7 Best DJ Headphones We Recommend:
High quality headphones are especially important to DJs. When you’re busy creating music for an event, the last thing you want to worry about is if your headphones are providing an accurate sound. You need to be able to trust your gear at work and headphones are no exception.
Unfortunately, a good set of headphones can cost a small fortune and DJs that are just starting out may not have the money to pay for them. The temptation to sacrifice a little quality in order to save some money can be strong, but it’s vital you don’t fall prey to it.
Cheap headphones not only provide poor sound quality, but they can also start to fall apart after a short time. Regular headphones aren’t built to last like DJ headphones and it can show at the worst times imaginable.
Many professional DJs use headphones that are in the middle of the price range. These DJs know what to look for in a good pair of headphones. New DJs may not have that same knowledge and often just trust a more expensive set because of the cost.
In this guide, we’re here to help you navigate the options on the market. We’ve tested and tried the best DJ headphones to give you an edge when it comes to your DJ gear.
As a DJ, you really have to have a good set of headphones that will work to actively cancel noise, are built strongly, and are easy to use. These Monitor headphones tick the boxes. They have strong active noise-cancelling qualities, and while they aren’t the best in the market, we found that they block out a lot of noise to help you hear your music that much better.
Fans of the Marshall brand will love these updated headphones. But even if you’ve never bought from this company, you’ll appreciate the all-black appearance that lends itself to a minimal look.
We liked that these Monitor headphones had a hefty weight to them while not being too overtly heavy, and that we could shove them in a backpack without worrying that they’d break.
We sat down and really tested out these Pioneer professional headphones because we wanted to know how well they would work under pressure. First off, we found that they had some outstanding sound quality, and fit comfortably. Not for everyone, and not for the whole day, but they were comfortable enough.
Beyond the fit, we were impressed by the Bluetooth connection that made wearing these headphones easy. While you’re working, you won’t need to struggle with handling a cord, or with headphones that are too stiff. These headphones are made to be durable (although we found that they were not as durable as stronger options), meaning that you can use them anywhere without worrying about your sound quality being compromised.
Thanks to the wireless design of these Audio Technica ATH M50x headphones, it’s possible to wear these anywhere. That’s a given with many headphones nowadays though, but what made these unique was the touch control.
They were very sensitive to the touch, so they were easy to use right from the ear cups. All of the mic and button controls were right there in the ear cups, so it was simple to just reach up and alter the volume or take a call. Not to mention that it was simple to playback something.
The sound was impressive too. The ATH M50x drivers are large, so there’s a deep frequency range and an accurate bass response. With the long charging cable, it was nice that we could plug these ATH M50x headphones in anywhere.
These V-Moda headphones are beautiful and sleek. Not only that, they work well wirelessly, and in wired mode too with zero latency—something that is completely necessary when it comes to being a DJ. These headphones isolate sound well, but they don’t completely block out sound. This might be better for you if you want to stay a little more aware of your surroundings.
What sets these headphones apart is the built-in hidden microphone. It’s tuned specifically to work with phone calls and to recognize your voice. And since you’re using a lithium-ion battery and have 12 hours of charge, you won’t need to worry about these headphones dying too quickly.
You’ve probably heard of the Sennheiser brand, which is why we wanted to test out a pair to see just how good a Sennheiser Pro would stand up to the competition.
First off, we enjoyed how lightweight these headphones were. They were easy to wear, but they could still handle high pressure levels of sound. Use these professional headphones for long periods of time without them hurting your ears, thanks to super comfortable ear pads.
You might be looking to wear these headphones for work, which means that you’ll like that there’s a tough and detachable single-sided cable. It won’t get in the way, and you can make your headphones wireless too if that’s more comfortable. We liked that the ear capsules rotated as well, which made listening with only one ear easy. You can learn more about Sennheiser headphones here.
We can’t talk about professional headphones without talking about Sony and their Diaphragm Headphones. These headphones have neodymium magnets and 40mm drivers to give you some powerful and detailed sound, along with a closed-ear design that is both comfortable and helps you reduce the sound of external noises outside. That makes these easy to wear when you’re out doing work and everything around you is a little bit loud.
We liked that the cord was 9.8 feet though, so even though that cord is not detachable and you cannot use these headphones wirelessly, you have a lot of room to move around. You even get a ¼ inch adapter with these headphones to wear them anywhere. Just fold them up for storage or travel in the soft case that’s included.
Similarly to the Sennheiser Pro headphones, these Sennheiser PLUS headphones have a lightweight design that ensures that they’re comfortable and easy to wear. In fact, they have all the same qualities of the Sennheiser Pro headphones, including the comfortable ear cups, the detachable cable, and the rotating capsules if you want to listen to just one side.
They’re unique in how they handle high-pressure sound, and how robust they are. The HD sound makes them special too, which is impressive considering how minimalistic they are.
Factors to Consider When Buying DJ Headphones
No matter how cheap or expensive your headphones are, there are a few basic benchmarks they need to meet. DJs all around the world rely on these things whether consciously or not.
Afterall, working long gigs and messing with new sounds require a certain amount of skill that should be met with quality gear.
Long gigs can get tiring quickly if your gear isn’t comfortable. While one set of headphones may be comfortable for a short while, keep in mind you may also work shifts that are hours long. The best headphones should fit your ears well and not push or rub uncomfortably.
Check to ensure there’s a headband pad as well. You may not think you need it, but after a few hours of a metal band pressing into the top of your head, you’ll wish you had one.
Another consideration you should have is whether you want a cordless set or not. If you like moving around while working, look into getting a pair of headphones that has either a coiled cord or no cord at all.
Some headphones come with detachable cords which could be a worthy investment if you’re prone to dancing along to your mixes and getting tangled in cords.
It doesn’t matter if you're a professional DJ who travels for work or one who just works local gigs for friends, your headphones need to be able to withstand a lot. They’ll be stuffed into bags, tugged on, dropped a few times, and maybe even kicked by accident. It’s normal and therefore, the best DJ headphones should be able to withstand the abuse for at least a year or two.
When getting new headphones, test the joints and hinges. Ensure they’re strong enough to be twisted and easily worn however you prefer. If you liked wearing them around your neck, make sure the headphones can be easily manipulated so you can listen. If you like holding one earpad to an ear, then fiddle with the headphones to make sure they can twist and bend the way you need them too.
It’s vital you invest in headphones that are sound cancelling and can block out even the screams of your fans so you can focus on your music and mixing sounds. A pair of headphones that can play loud are one of the best ways to ensure you’ll hear your music over any other sound.
If you’re looking into specific tech specs, here are a few to start with: choose a pair of headphones with a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. This is the standard range and while you can go wider, it’s not necessary and may not do much to improve the sound. If you like louder lows, choose a set of headphones with a drive of at least 40 mm. An impedance of 25 ohms or more is also recommended.
Overall, the best DJ headphones will likely cost more than any other pair of headphones you’ve bought. Fortunately, you don’t need to purchase the most expensive, most elaborate set to have access to quality headphones.
If you know what to look for, you’re bound to find the perfect pair. It always helps to take someone else along who may have more knowledge of DJ headphones, but that’s not necessary. By keeping in mind the most important factors and shopping in person as opposed to online, you’re already on the track to finding the best DJ headphones for a relatively affordable price.