One of the most important pieces of kit a DJ owns is their headphones. They accompany you to every gig, and you need to be able to trust them completely. If your headphones let you down in the middle of a performance, it could be a disaster.
Nowadays, there are lots of options to pick from, and making up your mind can be tough. To help, here are our top picks for best DJ headphones to make sure you make the right decision.
If you are looking for a pair of DJ headphones at the lower end of the price range, this could be a great option. For the price, the sound quality is excellent – the highs are clear, but the bass is also very crisp. They offer you great bang for your buck.
They also do a decent job of blocking external sound – but you still might need to turn them up a little to completely block everything from outside.
We like the foldable design that makes them easy to store, and they are perfect for one-ear monitoring during DJ performances.
On the downside, they’re not top-end quality, so if you’re looking for a pair of rugged professional-level DJ headphones, this pair might not be up to it. Also, some people might not find them so comfortable, although perhaps this depends on the person wearing them.
All in all, a great option for part-time DJs looking for good sound quality at an affordable price. However, pro-level spinners would be better off looking elsewhere.
Good sound quality – produce accurate bass
Effective noise isolation – block out sound from outside
Foldable design – for one-ear monitoring and storage
2 detachable cords – make them more versatile
Low price – great bang for your buck
Not pro-quality – but great for part-time party DJs
Uncomfortable for some – perhaps not the best pick for comfort
For anyone looking for a pair of DJ headphones at the bottom of the price range, this pair from Numark should be high on your list of possibilities. For the price, the sound quality is more than acceptable, and we like the way they are lightweight and comfortable to wear too.
These headphones come with a single cord permanently attached. While this doesn’t give you the flexibility of headphones with a removable cord, it does simplify things and help you avoid tangles.
However, with these headphones, you need to understand that they are supposed to be budget-friendly and are not high-quality in any way. They won’t give you a high level of volume, they aren’t the most attractive option and they feel a little flimsy.
That said, this is only what you would expect of a pair of headphones that sell for such a low price, and if you need a pair of phones that do the job without costing a fortune, they could be a solid pick. On the other hand, pro DJs need not apply.
Budget-friendly – headphones from the bottom of the price range
Lightweight – practical to carry around
Crisp sound – very acceptable at this price point
Single fixed cable – simple and convenient
Comfortable to wear – even during longer performances
Lacking volume – can’t pump it right up with these
Flimsy quality – don’t expect to get years of use out of them
When it comes to DJ headphones, Sennheiser has always been one of the go-to brands for some of the biggest names in the industry, and these are an affordable yet high-quality pair from this well-regarded brand.
As you would expect, they provide exceptional sound quality with little distortion, even at high volumes. They are tough and durable, too, so you can expect to be using them for many years to come. We also like the rotatable cups that let you wear them however you choose.
The main downside is that they feel a little cheap – the padding especially feels like it’s made of inferior quality plastic. Also, some people might find they fit a little tight, although this depends on the user.
In sum, a solid pick for home DJs and pros alike. If you want a pair of true professional-level headphones from the middle of the price range, this is an option that should be worth considering.
Exceptional sound quality – crisp and accurate
Lightweight aluminum voice coils – give them high sensitivity
Tough headphones – yet extremely lightweight
Rotatable cups – for comfortable monitoring in different positions
Perform well at high volumes – don’t distort when played loud
Feel slightly cheap – padding feels plasticky
Tight fit – some people might feel squeezed during longer performances
In the world of professional DJ equipment, Pioneer is the market leader. The HDJ-X10s are the company’s flagship headphones that are used by some of the world’s top DJs, and as you would expect, they are an exceptional piece of kit. Check here for the full specs.
While these are not headphones for audiophiles, the type of sound they produce is ideal for the professional DJ. Everything is crisp and accurate and shows almost no distortion, even at higher volumes. They effectively block external noise and are super-comfortable to wear too.
The main downside is the price since many people will baulk at paying so much. Pioneer’s gear is known for being pricey, but you have to expect to pay more for top-end quality.
Another minor point is that the paint wears off the metal band on either side, but this is just a cosmetic detail that in no way affects their performance – although it’s disappointing for what they cost.
This is a pair of headphones that will appeal to anyone who loves owning exceptional gear and is willing to pay extra to get their hands on it. These are professional headphones that are used by some of the best in the world, and they come with strong approval from us.
Superior sound quality – hear everything a DJ needs to hear
Excellent noise reduction – effectively block all external sound
Tough and durable – nano-coated for extra resistance
Exceptional comfort – perfect for even the longest DJ sets
Come with protective box – to keep them safe when traveling between sets
Expensive option – top-end product at a top-end price
Color wears off the metal band with use – but this is only cosmetic
For anyone looking for a pair of entry-level DJ headphones that won’t burn a hold in your pocket, this offering from Vogek could be worth checking out. For the price, the sound quality is exceptional, as is the noise reduction. You can hear clearly, even in a club environment.
