DJ headphones are a critical component of any DJ’s arsenal of gear. It’s a significant investment and one that can be challenging to navigate. This guide will help steer you in the right direction.
There are some superb options, but our Editor’s choice is the much-loved Sennheiser HD 25. It has stood the test of time and is a favorite of many world-famous DJs.
Our passion for music and DJing was the catalyst for this website. With 15 years of experience and hundreds of guides and reviews, we offer one of the most comprehensive resources on gear you’ll find online.
Over those years, we’ve established a vast network and in-depth research process to break through the marketing hype. We assessed 61 headphones before arriving at a list of top-level choices that then went through strict testing so that only the best made our final list.
Our Top Choices
There is a staggering amount of choice out there and an even bigger range of prices but not all DJ headphones are equal. Here are the best of the best.
Here is our selection for the top 10 DJing headphones currently available in more detail. From high-quality professional options to budget-minded choices.
Sennheiser HD 25 Review
- Lightweight – One of the biggest benefits is the lightweight feel of the headphones. This makes them great if you plan on long sessions with these on your head.
- Durable – You would think the lightweight design would result in headphones that break easily. That’s not the case and makes these DJ headphones best suited for the traveling DJ.
- Replaceable Parts – All the components are replaceable. So even if something were to go wrong you won’t be up for a whole new pair of headphones.
- Excellent Sound – A good balance across all the frequency ranges. The bass is not overbearing yet still satisfying.
- Ear Pads – The on-ear design can result in a little bit of sweating and are prone to wearing out. Various earpad options are available but keep this in mind if your studio gets hot.
You’ll likely have seen the Sennheiser HD 25 DJ headphones on the heads of some of the world’s top DJs and for good reason. These on-ear headphones are loud and have excellent isolation.
The ear cups are comfortable and sit cleanly on your ear. Plus they also offer swiveling ear cups for one-ear monitoring. Well worn units still hold up and any components getting to the end of their life cycle are easily replaced.
They have stood the test of time as one of if not the best DJ headphones on the market. It’s because of these awesome features that we recommend the HD 25 headphones as the best DJ headphones currently available.
Read our full Sennheiser HD 25 review for more detailed information.
Sennheiser HD 25
V-Moda Crossfade M-100 Review
Quality Customizable DJ Headphones
- Excellent Build Quality – High-quality components throughout. Tough steel frame coupled with a firm yet flexible headband. These can take some punishment.
- Warm Low End – The V Moda Crossfade M-100 offers a clean and pleasant bass response. Not over boosted yet still retains a good level of thump.
- Replaceable Panels – The angular side panels are replaceable with various colors. Take it a step further with personalized designs.
- Strong Isolation – Sound leakage is minimal and isolation is solid thanks to the tight grip around your ear. Excellent for DJs that need to focus on the mix.
- Not Great For Large Heads– While very comfortable the head grip is a little tight. Only noticeable if you have a larger head.
The V-Moda Crossfade M-100 DJ headphones are another excellent option and one of the most popular among top DJs. Defined and clean sound along with extra features not offered by other brands.
V-Moda sets itself apart from the rest with the ability to customize them. It has made these a favorite among pro DJs looking to inject their branding into their gear. An extra layer of cool that other options don’t offer.
A popular set of headphones that delivers in both build and sound quality.
Read our full V-Moda Crossfade M-100 review for more detailed information.
V-Moda Crossfade M-100
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Review
Perfect For Lovers Of Bass
- Solid Bass – The bass is right in the sweet spot. Good for DJs to help with beatmatching. Not overbearing like some popular mainstream brands of consumer headphones.
- Color Choices – Black not your thing? Never fear there is a great range of colors to choose from. Been able to express your style via your headphones is a great benefit.
- Detachable Cable – Offering two cable options (coiled and straight). The cord is detachable and lockable into place with a clever twist mechanism. This means they won’t unplug while you’re in the middle of a set.
- Good Build Quality – The Audio Technica ATH-M50x offers solid construction. They can easily handle constant use.
- Bass Creates An Imbalance – While highly satisfying the low end is more forward. Great for DJing but not ideal for analytical listening.
These stylish Audio Technica ATH M50x DJ headphones are a popular choice for DJs. Offering an impressive soundscape that manages to do what few headphones do in its price range. Offering a meaty and rich sound that is appropriate for DJ and personal use.
A solid choice for DJs that like plenty of thump in the low end.
Read our full Audio-Technica ATH-M50X review for more detailed information.
