DJ headphones are one of the most important parts of your DJ gear. They are an intimate part of your workflow. As a result, you must select the right headphones for your needs.
DJing has exploded in popularity over the last decade. Budget entry-level controllers have opened the door for anyone with a passion for music to get into DJing.
But often the focus is on the controllers and not on the extras like headphones and speakers. While controllers are important a solid pair of DJ headphones is just as important.
In this guide, we check out some of the key categories of DJ headphones. We also break down the important features you’ll need to be mindful of when buying you DJ headphones.
DJ headphones are an iconic part of the DJ scene. The ability to prepare and execute mixes requires good headphones. But there are a lot of consumer-level headphones out there. These can be fine for general listening but they rapidly fall short when applied to a DJ environment.
Good quality headphones are a critical part of a DJ setup.
Choosing the right DJ headphones for your needs can be difficult. Here are some of the key features to look out for when you are buying DJ headphones.
- Superior DJ headphones will be durable and offer features that are important to DJs. Excellent isolation is by far the most important. This allows you to work on your next mix without distractions.
- DJ headphones often offer extra features that are specific to DJing. Swiveling ear cups are usually top of the list. Good cables and a carry pouch/case are also important.
- DJs are much more front and center now. You want headphones that are capable but also attractive. Everyone has a personal preference but you don’t want a pair of headphones that look cheap and unprofessional.
When you think of DJing you’ll likely be thinking of EDM (Electronic Dance Music). While originally an underground sound the influence of EDM has now reached the mainstream.
High-quality DJ headphones are perfect for listening to EDM music.
While there are a staggering amount of genres of EDM the most popular have some key defining features. A solid kick and bassline with a range of electronic elements filling out the sound spectrum.
This style of music warrants a certain type of headphone. One that can handle the depth and range of the music. They also need to offer all the tools that DJs need and want to execute transitions.
- EDM headphones need to offer a meaty low-end response. The kicks should be well defined for easier beatmatching. The bass should be warm and full. The remaining frequencies should be crisp and clear. This helps in identifying any potential clashes when preparing your mix.
- Closed-back headphones are the right choice since they offer excellent isolation. This prevents loud music from interfering with you preparing for your next transition.
- Comfort is another high priority for EDM headphones. You’ll spend a lot of time with them on your head so you want to make sure the headband is comfortable. The ear padding should also be soft and durable.
Budget DJ Headphones
The explosion of budget controllers has spawned a massive boom of hobby DJs. Some may have ambitions to eventually play gigs. Others are more than happy to just enjoy spinning tracks at home or for friends.
Budget DJ headphones are a good option for hobby and beginner DJs.
This has led to an excellent range of budget orientated headphones that are perfect for new DJs. You don’t need to spend heaps of money to get started DJing. But as with all things, there is a certain correlation between price and quality.
Here are some of the most important features to keep in mind when buying budget DJ headphones.
- Quality components can be difficult to achieve on a budget. Luckily many manufacturers have managed to offer reasonable quality at an affordable price. You can’t expect super-premium materials. But, you should still pay attention to build quality and durability.
- Budget DJ headphones should still be able to offer core features that are great for DJing. Closed-back design along with comfortable ear pads are attainable on a budget. Likewise, foldability and extras like swiveling earcups are also possible.
- If you have your heart set on a particular brand it is highly likely they have a budget entry-level model available. This can be a good stepping stone if you don’t quite have enough for the more premium version. Just be sure to temper your expectations.
Pioneer DJ Headphones
Pioneer is a name that is synonymous with the DJ industry. Their line of pro DJ gear and expansive range of DJ controllers has cemented them as the go-to brand for gear. Whether they are superior is debatable but when you do buy Pioneer gear you know it has the DJ in mind.
Pioneer is the industry standard for pro-level DJ equipment.
As expected Pioneer offers an excellent range of DJ headphones. But with so many choices there are a few things that you’ll need to keep in mind when buying Pioneer headphones.
- Pioneer offers a large range of products including consumer-level headphones. Many of these headphones are not suitable for DJing. When looking for Pioneer headphones make sure to focus on the Pioneer DJ subset of products to ensure you are buying gear designed for DJs.
- When buying Pioneer DJ gear you will be paying a premium due to the brand strength. Many of their products are of premium quality and offer excellent design. Just be aware that the Pioneer brand does come with a higher price tag.
- Pioneer has an excellent range of offerings that cater to different DJs. They offer products that are suitable for entry-level DJs as well as premium pro-level gear. If you are set on purchasing Pioneer headphones there should be an option within your budget level.
Bluetooth DJ Headphones
Wireless technology has improved day to day life in many ways. Listening to music is just one of these improvements.
Bluetooth headphones open up a lot of versatility making them excellent for travel.
The dream of ditching cables is something many DJs have wanted over the years. This has led many DJs to explore these headphones for DJing. Unfortunately not is all as it seems.
While they are an excellent innovation there are some key features you need to be aware of.
- DJing via Bluetooth introduces a time delay. This can make it nearly impossible to accurately beatmatch. As a result, you’ll still need headphones that offer a wired connection for DJing. You’ll need to use the wireless features for general listening only.
- Battery length is an important feature of Bluetooth headphones. You’ll want to get headphones that offer plenty of charge length and ideally quick recharge times. This allows you to use them all day without needing a recharge.
- A collapsable design along with a good case or pouch is ideal for these types of headphones. You’ll likely be using them on your daily commute or when traveling. It will allow you to not need as much space for your headphones and also give you the option to protect them when not in use.
Are Pro DJ Headphones Worth It?
There is no denying that headphones that are specifically made for DJing offer a lot of advantages. Clean crisp and well-defined sound is a must. A robust low end makes listening to your favorite genres more satisfying. Plus it also assists with beatmatching.
These headphones also offer features that are exclusively DJ orientated. Collapsible designs, swiveling ear cups and good quality cables are all features that DJs desire. Plus these headphones are often built tough to withstand constant use in demanding conditions.
While they may often be more expensive, pro DJ headphones are definitely worth the investment.