Maybe you’re a veteran DJ, or maybe you’re just starting out, but regardless of your experience level, there comes a time when you’ll need to get new equipment. Nothing lasts forever, but there are certain items you can buy that will last you a lot longer than others, and headphones are one of them.
Headphones may be the most important piece of DJ equipment (next to a mixer/controller, of course). Not only do they serve the purpose of cueing so that the music can be heard, they also protect your ears from the noise of the club; and enhance your credibility and presence by making you look like a DJ. There are several factors to consider when looking for a new pair of beats (price, durability/longevity, and whether they suit your needs, to name a few). I am here to review 15 popular DJ headphones, all of which I have tried before, and all of which can be found on Amazon.
1. Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
The Sony MDR7506 are excellent studio quality headphones, and work great for gigs as well. The sound quality is very well balanced, meaning the low, medium and high tones are almost perfectly balanced out. The headphones have a closed-ear design and a padded headband, both of which I’ve found to be quite comfortable. There is a sturdy cable design, as each cable bend point is reinforced with additional rubber. The cup adjustment pieces are also user-friendly, coming with numbers to ensure a specific setting. A carrying bag and unimatch plug are also included, which I was happy to see.
These do have some issues, though. For one thing, the noise isolation is mediocre at best- depending on the volume, you can sometimes hear people talking through these. Over time, I noticed the headband began to lose its tension between my ears and didn’t fit as well on my head as they did when I first started using them. I eventually had to replace the faux leather pads because they wore out, and the wire connecting the drivers to the headband may occasionally get stuck in the wiring, which may wear the wire to some extent. If you can overlook these problems, these headphones are definitely worth it. They are comfortable, sound right and do the job, and at only $128, are a bargain compared to more expensive headphones that don’t work as well.
✓ Sony MDR7506, See Best Price on Amazon.
2. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones
I first decided to try the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones when I read that they had “critically acclaimed sonic performance praised by top audio engineers and pro audio reviewers”.
These headphones are well-built with a durable frame, and work well no matter what you hook them up to (iPhone, android, Mac, etc.), as they provide great audio. They won’t damage your eardrum- volume is perfect, and the highs are clearly evident. Interestingly, I’ve found that these will expose the truth of the audio output of the device they’re plugged into (for instance, an iPhone won’t sound as good when plugged into a MacBook Pro, which won’t sound as good as a PC with a quality sound card). Likewise, these headphones will expose bad quality recordings. When using these, I’ve found that certain punk rock won’t sound as good as high-end modern pop or electronic music.
I do have a couple of gripes about these. They aren’t the greatest at blocking noise, as I can still hear loud sounds like construction work and the roar of truck engines through them (although it does drown out conversations, which is good when you just want to jam). I feel that the headphones could also have a stronger bass, but these are only minor inconveniences. At $150, these headphones certainly won’t break the bank, and since they give you the basics of what you need for successfully DJing, they are definitely worth trying out.
✓ Audio-Technica ATH-M50X, See Best Price on Amazon.
3. Behringer HPX2000 High-Definition Headphones
The Behringer HPX2000 headphones are only $20, so you get what you pay for: don’t expect these to rival higher-end models, such as the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10-K. For example, these are not noise cancelling/isolating headphones, which is one of the reasons why they’re so affordable. And some people say that the flat color of the silver plastic does look somewhat cheap up close- but with a low-end model, you can’t expect a high-end appearance.
Having said this, these headphones are the best quality for the best price. These headphones are light years ahead of similarly priced ear buds and other headphones in this price range when it comes to audio quality. The highs come in nicely, and in my experience, there is no distortion in sound. These headphones are ideal if you’re seeking a cheap upgrade to listen to your Drum n Bass with a little more power, or if you want your classical guitar with slightly more clarity. I enjoy staying active, and often use these while exercising as well- the one-sided cable is composed of oxygen-free copper wire, which keeps it from getting tangled and in my way.