Sony MDR-7506 Review
Versatile Headphones For Producers And DJs
- Good Mids and Highs – These headphones excel at the mid and high-frequency range. The crisp definition will bring out the finest details which are useful for DJs who mix songs that have a heavy emphasis on these frequencies.
- Powerful Drivers – The 40mm drivers do pack a punch and are quite loud. Full closed-back isolation also helps encase your ears when preparing your next transition.
- Cord Length – A long 9.8ft coiled cable along with a unimatch plug for ¼ and ⅛ inch jack support. The long cable allows you to move about while mixing but it can be a bit much if you want to take them outside of your home studio.
- Translates to Production – Due to the emphasis on the mid and high-frequency range, these lend themselves to production. These are a good choice if you want to move beyond DJing without investing in another set of headphones.
- Lacking in Bass – While the mids and highs are solid the bass isn’t so great. The bass is there but it doesn’t take center stage like other headphones available. If you love your bass these may not be the best choice.
The Sony MDR-7506 DJ headphones have been around for a long time. How long? All the way back to 1991. The fact that these headphones still make the list is a testament to the quality these headphones provide. The combination of balanced output with solid build quality sets these apart from other options in the same price range.
An excellent set of headphones for producers looking at getting into DJing and vice versa.
Read our full Sony MDR-7506 review for more detailed information.
Pioneer HDJ X10 Review
- Built Like A Tank – Passed military level shock tests. Designed to handle the rigors of frequent use. Also features nano-coating to minimize early deterioration. Well crafted with the DJ in mind.
- Large Soundstage – Topping out at 40kHz these headphones have a roomy soundscape. Excellent imaging for those that prefer a wider sound stage.
- Excellent Ear Pads – Comfortable and durable thanks to the nano-coating. Enough grip to stay on your head without irritation thanks to the plush padding.
- Crisp Sound Quality – Low, Mids, and High are well defined and balanced. The low end isn’t as forward as other headphones.
- On The Pricey Side – Pro level components and the Pioneer name combine for an expensive set of headphones.
The HDJ X10 are highly portable thanks to the foldable design and included carry case. The sound is excellent though softer on the low end compared to other options. Replaceable parts and industrial-strength make these a durable option for the traveling DJ.
An ideal set of over-ear headphones for DJs that want a balanced response in a tough package.
Pioneer HDJ X10
Pioneer HDJ X7 Review
High Sound Quality Headphones
- Clean Sound – The overall sound profile is detailed and clear. Not as wide a soundstage as the X10’s which some DJs may prefer.
- Quality Cables – L-shaped connector is an excellent addition that prevents accidental unplugging. Comes with two high-quality cables for maximum flexibility.
- Solid Components – Construction is great with a firm yet comfortable headband. Able to handle the punishment that often befalls DJ headphones.
- Good Comfort Level – Firm yet comfortable head grip. Enough flexibility to accommodate a variety of head shapes. They sit comfortably on your ear without excess pressure.
- Not Cheap – As with most pro-level Pioneer gear these are not cheap. Excellent quality but it does come at a price.
The Pioneer HDJ X7 is the next step down from the X10’s. They still inherit a lot of the high-quality features from those more expensive headphones. Great sound quality and durable construction are the most impressive features. While not as well-rounded as the X10’s you save a lot of money without a huge downgrade in terms of sound.
An attractive set of headphones from Pioneer that can take some serious punishment.
Read our full Pioneer HDJ-X7 review for more detailed information.
Audio-Technica ATH-M30X Review
- Large Frequency Range – Excellent sound range. Able to cleanly deliver lows without boominess while still executing crisp mids and highs.
- Good Fit – Comfortable ear cups hug your ears. Headband also has good padding that adds to the comfort level.
- Great For Travel – Easily collapses into a compact form for easy transport. Includes a carry pouch to protect your cans when you are traveling.
- Affordable Price Point – Strikes an excellent balance between features, build quality, and price. Good value for money for new DJs looking to stretch their budget.
- Locked Cable – The cable is not replaceable and doesn’t detach. Not a deal-breaker but a feature many DJs want in their headphones.
Audio-Technica makes the list again with their budget Audio-Technica ATH-M30X set of over-ear headphones. They maintain excellent sound despite the smaller price tag. The smaller drivers still deliver a satisfying low-end without a loss of clarity. The exposed wires are not ideal but manageable as long as you take care of them.
An excellent option for your first DJ headphones or as a backup pair.
Read our full Audio-Technica ATH-M30X review for more detailed information.
Behringer HPX2000 Review
Ultra Affordable Option
- Very Cheap – When it comes to offering value these knock it out of the park. These sound better than headphones twice the price.
