Why DJ Headphones?
DJ headphones have unique features that let it stand out when compared to gaming headphones and Studio headphones.
For one, they need not necessarily have an inbuilt microphone as it would be a redundant feature for a DJ to use.
Secondly, unlike studio and Gaming headphones, DJ headphones boost the base for the ease of mixing and matching different tracks.
Another vital feature is the swivelling mechanism of the earpieces, as many, if not most DJs, prefer to hear their tracks in one year while blocking the other one out to hear what the audience hears.
Features To Look Out For When You Buy a DJ Headphone
This is an integral mechanism of a DJ headphone as it helps with mixing different music with ease. This is done to make sure that DJing is comfortable as usually one ear is covered, whereas the other isn’t.
Noise Cancellation System
Being in a noisy environment can create confusion, especially for a DJ who needs to concentrate on his mixes. Noise cancellation systems can help solve this issue to a large extent.
DJ headphones tend to be on the costlier side of the spectrum of headphones. Hence it would be questionable to buy headphones that have amazing features but end up breaking within a month or two.
For a DJ, enhanced bass notes and lighter trebles can go a long way when it comes to mixing two audio tracks. This means usual gaming headphones which do the opposite, or studio earphones which keep the music unaltered can end up having adverse consequences on the user.
High Amplitude Performance
DJs usually use their headphones at max volume, and this might not only damage the DJ’s ears if the quality isn’t great, but can also damage the internal mechanisms of the headphones.
Five Budget Earphones For You
After careful consideration of various options present online, we’ve come up with a comprehensive list of what we think are effective DJ headphones, which don’t make you file for bankruptcy!
Sennheiser HD 25 Light
- These headphones clear the bare minimum requirements of a good DJ headphone while stripping off any unwanted features, making it one of the most ergonomic options in this list.
- It weighs about 110g, and the minimalistic design doesn’t alter the decent durability of these headphones.
The frequency range varies from 30 Hz to 16 kHz, which is serviceable. They however lack some lower frequencies (25-30 Hz) and higher frequencies (16- 25 kHz).
They also have a top-notch noise cancellation system, even for its dimensions and cost. Audio quality could be better, but at these price ranges, the HD 25 light outperforms all of its contemporaries in this field.
This is a point of contention for the HD 25 Light, as it is an on-ear setup, which can lead to fatigue after using it for long periods. It also lacks proper cushioning on the headband and can lead to stress around the ear and head.
Moreover, it lacks spiral cable and goes for a conventional linear cable, which can create quite a lot of hassle at times when you have to focus on the music.
The minimalist design of the headphone adds to the long-term durability of the HD 25 Light. It’s made of strong and durable plastics but doesn’t have anything that stands out about it compared to its contemporaries in the market today.
These are cheap compared to other DJ headphones (Except for a few) as it satisfies the bare minimum requirements, while also making sure that these minimal features present in the headphones are one of the best in the market.
These headphones are the definition of having whatever is a necessity, while removing all other features, resulting in an ultimately simplistic and ergonomic design which will leave you surprised.
Comfort is never a priority for these headphones, but if you’re willing to overlook that downside, you’ve found your best match.
Sennheiser HD 25 Plus
- The OG headphone which the industry values to this day, the HD 25 Plus is an upgrade to the HD Light.
- It takes the ergonomic design of the Sennheiser HD 25 Light and cranks the comfort up a notch.
- The HD 25 Plus has a splayed, padded headband, reducing stress around the head.
- They still have the on-ear design of the HD 25 Light, which might cause pain around the ears.
It takes the ergonomic design of the Sennheiser HD 25 Light and cranks the comfort up a notch, by adding a splayed, padded headband. They still have the inferior on-ear design of the HD 25 Light, but still, it’s an upgrade in the comfort department.
These headphones are more durable than the HD 25 Light. They are also more than serviceable for their price range. However, similar to the HD 25 Light, it doesn’t have any specific features to help with its durability and survivability.
Costlier than its counterpart and the costliest in this list, it is still cheaper than most headphones in the market. It is definitely worth the investment, thanks to the large array of features that it boasts.
It is no surprise as to why the music industry values these headphones to such an extent. They have been widely used since the 90s, and have never lost relevance. This is partly thanks to constant updates and changes to the original.
Compared to the HD 25 Plus, this can be seen as the option with better performance. These features however come at a higher relative cost.
If you are willing to pay for more features, then this might be the one for you.
Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5
- A solid contender in the industry, the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5 series comes with 40 mm speaker drivers.
- It comes in 3 colours: – Red, Black, and Blue.
- These headphones are versatile, being viable in both professional and casual uses.
- It also comes in a Bluetooth compatible variant the HDJ-X5BT at a higher price to offset this feature.