In terms of comfort, I really like how these feel for a low-end headset. The ear cups can be rotated and are reversible, so they fit very well. The size adjustments are well-designed, and the headband is also pretty durable. These work fine for mixing and recording and are probably your best bet if you’re on a budget for headphones.
✓ Behringer HPX2000, See Best Price on Amazon.
4. Audio-Technica ATH-M20x
Next up are the Audio- Technica ATH-M20x headphones. At $49, they’re slightly pricier than the Behringer HPX2000 headphones, but as a result, are also higher quality.
The sound quality is excellent on these. In my opinion, the tones are rich and warm, and the sound is very balanced overall. Since these are “studio” headphones, the sound is very “true”- there is no boosting of certain frequencies, like bass, which would distort the sound. If you wish to adjust the sound to your needs, you can do so on your laptop, instead of having the manufacturer do it for you. This provides a sense of freedom, which I like, and I’m sure you will, too!
These headphones also do a great job of isolating outside noise in loud environments- perfect for when you’re playing at the club or a music festival. The M20x is comfortable to wear as well- the plastic is tough and durable, but also light. It’s very easy to adjust the size, and they have a good seal around the ears. Likewise, the cord is firmly planted in the headphones, so pulling on the cord a few times definitely won’t ruin these (unlike cheap headphones, where they’re pretty much broken after dropping/pulling on them a few times). The plug adapter for different uses is also an added bonus, and it clicks in for a firm hold, which I’m sure many DJs will like. The M20x is a good model for an affordable price that should suit your needs just fine.
✓ Audio-Technica ATH-M20X, See Best Price on Amazon.
5. Sony DJ Style Headphones
At $54, the Sony DJ Style headphones are another affordable option for those of you not looking to spend hundreds of dollars on a new headset. I’ll have to give these headphones a mixed review.
My first impression of these? They were smaller than expected. The plastic squeaked a lot when I moved my head, which was annoying and bothersome. It is made of cheap material (rubber headband, ear pads that will probably wear off in a few months, etc.), and feels somewhat flimsy; but it’s hard to expect headphones under $100 to be durable (at least in my experience). These also hurt my head, as there was a lot of high pressure on my head.
The sound quality is good, and I’ve found these headphones work great for pop and some rock genres as well. Yet, the clarity is not ideal for listening to other types of music, such as house or techno. They are also terrible at isolating noise, as I could hear almost every word from people around me. Some people have even reported these breaking, although this hasn’t happened to me (I’ve been fortunate to have good luck with headphones, knock on wood).
I do not find these ideal for actual DJing, since they are on-ear, not over-ear, headphones. If you desperately need something that uses a standard mini-stereo headphone plug, or just want a headset that is great for listening to music, look no further. But if you want a pair of headphones that you can use for gigs and will last a long time, I’d pass on these- there are certainly better options out there.
✓ Sony DJ Style Headphones, See Best Price on Amazon.
6. Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-1500-N DJ Headphone, Gold
With a gold color, the Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-1500-N headphones look pretty cool. Props to Pioneer for choosing a color that gets people’s attention and attracts buyers- they will no doubt enhance your fashion sense while on stage, therefore enhancing your credibility as a DJ who knows how to look the part.
Aside from the flashy appearance, these headphones have a lot going for them. The ear pieces fit great, are very soft and hold up well, no matter the length of the set. They are lightweight, which I think people will like. The audio quality is what you would expect for a headset that costs $160, as they are certainly loud enough to hear the music and are great for beat matching. They also do a good job of blocking outside noise.
They aren’t perfect, however. If you don’t like the look of gold, then you may want to choose a different headset. The gold has the potential to chip off/fade after a while. Many people also say that Pioneer’s headbands crack within the first year- while this has never happened to me, it’s definitely something to keep in mind when choosing what headphones to buy. Again, it all depends on personal preference. But if you’re looking for a headset that is fairly affordable, has good sound quality and is comfortable, these are worth considering.
