Every DJ has their unique blend of equipment – some prefer a classic, old-school analog setup, while others favor a more modern, digital approach. Whether your setup revolves around a turntable or a tablet, you always need a good pair of DJ headphones.
You also need the right tech. Mixers, DJ software, and speakers are all essential if you want to share your music with the world. However, it’s often easy to overlook some smaller pieces of equipment, however, such as the best DJ headphones you can lay your ‘ear’ on.
Finding the best DJ headphones are a critical tool for DJs. Without the proper pair, there’s no way to listen to the sounds you’re creating in a recording studio or on stage. After all, you don’t want ambient sound or the screaming of fans to distract you.
We look at ten of the best sets of DJ headphones to suit all budgets, with perennial classics and fresh examples of design all making the grade.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our Equipboard editorial team has a combined 15 years of DJing experience, from vinyl to CDJs to completely laptop based. We know the demands of DJing and we test all the gear ourselves to make sure it passes our rigorous standards before recommending it. In most cases we purchase the headphones ourselves. In the case a manufacturer sends us a pair, we’ll make a note of it in the review, but that in no way influences our decision to include the headphone on this list or omit any of its shortcomings.
10 Best DJ Headphones of 2020:
|Sony MDR-7506||1.00 x 1.00 x 1.00 in||0.50 lbs|
|Pioneer HDJ-X7-K||3.2 x 10.1 x 10.3 in||2.14 pounds|
|Sennheiser HD25||9.64 x 7.36 x 3.3 in||4.9 ounces|
|V-Moda Crossfade M-100||7.1 x 4.4 x 9.4 in||1.8 ounces|
|Numark Red Wave Carbon||2 x 2 x 2 in||7 ounces|
When it comes to portability, the best DJ headphones that we’ve tested are the Sony MDR-7506. They’re very popular in the studio for mixing and mastering, but they’re also very well-suited for DJs on-the-go thanks to their compact, lightweight design. They can tightly fold up into a neat compact format, even with their integrated cable, and won’t weigh down your equipment bag too much.
These over-ears have a well-balanced sound signature, which makes them suitable for a diverse set. Some people find them a bit bass-light, especially during louder live club performances, but this isn’t an issue for everyone. If you play a variety of different gigs, you’ll likely prefer their fairly neutral sound profile compared to all the bass-heavy options out there.
While they feel durable enough to withstand being tossed into your bag a couple of times a day, their cable isn’t detachable. This can also be a pain if the cable breaks during a gig – since it’s not replaceable, you’ll need to use something else for the remainder of your set. They also don’t have the most secure fit, so if you tend to really get in the groove when you spin, you might want to keep a hand on them to make sure they don’t go flying off your head. That said, if you’re playing a tamer gig, you shouldn’t have any issues.
- Super clear and focused sound
- Long-lasting performance with a durable cord
- Reasonably affordable pricing
- Excellent for transportation
- Hurt your ears after a while
- Can’t remove the cord
If you have a bit of extra cash to splash on your tools, but you still want to keep costs reasonably low, then check out this headset from Pioneer. The HDKJ-X7-K delivers outstanding sound, designed following feedback from experts. This headset comes with newly developed drivers so you can enjoy cleaner monitoring even at higher volumes. What’s more, the high-performance cable ensures excellent channel separation.
Like many of the best DJ headphones, this headset is entirely adjustable. You can swivel the earcups to suit you and wear your headset however you prefer. There’s also no need to worry about bumps and knocks during travel because these headphones are extra durable.
- Durable design great for travel
- Fantastic adjustable components
- Swiveling headphones
- Drivers sound great
- A little tight around the head for some
Like pizza toppings or Tinder matches, DJ headphones are a deeply personal choice. Most of us are looking for the same key features when it comes to headphones – comfort, clarity and punchy sound for clear monitoring when cueing tracks – but everyone has a different idea of what that means. One person’s idea of comfortable headphones might not work for another’s head shape. One person’s idea of punchy sound might even be another’s idea of harsh and tiring.
Sennheiser’s tried-and-trusted HD25s might be the closest thing we get to a consensus among the Juno team. Originally designed as broadcast headphones, their sound and comfort have proved hugely popular among DJs since they were first released way back in 1988 (and plenty of producers like them for studio work too).
Aside from durability that belies their apparently lightweight construction, the HD25s are a hit thanks to their no-nonsense sound and We’d go for the Plus version, which includes a coiled cable (handy for moving around a DJ booth), replacement velour ear cushions and a protective pouch to keep them safe in your bag.
