The best DJ headphones are an essential bit of kit, whether you are an up and coming DJ or you’ve already made it and are looking for new toys to play with. This is a list of the best headphones of 2018 so far. For a DJ, the quality of your headphones can make the difference between the next hit and just another track in the millions being made every year.
Table of Contents
- Top DJ Headphones of 2018
- 1. Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-2000MK2-K DJ Headphones
- 2. Sennheiser HD 25 Professional DJ Headphones
- 3. V-MODA M-100 Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Headphone
- 4. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Headphones
- 5. SOL REPUBLIC 1601-32 Master Tracks Over-Ear Headphones
- 6. V-MODA Crossfade LP Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone
- 7. Beats Pro Wired Over-Ear Headphone
- 8. Pioneer HDJ-1500-K Professional DJ Headphones
- 9. Numark Red Wave Carbon Pro Mixing Headphones
- DJ Headphone Buyers' Guide
- Value for Money – V-MODA M-100 Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Headphone
- Best All-Rounder – Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Headphones
- Highest Quality – V-MODA M-100 Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Headphone
- Can you use DJ Headphones for Gaming?
- What Headphones does Deadmau5 use?
- What Headphones does PewDiePie Use?
- Over-Ear vs. On-Ear
This list will help you find out what headphones are the best for you and your sound. We will include the best for quality, the best all-rounder, and the best value to give you a variety of options.
- Lovely banding that allows for a snug fit, which complements the sound insulation.
- High-quality sound.
- The newer ones have metal parts for incredibly durability.
- The different headband structure definitely makes for an interesting, unique look.
- High-quality sound packed into lightweight, compact pair of headphones.
- The HD 25 Pro is renowned for sound quality even at higher pressure levels.
Top DJ Headphones of 2018
1. Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-2000MK2-K DJ Headphones
These headphones are well-rounded in what they are able to deliver. Astonishing clarity, high-quality sound separation, and enough sound insulation when performing. They also boast a great level of comfort, which is definitely useful for when you're playing those long sets and a cheap pair of headphones would cause discomfort.
Although beautiful and high quality, the general consensus is mixed here. It’ll definitely fall down to your preference simply due to the number of other headphones on the market and what you find valuable in a good pair of headphones. If you’re looking for high-quality sound, separation, and insulation with an ample amount of comfort, these are a good choice. There may well be better value headphones on the market with better durability but comfort is something that Pioneer has definitely strived for with the Pro DJ MK2.
+ Lovely banding that allows for a snug fit, which complements the sound insulation.
+ High-quality sound.
+ The newer ones have metal parts for incredibly durability.
Why We Liked It - Snug, comfortable, and high quality-sound are definitely apparent here but the value for money may not be quite right, depending on what you're looking for.
2. Sennheiser HD 25 Professional DJ Headphones
The first thing most people notice when they look at the HD 25 Pro from Sennheiser is the curious structure of the headband. This odd structure is what will make the Sennheiser headphones stand out from the crowd. The Sennheiser HD 25 model hasn’t changed at all in recent years, with the motto “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” being at the heart of the structure. Although it looks funky it doesn’t really provide any benefits to durability.
Unfortunately, these headphones aren’t really different when it comes to the materials used for the ear pads, making them very uncomfortable when using them for prolonged periods of time. Sennheiser prefers to focus purely on the audio quality rather than making it look fancy and comfortable. They come with a 2-year manufacturer warranty. This is useful if you’re a resident DJ because unless you are performing somewhere that pays obscenely well, and unless you’re among the likes of Martin Garrix, then you will definitely be thankful that you have that warranty.
+ The different headband structure definitely makes for an interesting, unique look.
+ High-quality sound packed into lightweight, compact pair of headphones.
+ The HD 25 Pro is renowned for sound quality even at higher pressure levels.
Why We Liked It - The general consensus is that these headphones are incredible. With their amazing sound quality, these are definitely a smart purchase with a huge value for money attached.