It has a large dynamic frequency range varying from 5Hz to 30 kHz. It comes with an in-built microphone set up.
When compared to the more professional X-10 series, the X-5 falls short in various departments, like sound quality, the distinction between left and right ear sounds, etc.
However, X-5 is much more affordable than the X-10 series, while having a pretty capable and adequate performance for DJing.
The casual design of the X-5 series makes it more comfortable to use outside a professional setting. The over-ear design of these headphones gives it an edge over the standard on-ear option present in the market when it comes to comfort. The synthetic cushioning also helps with ease of use for long durations of time.
The headphones are made of light plastics, and are pretty durable to shear and longitudinal stress, and have passed the US Military Standard shock test. However, these headphones aren’t too flexible. This might lead to fractures if the headphones are pulled a bit too far from each other.
These headphones are comparable in cost to the Sennheiser HD 25 Light, making it one of the cheapest DJ Headphones in the market. On a head-on comparison with the HD 25 light, it offsets the poorer performance by being more comfortable to use and handle.
If you want to go for cheaper DJ headphones, but also want the comfort of costlier ones at a slightly poorer performance, these would fit the bill.
The comfort and durability also make it amazing for casual usage, and the portability also helps.
Behringer HC 200
- The HC 200 comes with a standard middle of the line features.
- It also supports USB connectivity, making it extremely flexible.
- The low price of HC 200 means that the features it possesses are very limited compared to the others on this list.
The performance of the HC 200 is adequate for a DJ, although nothing stands explicitly out when compared to Sennheiser and Pioneer. It lacks richness in lower frequencies, meaning that bass will always lack the “oomph”.
The frequency range is a standard 21 Hz to 18 kHz, and the higher frequency cap is much lesser than what’s available in the market.
The sound quality is pretty good though, and more than adequate for people who are looking for something that isn’t the best in performance, but passable and adequate.
The HC 200 is extremely comfortable to use, with a completely cushioned headband, and over-ear design, with high-quality cushion around the rims. It does have a downside of being much heavier compared to others, especially the Sennheiser, which is half the weight as the HC 200.
It has a rigid structure that is extremely durable to any form of force and tension. It is similar in structure to the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5, although much weaker structurally, as the X-5 has undergone rigorous military-grade testing.
The main reason for the structural strength is the rugged way in which it is built, which has a side effect of being much heavier than usual.
The Behringer HC 200 puts other companies to shame when it comes to their pricing, which is demonstrably cheaper than the other brands mentioned like Sennheiser and Pioneer.
It is so cheap that you can buy multiple of these and still spend less than the others on this list. We can call the HC 200 the “Ford Model T” of headphones, as it mimics the Ford Model T by being average to good in performance, but the cheap production cost makes it one of the most competitive DJ headphone brands in the market.
If you want to invest in DJ headphones but don’t want to spend too much, then the HC 200 for you.
It’s not the best in terms of features and performance, but it might be the most cost-efficient option out there.
OneOdio Studio Pro-10
- It boasts excellent versatility when it comes to cable choice, with both a ¼” and 1/8″ cable available for attachment.
- This headphone is also similar to the HC 200, lacking in specific features but specialising on a cheaper budget
The Studio Pro-10 has a dynamic frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz. It has Neodymium drivers, which provide a better bass response and overall stellar sound quality, albeit inferior to those that cost twice as much.
The closed-back structure helps in drowning external sounds, and the noise cancellation system isn’t anything special but is more than adequate for professional use.
The Studio Pro-10 is quite comfortable for its price range, with padded ear cushions. This feature makes sure you don’t face fatigue around your ears and head. It’s also pretty light for its durability, leading to overall less stress.
It’s built with rugged practicality in mind, and cannot break so easily. To add on, it has a leatherette layer over the ear cushions. This makes it more resistant to moisture and sweat, thereby increasing the lifespan of the headphones.
This is another pair of headphones that keep the cost as its primary factor, similar to the HC 200. For the price, it provides decent performance, while also being durable in the long run. The cost comparison does vary across regions, but overall, in the UK, it comes out to be pretty cheap.
This is another example of a fantastic pair of DJ headphones that are also easily affordable by ordinary users.
It is a slightly costlier, but more comfortable version of the HC 200. If you feel like the trade is a valid one, then this choice is for you.
In the end, the headphone that you want depends on your tastes, requirements, specifications and budget. All the headphones mentioned above have their quirks, specialities, and performance levels.
If you are looking to save money, then going for OneOdio or Behringer would be preferred. For top-notch audio quality while trading off comfort, going for the Sennheiser HD Light would be the best option.
If you value durability and want comfortable headphones, at the cost of slightly poorer performance, going for the Pioneer would be your best bet.