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Nothing is more lackluster than listening to Electronic Dance Music (EDM) on a pair of cheap headphones. Bass is non-existent, vocals fall flat, and treble is so high that it actually causes discomfort.
Worse yet, a pair of bad headphones can actually deter you from listening to your favorite tracks. If they can’t reproduce the wide range of frequencies that are used in EDM, playback will be unsatisfying and may turn you away from the genre entirely.
That’s why you need a good pair of headphones if you want to appreciate EDM. What headphones should you get? Why not look at the headphones used by popular EDM artists from around the world so you know they’re right for you.
What Is EDM?
How does one identify EDM and are there different types of EDM?
There is no definitive answer for this. Some would argue that any track made electronically can be labeled EDM, however, other purists would say that it’s a mix of a variety of sub-genres – ranging from big room house to hardstyle.
To a new listener, identifying the differences between each sub-genre of EDM can be difficult. Typically, EDM will feature a repetitive percussion track to form the beat with a melody played over the top by a synthesizer.
Here are three examples of sub-genres that belong in the EDM category:
- House music – House has a very warm feel. It often includes mid-temp percussion with a lot of tropical sounds, shuffling hi-hats, and jazzy keyboards. House is one of the more popular sub-genres of EDM as it’s typically associated with positive atmospheres.
- Trance music – Trance music is almost self-described. It’s very hypnotic and focuses primarily on the build-up and break-down of the track, with focus on the melody to provide the trance-like effect.
- Techno music – Techno music can be described as futuristic, and in some cases, experimental. It’s the opposite of house music, and features cold or mechanical sounds produced by synthesizers, keyboard, and samplers.
There are so many DJs nowadays that you can hardly differentiate one from the other. However, some have managed to carve out their own sound and are regarded as the top EDM artists in the industry, headlining music festivals year after year. So, today we’re rounding up some of the world’s best EDM artists, and taking a closer look at their weapon of choice, their headphones.
10 Best EDM Artists and Their Headphones
|Sennheiser HD 25
|Sennheiser HD 25
|Monster T1 Daft Punk Limited Edition
|V-MODA Crossfade M-100
|AKG K267 Tiesto DJ Headphones
|V-Moda Crossfade M-100
1. Calvin Harris
Considered one of the most successful DJs ever, Calvin Harris has been producing electronic music since the age of 15. His first big hit, Acceptable In The 80s, remained in the UK top ten for 15 weeks. More recently at the 2019 Brit Awards, he won Producer of the Year and British Single of the Year.
The Sennheiser HD 25 headphones used by Calvin Harris offer a great low-frequency response. The mids and highs also work well thanks to the lightweight aluminium voice coils. They also have an impressive frequency range of 16Hz–22kHz, enabling you to hear every sound present in your tracks.
2. David Guetta
David Guetta is a french DJ and record producer. He started out as a DJ at the Broad Club in Paris at a young age. In 1987, he discovered a track from Farley “Jackmaster” Funk on French radio which sparked his interest in House music.
David’s success grew between the years 2001 and 2012, where he worked with artists like Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, and Flo Rida. He was recently crowned the number one DJ in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs pool for 2020 and 2021.
His choice of headphones, the Sennheiser HD 25’s, is the same as Calvin Harris. They’re favored by DJs for their great audio quality, light weight, and comfortability.
3. DJ Snake
DJ Snake (real name William Grigahcine) earned the name “Snake” as a youth due to his success in evading the police as a graffiti artist. The name stuck when he started DJing at the age of 14 and producing at the age of 19. William started his music career as a DJ at clubs in Paris. In 2005, he met his manager Steve Goncalves who encouraged him to pursue a career in music.
In 2011, DJ Snake produced Lady Gaga’s album Born This Way. This propelled his success in the industry, even earning him a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year in 2012. In 2018, he earned the award Best French DJ in the NRJ Music Awards.
His choice of headphones are the Beats Solo2’s. If you’re a bass-head, these, too, are for you. The bass is very powerful and works well with tracks that have a focus on low-frequency tones like dubstep, allowing you to feel the music.