- Surprising Sound – Sound quality is great especially when you factor in the price. A clean defined sound that is more than capable.
- Collapsible Design – The earcups fold into the headphones delivering a compact profile. Great for travel but you’ll need to buy a separate case or pouch.
- Good Cable – The straight cable is long and durable. Often cheap headphones skimp on cable quality so it’s good to see Behringer chose not to follow other brands in this area.
- Material Quality – The cheap price does result in components that are not the best. The silver finish looks a little cheap but the important components are still decent.
When it comes to cheap headphones the Behringer HPX2000 offers new DJs one of the most affordable options in the market. Excellent sound at this price point with attention placed on the most important aspects of the listening experience. Not the most attractive headphones but they get the job done very well.
Well worth considering if you don’t have much to spend on headphones.
Mackie MC-100 Review
Cheap And Durable Choice
- Satisfying Thump – The MC-100 delivers a warm and punchy low-end that is ideal for beatmatching. Generous and full without coming across as boomy.
- Good Value – An excellent price point that balances function, form, and value. While not the cheapest out there these are very affordable compared to pro DJ headphones.
- Thick Plastic – The thick plastic components offer an excellent level of durability. The padding on both the headband and ears is also impressive.
- Pleasant Fit – The padding offers a tight yet comfortable seal. Isolation is good and the headband padding also adds to the secure fit.
- Non-Detachable Cable – These headphones feature a hard-wired cable. It is nice and long but I would have loved to see detachable cables.
The entry-level MC-100 from Mackie is another fantastic pair of headphones. They offer an approachable price point while maintaining good features. Solid isolation, punchy bass, and a dependable build. While it does lack a few bells and whistles it is still one of the best budget options out there.
If you want a dependable yet aggressively price pair of DJ headphones, these should be on your list of options.
V-Moda Crossfade 3 Review
- Impressive Sound Quality – The detail in the sound is excellent. Deep bass with clean mids and crisp highs. V-Moda gets it right again with this Bluetooth option.
- Long Battery Life – At 30hrs there is plenty of time up your sleeve. You could forget to charge these overnight and still have enough to last a full day.
- High Comfort Level – If you have an average-sized head, these are ideal when it comes to comfort. The ear cups do have a firm grip, but that’s great for on-the-go listening.
- Robust Bluetooth – Bluetooth connectivity is clean and crisp with no audio quality issues. Be aware that the standard Bluetooth delay is present.
- The Big Head Problem – As with most V-Moda headphones, these are not the greatest if you have a larger-than-normal head.
The V-Moda Crossfade 3 offers the best of both worlds. They are a solid pair of wired over-ear headphones that are great for DJing. They also perform excellently as a wireless pair for daily music listening.
The inbuilt mic also adds extra flexibility to use these beyond DJing. Great as a gaming headset or for conference calls. It’s also the only option in this list that offers a microphone. The same customizable options as the rest of the V-Moda line allow you to further express yourself.
Perfect choice for the DJ who wants a pair of headphones for work and play.
V-Moda Crossfade 3
How To Choose Good DJ Headphones
In this guide we break down some of the differences you’ll find in the headphone space and the most important features to consider.
How Good Is The Sound Quality?
The best DJ headphones need to deliver excellent audio quality. You’ll be spending a lot of time fine-tuning your transitions and preparing your mixes.
This is where you’ll want excellent bass response for easier beatmatching. If the bass is muddy and not clean it’ll be harder to discern the kicks and match them.
Pro DJ headphones offer excellent sound quality for accurate mixing.
Likewise, the mids need to sound tight. Well defined mids allow you to hear melodies and vocals cleanly. This can highlight any potential clashing Key issues.
Not all DJ software accurately registers the Key so you’ll often have to rely on your ears to make sure things sound right.
Highs need to also be well balanced in the sound profile. Excessively tinny highs will get grating for longer DJing sessions. You’ll likely have the volume fairly loud which only makes this issue worse.
Above all else, the sound quality needs to be well balanced across all frequencies. A slightly more pronounced low end is fine here and in most instances preferable.
The Difference Between Closed Vs Open Headphones
Let’s cover the difference between open-back headphones and closed back. Check out the video below that goes over the main differences.
In this review, we have selected the best closed-back headphones. Closed-back models isolate the DJ from exterior noise. This helps you beatmatch your tracks correctly without exterior noise distracting you.
Been able to concentrate on your mix is critical to your success at mastering the art of DJing. This is why we consider these choices to be the ideal choice for DJing.
Open-back headphones allow air to escape from the headphones which will give you a better overall sound experience. This is usually achieved through some form of vents.
