The Best DJ Headphones in 2018

The Best DJ Headphones in 2018

The best dj headphones for mixing and live performances. What to look before you buy.

The Best DJ Headphones – Updated in 2018

The first tool of a beginner DJ are the headphones. Our recommendations for the best DJ headphones on the market and what to look for when you buy one, you will find here.

The most important and useful equipment for a DJ, no matter the preferred genre of music, is the headphones. For many DJ’s this is the only tool they carry everywhere they play, along with their music library (laptop, cd’s, USB).

What is the difference between DJ and studio headphones and what features separate them

When you are playing music and mixing tracks, you do not need to hear a full dynamic range of a song. Dj quality headphones offer dynamic Kick, Snare, and HiHat which are essential to guide you to a perfect and smooth mix. Studio headphones, on the other hand, offer better sound quality and flat frequency response.

The second feature that separates them is the headphone type. “Closed-back” is most common for loud environments and therefore for djing.”Open-back” might lack isolation but offer better sound quality for the same price range.

You can also find out more about the best studio headphones and for a limited budget the best studio headphones under $100.

What characteristics are important when you are looking for DJ headphones

  • Headphone type:
    Closed-back” – Keep in mind the DJ environment is extremely noisy. So it is very important that the pair of headphones better to be “closed-back” so that it will reduce the unwanted noises around you and hear the bass loud and clear. “Open-back” type of headphones do no block the background noises the same well. There are exceptions of course of open type pairs with very good isolation.
  • Earcups:
    Some DJ headphones have earcups that sit on top of your ear, those are coles On-Ear. And there also the Over-Ear where the ear pads (cups) cover the whole of your ear. There’s no right and wrong choice here and it’s completely up to your preference. On-ear headphones tend to be a little more comfortable and less heavy. Over-ear headphones, on the other hand, create a better isolation from the ambient noise.
  • Durability:
    You will spend countless hours with your headphones and no matter how much you take care of them, eventually you will drop them, crushed them against other tools in your backpack, the cable will get wrapped around it and drinks might cover them some day. Studio headphones can be treated differently but when you are looking for DJ headphones a high durable pair is important.
  • Rotatable:
    You need folding headphones for two reasons. First because if they are not rotatable are much more fragile and second, rotatable headphones are easier to pack and transfer them everywhere you go.
  • Sound quality (Loudness/Bass):
    Since we are not buying headphones for recording and studio work we do not care for a “flat” sound. We need to hear loud&clear the bass/kick and high frequencies of the song. To get that we want large drivers to deliver bass frequencies more efficiently and with less distortion. For that purpose, drivers around 40mm or larger are the perfect fit.
  • Comfort:
    Last but not least thing to concern when you buy headphones for DJing, is the comfort they provide. For sure in a studio, you will spend more non-stop hours wearing them. But comfort ear-pads and headband should affect your decision for any kind of headphones.

What should be next in your list to buy

As long as you will find your first or next pair of DJ headphones you will need a DJ setup to start mixing. In 2018 the majority of beginners go for a DJ controller and software. Not to blame them there are dozens of models and DJ software that professional musicians would like to lay hands on them. Here are The Best DJ Software for Mixing in 2018. with choices such as Traktor Pro, Serato DJ and more… To take full advantage of these software’s take a look at The Best DJ Controller under $400.

In case you prefer the conventional DJ setup take a look at The Best DJ Mixers for Beginners in 2018 and The Best DJ Media Player in the market.

How we made our choices for the best DJ headphones 

All our picks for the best DJ headphones were made according to the features above. There are dozens of great options out there, however, we picked only the five we believe are the best according to all features, price tag, reviews and personal experience. The “best” DJ headphone doesn’t exist, since it is a subjective matter and at the end, it comes down to your personal needs. But we are definite, that the models below will get the job done better than the most.

 

6 BEST DJ HEADPHONES

1. PIONEER HDJ-2000

 

pioneerhdj2000

The most popular and worn pair of headphones by DJ’s all over the world. Pioneer HDJ 2000 is a professional closed-back hi-end pair, built to take abuse. Richie Hawtin, James Zabiela, Moby are few among the most popular musicians who use this pair in their live events.

It has a very comfortable fit, the earcups rotate in every possible way, the headband is designed for stretching and is for sure a product that will last over time and hardship. Additional HDJ-2000’s cables and ear pads are replaceable which makes those headphones a long-term investment. 

The frequency range is at 5Hz-30KHz which is ideally for djing, but not the best choice for studios. Sound quality is superb, with deep and punchy bass and clear mids and highs. And last, the closed-back type and over-ear cups offer great isolation to ambient sounds that will totally let you concentrate on mixing.

conclusion: You cannot go wrong with Pioneer. HDJ-2000 has everything you need, from sound quality to durability. They are at the top of our list, and even if they are a bit expensive, they worth every penny and I highly recommend them. If you have the budget to spend, go for it. You can also go for the smaller sibling, Pioneer HDJ 1500 for a reduction of the budget.

Dj’s who use it: Richie Hawtin, Moby, James Zabiela, Calvin Harris 

Check price on Amazon.com

Headphone type: closed-back, over-ear
Sound isolation: 8.5/10
Frequency range: 5Hz-30KHz
Build quality: 9/10

 

 

2. SENNHEISER HD 25-1 II

 

Sennheiser HD-25

Sennheiser HD-25 is another well-known pair of headphone and worn by many DJ’s around the world. Especially artists of Techno and Deep House music preference will say that this is probably one of the best DJ headphones they currently use. The superb reviews and support by many pro DJs leave no place to doubt the quality of these headphones. I’m sure when you see DJs such as Guy J, Tale of us and Hardwell wear them, you will want them too.

This “on-ear” style might trick you into believing that they cannot offer good isolation, but the thing is that HD 25-1 II block out ambient sounds extremely well. So well actually that you will see it worn by people of different professions and not just DJ’s.

The sound quality is great, with clear, punchy bass and extended highs. This pair is nearly indestructible. You will find DJs that use it almost on a daily basis and still works fine after a decade.  Even if you are unlucky to destroy a part or two, it will be easy to find the replacement and fix it. Except for its high durance, HD-25 offers great comfort. With flexible ear-cups which allows you to easily cover the one ear when you are mixing.

Another plus of the Sennheiser HD 25-1 II is it’s extremely lightweight and size. It is actually one of the lightest pro pairs in the market. A large number of satisfied users give an excellent rating for a headphone that will probably last forever.

conclusion: Sennheiser HD 25-1 II is the biggest competitor of Pioneer HDJ-2000 for the title of the best DJ headphones. Like Pioneer’s model, the HD 25-1 II is ideally a pair of headphones for djing. With superb sound quality, suitable for any professional DJ. From the one hand you have the notable well-known quality of Pioneer and on the other hand, a unique design and high portable pair to transfer it with an incredible easiness. It is probably the best value-for-money DJ headphone in the market.

Dj’s who use it: Nina Kraviz, Guy J, Tale of us, Avicii, Minilogue

Check price on Amazon.com

Headphone type: closed-back, on-ear
Sound isolation: 8/10
Frequency range: 16Hz-22KHz
Build quality: 9/10

 

3. V-MODA CROSSFADE M-100

 

v-modacrossfadem-100

Generally, I wouldn’t put “lifestyle” headphones in a list with the best DJ headphones, but the award-winning V-MODA crossfade is an excellent pair for djing. The Italian manufacturer which introduced to us a few years ago creates a complete pair for professional DJ’s.

Except for the nice and filled look, M-100 is very comfortable, have an excellent built and is highly durable. This is due to the flex-steel headphone band which allows you to twist them without causing any long-term damage.

The 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers produce powerful sound with clean and deep bass and ultra-extended highs. In addition to the above, the comfortable foam ear-pads offer superb isolation blocking unwanted background sounds.

conclusion: For those who are looking for quality and design, V-MODA crossfade M-100 is a very good option. It has already collected thousands of great reviews on Amazon store and furthermore V-MODA gives a small variety of color collection (mate black metal, white-silver, shadow and phantom chrome) to pick on your “likes”. It comes with a hard case to keep it safe from transporting and any other hardship.

Dj’s who use it: Pete Tong, Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto, Nicky Romero

Check price on Amazon.com

Headphone type: closed-back, over-ear
Sound isolation: 9/10
Frequency range: 5Hz-30KHz
Build quality: 9/10

 

4. BEYERDYNAMIC DT 1350

 

BEYERDYNAMICDT1350

We are used to seeing Beyerdynamic headphones in some of the top quality recording studios. DT 1350 is a pair for DJ’s as well and it is pretty amazing. All these years of headphone production from Beyerdynamic leaves no room to doubt their build and sound quality. 

With this closed back type of headphone with 129dB maximum SPL, you can easily hear your music over the crowd. DT 1350 has an extraordinary bass response and clear the mids and highs. It is a superb headphone for djing. It is also a great option for music with an emphasis on bass sounds. 

The overall appearance looks similar to Sennheiser HD 25-1, with small ear-cups but very good to block out ambient sound. Ear-pads are also rotatable and the headband is very flexible making them very durable. Same with HD-25 they are also lightweight for easy transportation. 

conclusion: The Tesla technology offers extremely low levels of distortion, the build is high quality, the pair is portable, very durable and I can’t find any reason not to take this headphone seriously. I would personally add that I love the design and look of DT 1350. You wouldn’t be disappointed if you decide to purchase it, it’s perfect.

Check price on Amazon.com

Headphone type: closed-back, on-ear
Sound isolation: 8.5/10
Frequency range: 5Hz-30KHz
Build quality: 8.5/10

 

5. SENNHEISER HD8 DJ

sennheiserhd8dj

The second Sennheiser model on our list for the best DJ headphones is the most expensive one. The customer reviews are nearly perfect, making it one of the top rated headphones, with users praising its comfort, sound, and durability. It is the ideal headphone for djing and for recording studios.

Sennheiser HD8 is a closed back type offering amazing isolation from ambient sounds. Along with the over-ear ear-cups, it will allow you to keep focused on the music, even in the loudest confined spaces. The HD8 offers great sound quality with maximum SPL capacity at 115dB. You will hear the bass and highs amazingly well, to help you perform superb beat-matching and mixing without damaging your ears. 

The top feature of HDJ 8 DJ is its durability, and I honestly believe that this pair can last for years and that’s because of the metal around the ear-cups, metal pivot at the joint and the flexible headband. The package also includes a pair of extra velour ear-pads and a premium hard case for transfer.

conclusion: At first sight, the design and looks of Sennheiser HD8 along with its high price range, will probably leave you with a doubt. However, Sennheiser HD8 DJ is very comfortable and an amazing durable pair which is quite important for DJ’s who count dozens of hours djing every month.

Dj’s who use it: Dj Pierre, Bob Sinclair, Thomas Gold

Check price on Amazon.com

Headphone type: closed-back, over-ear
Sound isolation: 9.5/10
Frequency range: 8Hz-30KHz
Build quality: 9.5/10

 

6.Pioneer HDJ-X10 (NEW ENTRY)

Pioneer HDJ-X10

The HDJ-X10 is the newest model of Pioneer and has already engaged a big amount of DJs and musicians out there.

Same with the HDJ-2000, it is an over-ear, closed-back type of headphone. It offers a 50mm dome type driver that will give you a powerful, rich and tight bass, clear mid-range. The frequency response of 5Hz to 40kHz, and the SPL (Sound Pressure Level) at 106dB will give you clarity sound rare to find it elsewhere.

They have a solid refined design, a flexible headband, and rotatable ear-cups that will guarantee a long-life product. The included hard-case will help you to keep them safe in case of constant transfer or accidents. The headphones also come with removable cables. One coiled (1.2m to 3m) and one straight (1.6m), so you have the luxury to choose according to your needs and wants.

The unique feature that makes this pair stand out from the rest, is its shock resistant (have been tested to US Military Standard MIL-STD-810G Shock test).  As well as, the Nano coating which is resistant to sweat and dirt

conclusion: With a nice and stylish design combining the high durability and comfort makes it a perfect entry for our list with the best DJ headphones. It is available at approximately the same price as the HDJ-2000, and between those two it’s hard to choose.

Check price on Amazon.com

Headphone type: closed-back, over-ear
Sound isolation: 9.5/10
Frequency range: 8Hz-30KHz
Build quality: 9.5/10

 

Final Thoughts:

Investing in a pair of good quality DJ headphones is one of the more thoughtful things you can do as a DJ. As a musician, the only inreplaceble “tool” is your hearing. So, do not act cheap, pick one of the above and you are safe.

Once again, the final choice is up to you. If you like comfortable and light DJ headphones go for an on-ear type. If you want to focus more on isolation then the over-ear is definitely for you. There many different options out there, different brands, features and price tags. That is why we made a list that will cover the needs of the most. 

Do not hesitate to post your comments and questions about the DJ headphones. What do you wish to buy? How much can you spend? I and my team would be happy to help!

Have fun shopping…

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