✓ Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-1500-N, See Best Price on Amazon.
7. Sennheiser HD 25 Professional DJ Headphone
I really enjoyed these headphones, and found them good for not only DJing, but monitoring and recording as well. The sound quality is perfect- I could hear every frequency clearly while using them, and they do a great job of isolating outside sounds as well. They work well for mixing tracks in a loud environment. And for all you bass enthusiasts out there, these are very bassy with lots of low end, so you’ll be sure to like these headphones.
The Sennheiser HD 25 headphones are very light. Naturally, some may find this to be cheap at first, but when you really think about it, would you want your fancy headphones taking a beating out there while you’re performing? The headband is padded and adjustable, so it’s practically a “one size fits all” headset. There is a rotatable capsule for single-ear listening, which I’ve found to be a nice added bonus. I could take or leave the hardbody pro case, to be honest- it’s a nice option, but a bit big for these headphones, and they seem durable and sturdy enough where you could just throw them in a bag without getting damaged. I would definitely recommend these to anyone.
✓ Sennheiser HD 25 Headphones, See Best Price on Amazon.
8. V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Over-Ear-Noise Isolating Metal Headphone
The V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Over-Ear-Noise Isolating headphones will run you $240, so they are not for those on a budget. But for $240, this is an excellent headset- any headset that’s been voted #1 Headphones by DJ Magazine back-to-back is sure to be good.
These are some of the best sounding headphones on the market, plain and simple. They work well for practically all genres, especially EDM, rock and pop music. The headphones have a tight, punchy bass which is a lot of fun to listen to, especially when you’re performing. They also come with a case, which has a very aesthetically pleasing shape that encases the headphones perfectly. There is no wasted space with the case, which is important if you have limited space to transport your gear.
The quality is top-notch, and you can tell these are built to last. The one thing I would suggest if you plan to buy these is to replace the standard ear cushions for the V-Moda XL heavy cushions. I tried the cushions that came with it, but they hurt my ears, and didn’t facilitate sound all that great. So definitely upgrade to the XL ear cushions, and you’ll have a pair of headphones you’re bound to love.
✓ V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Headphones, See Best Price on Amazon.
9. Shure SRH750DJ Professional Quality DJ Headphones (Gold)
The Shure SRH750DJ headphones are another excellent buy for $150. These have great sound quality, and an outstanding bass with clear highs and midrange. They have great noise isolation as well, and almost no distortion, which I was very pleased with. These headphones can get very work great in loud settings, but the music is still clear when played softly. The ear pads are very comfortable and won’t peel off like other high-end earphone pads. They also come with an extra pair, which is an added bonus. I’ve also found that these are well-built and can certainly handle wear-and-tear that inevitably comes with playing gigs. With great sound quality, comfort and long-term durability, these are definitely worth considering.
✓ Shure SRH750DJ Headphones, See Best Price on Amazon.
10. Beats Mixr Wired On-Ear Headphone
If you’re looking for a pair of Beats, look no further. The Beats Mixr Wired On-Ear Headphones produce great sound, with very deep bass at super high volumes, so they are definitely ready to be used at the club. I’ve noticed that they do feel a bit tight when wearing them for over an hour but putting them over the arm of a large sofa will help them stretch out and make them more comfortable. They have rotating ear cups which swivel back behind your ears, then rotate back for total isolation. Daisy chain connectors make it easy to share what you’re listening to, and these are quite durable as well. I’d give them two thumbs up.
11. LyxPro HAS-10
For its price, I was pleasantly surprised with the LyxPro HAS-10 headphones (I feel as if they are built like a $150 set of headphones). Like many headphones on this list, the sound quality is exceptional for the price point, with crisp and bright sounds. And like other headphones listed here, I found them to be super comfortable. The padding allows them to be worn for hours on end, no problem- so they will definitely last you through those long sets without hurting your head or ears, which is great. They are very lightweight and made of stainless steel, so you know they’ll last you a long time. The cable has a single-sided connection, which helps eliminate wire tangling- also a huge plus with these.
