Best DJ Headphones (Top 5 for 2024)

Hey there DJ headphone hunter! Welcome to my 2024 list of the best DJ headphones money can buy.

I’ve been DJing for the best part of 25 years, and I have more sets of headphones than is probably considered normal.

When I put this list together, I spent a full week doing nothing else but putting a dozen sets of DJ headphones through the ringer.    

These five are without doubt the best of the bunch!

The great news…you don’t need to break the bank to get your hands on the very best DJ headphones.

Choose one of these sets of headphone for DJs, and you’ll enjoy pro-level quality straight out of the box.

Ready to start getting into this list?

Great, let’s get started!…

best dj headphones in black text on green and yellow diagonally split background

Top Headphones for DJs

If you’re super tight for time and just want to get straight into which are my top DJ headphones…

…here are my top 3 best:

Our #1 Top Pick
  • $149.95
    • Clear, generous, punchy bass
    • Exceptionally well in loud environments
    • Lightweight and very comfortable
    • Outstanding durability
    • You’ll need to break them in
Best Runner Up
  • $369.00
    • Tight and precise bass
    • Perfect for loud environments
    • Lightweight and comfortable
    • Super cool look
    • Exaggerated soundstage
    • Expensive
Best of the Rest
  • $149.00
    • Exceptionally powerful bass
    • Great in loud environments
    • Solid build quality
    • Comfortable for DJing
    • Clamping force maybe too much for some
    • ATH-M50 to ATH-M50X...difference?
Our #1 Top Pick
$149.95
  • Clear, generous, punchy bass
  • Exceptionally well in loud environments
  • Lightweight and very comfortable
  • Outstanding durability
  • You’ll need to break them in
Best Runner Up
$369.00
  • Tight and precise bass
  • Perfect for loud environments
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Super cool look
  • Exaggerated soundstage
  • Expensive
Best of the Rest
$149.00
  • Exceptionally powerful bass
  • Great in loud environments
  • Solid build quality
  • Comfortable for DJing
  • Clamping force maybe too much for some
  • ATH-M50 to ATH-M50X...difference?
05/28/2024 02:31 pm GMT
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Just one quick tip before we go any further…

…if anyone ever suggests you get a pair of wireless headphones for DJing, tell them they’re crazy.

Wireless headphones carry a latency that makes them completely unsuitable for DJing. We’ll go into this a little more after our list.

#1. Sennheiser HD-25

For me, the Sennheiser HD-25’s are still the pick of the DJ headphone pack.

I’ve owned the same pair for 23 years now. And in those years they’ve been dragged from dirty, sweaty bar, to dirty, sweaty club, and back again, on the regular.

In that time, I’ve replaced the ear cushions once, and that’s it. These things are close to indestructible.

But their impressive durability is not what makes these my favourite headphones to DJ with.

When I DJ, I play house music. Deep house, tech house, and if I get really over excited, sometimes hard house.

And I beat-match with vinyl, old-skool beat-matching.

For this, you need great sound reproduction at the lower and mid-ranges, well-defined and punchy bass, plus excellent external noise reduction.

These have got to be the absolute minimum requirements from a pair of headphones for any DJ who plays electronic dance music (EDM).

The HD-25’s deliver on all of these counts, as well as in a ton of other areas.

They are super lightweight, so comfortable over longer periods, but also with a decent clamping pressure, so they don’t slip around on your head…only DJ’s care about this stuff!

You can also move one cup off one ear using the built-in swivel mechanism. Personally I find the headband is flexible enough that I can just shift it easily and comfortably without needing the swivel.