4. Daft Punk
Daft Punk were a French duo, whose members included Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter. Although they disbanded in 2021, they made a significant impact in the EDM community during their active years. Popularly known for their signature helmets, the duo won multiple Grammy awards. They recently received the Best Video award in the 2016 MTV Europe Music Awards.
They used the Monster T1 Daft Punk Limited Edition headphones that feature a futuristic aesthetic to match their own. They offer surround sound and an advanced driver design that allows you to hear every detail in your music. The over-ear cushions are also useful for comfort and provide great passive noise isolation.
5. Martin Garrix
Martin Garrix, sometimes known as GRX or YTRAM, gained an interest in DJing at a young age after seeing DJ Tiësto perform in Athens. In 2013, he graduated from the production school, Herman Brood Academy. In 2014, he became the youngest DJ to headline Ultra Music Festival at the age of 17. Recently, he won Best Male Artist (Pop/Electronic) at the 2019 International Dance Music Awards.
Martin uses the V-MODA Crossfade M-100 headphones. They use patented 50mm dual diaphragm drivers and feature a really impressive frequency range of 5Hz–30kHz. Bass is punchy but not overpowering. The mids and treble are also very detailed, making them great for energetic tracks that feature a multitude of sounds.
Tiesto, real name Tijs Michiel Verwest, is a Dutch DJ who caught the public’s attention in 2000 for his remix of Delerium’s “Silence”. Following this, his solo album “In My Memory” included multiple tracks that propelled his success. He won the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical award in the 2015 Grammary Awards for his remix of John Legend’s “All of Me”.
The dual plug-in feature allows you to change which side the cord is connected to which is convenient when you’re mixing.
Marshmello, real name Christopher Comstock, is an American DJ and electronic music producer. He gained popularity for his remixes at first. This caused the attention of Skrillex, who helped increase his renown when he reposted his song “Find Me” on SoundCloud. His songs “Silence”, “Friends”, “Happier”, “Wolves”, and “Alone” have been certified multi-platinum in multiple countries.
Recognizable by his marshmallow helmet, he has made waves in the EDM scene and continues to win awards like Best Song (Pop/Electronic) in the 2019 International Dance Music Awards and Dance Artist of the Year in the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards.
Marshmello’s go-to pair of headphones are the Pioneer DJ HDJ-2000MK2-K. They’re durable and very flexible, which is super useful for a traveling DJ as their equipment needs to hold up against regular travel. Bass is punchy but not overbearing, and mids and highs are good.
8. The Chainsmokers
The Chainsmokers are an American DJ duo that include Alexander Pall and Andrew Taggart. They began their musical journey creating remixes for songs released by indie artists. They gained recognition for their 2014 song “#Selfie” which quickly became a top 20 is multiple countries. They won Top Dance/Electronic Artist in the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.
Alex and Andrew share the same preference in headphones as Martin Garrix, using the V-MODA Crossfade M-100 headphones. They’re often favored for their impressive frequency response range of 5Hz–30kHz. They also offer superior build quality and deliver highly detailed audio. With the addition of passive noise isolation, you gain an isolated listening experience.
9. Alan Walker
Alan Walker is a British-Norwegian DJ who also doubles as a YouTuber. He started with no musical background and taught himself using YouTube tutorials around musical production. His single “Faded” peaked charts in 2015, earning a certified platinum in 14 countries. He also won Spellemann of the Year at the 2019 Norwegian Grammy Awards.
The Philips SHP2600 he uses have 32mm neodymium drivers with an over-ear design for maximum comfort. Even though they’re wired, they come with a generous 1.8m cable so your movements are less restricted when mixing. They have a very neutral soundstage, with bass being a lot more accurate rather than thumping.
10. Major Lazer
Major Lazer is an EDM DJ trio, composed of producer Diplo and DJs Walshy Fire and Ape Drums. Since creation, Major Lazer has released four albums and six EPs, some of which include collaboration with artists such as Travis Scott, Quavo, and Camila Cabello. In 2017, they won Single of the Year at the Electronic Music Awards for their track “Cold Water”.
As the producer, Diplo uses the Pioneer HDJ-2000 headphones. The 50mm drivers offer superb bass, and the frequency range of 5Hz–30kHz ensures no sounds go missed when you’re mixing your tracks. Diplo prefers to use Bose noise-cancelling headphones for casual mixing and listening.
