If you are a DJ, and you want to find a new set of DJ headphones after your old one got broken, or you are learning DJ and try to find out a good one to begin. You absolutely got tired of reading so many marketing articles and reviews out there, which say that their headphones are the best one with a lot of high-end technology. You are at the same situation like me before. I failed to find the best from many DJ headphones out there at first. Because, you know, there are no such things as the best DJ headphones. This one is the best for me, but the worst for you. It depends on many factors.
What are the differences between DJ & regular headphones?
Swiveling ear cups
DJ often uses only one ear to listen to the monitor speaker and the other for the incoming track at the same time for accurate beatmatching. So that DJ headphones have swiveling ear cups, while the normal ones don’t.
Most regular headphones are design with 1/8’’ (3.5mm)’ jack; it’s the size of an iPod, iPhone plug. However, DJ headphones have to work with mixers that only have the larger 1/4’’ (6.25mm) jack. So make sure yours come with a 1/4″ jack.
Closed ear design
It would be hard for a DJ to use normal headphones in a loud club environment. The padding on DJ headphones surrounds your ear and forms a seal to isolate background noise, so DJ can beat-match accurately without distraction.
Do they collapse and fold into a portable shape? Moreover, are they come with a carry case? DJ has to move between many places a night to perform so headphones that don’t fold nicely will be very easy to break during transport.
Single Cord Design
DJ headphones don’t have to cords attached to the headset like normal ones, they only have one side. It’s for less tangles and booth accidents.
It’s very easy to get tangled up in the straight version, and your cans and the mixing console they’re plugged into can be damaged easily if they’re ripped from your head by someone standing on the cable in a busy DJ booth. Moreover, coiled cable is long so you can move away from the gear to dig through your bag at the back of the booth or to get your drink…
So how to choose the best DJ headphones for you?
You already know how DJ headphones are different from normal, then what make the best one. In my opinion, there are three main factors:
Probably the most important criteria are the sound quality. The headphone sound includes the quality of its bass response, loudness, stereo image, frequency separation, and its noise-cancelling feature. A good set of DJ headphones will have a nice sound signature that allows the DJ to make adjustments easily and clearly or changes accordingly throughout the mix. It’s important to have a well-balanced sound; too much bass drowns out a song’s kick drums, snares, and hi-hats, making it harder to beat-mach.
You may find yourself in the situation where there is a delay (in milliseconds) in the sound coming from the dance floor and the booth monitor, in which case you’re probably want to turn off the booth sound and cue and beat match in your headphones.
Make sure that after a few hours of mixing, they remain comfortable on your ears. The more important thing is they don’t annoy you when they’re hanging around your neck, because they stay round your necks for much of the time. They should be not too tight, and fit the shape of your ears properly. Therefore, you may consider some key factors: size adjustability, comfort of the headband and the ear cups. The driver diameter of headphones can be anything between 35mm to 53mm.
You have to consider what your headphones made of and whether the cable is replaceable or removable, since they have a hard life and too much risk of damage in club environments. If the material used to make your headphones is plastics, they are lighter; however, they will last longer if they are made of metal. It’s also important to check whether they come with detachable / replaceable parts. You don’t have to buy a new one if any parts get broken. Therefore, you should look for metal build, detachable / replaceable parts and strong hinges. However, remember to have a backup headphones, you can’t image how hard to continue your gig when your primary one gets not working. It can be cheap, not excellent sound, or not durable but enough for your temporary need.
Check out the 5 Best DJ Headphones on the market right now:
1. V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone
2. Beats Mixr Wired On-Ear Headphone
3. Sennheiser HD25-1 II Closed-Back Headphones
4. Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-2000MK2-S DJ Headphone