10 Best DJ Headphones 2016

If you’re looking for a pair of DJ headphones that offer the best sound, comfort, and durability than you’ve come to the right place. We’ll compare the 10 best DJ headphones on the market, provide detailed reviews of the 5 best, and present you with an ultimate champion. Once you read this article, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to buy the ultimate cans and get back to your soundboard.

To make an informed and intelligent purchase, you need to have a good understanding of basic headphone terminology. In a general sense, the three things you want to consider are the type, size, and technology of a potential pair of ‘phones. We’ll break those down as well as features like bass, comfort, weight, open vs closed-back, durability, and portability.

Top DJ Headphones Chart Comparison

PictureNameOpen/Closed BackPriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameOpen/Closed BackPriceRating (1-5)
1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor HeadphonesClosed$$$$4.8
2. AKG K712 Pro Over-Ear Mastering/Reference Headphones - OpenOpen$$$$$4.7
3. Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm HeadphoneClosed$$$4.6
4. Marshall Monitor HeadphonesClosed$$$4.6
5. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, 250 ohmsClosed$$$$4.6
6. AKG Q 701 Quincy Jones Signature Premium Headphones (White)Open$$$$4.4
7. AKG K 240 Semi-Open Studio HeadphonesSemi-Open $$4.4
8. AIAIAI TMA-1 DJ Beatport Headphones, BlackClosed$$$4.2
9. Vic Firth Stereo Isolation Headphones.Closed$$4.2
10. Sennheiser HD360 Pro Headphones (Black)Closed$$4.1

What to Consider When Investing in DJ Headphones

Searching for the perfect pair of DJ headphones for your specific needs is a daunting task. The process becomes increasingly tricky when you start to look at the myriad of brands and models, styles and designs, and specs. However, whether you’re a die-hard vinyl advocate, goofing around with a pair of CDJs, or are one of the increasing number of digital DJs, there are three crucial things to consider during your research:

  • Type. Closed versus open back is the main consideration here. Open-back headphones are typically the best for mixing and mastering, which is why they are popular options among DJs. Open-back headphones, as you might image, do not block the sound from moving away from your ears and into your surroundings. When you’re DJing a loud club, this doesn’t matter at all. Closed-back headphones, on the other hand, do block sound from escaping outward. For those who intend to use their headphones in public spaces, closed-back will be necessary. One way to think of the sound quality between closed and open-back headphones is a band in your head (closed) versus a band in a concert hall (open). On top of the ear versus over the ear is the other factor to consider, but to a much lesser degree. Almost all DJ headphones will be over the ear. On top of the ear headphones are generally much less professional and don’t provide the sound blockage required for loud settings.
  • Size. Over the ear headphones can feel a bit daunting to people who have never used them before. Especially if you’re moving from earbuds, professional headphones will most likely be a bit overwhelming at first. Make sure to choose a size that feels right on your head. Ear sizes differ as do head sizes. Make sure to choose something that feels snug and secure, yet not too tight.
  • Technology. You’ll also want to take into consideration the unique features of the headphones compared to your musical interests. For example, it doesn’t make much sense to buy a pair of cans that’s specifically known for bass if you listen to a lot of classical music. On the flip side, if bass is an integral part of your DJing experience, make sure to get headphones that support those needs.

Detailed Reviews of the 5 Best DJ Headphones

1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50

When you start to look around for DJ headphone reviews, you’ll soon see that Audio-Technica is a well-respected brand. The ATH-M50s in particular are always popping up near the top of “best-of” lists. In our opinion, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 are at the very top of the list when it comes to DJ headphones.

The first thing you notice is the sturdy design and feel of these cans. These puppies are built to last. Even with the collapsible design (which we’ll get to in a second), you never get the feeling the headphones are weak. The closed-back design makes them more multi-purpose than openback headphones as well.