What You’ll Love About these Sennheiser’s:
  • Clear, generous, punchy bass: The first thing I look for in a pair of DJ headphones. Without this, there is nothing else to consider.
  • Great sound reproduction and definition at the lower and mid-ranges: You need the punchy bass, but you also need to be able to easily define it from the mid-range. Zero muddiness.   
  • Perform exceptionally well in loud environments: These are not active noise-cancelling headphones but for a pair of on-ear headphones the external noise isolation is excellent. 
  • Super lightweight and very comfortable: I’ve seen some comments where people reckon the HD-25’s hurt their head. I can’t imagine how massive your noggin would have to be for these to hurt.
  • Good clamping force: As a DJ, you’re moving your cans around much more than would otherwise be normal. You definitely don’t want a pair with a light clamping force that allows slipping about all over the place.
  • Outstanding durability: For a DJ, durability is far more of an issue than for the home listener. 
  • Value for money: Honestly…$150?..Ridiculous value.
What You Won’t Love:
  • You’ll need to break them in: It is fair to say that for some reason these Sennie’s take a couple of weeks of regular use before they feel really comfortable.
  • Average soundstage: If I’m at home, kicking back while listening to someone like London Grammar, I want really good soundstage, it’s just something I really appreciate. But as a DJ, playing out, I don’t actually give a rats arse about soundstage. 
  • Do they look cool?..Indeed they don’t! 

Sennheiser HD 25

Sennheiser HD 25

  • Frequency Range: 16 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 70Ω
  • Max. Sound Pressure: 120 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0,3%
  • Load Rating: 200 mW
  • Ear Coupling: Supraaural

#2. Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10

These beautiful looking Pioneer’s are a top set of DJ headphones, that’s for sure.

It’s a seriously close-run contest for the top-spot, between these and the HD-25’s.

These have a much chunkier look and feel than the Sennheiser’s above, but they are still impressively light.

The bass is just the way I like it for DJing…super-tight and super-precise.

I think that some audiophiles might prefer their bass it a little softer, but hey, this review is about headphones for DJ’s, and most DJ’s like it tight and precise!

As well as the strong and punchy bass, these cans have impressive mids and highs that are well-defined and crystal clear. They beat the HD-25’s at the top-end.

They don’t just beat the Sennheiser’s in just the one area either, I think the Pioneer’s have very slightly better noise isolation too.

Aside from the great sound reproduction and amazing sound isolation, I’ve found them to be very comfortable over long periods of time.

They are really light, as well as being nicely pliable and flexible. With their hinged, swivelling cups, they’ll move and sit easily, however you like to wear your headphones when DJing.

The HDJ-X10’s are made almost entirely of aluminium, leather and steel. The build is definitely top-quality and this should be reflected in their durability…

…but I can’t promise you that as I’ve only had mine for 6 months!

What You’ll Love About these Pioneer’s:
  • Tight and precise bass: DJ’s need that bass to be easy to find, and you’ll not have a problem wit these cans.
  • Super-wide and accurate frequency response: I doubt there is another set of DJ headphones that picks out the mids and highs quite like these.
  • Perfect for loud environments: Like the HD-25’s, these are not active noise-cancelling headphones but you will find their external noise isolation to be outstanding. 
  • Lightweight and comfortable: You will not have any issues wearing these for long sets.
  • Perfect clamping force: I always expect chunkier headphones to slip off my head when I DJ, but Pioneer have got the camping force spot on.
  • Do they look cool?..Oh so very cool!
What You Won’t Love:
  • A little too chunky for some: Like me for a start. I just prefer my DJ headphones slightly more trim and petite!
  • Exaggerated soundstage: I don’t care much about soundstage when DJing, but there’s something about the roominess here that takes some getting used to.
  • They are expensive: More than twice the price of the HD-25’s.

Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10

Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10

  • Frequency Range: 5 Hz – 40 kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 32Ω
  • Max. Sound Pressure: 106 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion:
  • Load Rating:
  • Ear Coupling: Circumaural

#3. Audio Technica ATH-M50X

I’ve owned a pair of the ATH-M50 Audio Technica’s for the longest time, so went I sent off for this updated model, I wasn’t quite sure what difference the addition of the ‘X’ was going to bring.

And now that I’ve tried them, I’m still not sure, aside from the extra cables you get in the box, to suit whichever way you like your headphone cable; straight, coiled, long or short.

The truth is though, that the M50’s were great headphones for DJing, and these M50X’s are also great headphones for DJing.

I’ve seen some user comments online saying that they have experienced sibilance (hissing) issues at the top-end.

