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Best DJ Headphones (2023): Our Picks from Sony, Sennheiser & Pioneer

For the best DJ headphones, you’ll have to consider a few key factors. First off, they obviously should have excellent sound quality, and they should also have noise isolation to a degree that allows you to focus either on your mix or the crowd one at a time. By the same token, they should have swiveling or folding ear cups that let you open up one ear to hear your audience. Next is they should be comfortable since you’ll usually be wearing it for long periods. Last but not least, they should have a long cable so you can move around on stage without a hitch.

On that note, we’ve narrowed down our recommendations to three. First is the Sony MDR-7506 that are more or less a budget pick, but despite that, they don’t sacrifice quality. Second is the Sennheiser HD 25, which are generally regarded as being close to the industry standard. While they aren’t the most affordable DJ headphones out there, they make for the perfect pair to get off on the right foot. Third is the Pioneer HDJ-X5BT, a wireless option that’s convenient to use with the audio chops to match.

Best DJ Headphones Comparison Chart

ModelImageHighlightsPrice
Sony MDR-7506Best DJ HeadphonesAffordable yet delivers excellent sound qualityCheck Price at Walmart.com
Sennheiser HD 25Best DJ HeadphonesExcellent across the board, and arguably among the best of the best in their price rangeCheck Price at Sennheiser.com
Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5BTBest DJ HeadphonesCan be used wired or wirelessly with support for aptX and aptX Low Latency codecsCheck Price at Pioneer.com

Best DJ Headphones Under $100 — Sony MDR-7506

The Sony MDR-7506 give a lot of bang for the buck.

Best DJ Headphones Sony MDR-7506
Sony throws in a 1/4″ adapter and a pouch with the MDR-7506.

In terms of build, the Sony MDR-7506 don’t have the nicest quality compared to pricier counterparts, but they make up for it in sound and functionality. In other words, they check all the right boxes to be counted among the best DJ headphones but in a budget package.

For starters, they deliver excellent audio with punchy bass that doesn’t drown out other details, particularly highs and mids. However, their noise isolation could be better, as they don’t block ambient sound that well. In their defense, that’s par for the course for your average closed-back headphones. Plus, there’s barely any leakage when they’re playing.

What’s more, their ear pads are soft and comfortable, and their ear cups fold to boot, not to mention that they’re pretty slim, so stowing them away when not in use is a breeze. While they use a long coiled cable to prevent tangles, it’s fixed instead of detachable. That means if it breaks, then you’ll have no other choice but to replace them. Out of the box, they come with a 1/4” adapter, so there’s that.

Best DJ Headphones for Beginners — Sennheiser HD 25

The Sennheiser HD 25 have the basics down pat and take them to another level.

Best DJ Headphones Sennheiser HD 25
The ear cups of the Sennheiser HD 25 can rotate away.

When it comes to versatility, the Sennheiser HD 25 deliver in the sense that they’re perfectly suitable not only for DJing but also for listening and mixing. Put simply, they have superb audio quality with clear notes and separation, as well as respectable stereo imaging. Details are pronounced, and treble has a smooth response, all of which are backed by forceful but not overwhelming lows.

Now these are closed-back headphones that sit on your ears rather than covering them whole, but even then, they offer among the best isolation of their kind. Their soft padding coupled with their lightweight but durable design make them comfortable to wear for hours on end.

As for their ear cups, they rotate right up, allowing you to free one ear as needed. Also, they feature a detachable cable, meaning you can always purchase a replacement in the event that it gets damaged. Speaking of, almost every component of these headphones is replaceable, including their cable clamps, foam discs behind their padding and headband padding. Thanks to that, they’re bound to last long, and that makes them an excellent option for beginners and veterans alike.

Best Wireless DJ Headphones — Pioneer HDJ-X5BT

The Pioneer HDJ-X5BT use Bluetooth connectivity for wireless listening.

Best DJ Headphones Pioneer HDJ-X5BT
A closer look at the bulky design and textured plastic of the Pioneer HDJ-X5BT.

As an outlier of sorts in this list, the Pioneer HDJ-X5BT stands out by offering users the choice of going wireless. Their sound signature is more bass inclined, but the mids don’t get muddy at all. In fact, the highs even have a welcome clarity to them. Long story short, they can handle a wide variety of genres, including electronic and hip-hop.

Sure enough, using them wired is your best option to get the most out of them in terms of audio, which connects via a coiled cable for a tangle-free experience. However, it’s no slouch in wireless mode either. It may not use the latest Bluetooth 5.0, as it only uses version 4.2, but besides the more common SBC and AAC codecs, it also supports Qualcomm aptX and its low latency variant. That means there isn’t any lag issue to speak of.

These DJ headphones are on the thick side, and considering their build quality, they have a rugged feel to them with textured plastic on the cups for some extra grip. These cups also fold up and swivel, allowing you to focus on different sides of a mix or the crowd.

Verdict

Getting a pair of DJ headphones is a bit more finicky than looking for ordinary counterparts, but with the Sony MDR-7506, Sennheiser HD 25 and Pioneer HDJ-X5BT around, deciding which to get is a whole deal easier.

Sony MDR-7506

Best for the budget-oriented

Best DJ Headphones

Sennheiser HD 25

Best for beginners and pros alike

Best DJ Headphones

In summary, the best DJ headphones on a budget are the Sony MDR-7506, as they don’t compromise sound quality in spite of their low price tag. Meanwhile, the Sennheiser HD 25 are the best for beginners, but they’re also perfect for the more experienced DJ. Lastly, the Pioneer HDJ-X5BT are just the thing for those looking to do away with wires and cables.

FAQs

📌 Which headphone is best for DJ use?

The Sennheiser HD 25 and Pioneer HDJ-X5Bt are some of the best DJ headphones available, owing to their audio quality and features. For the budget-oriented, the Sony MDR-7506 can go a long way without breaking the bank.

📌 What headphones do DJs use?

It goes without saying that there isn’t one specific pair of cans that all DJs use, but a lot use the Sennheiser HD 25. First off, they’re modular enough that almost every part of them can be replaced, and they have excellent sound and a sturdy build.

📌 Do you need special headphones for DJing?

Not exactly, but you’ll need headphones that have decent audio quality and noise isolation at the very least. It’s also important that they swivel or rotate to free an ear as necessary, and they must have long cables to freely move on stage.

📌 Are wireless headphones good for DJ?

If you’re after wireless DJ headphones, make sure that they at least have the option to be used wired. Using Bluetooth is generally okay for casual listening, but even the slightest delay or lag can make it harder to mix.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.