Best DJ Headphones: Elevating Your Mixing Experience

By
reviewed
Reviewed by
Last updatedLast updated: December 22, 2023
Prime Sound is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

As a DJ, finding the best headphones is crucial to enhancing your mixing skills and providing an unparalleled audio experience for your audience.

With so many available options, it can be challenging to determine which pair of headphones will meet your specific needs. We have done the legwork for you, extensively testing and comparing the top DJ headphones to bring you the most detailed and comprehensive guide. Our in-depth analysis will help you make an informed decision when selecting the perfect set of headphones for your career or hobby. Whether you’re a professional DJ or a budding enthusiast, our expert review is tailored to suit your requirements, ensuring you get the best possible audio experience.

1.

Sennheiser HD 25Editor's Choice

Features

Features:

  • Open/Closed: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 16Hz-22kHz
  • Impedance: 70 ohms
  • Connectivity: 1/8″ plug, 1/4″ adapter
  • Weight: 0.3 lbs.

Other Features: Closed-back Headphones with Flip-away Earcup, Detachable Cable, and Screw-on 1/4″ Adapter

The Sennheiser HD 25 is a lightweight, on-ear headphone designed specifically for professional DJs and audio engineers. With its minimalist design and excellent sound isolation, these headphones are perfect for use in loud environments.

The HD 25 offers an exceptional frequency response, ranging from 16 Hz to 22 kHz, ensuring accurate sound reproduction across the spectrum. The headphones deliver a tight, punchy bass, clear mids, and crisp highs, making them ideal for DJing and mixing.

The Sennheiser HD 25 is perfect for DJs who need excellent sound isolation for accurate monitoring in loud club environments. Their lightweight design and comfortable ear pads make them suitable for extended use during long DJ sets or recording sessions.

What sets the HD 25 apart from its competitors is the combination of its lightweight design, exceptional sound quality, and excellent sound isolation. The headphones also feature a rotatable capsule for single-ear monitoring, which is essential for many DJs.

While the HD 25 excels in many areas, the cable is not detachable, which could be a drawback for some users. Additionally, the on-ear design might not be comfortable for everyone, especially those with larger ears.

Why is it special?

  • Excellent sound isolation
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Rotatable capsule for single-ear monitoring

What are the flaws?

  • Non-detachable cable
  • On-ear design might not suit everyone

2.

Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10Best for Club Performances

Features

Features:

  • Open/Closed: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz-40kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Connectivity: 1/8″ plug, 1/4″ adapter
  • Weight: 0.72 lbs.

Other Features: Closed-back Circumaural DJ Headphones with 50mm Drivers, with 5Hz-40kHz Frequency Range, Detachable Cable, and Carrying Case

The Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 is a high-quality, over-ear DJ headphone known for its durability and exceptional sound performance. With a robust build and excellent noise isolation, these headphones are designed to withstand the rigors of professional club performances.

The HDJ-X10 offers a wide frequency range of 5 Hz to 40 kHz, providing excellent sound reproduction across all frequencies. The low-distortion design ensures accurate monitoring, and the headphones deliver deep bass, detailed mids, and crisp highs, making them suitable for DJing in various genres.

The Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 is perfect for professional DJs who require rugged and reliable headphones that deliver top-notch audio performance during club gigs. The excellent noise isolation and comfortable fit also make them suitable for extended use in loud environments.

The HDJ-X10 is durable, thanks to its metal construction and robust headband. The headphones also feature swiveling ear cups for single-ear monitoring and an adjustable headband for maximum comfort during long performances.

While the HDJ-X10 offers excellent performance and durability, it may be on the pricier side for some users. Additionally, the headphones are quite bulky, which could be a concern for those who prioritize portability.

What do we love it for?

  • Durable construction
  • Exceptional sound quality and noise isolation
  • Swiveling ear cups for single-ear monitoring

What were we disappointed with?

