One of the most important pieces of gear a DJ owns is headphones. In this guide, we check out the best options from a brand that has a long history in the DJ game.
Pioneer HDJ X10
Top of the line headphones that are military tough yet still comfortable. Wide soundstage with excellent isolation.
Pioneer HDJ X7
An affordable set of headphones. Good build quality. They deliver good sound and come with a range of accessories.
In-Depth Review Of The Pro Gear
Pioneer had a long tradition of producing quality headphones. Let’s dive into the reviews for some of their current offerings.
Pioneer HDJ X10 Review
- Super Tough – Extremely durable construction. Passed US military shock tests showing you that they can handle a real beating. Nano-coating improves durability even further preventing sweat and grime build-up.
- Large Range – Topping out at 40kHz the sound stage is wide and full of excellent clarity. Fantastic for general listening.
- Very Comfortable – Plush padding grips your ears without exerting too much pressure. The headband is flexible and non-intrusive. Excellent for long DJ sessions.
- Excellent Isolation – Noise isolation is great. Perfect for blocking out ambient noise to focus on your mix. This also makes them great for general day to day listening without distractions.
- Expensive – These flagship headphones from Pioneer are not cheap. Pro-quality comes at a price.
The Pioneer HDJ X10 is the top of the line when it comes to Pioneer professional DJ headphones. With influence from top DJs when it comes to design they are among the most durable headphones you can buy.
The increased frequency response is a step up from other models. The sound is amazing but not without some flaws. While the lows are rich and present they are not as forward as other headphones. For some, this is a benefit but for DJing, I prefer a more pronounced low end for beatmatching. Despite this, they were a joy to DJ with. They also offer exceptional build quality with excellent noise isolation. A perfect combination for DJs.
These are a great set of headphones from Pioneer and one of the very best currently available.
Pioneer HDJ X10
Pioneer HDJ X7 Review
- Impressive Sound Quality – Excellent range and deep clean low-end. Large 50mm drivers deliver on the loudness front as well.
- Rugged Build Quality – Good materials used throughout much like the more expensive X10 model. For example, the L-shaped cable connector helps prevent accidental unplugging.
- Attractive Design – Sleek design that looks the part. While appearance isn’t at the top of my list when selecting headphones it is good when they look smart.
- Good Accessories – Soft carry pouch, two cable options along with an adapter. Everything you’ll need to connect to devices while protecting your headphones between gigs.
- Not Budget Friendly – While much cheaper than the X10 the price point here is still on the upper end.
The next set of headphones in the Pioneer range is the HDJ X7. At first glance, it doesn’t appear like there is much difference between these and the X10. The same solid build quality is here along with an excellent selection of accessories. But, unlike the X10 you’ll receive a soft carry pouch as opposed to a semi-hard case.
The other noticeable difference is in the audio profile. The X7 headphones still offer clean mids, highs, and satisfying lows. The major difference is in the warmth of those lows. The X7’s are not as rich in depth. Despite this, they still sound great. The input from professional DJs is certainly evident here.
If you’re looking for Pioneer DJing headphones and don’t want to buy the expensive top of the line X10’s these are a great choice.
Need Help Choosing The Right DJ Headphones?
Read our Best DJ Headphones buying guide.
Pioneer HDJ X5 Review
- Very Durable – The smaller and cheaper HDJ X5 retains the excellent build quality of its bigger brothers. Durable and built to last.
- Affordable Price Point – A top choice for the budget-conscious DJ. Also great as a backup pair for more seasoned pros.
- Good Sound Quality – Audio range is enjoyable. Low-end offers enough kick to make them effective for DJing.
- Lightweight – Comfort is a big factor for DJs and these do a great job. The clamping force is just right and the headband is comfortable.
- Ear Pads – My only gripe is the ear pads. Not as nice as other headphones available. I’d have been happy to pay a little more if these came with better pads.
The Pioneer HDJ X5 headphones are the entry-level option in the lineup of Pioneer HDJ headphones. The value proposition on these is excellent. While having smaller drivers they still deliver excellent sound and retain the same frequency range as the more expensive X10 and X7 headphones.
Comfort is high despite lackluster ear pads. No hardshell case but included is a solid coiled cable that features the same connection type as the more expensive Pioneer models.
An excellent set of features at a much lower price that is perfect for entry-level headphones.
Pioneer HDJ X5
Pioneer HDJ CUE1BT Review
- Excellent Sound Quality – Despite the low price point, the CUE1BT offers impressive sound. Very loud and defined with a punchy low-end response.
- Light and Portable – These headphones fold down quickly and easily. The lightweight profile also makes these an excellent option for commuting and travel.
- Customizable – Sick of plain black or silver headphones? These headphones come in a range of base colors and further customizable packs are available that expand the color palette.
- Long Battery Life – At 30 hours run time you’ll have more than enough life before you’ll need a charge. Another excellent feature for the traveling DJ.
- Comfort Level – The on-ear design isn’t as well implement as other brands. The padding is reasonable. But after a few hours, the ear fatigue will set in.
The HDJ CUE1BT is Pioneer’s answer to the Bluetooth DJ headphone space. As always Bluetooth DJ headphones are great for daily listening, commuting, and travel. The included cable is also long enough and of course essential for DJing to prevent Bluetooth sound lag.
The ability to personalize these is a great feature. Mix and match colors to create a unique look that fits your branding or personality. With an aggressive price point, they are also a good budget option for DJs.
They are a well-priced set of headphones that can pull double duty. Good for both DJing and general listening.
Our Expert Buying Guide
When selecting Pioneer headphones there are a couple of things worth considering.
Wireless Vs Wired Headphones
The last decade has seen an explosion in the demand for wireless devices. And for good reason. Cable management is the bane of both office workers and studios! But when it comes to DJing a wired set of headphones is the best option.
Wireless headphones are only good for DJing if they can still be manually plugged in.
Wireless connections often involve a certain degree of lag. This time delay is not what you want when trying to beatmatch. Sound quality is also affected when using wireless headphones.
But that doesn’t mean that a wireless headphones option can’t be considered. You just need to make sure they offer a wired option.
That way you can plug them in when DJing but still enjoy the benefits of wireless listening when you are not behind the decks.
DJ gear ranges in price. A top tier professional setup runs into the thousands. Luckily with the range of entry-level controllers, DJing has become more accessible than ever. Along with that has spawned a range of budget headphone options. While you can use any headphones you have laying around for DJing it is worth investing in a quality set of cans.
Good quality headphones are essential for DJing.
Headphones that offer good isolation and clear sound will make your time behind the decks more enjoyable. Luckily there is quite a spread in the price range even for DJ headphones. If you are new to DJing and setting yourself a budget try to give an adequate amount to headphones. You won’t regret it.
The Pioneer DJ Ecosystem
Pioneer and DJing go hand in hand. Their range of professional DJ gear is the industry standard. Pioneer gear is everywhere. From festivals to clubs to home setups. Their range of headphones fit into this ecosystem cleanly.
Pioneer gear is the most widely used equipment in nightclubs.
When buying Pioneer gear you’ll know that you’ll be buying a product that has the DJ in mind. Pioneer has been in the game for a long time and have years of experience up their sleeve. But do be aware that some of what you are paying for is the brand name itself.
Which One Should You Buy?
Pioneer has several excellent choices available for DJs. Sound quality tends to be very high and the latest generation offers durable and intuitive options.
While it’s hard to pick a favorite the Pioneer HDJ X10 is one of the best DJ headphones currently available. A powerhouse in both design, sound, and durability.
Pioneer HDJ X10