The Best DJ Headphones: Ultimate Review and Guide

The Best DJ Headphones

DJing has been a popular hobby and increasingly viable career option for decades. Naturally, this has meant that there’s been an explosion in interest in the equipment needed to become a DJ. Though there are several obvious pieces, such as a turntable and records, there are a few that you may not have thought of.

One of these could be a quality pair of headphones. Some people might assume that any headphones will do, while others will automatically buy specific brands. However, neither of these might be the best approach, especially if you’re thinking about being a serious DJ. Instead, you’ll need to put a lot of thought into what the best DJ headphones are.

That being said, figuring out what that is may be more complicated than you originally assumed. Luckily, we’ve researched for you and will be covering the best DJ headphones on the market today!

The 5 Best DJ Headphones

Whether you’re new to being a DJ and aren’t sure where to start, or you’re a veteran looking to upgrade your gear, with our review and guide, you’re sure to find the best DJ headphones for you!

1. Best Overall: Pioneer DJ HDJ-CUE1

As a DJ, you might be focusing primarily on how high-quality the sound is through the headphones. After all, the sound of the music is the most important thing for any serious DJ. That’s where the Pioneer HDJ-CUE1 stands out, as the drivers have been specifically tuned to make the sound as clear as possible.

However, it’s the overall design of these headphones that really stands out. Featuring a sleek finish, this may be one of the better-looking DJ headphones currently on the market. Along with the luxurious look comes an expensive feel, as these headphones offer comfort unmatched by other brands, making them perfect for wearing through a long set.

They’re also foldable, so you shouldn’t have any issue taking them to and from a gig. These headphones are also incredibly long-lasting. These are built to withstand as much as possible, so you shouldn’t have any issues with them during a DJ set and can expect to use them for years to come.

These DJ headphones are one of the more reliable and durable headphones available with all of their features.

Despite the overall quality of the Pioneer’s, there are some drawbacks. Chief among these is that they were primarily designed for mid-range sounds. As a result, it isn’t as great as you might expect on the lows and highs.

While they can still sound good, some alternatives are much better in this department. Naturally, this may or may not be a dealmaker, depending on your preferences.

Pros:

  • Drivers were specifically tuned for high-quality sound.
  • Design is comfortable and foldable, making it great for long sets and traveling.
  • Designed to take a decent amount of wear and tear.
  • A high-quality finish makes it one of the more stylish headphone options.

Cons:

  • It works best in the mid-range, so these may not be suitable for deep bass.
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2. Best Budget Buy: PIONEER HDJ-X7-K

Pioneer has been behind quite a few of the best headphones on the market for DJs and regular music enthusiasts alike. Each new product has shined in its own way, with this model being one of the more durable options on the market.

These headphones have been rigorously tested to make sure that they will withstand all of the bumps, drops, and traveling that comes with DJing.

However, putting up with some wear and tear isn’t the only thing that these headphones are good for. This headphone set offers a high-quality sound that you won’t be disappointed with. These Pioneer’s can handle the bass, mid-range, and highs that you might want to hear with ease.

As with the previous Pioneer set, these headphones are one of the better-looking options on the market. Their silver accents, smooth edges, and overall modern appearance make them a great choice for DJing in style on a budget.

There’s also a decent amount of comfort on offer. The only downside is that many users have complained that this model can be a bit too tight, so be sure to check the product dimensions to ensure proper fitting.

Pros:

  • Rigorously tested to ensure durability and longevity.
  • Designed to be one of the better-looking DJ headphones.
  • Features padding for comfort.
  • Provides a high-quality sound.
  • A great option for DJs on a budget.

Cons:

  • It can be a bit tight on your ears.
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3. Best Runner-Up: PIONEER HDJ-X5-K

The Pioneer HDJ-X5-K comes with many of the features that you’d seen in the company’s other products, although with fewer disadvantages. As a result, you can expect the same high-quality sound you’d see with the rest of the range. The durability is also just as good here, so it should put up with a decent amount of wear and tear for quite a while.

You might think that comfort and fit might be a slight issue here, given that that’s the case with Pioneer’s previous product. However, the brand managed to correct that here, and they shouldn’t be as tight on your ears as others.

One notable improvement here is that these headphones can be used wired or wirelessly. This offers the versatility that you don’t have to worry about the headphones accidentally unplugging and ruining your DJing experience. Depending on how you like to DJ, you should capitalize on how versatile they are.

While the headphones are durable overall, the joints are slightly lacking in quality. Though they can last you quite a while, they will crack and break faster than you might see elsewhere. Naturally, this could be quite a severe issue.