- Durable and lightweight design
- Excellent high sound pressure performance
- Rotatable capsule so you can enjoy single-ear listening
- Fantastic comfort even when worn for long periods
- The plastic frame is a little flimsy in some places
- Ear cups might be too small for some
The original V-MODA M-100 headphones were a mainstay of our DJ headphone guide, so there was plenty of excitement to get our hands on their successors, the M-100 Crossfade Master.
It could be seen on the heads of DJs worldwide, leaving the M-100 Crossfade Master to fill some big shoes. We’re happy to say these are even better; subtle improvements all around, but improvements nonetheless.
For the uninitiated, V-MODA has carved their niche in the crowded headphone space by offering a blend of style and substance. The company ethos has valued design from the beginning.
The build quality is excellent. They’re fairly hefty (9.98 oz / 283g) and use a mix of materials, though they are metal on the stress points where it counts.
Even the cables are luxurious. Two are included, a 1-Button Microphone Cable and a SharePlay cable (which lets another cable plug in and listen to the same audio source). They have a really nice woven feel, thought for DJs we would recommend buying V-MODA’s CoilPro cable.
- Excellent Build Quality
- Warm Low End
- Replaceable Panels
- Strong Isolation
- Not Great For Large Heads
If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to the Pioneer or Sennheiser range or you are looking for something to tide you over then look no further than the Numark Red Wave Carbon headphones, which are fantastic value for money and do not compromise on quality.
The Red Waves are an over-ear closed-back style headphone with tiltable earpieces, are highly durable, collapsible, and they look the part too.
They have a frequency response of 15Hz to 20kHz, impedance of 24 ohms, the maximum power input of 350mW, and SPL of 120dB and weigh in at only 280g. Within the Red Wave Carbons are 50mm neodymium powered driver units for optimal bass reproduction. The coiled (1m to 3m) cable is removable and comes with a 3.5mm jack TRS and 6.3mm jack TRS audio connection, and a carry bag.
- Large Frequency Range
- Good Fit
- Great For Travel
- Affordable Price Point
- Locked Cable
These headphones are well-rounded in what they are able to deliver. Astonishing clarity, high-quality sound separation, and enough sound insulation when performing. They also boast a great level of comfort, which is definitely useful for when you’re playing those long sets and a cheap pair of headphones would cause discomfort.
Although beautiful and high quality, the general consensus is mixed here. It’ll definitely fall down to your preference simply due to the number of other headphones on the market and what you find valuable in a good pair of headphones. If you’re looking for high-quality sound, separation, and insulation with an ample amount of comfort, these are a good choice. There may well be better value headphones on the market with better durability but comfort is something that Pioneer has definitely strived for with the Pro DJ MK2.
- Lovely banding that allows for a snug fit
- High-quality sound
- The newer ones have metal parts for incredibly durability
- Sound a little flat in some places
- Rather large
Coming in at number one on our list are the Dynamic Studio Pro’s. These DJ headphones are our top pick by a mile. Providing excellent sound and comfort as well as a great swivel mechanism, the Dynamic Studio Pro headphones are our best pick for 2020.
The 50mm neodymium driver reproduces all your music’s dynamics and delivers controlled bass that DJs need.
The Dynamic Studio Pro’s are ideal for DJ digital mixing, mixer panelling, turntables, monitoring in recording studios, radio, film production, video, electronic news gathering–and virtually any application where high quality sound is required.
Among the many features of these headphones, they are also not too heavy on the wallet and can usually be had with 10% off from retailer Shopsta (use the promo code they always have on the homepage).
If you need a pair that will provides high comfort, great sound quality and a great price… go for these.
- Excellent at blocking out excess sound
- Accurate response level
- Even mid-range performance
- Bluetooth for fewer wires
- Not the best for bass
Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones are extremely popular among DJs. Don’t be surprised if you notice famous DJs wearing these headphones around their neck.
The 45 mm large-aperture drivers comprise rare earth magnets and they’re connected and powered by copper-covered aluminum wire voice coils. The result ― a clear, crisp and flat response. While your regular headphones provide you with a great experience by configuring the sound or enhancing the bass, good-quality DJ headphones don’t put in a lot of effort to mold the sound.
It provides you with a frequency response between 15 Hz and 28 kHz, that is more than what you typically need for an average mix. When it comes to impedance, the headphones work at 38 W. Apart from the sound performance, the headphones come with a sturdy built, properly contoured ear pads, 90-degree swiveling ear cups, and great comfort.
While they sound perfect, they feel comfortable on your ears and are less prone to breakage. Our experts simply loved the stylish black rubberized PVC exterior finish and the velvety lining.