Although these artists didn’t make it to our top 10 list, their contributions to the EDM scene are significant and have served as an inspiration to many.
Lady Gaga has a history of blurring the line between genres, producing music that’s unique and well-known around the world. Much of her music can be classified as EDM, especially her sixth studio album Chromatica.
As the Top Dance/Electronic Artist of the 2021 Billboard charts, she has earned numerous Grammy Awards, including Best Dance Recording in 2010, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance in 2021, and Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media in 2020.
Her choice of headphones are actually In-Ear Monitors (IEMs), particularly the Jerry Harvey (JH) Audio JH16 Pro’s. They frequency response range of 10Hz–23kHz, which may seem insignificant when compared to the headphones, but this is rare for a pair of IEMs. They boast the ability to reproduce sounds from each end of the spectrum with no distortion.
Armin Van Buuren
Armin Van Buuren’s success began as the host of the popular radio show “A State of Trance”. The show regularly broadcasted to 40 million listeners from around the world and helped towards his reputation as an aspiring DJ. During his career, he has earned awards such as Best Male Artist (Trance) and Best Podcast or Radio Show of the 2020 International Dance Music Awards
Armin’s preference in headphones are the JBL Club One Headphones. He worked closely with JBL directly to bring them to fruition over the course of 18 months. When asked what prompted this partnership, he said “Since I travel so much for gigs, I wanted headphones that would provide professional sound quality in the studio, something I could easily use for DJing, and also travel internationally with on long flights.”
Hardwell (real name Robbert van de Corput) gained recognition in 2009 for his bootleg of “Show Me Love vs. Be”. Since then, he’s founded the record label Revealed Recordings and the radio show/podcast Hardwell On Air. He won Best Dance Floor Track in 2018 from the World Dance Music Radio Awards for his track with KSHMR, “Power”.
The Sennheiser HD 25 PLUS Monitor Headphones have a more balanced low-end. This makes them less impactful when it comes to bass but shifts the focus to detail rather than power.
Although Skrillex (real name Sonny John Moore) started his music career as a member of the American post-hardcore band “From First to Last”, his success as an EDM creator started when he released his “My Name Is Skrillex” EP for free on his MySpace page.
Although a lot of his earlier albums were dubstep-focused, he has since branched out into other EDM genres and earned multiple Grammy Awards along the way.
Skrillex uses the Beats Pro headphones by Beats by Dr. Dre. They have a slightly elevated low-end which can really be felt with bass-heavy tracks. It’s a dual plug-in so you can switch what side the cord plugs into. They have a primarily metal construction for increased durability, and they’re foldable for easy transport.
Avicii (real name Tim Bergling) became an instant hit following his single “Levels” that was released in 2011. Following this, he continued to produce EDM hits and earned Grammi Awards for Best Electro/Dance and Best Electro/Dance in 2020.
His untimely death in 2018 was felt by fans in the EDM community and beyond. Even now, he is considered one of the most successful EDM artists of all time due to his natural talent and incredible drive to create the perfect sound.
His primary drivers were the V-Moda Crossfade LP2 Over-Ear Headphones. V-Moda made it a priority to emphasize passive noise isolation over active noise cancellation by using carefully selected materials and design implementations.
Best Headphones for EDM
|Sennheiser HD 25
|Monster T1 Daft Punk Limited Edition
|V-MODA Crossfade M-100
|AKG K267 Tiesto
|JBL Club One
|Sennheiser HD 25 PLUS
|V-Moda Crossfade LP2
One of the most important factors to consider when buying a quality pair of EDM headphones is the frequency range. In order to hear every detail of the track, support for a wide range of frequencies is essential. This is why most headphones on this list are outside of the typical 20Hz-20kHz range you’d find on other headphones.
Additionally, driver size is another important factor. Larger drivers can move more air, which results in more powerful bass. As most EDM genres have a focus on bass, this can be a huge benefit when listening to your favorite tracks.
Knowing what headphones your favorite EDM artists use helps you make an informed decision when buying your own. Understanding what goes into a good pair of EDM headphones ensures you get the most out of each listening session.
Did this article clear up all your questions about EDM headphones? Let us know what you prefer your headphones to sound like in the comments below!