Headphones For DJing – Ultimate Guide
Are you already an accomplished DJ or just getting into DJing? Either way, you’ll want to know which are the Best DJ headphones right now that will help you to become a better DJ. We also explain just what to look for when choosing the best set of headphones specifically for DJing. We’ll cover the mixing stance, open or closed back, durability, portability, comfort and weight.
Clean deep Bass, Vivid Mids and Ultra-Extended Highs tuned by industry editors and audiophiles.
Unique CLIQFOLD design for compact storage. Ultra compact exoskeleton carry case featuring V-STRAP system.
Even frequency response of studio monitors for ultra-accurate recording, mixing, and playback.
Solid build quality of mostly aluminum. Heavy but comfortable.
Introducing the big dog of DJ headphones – the Sennheiser HD25-1 II Closed-Back. These Sennheiser HD25-1 II are the undisputed heavy weight champs of DJing. Used by most pros and for good reason, these babies hit the spot on all fronts as we will explain here in this mini review.
The on-ear design of the Sennheiser HD25-1 II Closed-Back Headphones does surprisingly well at isolating the outside ambient noise compared with over-the-ear phones which as you imagine are usually naturally better in this department.
As well as superb noise isolation, these headphones have great sounds with crisp highs and tight bass that packs a real punch! Bear in mind that these headphones have been built for DJing and the sound quality is not quite as rich as studio sets like the Senn HD-800s. But as you’re mixing, you’ll sure enough be able to hear the bass, mids and highs clearly and effectively.
Quite frankly, the Sennheiser HD25-1 II Closed-Back Best DJ Headphones are almost unbreakable, and if any part of them does break by some very random glitch in the matrix- You can easily replace that part. You will get absolute value for you investment if you choose to buy these deejaying headphones after reading this DJ Headphones Best-of guide.
This is the one area that is slightly up for debate for our number 1 choice in this category. Back in fashion in 2016 are wearing larger headphones. But these phones will never be the coolest looking cans around. The Sennheiser HD25-1 II Closed-Back Headphones do have the rotating capsules feature of course for one-ear listening while DJing. But if you’re more concerned about looking sexy with your headphones on while DJing then perhaps you should look towards a set like the Beats Mixr for example.
OVERALL SUMMARY FOR BEST DJ HEADPHONES
Sennheiser have achieved yet another legendary status with theSennheiser HD25-1 II Closed-Back Headphones and there are solid reasons why these headphones are so well used and well loved. They are The Hound’s top pick for DJing.
The V-MODA Crossfade LP2 are Italian brand V-moda’s premium Dj headphones. So what did they set out to achieve with the V-MODA Crossfade LP2? Well, they set out to make a fabulous pair of headphones for DJing with great overall sound and deep bass that won’t break the bank. It says on their website that they consulted 50 professional DJs and musicians to help with engineering this pair of DJ headphones. And it shows! So let’s break it down in this mini review.
The V-MODA Crossfade LP2 lock out the noise with style. They come with built in Analog Noise Isolation that naturally cut out the distractions of crowd noise while DJing.
With award-winning M-Class sound tuned by over 200 audiophile aficionados and patented 50mm Dual Diaphragm Drivers to separate bass from mids and highs these headphones do not disappoint in the sound quality department. The V-MODA Crossfade LP2 headphones for deejaying have great overall sound satisfaction that actually evokes the experience of a live performance. They have a refined and vibrant bass, vivid mids and ultra-extended highs.
Firstly the headband is virtually indestructible – Made from STEELFLEX tough material. The frame is made from steel and it is reinforced with interchangeable Aircraft Grade Metal Shields too. And don’t worry about getting these babies scratched after a long set DJing, they come with an awesome exoskeleton form-fitting case.
DESIGN of the V-Moda Crossfade LP2s
The design of the V-MODA Crossfade LP2 was “inspired in Italy but styled in Hollywood “, with over 4 years of ergonomic research and development resulting in an ergonomic headband and hexagon shape that ensures minimal force on head and your ears. You’ll be comfortable while DJing long sets with these on due to the supple memory foam cushions that naturally house your ears perfectly, providing ergonomic bliss and great noise isolation too. There’s also and added perk of being able to laser engrave your DJ logo onto the shield. How cool is that!
