Choosing the best DJ headphones can be difficult – it’s a big decision. If you’re a DJ then you will no doubt be very careful about the headphones you choose for monitoring. While it’s possible to DJ with a pair of ordinary Hi-Fi headphones, you will likely not be very happy with the result.
DJ monitoring has some very specific requirements, which are quite different to other types of listening. This article is meant to offer some advice with choosing the best pair of DJ headphone. DJing presents a tough listening environment and you will need to ensure you have the right equipment to be successful and get the most out of it.
Below are a few key points to think about when choosing DJ headphones.
Good isolation from external sound
While you cue up the next track you need to be able to monitor without interference from the sound being played over the speakers, so headphones with good sound isolation are a must
Good DJ headphones are nearly always of the closed back (or sealed) design, which means you can focus on getting the beats matched perfectly without any external distractions.
When you think you got the beat match spot on you will want to compare the beats of your new tune with the sound coming out of the speakers. Swivel earcups are a convenient way of monitoring the audio coming through the speakers. You just rotate one earcup and hey presto you can hear your new track and the existing track. Also convenient for chatting with friends nearby while you mix!
For example the Sennheiser HD25 DJ headphones have rotating earcups and also conveniently have a headphone cable that comes from a single earcup, meaning you are less likely to get tangled up in the cord when you are jumping up and down behind the decks.
Sennheiser HD25 DJ Headphones
Clarity at high volume levels
The listening environment while DJing is often very noisy, even if it’s just at home with the speakers turned up loud. You will need your DJ headphones to be able to cut through the external noise and this may mean turning them up loud for short periods. A good quality pair of DJ headphones are able to be driven at high volumes without distortion.
Some DJ headphones may even sound a little biased towards mids and treble, which is to help you distinguish audio cues in the music.
Long term listening comfort
As a DJ you may have to wear your headphones for hours at a time, so headphone fit and comfort are vital. Ears that are hurting will not help your mixing skills. The best DJ headphones have comfortable earpads and are lightweight.