All I can say is that I have not been able to pick up on any sibilance issues at all, and my hearing is, thankfully, perfect.

I don’t know if these people have actually heard it, or if they’ve run their cans through a piece of testing software, and the software has indicated that sibilance could be apparent.

My advise around this would be that if you are a very technically driven audiophile type, who will be bothered that the analysis tests you might run, show some identified imperfection, maybe give these a miss.

But if you’re a reasonably normal human, and go with what your ears hear, I wouldn’t worry about it.

What You’ll Love About these Audio Technica’s:
  • Good sound quality: Not perfect because the bass can sometimes be a little too thick for me, but pretty damn good all the same. 
  • Exceptionally powerful bass: So a good choice for DJs, but like I said above, sometimes it  gets a little too thick for my liking.
  • Great in loud environments: As you know, these are not active noise-cancelling headphones, but you will find the sound isolation is pretty much as good as it gets.
  • Solid build quality: The have a kind of indestructible feel about them 
  • Comfortable for DJing: These cans have good clamping pressure so won’t flop about when you’re DJing, plus they have full cup swivel and are nicely foldable.
What You Won’t Love:
  • Clamping force maybe too much for some: Not for me beacuse I have an average size head, and I prefer my DJ headphones on the tighter side. But if you’ve got a big old nut, they might not be the best choice for you.
  • Sibilance: I cannot detect any hissing at all, but if you’re a very techie type, and you plan on running your cans through sound analysis software, you know it’s going to bug the hell out of you if it shows that their could be sibilance issues.
  • ATH-M50 to ATH-M50X: If you already own the M50’s and there’s nothing wrong with them, do not rush out to buy this newer model. They are exactly the same, apart from getting more cables with the X’s. 

Audio Technica ATH-M50X

Audio Technica ATH-M50X

  • Frequency Range: 15 Hz – 28 kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 38Ω
  • Max. Sound Pressure: 99 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion:
  • Load Rating:
  • Ear Coupling: Circumaural

#4. Beyerdynamic DT-1350

For sure these headphones are Beyerdynamic throwing down the gauntlet to Sennheiser and their HD-25’s.

A seriously ballsy move if you ask me.

Beyerdynamic have definitely done a great job with these cans. 

I like the solid bass, I like the rich mids, and I like the treble, but it’s not as lively sounding as the HD-25’s.

But the DT-1350 certainly over delivers when it comes to sound isolation. For a pair of on-ear headphones it is unbelievably good.

For the way I listen to music, and the type of music I tend to mostly listen too, which is electronic dance music, I prefer the sound of the Sennheiser’s.

As for build quality, I haven’t owned the DT-1350’s for anywhere near as long as I have my HD-25’s, or subjected them to anywhere near the same level of abuse, but they feel like they’re going to last well. 

What You’ll Love About these Beyerdynamic’s:
  • Solid bass, rich mids, nice treble: It’s a well rounded sound for sure. 
  • Outrageously good isolation: I mean really great.
  • Comfortable and useable for DJing: Good clamping force, split articulating headband, rotating cups…just like the HD-25’s. 
  • Build quality seems good: Like I said earlier, I haven’t thrashed these like I have my Sennheiser’s but the build seems solid.
What You Won’t Love:
  • Clamping force maybe too tight for some: For me it’s perfect for DJing, but some people will find them a little too tight.
  • Top-end a little flat: I’m being very picky here, but these don’t quite have the axciting top-end that others on this list have.
  • Price: These headphones were released as a direct competitor to the HD-25. In my opinion, the HD-25’s are better headphones for DJing, but the DT-1350’s are more than twice the price.  

Beyerdynamic DT-1350

Beyerdynamic DT-1350

  • Frequency Range: 5 Hz – 30 kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 80Ω
  • Max. Sound Pressure: 109 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0,2%
  • Load Rating:
  • Ear Coupling: Supraaural

#5. Sennheiser HD 280 PRO

Okay, so these aren’t the very best pair of headphones for DJing with, because they are not as pliable and easily movable as I would ideally like.

But, they have beautiful sound, a real nice solid bass…

…and they are perfect if you need headphones for a wider range of professional studio use.

