One of the most essential tools of a DJ are the headphones, if not the most important. Without them, pre-listening to the tracks is impossible, they are a constant companion. Whether it’s checking out new tracks on the go or mixing them precisely when you’re DJing. Accordingly, they deserve special attention and have to withstand certain demands:
Frequent transportation becomes easier if the headphones are foldable and therefore take up less space in the luggage. An additional pocket or cover protects against wear and tear. When the headphones are put on, they are constantly in motion, so that the headphones do not slip off so easily, a comfortable and firm fit is important. The hardness and fit of the ear cushions and temples play a role here. A long and flexible cable provides the necessary freedom of movement. And if the cable is replaceable, you don’t have to replace a complete headphone in the event of a cable break. In addition, every DJ has his own preferences regarding sound, appearance and wearing style. We’ve picked five DJ headphones in the price range around $200, which can be used professionally and which you have to listen to and wear as a DJ:
Originally conceived as broadcast headphones, the Sennheiser HD-25 has convinced many DJs with its sound image and robustness and, without having changed much, has become the standard for many years, and actually the headphone legend par excellence, by which other manufacturers must also measure themselves. What the Technics is for turntables, the HD-25 is for headphones. In addition to the durable drivers, the low weight and the additional joints on the headphone clip should be emphasized, which makes monitoring with one ear easier. The HD-25 is a supra-aural headphone that is less comfortable to wear during longer sessions, and the replacement of the ear cushions is a bit tricky. However, Sennheiser’s classic ear cushions are well shielded from the surroundings, which makes it ideal for use in clubs. Most DJs appreciate its “neutral” sound and its enormous output power.
The HDJ-X7 is part of Pioneer’s latest series of DJ headphones. It is very comfortable to wear. The 50mm drivers deliver a clean and powerful sound with minimal overemphasis. As an ear-closing headphone, it shields well, so mixing is no problem in noisy environments. Due to its robust construction, the HDJ-X7 can also be used a bit rougher without these foldable headphones being noticeable. The ear cushions are relatively easy to change and you get a smooth and a spiral cable included. With 312g on the scales and a purchase price of almost $200, the HDJ-X7 is not a lightweight in two respects, but it impressively underlines Pioneer’s ambitions to become the market leader in equipping clubs with DJ equipment on a broad basis.
With the ATH-PRO7X, Audio-Technica is launching a successor to the ATH-PRO700MK2 that has undergone a complete facelift. The design is characterized by a slender line that dispenses with prominent shapes such as joints. Instead, these are concealed in the ear cups, giving the headphones a minimalist elegance. The 45mm drivers on top of the ears deliver a clear sound with more accentuated upper mids. The headband and ear cushions provide a comfortable fit on the head, making the ATH-PRO7X also suitable for recreational use. This is also confirmed by a smooth and a spiral cable in the scope of delivery.
The TMA-2 is the only modular headphone on the market that can be assembled for almost any application. Each component of the headphones comes in a variety of designs to suit most tastes. So you can put together a headphone for the studio, for hanging up or also for the leisure area. But if you want to reduce the agony of choice, you can also use pre-configured versions. The only thing these headphones can do less is “colourful”, because the Danish manufacturer AIAIAI also relies mainly on a minimalist slim design in black for the TMA-2. The modular system also has the advantage that spare parts should not run out so quickly. Unfortunately, there is hardly any possibility to test the different modules live without having to dig deeper into your pocket. The price is therefore variable from $200 upwards.
V-Moda Crossfade M-100
The V-Moda Crossfader M-100 with its metal surfaces on the auricles is a little unconventional in design. Nevertheless, the workmanship is of high quality and promises a long service life. These headphones can be used both for hanging up and for leisure purposes. Two cables are included, one of which is equipped with a microphone and remote control. As a special feature, the Crossfade M-100 has an additional connection for an additional headphone (shareplay). This is useful, for example, if the mixer in the club only has one connection, but it also seems a little strange. The 50mm drivers are circumaural and sit very securely on the head thanks to the slightly higher contact pressure of the clamp and the oval shape. Compared to the other headphones mentioned here, the Crossfade M-100’s sound is much more accentuated in the bass range. The Crossfade M-100 comes with a hard shell case that can be folded into. The V-Moda Crossfade M-100 isn’t quite cheap with almost $250, but you get headphones in a fancy design that also convinces in terms of workmanship.