Top Recommended DJ Headphones
These are my tried & tested DJ headphones. Hopefully I can shed some light on the best headphones I’ve come across and helpful enough I can give you my final recommendation.
I will put a video at the end of this article featuring a whole load of different headphones I tested a while back (ps – the video is a bit long but hopefully of some use to help you buy a pair of headphones for you).
V-Moda Crossfade M-100 Headphones
These headphones are all round amazing, at a price of around £219, by far the most expensive headphones I’ve bought and tested.
For the price though, the quality resonates through the design, comfort and audio quality. If you have the budget then I’d highly recommend these headphones, especially if you like over ear headphones.
- A luxury hard shell carry case, with two cables, in different colours are provided.
- Can plug in the cable into either left or right headphone which is an amazing feature!
- Noise cancelling and over ear which is good for playing loud DJ gigs.
- Price is £220, but you could argue that it comes with a carry case.
- Ever so slightly distorted on the top end of the EQ frequencies when turned up really high in volume.
Sennheiser HD 25 Headphones
These headphones I’ve owned twice in my life. The first time I was impressed, and then because I’m heavy handed DJ, I broke the plastic arm next to one of the ear cups.
The second time I bought them years later, and I’m impressed with the sound quality as I’ve since had a fair few different headphones (aiming to be less heavy handed this time).
- On ear, but still lightweight and comfortable.
- EQ sound is balanced and stereo width feels great. Really great compared to other DJ headphones I’ve tested
- Cable is shortest out of all the headphones.
- Build quality of the plastic feels like it could break fairly easily.
- Could benefit from having a curled cable like the Pioneer headphones to help with distance sometimes.
- On ear headphones, which can sometimes have a bit of sound leak when playing live at loud DJ gigs
Pioneer HDJ-X5 Headphones
These over-ear headphones are the most durable and hard wearing headphones that I’ve come across out of all the headphones I’ve bought.
I bought these headphones due to the price point and the raving reviews online about the durability of the headphones.
- Twisty ear muffs which makes is smoother and easier when moving them on you head.
- Metal is strong that helps to extend the ear cups out, a lot sturdier compared to the Audio-Technica ATH-M20X
- Favourite feature is the cable is curled which is a space saver and doesn’t let you trip up on the cable.
- Tight over ear when first bought, but do losen up over time.
- Bassy as hell, mid is up too a bit, the highs are slightly muffled
Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Headphones
Fairly light over ear headphones and definitely flexible enough to fit on your head with ease.
The sound isn’t as bad as you would expect for the price point. I did find that the mid to high end EQ frequencies were slightly high though, but nothing dramatic to worry about.
I’d advise to get these headphones if you are on a budget and a pure beginner DJ, you simply can’t got wrong for £50.
- Love the slanted angle of the headphone ear cups
- Lightweight compared to other headphones, could wear for a long time.
- Good stereo width of sound
- Ear pads could be more slightly softer
- Sound feels high on the mid to high EQ when turned up really loud, but still pleasant on the ear at reasonable levels.
- Build quality where the headphones extend are made out of “cheap” looking metal which feel like they could break quite easily.
My Top Choice: Sennheiser HD 25 Headphones
The short answer:
- Lightweight, on-ear headphones
- Not too tight on ear
- Stereo field is so well balanced
- Reasonably priced for the audio quality
The long answer…
Price & Quality
For the price I feel the Sennheiser HD 25 headphones are really well balanced in quality, because recently I’ve been trying out a few headphones that I owned prior to purchasing the Sennheiser headphones.
In comparison, the Pioneer headphones I felt were too powerful in volume on my DJ controller, plus the bass and possibly the mid range was too punchy.
The HD 25 Sennheiser model is so super crisp clear audio balanced frequency range. That’s really important to me when DJing.
Professional DJs Use HD-25s
Firstly because I noticed a fair few professional DJs were wearing them on their live DJ sets e.g. Disclosure on Cercle’s YouTube channel.
Secondly because I really geeked out on reading all about the frequency ranges and Ohms metrics associated with the technical specifications of headphones. So this information gave me confidence that I was going to get quality out of a higher purchase price compared to the Pioneer headphones.