  • Expensive
  • Bulky design

3.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBest for Studio and Home Use

Features

Features:

  • Open/Closed: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz-28kHz
  • Impedance: 38 ohms
  • Connectivity: 1/8″, 1/4″ adapter
  • Weight: 0.62 lbs. (without cable and connector)

Other Features: Closed-Back Circumaural Headphones with Collapsible Design, 45mm Neodymium Magnet Drivers, Detachable Cables, 1/4″ Adapter, and Carrying Pouch

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is an over-ear, closed-back headphone designed for professional studio monitoring and home use. With its comfortable fit and exceptional sound clarity, these headphones have become popular among audio professionals and enthusiasts.

The ATH-M50x features a frequency response of 15 Hz to 28 kHz, ensuring accurate sound reproduction across all frequencies. The headphones deliver tight bass, clear mids, and detailed highs, making them suitable for various music genres and applications.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is perfect for those who need a versatile pair of headphones for studio monitoring, music production, or home use. The comfortable fit and collapsible design makes them ideal for extended use and easy transport.

The ATH-M50x stands out for its comfortable fit, thanks to the plush ear pads and adjustable headband. The headphones also feature a detachable cable and foldable design, making them convenient for travel and storage.

While the ATH-M50x offers excellent sound quality and comfort, the headphones may not provide the best sound isolation for loud environments, making them less suitable for use in clubs or live performances.

What stands out?

  • Comfortable fit
  • Exceptional sound clarity
  • Detachable cable and foldable design

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Not ideal for loud environments
  • Limited soundstage due to closed-back design

4.

V-MODA Crossfade M-100Best Mobility

Features

Features:

  • Open/Closed: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz-40kHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Connectivity: 1/8″ plug, 1/4″ adapter
  • Weight: 0.61 oz.

Other Features: Closed-back, Circumaural Headphones with Dual-diaphragm Drivers and Passive Noise Isolation

The V-MODA Crossfade M-100 is an over-ear, closed-back headphone known for its stylish design and customizable features. These headphones offer excellent sound quality and durability, making them a great choice for DJs who want a unique and personalized look while performing.

The M-100 features a frequency response of 5 Hz to 30 kHz, delivering accurate sound reproduction across all frequencies. The headphones provide powerful bass, clear mids, and detailed highs, making them suitable for various music genres and applications.

The V-MODA Crossfade M-100 is ideal for DJs who want stylish, customizable headphones with great sound quality for performances or studio use. The customizable shields and optional BoomPro microphone make them versatile for various applications, including gaming and streaming.

The M-100 stands out for its customizable design, allowing users to choose from various shield materials, colors, and even laser-engraved designs. The headphones also feature a rugged construction with a steel frame and virtually indestructible headband for long-lasting durability.

While the M-100 offers excellent sound quality and customization options, the headphones may not be the most comfortable for extended use due to the tight clamping force. Additionally, the ear pads may not provide the best noise isolation for loud environments.

Why is it special?

  • Customizable design
  • Durable construction
  • Optional BoomPro microphone

What are the flaws?

  • Tight clamping force
  • Limited noise isolation

5.

Sony MDR-7506Best Budget Option

Features

Features:

  • Open/Closed: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance: 63 ohms
  • Connectivity: 1/8″ (plug), 1/4″ (adapter)
  • Weight: .5 lbs.

Other Features: Closed Circumaural Headphones with Folding Design

The Sony MDR-7506 is an over-ear, closed-back headphone that has been a staple in the professional audio industry for years. Known for its reliable performance and affordable price, these headphones are popular for DJs and audio professionals on a budget.

The MDR-7506 features a frequency response of 10 Hz to 20 kHz, delivering accurate sound reproduction across all frequencies. The headphones provide clear mids, detailed highs, and tight bass response, making them suitable for various music genres and applications.

The Sony MDR-7506 is perfect for DJs and audio professionals who need a reliable and affordable pair of headphones for studio monitoring, live performances, or home use. The lightweight design and comfortable fit make them suitable for extended use.

The MDR-7506 stands out for its affordable price and reliable performance, offering excellent sound quality and durability for the cost. The headphones also feature a collapsible design, making them convenient for travel and storage.

While the MDR-7506 offers excellent value for the price, the headphones may not provide the best noise isolation for loud environments. Additionally, the non-detachable cable can be a drawback for those who prefer the flexibility of replaceable cables.

