We have prepared a top of the best headphones for DJs, taking into account quality, price and durability of the brands Sennheiser, Pioneer, Technics, etc.
A reliable set of headphones is a must for any DJ. The quality of your mixes and the smoothness of them will depend on how well you can hear what’s going on. For aspiring music producers, one of the biggest questions they get asked is about the best headphones for mixing.
Whether for portability, convenience or simply noise considerations, getting a pair of headphones would be of great help to your performance. This is exactly why you should look for the right product that suits your preferences. Happily, we are here to help you.
In this top we highlight some of the best DJ headphones on the market right now, with a range of options to suit all styles and costs.
When it comes to the best DJ headphones, the Sennheiser HD25 is close to being an industry standard, and not without reason. They are truly brilliant, all-round headphones at a fair price. The HD 25 are designed specifically for monitoring, providing high levels of attenuation over external noise and the ability to cope with extreme volumes with ease. Plus, most of the HD 25’s elements are replaceable, so the loss of a cracked earpad or headband need not justify a new set of headphones.
That said, the HD 25 are far from “the best” when it comes to their sonic specs. Neither are they the cheapest DJ headphones on the market. Price ranges from €128 and up.
Pioneer’s latest DJ-HDJ Cue1 headphone set takes many of the brand’s winning design choices from the more high-end HDJs and brings them to a pricing point that suits both beginners and budget-minded DJs.
Although the sonic specs, such as impedance and frequency response, are not up to par with the German company’s high-end headphones, they are still very impressive for a set of entry-level DJ headphones.
From a sound standpoint, they outperform many of the more expensive pairs on the market.
What we like most about the Pioneer DJ-HDJ Cue1s is their style. Many low-cost DJ headphone sets tend to look cheap and toy-like, but the Cue1s have a sleek, pro design, which you can easily customize by purchasing replacement colored ear pads and cables. If you want to go fully wireless, Pioneer also produces a Cue1 BT model that offers Bluetooth functionality for about 30 euros more. Price starts at €69.
As much as they may look like something from the last era, the Technics RPDJ1210 embrace rugged design and solid build quality over flashy aesthetic touches. With a host of features designed specifically for pro DJ use, as you would expect from one of the biggest names on the market.
It comes with a coiled cable, which allows more room to move around the booth, while their “sweat-proof” perspiration resistance means they are ideal for mixing in hot, crowded places. Price from €205.
At the high point of the current top, at least in the price range, are the Campfire Audio Cascade headphones. While their high cost and looks might indicate that you’d want to wrap them in some cotton wool; they are highly well made and deliver outstanding audio results. The Cascade are rated as monitor headphones, being best suited for studio use. Where their wide frequency range will ensure that mixing and mastering is kept accurate.
On a design level, the Campfire Audio is also at the top of its class. There is a high attention to detail across the entire range, as shown by the signature sheepskin ear pads and the custom sound-emitting transducers.
They are expensive, no need to say, but here you get what you pay for. Price ranges from €699 and up.
Korg’s first entry into the DJ headphone market, the KORG NC-Q1 pack some unique smart features that set them apart from the competition. These are active noise-cancelling headphones, and their over-ear cups do an excellent job of shutting out background noise even in a loud surrounding.
Of particular interest is the smart monitoring feature, as it allows users to turn off noise cancellation on one or both ears with a fast touch of a button. The concept is to allow DJs to monitor without the need to continuously take off/put on the headphones.
The NC-Q1s also need to be charged to use their active functions. Battery life is quite acceptable, though. They can also be used in passive wired mode when they run out of power. Price starts at €350.
Danish brand AIAIAI offers a touch of Nordic design with its TMA-2 line. The hook for this brand is the ability to design the setup of your own personal choice. Everything from the types of transducers used to the headband and cable can be tailored to your needs.
It offers a DJ-centric setup with powerful, bass-filled sound specs and includes a robust, padded headband.
In a more premium price range, AIAIAI also recently released the new TMA-2 Studio Wireless+ headphones, created in collaboration with Richie Hawtin. These headphones feature ultra-low latency lossless Bluetooth audio, yet cost almost double the price of the original version. Price is around €190.
Audio-Technica is highly respected in the DJ world, and the ATH-M50x do a pretty good job of showing why. First off, these are very well-built headphones that look like they could survive years of duty before failure. One thing we also really enjoyed was the over-ear design that, paired with the closed back, means that isolation from external noise is superb.
There are also a couple of DJ-specific goodies, such as rotating headphones and swappable cables, making them a solid mid-range pick choice. Price starting at €129.