3. V-MODA M-100 Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Headphone
V-MODA is well known for high-quality craftsmanship and these headphones are no different. They boast military-grade durability. The headband, which is one of the most common breakage points, is almost indestructible - a definite asset for a tour. It has a uniquely brilliant sound that has been tuned by over 200 audiophiles and then factor in the separation of bass from other sounds and you get this beautiful, stylish set of over-ear headphones for under $100 (click for more in our review).
Nothing has been left out in the innovative design, which features CLIQFOLD to make it more space efficient and a small case to add protection. 20 separate awards have been given to the M-100, and we can see why when we look at just how much innovative technology they’ve packed into such a sleek and sophisticated package. Comfortable headphones with superb sound quality and a decent value for money seemed to be a myth, but the M-100 brings it all with memory foam ear pads to add to this gorgeous product. The durability is absolutely unreal with this product and it includes being tested to beyond military standards.
If you're looking for the best studio headphones for the money, click here.
+ Kevlar wire for intense durability.
+ Separation of the bass from mids and highs using a dual-diaphragm setup which is unique to V-MODA.
+ Has a sleek and stylish product that packs a colossal amount of sound quality.
Why We Liked It - The V-MODA M-100 may well be the best quality headphones around today and if you don’t have huge ears, they’re definitely worth getting.
4. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Headphones
The previous model of these headphones had a few cons which dealt a blow to Audio-Technica’s reputation for being able to provide a good all-round pair of headphones. The new model fixed that problem by not only implementing a new material for the ear pads as standard but also offering velvet replacements.
This means a whole lot of comfort which is perfect for longer periods of use. Although not as good as others when it comes to bass and power, the M50x focuses on superior sound quality and clarity and it’s executed well. Also unlike some of the bigger and better headphones, you don't need batteries to run the processor and there’s not a massive difference made to battery life. If Bluetooth is more your thing, take a look at the top 10 wireless headphones for under 100 dollars right here.
+ Has many above average features and is good value for money.
+ No battery required.
+ Velvet ear pads to further increase comfort.
Why We Liked It - Although a great professional starter pair, if you know what you want from a pair of headphones and you have enough money to spring for a better pair, you may wnt to splurge.
5. SOL REPUBLIC 1601-32 Master Tracks Over-Ear Headphones
The 1601-32 has a minimalist look to it. The elegant simplicity approach does seem to pay off, with a decent amount reviews reporting great bass and vocals. One feature that does stand out here is the “virtually indestructible” headband. It comes with a 1,000 day guarantee which is almost 3 years. They have a snug fit, but some may find it a little too tight. If you like a little slack in the fit these may not be for you but if you want a fit that won’t see your headphones on the floor if you get a little too into the music, look no further.
Another aspect to consider with these is that they’re also great outside the DJ world. the clear vocals can be useful for phone calls and gaming. Some feedback suggests the higher the volume, the muddier they get, which means if you’re looking to use them for monitoring ready for a club set, these may not be able to do it for you. The best part? You can pick these up for relatively cheap.
+ The bass and vocals are excellent.
+ A snug fit will keep them on your head.
+ Great for beginners.
Why We Liked It - Pretty cheap in comparison to other headphones. Definitely a good, cheap starter professional pair of headphones.
6. V-MODA Crossfade LP Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone
Yet another beautiful pair of headphones from V-MODA. Like the M-100, the LP has a Kevlar wire and beyond military durability. One big advantage to V-MODA headphones is the hex design and interchangeable shields, which is a big change from the “cookie-cutter” style headphones that most people tend to use. You can even get custom laser engraved hex shields for the side of your headphones.
Again, the LP features the dual diaphragm setup that V-MODA is known for, which gives an incredible level of sound quality not found elsewhere. Unlike the M-100, the LP comes with a 1-year guarantee. The LP also offers a unique program, a 60-day test drive when bought from a verified reseller. This means that if you don’t absolutely love them before 60-days is up, you can get a refund. Let’s just say they don’t get returned much. These go hand in hand with the best turntables for DJ's of this year.
