Monitoring your music as a DJ is crucial, from music production all the way to a live performance. Many DJs might say in their early days that they had no idea how their music truly sounded until they were at their first gig. We rounded up the best DJ headphones that don’t miss a beat, so you can be confident knowing your music sounds flawless through mixing all the way to your set. When picking out the best DJ headphones we considered audio quality, cups/earpads, cables, Bluetooth connectivity, budget, and a few other details we’ll jump into.
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So, what makes a quality pair of headphones? Be sure to consider headphones with a frequency range of 20-20,000 Hz. You want your headphones to be able to replicate the sound you’re producing or playing. Headphones that are comfortable make all the difference too! Plus, you want them to be adjustable. Cables will play a huge factor, as you want to make sure you have the space and capacity to move around. Also, be sure drivers are at least 40mm or larger.
Wired Headphones for Beginners
1. Pioneer DJ HDJ-CUE1 DJ Headphones Black
Pioneer DJ headphones lead the industry of quality DJ headphones. These $69 headphones are a fantastic pick for new DJs looking for affordable headphones they can use for years. They use the same drivers from the HDJ-X5 model (a bit more expensive). They’re tuned to make the most of the low frequencies in bass and kick drums when mixing. Overall, there aren’t really any complaints about these headphones. They’re comfy and have 40mm drivers for a quality bass response and a frequency of 5Hz–30kHz. Impressive.
You can adjust the cups, whether you want to wear them on one ear, around your neck, or on regularly, you’re all set. These headphones are lightweight and easy to travel with. The cable can be removed when you’re not using them. (Also, learn how to wrap cables so they last longer!).
2. Sennheiser HD 25 On-Ear DJ Headphones
Another top-seller is Sennheiser’s HD 25 headphones. These comfy headphones are considered the best of the best under $200 by many DJs. They’re great for DJs, videography, and many other professional audio and video roles. With a frequency response of 16 – 22,000Hz and the ability to work well in loud environments, these will be perfect for gigs at the bar or club. You can opt for one-ear listening if you’d like, too!
Features to note— 120dB max sound pressure level, a closed-back design for noise isolation, and 40mm drivers.
3. Hercules DJ HDP DJ45
Hercules is a favorite of many DJs these days. Their HDP DJ45 headphones are great starter headphones. They feature everything you love about $150 headphones for only $39.99. Yep, these budget-friendly headphones are pretty cheap compared to many major brands, but don’t let the price fool you.
These headphones have closed-back earcups for loud environments, 50mm drivers, and a 3.3-foot cable, which is a good length for movement.
Best Under $100
4. OneOdio Wired Over Ear Headphones
OneOdio is another budget-friendly brand DJs rave about. These headphones are available for under $32 and come in 3 different colors. They have 50mm drivers for dynamic bass and will be your go-to headphones for beginning your journey as a DJ. These will be a great pair to travel with if you don’t like taking super expensive gear with you on planes, too.
These wired headphones allow for single-ear monitoring as well, thanks to the 90-degree swiveling ear cups. You can also adjust the headband (the pressure from headphones can be too much sometimes). One of the best parts about these headphones is that the cable is long. It’s almost 10 feet long, so if you’re in your home studio, you don’t have to move around your chair and think too much about your music setup.
5. Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Closed-Back Professional Studio Monitor Headphones Black
Audio-Technia’s ATH-M20x headphones are another pair of headphones we recommend for under $50. They are tuned for enhanced low-frequency performance. You won’t go to the studio without these headphones.
These headphones are recommended for tracking and mixing, and DJs love them and are shocked by how well they cancel background noise. They have a cable length of 9.8 feet, giving you plenty of room for the perfect bedroom or gig setup.
Best Wireless Headphones
6. Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5BT Professional Bluetooth DJ Headphones – Black
Pioneer DJ gets lots of praise for their HDJ-X5BT headphones. These Bluetooth headphones have a detachable cable, making them very convenient for anyone who wants Bluetooth headphones. You’ll get 20 hours of playback from a 3-hour charge but can use the coiled cable in case you run out of battery life.
A 5Hz-30kHz frequency range and 40mm drivers make these an awesome pick for bass. We love that Pioneer DJ thought to include a carry pouch for easy transportation. Another spec we like is the built-in mic, so take calls hands-free when you need to. The adjustable headband and cups are great for monitoring with one ear and getting that perfect fit.
Best $200 Headphones
7. AIAIAI TMA-2 Modular DJ preset Headphones
You’ve likely seen this circling around the DJ side of TikTok. The AIAIAI headphones have an internal vent allowing the middle bass to be more clear and more punchy. These headphones are going to be too much fun. They’re priced right at $200, so if you’re looking to splurge a bit, consider these for their many great features.
The ear cups provide high isolation, making these sturdy headphones for electronic and bass-heavy music. If you’ll be playing a festival anytime soon, definitely consider these DJ headphones. They weigh less than 4 ounces, so packing these for trips will be effortless.
A customer gave them a 5-star rating and wrote, “I bought these for DJing and they did not disappoint. They are snug and comfy but they don’t pull out my wild hair when I have to frequently take them on & off during a DJ set. The sound quality is excellent. And my favorite part is that they are modular so replacing parts is a cinch. They are nice and sturdy which is ideal for taking them to gigs. My old headphones were much more expensive but became trashed after a few years and the sound quality was not nearly as good.”
What Reddit is Saying About DJ Headphones
When asked for the best DJ headphones one user wrote, “Second the HD25s super clear and can get loud enough to drown out really big sound systems (pls wear earplugs folks).” More Reddit users rave about them and say they’re great for many genres, including house and techno.
Sennheiser’s HD 25 headphones are featured as one of our best picks, because not only do they meet standards for DJs, but they’ll meet industry standards for other media and entertainment work. If you work in TV news or film, these headphones will be perfect for work or college.
Another user wrote, “The Audio Technica ATH-M20x is one of the better headphones in the budget range. The audio quality scores above it’s price tag.” Check them out here. They’re available at Guitar Center and Sweetwater.
Check out r/beatmatch and r/Djs for more details.
Ear Protection for a DJ is a Must
And we totally agree about wearing earplugs. We recommend wearing custom-molded earplugs. Decibullz is re-moddable, so wear them if you play in a band (especially as a drummer) or go to concerts. Using them is simple—heat the earpiece molds in a cup of boiling water, let them cool off, then insert them into your ears. They will shape around your ear as they cool. To reuse them, reheat and remold them. Hearing loss is not something you want to go through. Be proactive and take care of your hearing.
What TikTok is Saying About DJ Headphones
TikTok is a great source to get a mini-review in 60 seconds or less. DJs on TikTok also rave about their Sennheiser and AIAIAI headphones, recommending them for beginners. Some users may have an Amazon storefront to purchase products, so it’s super easy to find exactly what you need there as well.