Why Does a DJ Need a Good Pair of Headphones?
Are you thinking of a career as a DJ? If you have a love for music, or you like to mix music and songs, create your playlists, then DJing or ‘Disc Jockey’ is a great option for you to consider. But before you do that, you should know what a DJ does and why you should have professional DJ headphones for the job.
While the work of a DJ may seem pretty fancy and simple, what it involves is more than just creating playlists and playing songs. Yes, they do make a playlist according to the occasion or the audience and play them at the events, but there are a lot of technical things a DJ does to ensure that the song or the tracks are good to listen to, catches the audience’s attention and creates a sensation at the event. Spot mixing of pre-recorded songs and music is one of the major parts of their work.
What Does a DJ Do?
Depending on where they are going to work there are numerous functions a DJ has. For example, a DJ working at the radio station plays songs from a playlist that is targeted to a specific audience. The playlist may either be set by the management or if you have to make it and get it approved by the management. A DJ at the radio station may also attend to different audience requests in playing tracks, answering questions, or even sharing news or stories in between the songs.
A mobile DJ on the other hand plays songs at different events like weddings, schools, and colleges during certain events that need music and dance.
Some DJs work at nightclubs and restaurants or other similar places where a nice dance ambiance needs to be created. They need to identify the type of crowd and play the songs accordingly to suit their taste and preference. They often interact with the audience and play requested songs. Oftentimes the DJ also needs to change the playlist in these places as the crowd changes.
Why Does a DJ Need a Good Pair of Headphones?
There is a lot of work that a DJ does when playing the songs in an event or at a club. The most important thing is sound mixing. They mix different tracks to give an aesthetic listening experience, to ensure a smooth transition between the tracks, or to elevate the mood of the crowd. The sound mixing has to be perfect, so it doesn’t feel like a sudden change that could otherwise interrupt the prevailing mood of the crowd.
It’s important for a DJ to manage the sound levels and the audio quality of all the tracks when they are being played. Different soundtracks and songs have different tempos, loudness, and energy levels. The DJ ensures consistency among all songs, so it doesn’t sound off-beat or mechanical when played one after the other. Controlling the volume is yet another crucial aspect that they need to maintain. While some tracks need a reduction in the volume, some need amplification to sound energetic and match the tempo.
For a seamless flow of the music, some beats or tracks need to be blended into the main audio for pleasant listening. All these sound tweaks and controls need detailed listening and cannot be done unless for proper EDM headphones or professional DJ headphones. Headphones are, therefore, one of the vital tools for a Disc Jockey.
Features Offered by the DJ Headphones
You can probably use regular headphones or earbuds when you are casually working on sound mixing or just trying it out for the first time. However, if you are doing this at a professional level or even when you are practicing for an event, you will need one of the best DJ headsets to get it right. The EDM headphones give you an accurate and detailed sound profile that will help you accomplish the best sound mixing and music management.
Professional DJ headphones are equipped with a lot of extra features like good noise-canceling technology, superior audio clarity delivered with high-quality drivers; they are even constructed for specific frequency responses or an improved bass sound. These features enable a DJ to work efficiently in a noisy, crowded environment and stay focussed, so they can deliver the best and the most pleasing listening experience to their audience. Not using good professional DJ headphones may therefore be a huge disadvantage for you.
Now that you understand what roles a DJ plays and why headphones are one of the most powerful and crucial tools for them, let’s move on to the next section that has the list of top 10 DJ headphones that are available in the market today.
Best DJ Headphones: List of the Top 10 DJ Headphones, Their Features, Price, Pros, and Cons:
You will find loads of professional DJ headphones coming from different brands and manufacturers, and they all claim to be the best in the market. This can make your search more complicated and confusing. However, since this is critical equipment for a DJ, finding the best DJ headsets is very important.
Now, remember that the ‘best’ can vary from one person to another, which is why we have compiled here the top 10 DJ headphones after carefully going through all the reviews and ratings from the users and depending on what the experts say. All these headphones are extremely high-performing, and you can never go wrong if you pick one of them. This list also comprises the EDM headphones under different price ranges right from budget offerings to the premium ones, so there is something for everyone.
Without further delay, let’s get started:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X professional EDM headphones: (Overall best DJ headphones)
Here’s our top pick for the best DJ headsets. ATH-M50X is a pair of studio-grade EDM headphones that have proven to be extremely reliable and excellent for sound mixing and monitoring.
