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6 Best DJ Headphones [2021]

DJ Headphones on turntable
DJ Headphones on turntable

All you need to know about the best DJ headphones around and how to choose which one’s right for you.

NameFrequency ResponseCablesWeight w/o cablePrice
PIONEER HDJ-X10-K Best Overall5Hz - 40KHz1.2m - 3m coiled cable &0.72 lbsBUY
Audio-Technica ATH-M70X Strong Runner-Up5Hz - 40KHz1.2 m - 3m coiled cable, 3m straight cable, & 1.2m straight cable0.62 lbsBUY
OneOdio Pro-10 Best Budget20Hz - 20KHz2m - 3m coiled cable & 1.2m straight cable0.74 lbsBUY
V-Moda Crossfade M-200 Best Build5Hz - 40KHz1.32m straight cable0.64 lbsBUY
Sennheiser HD 25 PLUS Most Comfortable16Hz - 22KHz1m - 3m coiled cable, & 1.5m straight cable0.31 lbsBUY
AIAIAI TMA-2 Most Customizable20Hz - 20KHz1.5m - 3.2m coiled cable0.73 lbsBUY

How to Pick the Best DJ Headphones

One of the things that should never be left out of every DJ’s toolbox is their headphones. As a DJ, you’ll use it almost every day on sets, events, and even at home when you’re coming up with your next mashup.

However, picking the right DJ headphones is a daunting task. You need to differentiate between low-grade commercial headphones, which can break easily after heavy use, and well-made professional-quality headphones. Even then, most quality headphones are designed for casual listening — not for DJing.

Differentiating regular headphones from DJ headphones depends highly on you. This is because each DJ has their own preferences for DJ headphones. Some considerations include noise isolation quality, bass quality, and design.

That’s why we’ve listed down a quick guide to help you choose the best DJ headphones for you. Read on!

Why is Noise Isolation important?

Noise isolation (a.k.a. passive noise cancellation) refers to how your headphones block out ambient sound. It relies on the material and design of the headphones; following the same concept as wearing earplugs/earmuffs.

Noise isolation, however, shouldn’t be confused with noise cancellation. While noise isolation doesn’t use any electronics to block out noise, this, also known as Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), uses an advanced mechanism to actually ‘cancel out’ noise.

While, in theory, headphones with ANC can cancel ambient noise better than noise-isolating headphones, they’re not exactly the best option for DJs.

The ANC technology tends to affect the headphones’ sound quality, usually leading to diminished bass. And, considering how important bass is for DJs, this issue can negatively impact your overall performance.

Now that we know what noise isolation is, here are two main reasons why this is good for you:

Hearing safety

The daily recommended safe volume level of any sound is below 85 dB for a maximum duration of eight hours. Meanwhile, environments like clubs and parties tend to have loud surrounding sounds at harmful levels of 120-130db.

This means constant exposure to loud events can lead to a high risk of developing irreparable hearing loss. This is bad news for DJs since these loud events are practically what they live for.

Moreover, aside from the constant exposure to club noise, DJs also often end up blasting their headphones’ volume to be able to hear them despite the club’s noise. This ends up damaging their eardrums even further.

And here’s where noise isolation in headphones shines.

A good noise isolating headphones cut down background noise so DJs can shield their ears from the loud club noise and listen to their mix comfortably and safely at lower volumes.

Switch focus

Being part of their profession, DJs need to be able to seamlessly switch from hearing the crowd’s response to focusing on mixing their tracks. This can only be made possible with a pair of noise-isolating headphones.

Noise isolation removes the house sound instantaneously when you put both ear cups on. Without this, DJs would find it difficult to set up subsequent tracks and build up the atmosphere.

Interested in improving the noise isolation of your headphones? Check out our instructive guide for more tips.

How should DJ Headphones sound like?

No matter how well your set was programmed, it will sound like a trainwreck without proper mixing and beatmatching. To stay in the groove and hear your music in live environments (e.g. loud bar, club, or party), you want the sound to be punchy and loud.

Unlike headphones for classical music, which are required to have a flat, neutral sound signature, your DJ headphones should have a great bass response so you can feel the kick and the bass. These are all essential markers to help with synchronizing timing and tempo when mixing different tracks.

