For the longest time in my younger years, I always owned headphones that were not that great. When I got my DJ gear, the number one item that was next on my shopping list was a good set of headphones.
After extensive research, I landed on the Sennheiser HD 25, and the results of my hands-on testing confirmed that these are among the very best headphones for DJing you can buy.
Sennheiser HD 25
The Sennheiser HD25 headphones are an on-ear set of DJ headphones with a formidable reputation. It’s not uncommon to see top-name DJs rocking these both at intimate gigs and massive festival stages.
The HD 25 delivers in multiple areas. These are durable, well-crafted headphones with quality sound. They also have an excellent reputation for being able to handle loud environments, and my testing proved that this was indeed the case. Let’s take a deeper look and find out why they are one of the best headphones for electronic music and a staple set of headphones from professional DJs worldwide.
As with every pair of headphones we get our hands on, I put the Sennheiser HD 25 through multiple tests. These have an excellent reputation, but nothing compares to real-world experience, and with no hyperbole, I quickly realized why these headphones are so highly regarded. Let’s dive into the details.
The Sennheiser HD 25 headphones offer a superb sound signature. They feature a wide frequency response with an exceptional balance that results in an engaging experience. While they are not ultra flat they are neutral enough to be a solid choice as a hybrid pair of headphones. They can be used for DJing and are also capable enough for music production tasks.
The HD25 headphones are closed-back making them a good choice for DJing.
One of the first things I noticed when testing the HD 25 is the tight bass response. Unlike other DJ headphones, these are not overly warm, and the focus is on clarity, punch, and precision. This is perfect for beatmatching but also enjoyable when listening to music.
This precision extended into the mid-range and highs, and there was little to fault. I personally listen to a wide variety of genres, and with each new genre I throw at it, the HD 25 delivers a crisp and refined sound that puts a smile on my face.
On the loudness front, these also offer a capable sound pressure level. There are louder headphones out there, but these seem to strike a comfortable balance. The passive sound isolation was also excellent, a must-have feature for loud environments. It is no surprise that these headphones have become a firm favorite for DJs.
When it comes to headphones, comfort plays a huge role. As a DJ, you’ll have the headphones on your head and around your neck for extended periods of time. This is where it can be tricky, as everyone’s head is different. Likewise, when it comes to ears.
The first thing that I noticed in my testing was how remarkably lightweight these headphones are. The on-ear design and slimline split headband combine well to provide a firm yet comfortable fit, while the low weight ensures no harsh contact points.
The split headband was exceptionally comfortable. Having the ability to adjust the two headbands allowed me to find the sweet spot easily. A good amount of headband padding and a solid amount of clamping force kept these on my head. Even when I was bopping away mid-set.
The swiveling ear cup mechanism was also smooth, and the ear cups sat naturally without feeling like the headphones would slip off my head. When you are switching back and forth, it’s nice to know they are secure.
Perhaps the only minor gripe I can present is that since these do feature an on-ear design, some might find the direct pressure on your ears uncomfortable over longer sessions. In my testing, I didn’t encounter discomfort, but your mileage may vary. Despite the tight grip and on-ear design, these hold up pretty well even if you wear glasses, but some might prefer more plush over-ear cups over this style.
The ear padding is high quality, but as with a lot of closed-back headphones, they can get a bit sweaty due to a lack of air circulation. If you are in a warm climate, this may impact your comfort level even further.
I’ll be honest: you’ll either love the design or hate it. These headphones are the definition of the no-frills approach to design. Clean and simple with a focus on performance rather than flashy gimmicks. The split headband design is also kept simple.
If you like a minimalist approach to design you’ll appreciate the stripped-back nature of these headphones. It’s actually quite a testament to the design that these have been in production for over two decades and still look good.
For those that prefer to use their headphones as a statement piece in their DJ gear, you may be a bit disappointed.
They are all black with no accent colors and simple rounded earcups. No personalization options are available. You may need to explore other options if this is important to you. But beyond appearance, these are among the most functional and versatile headphones available to DJs today. The low weight, compact form factor, and swiveling ear cups all combine perfectly.
One thing worth noting is the textured outer cup. This surface helps to prevent scratches from showing. This is a nice change compared to other headphones. Once again it highlights that Sennheiser has placed function as its top priority.
This is where Sennheiser smashed it out of the park. These little headphones are tough! At first glance the lightweight feel and slimline design make them look like they would easily break. That’s where looks can be deceiving.
I had already heard about the durability of these headphones, so I was eager to put them through my rigorous tests, and they passed each one with flying colors. You can throw these around without fearing they will break. While I still recommend you look after your headphones, it’s nice not to have to treat them like fine glassware!
