Becoming a successful DJ is about more than having an ear for music.
You also need the right tech. Mixers, DJ software, and speakers are all essential if you want to share your music with the world. However, it’s often easy to overlook some smaller pieces of equipment, however, such as the best DJ headphones you can lay your ‘ear’ on!.
Headphones are a critical tool for DJs. Without the proper pair, there’s no way to listen to the sounds you’re creating in a recording studio or on stage. After all, you don’t want ambient sound or the screaming of fans to distract you.
The best DJ headphones will ensure you can hear every element of a composition. These high-performance tools are a little more expensive than your standard headsets, but they also offer more functionality too.
Today, we’re going to help you choose the best DJ headphones for your next set.
What to Shop for in The Best DJ Headphones
Selecting the best DJ headphones is a different process for choosing studio or production headphones, or even headsets for casual listening. There are unique features and functionality that you’ll need to consider carefully to make the right investment.
One of the first and most essential elements that you’ll need to consider is the sound quality. While it’s easy to get carried about by the “added extras” of advanced headphones, there’s nothing more important than ensuring you can hear your music properly.
Since you’ll be using your best DJ headphones on stage, you need something that’s going to drown out the noise around you and keep you focused on your music. Some headsets out there are designed to suit people who want to feel the bass and kick it up a notch when the time is right. Other headphones can give you an insight into clearer and more natural highs and mid-level sounds.
Whichever design you choose, make sure that your best DJ headphones output enough volume to give you an excellent experience, even in a noisy club. Some of the market leaders allow you to block out external noise so that you can beat-match more effectively with a higher frequency range.
Once you’ve found a pair of headphones that delivers incredible sound, you’ll need to make sure that you can work them comfortably for long periods. Remember, you’re going to be using your headphones for hours on end when you’re practicing and performing.
The pads need to be comfortable against your ears, with nothing that rubs or annoys your skin. You’ll also need to ensure that your headphones are as lightweight as possible. You don’t want to feel exhausted after a day at work.
Make sure your set feels great on your ears, with just the right sized cups to support the natural shape of your earlobes.
The design of your DJ headphones plays a big part in their comfort and versatility. For instance, a closed-back design will offer you more support when you’re trying to block out background noise. However, over-ear and in-ear solutions can both have their benefits.
Over-ear DJ headphones can be more effective at noise isolation and excess sound cancellation. However, they’re also heavier, bulkier, and can be less comfortable in the long-term. On the plus side, many DJs prize over-ear headphones for their excellent sound quality.
Alternatively, in-ear headphones are lightweight, more portable, and sometimes more comfortable too. However, the sound isolation isn’t as excellent, and they can easily fall out of your ears at times.
If you’re a performance DJ that works a lot of sets, then the headphones that you get will often be trodden on, thrown around, yanked, and constantly put under pressure. Ultimately, your best DJ headphones are going to take a beating.
With that in mind, it’s essential to make sure that you’ve got a well-made set of DJ headphones that can handle all the stress that you’re going to expose them to. Anything that starts to lose its’ appeal after it’s been drowned in sweat for a few hours isn’t much good. You should also look for wires that aren’t going to get broken too easily.
In some ways, the appearance of your DJ headphones will tie-in with the consideration of the right design. You might want to look for something with pivoting cups that allow you to listen to a customer or talk to a coworker from time to time. The ability to move your headphone speaker away from one ear momentarily will help when checking a DJ mix against your monitors or speakers.
However, you’ll need to consider aesthetic appeal too. Remember, as a professional DJ you need to look the part. Buying a set of the best DJ headphones that look professional will help you to attract the right attention when you’re on the stage.
Best DJ Headphones on the Market
DJ Headphones are a complicated thing to buy because even if you go for the most expensive option, you’re not guaranteed an excellent listening experience. The more time you spend developing your career, the more you’ll discover your individual preferences.
To help get you started, here are some of our top picks of the best DJ headphones on the market today.
1. Sennheiser HD 25-1 II – Best Overall DJ Headphones
Sennheiser is a popular name in the headset industry, for professionals and audiophiles alike. The Pro Audio HD 25 headphones deliver an excellent level of high sensitivity. These headphones are brilliant at handling high-pressure levels, and they’re extremely lightweight and comfortable. This makes this headset a good choice for dedicated DJs.
The detachable single-sided cable is a nice touch too. You can remove the wire if you need to during transit to prevent breakage.
2. Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 – Best Pioneer DJ Headphones
Another top brand in the DJ landscape, Pioneer is best-known for its amazing audio equipment. The Pioneer HDJ-X10 headset comes with a high-quality audio design, thoroughly tested for durability and performance. Every part of this headset feels solid, from the earcups to the headband. Plus, you can adjust your headset for an extra comfortable fit.
There’s wireless connectivity, so setting up your headset is a breeze, and you don’t have to rely on wires. Another massive bonus is that this headset looks brilliant for those who want a professional aesthetic.
3. V-MODA Crossfade M-100 – Best Multipurpose DJ Headphones
The award-winning V-MODA headset might look like more of a pair of gaming headphones than a DJ tool at first glance. However, don’t be fooled. This headset was tuned by over 200 audiophiles with rigorous testing to deliver great results.
The dual-diaphragm drivers ensure excellent separation between the bass, mids, and highs. Plus, the compact design ensures that your headphones are easy to take on the road. Unfortunately, if you need to use this headset with an iPhone, the required cable is pretty expensive.
4. Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT– Best Bluetooth DJ Headphones
Bluetooth headphones are often excellent for DJs. When you don’t need to worry about a wire, there’s less to trip over or accidentally yank out of your system. These wireless DJ headphones from Audi-Technica offer a brilliant on-the-go design with critically acclaimed performance. There are touch control and voice assistant support too!
The microphone and button control built into the ear cup mean you can control things like volume and music playback with ease. Plus, you get a carrying pouch included, which makes transport a lot more convenient too.
5. Behringer HPX6000 – Best Budget DJ Headphones
If you’re looking for the best budget DJ headphones, you’ve come to the right place. These Behringer HJPX6000 DJ headphones deliver excellent sound quality for a relatively low price. You get an extra high dynamic range, a removable cable, and an adjustable headband for extra comfort.
Swivelling earcups means that you can test your sound in seconds. Another bonus is that there are 50mm high-output neodymium drivers built-in.
6. Pioneer HDJ-X7-K – Best Mid-Priced DJ Headphones
If you have a bit of extra cash to splash on your tools, but you still want to keep costs reasonably low, then check out this headset from Pioneer. The HDKJ-X7-K delivers outstanding sound, designed following feedback from experts. This headset comes with newly developed drivers so you can enjoy cleaner monitoring even at higher volumes. What’s more, the high-performance cable ensures excellent channel separation.
Like many of the best DJ headphones, this headset is entirely adjustable. You can swivel the earcups to suit you and wear your headset however you prefer. There’s also no need to worry about bumps and knocks during travel because these headphones are extra durable.
7. Sony MDR-7506 – Best DJ Headphones for Beginners
Sony is a popular brand in the audio world for a reason. These high-performance Sony DJ headphones are sure to blow you away with their unique appearance, and 40mm drivers for extra-powerful sound. The closed-ear design allows for a more comfortable experience over long periods. Additionally, the cord offers excellent durability, so you don’t have to worry too much about damage.
The Sony MDF-7506 folds up for convenient storage and transportation, and there’s a rugged construction, so you don’t have to worry too much about accidentally damaging your investment.
8. AIAIAI TMA-2 – Best Back Up DJ Headphones
You never know what is going to happen do you? It is always sensible to have a spare set of DJ heaphones on hand just in case the worst case scenario happens! These are simple, super portable, yet reliable, the TMA-2 by AIAIAI headset offers everything you need for fantastic sound. These S02 headphones deliver a titanium coated driver to reduce potential distortion. What’s more, there’s an internal vent to provide a more clear and punchy mid-level. The H02 reinforced nylon headband also gives you comfort and durability in one.
The earpads included with this headset are comfortable and lightweight, so they don’t put too much pressure on your ears. However, some people will find this headset a little too small to be supremely comfortable, particularly for extended periods.
9. Numark Red Wave Carbon – Best Lightweight DJ Headphones
A headset designed for the modern DJ, the Numark Red Wave looks and feels incredible. Lightweight and convenient, these headphones come with an ultra-durable build, and a swivel design so you can monitor house and cue audio as you work. The high-fidelity design is excellent for achieving a full range of sound, with 50mm driver included.
The leather padding on the ears combines comfort with style, although it’s worth noting that it can get a bit overheated after a while. Additionally, the gold-plated adapter promises long-life reliability and performance. You even get a detachable cable for extra convenience when taking your set on the move.
Probably one of the more elegant DJ headphone options you’ll see on the market today. The SOL REPUBLIC Master Tracks X3 headset comes with a powerful set of sound engine speakers for clear highs and fantastic bass. You’ll get fantastic vocal accuracy, and there’s even a microphone included to help you with taking calls and recording music.
Intended for regular use, this DJ headset is exceptionally durable, with a flexible headband and robust materials throughout. You also get a 1000-day guarantee included. On top of that, you can change the headset headband too.
Another top contender for the best Sennheisser DJ headphones. This fantastic piece of kit comes with dynamic performance and excellent comfort – ideal for long-term use. Lightweight and ergonomic, these headphones will fit perfectly for a lot of users. What’s more, the extended frequency response means that you get a natural and warm sound.
There’s a cord included with extra-durable design, to reduce the risk of breakage. Another bonus is that many of the components of these headphones are replaceable. You can add a new audio cord, headband padding, earpads, and more.
Offering the ideal combination of advanced engineering and build quality, the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x is a stunning headset. With a surprisingly low price tag, these DJ headphones can deliver an excellent result for studio tracking and mixing. The 40mm drivers are excellent for providing clarity.
Although these DJ headphones are a little chunkier than some of the other options we’ve seen, they do sound fairly good and offer a reasonable amount of comfort.
Final Thoughts on these Best DJ Headphones of 2020
Choosing the best DJ headphones for your needs is often a challenging experience. You’ll need to spend some time testing different designs to see which one appeals most to you. Some people will prefer in-ear performance, while others will like the over-ear benefits of good noise cancellation. If you’re not sure where to get started, consider trying some headphones on in-person before you begin shopping online.
Our favourite option from this list has to be the Sennheiser HD 25 headphones. These high-performance headphones provide an excellent level of sensitivity, ideal for hearing every detail of your music mix. What’s more, you get a design that’s both durable and comfortable, so you don’t have to continually replace your headset.
Which headphones will you be using this year? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation on social media!