This audio gear uses 45 mm large drivers and has an extended frequency response of 15 Hz to 28 kHz. This allows you to get an accurate bass response as well as clear upper-frequency levels helping you with the best possible sound monitoring and mixing. The overall sound profile of this professional DJ headphone is well-balanced and neutral with good noise isolation thus maintaining the overall audio quality. The noise isolation is due to the over-the-ear-designed ear cups which also offer superior comfort allowing you to wear them for several hours.
One of the top 10 DJ headphones, these are affordable and durable and are great for both beginners as well as professional DJs. They have a price tag of $149.00 which is good pricing considering all the features.
- Swiveling ear cups make the headphones pretty versatile, allowing different mix monitoring techniques.
- Competitive pricing.
- Incredible sonic performance with great bass response.
- Comes with a detachable cable for easy portability and storage.
- Comfortable fit.
- Not a great option for live performances.
- Some users mentioned that the treble is a bit shaky and could have been cleaner.
Sennheiser HD 25 PLUS: (Best DJ headphones with excellent sonic performance)
Another one in the top 10 DJ headphones list that is perfect for someone who is looking for a high-fidelity sound and features but at decent pricing. The headphone has a uniquely designed headband which may not be very comfortable to some but the headphone screams for itself about the amazing sound quality.
Along with the extended frequency response, these professional DJ headphones deliver punchy bass, crisp mids, and well-defined highs, thanks to the aluminum finished voice coils in the drivers. The noise isolation capability is average, but many professional DJs and studio engineers like this pair due to their bass dynamics and the overall versatile sound performance. This also makes this pair of cans perfect for both indoor (Studio) and outdoor DJing use. Given the design, these headphones are not safe for kids. However, you can check out our best kids headphones article from here, if you are looking for a pair of headphones for your child.
The flexible, rotatable on-ear-designed ear cups allow you to use them with one ear when needed. These EDM headphones will cost you around $209.95 online.
- Outstanding audio performance.
- Sturdy build for extra durability.
- Comes bundled with a headphone amp for directing the sound the right way.
- Compact design with higher ability to handle bigger sound pressure.
- Thick ear padding for extra comfort.
- The cable can be replaced when needed.
- Noise isolation is not the best. This is mostly because of the on-ear design.
- Even though the headphones are lightweight, they may not give the best comfort when it comes to the fitting.
Sony MDR7506 EDM headphones: (Best DJ Headphones for budget buyers)
Premium product or the budget buy, Sony never compromises on the quality. MDR7506 is a budget-friendly offering from the company that makes a great option for those with a tight budget. The best part about these headsets is that you will get all the top-quality features you want despite the price tag which makes them one of the top 10 DJ headphones list.
These closed-back headphones engineered with 40 mm large drivers with a neodymium magnet that delivers a powerful and pure sound with great precision. The over-ear cups perform exceptionally well in isolating the surrounding sound, so you can focus on the sound mixing or your DJing functions. The frequency response extended on the lower end which delivers a solid bass response with seamless midrange and highs.
Now, even though this is not a premium headset with hi-fi technology, you cannot deny the fact that it works well when it comes to sound mixing and studio monitoring. This EDM headphone has a price tag of $92.99.
- Durable and lightweight build.
- Comes with a long cable for ease of use.
- Good noise-reduction capability.
- Affordable price bracket.
- Foldable design for easy portability.
- No sound leakage so the audio quality maintenance is good.
- The earpadding isn’t very plush so long hours of wear may cause little discomfort.
Not all headphones for DJing come cheap. If you are looking for hi-fi professional-grade headphones for your full-time DJ gigs, then this one from Pioneer is an excellent option. For those who are new to the DJ field, this company has some of the best audio equipment offerings that the musicians, sound engineers, and the DJs love.
Pioneer HDJ-X10 Pro: (Best premium Grade professional DJ headphone)
With a sophisticated, top-notch audio design with over-ear cups and a thickly padded headband, every inch of the headphone is made sturdy and durable yet comfortable. This means that you can keep it on for as long as your sound mixing project takes. The headband is adjustable, so you can get the perfect fit as per your head size.
