The top 5 best dj headphones on the market at the moment (In my opinion)
Ask any DJ out there what their most personal and over used item is and it will more than likely be their headphones. Headphones are fundamental to a DJ’s job so getting the right pair is essential. Once a DJ has found his headphones it is hard for them to use anything else and they will hold on to them a long time. Finding these headphones though isn’t the easiest of things so if your in the market for DJ headphones, keep reading and hopefully this article can make it a little easier for you. However, the most important bit of advice I can give you is try before you buy! If you have a chance to listen to the headphones before committing to purchase then do, everyone is different and so as much as I can give you specs and my opinions, you may prefer something different.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR NEW DJ HEADPHONES
- Budget: This one is the biggest factors when choosing headphones, generally the more money spent the better the quality, but there are exceptions to the rule. Some of the budget headphones on the market these days are fantastic quality and should not be overlooked. This is all down to your personal budget though.
- Specs: This is one of the most difficult bits when choosing your new headphones. You can get lost in a sea of numbers and what do they all actually mean? Without going into to much detail on each spec I will point out the key ones to look out for and what they mean.
- Design/Materials: Headphones that fold and swivel is almost an absolute must for DJ’s. The ability to swivel one of the cans out of the way whilst mixing makes life a lot easier and folding them away when finished is a neat feature. Materials used will effect how the headphones feel on your head over longer periods of time.
- Additional Accessories/Features: Some headphones will come in hard cases, others in pouches. Detachable cable, adapters? We will give you the low down here.
For each pair of headphones I will review each category and give my final overall opinion on them.
Pioneer HDJ 2000mk2
Budget: Ranging from £229 – £250 these headphones are certainly at the top end of the budget range, but for this you are getting a fantastic pair of headphones.
Specs: With 50mm drivers and a max output level of 107dBmW these headphones pack some punch! Their frequency range is a huge 5Hz-30kHz which means the user can hear the finest details in the track throughout the entire frequency range. A closed back design help isolate background noise allow the DJ to concentrate on the sound from within the headphones. This is another top feature to have when choosing DJ headphones.
Design/Materials: Weighing a mere 298g (without the cable) and memory foam ear pads covered in a soft leather like material means these headphones are extremely comfortable even after hours of constant use.
Additional Accessories/Features: Packaged in a hard case means all that travelling these headphones will go through they will be protected throughout. This is important as it will certainly prolong their life. A detachable coiled cable with a solid connection means if the coil does break it is easy to replace but you can be safe in the knowledge it wont fall out during heavy use. Finally a swivel design for each cup and a complete folding design which ‘click’ into place when unfolded means they wont take up a lot of room when transporting.
To conclude these headphones are a premium product with premium features, I personally have the original version of these headphone which have served me very well for almost 3 years. Whenever sharing a booth with other DJ’s they all always seems to end up wearing these. I have worn them for anything up to 5 hours at a time and have never felt uncomfortable wearing them. These are a step up again from those headphones bringing all those fantastic qualities and more, if your prepared to spend the money these are a must have.
Sennheiser HD 25-1 II
Budget: With prices around £129 these headphones are significantly cheaper than the Pioneers. This however does not mean they are lacking in quality and backing from top DJ’s.
Specs: Again with a driver size of 50mm they are on par with the Pioneers. They even beat them in terms of a max output with a huge 120dB. However it is strongly recommended you never try to push this to its limit otherwise you could cause irreparable damage to your hearing. The frequency range isn’t quite as wide as the Pioneers but with a range of 16Hz to 22kHz it is still ample to hear the frequencies of the tune. Again the standard closed back design features making the specs of these headphones very good value for money!
Design/Materials: One of the top aspects of these headphones is the weight weighing only 140g (without the cable) they are extremely light on the head meaning they can be worn for hours on end without feeling heavy. The headband can be split for a more personal fit which allows the DJ to fit them best to their head and they have soft padding across the top of this headband.
Additional Accessories/Features: The headphones are shipped with a soft bag to keep them safe on the road. The coiled cable is detachable allowing for easier transporting and although they cups do swivel they do not fold down. This makes them slightly bigger to transport than the Pioneers. Included in the box is a spare pair of soft ear pads for when the original ones wear it. They also come with an impressive 2 year warranty.
These headphones are considered the ‘industry standard’ headphone and will be seen in DJ booths all across the world. The impressive specs and extreme lightweight makes them a hit with big name DJ’s and the impressive price means they are available to people even on tighter budgets.
