The 10 Best DJ Headphones

Updated October 28, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best DJ Headphones
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. You'll keep the club jumping but never miss a beat with any of these fine DJ headphones. We've found models in a variety of price ranges and ranked them by audio fidelity, durability, and style to help you find the best pair on the market for your needs. Go ahead and pump up the bass; these models can handle whatever you throw at them. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best dj headphone on Amazon.

10. AKG K 240

The AKG K 240 have a classic look and semi-open studio cups. They give off a retro vibe that old school DJs will love, and their self-adjusting headband ensures a secure fit that won't slip off as you nod your head to the beat.
  • even sound good with mobile devices
  • extra long nine-foot cable
  • earcups get very hot
Brand AKG
Model K240STUDIO
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Pioneer HDJ500

The Pioneer HDJ500 can be found in a range of colors, like lime green, violet, and red, so you can match them to your other gear. Their sound reproduction is good for the price, but for some reason they have designed them to allow only the right earcup to swivel.
  • not muddy at high volumes
  • can be tight on large heads
  • don't come with a bag or case
Brand Pioneer
Model HDJ500V
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Monster NCredible NPulse

The Monster NCredible NPulse were designed with a focus on sound clarity, which explains a lot because their appearance leaves a little something to be desired. They offer a reasonable degree of passive noise isolation and don't cost an arm and a leg.
  • comfortable for long periods of use
  • don't seem overly durable
  • cable is to too short
Brand Monster NCredible NPuls
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Denon DNHP1100

With a closed back design and 180-degree swivel cups, the Denon DNHP1100 have been engineered with comfort in mind, but don't sacrifice sound quality in the process. They have replaceable earpads and 53mm drivers for great low end bass.
  • band fits nearly any head size
  • etched with denon dj logo
  • earcups pivot in two spots
Brand Denon DJ
Model HP1100
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Sennheiser HD 25 Plus

OK. So they don't look all that cool, but you'll surely be impressed by the sound coming out of the Sennheiser HD 25 Plus. They can handle high pressure levels without crackling, and they come with two cables and an extra set of velour earpads.
  • wide frequency response range
  • highly sensitive voice coils
  • don't fold up for storage
Brand Sennheiser
Model HD 25 Plus
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Beats Mixr

The Beats Mixr have a lot of unique features that not only make them a good choice for DJs, but also great for all around music listening. They can be daisy chained, allowing you to share what you are listening to, and they are durable enough to withstand constant use.
  • available in over 10 color choices
  • come with an airline adapter
  • aluminum alloy frame
Brand Beats Mixr
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Pioneer Pro HDJ-2000MK2-K

The sleek and stylish Pioneer Pro HDJ-2000MK2-K produce highly detailed sound with rich bass and crystal clear highs. They have a durable body that can stand up to harsh club conditions and daily touring, even for the busiest DJs.
  • fantastic passive noise isolation
  • soft faux leather earcups
  • feel lightweight on the head
Brand Pioneer
Model HDJ-2000MK2-K
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x have a deep resounding bass that will surprise you considering their reasonable price point, yet it doesn't overpower the vocals and mid-range sounds, so you end up with very well-balanced audio coming out of your cans.
  • cups swivel 90 degrees
  • adjustable padded headband
  • gold-plated connector
Brand Audio-Technica
Model ATH-M50x
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Numark HF325

The Numark HF325 offer studio-quality acoustics for a budget price, making them ideal for DJs who need great sound reproduction, but are still struggling to land gigs. They have cool graphics on each ear, so you'll look stylish as you create some jaw-dropping mixes.
  • tight and crisp bass
  • well-cushioned earcups
  • come with a quarter-inch adapter
Brand Numark
Model HF325
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Sennheiser HD 8

The cups on the Sennheiser HD 8 have an elliptical shape that fits comfortably over the ears. It is a closed-back model that produces a good level of noise isolation and can conveniently be folded up and put into the included case for travel.
  • include a coiled and straight cable
  • cables can attach to either side
  • allow for easy one-ear monitoring
Brand Sennheiser
Model HD 8 DJ
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Are DJ Headphones Really Any Different Than Standard Headphones?

Many people often wonder if there is any true difference between a regular pair of headphones one might purchase to listen to tunes on their phone and the kinds that are worn by DJs when performing on stage. Is it just marketing hype or are there really significant differences under the hood, or perhaps we should say under the cans? Well, it is a little bit of both, actually. DJ headphones do function just like any old pair of headphones, or earbuds for that matter, but they do also have additional features that make them perfectly suited to live performances in loud club and concert environments.