As for the sound output, the quality is at the ace level. One of the best DJ headsets, this pair engineered with 50 mm massive drivers that reproduce rich sound with weighing bass and clean uppers. The hugely extended frequency response of 5 Hz to 40 kHz ensures that these audio gears provide clean and precise audio through the entire frequency spectrum. You will be able to hear every minute detail in the audio which will help you achieve the best results.
The headphone carries a premium price tag of $369.00. If you do not mind the expense or fancy of having high-end audio gear, then this piece is one of the best-in-class and rare to find professional DJ headphones that you can add to your DJing assets.
- The headphones tested for shock-resistance plus the nano coating construction makes it from sweat, dust and water splashes.
- Comes bundled with both coiled and straight cords allowing you to choose as per your convenience.
- Stellar sound with ultimate audio precision.
- The perfect design offers excellent noise reduction.
- Retractable design for easy storage.
- Swiveling design for flexible use.
- Semi-open back offers a spatial yet pumped up sound.
- Expensive option and not everyone can afford it.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO: (Best DJ headphones for ultimate comfort)
Whether you are a club DJ or are stationed for a radio show, you may need to wear the headphones for a long time. DT 770 Pro is one of the finest offerings from Beyerdynamic that make the perfect techno or EDM headphones for several good reasons.
With circum-aural style and plush velour ear cup padding, the headphone has been designed for supreme comfort. You can also replace the pads if needed. The headband foam padding absorbs the pressure on the head when worn for hours.
These professional DJ headphones exhibit a well-balanced sound profile with good bass, and flawless mids and treble. The wide sound stage makes it a perfect option for effortless sound mixing and audio management.
Ideal for both studio work or live shows, this audio gear is easily in the top 10 DJ headphones list if you are on the lookout for one. You will get this model with three different impedance options and the price will vary accordingly. Click on the link provided to check out the price.
- Well-defined audio presentation with a neutral sound profile, perfect for mixing and monitoring.
- Super comfortable design with durable workmanship.
- Closed back, over-the-ear design provides decent noise-reduction.
- The ear cups are not swivelling so you have to wear the headphones to use them.
- Slightly pricey than some of the similar products.
Master & Dynamic MH40 Professional EDM headphones: (Best DJ headphones for versatile use)
This pair of professional DJ headphones packed with premium features that can give you an elevated DJing experience. These headphones are most loved for their dynamic sound with refined frequency responses at every level. The 45 mm large drivers over a bigger sound stage for a loud pleasing listening experience at any given volume. This also helps the DJ in listening to every minute detail of a track, so they know exactly how to tweak or mix for a smooth transition.
The design is premium and made with high-quality materials for an ultimate luxurious feel. The headphone comes with a detachable cable that has an inline control unit and mic. Lining up on the top 10 DJ headphones, these come in a wide array of color selection that goes best with your style and personality. The price of these EDM headphones varies slightly with the model or the color.
- Impeccable sound.
- Wider soundstage.
- Superior comfort with aesthetic looks.
- Huge color selection available.
- The clamping pressure may make it a bit uncomfortable when worn for a long time (it depends on the size of the head though).
V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless Over-Ear Headphone:(Best DJ headphones with Bluetooth connectivity)
Packed with 50 mm huge drivers, this professional DJ headphone offers a spectacular sound signature with clean deep bass, well-sculpted mids and highs both when wired as well as wireless. These wireless studio headphones are a great option for those DJs who love to keep moving around and do not want to deal with untangling the wires.
The headphones are backed by 14 hours of battery life when played continuously which means that you can go an entire night of DJing without worrying about the battery draining out. However, in case the battery goes off, you can seamlessly switch to the wired mode for uninterrupted playback. This makes them the best Bluetooth over ear headphones.
The overall build of the headphone is pretty comfortable with plush ear pads and padded headbands great for all-day wear. Crossfade 2, is a versatile pair that is also equipped with an in-built microphone making it suitable for various other applications other than sound mixing or DJing. Its powerful sound and audio accuracy make it an ideal gaming headset as well.
- Good Bluetooth connectivity with no audio drop-outs.
- Excellent sound.
- Super comfortable to wear.
- Available as both wired and wireless device.
- The headphones may not be comfortable for individuals with larger head size.
Technics RP-DJ1200E-K: (Classic professional DJ headphone with great sound)
This model from Technics has been around for a while now and even though the headphone doesn’t have a sleek, trendy look, the headphones are great in terms of sound. They have a sturdy build with thick ear padding and a padded headband, which makes them a comfortable pair to wear for long hours.
