Pioneer began creating products for the audio world way back in 1994. The landscape and the company have changed a lot since then, with countless new products arriving regularly. Today, Pioneer fans can access everything from state-of-the-art controllers to turntables and even headphones.
As any pro DJ or music master in training will agree, standard headphones are rarely enough for mixing and music management. You need something more accurate, robust, and reliable if you’re going to make the most of your career. That’s why Pioneer created the HDJ-X10 headset. These headphones are a great investment, and some of the nicest earphones Pioneer has made.
Although the build is a little plasticky in places, reducing the overall luxury appeal of the item, the HDJ-X10s are extremely reliable and well-designed to withstand the challenges of DJ life. These are also the first DJ headphones to achieve official Hi-Res certification.
If you’re looking for the absolute best playback resolution that money can buy, then Pioneer might have exactly what you need in the HDJ-X10. Let’s take a closer look at what you can accomplish with these headphones.
Key Features of the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 DJ Headphones
The Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 stands out as a professional set of headphones from the moment you open the box. The HDJ-X10s come with a durable carrying case that could easily withstand being thrown around in the back of a tour van or car. Inside the case are the HDJ-X10 headphones themselves, complete with a coiled and straight cable for connectivity.
Although some components of the HDJ-X10 headphones might look a little cheap or flimsy in places, you certainly don’t get that impression when you’re holding these items. The moving parts in the headphones that control and release the ear cups feature powerful metal capable of holding up to the US military’s shock test.
The earpads also have a polyurethane nano-coating, which makes them easy to wipe and clean. Here are some of the features you can expect from the HDJ-X10:
- Rigorous shock-tested design
- Nano coating for durability
- Wired connectivity (2 wires included)
- Flagship professional technology
- Comfortable fit with adjustments available
- Excellent portability with carrying case
- Two colors to choose from
- Durable metal components
Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 Set Up
Pioneer DJ released a full series of headphones with the HDJ-X10. The HDJ-X series include the X5, X7, and X10. Pioneer designed these headsets to replace the last line of HDJ models. These headphones are extremely durable and well-made, with a special nano-coating on the earpads that make them easy to clean and sweat resistant.
Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 headphones are beautifully well-made, with a flexible headband and earcups that swivel to suit your needs when you’re mixing and playing. These headphones also come with high-performance Hi-Res drivers on-board.
A set of Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 DJ headphones come in a headphone locker complete with a coiled cable, straight cable, carrying case, a 1/8 to 1/4 adapter, and the headset itself. The carrying case is resilient but compact, making it a great choice when you need something to slip into your kit bag. Older products in the HDJ line were more likely to feature bulky cases.
There are four slots for SD cards in the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 case, as well as a pouch for your thumb drives on one side. There’s also a compartment for your HDJ-X10 headphones too, so everything doesn’t get jumbled together.
The Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 DJ headphones are lightweight, but not so much that they feel cheap or flimsy. These headphones are predominantly made with plastic, with an ear cup and headphone design that evolves from the previous HDJ-2000MK2. The earcups feature a large circular screw to attach them to the headband hinge, which makes the whole device feel a little bulky.
The cables for the Pioneer HDJ-X10 connect to the bottom of your left earcup, with a four-pin connector to contribute to better sound clarity and quality.
Sound quality is often the first thing that DJ’s think about when buying a new set of headphones. However, you won’t be able to get the most out of your investment if you can’t bear to wear your new cans. The Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 are a lot bulkier than their predecessors, but they’re still relatively lightweight, so they don’t rub against the crown of your head too much.
Designed for comfort through periods of extended use, the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 headphones are great for people who will be spending several hours in action. These are some of the most comfortable over-ear headphones on the market. The tension on the headband is just enough to feel as though it’s not going to slip without being overbearing.
The cushioning in the earpads are cosy and help to lock in the sound and block out distractions, without being overly tight. Everything works perfectly.
As mentioned above, the HDJ-X10 are some of the more durable headphones available today – stringently tested to the highest standards. Although it’s hard to say for certain that they can persevere through anything without months of experimentation – they seem durable.
You can easily subject these headphones to rough DJ use and casual use, throwing them around the booth and putting them in your backpack after a set. You can use them in sweaty and uncomfortable settings without having to worry about the materials breaking down, or you can make the most of them in cold rain, and they still perform well.
The Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 won’t deteriorate with regular use – even around the headband, a common problem for DJ headphones. Because Pioneer has created something resilient and flexible for their headset, they can guarantee that your device won’t just snap when you’re a little vigorous with them.
Although some people won’t appreciate the largely plastic build of the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10s, it’s worth remembering that this doesn’t make your headphones any flimsier, or less effective. After regularly stress-testing these headphones, it’s clear to see that they’re extremely sturdy and reliable.
Once you’re sure that your new headphones are durable and comfortable to wear, you need to ensure that they’re going to sound great. If you loved the sound of the previous HDJ-2000MK2s, then you’re in for a treat here. The HDJ-X10 sounds very similar, although there are a couple of changes.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the bass response in these cans is a little more pronounced compared to the previous versions. If you think that the previous headphones didn’t have much thumb compared to the other DJ models on the market, then the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10s will solve that problem for you. The lower frequencies get a lot more attention here, making it easier to pinpoint specific beats when you’re mixing.
The bass boost seems to start at around 80hz and continue around 100hx, extending into the mid-range. This will be an appealing option for people who use a lot of electronic music, hip-hop and pop music in their mixes.