This means that exterior noise can also make its way in. When trying to beatmatch this can make it more difficult to concentrate on your mix.
On-Ear Vs Over-Ear: Which Is Better?
This is a contentious issue and there is no correct answer.
Over-ear options generally offer better sound isolation. This makes them among the best headphones for the task of DJing in loud environments. But having the ear cups encase your ear can lead to heat build-up especially with closed-back designs. The over-ear design also tends to be larger and bulkier.
On-ear designs offer an alternative to these larger head phones and often are more lightweight. This also translates to a more compact design.
On-ear headphones are smaller in size and as the name suggests the earcups sit on your ears.
If you have larger ears you’ll also not have to worry about whether you can squeeze you ears into the ear cups.
Which option is best comes down to personal preference. Both types can deliver excellent sound and the comfort factor can be high for both over-ear and on-ear.
What Extra Features Do You Want?
The best DJ headphones often offer some unique features which are not commonly found in regular headphones. Many of these will make DJing more enjoyable and worth having.
The first is swiveling ear cups. These allow you to shift the ear cups behind your ear allowing you to monitor with just one ear.
A great way to hear what is happening in your live mix while still having a grasp on the details of the incoming track. If you want maximum comfort when monitoring with one ear you’ll need to ensure your choice offers swivelling ear cups.
Swiveling ear cups allow you to keep the headphones on your head as opposed to around your neck.
Having a variety of cables is also important. A long coiled cable allows you to have an excellent range when mixing. It’s also more compact than a straight cable.
But to attain that length there will be pressure applied to the cable. This is where a straight cable might be preferable. No extra tension but still offering plenty of mobility.
Often it will come down to personal preference and individual use cases but having the option between the two is great.
The other important feature is a collapsible design. This makes it easy to transport your gear. When you already have a lot of gear to cart to a gig it’s nice to have a set of compact headphones. Just make sure that the connection points are solid and won’t break from regular use.
How Comfortable Are The Headphones?
The other thing worth considering when it comes to the top DJ headphones is how comfortable they are. As mentioned you’ll spend a lot of time with them on your head. You want your time on the decks to be as enjoyable as possible. Having a pair of headphones that dig into your head or are generally uncomfortable is not what you want.
Having comfortable ear padding is an essential feature for DJ headphones.
Things to look out for are comfortable ear padding. Some manufacturers excel in choosing only the best materials for their ear pads. Others see it as one of the sections where they can cut costs.
I still remember how quickly the ear pads wore out on my first pair of headphones. While you can pick up replacement pads it’s that extra bit of hassle I didn’t want when I was saving up for better gear.
It’s also important to assess how they feel when you only have them on one ear. If this is how you prefer to DJ you’ll want a set of cans that allow you to do this comfortably.
What Accessories Come With The Headphones?
It’s worth checking what your headphones come with when buying.
Extras like a bag or case can save you having to spend more. Much like all your equipment treat your headphones with care. Having an adequate bag or case for your headphones will prevent dust from finding its way into the drivers. This will increase the lifespan of your headphones.
A good case is perfect for protecting your headphones and great for travel.
Good cable options are also something to keep an eye out for. Often there will be a coiled or straight cable. Sometimes it may even include both to not only give you choice but also a backup.
Also, be careful with the cables. One of the most common faults in headphones comes from the cable connection getting damaged.
I tend to get excited when mixing and often find myself grooving away. There have been times I’ve yanked on the cable by accident. Try to avoid this as much as possible, not the grooving part but the yanking part. 😉
The connection type is also important. If your DJ gear can only take a ¼ inch jack you need to aim to get headphones that have that type of connection. Some headphones will come with adapters to solve this problem.
What’s The Difference Between DJ Headphones And Studio Headphones?
DJ headphones often have a greater emphasis on the low-end frequencies. This allows for clear and punchy bass which makes beatmatching easier. Studio headphones offer a more balanced sound that is ideal for mixing and mastering your recordings or productions.
What Headphones Do DJs Use?
Some of the most popular DJs in the world use the following headphones:
- Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike (V-MODA Crossfade M-100)
- Afrojack (Sennheiser HD 25)
- The Chainsmokers (V-MODA Crossfade M-100)
What Are The Best DJ Earphones?
All the headphones in our review are strong contenders but if you held me down and demanded I pick one as my favorite I’d recommend the Sennheiser HD 25.
It’s the gold standard and one of the best headphones for DJing. The DJ lifestyle demands durable headphones that deliver excellent isolation and high-quality sound. On all these fronts the HD 25 delivers making them our choice for the best DJ headphones currently available.
Sennheiser HD 25