We like the advanced features designed for comfort. The earpads are made of protein leather and incorporate memory foam, meaning they mold themselves to your ears. The 90° swivel cups are also perfect for easy one-ear monitoring while you cue up the next track.
Having praised the sound quality, we might nevertheless complain that there isn’t enough bass. For true pro DJ headphones, you would hope for a bit more. Also, the construction is not top-quality, so you shouldn’t expect them to last forever.
Overall, a solid option for beginner DJs or part-time spinners who need a reliable pair of headphones for the bedroom or occasional gigs. However, these won’t stand up to the rigors of full-time professional use.
Great value – a bargain at this price
Excellent sound quality for the price – punch above their weight
Advanced comfort features – memory foam pads made of protein leather
90° swivel cups – ideal for comfortable one-ear monitoring
Good noise isolation – allows you to hear clearly, even in a noisy club
Bass not as good as you might hope – need more for pro use
Not high-end construction – lots of plastic and won’t withstand rough treatment
When you’re starting out as a DJ, you need a reliable pair of headphones – but you also won’t want to spend the money required to invest in a pair of top-end phones that the pros use.
In that case, these phones from Sony could be the perfect compromise. They are affordable without being cheap, and they give you an excellent level of sound quality for the price. They are also quite bass-heavy, which makes them ideal for DJ use.
We like the way they fold up small, making them convenient for carrying to gigs, and they’re solid too, so they should last until you’re ready to take the step up to more pro-level phones.
However, they don’t come with a carrying case, which means you’ll have to be careful about how you transport them. Also, they’re not the most comfortable to wear for long periods, although for DJs, this will be less of a problem.
To summarize, a good pick if you’re looking for a pair of good-quality entry-level DJ phones that cost less than a pair of true pro-level phones. If that’s what you need, this pair could be just the thing.
Excellent sound quality – emphasize bass but not overpowering
Compact design – fold up small for transport
Good noise reduction performance – block out external sounds well
Feel solid and high quality – should last a long time
Good value for money – an ideal price point for newbie DJs
Not comfortable for wearing for long periods – although ok for DJing
No carry case – need to be careful when transporting them
If you’re looking for a pair of inexpensive headphones that can be used for general listening purposes as well as some amateur DJing, this model from Behringer could be a smart pick. For what they cost, the sound quality is excellent, making them a real bargain.
They feature rotary cups that are ideal for monitoring the music as you cue up the next track, and we also like the large size of the cups – they will be comfortable for anyone to wear, even those with slightly larger heads or ears.
One of the only downsides is that they don’t look great. These phones won’t make you look cool, and up close, they seem a bit cheap. Another minor gripe is that the cord is not removable. For pro DJs, this would be preferable, but here, it isn’t a deal-breaker.
In short, a great option for anyone looking for versatile headphones that can double up as a pair of DJ phones. Not a great pick for pros, but for bedroom DJs who don’t have loads of spare cash, they could be a great solution.
Exceptional sound clarity for the price – balanced and clear sound
Rotary cups – for versatility when monitoring
Large cups – comfortable even for people with larger heads or ears
Durable build quality – rugged for a pair of phones at this price point
Excellent value – a real bargain for what they cost
Look a little cheap – not a great look for a pro DJ
This pair of headphones from Maono could be a great option for anyone looking for a versatile pair of headphones that perform well when used for DJing but are also suitable for a range of other uses.
They’re comfortable to wear, even for longer periods, and they have exceptional sound quality for something at this kind of price point.
The cups swivel 90°, making them perfect for one-ear monitoring, and we love the way they can be connected to other headphones so you can listen to music or watch movies with your friends.
One slight complaint we have is that the bass is a little lacking. For most people, this won’t be a problem – but for DJs playing certain styles of music, this might be an issue. Also, the cord is a bit short, meaning DJs won’t be able to move around as much in the booth.
These would be a smart pick for novice or part-time DJs who need a reliable pair of headphones that perform well and offer a high level of sound quality but that cost a lot less than top-end pro phones. If that sounds like what you need, these could be worth a look.
Great sound quality – clear and clean sound
Comfortable headphones – with soft ear padding
Versatile option – suitable for DJing, studio work or simply listening to music
90° swivel – for comfortable one-ear monitoring
Compatible with music sharing – can be connected to other headphone sets
Slightly lacking in bass – might be an issue for some DJs
Short cord – doesn’t allow you as much freedom to move
Another set of DJ headphones from the more affordable end of the price range, this set from Sopwnic nevertheless delivers a more than acceptable level of sound quality for the price.
One of the best things about these phones is that they are extremely comfortable. They feature padding that is made from protein leather and incorporates memory foam, allowing them to mold themselves to your ears.
We also like the long 3m cord that gives you more mobility when you’re on the decks.
One negative to mention is that they don’t do a great job of blocking out external sound. Coupled with this is the fact that they aren’t the loudest phones, so in a noisy club environment, you might have trouble hearing as clearly as you might like.
