A guide to the best DJ headphones

By in Features





From novices to established party starters.

In an era dominated by digital music and wireless earbuds, a surprising trend has emerged, drawing DJs and music enthusiasts back to the allure of vinyl. As vinyl records experience a resurgence, so does the art of vinyl DJing. Amidst this revival, the importance of reliable and high-quality DJ headphones cannot be overstated.

Read more: The best headphones of 2022

At first glance, DJ headphones may resemble their casual counterparts, but don’t be fooled! These headphones pack a punch with tailored features designed specifically for DJs, catering to their unique needs in order to effortlessly rock a party. One pivotal advantage of DJ headphones lies in their durability. DJs require equipment that can endure the energetic atmosphere of clubs and venues for extended periods. To meet this demand, DJ headphones boast reinforced construction, sturdy hinges, and detachable wires, ensuring they can withstand the rigours of the DJ lifestyle.

Along with their durability, DJ headphones excel at blocking out ambient noise, providing DJs with a focused environment for beat matching and cueing. This feat is accomplished through a closed-back design and thick padding that effectively isolates the listener from external distractions. Another standout feature of DJ headphones is their swivelling ear cups, which allow DJs to monitor audio through one ear while keeping the other ear open to capture live sound from speakers or the audience. This situational awareness enables DJs to seamlessly synchronize their mixes with the energy of the crowd.

While DJ headphones may not carry the same lofty price tags as their home-listening counterparts, they offer exceptional build quality, durability, and spare parts for repair or replacement. Budget-friendly options still provide excellent sound quality, durability, and noise isolation, making them suitable for aspiring DJs. Mid-range headphones balance affordability and enhanced features, offering improved durability, comfort, and sound quality. Professional DJ headphones, designed for seasoned experts, prioritize uncompromising sound fidelity, exceptional comfort, and superior noise isolation.

Whether you’re a rookie preparing for your very first gig or a seasoned pro gearing up for your next big tour, finding the right pair of headphones that correspond to your demands can be a daunting task. As always, double-check that the web description of the headphones fits your expectations, or try them on in person if you feel comfortable doing so.

Sony MDR-7506 Studio Headphones | Reverb UK

Sony MDR-7506

Price: £69
Pros: Great for beginners, protective carry pouch.
Cons: Neutral sound, not bass heavy.

Verdict: Despite not being DJ-specific, they provide a solid starting point for those on a budget.

Don’t let the lack of DJ-specific branding fool you, the Sony MDR-7506 headphones are surprisingly excellent for budding DJs. While they may not have been explicitly designed for the DJ booth, their accurate sound reproduction, closed-back design, and comfortable fit make them ideal for monitoring and mixing. With their affordability and reliable performance, these headphones offer a solid entry point into the world of DJing, proving that sometimes the best gear is found where you least expect it.

Pioneer DJ HDJ-CUE1-BT

Price: £89
Pros: Affordable, lightweight, foldable, Bluetooth.
Cons: No swivel.

Verdict: The Pioneer DJ HDJ-CUE1-BT headphones are a reliable and affordable option for vinyl DJs, delivering quality performance, Bluetooth capabilities and value.

Designed specifically for DJs, these headphones offer a balanced and accurate sound reproduction at a price that can’t be beaten. They are super lightweight and feature durable construction that makes them comfortable for those long DJ sessions. Bluetooth capabilities also allow these headphones to switch over from the DJ decks to any of your home listening devices, keeping the party going.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2

Price: £170
Pros: bluetooth, balanced sound, comfortable
Cons: bass can be lacking sometimes

Verdict: ATH-M50xBT2 brings new life to a classic, letting you seamlessly switch from jamming on your phone to rocking behind the DJ decks. Top-notch sound quality, connectivity, and a 10-minute quick charge make it a winner.

Audio-Technica’s tried and true design remains, delivering studio-like sound quality in a durable plastic and metal housing. While the carrying sack may be flimsy, the headset’s articulating arms and rotating ear cups make it portable. These headphones also possess large dynamic drivers, making them an excellent choice for DJing and equally remarkable for everyday listening.