Recommended tech specs for DJ headphones:

  • Frequency Range: While the standard frequency range for headphones is 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, go for headphones with a range lower than 20Hz for better bass response.
  • Drivers: 40mm or larger
  • Impedance: 25 ohms or more
It’s worth pointing out that it can be good for most headphones to be “burnt in”. Like breaking in a new pair of shoes, expect to hear the best from your headphones only after they’ve been consistently used for a while.

Comfort

Note to aspiring DJs, you’ll expect to wear these headphones for hours (for practicing, mixing, and performing at live events). That’s why the comfort of your headphones is very important. You don’t want to tolerate the discomfort for extended hours. It can make your DJing a dreadful experience.

How do you find your comfortable pair of headphones then? Here are three things to look out for:

Padding & materials

Nothing is more annoying than using a perfect pair of headphones with deformed or worn-out ear pads. Optimal comfort lies in maintaining breathability between your ears and the speakers.

Reduced padding can cause friction between your ears and the headphones. Not only does it become irritable to wear, but it can affect the sound quality too. Memory foam padding with protein leather cover is the recommended material most people go for. These offer great texture and ample padding.

Weight

Compared to earbuds, weight strongly influences the comfort of over-ear and on-ear headphones. Lightweight headphones are generally more favorable since they apply less pressure to the top of the head. As a general rule, light headphones weigh below 0.55lbs. and heavy ones weigh above 0.75lbs.

Adjustability

It’s never one size fits all when it comes to headphones. The more adjustable your headphones are, the better the fit, and the more comfortable they are to wear.

Swiveling ear cups are both for adjustability and function since DJs tend to flip one ear cup over to hear how they sound like in the monitor speakers.

Durability

DJing can be a physically strenuous activity. To engage the crowds, headphones are subjected to constant twisting and form-fitting, particularly for busy events. We recommend getting a quality pair to sustain your DJ activities. Here are some things to consider for durability:

  • Build Quality: The sturdiness & durability of a headphones’ design
  • Material: What your headphones are made of. The more flexible the material, the least likely it will break.
  • IP Rating: How resistant your headphones are against external elements (.e.g water, salt, dust)
  • Warranty: Anticipating the amount of heavy activity, you want good coverage to cover replacement and repairs over an extended period.

Most DJ headphones come with two options: coiled and straight cables. The majority would prefer a coiled headphone lead over a straight one. As the springy coiled lead allows you to move around the booth without risking yanking the cable out of the mixer. On the other hand, a straight lead is much shorter for everyday use.

If you still can’t decide on which type to go for, there are those DJ headphones with the detachable option. You can have one input jack on one ear that makes it easy to take your headphones off, allowing you to move around freely.

Aesthetics

DJs may be behind the turntable. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t make a fashion statement. As a DJ, your headphones can be part of your signature brand and style. You want a pair of headphones that best expresses who you are. Hence, the design plays a huge part.

6 Best DJ Headphones [2021]

PIONEER HDJ-X10-K

Best Over-all
Close look at PIONEER HDJ-X10-K (From: Amazon)
Close look at PIONEER HDJ-X10-K (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Frequency Response: 5Hz – 40KHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 106 dB
  • Connectivity Technology: wired
  • Cables: 1.2m – 3m coiled cable & 1.6m straight cable
  • Connector Types: 3.5mm cable, and 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm adapter
  • Other features: Rigorously tested for durability, Lightweight and comfortable, ,
  • Comes with a case

Ranking as our best over-all, the Pioneer HDJ-X10-K come heavily recommended for their great frequency range and sound quality. Their vast range of 5Hz to 40KHz makes managing a repertoire of sounds and creating rich bass notes and clean mid-to-high frequencies during sets easier.

The Pioneer HDJ-X10-K are one of the most user-friendly brands around. You would expect a pair of rigorously tested headphones to be made from bulky material. However, the HDJ-X10-K come in a lightweight package of 0.72lbs. This makes them comfortable to wear for long hours without the feeling of weight constantly pressing on your head.

In terms of functionality, this 2017 model come with both coiled and straight cable options – allowing you to switch between them interchangeably between personal and performance use. The nano coating also makes them resistant to deterioration. You can easily clean off the dirt and sweat.

Compared to an earlier model, Pioneer Pro HDJB-X7-K, the HDJ-X10-K are 50% lighter in weight and more well-equipped. The latter boast far superior sound quality and are enhanced by Bluetooth wireless communication technology.

All things considered, it’s easy to say that Pioneer HDJ-X10-K are some of the best dj headphones out there, with their good sound quality, durability, and overall performance. However, with great specs comes great prices; so these are also some of the more expensive options out there. But if budget isn’t an issue, this pair can be for you!

