Simply: The Best DJ Headphones 2018

With literally hundreds of DJ headphones on the market, its hard to establish which are the right pair for you. DJ headphones need to stand up to any abuse they may take on the road. Whether chucking them in your rucksack or into the back of your DJ Controller case, they need to be robust yet still be ready to deliver clear sound when you DJ at the next party whilst sitting comfortably on your head. There also health reasons for choosing a proper pair of DJ headphones, too. Having a bad set which let the ambient noise in means you’d have to turn up your cue mix louder, to hear what you’re bringing in – this results in hearing damage on the long term, mostly irreversible. Once you lose your hearing, its gone. Sad, I know but it’s important to look after your number one asset; as you wouldn’t be the same DJ if you couldn’t hear anything.

If you’re in the market for DJ headphones, you’ve probably seen lots of magazine style reviews of the various DJ headphones available. Mostly, they throw a massive pile of technical jargon along with terms like ‘nuances’ and ‘escape’. These are words that should be kept to describe wine, not DJ headphones! This list of the Best DJ Headphones 2018 is going boil all of this information down and give it to you in the simplest form with pretty much all you need to know before taking the plunge on a new pair of cans. If you wish to explore our entire range of headphones we have a handy tool which allows you to whittle down your search by driver size, cable type, frequency range and so on – click here to try it out! Our flagship store of Tottenham Court Road has an entire wall dedicated to trialing headphones, so if you’re ever in the big smoke then be sure to pop in and try them.

Pioneer HDJ-X7

Pioneer HDJ-X7

Key specs

Frequency Range: 5Hz to 30,000Hz

Weight: 312g

Driver size: 50mm Diameter

Let me make a confession; I never liked Pioneer headphones before. The HDJ-500 didn’t feel like Pioneer headphones, the HDJ-1500 kicked like a mule but found to be fragile and the HDJ2000 weren’t much better – the headbands would develop small fracture like splits if they were used as a one ear on, one ear off’ style configuration. These are all issues of the past, however, as this newest ‘X’ range are completely redesigned – and the HDJ-X7 sits in the middle of the range, but provides the same sonic experience as the HDJ-2000 – the old flagship! The HDJ-X7 hosts a newly developed 50mm driver which kicks just like the HDJ-1000 and HDJ-1500’s before it. Build quality issues are a distant memory, as the X series come with a US military shock test approval for durability, whilst the ear pads get a nano technology water repelling coating to keep them fresh even after a hundred sweaty gigs! Pioneer offer a 2 year guarantee on the HDJ-X7, for additional peace of mind. The HDJ-X7 come with two cables; the first is a 1.6m straight cable and the other is a coiled cable which has a length of between 1.2m and 3.0m when fully extended. The HDJ-X7 are fully folding, and available in either silver or black.

V-Moda Crossfade M-100

V-Moda Crossfade M-100

Key Specs

Frequency Range: 5Hz to 30,000Hz

Weight: 280g

Driver Size: 50mm dual coil driver

V-Moda have taken a slightly different approach to market with the M-100 headphones. They have been crowd sourced, meaning feedback from users such as DJs, artists, producers and existing V-Moda users have had collective influence on how they should sound and handy features such as the dual inputs and full-folding design. The other thing you’ll notice about the V-Moda headphones is just how customisable they are – the sides consist of ‘Shields’ – which can be replaced with a variety of different materials (such as steel, fiber or laser engraved aluminium) which can be further customised with 3d printing and laser etching. Form does meet fashion with these headphones, however as they offer great isolation thanks to memory foam ear pads. Soundwise they are powerful – with a tight fisted bass even when cranking the volume up. The M-100 headphones come in what V-Moda describe as an exoskeleton case, a tough hard wearing container guaranteed to protect your ‘phones even in the deepest darkest bottom of your DJ bag. Other other accessories in the box are equally well thought out; a 1-button speakeasy mic cable (handy for using these headphones when you’re out and about) and a shareplay cable, allowing a second pair of headphones to be connected to the same source. Durability is addressed thanks to cables tested to over 1 million bends and a virtually indestructible steelflex headband, the V-Moda M-100 come with a 2 year warranty. They look darn sexy in all three colours: White silver, shadow or matte black metal.

Sennheiser HD25 

Sennheiser HD25

Key Specs

Frequency Range: 16-22000Hz

Weight 140g

Driver Size: 40mm

Hmmmm. Theres not much to say about these headphones that hasn’t been said already. Many DJs around the globe will say these are the best DJ headphones, with no contest. The story of how they came about is an interesting one! Basically a result of people stealing the ‘courtesy headphones’ from concorde, which were developed specifically by Sennheiser for the noisy cabin. It wasn’t long until these NY-LDN-PARIS headphones made their way into DJ booths, and they have basically become the staple around the world, even 28 years after they were first released. People love their fully interchangeable parts, light weight yet rugged construction and punchy sound. This is a result of lightweight aluminium voice coils and a higher sensitivity than the competition. With headphones this light, HD-25s are super comfy even if you’re wearing them for long periods of time – whether you’re a camera man, DJ, sound engineer or producer. The cable on the HD25 is fully detachable and can be swapped for many different variants. Choose your preferred straight cable length and right-angled or straight jack connection. Can’t decide? The HD25 also comes as a ‘Plus Pack’ which includes the coiled cable (1m-3m extended length) and a 1.5m straight steel cable. I have no idea how many sets of HD25’s are out in the wild after 28 years of manufacture, but their owners can’t all be wrong…