As a result, you might need to take special care of these and not be as rough as you could with some competitors. This rings more true the longer you have them.

Pros:

  • It can be used wired and wirelessly.
  • Designed to be as solid and durable as possible.
  • It is much more comfortable than the design would suggest.
  • Sound is high-quality and surpasses many competitors.

Cons:

  • Joints tend to crack over time.
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4. Best Under $200: Technics EAH-DJ1200 Professional DJ

If you’re getting into DJing, then you might not want to spend too much on the best DJ headphones. Thankfully, there are quite a few low-cost options, with the Technic EAH-DJ1200 being one of the top affordable DJ headphones on the market. This is primarily due to its 40mm drivers.

These help deliver a balanced sound, regardless of whether your music is bass-heavy or sticks to the higher frequencies. Add in its lightweight nature, and you’ve got a headphone that’s easy to wear, no matter how long your set is. Despite being lightweight, it’s also quite durable so that it can put up with a few drops and bumps.

However, it’s not recommended that you’re too careless with it, as all headphones have their limit. These also feature a detachable cord that can be locked into place. As such, you won’t have to worry about your headphones coming loose at any point. You plug them in, turn them into the lock position, and you’re set to play with no worries.

Despite the sound being relatively balanced with these, the sound can be somewhat lower than other DJ headphones. While this isn’t ideal, it should be expected of the more affordable headphones on the market.

Pros:

  • Drivers are 40mm and help to deliver a balanced sound across all frequencies.
  • The detachable cord can be locked into place to prevent unplugging.
  • It’s specifically designed to last as long as possible.
  • More lightweight than many of its competitors.
  • An affordable option for new DJs

Cons:

  • The sound quality is lower than other headphones.

5. Best Alternative: PIONEER DJ Bluetooth HEADPHONES

Wireless headphones are just as popular as their wired counterparts, making them just as difficult to choose between. However, Pioneer has a high-quality choice in this department with their Bluetooth headphones. Along with being compatible with most audio devices, they can also be paired with smartphones and other devices, making them quite versatile.

One of the larger issues with wireless headphones is their battery time. However, that shouldn’t be a problem here, as they last much longer than you might expect. That should get you through your entire set with more to spare, so there wouldn’t be anything to

worry about.

The sound quality is also just as dynamic as some of the top DJ headphones out there, which is impressive. The sound is also more balanced than you might expect. Lastly is the comfort level. This is a positive and negative here, as the earpads are much more comfortable than you would expect.

However, the pressure from the clamping can be quite irritating. While barely noticeable when you put them on, they can become increasingly more distracting with time. Naturally, that could be annoying by the time you’re halfway through your DJ set. That could mean that you may end up replacing them faster than you would have planned.

Pros:

  • It can be used wirelessly via Bluetooth.
  • Earpads are much more comfortable than competitors.
  • The battery lasts much longer than other headphones.
  • The sound quality is balanced and dynamic.

Cons:

  • The clamping pressure could make it slightly uncomfortable.
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Factors to Consider When Choosing DJ Headphones

Picking the best headphones for DJs can take much more time than you might realize. If you assumed that it’s just about picking the best-looking one for a specific price, then you’d be wrong. Instead, there are quite a few factors that you might want to consider first.

While price can undoubtedly be one of these, it shouldn’t be the main consideration. Though you’ll want to keep your purchase within your budget, you should also consider what value you’ll be getting for your money.

Outside of that, there are three prominent factors you’ll need to look at when buying DJ headphones.

Sound

When you’re listening to music, you want your headphones to sound as perfect as possible. You’ll typically want the highs to be crisp and the lows to be as enhanced as possible. With DJing, this is vital. Any professional DJ will need to know exactly how their music sounds, especially before putting it out to an audience.

If your headphones can’t give you the quality you need, you might not be able to provide an audience with the quality they came for. That’s true regardless of if you’re mixing or playing in front of a crowd. To get a bit technical, you should aim for DJ headphones that have:

  • A minimum of 40mm drivers, as these, can help improve a music’s lows.
  • A 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz frequency. You could go higher with this range, although it’s not necessary.
  • A 25 ohm or higher impedance rating.
  • As high a maximum input rating as possible, this will reduce distortion that can typically be heard at higher volumes.

Getting headphones with all of the above features would be ideal, although not every headphone will meet these exact specifications. However, they might still be high-quality, depending on whether they have any of the other traits. You can also mix and match these a little, depending on what you’re specifically looking for.

Comfort

If you’re going to be wearing your headphones for a while, then you’ll want them to be comfortable. However, judging this can be slightly more complicated than just putting them on. Instead, you’ll want to look at specific areas and determine how comfortable the headphones are.