OVERALL SUMMARY FOR OUR BEST DJ HEADPHONES ROUNDUP
The V-MODA Crossfade LP2 deserve the number 2 spot easily and are not far behind the Sennheiser HD 25-1 IIs. If they had rotating cans I would’ve given them the number 1 spot. They’re a truly awesome choice for any DJ.
Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-2000MK2-S DJ Headphone
In third place are the Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-2000MK2-S DJ Headphone. If you were a fan of the predeccessor then be prepared to be amazed by these. Pioneer have fixed a few of the issues with the HDJ-2000s and added optimised audio quality and a more enhanced sound isolation design – all with even more comfort while retaining that robustness that Pioneer DJ headphones are renowned for.
These ear pads’ low-volume air chambers provide maximum insulation which reduces any external noise in mid to low frequencies. Their airtight stitching damper and also ensure crisp clarity for the DJ’s ease-of-monitoring with no need to turn up the volume in loud nightclubs.
The Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-2000MK2-S DJ Headphones ensure amazing clarity and with very clear sound separation right through from the deep bass to awesome crisp trebles. The bass is not as heavy as say Beats level bass, but it’s a much more rounded sound at the bottom end. They sure impressed us in our review for this Best DJ Headphones post.
The Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-2000MK2-S DJ Headphones are very solidly built to withstand the rigors of professional DJ use. The addition of the hard case is a good thing to the bundle as well. Another great addition this time is a right angle L-shaped mini-jack which means it stops the phones getting knocked about or disconnected while DJing.
DESIGN OF THESE DJ HEADPHONES
If you like chunky aluminium on your headphones, you’ll love the Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-2000MK2-S DJ Headphones. Aluminium parts are all over them and so they are quite heavy feeling yet so comfortable due mainly to the memory foam ear pads and extra padding across all of the headband. If you’re like me, you just grow to love these and really feel like you got your money’s worth. Each ear cup can swivel up to a full 90 degrees, while the auto-return feature makes them perfect for on the shoulder monitoring.
OVERALL SUMMARY FOR OUR BEST DJ HEADPHONES ROUNDUP
If you’re a DJ who likes the larger over-the-ear headphones style, the Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-2000MK2-S DJ Headphones are simply fantastic. The sound quality and noise isolation is great, they are very comfortable and extremely well built to last for years. Go ahead and buy these, you won’t regret it.
Beats Pro Over-Ear DJ Headphone
In fourth place for the Best DJ Headphones are the Beats Pro Over-Ear Headphone (by Dr. Dre) top of the range – Professional over-the-ear headphones. Made for DJs and Studio recording.
The Beats Pro Over-Ear Headphones boast “True Noise Reduction”. This is achieved by the heavily padded, over-the-ear design, without using noise cancellation technology power switches or batteries. While DJing and using these phones over one ear only (with the other ear cup in its upright position using the pivot), the noise isolation of that one cup is very good. Overall, we were happy with the noise isolation.
Beats are renowned for deep thumping bass on their headphones and these Beats Pro Over-Ear Headphones do not disappoint. Due to its steel and aluminium construction, it gives you and sound interior platform that’s much more solid than most. This results in a deep bass that really resonates in your chest. The highs and the mids are very crisp, clear and legible. Overall, the headphones are extremely loud and high quality, which is a massive requirement of DJ headphones.
As expected with top-of-the-range headphones, and for the price – The Beats Pro Over-the-ear DJ headphones are made of high quality aluminium gunmetal, with leather ear cups. They are practically indestructible which as all DJs know, is vital for their set of DJ headphones. I would suggest you buy an extra hard case. We recommend the Case Star ® Black EVA Heart-shaped Protecting and Carrying Hard Headphone Case as the Beats Pro cans only come with a draw string pouch.