The headphone sounds balanced and generous, and the extended low and high frequency allows you to get detailed audio. This helps in efficient sound mixing and monitoring. The Japanese sound technology that includes 40 mm drivers and CCAW voice coils ensures the sound quality is superior and clean. These on-ear, wired headsets are a great option for those who prefer sound quality over the looks and especially when it comes from one of the oldest commercial headphones companies.
These EDM headphones have a price tag of $189.00.
- Durable build.
- Balanced sound profile.
- Outdated design.
Behringer HPX2000 Professional DJ headphone: (Best DJ headphones at a bargain price)
It is true in most cases that the cheaper headphones come with some kind of trade-off; however, the Behringer HPX2000 proves otherwise. This is why this audio gear makes it to our top 10 DJ headphones. With this super affordable pair available at just $26.53, you will get everything that you can expect from a good professional DJ headphone.
The headphones are designed with plush ear and headband padding that you can wear for hours without any discomfort. The ear cups can be rotated and swiveled allowing you to work with different mixing and monitoring techniques. The cobalt-finished semi-open back construction also ensures that you get to hear every little sound with utmost clarity. Thanks to the back design the sound is also spatial giving you a more natural listening in abundance.
The sound quality is one of the major things where the manufacturers compromise when it comes to inexpensive headsets, but, in this case, you will get an exceptionally well-defined sound signature. The audio output from these headphones is more than their price can make them capable of with a refined bass response together with clean highs.
The retractable headphone design is easy to store and oxygen-free copper wire in straight form ensures that you do not have to deal with the tangle at all.
- Stunning sound for an inexpensive price.
- Foldable ear cups make it travel friendly.
- Extremely affordable.
- Comfortable build.
- The overall build quality is a bit cheap which is justified considering such a low price tag.
- The headphones may not be the best for live gigs but it’s not bad either.
OneOdio Wired Studio Monitor & Mixing DJ Stereo Headsets: (Multifunctional EDM headphones with a reasonable price tag)
OneOdio is probably not a frequently heard name in the headphones industry and especially when it comes to the DJ scenario. Nevertheless, the headphones from these brands have created quite a fire in a very short time.
Right from competitive pricing to premium sound and durable, high-quality build, the headphone is a great package that deserves to be in the top 10 DJ headphones list. The 50 mm large speaker drivers offer a clean sound signature with a neutral sound profile ensuring that you can hear every detail of the recording for the best mixing and monitoring experience.
The headphones are built for maximum comfort with an adjustable headband and swiveling ear cups, so you can do quick one-ear monitoring when needed. The over-ear cups offer a snug fit while performing fairly decent noise isolation. It also has a replaceable cable, so you can easily change it if damaged. This saves you from buying a whole new pair of headphones.
With a price under $50, this headphone offers a great deal for a professional DJ headphone.
- Closed back, over-ear headphones deliver superior quality sound.
- Great value for money.
- Comfortable and snug fit.
- Good noise isolation.
- Comes with replaceable cable.
- Collapsible design with mic and share ports.
Here are a few more good options in case you need to see a few more:
Campfire Audio Cascade (Ultra-premium professional DJ headphones for live use)
Now, selecting a good DJ headphone is not easy especially if you are new to the industry. The next section will provide you with a quick EDM headphone buying guide, so you know exactly what to look for when picking up one.
Headphone Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick Up the Right Professional DJ Headphone?
Unlike regular consumer headphones, DJ or sound mixing headphones are slightly different when it comes to the sound quality or the audio output. They have features that are specifically oriented for DJing or studio functions. To help you pick up the right audio gear, here’s a quick buying guide that will help you understand what are the things you need to consider when selecting a professional DJ headphone:
Sound Quality With Superior Bass Response:
A headphone needed for studio sound mixing and monitoring requires a neutral or a flat frequency response that will help you identify every detail of the recording accurately. On the other hand, for DJing in a club or a social gathering, most professionals prefer a headphone with the exceptional bass response for a punchy, booming sound. This helps them catch the beat and groove to the tunes while they are working live on mixing the soundtracks.
Lack of a great bassy sound may make the overall sound presentation low in energy which is not quite the DJ-type.
Other Frequency Requirements:
Well, it’s not just the punchy bass that is needed for the sound mixing, the overall frequency response of the headphones should be good too. While the thumping bass accentuates the mid and the top notes as well, they need to be extremely crisp and well-defined, so you get clean vocals, hear all the instruments with precision, and have a high yet flawless upper-frequency response.