The mid-levels are very good too – similar in style to the previous headphones. The low-end bass boost extends to somewhere around 300hz, with thicker synthesizers as a result. There’s many details in these headphones, with excellent performance around the 500 to 700hz environment.
From a treble perspective, the HDJ-X10 headphones have a fantastic and modern sound. There’s a lot of crisp focus in the higher frequencies, which is excellent for those who need to keep a tight focus on every sound.
Sound stage and Isolation
Probably one of the biggest differences between the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 and the items that came before it is the extremely wide soundstage that you get with this new investment. The left to right imaging is extremely accurate and broad. The sound stage makes the modulation in things like electronic music feel much wider than it would with similar headphones in the range.
The stereo fields are almost exaggerated in style, with the feeling that you’re sitting inside of a piece of music, rather than just feeling it thrown right in front of you. The Top to bottom imaging isn’t quite as accurate as left-to-right, but it still comes with plenty of depth to explore.
The sound from back to front is intriguing, with lows and low mids that provide plenty of depth, although the high frequencies don’t seem to have quite as much space. Although not everyone will be a fan of the unique soundstage offered by the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10, which makes vocals feel more “in your face”, it’s something that will appeal to a lot of DJs.
Something that makes the sound stage feel even more impressive with the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10s is the excellent isolation they provided. These headphones are fantastic at reducing ambient noise. The combination of the ear pads and the build of the cups create a marvelous tight seal around the ear that shuts out the world around you.
The comfortable fit and the noise isolation would make this an excellent choice if you’re looking for a pair of headphones to use in an office when you don’t want anyone to bother you at work.
Pioneer DJ says that the HDJ-X10 DJ headphones are the first set of DJ headphones on the market capable of playing back Hi-Res audio in absolute clarity. You need a playback device handy that can output that audio and feed it into the headphones, of course. Pioneer recommends items like the CDJ-2000NXS2 for this, but you can look around to find out what works best for your kit.
Try it with a high-level piece of audio equipment, and it’s difficult to tell much of a difference between regular files and the high-Res FLAC files that HDJ-X10 headphones can play. You can pick out some slight changes if you listen quite hard – but it isn’t easy to see too much of a difference straight away.
Unless you’re spinning tracks for the most discerning audiophiles in the club scene, then the Hi-Res audio functionality is unlikely to be something that you feel that you desperately need. The chances are that this feature will appeal most to DJs who are perfectionists above all else. If you feel like you need to play music at the highest possible fidelity with your DJ headphones, then there’s nothing to stop you from accessing this feature.
Just make sure that any of the sound systems that you play on when you’re using the HDJ-X10 Hi-Res mode is capable of playing these files with gusto.
Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 Pros and Cons
The HDJ-X10 headphones are an excellent investment for a modern DJ that can’t afford to compromise on quality. Although certain features, like the access to Hi-Res sound might not seem particularly important, they’re definitely nice to have. It’s also worth remembering that there’s more to the HDJ-X10 headphones than novelty features.
These great cans possess a brilliant sound quality that’s right on par with some of the most expensive headphones on the market today. You can use these to listen to any music you choose and explore the soundscape of your tunes in incredible depth. On top of that, you get a comfortable design suitable for all-day wear, and a durability that offers complete peace of mind.
You won’t have to worry about your sweat corroding the earcups on these headphones, or the headset suddenly breaking when you throw it and its carry case into the back of your van. These are headphones that can withstand regular use, no matter how much time and effort you put into your DJ career. Once you get used to the unique sound stage and the slightly bulkier fit, you’ll find it hard to switch away to another kit.
Finishing Thoughts on the Pioneer HDJ X10 DJ Headphones
It’s hard to deny that the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 DJ headphones from Pioneer are an excellent investment for many modern DJs. If you’re looking for a solid headset that you can rely on for all of your DJ and music mixing needs, then you can’t go wrong here. These are some of the nicest headphones that Pioneer have introduced. However, there’s a chance that the heavy plastic focus in the build may scare off some people who are more intrigued by a luxury feel.
Although the HDJ-X10 is solid and well-built, its durability also means that it can feel a little bulkier than some of the other similar products on the market. This means that you might want to look elsewhere if you’re searching for a sleek and sophisticated finish. On the plus side, you do get a lot of extra bonuses with these headphones, including Hi-Res certification that you simply can’t find anywhere else.
The PIoneer DJ HDJ-X10 headphones’ sound quality is most likely to attract DJs who want access to an extended bass response, with a balanced finish across the mid-levels and highs. The sound quality of these headphones is pretty brilliant, with absolutely no issues whether you’re playing at low volumes or wall-breaking levels.
Another massive bonus of the HDJ-X10 is that you get incredible noise cancellation and isolation included. Compared to many of the other DJ headsets on the market, the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 has some of the best isolation you can find. There’s absolutely no way that you’re not going to be able to concentrate on your music when you’re wearing these cans. These are more likely to give you better noise cancellation than leading consumer products like the Bose Quiet Comforts, for instance.
Compared to previous products like the HDJ-2000MK2 which acted as inspiration for the HDJ-X10s, there are some things you might miss from the older products. The slimmer form factor of the 2000MK2 headphones will be more appealing to some. However, it’s easy to get used to the new fit of the HDJ-X10s when you consider just how comfortable they are.
Wearing the HDJ-X10 for hours at a time isn’t a problem, and you’ll have no issue with keeping them safe during and between sets. The robust build protects against everything from unexpected bending to excess sweat in the club.