The sound isolation with these is excellent.

What You’ll Love About these Sennheiser’s:
  • Sound is outstanding: They render all frequencies just about perfectly with no bleeding and muddying.
  • Great sound isolation: Possibly as good as you’ll get with passive cans.
  • Excellent soundstage: Not super-important for DJ’s, but anyway.
  • Perfect for a wide range of professional use: Whether you’re DJing, monitoring, recording etc.
What You Won’t Love:
  • Not the sleekest looking: No, Sennheiser won’t be winning any design awards with these cans.
  • Non removable input cable: This is a bit odd. It’s industry standard to have a removable input cable. If the cable goes, you’ve got to start some serious repair work, or chuck them in the bin.
  • Not the most pliable headphones: For fairly static use this isn’t much of an issue, but for DJing where you’re flipping your cans around all over the place, not the best. 

Sennheiser HD 280 PRO

Sennheiser HD 280 PRO

  • Frequency Range: 8 Hz – 25 kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 64Ω
  • Max. Sound Pressure: 113 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: 0,1%
  • Load Rating: 500 mW
  • Ear Coupling: Circumaural

Are Wireless or Wired Headphones Better for DJing?

This is a real easy one to answer.

Wireless headphones would be a terrible choice for a DJ.

Wireless connectivity has a comparatively high latency compared to a wired connection. Critically, it’s enough to create lag between headphones and monitors.

This will make it almost impossible to accurately beat-match, queue, and mix.

I’m fully aware that there are plenty of DJ headphone reviews that recommend wireless sets…

…what can I say? Those reviewers have not the first clue what they’re on about!

If you want to know more about what goes into making a great set of headphones before committing your hard earned cash, why not have a read of my guide for headphone buyers.

What Headphones do Most Professional DJs Use?

Most professional DJs are using either Sennheiser’s or Pioneer’s.

I’d say there is a fairly even split between Sennheiser DJs and Pioneer DJs.

After those two brands, it’s probably Audio Technica that are picking up a lot of the rest.

Are DJ Headphones Different to Normal Headphones?

DJ headphones are not necessarily different to other headphones, but there are definitely some essential features that DJ’s will look for when buying a new pair of cans.

Or to put it another way…a set of DJ headphones can always be used for everyday listening, but your everyday listening headphones may not be suitable for DJing.

Not too different to anyone else, a DJ will look for great sound quality. The last thing a DJ needs in a noisy bar or club is a set of cans giving muddy sound.

Natural sound that is both crisp at the high-end as well as responsive to the type of subsonic bass that electronic music often produces.

If you’re planning on DJing outside of your own bedroom, great noise isolation will be important.

I’ve never got on with headphones that have an active noise cancellation feature, preferring instead to find those DJ headphones with great passive noise isolation.

DJ headphones also need to be comfortable over longer periods of time, and when being worn in warm environments.

You’ll want something that sits both comfortably over the ear as well as across the top of your head.

DJ’s also tend to consider how they like to wear, and move their headphones around when playing. For this reason you will find that DJ headphones have great cup movement, as well as a fairly flexible headband.

Should You Use Open or Closed Headphones for DJing?

Closed, definitely closed-back.

Open-back will let way to much noise in.

The Wrap-Up!

Latest fashion and trends, along with the marketing strategies of some manufacturers can make choosing the best headphones for DJing a nightmare for beginners unfamiliar with the some of the technical terms.

But once you scratch the surface, it becomes apparent that as long as you arm yourself with a bit of knowledge around a few key areas, such as sound quality, noise isolation, comfort and reliability, you’re pretty well equipped to make a well-informed buying decision.

If you are a beginner, looking at selecting the best DJ headphones you can afford, please don’t get dragged into paying attention to hype and looks. None of that stuff will serve you well. 

Got Something To Add?

We’d love to hear from you.

If you’ve used any of the DJ headphones mentioned in this article, please drop a comment in the box below and let us know what you think.

Or, if you own a pair that you think knock all of the above into a cocked-hat and believe to be the best DJ headphones on the market, share your thoughts.

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