Resistance to Wear and Tear:
Unlike the casual headphones, the DJ headphones need to be played in top volumes most of the time for the DJ to be able to listen to the soundtracks clearly in a noisy surrounding full of an excited audience. The high volume coupled with the tight sound and vibrations due to heavy bass response creates a lot of pressure on the drivers. Along with this, a DJ also travels to different places along with his equipment that causes more wear and tear of the headphones. This means that the DJ headphones are more prone to damage. You will therefore need to go for a headphone that has a tough build both internally as well as on the external front.
Weight and the Comfort of the Audio Gear:
A typical DJ work involves wearing headphones for long hours. This means that you need to ensure that your headphone is super comfortable to wear and is lightweight, so it doesn’t exert pressure on the head or over the ears. You should also consider checking the clamping pressure of the ear cups which is too tight may lead to inflamed ears.
Flexible or Rotating Ear Cups:
Most of the DJs around the world appreciate ear cups that can be rotated or swiveled and this is not just for convenient storage. The pivotal ear cups are versatile and allow you to apply different mixing and monitoring techniques by allowing you to monitor with one ear when needed or two ears otherwise. Other than that, the flexibility in the cups also makes it highly portable and travel-friendly which is a great benefit for DJs who are on the go most of the time.
One Sided Headphone Cord:
A one-sided cord incorporated into the headphones is most comfortable when you are DJing. You do not want the wire to interfere when you are in the middle of the show right? Also, remember that having a cord on one side doesn’t reduce the quality of the audio. So, go for headphones that come with a single-sided cord.
Other than these, some of the other parameters that need consideration are choosing between on-ear or over-ear headsets, extra features like noise cancellation, wireless options, microphone capabilities if you need them for recording as well. All these features completely depend on how you are going to use the EDM headphones.
Tips and Tricks to Improve or Practice Your DJ Skills:
- If you are an aspiring DJ, then you need to constantly keep practicing to improve your DJ skills. Here are a few basic tips and tricks that can help you with it:
- DJing is all about matching the beats. Start with the easy ones and try matching the beats of the tracks that have different tempos.
- Understand the basics like tempo and phase.
- Use easy mixing techniques to start with.
- Record your mixing work so you can hear it and understand where an improvement is needed. Work on them accordingly.
- Get the right DJing equipment so you do not have to struggle in the first place and you can focus on the actual work.
- Perform at house parties or birthday parties within your social circle first and then once you have practiced them, go for the outside ones.
- It is okay to make mistakes and not do it the right way. But if you keep practicing and work on improving it each time, you are sure to get there.
- Another best way to improve on your DJing skills is to listen to the other DJs and how they play live, or how they transition from one track to another. The more you listen the more you will learn.
There are many choices of professional DJ headphones and what works best or which one you should go for completely depends on you. You need to pick one that suits your style and preference the most. Although these headphones are available under different price ranges, it is always recommended to invest in a good pair of headphones for better performance as well as to protect your ears from the potential risks of damage. Also do remember that if you are more focussed on sound mixing and need to focus on the work in a noisy ambiance, over-ear headphones work in isolating the ambient noise than an on-ear design. That said, we have listed here the top 10 DJ headphones that we found to be the best in the market. Hope this helps you in finding yours!
Yes, there is a difference between both the headphones. A studio-grade headphone is designed to produce a more neutral or flat sound, so you get to hear the original recording as it is. On the other hand, a DJ headphone delivers a bass-heavy sound which is needed to get the beats right and is useful for sound transition. That said, you can use studio headphones for your DJ gigs.
While all the cheaper headphones may not be of great quality, some of them are good. For example, OneOdio headphones and Behringer HPX2000 Professional DJ headphones are some of the best DJ headphones that are available at a very affordable price and are of great quality.
We have mentioned some of the best DJ headsets available today in this article from different brands. While all of them are good in their way and have thus made up to our top 10 DJ headphones list, some brands like Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, or Pioneer are well-known brands in the market that lead the DJ headsets industry.
Some of the wireless headphones that have a good battery backup and exceptionally high-fidelity sound technology may be good for DJ use, but, in general, the performance of wireless ones is not up to that level of the wired ones. There isn’t a lot that can be a good value for money choice.