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Audio-Technica ATH-M70X

Strong Runner-up
Close look at Audio-Technica ATH-M70X (From: Amazon)
Close look at Audio-Technica ATH-M70X (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Frequency Response: 5Hz – 40KHz
  • Impedance: 35 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 97 dB
  • Connectivity Technology: wired
  • Cables: 1.2 m – 3m coiled cable, 3m straight cable, & 1.2m straight cable
  • Connector Types: 3.5mm cable, and 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm adapter
  • Other features: Lightweight, Single-side monitoring, Circumaural design contours, Comes with a case

Another candidate for the most recommended headphones for DJs, the Audio-Technica ATH-M70X boast a great frequency range and sound quality. However, compared to Pioneer HDJ-X10, the M70X pale in noise isolation and have a lower maximum power handling. Still, it’s easily one of the more compatible headphones for working with DJ equipment and in live DJing situations

These headphones are equipped with the 90° swiveling earcups for easy, one-ear monitoring. Plus, their circumaural design contours around the ears for excellent sound isolation in loud environments.

Compared to Pioneer HDJ-X10’s v-shaped sound, the M70X create a delicate balance between extremely low and high frequencies, allowing for a more accurate reproduction. These headphones effortlessly produce analytical/neutral sound with superb bass extension. They are also versatile and sensitive enough to respond to EQ adjustments.

That’s why, the M70X double up well for Studio, Live, Mastering, and Audio Forensics Use.

Unfortunately, while most DJ headphones intentionally boost lower frequencies to make output sound “colorful”, these headphones try to capture every nuance and defect with its neutral sound quality. This may not be everyone’s preferred choice, especially for DJs who prefer to ‘feel’ the groove.

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OneOdio Pro-10

Best Budget
Close look at OneOdio Pro-10 (From: Amazon)
Close look at OneOdio Pro-10 (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20KHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 110 dB
  • Connectivity Technology: wired
  • Cables: 2m – 3m coiled cable & 1.2m straight cable
  • Connector Types: 3.5mm & 6.3mm cables
  • Other features: Comfortable fit with memory foam cushions, Single-side monitoring, No need for an adapter, 50mm speaker unit drivers combined with neodymium magnets, Comes with a portable bag

Hailing from an established manufacturer with their products in more than 30 countries, the OneOdio Pro-10 can be your best value-for-dollar headphones. Assembled with 50mm speaker unit drivers, neodymium magnets, and memory foam cushions, these headphones are the ideal companion for DJing, playing electronic drums, and guitar.

The OneOdio Pro-10 produce dynamic bass sound, clear vocals, and crisp high tones in stereo sounds. Coupled with the 50mm neodymium driver, these recreate the music dynamics and controlled bass that DJs need.

The OneOdio Pro-10 are built to stay comfortable for extended periods. The soft padded ear cushions are designed to monitor headphones’ comfort and noise isolation. The headband is adjustable and stretchable to find your optimal fit. Like some, you can be using them for more than 5 hours straight and not feel fatigued.

User-friendliness is another key selling point. The OneOdio Pro-10 come with a DJ-style coiled cord (9.8Ft Stretched) that easily reaches from the TV or stereo to your chair. Also, the standard-sized 6.35mm plug and a 3.5mm plug included are completely detachable and compatible with all devices with a 3.5mm or 6.35mm audio jack.

Though, we’d prefer if the build quality and materials used were better. The ear pads wear off after some time. It didn’t last beyond a year of regular use. Thankfully, the OneOdio Pro-10 come with a 24 months warranty. Considering you can ask for a replacement at its price, what more can you ask for?

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V-Moda Crossfade M-200

Best Build
Close look at V-Moda Crossfade M-200 (From: Amazon)
Close look at V-Moda Crossfade M-200 (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Frequency Response: 5Hz – 40KHz
  • Impedance: 30 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 101 dB
  • Connectivity Technology: wired
  • Cables: 1.32m straight cable
  • Connector Types: 3.5mm cable, and 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm adapter
  • Other features: Lightweight metal build, Improved sweat resistance, Single-side monitoring, Replaceable magnetic memory foam cushions, Foldable, Comes with exoskeleton case

The V-Moda Crossfade M-200 are solidly built with metal and synthetic leather. Its exterior is practically indestructible. Also, vulnerable parts like the cable and earpads can be easily removed and replaced. Without a doubt, it’s a headphone that will last long.