The Sennheiser HD 25’s are built tough with the extra flexibility of replaceable components.
Even if something were to break, it’s very easy to get a hold of replacement parts. Not only are these replaceable components easy to find it’s also a breeze to swap out whatever component has broken. This alone adds to the value these headphones offer. You won’t be up for a whole new set of headphones if something were to go wrong.
The standard HD 25 doesn’t come with much in the way of accessories. You’ll have access to one cable and a connector. The cable itself is shorter than many of the standard cables that come with other headphones. But for DJing, I prefer the shorter cable as it limits the amount of times that the cable gets in my way.
This refined approach also helps keep the overall cost of the HD 25 at a reasonable level, and when you consider the superb sound quality, these punch well above their price point.
The HD 25 is a superb modular set of headphones that perfectly balances price with features.
If you are looking for some extra bells and whistles, you can opt to buy the Sennheiser HD 25 Plus. This upgraded package includes an extra cable (coiled) along with an alternate set of ear pads and a storage pouch.
But if you prefer something a bit cheaper, you can explore the Sennheiser HD 25 Light. This model doesn’t offer accessories and features a fixed headband. You’ll lose out on rotating ear cups and the added flexibility that the split headband offers. But they are considerably cheaper than the base HD 25.
There is no way to understate the popularity of the HD 25 headphones. DJs rate these headphones as among the very best in the business. Industry professionals also appreciate the wide frequency response, and casual users often highly the punchy and satisfying sound profile.
Why Buy Dedicated DJ Headphones?
One of the common questions many beginner DJs face is why they need a dedicated pair of headphones. On the surface, these headphones tend to be both expensive and bulky.
When it comes to DJing, your generic earbuds that came with your phone won’t cut it. Even those cheap Hi-Fi headphones you likely have around will not be well suited to DJing.
DJ headphones are specifically designed to withstand the demands of constant use. They are mainly closed-back headphones that offer isolation from exterior noise. This includes what you are currently playing. This allows a DJ to focus on beatmatching and then craft the perfect transition.
Every DJ needs a dedicated pair of headphones designed specifically for DJing.
Investing in a dedicated pair of good-quality DJ headphones should be one of your top priorities. The comfort and more precise monitoring will help you fine-tune your skills.
Plus, with the increased sound quality, you’ll also enjoy listening to your music more than what generic earbuds would provide you.
On-Ear or Over-Ear?
The other thing to consider when buying DJ headphones is whether to go for an over-ear or on-ear design.
Over-ear headphones engulf your whole ear. As a result, they tend to be larger than on-ear options. Since the majority of DJ headphones are closed-back, this can result in quite a bit of heat accumulating in and around your ear.
On-ear headphones sit on your ear. This does allow for a little bit more breathability. Depending on the design, they can also be more comfortable.
On-ear headphones need to be well-designed so that they still offer a good amount of passive noise cancellation.
Poorly designed headphones will not sit firmly enough on your ears. This results in too much sound leakage, which is not ideal from a DJ’s perspective.
While the Sennheiser HD-25 may indeed be a great choice for DJs, they are far from the only choice. Check out some other alternatives that offer a few different features compared to the Sennheiser HD25.
V MODA Crossfade LP2 Review
The V Moda Crossfade LP2 is another stand-out option for DJs. Especially for DJs who like to have their headphones be a statement piece.
- Customizable via shield kits that attach to the outer section of the earcup.
- More emphasis on the lower frequencies for more pronounced bass.
- Increased bass makes them not the best for mastering your music.
V-Moda Crossfade LP2
Audio Technica ATH M50x Review
Audio Technica also gives you some choice when it comes to color options. With a rich sound palette across all spectrums, they are a great over-ear alternative.
- Detachable cables for both flexibility and easy replacement.
- Solid construction for a durable pair of headphones that will last.
- The firm clamping force may be a bit uncomfortable for DJs with larger heads.
Pioneer HDJ X7 Review
Another excellent pair of headphones that are ideal for fans of Pioneer DJ gear. With an engaging sound signature and premium build quality, they are a great set of cans.
- Durable construction that’s able to withstand constant use.
- Excellent balance across frequencies with ample low-end punch.
- The clamping force might be too tight for some people.
Should You Buy?
After my extensive hands-on testing with these headphones, I can see why it’s a popular choice for professional DJs. While I’m not a huge fan of the on-ear design, they were also far more comfortable than I initially imagined. The durability and sound quality are also impressive. There’s a reason these have been in production for so long.
If you are looking for a quality pair of DJ headphones, the Sennheiser HD 25 is easily one of the very best you can buy today.
Sennheiser HD 25