120 kilohertz, making it a good match for high-resolution audio.