In this roundup, Dubspot NYC tech and Brooklyn Bass co-founder Dan Snider looks at 10 great choices of DJ headphones including Sennheiser HD-25, Sennheiser HD7 and HD8, AIAIAI TMA-1 and more!
Just announced at this year’s CES expo, Sennheiser adds two pairs of headphones to their lineup; the HD7 DJ and HD8 DJ. Sennheiser’s incorporating tried and true concepts into both of these pairs like swivel ear cups and increased frequency response in the low-mid region for easier beatmatching. One interesting thing about them is that both pairs ship with coiled and straight cables included, and you have the ability to plug the headphone cable into either earpiece. They look good on paper but it’ll be tough for Sennheiser to unseat their flagship DJ model, the HD-25. The HD7 DJ ($329.95) and HD8 DJ ($389.95) will be available at the end of this month.
The favorites of DJs across the globe and recently dubbed an “industry standard” for DJ headphones on Resident Advisor, the HD-25s are unmatched in durability and practical usability. Not necessarily the most flashy-looking headphones, the HD-25s were originally intended as workhorse style headphones for broadcast television and were successful in that regard (look for them next time they cut to the announcers in a sports broadcast). DJs took to using the HD-25s because they were loud, accurate, lightweight, isolating and durable. They’re not the cheapest in this list at $250 but they’re definitely a great pick for DJing of any form.
The 7506s have become somewhat of an industry standard in on-location sound recording for TV and film and they’re also used very often in studios for tracking. Many DJs still use the 7506s because they conveniently perform well in both the studio and the DJ booth. They sound great but DJs sometimes run into problems with their durability.
New Swedish headphone manufacturers, Urbanears, stepped into the DJ headphone game recently with the impressive Zinken model. One innovative thing about this model is that you’ll never have to worry about carrying a headphone adapter with you. On one end of the cable, there’s a 1/4″ plug, on the other an 1/8″ plug with ports to plug in either on the headphones themselves. They come in a lot of colors if that’s your thing too.
An update of Pioneer’s popular HDJ-1000 model, the HDJ-1500 features a full ear cup design, the ability to fold away, and sound isolation. They also have the standard bump in bass frequencies necessary for DJ headphones. These headphones sound and feel great but the lack of individually replaceable parts holds them back from being among the best out there.
Perhaps the most luxurious headphones in this roundup, the HDJ-2000s are of a noticeably higher quality than most other DJ headphones. They almost feel like a pair of Bose headphones because of the leather ear pads and good sound isolation. They sound incredible and are comfortable enough to use as listening headphones as well. With the hefty price tag of $300 and the lack of replaceable parts means it would be a good idea to treat these with care.
Designed in collaboration with world-renowned DJs (A-Trak, Seth Troxler, James Murphy and Madlib to name a few), these headphones are a set of cans aimed directly at DJs. The bass response on these headphones leans towards heavy, which means for everyday use they may get fatiguing. For professional/live DJ use, this bass response can be exactly what you need (especially if you mix with the cup half on and half off your ears). They’re durable, feature replaceable parts, and a detachable cable so these are a solid choice for any DJ.
Many DJs throughout the early 2000s had a love/hate relationship with Sony’s previous DJ model, the MDRV700DJs, which were notoriously fragile. It looks like this new pair uses the same problematic joint where the ear cups meet the headband which could mean the same issues with that spot cracking. Still, at $80, they could be a good option for the budget-minded or bedroom DJ.
Allen & Heath are known for world-class sound quality in their mixers and with an impressive frequency response of 5hz-35000hz, this pair of headphones is no different. The XD2-53 have a loyal cult following in the house and techno community where intricate sound quality is key. The construction is quality as well, with metal reinforced joints and they feel solid and heavy in your hand. They can be a bit on the bulky side if you’re used to HD25s or TMA-1s due to the larger 53mm diameter drivers though.
Known for their fantastic studio headphones, the DT 1350s are Beyerdynamic’s first entry into the DJ market. It looks as if they borrowed many design cues from the HD25s such as the smaller drivers and split headband. They’re probably the best sounding headphones in this roundup and can easily be used for studio applications such as tracking and monitoring. They’re also capable of high volume levels (129 dB maximum SPL) to hear your music over the crowd. The DT 1350s are relatively new so they’re not exactly road tested for durability but they’re certainly impressive.
And thus concludes our 10 best DJ headphones roundup. We hope you found this very informative and helpful. Please share your experiences with your DJ headphones in the comments below.