Inside every pair of headphones you will find a small loudspeaker that looks much like a woofer found in a standard set of home or car speakers. Inside of the loudspeaker there is a clear diaphragm or cone, usually with minuscule holes to allow sound and air to move through it, a voice coil, and a permanent magnet. An alternating current is passed through a cable and into the voice coil, which then generates a magnetic field. This magnetic field is repelled by and attracted to the permanent magnet causing anywhere from 20 to 20,000 small movements a second based on the amount of current the voice coil is being exposed to. These small movements change the air pressure around the diaphragm creating audible sound waves. This is the process by which every pair of headphones, from the cheapest $5 pair of knock off earbuds up to a $2,000 pair crafted specifically for the most diehard audiophiles, creates music.

Headphones purposely built for DJing will usually have a closed-back design. This improves their noise isolation capabilities, making them better suited to use in loud club settings. If a DJ were to use open-backed headphones, more of the external sound would bleed in and make it harder to hear the music being cued. A high level of noise isolation also allows a DJ to listen to music in their headphones at a lower volume level while mixing tunes, since they won't have to compete as heavily with external sounds. This can reduce the chances of experiencing hearing loss later in life.

Swiveling cans are another feature commonly found in DJ headphones. This permits a DJ to remove the earcup from one ear while leaving the other earcup firmly sealed against their head. This is known as single-sided monitoring. DJs do it when they need to monitor the sound coming out of the live speakers while also cuing up their next track. Some DJ headphones have cups that swivel a full 180 degrees, allowing them to lie flat against the chest when the band is resting on the neck. This can be especially convenient for DJs who often spend time speaking through a microphone as there is less chance of the cans muffling their voice or knocking against the mic. Models can be found with either one or two swiveling earcups.

Finding The Right Pair Of DJ Headphones

Now that we have a firm understanding of what makes a pair of headphones DJ headphones, what should one look for when choosing the best pair for their needs? In attempt at brevity, we will skip past the most obvious requirement, good sound, and move on to often overlooked features, comfort and style.

The average DJ set runs anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes, and resident club DJs can often be found playing 4 to 5 hour sets, or longer. That is just on performance nights. There are countless hours spent practicing and tweaking a set for the live gig. Considering the amount of time that DJ headphones will be affixed to your head, it is important to get a pair that offers the utmost comfort. This will often be determined by the weight, bulkiness of the cans, band style and padding, as well as how plush the earmuffs are and the material they are made from. The lighter a pair of headphones are, the less strain they will place on your neck, but you can't just buy the lightest model possible without regard to other factors, such as build quality and material. Ideally one should look for a pair of headphones that are made from either an aluminum or magnesium alloy. These alloys are both lightweight and sturdy enough to withstand regular use, as well as being tossed into a bag for travel to and from gigs.

Earmuffs made out of a natural material, such as leather, will often be cooler and more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. They will also be on the higher end of the price spectrum, though. If you cannot afford a model with natural leather, at least look for one with very plush earmuffs made out of some type of breathable material. The amount of padding on the headband can also make a big difference in comfort, as well as how adjustable it is. The more adjustment a band allows, the better you will be able to fit it to your head size.

Style might not be the first thing people consider when picking out their next pair of DJ headphones, and if all you do is practice in your house, it shouldn't be. On the other hand, if you will be performing live on stage with hundreds or thousands of people watching you, you might want to look good while you are up there. Models can be found in a range of colors, with cool logos or graphics, and in some very unique designs to help you stand apart from the crowd.

A DJ In The Navy?

The first patent given for headphones was awarded to Ernest Mercadier, a French Engineer, in 1891. They had an in-ear design and were created for telephone operators. Impressively, they even had basic noise isolation properties to block out the voices of other operators in the room.

The next stage in the evolution of headphones happened in 1910, when Nathaniel Baldwin began producing sets by hand in his home and selling them to the American military, specifically the Navy. This follows a common theme in history where great strides in innovation were made with the military in mind. Unfortunately, both the sets invented in the 1890s and those intended for the navy had minimal padding, were uncomfortable to wear for long periods, and some even shocked the users when they tried to adjust them.

The first headphones developed for stereo use came about in 1958, when jazz musician John. C. Koss collaborated with engineer Martin Lange Jr. to create a portable phonograph that had attached speakers and a privacy switch to allow for single-person listening. Along with the phonograph, they released the SP/3, the world's first stereophone. The invention of the Walkman in the late 1970s and its explosion in popularity throughout the '80s and '90s is what truly helped make headphones a common household item.

Since that time, the development of headphones has gone through various stages, at times with a focus on becoming smaller, lighter, and more portable, while at other times with a focus on enhanced sound quality and higher volume capabilities. There is now a pair of headphones on the market to meet every consumer demand, from compact sports earbuds perfect for running on the treadmill or even waterproof models that can be used while swimming, to high end pairs designed for audiophiles and DJs.

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Last updated on October 28, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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