Specifically, you should look at:

  • Earpad quality.
  • Adjustability.
  • How easy it is to replace cables and ear pads.
  • How adjustable the overall headphones are.

It should be quite easy to find DJ headphones that check all of the above boxes. Figuring this out will help narrow down your choice, as you can ignore anything too uncomfortable. When you’re picking, though, make sure you determine whether it’s something you’ll want to wear for hours on end.

It’s one thing to be comfortable for a quick try-on, but it’s different when you’ve been wearing them for half the day.

Durability

DJs tend to put their headphones and some other equipment through some bumps during a set, although most of this is unintentional. Naturally, you’ll want everything to withstand the wear and tear – nobody wants to replace something after every set. That means that you’ll need headphones that can put up with a decent amount of use.

All of this might leave you wondering how you can judge a headphone’s durability. There are two things you should look at:

  • How strong the hinges and joints are. These can often be the first things that break in most headphones.
  • The overall quality of materials. If it looks and feels cheap, the headphones probably won’t stand up to normal wear and tear.

When you’re looking at different headphones, you’ll find quite a range in how durable they are. While this might not make a significant difference if you’re careful with your equipment, it’s definitely worth investing in something that can take some roughing up. The last thing you need is to be headphone-less when you’re playing a set.

Design

The design of your headphones is going to be important, and you’ll want something that looks great when you’re wearing it. However, that doesn’t mean that that’s the only design feature that you should pay attention to, although it is the most obvious. Instead, you’ll need to figure out whether or not it’s got a single-cord design.

As the name would suggest, these are headphones that have a single cord. If they’ve got more than one, then they’re not DJ headphones or professional headphones. As such, the majority of these should be avoided.

Portability

When most people think of portability, they think of dragging it from one place to another. With a headphone, that’s not going to be too much of an issue when you’re going from place to place. However, it could be an issue when playing a set, especially if it’s a heavier headphone.

While bulkier headphones can have a nicer look, they can often weigh much more than you’d think. During a DJ set, this can start to wear on your neck and shoulders. Of course, you’ll know best when it comes to whether this will happen too much to you, but it’s worth bearing in mind when you’re making a choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About DJ Headphones

After the end of our review and guide, you may still have a few lingering questions about the best DJ headphones. This section is designed to help clear those up!

Q: Can You Use Noise-Canceling Headphones When DJing?

A: The audience’s reaction while DJing can play a massive role in how well the show goes. However, many DJs would also wonder whether or not they can use noise-canceling headphones. Obviously, this would block out the sound of the crowd when they’re on, which many would assume would hinder getting feedback from the audience.

However, there are some pros to opting for noise-canceling headphones. For one, noise-canceling headphones can cut out all distractions when you’re playing and mixing, and you can focus much better. They’d also be beneficial if you’re putting something together at home.

As for the feedback you might be missing out on during a set? You can get the vast majority of this visually, so you shouldn’t need to worry about it.

Q: Can You Use DJ Headphones For Gaming?

A: A lot of DJs also happen to be gamers. That’s meant that many of them would wonder whether they can use DJ headphones for gaming and vice versa. The answer to this is quite complicated. Trying to put it simply, however, you should be able to use DJ headphones when you’re gaming.

It can often be better to do so, thanks to their sound quality. However, this can depend greatly on the quality of the actual headphones. Headphones that are primarily used for gaming, though, shouldn’t be used for DJing. That’s because gaming headphones don’t tend to offer as high sound quality as more DJ-focused options.

Final Thoughts

There’s quite a lot of information to digest when trying to find the best DJ headphones. However, each of the above stands out for multiple reasons. Picking between them, though, can be tough, although the HDJ-CUE1 option stands out quite considerably. Alongside offering quite a high-quality sound, it’s one of the better-looking options.

Thanks to its specifically tuned drivers, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the sound getting worse over time. As mentioned above, the comfort of the HDJ-CUE1 is exceptional, and it can take a decent number of bumps. So, you shouldn’t have to worry about them breaking or about wearing your neck down during a set.

As well recommended as it might be, though, it might be out of your budget. Naturally, the price will have a role in deciding which headphones to get. If that’s the road you’re taking, then you’ll need to make sure you get affordable, high-quality DJ headphones. The Technics EAH-DJ1200 Professional DJ headphones suit that bill.

Given that it’s lightweight and highly adjustable, it can be worn for quite some time without any issues. It’s also more durable than you might anticipate, and the sound is much clearer than you might expect from the price range. For a low-cost DJ headphone, there are a lot of features to take advantage of. As such, it’s worth buying for any budding DJ.

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