Budget: Ranging from £110 to £125 these headphones sit in an ideal price bracket for those who want to take their DJ’ing further but don’t want to break the bank with new headphones.
Specs: Slightly smaller drivers on these with a size of 45mm but they are still able to pack a punch with a sound level of 99dB and a decent frequency range of 15Hz to 28kHz. Again they have a closed back design.
Design/Materials: At 285g they have a very similar weight to the Pioneers so again feel very lightweight and comfortable on the head. This weight sits nicely in the middle of the range and is quite a standard weight. Circumaural design ear cups means they fit nicely around the ear and help isolate the ambient noises meaning the DJ can hear the sound being produced loudly and clearly. The headphones are covered in a soft padding and a soft leather feeling material giving them a comfortable overall feel.
Additional Accessories/Features: As usual they ship with a soft case to transport them in and the standard detachable coiled cable to help with this. Both cups swivel 90 degrees and they can be folded down for space saving.
These headphones have been made with studio use and DJ’ing in mind so they have a comfortable fit and feel to them which allows the user to wear them for longer periods of time. One thing I did find is the low end frequencies or bass response isn’t quite as punchy as the others I have featured but their all round performance is still fantastic and made even better by the price.
Allen & Heath XONE XD2-53
Budget: Prices sit around £160 for these headphones but for that you get some impressive specs! Just like their range of Xone mixers, these headphones are knocking on the door of industry leaders Pioneer.
Specs: As I said the specs on these headphones are very impressive, they have a larger driver than the others sitting an impressive 53mm and can produce a frequency range from 5Hz to 33kHz. They top out at a maximum sound level of 105dB which means their specs are slightly better than the top end Pioneers! Again the standard closed back design features.
Design/Materials: Weighing in at 350g these headphones are the heaviest in this list, this is mainly down to the design and materials used as they have a reinforced metal headband and metal joints connecting the cups. This does make them very strong though. Soft ear pads and a soft padded headband means they are comfortable to wear but will start to feel heavy over longer periods of time.
Additional Accessories/Features: Again just like all the headphones before these come in a bag to carry them round in however its a soft case like the Sennheiser’s, they also have a coiled detachable cable. Both ear cups swivel 90 degrees and the headphones are fully foldable. It has to be said the build quality is one of the key features of these headphones and really does make them stand out.
The Xone range of mixers have some of the best features of any club mixers in the world, they are becoming more and more popular in pubs and clubs because of the known quality associated with the brand, the same goes for their headphones. Quality brand with quality headphones and a very good price!
Numark Red Wave
Budget: With a crazy low price of £40 these certainly are budget headphones, but don’t let the price put you off. These things still pack a punch and there will still be established DJ’s out there carrying these round with them.
Specs: Even with the low low price these headphones still pack an impressive 50mm driver providing a fantastic sound.The frequency response isn’t quite as impressive as it ranges from 15Hz to 20kHz but for a budget set of headphones this is still going to give the user a great range of frequencies to listen too. The sound level peaks at around 98dB which is still more than enough for any DJ to have. They also have a closed back design.
Design/Materials: There is no official weight to be found anywhere on these headphones but after wearing them and holding them I can say they in no way feel heavy on the head or like they will get uncomfortable after ling periods of use. They have soft padding around the headband and the ear cups which are covered in a soft breathable protein-leather.
Additional Accessories/Features: As standard these headphones come with a soft carry case for transporting and a detachable cable for ease of use. Both ear cups have a swivel design and they have a fully foldable design. You can tell these headphones have been designed just like the more expensive in the range and they are very good for it, but the quality isn’t quite the same, which is expected for headphones which are considerably cheaper.
In summary these headphones are almost a must for beginner DJ’s or people who are looking for a cheap pair. They still pack the punch and give the user a clear and crisp sound to aid the DJ with their mixing.
So to conclude these are the top 5 headphones I have picked out for DJ’s this year, I personally use the Pioneer HDJ 2000’s with a mind to upgrade to the mk2’s but again this is just my personal choice. As I said earlier this should only be used as a guide and the best way to choose your own headphones is to listen to a range to see what suits you best! So over to you, What headphones do you use, what have you found suits your needs or what do you look for when purchasing new/replacements? It’s interesting to hear what other peoples views are and what trusted headphones other people use, I’m sure there will be lots of different views on the ones I have chosen above and many many more people would use instead.
Thanks for reading