Last updated on Mar 28, 2018 @ 4:12 pm

 

It’s time to dive into the one thing that all DJ’s need in order to do their job: good quality DJ headphones.

DJ headphones come in many shapes & sizes, and reviewing all of them would take up too much time. However, DJ’s have their favorites, and in this article, I would like to provide a digestible overview of what are considered to be the best DJ headphones out there.

Before diving in, what are the key characteristics of good DJ headphones?

  • Isolation: The whole idea of using DJ headphones is that allow pre-listening to a track while a live track is playing. This usually means that the sound levels are high and that your headphones need to properly isolate the sound in order for it to be audible in your ear. This is why DJ headphones should be sealed.
  • Volume: For the same reasons as above, DJ headphones should output at a decent volume, without being at a level that becomes damaging to your ears, of course.
  • Bass: While DJ’s might be audiophiles, the main need for a DJ is to hear certain frequencies, especially lows (bass, kick drums) and highs (hi-hats) clearly, as those are the sounds a DJ needs to beat match properly.
  • Weight & portability: headphones should sit comfortably on your head, and this for prolonged periods of time. If you ever did a 4-hour gig with heavy headphones you know what I mean. Besides that, they should be foldable, to allow maximum flexibility when wearing and carrying.

Let’s dive in and see which headphones best deliver on the criteria above!

WINNER

Pioneer HDJ-X7

  • Price range*: $$$$
  • The HDJ-X7 replaces the HDJ-2000MK2 and improves on it considerably. Read more
RUNNER UP

Sennheiser HD 25 Plus

  • Price range*: $$$
  • Classic looks, very compact and fantastic sound. Read more

 

THE REST

 

WINNER

Pioneer DJ HDJ-X7

Pioneer DJ HDJ-X7
Pioneer DJ HDJ-X7
IN SHORT
PROS CONS
  • Comfortable and lightweight in use
  • Excellent sound quality and isolation
  • Reasonably priced
  • Detachable cables
  • None

 

The Pioneer HDJ-X7 replaces the HDJ-2000MK2, but not as top of the line, that’s an honor reserved for the HDJ-X10.

Still, they offer a high degree of comfort, sound quality (they are particularly loud) and comfort at around USD 200. They come with a 50-mm driver that guarantees a crisp, clear and detailed sound and have a large frequency range between 5 and 30000 Hz.

The construction is a mix of metal and plastic and the headband is very flexible. They are very comfortable in use and the cans can flip around for easy folding, both when in use as when in storage.

The HDJ-X7 comes with a detachable 1.2 m coiled cable and a 1.6 m straight cable, plus an L-type mini-jack to prevent accidental disconnection.

RUNNER UP

Sennheiser HD 25 Plus

Sennheiser HD 25 Plus
Sennheiser HD 25 Plus
IN SHORT
PROS CONS
  • Classic looks
  • Excellent sound quality and dynamic range
  • Well priced
  • Lightweight.
  • Rather expensive

 

The Sennheiser HD 25 Plus is a variant of the classic HD-25 DJ headphones, a favorite amongst many DJ’s for decades.

The HD-25 Plus is the more equipped variant of the HD-25 family, coming with extra velour earpads, a carrying pouch, a right-angled plug and an extra coiled cable. It’s all plastic construction means they are ultra-light, which is a big plus when playing with them for an extended period of time.

The sound quality is excellent, with clear bass and well defined mid and highs. Because of their on-ear design, the HD-25 plus is less efficient in isolating external sounds, but not the point it hinders monitoring. At around USD 199, they are reasonably priced for the level of quality they deliver.

Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10

Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10
Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10
IN SHORT
PROS CONS
  • Lightweight
  • Built to last
  • Very good sound isolation
  • Exceptional dynamic range from 5 to 40 KHz
  • Detachable cables and replaceable earpads
  • Flaws in low-quality audio will be accentuated
  • Expensive

 

The HDJ-X10 are the top of the line DJ headphones from Pioneer DJ. They are lightweight yet very solidly build. The sound isolation is excellent, and the dynamic range is exceptional, from 5 to 40 KHz. They support as such high-resolution audio. On the downside, if you play lower quality music you might find that the X10’s accentuate the bad elements in heavily compressed music, much like a DVD will look crappy on a 4K television.

All the cables are detachable, so it’s easy to replace them in the case of damage. The earpads are also replaceable, which is good news as eventually, they will wear off after a few years of heavy (ab)use. The polyurethane leather ear pads and headband cushion on the HDJ-X10 headphones are resistant to deterioration thanks to the use of nano coating, so you can easily wipe off sweat and dirt.

As with all things Pioneer DJ, the HDJ-X10’s don’t come cheap, costing just under USD 350. Considering DJ headphones need to withstand a lot of abuse (sweat, falling, tearing, high volumes…) you might as well invest in a quality pair, and these are definitely the cream of the crop!

Sennheiser HD8 DJ

Sennheiser HD8 DJ
Sennheiser HD8 DJ
IN SHORT
PROS CONS
  • Great build
  • Great sound quality, especially in the lows
  • Great headphones
  • Expensive

 

The HD8 DJ headphones from Sennheiser don’t really look like DJ headphones in the first place, you would rather imagine them to be used comfortably at home on the sofa. But appearances can be deceiving, as these are actually really built for DJ use from the ground up.

They are solidly built and full metal construction, including the all-important swivel joint that allows folding one cup back for one-ear monitoring.

The sound of the HD8 DJ is powerful, with clear definition across the whole sound spectrum, and especially where it matters: clear and loud low end and crisp middle and highs.

The unit comes in a luxurious hard case, with both a straight and a coiled cable. A set of extra earpads is also in the box.

V-Moda Crossfade LP2

V Moda Crossfade LP2
V Moda Crossfade LP2
IN SHORT
PROS CONS
  • Classy, sturdy build, with an almost brandless design
  • Excellent fitting and comfort
  • Very good audio quality
  • No swiveling earcups.

 

The V-Moda Crossfade LP2 has a sturdy, industrial look. The branding is almost invisible and that is a good thing for DJ’s that want to keep things discrete. The earcups have a hexagonal design that guarantees a perfect, comfortable fit.

The earcups don’t have a swivel or rotation mechanism, as is typical with DJ headphones. This could be a problem for DJ’s that like to monitor with one earcup while the other one is tucked away behind the ear. The compact size and the flexibility of the headband, however, allow moving an earcup easily out of the way.

Soundwise, the Crossfade LP2 has powerful bass and overall excellent dynamic range. They are not the loudest of the pack, but they should not disappoint most DJ’s.

The Crossfade LP2’s come in their molded hard case, alternative earcups shields, a cable with an iPhone mic cable and a regular audio cable. No coiled cable though.

Finally, at around USD 150, the LP2’s are very reasonably priced for the build and sound quality you get.


*Price ranges: In order to avoid showing incorrect price ranges for the gear discussed, we work with price ranges. Click on the “check current price” link to find out the current price on Amazon.com at any time.

Between 0 and 100 USD $
Between 100 and 150 USD $$
Between 150 and 200 USD $$$
Between 200 and 300 USD $$$$
Above 300 USD $$$$$