- Value for money
- Sturdily built, durable
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Detachable headphone cables
- Mids are a little more balanced so they provide better sound separation
- Some users have mentioned that the headphones have a very narrow soundstage
AIAIAI Audio is not a well-known name compared to Sennheiser or Audio-Technica, but their headphones for DJing are trusted by DJs worldwide because they were made by DJs, for DJs.
The TMA-2 DJ headphones are modular DJ headphones, meaning you can build, upgrade and replace its parts as well as choose which parts it has. The TMA-2 DJs are on-ear headphones that were developed by professionals for use on stages while DJing.
The drivers in the TMA-2 DJs are titanium coated for a punchy sound with little to no distortion. An internal vent helps to keep your ears and headphones from getting too warm, and also helps add an extra thump to the low-end. It has a frequency response range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, which is plenty wide for capturing detail and an accurate soundstage.
Sound isn’t the only great quality of these high-end headphones – they are also super comfortable. They have a durable nylon headband, memory foam cushions, leather ear pads that provide you with an extremely comfortable and sturdy headphone that also helps keep background noise out, making them great for live performances, especially with bass heavy music.
The headband is very easy to clean as it has a silicone grip to keep it on your head, and the ear cushions are great for producing some intense sound representation.
- Modular, you can build them from scratch with the parts of your choice or choose a base model to buy
- Very easy to clean and maintain
- Sounds especially punchy in the low-end range
- Cable is especially short for being DJ headphones
- Accentuates the bass frequencies and is tuned to be less accurate, more pleasurable
10. Tascam TH-02
While we were testing the Tascam TH-02 DJ headphones, we had no idea about the product’s price. And, when we finally found out the price, we were stunned!
Yes, we’re not exaggerating here. Tascam TH-02 headphones are extremely pocket-friendly. Moreover, they’re good for beginners and experts. They’re probably the best DJ headphones under 50 dollars.
The headphones offer a frequency response between 18 Hz and 22 kHz which pretty much cover the entire spectrum. The sound handling is also pretty decent at 98 dB; however, at 32 ohms, they’re on the lower side of the impedance list. Nevertheless, the headphones produce clean highs, clear mids and rich lows. The bass is good enough to produce the lows of heavy-metal music, the mids are fairly clear and even and the highs are not tiring. The 50 mm drives are great for the low price of the headphones. All in all, the headphones produce clear sound and perform well during high-energy performances.
- Affordable, budget-friendly
- Foldable design to carry them easily
- Clean sound and rich bass
- Closed-back dynamic design
- The headphones are somewhat uncomfortable to wear for long duration and the ears start hurting, especially larger ears
What to look for in the DJ headphones
Any DJ or Producer looking to purchase a pair of headphones will be making their choice based on four main things.
- Audio Quality: The first being the quality of the audio delivered by the headphones, both producers and DJs want to hear a balanced sound from their equipment. Having headphones that add colour to the sound, especially in the low end, can sound pleasing when you’re listening for pleasure but they will be hard to work with and can easily distort.
- Comfort: When you’re working regularly and often for long periods of time you need to be completely comfortable to keep concentration. Even if I had the best sounding headphones in the world they would be no good to me if they hurt my ears, felt too heavy or became uncomfortable after wearing them for half an hour.
- Durability: Especially when talking about DJ’s, but the same will apply to a lot of producers as they will be purchasing headphones as a means to work on the move and in mobile locations, your headphones will be put through the works travelling around with you and being used in plenty of unsavoury locations.
Can you use DJ Headphones for Gaming?
DJ headphones can indeed be used for gaming and they also come with some distinct advantages. The first is that the sound quality of headphones can further immerse you in the rich tapestry that modern games provide in story modes. On top of that, the same sound quality can be used to increase performance in FPS games.
DJ headphones can be tuned differently to further amplify certain sounds, depending on the model and the monitoring hardware tuners that they come with. Other than that, there aren’t too many other benefits of having DJ headphones over regular gaming headphones. If you’re a DJ and you already need DJ headphones, they’re just as useful as gaming headphones. If you need both and you can only pick one, then pick DJ headphones. You’ll have a pair of headphones that is useful for both endeavors. If you’re very into gaming as well and you like to game with friends, then make sure you get yourself headphones with a microphone built-in or you’ll have issues communicating with teammates.
Sometimes, it is very hard to decide which are the best DJ headphones. There are some important features worth being considered before buying your next pair.
So, the first things that usually come to mind are quality and volume. Quality is a good point because any headphones should be able to deliver you the desired sound, but volume is mostly a wrong aspect to concentrate on. DJs are always in noisy environments so it would be right to think how to block the unnecessary noise for your health and productivity.