What are our favorite features?

  • Affordable price
  • Reliable performance
  • Collapsible design

What could be better?

  • Limited noise isolation
  • Non-detachable cable

6.

AIAIAI TMA-2 ModularMost Versatile

Features

Features:

  • Open/Closed: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz to 40kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • Connectivity: 1/8″ plug, 1/4″ adapter
  • Weight: 6.6 oz.

Other Features: Cable lock, Adjustable cups, PU leather ear cups

The AIAIAI TMA-2 Modular is a unique headphone system that allows users to customize their headphones by selecting individual components, such as headbands, ear cups, and drivers. This modular design offers a personalized audio experience tailored to individual preferences and needs.

The TMA-2 Modular’s performance varies depending on the selected components. However, the headphones generally provide accurate sound reproduction across all frequencies, with options for enhanced bass, detailed mids, and crisp highs to suit various music genres and applications.

The AIAIAI TMA-2 Modular headphones are ideal for DJs and audio professionals who want to tailor their headphones to their specific needs and preferences. The modular design makes upgrading or replacing individual components easily, ensuring a long-lasting and personalized audio experience.

The TMA-2 Modular stands out for its unique modular design, offering users the ability to customize their headphones by selecting from various headbands, ear cups, drivers, and cables. This level of personalization ensures a comfortable fit and optimal sound quality tailored to individual preferences.

While the TMA-2 Modular headphones offer excellent customization options, the process of selecting and assembling components may be overwhelming for some users. Additionally, the modular design may not be as durable as one-piece headphones, and individual components can be more expensive to replace.

Why did it make our list?

  • Highly customizable
  • Modular design
  • Upgradeable components

What is not ideal about it?

  • Potentially overwhelming selection process
  • May not be as durable as one-piece headphones

7.

Korg NC-Q1Best for Noise Cancelling

Features

Features:

  • Open/Closed: Closed
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz to 25 kHz
  • Connectivity: 1/8″ plug, 1/4″ adapter
  • Weight: 11.3 oz

Other Features: Swappable Earpads, 41mm custom PEEK high-grade film diaphragm, Sonarworks’ SoundID Reference Compatible

The Korg NC-Q1 is an over-ear, closed-back headphone designed with advanced noise-cancellation technology, making them perfect for DJs and audio professionals working in loud environments. These headphones offer excellent sound quality and innovative features for an enhanced audio experience.

The NC-Q1 features a frequency response of 10 Hz to 25 kHz, delivering accurate sound reproduction across all frequencies. The headphones provide a well-balanced sound signature with powerful bass, clear mids, and detailed highs, making them suitable for various music genres and applications.

The Korg NC-Q1 is perfect for DJs and audio professionals who require advanced noise-cancellation capabilities for accurate monitoring in loud environments, such as clubs, concerts, or live performances. The innovative features, such as Smart Monitoring and Ambient Aware, make these headphones versatile for various applications.

The NC-Q1 stands out for its advanced noise-cancellation technology, providing superior sound isolation in loud environments. The Smart Monitoring feature allows users to adjust the balance between music playback and external sounds, while Ambient Aware mode enhances situational awareness when needed.

While the Korg NC-Q1 offers excellent noise-cancellation capabilities and innovative features, the headphones may be more expensive than other options on the market. Additionally, the large size and weight of the headphones may not be suitable for all users or those who prefer a more compact design.

What stands out?

  • Advanced noise-cancellation technology
  • Smart Monitoring and Ambient Aware features
  • Well-balanced sound signature

What cons did we manage to find?

  • More expensive than other options
  • Large size and weight

Things to Consider

Finding the perfect pair of DJ headphones is a crucial task for anyone looking to deliver an unforgettable performance or produce high-quality music. The headphones should not only deliver impeccable sound quality but also be comfortable, durable, and offer excellent noise isolation. This extensive buying guide will delve into the critical aspects to consider when choosing the best DJ headphones. By understanding these factors and their relevance, you can make an informed decision and find DJ headphones that will take your music to new heights.