✓ LyxPro HAS-10 Headphones, See Best Price on Amazon.
12. Edifier H840 Audiophile Over-Ear Hi-Fi Noise Isolating Headphones
The Edifier H840 Audiophile headphones are another price-friendly set of headphones at $40 and would make a great first pair. They cancel out noise quite well, although you can still hear things like air conditioners/fans, and loud sounds like construction. I like how they have a strong and rich sound quality, because this is often hard to find with lower-end models. The bass is by no means overwhelming and the highs are on the warmer side, so you don’t get any hissing or anything like that. The mid-range is also on-point. The headband is adjustable, and it fit my head great. With soft leather ear cups, it is quite comfortable.
I’ve also found these to be fairly durable. I’ve thrown them in a bag for my gigs, and they’ve held up well- no damage whatsoever. They have a sturdy build, and don’t get too loud, so you won’t have to worry about any hearing problems, either. And they come with a one-year warranty, so if you run into any issues, Edifier can fix them for you free of charge. And they have also been tested by Phil Jones of Pure Sound, so you know that they’re ready to go even before you buy them, which is another plus with these.
✓ Edifier H840 Audiophile Headphones, See Best Price on Amazon.
13. Pioneer DJ-X5-S Professional DJ Headphone
The Pioneer DJ-X5-S headphones advertise “high-quality audio design” and “distortion-free monitoring, even at high volumes”, but received mixed reviews on Amazon. After trying these out, I must admit I have conflicting opinions on them as well.
The sound quality is good, but at $100, it is not as good as Pioneer’s top-of-the-line models. These also feel cheaper and less durable than the higher-end headphones. I don’t find them particularly comfortable, as the ear cups are fairly small- this put too much pressure on my ears, and after 45 minutes, I felt like my ears were about ready to fall off.
In fact, one Amazon customer said that the “headphone sliding mechanism is cracked above right ear, causing the headphone to occasionally dig into my ear and the side of my head.” Pioneer actually issued a recall on these headphones, but as of early 2018, neither Pioneer nor Amazon has replaced or refunded this model of headphones. It’s important to note that this is only one specific case, and some people do find the comfort and sound quality to be what you’d expect from professional DJ headphones. However, as stated above, I do not find these very comfortable. This, coupled with the fact that they were recalled by the manufacturer, leads me to recommend that you steer clear of these headphones. You’re better off spending your hard-earned money on a pair that is better quality and has received better reviews from fellow DJs.
✓ Pioneer DJ-X5-S Headphones, See Best Price on Amazon.
14. Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10-K Professional DJ Headphone
At $349, Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10-K headphones are quite pricey. If money is a concern for you, you might want to consider a more affordable option.
On Amazon, the listing advertises a high-quality audio design, solid refined design, nano coating, comfortable fit, and claims to be rigorously tested. I would have to agree, these are an excellent pair of headphones. Pioneer’s attention to detail really shines through in all aspects of these headphones. For one thing, the case that comes with the headphones is quite good- the headphones fit perfectly inside, and the case is easy to close. The removable cable is easy to use, and I find the separate ground wires for the left and right sides of the cable to be a nice addition as well. The xlr style connection is smooth and reliable as well.
The hinged earcups are very sturdy, and since the headphones are made of metal, you know they’ll last you a long time. These headphones can fold up, if you wish to do so. These are also an ideal pair of headphones for long nights playing gigs or in the studio and monitoring a loud show or concert for a recording; as you can pull out a lot of detail in the lower end audio. The sound isn’t perfect on these, but they are resolving and well balanced with a good bass and an average soundstage, so they will certainly work well.
✓ Pioneer DJ HDJ-X-10-K Headphones, See Best Price on Amazon.