10 Best DJ Headphones | April 2017
- have an extra long and thick cable
- swiveling earcup to monitor house audio
- may make your ears sweat
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
- comes with a $5 voucher for beatport.com
- includes leather and synthetic ear pads
- headband isn't very durable
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
- wide dynamic range
- detachable input cable
- comfortable even after hours of use
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
- comes with a coiled and straight cable
- easily withstand daily use and abuse
- don't get as loud as other models
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- tangle free cable
- passive noise canceling
- form fitting headband won't slip
|Brand||Monster NCredible NPuls|
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- includes a stylish leather carrying bag
- etched with denon dj logo
- semi-coiled soft insulated cord
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
- collapsible design for easy portability
- adjustable padded headband
- gold-plated stereo 1/8" connector
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
- cable can be attached to either side
- includes a premium protective case
- sturdy metal-crafted reinforced parts
|Model||HD 8 DJ|
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
- over ear cups for good noise isolation
- designed for use with pro-grade mixers
- rotating ear cups for single ear use
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
- thick, high-quality diaphragm
- soft and flexible protein leather muffs
- made from a lightweight magnesium alloy
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
Blue Team Vs. Red Team
DJ headphones essentially work the same way as any other headphones do: an electrical signal is amplified by a magnetic interface that causes specific vibrations in a particularly designed cone.
But there's a key design difference between DJ headphones and other headphones you might buy to listen to your music at home or out in the world.
Check out this graph for an example. To the left are your low end sounds like the bass. As you move to the right, you pass the mids where snare drums and vocals live. Toward the right side are your highs, like a high hat or some wailing guitar work.
Most home headphones look more like the blue line. They have a more limited bass response with increasing emphasis on vocals and high end output. The sound in these types of cans is usually very clear, even when it isn't as dance-inducing.
The red line, on the other hand, is more representative of a typical DJ headphone, as it has a much more sensitive low end, enough to get your low end shaking, if you catch my drift.
Imagine you're DJing at a loud nightclub. The sound systems in these clubs can pump enough low end to make you sick, so if your headphones are weak in that department, you won't be able to match up the beats between the track that's playing and whatever you have on deck.
Vocals and high end don't get quite the same punch, but you do see little spikes along the way to the right. These are intended to capture and isolate certain highs, like a high hat, which will allow you to achive a more accurate and nuanced alignment between tracks.
The only problem with this kind of frequency map is that it doesn't sound particularly as good on its own, making the majority of DJ headphones less than ideal for use around the house.
Adrift On A Sea Of Cans
At this point, there may very well be more headphone brands and models on the market than there are turntables. That can make it seem like you're about to make a very precarious decision that could make or break you as a DJ.
Really, though, it isn't all that serious. If you check off a few items on a list of must-haves for your DJ headphones, you'll do just fine.
Firstly, go take a look in the mirror. Are your ears big enough that a magical feather is the only thing stopping you from flying? If that's the case (or close to it), you'll want to get a bigger looking pair of headphones, otherwise those enormous ears of yours might make it tough for your headphones to isolate the exterior noise.
Next, take a look at the collared shirts in your wardrobe. Do you have a neck like a tree trunk? Make sure you get a pair of headphones that's deep enough not to choke you while you work.
As far as the price point goes, the more you spend the more features you're going to get, like interchangeable cords that can be plugged in on either side, hard carrying cases to protect your cans, and more. Ask yourself what you're willing to spend, what seems like a necessity and what seems like a luxury, and you'll make a fine decision.
A DJ In The Navy?
Like a lot of innovation in history, the first headphones were made for and sold to the military, specifically the navy in this case.
These early headphones of the 1920s had an unfortunate side effect of sometimes electrocuting their operators whenever they tried to adjust them.
Since these units were particularly uncomfortable, those adjustments were needed often.The problem was eventually fixed, but not before it caused some grief.
It wasn't really until the introduction of the Walkman in the late 70s, and its explosion in popularity throughout the 80s and 90s that headphones became a common household item.
By this time, though, DJs had already been spinning their records and using high-fidelity studio headphones that look more like the tools of air traffic controllers signaling semaphore on the tarmac than musical implements.
The two styles merged as the century turned over and more casual listeners began to demand higher quality sound.
Advances in the control of frequency response, especially since the advent of 3-D printing, have allowed for the development of ranges and highlights that can be aimed at different demographics, from DJs to audiophiles.