Comfort and Fit

Comfort and fit are two non-negotiable features when it comes to DJ headphones. Considering that DJs often perform long sets, headphones that offer superior comfort and an optimal fit can greatly enhance performance by eliminating unnecessary distractions.

Ear Cup Design

The design of the ear cups plays a crucial role in comfort, and there are generally two types to choose from: over-ear and on-ear. Over-ear headphones, such as the Sony MDR-7506, have large ear cups that fully encompass the ears. They offer excellent noise isolation and tend to deliver a more immersive sound experience. However, they can be a bit bulkier than their on-ear counterparts.

On-ear headphones, like the Sennheiser HD 25, sit directly on the ears. They’re typically lighter and more compact, which could be beneficial for DJs who move around a lot during their sets. However, they might not provide as much noise isolation as over-ear models.

Headband Design

The headband is another critical element in terms of comfort and fit. A well-constructed, adjustable headband like the one found on the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, can provide a secure yet comfortable fit. Some headbands are also padded for extra comfort and can be adjusted to fit various head sizes. A flexible headband, like the one on the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10, is ideal because it can adapt to different head shapes and sizes without causing discomfort.

The Aesthetics: Design and Style

While sound quality and comfort are the main concerns when choosing DJ headphones, the design, and style should also be considered. After all, DJing is not just about the music but also the performance. A stylish pair of headphones, like the V-MODA Crossfade M-100, can add to your stage presence and help you stand out.

Additionally, headphones with a robust design and premium materials look good and promise durability. For example, the metal components of the V-MODA Crossfade M-100 not only give it a high-end look but also make it sturdy and durable.

Sound Quality

Sound quality is the heart of any pair of headphones, especially DJ headphones. DJs need to be able to clearly hear every beat, every note, and every nuance in the music to mix tracks seamlessly. Several factors contribute to sound quality, and we’ll delve into a few of them here.

Frequency Response

The frequency response of headphones represents the range of audio frequencies they can reproduce. Most headphones cover the full spectrum of audible frequencies (20Hz to 20kHz), but some go beyond this range. The Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10, for instance, boasts a frequency response of 5Hz to 40kHz, ensuring you won’t miss any details in your tracks.

Sound Signature

The sound signature of headphones refers to how they render different frequencies, affecting the overall sound profile. Some headphones emphasize certain frequencies over others. For instance, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x is known for its balanced sound signature, ensuring equal bass, mids, and treble representation. This provides a neutral sound that is ideal for accurately monitoring your mixes.

Driver Size

In headphones, the driver is the component that produces sound. Typically, the larger the driver, the better the sound quality, especially in terms of bass response. The V-MODA Crossfade M-100 houses large 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers that create a vibrant and multi-dimensional sound, ideal for DJs playing bass-heavy genres.

Noise Isolation

The bustling ambiance of a club or live event is an exhilarating experience for attendees but can pose a challenge for DJs. This is where noise isolation comes into play. A feature paramount to the design of the best DJ headphones, noise isolation allows DJs to focus on their mix undisturbed by external noise.

Headphones like the Sennheiser HD 25 are known for their excellent noise isolation capabilities. This is largely due to their closed-back design and snug fit, which effectively seal off your ears from ambient sound. Noise isolation is essential for DJs as it allows them to accurately monitor the music they’re mixing, even in the noisiest environments.

When considering noise isolation, it’s crucial to understand the difference between noise isolation and noise cancellation. Noise isolation, as the name suggests, isolates the listener from external noise by creating a physical barrier between your ear and the environment. On the other hand, noise cancellation is a technology that actively cancels out ambient noise by generating sound waves that counteract unwanted noise.

While noise cancellation can be beneficial in certain situations, it is not typically a feature sought after in DJ headphones. This is because noise cancellation can sometimes alter the sound quality and introduce a slight delay, which is not ideal when you need to accurately mix and cue up tracks.

Durability: Ready for Rough and Tumble

DJ headphones need to be tough. They are constantly being taken on and off, twisted, turned, packed, and unpacked. A durable pair of headphones can save you from frequent replacements. Look for headphones with robust construction and high-quality materials. The V-MODA Crossfade M-100, for example, has a sturdy steel frame and virtually indestructible Steelflex headband that can withstand a lot of abuse.

