Sennheiser HD 25 Review – The Best On-Ear DJ Headphones?

For the longest time, 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. That’s where things got a bit more difficult. There are so many choices at a wide variety of price points. It was a bit overwhelming! Luckily after testing, I came across several good options. One of which will be the focus of this review, the Sennheiser HD 25.

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 laying 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 which 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.

Photo of DJ headphones sitting on top of DJ equipment.

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 DJs perspective.

Sennheiser HD 25 Review

The Sennheiser HD 25 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’s offer to give DJs a durable, well-crafted set of headphones with quality sound. Also touted as one of the best options in loud environments. Let’s check out some of the benefits and drawbacks to these very popular DJ headphones.

Pros

  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Good Isolation
  • Lightweight
  • Durable Construction
  • Replaceable Parts

Cons

  • Ear Pads Can Get Hot
  • Not the Most Interesting Design
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Features

Now let’s dive into the details and see if Sennheiser has created the perfect headphones for DJs.

Sound Quality

The Sennheiser HD 25 headphones do sound great. They have a good spread across all frequencies which make them a solid choice as a hybrid pair of headphones. They can be used for DJing and also mixing and mastering. This is great for DJs that want a balanced sound level.

Graphical representation of HD25 as closed back headphones.

The HD 25 headphones are closed back making them a good choice for DJing.

As a DJ I would have liked the lower end to be a little more pronounced. Having a slightly more punchy lower end makes beatmatching by ear easier. On a personal level, I also enjoy listening to my music with a bit more oomph as well. If you love your bass these may not be the best choice.

On the loudness front, these were decent. There are louder headphones out there but these seem to strike a comfortable balance. The passive sound isolation was also good so I never felt like I was not able to properly hear what was happening in my mix.

Comfort

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.

While the Sennheiser HD 25 is not super uncomfortable I did find them a little tiring on the ears after an hour or so. This could be the result of the on-ear design.

Cable selection for HD25 headphones.

The HD 25 comes with a straight cable with a 1/4 inch jack which can be easily replaced.

The headband was very comfortable. Having the ability to adjust the two headbands allowed me to find the sweet spot easily. A good amount of padding and a solid amount of clamping force kept these on my head. Even when I was bopping away mid-set.

Sliding one ear cup back felt smooth and 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.

The ear padding is good but as with a lot of headphones, they can get a bit sweaty. If you are in a warm climate this may impact on your comfort level.

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Design

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. 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 the 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.

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.

Durability

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. You can throw these around without fearing they will break. While I still recommend you look after your headphones it’s nice to not have to treat them like fine glassware!

Even if something were to break it’s very easy to get a hold of replacement parts. Not only are these parts easy to find it’s also very easy 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.

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What Others Have To Say

We already know that many top DJs recommend the Sennheiser HD 25’s as a quality pair of headphones. But, what do other regular users have to say? From what I can see most agree on the durable quality of the headphones and it looks like I’m not the only one who thinks they are not the most comfortable.

Text Reviews of Sennheiser HD-25 headphones

Other Options

While the Sennheiser HD 25’s 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 HD 25’s. You can also check out our guide to the best DJ headphones where we cover them in a bit more detail.

V MODA Crossfade LP2 Review

The V Moda Crossfade LP2 is another stand out option for DJs. Especially for DJs that 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 then not the best for mastering your music.
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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.
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Pioneer HDJ-1500 Review

While not as nice at the HDJ-2000’s these headphones are more in line with the price range of the others in this list. Pioneer has a long history of quality headphones and these are no different.

  • Loud headphones that are well suited for DJs.
  • Good isolation coupled with the loudness makes monitoring easy.
  • Earpads are not as nice as HDJ-2000’s but still decent.
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Should You Buy?

After having tried these I can see why it’s a popular choice for professional DJs. While I’m not a huge fan of the on-ear design the durability and sound quality is impressive. There’s a reason these have been in production for so long. As the stand out over-ear option, you can’t go wrong with these.

Keep in mind there is an HD 25 Light version with a more basic headband. There is also an HD 25 Plus version which offers some extra cable options and extra velour pads. If your budget allows I would recommend at least the standard model. The Light version headband didn’t feel as nice.

Overall if you are looking for a quality pair of DJ headphones the Sennheiser HD 25 is a great choice.

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Patryk Biernacki

Patryk Biernacki

For over 20 years I've been involved in the world of DJing. Now I want to share my experience so that DJing is more accessible for anyone with a passion for music.

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