I found out too that it’s actually possible to purchase replacement parts for them if they do break. Check out this website here if you need replacement parts.
I’m very happy with my choice, and actually wear them for normal use when listening to music plus use them for music production along side my Beyer Dynamic DT-150 Headphones as an extra pair of headphones for referencing audio production quality. So if you’re a music producer as well as a DJ, then a double whammy of value with the Sennheiser HD 25s.
Buy V-Moda Headphones if within your budget
If you have more money than £150 to spend on headphones, unequivocally I’d highly recommend purchasing the V-Moda Crossfade M-100 Headphones at around £219.
The quality of build, comfort and audio is simply outstanding. The “Ferrari” of headphones in my opinion. You can pay a lot more for V-Moda headphones and the M-100 version is the basic model, which says a lot.
Buy Audio-Technica ATH-M20x if you’re on a budget
Without a doubt if you’re on budget of around £50, the Audio-Technica are the best bang for you buck.
The build quality is definitely great and comfort shines through when you’re wearing them. Just be careful with the headphone adjusters as they are slightly thin metal.
My Advice Before Buying a DJ Headphones
Check Ohms & Frequency range
Be sure to check the frequency range is adequate enough to get a full range of frequency.
The Sennheiser headphones are 16 – 22000 Hz which I feel is more than enough. The Ohms (or sometimes referenced on technical specifications as Nominal Impedance) is 70 Ω according to the Sennheiser website.
The ‘Load Rating’ stated for the HD25 Sennheiser headphones is referenced as 200 mW, compared to the Pioneer HDJ-X5 headphones is 2000mW, which might explain how sensitive they are to how savage the sound volume is when plugged into my Pioneer DJ controller.
Tightness / Weight
Light weight headphones is always a bonus in my opinion. You don’t want something that’s too heavy on your head for long periods of time.
How tight the headphones really does play a part in choosing headphones. Too tight and you will feel like you’ve been in a torture chamber, too soft over your head then they will fall off when you are banging your head to some nice beats in the mix.
Strike a nice balance and you will be set.
Toughness / Replacement Parts
Make sure the headphones you buy have a decent amount of durability. Replacement parts is always a key thing to search online too.
Headphones aren’t cheap, but you can strike a nice balance for not over spending too. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek to find replacement parts to keep on top of their longevity of use.
The headphones I’ve chosen more recently come down to durability, toughness and replacement parts available.
It’s always good to a have a back up pair of headphones too, just in case your main pair are out of action for a while.
On-ear vs Over-ear
There are two type, on-ear and over-ear. Really what it comes down to is personal preference, some people find it easier to have over ear headphones because they don’t press down onto your ears.
Others, like the Sennheiser 25 headphones are on-ear, and press down slightly on your ears. Due to being lightweight they don’t hurt my ears, but after a very long time maybe 4 hours+ they do tend to ache every so slightly. I suppose it depends how big your head is too 😊
Check the length of the cable before purchase. You don’t want a super long cable that you’re going to trip over when DJing, and the same goes for the opposite, you don’t want a cable that’s too short either.
Some cables are spot on in terms of length allowing you to move around enough, e.g. Sennheiser HD 25s are 1.5m long which is spot on.
Other headphones might have a coiled cable which are around a length of 1.2 to 1.5m long, which gives you some practicality of not too much cable flinging about but able to stretch if and when needed.
Do professional DJs use them?
Check DJing videos on YouTube to find out if DJs are using the headphones that you desire. This is sometimes a good indication that they are of decent quality.
Shiny object syndrome
However don’t get caught up in the latest marketing hype just because the hottest DJ in Las Vegas is using a pair of headphones. Usually a DJ is getting sponsored to wear them.
Then the brand manufacturer prices them high because they’ve poured a tonne of marketing budget to promote and market them.
If you’ve got this far and still need a few more options, and only have a budget of about $200, then feel free to check out this full review of 7 different headphones. Always feel free to message me in the comments any questions that you may have.