Technics RPDJ1210

Key Specs

Frequency Range: 5Hz – 30,000Hz

Weight 230g

Driver Size: 41mm

It’s safe to say Technics have a bloomin’ good reputation. The SL1200 and SL1210 turntables become a standard to the DJ industry thanks to a tank-like build and overall quality. The Panasonic/Technics brand hasn’t released a million products since then but what has been released has become cult. A case and point: The RP-DJ1200 are the headphones equivalent with brilliant build quality and great sound. The RP-DJ1210 have a single sided swivel mechanism which means you can wear the headphones normally in a one-ear configuration. The headphones are foldable too, making them portable. There are two variants of these headphones: RPDJ1210, which features a  coiled cable and silver on black design and the RPDJ1200, which come with a straight cable along with a purple on black design. 

Pioneer HDJ-X10

Pioneer HDJ-X10

Key Specs

Frequency Range: 5Hz to 40,000Hz

Weight: 328g

Driver Size: 50mm dome type

As previously mentioned in the HDJ-X7 bumpf, Pioneers recent release of the HDJ-X trifecta are a completely different breed of headphones Pioneer made in the past. The HDJ-X10 is the top of their range offering the widest frequency range of any DJ headphone on the market. The headphones are extremely well built with a metal chassis, hinted by the chunky bolts and screws visible. The HDJ-X10 passed the US Military Standard Shock Test (MIL-STD-810G) with flying colours, and the nano coating on all cushions means sweat and dirt wont eat them alive. The HDJ-X10 are extremely comfortable regardless of how you wear them, and they deliver a high fidelity sound never seen in a DJ headphone before. The HDJ-X10s come in a flat carry case, with handy pouches for spare adapters and USB sticks. You also get two cables; a 1.6m straight cable and a 1.2m cable which stretches to 3m. Connection to the headphones is via a secure 4-pin socket, which couldn’t be disconnected by accident even if you tried! You also get a 2-year warranty as standard guaranteeing you reliable performance gig to gig. Soundwise they have had a slightly more emphasised bottom end that its previous counterpart (HDJ-2000), combined with the vast mid and top range these headphones really do thump. Are these the best DJ headphones? These are also available in a sleek black finish.

AIAIAI TMA-2 Modular 

AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ preset

Key Specs

Frequency Range: 20Hz to 20,000Hz

Weight: 270g

Driver Size: 40mm

It’s safe to say DJs own more than 2 pairs of headphones at any one time. Whether its set to use when making a mashup or to wear on a plane or train, we definitely own more than a couple of pairs, always! For example I have a pair for the office, another for the DJ bag, a pair I like to travel abroad with and another for casual home listening. AIAIAI’s TMA-2 headphones are literally the answer to all of those situations, being a truly flexible, modular set of cans. It’s not just the cable type you can choose like others on the market; these have interchangeable headbands, drivers and ear pads too! Technically speaking theres 360 combinations you can choose from to create your preferred setup, whether being used to DJ, Produce, Train or commute – or a hybrid of many things! The TMA-2 headphones can be bought off the shelf in pre-designed configurations for your intended use – whether DJ, Production or casual listening. 

Pioneer HDJ-X5BT 

Pioneer HDJ-X5BT

Key Specs

Frequency Range: 5Hz – 30,000Hz

Weight: 319g

Driver Size: 40mm

The Pioneer HDJ-X5BT are the cheapest headphones available in the Pioneer HDJ range, yet still offer a well balanced dynamic sound in a DJ booth or just day-to-day listening. Not only this, but the HDJ-X5BT have also undergone the same military shock testing as the higher priced cans in the range and come with the same 2 year headphone warranty. The HDJ-X series traits are evident all over these headphones, even down to the comfort and how the swivel mechanism works. The extra feature on these? Bluetooth! Sure, its not something you’ll DJ with (bluetooth latency can be an issue, as the protocol creates lag just as a biproduct of getting the music converted to wireless and back down again) but this feature extends the use of the headphones, making them far handier to use linked to your phone (new iPhones without headphone jacks, anyone?). Charging is via USB cable and the 3 hour charge time will give you approximately 20 hours of listening. Obviously these also come with a coiled cable for DJ use, which in turn disconnects the bluetooth circuit. Available in white, red and black.

Numark HF325

Numark HF325

Key Specs

Frequency Range: 20Hz to 20,000Hz

Weight: 454g

Driver Size:40mm

Last but not least we have Numark’s HF325 headphones. Numark have always been brilliant at making good quality DJ gear at reasonable prices and these are no different. The HF325 could be the best DJ headphones if you’re starting out and they wont break the bank! They are comfortable to wear and offer excellent isolation thanks to the cushy ear cups. Combine this with the critical detail these headphones offer, you’ve got a winning pair of DJ headphones. For one-ear mixes, you can rotate the ear cup to monitor in a single-ear fashion, whilst remaining comfortable at all times. The black-red-silver styling makes them look the biz, too! The Numark HD325 includes a 1.2m detachable cable and a 1/4” adapter.