Cable Design

The cable might seem like a minor detail, but it can greatly affect your DJing experience. Like the one on the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, a coiled cable is less likely to get tangled and can extend when you need more length, making it perfect for DJing.

Removable cables, like those on the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10, are also a great feature. They allow you to easily replace the cable if it gets damaged or if you need a different length without needing to replace the entire set of headphones.

Portability

If you’re a DJ who travels frequently, portability should be high on your list of priorities. Look for headphones that are designed with DJs on the move in mind. Foldable designs, like the Korg NC-Q1, are compact and can be easily stowed away in your bag.

The AIAIAI TMA-2 Modular takes portability a step further. With its unique modular design, you can disassemble and reassemble the headphones based on your needs, making them extremely portable and customizable.

Customizability

Customizability is a less common but highly beneficial feature in DJ headphones. The AIAIAI TMA-2 Modular headphones offer this unique advantage. You can mix and match different speaker units, earpads, headbands, and cables to create a pair of headphones that perfectly suits your needs.

Price and Value

Finally, consider the price and value of the headphones when selecting the best DJ headphones for your needs. While it may be tempting to opt for the most affordable option, keep in mind that investing in a high-quality pair of headphones can provide better sound quality, comfort, and durability in the long run. Evaluate the features and performance of each model in relation to its price to determine the best value for your investment.

FAQ

 
 

While you can use regular headphones for DJing, specialized DJ headphones offer several advantages. The Sennheiser HD 25, for example, is a pair of headphones designed specifically for DJs, offering excellent sound quality, comfort, and noise isolation.

The ideal cable length for DJ headphones will vary depending on your personal preferences and setup. Generally, a cable length of 1.2 to 3 meters (4 to 10 feet) is sufficient for most DJ setups. The V-MODA Crossfade M-100, for instance, comes with a 1.2m cable, which is perfect for most DJ setups.

Noise isolation is crucial for DJ headphones, as it allows you to monitor your audio in loud environments accurately. The Korg NC-Q1 is a great example, offering excellent noise isolation, even in noisy environments.

Both over-ear and on-ear headphones have their advantages. Over-ear headphones, like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, generally provide better noise isolation and sound quality due to their larger ear cups and more substantial seal around the ears. On the other hand, on-ear headphones, such as the Sennheiser HD 25, are typically lighter and more compact, making them a comfortable choice for extended use. Your personal preference, comfort requirements, and the specific environment you’ll be working in will play a significant role in determining your best option.

Final Thoughts

Navigating through the realm of DJ headphones, we’ve put under the spotlight the distinct qualities that separate the good from the best. In a demanding field where precision and reliability can make or break a performance, three models have stood out, demonstrating a harmonious balance of sound quality, durability, and design.

Our Editor’s Choice, the Sennheiser HD 25, has cemented its place in the pantheon of DJ equipment. With its superior sound reproduction, impressive noise isolation, and renowned durability, it sets a high bar in the market. It’s a testament to the fact that excellence stands the test of time, making these headphones a trusted ally for professionals globally.

Not far behind, the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 and Audio-Technica ATH-M50x each bring unique strengths to the table. The Pioneer HDJ-X10, with its wide frequency response and flexible swiveling ear cups, caters to DJs who demand sonic fidelity and versatility. Meanwhile, the ATH-M50x, thanks to its robust design and larger drivers, offers a potent combination of powerful sound and long-lasting durability.

In conclusion, the quest for the perfect DJ headphones is an intensely personal journey. The Sennheiser HD 25, Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10, and Audio-Technica ATH-M50x each offer compelling arguments to be the DJ’s go-to choice, expertly blending essential features to enhance every performance. The ultimate decision rests on individual preferences, reflecting the creative individuality that drives the world of DJing.

1 Comment
  1. I’m just starting out as a DJ and I’m looking for a good pair of headphones. This guide has been really helpful in understanding what features to look for. I think I’ll go with the Sony MDR-7506, they seem comfortable and offer great noise isolation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *