Headphones are one of the essential pieces of equipment for any DJ. Every year, brands strive to design headphones with a good balance between sound quality, comfort, durability and price. Choosing the right pair of DJ headphones will help you learn how to mix, improve your DJing skills and even earn money as DJ.
Let’s take a look at five of the best headphones in 2023:
Sennheiser HD 25
The Sennheiser HD-25 has become a standard in the DJ world. They are headphones with an incredible price/performance ratio, a more than decent sound and above all very comfortable and lightweight.
Despite their light weight and fragile appearance, they are very durable headphones and maintain a good performance at high sound pressure levels.
There are different models of the HD 25, such as the Basic or the Plus, but for DJing, the standard version is perhaps the most interesting due to its features and price/quality ratio.
Another classic. These Sony headphones are another example that, when something works well, why change it? With a design that has remained virtually unchanged for 20 years, they stand out for their excellent value for money and their simple, practical and minimalist design.
They are as valid for DJing as for any other type of activity due to their great versatility. Perhaps the most negative note is the quality of their construction materials, which are not the best on the market. However, they are very good for their price range.
Audio Technica ATH-M50x
Audio Technica’s M50x is the new, optimized version of the legendary M50, a headphone that has been very popular with professional DJs. The new design features improved comfort and sound quality, several included cables and a price that is only slightly higher than the old model. Still, these are very affordable headphones, in the price range of the HD 25 or the MDR-7506.
Their best quality is undoubtedly how comfortable they are. Their worst quality is their sound isolation, which, despite their over-ear design, leaves something to be desired.
To talk about the V-MODA M-200 we have to make a leap in range, and therefore in budget. However, if you are passionate about sound and want to listen to the smallest details, these headphones will not disappoint you.
The M-200 delivers crystal-clear sound that will satisfy even the most demanding eardrums. These headphones are just as suitable for DJing as they are for studio work due to their comfort and precision.
There are few negative comments to say about these spectacular headphones. Perhaps their price is high for a brand without as much experience as the others, but in this case it’s worth it.
We couldn’t leave out Pioneer, who not only have some of the best DJ Controllers for beginners, but also the best headphones on the market. The HDJ-X10 is used by world-class DJs such as Carl Cox, Danny Avila or Miss Honey Dijon for a reason.
These headphones are particularly comfortable to wear. If you are going to play electronic or hip hop music, you will fall in love with their incredible bass. And the spatial feeling they give you is a real treat.
On a negative note, we can only mention the downside of these tremendous bass, which can dull the mid frequencies and are perhaps not the most appropriate for certain types of music or for mixing.
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Guide to choose the Perfect DJ Headphones
Nowadays, there are many models on the market. Many of them are sold as “DJ headphones”, but not all of them really are. For this reason, in the following section we are going to talk about the real characteristics that DJ headphones must have so that the user can buy them without being deceived:
- The frequency range. Basically, it is the audio range perceived by the human ear. It is known for certain that the human ear can hear between 20 Hz and 20 000 Hz. Anything above or below these values, we don’t hear. Good DJ headphones should offer low frequencies very close to 20Hz and high frequencies very close to 20,000Hz in order to be able to listen in detail.
- Impedance. This is the resistance of the circuit to the flow of electricity. It is measured in ohms (Ω). The lower the impedance value, the better the quality and power of what we are listening to.
- Sensitivity. It is measured in decibels (dB) and is how loud the music can sound in your ears. It is a fundamental factor in order to be able to pre-listen to the music in the headphones and not what is being played at that moment. Therefore, we can say that professional DJs need headphones that offer high decibels in order to pre-listen and synchronize BPMs, apply EQ and effects to the mix, and check how it sounds before the crowd hears it.
- Ergonomics. Headphones have to be very comfortable. For this, both the headband and the ear pads have to be well cushioned.
- Build and durability. A DJ gets a lot of use out of his or her headphones, so it is very important to take care of them as much as possible. Usually, the elements that suffer the most are the ear cushions.
- The cable and its connection. The cable is very important. No professional wireless headset sounds as good and unchallenged as a wired headset. The cable should only be connected to the headset on one side to prevent the cable from twisting or even breaking. It is recommended that the length of the cable is less than one meter. The plug, again, has to be a mini-jack (or 3.5mm jack) but also has to incorporate a jack adapter. It is recommended that the connector be gold-plated because it is one of the metals that best conducts the audio signal.
We have mentioned 5 of the best options when buying DJ headphones. The aim of this article was simply to provide some of the most recommended models among the wide variety of headphones out there, but of course it is ultimately a matter of preference. AKG, Numark, Behringer or Technics are some of the brands we have left out.