+ The patented dual-diaphragm set up makes for comprehensive sound separation.
+There is definitely a level of quality in the design that isn’t seen elsewhere.
+ It’s a rarity to be able to customize such high-quality headphones.
Why We Liked It - Another brilliant choice for sound quality, reliability, and durability.
7. Beats Pro Wired Over-Ear Headphone
Beats have taken the audio world by storm in recent years. The Beats Pro will definitely give you something professional-looking, but it comes with a steep price. There are plenty of claims that it’s perfect for the studio and it’s designed for sound engineers and musicians, but the consensus is that there are plenty of superior options out there and a lot of them are on this list. The value for money just doesn’t seem to be there and the sound quality doesn’t seem to match up to the Audio-Technica or V-MODA headphones.
+ These headphones have a professional look.
+ The sound quality is overall really good.
Why We Liked It - Unless you absolutely have to have the best brand name rather than the best quality, look for other headphones. The general consensus seems to be that there are better headphones out there at a lower price.
8. Pioneer HDJ-1500-K Professional DJ Headphones
There are on-ear rather than over-ear headphones, which can be just as good; it simply depends on preference. They are definitely one of the more comfortable pairs of headphones on the market which makes them great for longer periods of use like live performances or marathon sessions. Thanks to the way Pioneer designed the ear pads, the very same thing that makes them comfortable also works well for sound isolation.
Another thing to note is the sound quality. It has just the right amount of bass and still clearly audible mids and highs. The sound engines on each side are both able to swivel and rotate, making them more convenient than some competitors. Given the sound quality and other features, the price of these headphones is fantastic.
+ Provides a brilliant level of comfort.
+ The bass is balanced and it has clear definition of mids and highs.
+ The ability to swivel and rotate both sides of the headphones offers flexibility in your playing style.
+ There’s a good price attached.
Why We Liked It - Given the price, comfort, and sound quality, it’s definitely worth getting them.
9. Numark Red Wave Carbon Pro Mixing Headphones
Numark is targeted at your hard-core pros that run marathon sessions to release their creative mojo and produce some epic music. Numark claims these headphones remain comfortable during extended usage, which is quite rare among top-level headphones. This is another contender that provides a decent adjustment range with swivel and rotation function. Well-balanced sound including clear vocals and a perfect level of bass are included with Red Wave.
+ Excellent sound quality. Offers clear vocals, well-rounded bass, pitch perfect mids and highs.
+ Comfort was one of the main design points, making these great for long sessions.
+ Guarentee that the Red Wave will fit anyone’s head.
+ The Red Wave model is a good starter or backup pair of headphones.
Why We Liked It - They’re very comfortable and have great sound quality.
DJ Headphone Buyers' Guide
Value for Money – V-MODA M-100 Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Headphone
Coming in at number one for value for money has to be the M-100 headphones from V-MODA. Durability is definitely a big factor in value for money. Other headphones with a cheaper price tag like the Red Wave tend to be prone to breaking, which will greatly hamper their value. These are designed to beyond-military durability specs. This means the wire uses the same material as modern bulletproof vests and has almost completely indestructible metal components.
It can be killed though, but you’ll need a tank and a tank driving manual. In the unlikely event you do succeed in destroying the headphones within the first two years, then you’re covered by a guarantee and if it’s after that, you have immortal life program. With the immortal life program, if you somehow destroy your headphones, you can get a new pair for half price. Now that’s reliable durability.
The M-100 uses V-MODA's unique and patented dual-diaphragm approach to sound engines. The dual diaphragm provides greater separation of bass from mids and highs that add clarity to all three. Cleaner sounds mean cleaner tracks. The quality of sound with the M-100 is beautiful and allows for a good amount of bass, so if you’re an EDM DJ or just a fan, these are a smart choice.