As soon you put them on and press play, you’ll be in awe of the extremely balanced and detailed sound with tight bass. While you’re getting lost in the depth of sound, you might also notice how soft and comfortable the ear pads are. The cushiony pads swivel 180º, meaning they will lay flat on your chest when you’ve got it around your neck.

The ATH-M50s effortlessly handle audiophile listening and perform brilliantly during audio production. The collapsible design is ideal for those who need to travel to a lot of gigs. Even if you’re just moving around town, the easy portability and convenient storage is fantastic. While they’re not the cheapest professional headphones around, they also aren’t the most expensive. All in all, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 provides the best value for your money with its many impressive features.

2. AKG K712 Pro

Like Audio-Technica, AKG is another dependable brand name in the headphone industry. Many of their models found their way onto our top 10 list above, but the best of the bunch are the K712s.

The open-back technology creates a spacious and airy sound. Some will like this, some won’t. Personally, we found the sound incredible. The K712s provide crystal-clear sound with a wide soundstage. High, mid, and lows are extremely well balanced — a particular delight when listening to orchestras. Anyone who knows what they’re looking for can easily position instruments just like you would be able to do at a live concert. The bass comes in smooth as well.

For those who mix, the K712s deliver very accurate monitoring. The flat, super-extended frequency response as well as the wide, deep soundstage with pinpoint localization will give you the total accuracy you need to make awesome recordings.

While the memory foam ear pads feel like heaven (seriously, after a while, you’ll forget you even have them on), the overall fit can be a bit loose for some. Especially those with narrow heads will find these a tad large.

The AKG K712s deliver an exceptional neutral sound from bass to treble. The precision and accuracy provided by these headphones allow you to work your magic on the stage or at the mixing table.

3. Sony MDR7506

Sony’s MDR7506 professional headphones are also great for DJ purposes. The closed-back design puts the concert in your head and does an exceptional job at blocking out ambient noise.

Users will enjoy crystal-clear highs, present mids, and an extended low-end with these bad boys.

The MDR7506s feel very comfortable around the ears and especially on the head. A generous amount of headband padding creates a nice cushion resting on your skull.

Like the ATH-M50s, these headphones feel rugged and sturdy despite the convenient folding construction. The lightweight design makes them even more portable and convenient to carry around. The Sony MDR7506 headphones don’t fall short in any particular area, but also don’t provide quite as much sound depth as the first two on our list. However, their significantly lower prices does make them an attractive option for many.

4. Marshall Monitor

A big perk of the Marshall Monitors is the built in mic and remote which allow you to take calls while listening to music. This is Marshall’s first foray into over-ear headphones, so it’s understandable that their product isn’t quite as polished as some of the others on this list.

With that said, the Monitors still provide great sound quality and depth. We found the bass to be really solid, the mids warm, and the treble crisp. Marshall uses FTF technology to allow for sound customization. Underneath the ear cushions are a removable attachment. When they’re in, the sound has deeper bass and a warmer overall sound. Remove the inserts, and the sound becomes extremely crisp. The option to customize was nice, but the physical removal of a component was tad clumsy.

Additionally, the ear pads are more slender than most over-ear headphones. While this gives them a slightly cheaper feel, the light weight does feel nice when you’ve had them on for hours on end. Overall, the Marshall Monitor headphones are an excellent choice and offer a few unique features that could be perfect for the right buyer.

5. Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

Last of the top-5 best DJ headphones are the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO. Bass-heads will appreciate the “bass reflex” technology built into these ‘phones. The exceptional bass response this delivers is accentuated by the closed-back system.

Besides the great bass, the ear pads really do feel like two pillows on your face. Completely engulfing your ears, the outside world will be lost once you have these on.

The two downsides that keep the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO from climbing higher are the slightly bulky design and the lacking highs. When the bass was enhanced, something was compromised, and unfortunately that left the pure highs with something to be desired. Carrying them around is also not as easy as the others on the list. These headphones are best suited for serious bass-heads, but the vast majority of people will find the other DJ headphones above a better fit for their needs.

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