DESIGN OF THE BEATS PRO DJ PHONES
These Beats Pro Over-Ear Headphones are quite big and quite heavy, but they do ‘give a little’, which is very important for overall comfort. When performing a long DJ set, the comfort of using these headphones was fine, no issues. The use of top grade materials is fantastic and the head band is also quite flexible due to its 2 metal strips inside. One negative thing for me is I find the design a little bland, it’s very ‘Apple Mac’ style minimalist approach with curved everything and personally I prefer the more clunky design of the Pioneer HDJ-1500-Ks for DJing. But hey, this is very subjective. The Beats Pros are very nice, cool looking headphones.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor DJ Headphones
Another heavy weight contender here, these Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones professional over-the-ear DJ/studio cans are critically acclaimed by many pro DJs and sound engineers the world over. And for good reason. But is there anything at fault with them? Read on…
The Circumaural design of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones fits snugly around the ears and ensures excellent sound isolation in loud environments such as clubs when performing a DJ set.
SOUND QUALITY OF THESE DJ HEADPHONES
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones really handle the high levels of volume sent from DJ equipment well without any kind of distortion. The bass is clear and doesn’t drown out the mids or the highs. It does have a rumble but it’s not as big a bass as other monitor headphones. The mids are favored with these headphones and sound fantastic along with very crisp highs which all results in a very good, balanced sound for DJing.
Sadly, this is the one department where these headphones fall down. They are mainly made of plastic and are no way near as durable as The Beats Pro’s metal construction. You will need to take good care of these if you choose to buy them. They used to only come with a soft carry pouch too but now you get a hard case when you buy from Amazon which is vital really for the vigor of the DJs lifestyle.
I like the look of the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones. They are clunky looking compared with the on-the-ear Sennheiser HD25 1 IIs but for a pair of over-the-ear pro headphones they are so lightweight that if durability wasn’t such and issue, they would be awesome. The design is a bit ‘audio engineer’ as opposed to ‘cool DJ’ looking but that’s what these headphones are all about – Sound quality rather than the aesthetics. The 180 degree pivoting ear-cups for one-ear monitoring is great and they collapse well for transport as well. Only one port is also worth mentioning, it would be better with a port on the opposite side as well.
OVERALL SUMMARY FOR THIS BEST DJ HEADPHONES POST
For sound quality the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x DJ headphones have a great balanced sound. The bass could be a bit heavier though. But the main gripe for me is that sadly, a plastic construction means they can and will break too easily for a DJ that doesn’t take absolute care of their headphones.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN SHOPPING FOR the Best DJ Headphones
One Ear On, One Ear Off
If you’re new to DJing or you’re an experienced DJ, you should know the importance of the mixing stance. In terms of how DJ headphones play a role in this magic, the most common way to hold your headphones is with one-ear-on and one-ear-off. This is so that you can monitor the channel while your other free ear can tune in to the monitor speaker. So we recommend headphones with rotatable ear-cups allowing the DJ to use them over one ear easily and quickly.
Open or Closed Back
So for DJing in noisy environments you’ll want to choose a closed back set as they do a great job of blocking out the background noise when lining up the next tune. So why not choose an open back set for DJing? Well, you don’t need the less distortion factor from using open back audiophile headphones so much when you’re spinning the decks, you simply want to be able to hear what you’re doing in a noisy environment.
DJing can get a bit messy and in the heat of the moment, weak DJ headphones will break and need to be replaced. You don’t want this to happen of course. Therefore a major factor, if not the biggest factor you need to consider before taking the plunge is the durability of your DJ headphones. Your headphones must be tough enough to survive being a DJ on the road and living your dream. Every component needs to be made from quality materials and tried and tested by top DJs the world over.
Portability, Comfort and Weight
Even these days, with DJs being able to carry less than before, you should definitely make use of modern designed headphones with the ability to be folded up and so save you some room. Fold-able headphones will usually come with a bag or case that will make carrying them around a whole lot easier. When looking for the Best Headphones for DJs I would also recommend a solid case that can withstand being thrown in the trunk of your car! I would recommend a more lightweight and comfortable headphone over the largest, professional audiophile headphones that you might sit at home and listen to classical music on. After all, you’ll be wearing these for hours upon end while you work and so comfort is of up-most importance.
Sound Levels and Volume
Firstly, volume. You’ll need lots of it! Very important this when selecting your favourite DJ Headphones. Clear and crisp sounds at a high volume levels are a must. With regards bass level – you’re a DJ so you’ll probably be a big bass head. But don’t forget that these headphones will be for the function of your deejaying, not really for when you’re on the road listening to music. It’s obviously a personal taste as well.