The value here is immense simply from a durability perspective. With such a high level of durability, the usage you can get out of these over a number of years is huge. The price tag on these is still lower than Beats by quite a margin and the quality is far superior.
Best All-Rounder – Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Headphones
The M50x is another stunning piece of headgear that provides quite a well-rounded quality. There aren’t any standout features that make this headphone a must-have for DJs of a specific genre, but if you’re just starting out and you’re not sure where you want to go with your music genre-wise, then is a solid choice.
The sound quality is well-balanced with a decent level of bass that still allows you to hear the mids and highs, giving a level of versatility between genres. The sound separation between bass and mids and highs is quite exquisite. The value for money here is mid-range, which means that if you want something that seems to hit the mid-level of every attribute for headphones then you can’t go wrong with the M50x.
Highest Quality – V-MODA M-100 Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Headphone
The M100 is the best choice for professionals or up and coming DJs. The sound quality here is amazing, making it a brilliant addition to any good DJ's arsenal. The prized patent of the dual-diaphragm sound engine from V-MODA gives it a supreme edge over competitors and even Avicii has endorsed V-MODA.
Sound quality isn’t the only unique characteristic that it provides. Durability is another hallmark of V-MODA, with beyond-military durability. As mentioned above, it’s truly astounding as to just how brilliant the level of durability is and it will allow you to rely on your headphones for longer than six months, which is rare. It outshines every other pair of headphones on the list for quality, regardless of your current standing the DJ world.
If you’re a professional, then the M-100 could give you the unique sound to truly separate yourself from the pack of DJs looking for their next big break. If you’re an up and comer it can do the same and give you a chance to produce enough high-quality music to get your foot in the door for a first paid gig.
Can you use DJ Headphones for Gaming?
DJ headphones can indeed be used for gaming and they also come with some distinct advantages. The first is that the sound quality of headphones can further immerse you in the rich tapestry that modern games provide in story modes. On top of that, the same sound quality can be used to increase performance in FPS games.
DJ headphones can be tuned differently to further amplify certain sounds, depending on the model and the monitoring hardware tuners that they come with. Other than that, there aren’t too many other benefits of having DJ headphones over regular gaming headphones. If you’re a DJ and you already need DJ headphones, they’re just as useful as gaming headphones. If you need both and you can only pick one, then pick DJ headphones. You’ll have a pair of headphones that is useful for both endeavors. If you’re very into gaming as well and you like to game with friends, then make sure you get yourself headphones with a microphone built-in or you’ll have issues communicating with teammates.
What Headphones does Deadmau5 use?
Deadmau5 uses a variety of different headphones, including ones made specifically for him. This includes the V-MODA LP2 that is a custom build for Deadmau5. He also uses SOL-Republic Track5 On-Ear headphones that are a collaboration between the manufacturer and Deadmau5.
These two are the two to focus on because they were made with him in mind. He has a very unique sound and because he’s so prominent in his field, manufacturers wanted to work with him to help make him headphones that really help him to make music his way and on his terms.
SOL-Republic Deadmau5 Track5 HD On-Ear
The price tag on these isn’t as big as you’d think. With a name like Deadmau5 attached to it, you’d expect three figures but that’s not the case. They represent a decent value for money and they come attached with a named collaboration from one of Canada’s best music producers. They still have the same issues with regards to reliability as similar un-endorsed products from SOL Republic.
Those who do sing the praises of these headphone are happy enough with sound quality and aren’t too worried about reliability. They do allow Deadmau5 to create his unique music which could be useful for other DJs attempting to go in the same direction. Definitely a cheap solution for up and comers looking to distance themselves from the mainstream majority.