Otherwise, for a pair of headphones at this price point, there’s little we can complain about. They do the job they were made for – and they even look great – all of which makes them an option worth considering if you need a pair of inexpensive DJ headphones.
Super-comfortable phones – with memory foam and protein leather pads
Long cord – allows you to move around more while playing
90° swiveling cups – for comfortable monitoring during mixes
Easy to store – fold down small
Look great – an important consideration when in the DJ booth
Noise-cancelling not perfect – can hear what’s going on outside
Lacking in volume – not ideal when you need more power
Here’s another pair of DJ-style headphones that can be used for DJing but also for a range of other uses such as playing video games or simply listening to music. They are comfortable to wear, with breathable sponge and soft leather pads and cups that swivel in both directions.
We like the volume these phones produce – you shouldn’t have any trouble hearing the music when you’re cueing a track, even in the loudest club environment.
Another thing we appreciate is the way they come with two interchangeable cords. One is extendable and ideally suited to DJing while the other includes a microphone, meaning you can even use them for phone calls.
However, at this price point, you should understand that the sound quality is not professional level, although that’s to be expected. Also, a slightly strange complaint is that the cord plugs in on the right side which means for right-handers, it crosses over when you’re DJing.
However, apart from these minor issues, this is another great choice for novice DJs. If you are a seasoned pro, there are better picks, but for a cheap set of DJ headphones, this option could be a winner.
Interchangeable cords – for DJing and casual use
Breathable sponge with soft leather pads – comfortable to wear for long periods
Multiple positions – cups swivel 90° as well as 180° in the other direction
Loud phones – provide a good level of volume
Exceptional value – a bargain at this low price
Not pro-level sound quality – but good enough for beginners
Plug attaches on right side – means cord passes in front of you when playing
If you’re looking for the best set of DJ headphones, you’re probably wondering about which factors to consider when choosing. Let’s have a look at the most important ones now.
When selecting a pair of DJ headphones, the sound quality is obviously a major factor to consider.
However, the type of sound quality a DJ needs is not the same as an audiophile who enjoys listening to music through headphones that reproduce every sound and note in the most perfect detail.
Instead, while a DJ needs clear sound, they also need certain parts of the music to be emphasized so they can hear it clearly while they are monitoring the music and cueing up the next track.
This means you need strong, solid bass along with clear crisp highs. The sound might not be as refined as you would expect from an expensive pair of audiophile headphones, but this is what a DJ needs for the job.
Note that sometimes people compare the size of the drivers, but having 50mm drivers doesn’t necessarily produce better sound than 40mm drivers. It’s more a case of how the hardware is used, so this isn’t necessarily the best guide to overall performance.
Since a DJ needs to be able to hear the music in the headphones while they are playing in a noisy club environment, you need a pair of headphones that effectively block external noise. This will allow you to hear the music you are cueing more clearly.
Most DJ headphones don’t feature Active Noise Canceling – although some companies are experimenting with this, and it may become a common feature in the future.
Similarly, a DJ needs a pair of headphones that produce a good level of sound. If you are playing in a club and your phones are too quiet, you won’t be able to hear the music coming out of them – so make sure you choose a pair that have enough volume.
Life on the road can be tough, and your headphones will probably take a lot of punishment as you carry them from gig to gig. This means you should choose a pair that can stand up to the rigors of the road if you want them to last.
It almost goes without saying that you need to choose a pair of comfortable phones.
While you won’t have them on your head all the time when DJing like you would if you were just listening to music at home, if you find yourself playing three- or four-hour sets, having phones that hurt your head is not going to be fun.
As a DJ, you need a longer cord – and a coiled one that extends is best. This is because you need to move around more, so you need the length, but if it isn’t coiled, it will end up tangling and getting in your way.
If you are looking for a pair of phones for DJing, you must choose a pair with a cord.
With Bluetooth phones, there is always a certain amount of latency – this means there is some lag between when the signal is sent and when it is received by your phones.
If you try to use Bluetooth phones for DJing, the sound you hear in your phones won’t match the sound coming out of the sound system, and this will make it impossible to cue music.
In short, DJ phones need to have a cord – Bluetooth just doesn’t work.
Your level and where you play
When choosing a pair of DJ phones, think about your level and where you will be playing.
If you are a beginner bedroom DJ and don’t expect to play any gigs beyond parties at your friends’ houses, you don’t need to spend huge amounts of money – you can easily pick up a pair of suitable phones for under $50.
However, if you are a professional who will be playing gigs in front of large crowds at packed venues, you will need to spend a lot more money to make sure your phones have all the top-end features you need.
Plenty of solid and reliable options
As you can see there are many good options to pick from at a range of prices to suit all skill levels and budgets. If you are looking for a new pair of DJ headphones but don’t know which ones to go for, any of the options in our review would be a great place to start your search.