Best DJ Headphones
The guy with the headphones – that's the DJ. Headphones are the DJ's crown, his trophy. They are the most portable part of a DJ's gear and at the same time, the most personal one. Even if everything else is provided by the club, a DJ will always bring his own pair of headphones because of the strong relationship and trust he has developed with them.
Djing without headphones is close to impossible. Playing with lousy headphones definitely not fun.
Here are the ingredients of the best DJ headphones.
Sound and Isolation
DJs might have their preferences regarding the design and sound of one pair or another, but the purpose of headphones boils down to hearing the next track against the massive wall of sound coming from the main system. In order to master the next mix, he must not only beat-match the next track, but also get the bar count right and find the right part of the next tune where he wants to come in. That's when isolation and sound come into play. Only a clear, punchy sound combined with a higher level of isolation enables the DJ to filter out the main system sound and clearly hear the mix track, which is essential in order to get his job done without damaging his ears with too high of a prelisten-volume.
Rotating ear cups
During the mix, the DJ must pay close attention to what is currently playing by uncovering one ear while still listening to the next track blending in. This is why you mostly see DJs wearing their headphones on one ear and twisting back the second cup, which can only be done if the cups are mounted on a joint and allow rotation.
DJs move around quite a bit and headphones are taken on and off many times throughout the set. In order to not step on the cable or get entangled, a spiral-single-cable design is much preferred over the straight cable which splits into two, connecting both cups. Newer DJ headphones models typically allow the cable to be disconnected from the cup, which is a good feature to have if you want to replace a broken cable or use a different cable to connect to your phone or other devices.
After the gig, the ideal headphone would morph into a solid, unbreakable object, like a tortoise, because once removed from the head and stuffed into a bag, it becomes a very fragile object. Since transformer technology is not really affordable as of yet, the next best thing is for the DJ headphones to at least be foldable. This way, it saves some space and has a much greater chance of surviving the voyage to the next destination.
The life of a DJ headphone is pretty rough compared to that of consumer headphones, which reside on couches and tables most of the time. In order to last a few years, headphones have to withstand sweat, hits, bends, scratches, and running on high volumes, and survive countless journeys in stuffy bags and cases. Materials, joints, connectors and cables have to be close to military-grade to cope with these surroundings.
Last but not least, comfort counts too. A adjustable and padded headband, and soft, ergonomically designed, swivelling cups that put exactly the right amount of pressure on the ears are the common features to provide a perfect fit for every head.
In conclusion, DJ headphones are a piece of equipment that needs to be robust, reliable, flexible and comfortable at the same time, delivering a superior sound quality, isolation and a high level of efficiency. This adds up to a very demanding set of requirements for the manufacturer to meet. On top of that, a pinch of modern style and replaceable, customizable parts are desirable too.
DJ Headphones Overview
|Vmoda M-100||50||32||280||yes||Check on Amazon|
|UrbanEars Zinken||40||85||192||yes||Check on Amazon|
|Bayerdynamic DT-1350||42||80||174||no||Check on Amazon|
|Sennheiser HD25-1||41||70||140||no||Check on Amazon|
|AIAIAI TMA-1||40||32||190||no||Check on Amazon|
|Pioneer HDJ 2000||50||36||290||yes||Check on Amazon|
Driver (mm): The bigger the driver, the better the low frequency response.
Impedance (ohm) : In a nutshell: the lower the Impedance the louder the Headphone.