Custom made for Deadmau5, these headphones come from a pedigree line of expertly manufactured headphones and reliability and durability are rarely, if ever, a problem. The sound quality that V-MODA achieves is due to the patented dual-diaphragm system that we’ve talked a lot about, but that’s because the genius innovation behind it is what makes the sound from V-MODA headphones so distinguishable from that of competitors.
The LP2 was first debuted by Deadmau5 at V-MODA Fortress, and since then has had the eye of many lower ranked professionals and up and comers looking to make it to the top. Although it is a little more on the expensive side than the SOL Republic headphones, the V-MODA does pack more quality.
What Headphones does PewDiePie Use?
For the most part, PewDiePie uses gaming headphones manufacturered by Razer. He has recently started using Sennheiser RS 170s, but other than that, he’s almost always used Razer. As a Youtube producer, the sound quality just isn’t as important as it is within the DJ world.
This is because as a YouTuber, he creates audio-visual content rather than just audio. That doesn’t mean Razer is terrible for sound quality, it just means there are much better headphones out there that are designed directly for music production rather than video games.
Razer headphones have good sound quality for video games, where all the subtle nuances within the audio only need to be enjoyed rather than created. The main benefit to these headphones is that they’re designed for extreme comfort.
It’s not uncommon for small group of people who play for marathon standard hours (24+ hours in a row) to use Razer headphones. They have a decent standard of bass and the Carcharias are probably the closest to a primarily gaming headset that could be used as a starter pair of DJ headphones.
Sennheiser RS 170
Sennheiser is renowned for sound quality above all else. On the other hand, they’ve tried to go above and beyond the usual bog standard headphones approach and the RS 170 comes with a small hardware box that acts as a plug and play receiver for up to four people and is also used as a docking station that charges the headphones.
This extra functionality speaks to how many believe Sennheiser will attempt to mop the floor with their competition in the future. The sound setup that the RS 170 is set up for is home cinema, which is something a Youtuber could definitely find useful, not to mention how useful it can be in real life if you’re doing a Netflix marathon and don’t want to wake others up while enjoying your favorite shows and movies.
Over-Ear vs. On-Ear
This is an age old debate but it just boils down to preference. There’s no right or wrong answer for the most part, but there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both.
The need to have the right pair of headphones behind you is absolutely essential, and you obviously want to have the headphones that are perfect for you. Some people decide to have one set of each if they like the merits of both. This is because if you have both, you can enjoy the benefits of both types depending on what task and genre of music you’re working on at the time.
On-ear headphones are a lot more lightweight and portable, so if you like to create and produce on the move a lot, for example, a live stream for your limited fan base on the way to your day job, then on-ear could be advantageous. The issue you could find is that the sound isolation of on-ear isn’t really that useful; they aren’t covering your ears up enough to completely block out the world around you.
On-ears do tend to offer a good amount of comfort, however, making them a brilliant tool if you’re on a long trip and want to get some work done along the way if you’re in a quiet enough area. These are definitely the type of headphones you want if you're on the move. Another benefit is that on-ears are a little more forgiving for people with bigger ears, adding to the comfort compared to over-ear.
Over-ear headphones have a distinct advantage when it comes to sound isolation and cancellation. This allows you to keep focused on the music, even in loud, confined spaces like trains on a commute to your day job. They’re a little heavier and bulkier than on-ear headphones but the increase in weight usually comes with an increase in sound quality. The over-ear headphone experience tends to yield better sound quality and comfort for those with normal sized ears, but some over-ear headphones tend to be a little smaller than even regular ears making them uncomfortable for most.
These headphones tend to suit professionals who keep their work in the same place and prefer to sit down and work rather than try and work on the move. It makes it a little harder to produce when inspiration strikes.
To keep it simple, the type you should buy depends on you. If you like to produce on the move on-ear is the way to go, but even with on-ear headphones, you won’t be able to produce music to the same quality as someone sat down with over-ear headphones. If you want to focus purely on sound quality then the isolation from over-ear is definitely a winner in comparison. Buy headphones that suit all your needs.
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