Designed for comfort and durability, the broad headband design is enhanced by a strong yet flexible core. Improving the overall weight distribution and extending the hours of user comfort. The finishing touch of premium sweat-resistant PU leather exterior and detachable magnetic memory foam cushions make it feel like the M-200 are barely there.

The Crossfade M-200 are a good brand for customisable headphones. Its large ear cups meant an extensive canvas for you to express your creativity.

With the options of custom full color or laser engraved shields, and the ability to upload your designs; make the M-200 completely yours in every way possible. Upload your designs and preferred colours to the official website and purchase them directly online.

The most observable difference between the M-200 and its predecessor (M-100 Master) is the addition of Neodymium magnets. Thanks to the lightweight and minuscule nature, the M-200 can produce at a higher sensitivity and substantial sound output than the M-100 with less power. Giving you far superior refined sounds than what you’re paying for.

Though, this may not be for you if you’ve got bigger ears. The earpads aren’t as thick. It can cause your ears to press against the speakers and hurt them.

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Sennheiser HD 25 Plus

Most Comfortable
Close look at Sennheiser HD 25 Plus (From: Amazon)
Close look at Sennheiser HD 25 Plus (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Frequency Response: 16Hz – 22KHz
  • Impedance: 70 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 120 dB
  • Connectivity Technology: wired
  • Cables: 1m – 3m coiled cable, & 1.5m straight cable
  • Connector Types: 3.5mm cable, and 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm adapter
  • Other features: Suitable for long hours of use, Comfortable fit & very lightweight, High sensitivity, Rotatable earcup, Non-foldable, Comes with a protective pouch

The closed-back Sennheiser HD 25 Plus are purpose-designed and professional-grade that offer high attenuation of background noise. Capable of handling very high sound pressure levels and of extremely robust construction, these headphones produce clean and crisp sounds in loud environments. A pair of working headphones worthy of sound professionals.

Nothing beats the HD-25 Plus when it comes to comfort. Thanks to their lightweight nature, the HD-25 Plus are the perfect friend for long hours of mixing and heavy wear. You always got options to play around with – a detachable, single-sided cable and the rotatable capsule for single-ear listening. Anyone who works with music should own a pair of these.

Compared to the previous HD-25, there isn’t a difference in quality and comfort for the HD-25 Plus. The only difference is the extra equipment: two cables, storage pouch, and a secondary set of velour ear pads. If you’re a professional DJ who’s physically intense, this is an instrument you can consider investing in.

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AIAIAI TMA-2

Most Customizable
Close look at AIAIAI TMA-2 (From: Amazon)
Close look at AIAIAI TMA-2 (From: Amazon)

Key features

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20KHz
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 117 dB
  • Connectivity Technology: wired
  • Cables: 1.5m – 3.2m coiled cable
  • Connector Types: 3.5mm cable, and 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm adapter
  • Other Features: Customisable & replaceable parts, Full-grip silicone head padding, Titanium coated driver, High noise isolation, Non-foldable

The beauty of AIAIAI TMA-2 is that you can build your headphones and curate each component to meet your standards. All the parts are replaceable. From the speaker units to the headband and earpads; even the cable and accessories are up to your choosing. Through the TMA-2 configurator, you can build the ideal pair of headphones with the right kind of comfort and preferred sound quality.

Generally, TMA-2’s design is beautiful. As shown by the luscious curves and pleasant silky finish, it’s evident that great effort went into developing the overall presentation.

Engineered with a titanium-coated driver to reduce distortion and equipped with an internal vent, the TMA-2 offers its unique take with a clearer and punchy middle bass. E02 earpads complete the experience with high isolation to give that signature closed and intense sound representation with strong bass and low-end dynamics.

On the other hand, its predecessor, TMA-1, are less customisable. The only replaceable part is the earpads. It was much simpler in design and more performance-driven. TMA-2 are much more refined in all aspects – from design to customisability to its sound output. If you’re particular, the TMA-2 might be the pair of headphones for you.

The SO2 speaker driver for the DJ preset/variant can be too bass-heavy. It tends to muddle out the mids and highs, resulting in unclear and compact audio. Hence, we recommend going for the SO5 speaker driver instead. The SO5 offers a vast improvement with a more natural tone, fuller detail for the highs, and more pronounced vocals. Naturally, it’s our preferred driver for TMA-2.

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