How DJs Use Headphones (AND Why)

How DJs Use Headphones

Are you new in the world of DJing? Are you unsure what to look for in a pair DJ headphones? You might have bought a pair but aren’t sure what to do next. If you don’t know where or how to start, it can be overwhelming to enter the music industry.  Learn how DJ’s use headphones in a few minutes.

Perhaps you are intimidated by the confusing controls on your mixer. Our team of experienced experts have delved deep into DJing to create a starter kit on using headphones while DJing. Continue reading to discover how to become a DJ.                                                                           

Why Do DJs use Headphones?

There are many reasons why DJs use headphones. These reasons include:

  • The DJ headphones will block all outside noises, allowing you to focus on what you’re doing. As a DJ, it can be difficult to focus on your tracks in the midst of the raucous crowd.
  • You can protect your ears with DJ headphones.
  • These DJ headphones can be used for hours without interruption.
  • Many DJ headphones are available with adjustable headbands and soft ear pads.
  • Mixing tracks with DJ headphones is effortless and the crowd will not feel the transition between tracks.

What You Need to Know Before Buying DJ Headphones

A good pair of DJ headphones will cost you a significant amount. You want something that is worth your money. First, durability and strength are key factors. It would be disappointing to purchase headphones that have a loose connection after only a few hours.

It is possible for headphones to be damaged, even if they are of the highest quality. You should also review the terms and condition of replacement or refund as well as the guarantee period.

You need headphones that enable you to create many different genres of music in order to make great tracks. Good sound quality headphones are essential for DJs.

Headphone controls on a mixer or controller

The DJ mixers will allow you to plug in headphones. This was something we discovered when learning how to use one. A mixer will include a volume control and a cue mix. Some mixers will include cue buttons, which allow you to choose the channels you want to hear in your headphones.

Headphone Volume Control

The volume knob will be found on the top of your mixer’s headphones. This knob controls volume for all channels of headphones. This knob will not affect your main speaker volume (also known as your master volume).

Mix Headphones

Many DJ mixers also include a cue mixture. This could be a small crossfader or rotary knob. If the mini fader or knob are in the center position, you will hear all/any channels. The left channel (1 and 3) will be heard if the fader or knob is in the middle position. The right position will allow you to hear the right channels (2, 3).

You can move your knob/fader to mix the channels in your headphones the same way you would with the main crossfader. This allows you match beats and EQ for the next track.

To isolate a channel or scan through a track, you can slide/turn the cue mix either way. A DJ mixer should have a cue mix. It is essential.

Cue Buttons

Cue buttons enable you to choose the channels you want to hear from the headphones. You may also find cue buttons on some mixers for additional functions such as samplers, effects, booth monitor, or samplers. These buttons are only available on higher-end mixers or controllers.

You can beat-match multiple tracks and create playlists by isolating channels. This is great for DJs with multiple decks or performance DJing.

Use Headphones for DJ Mixing

You will now be able mix using your headphones once you understand the controls on your mixer’s panel. You should start by learning how to cue a track.

  1. Set the volume

You will need to adjust your headphone volume so that you can hear the track clearly over the main speaker volume. It is important not to make your headphone volume too loud. This could lead to hearing damage. It’s a smart idea to invest in DJ earplugs when DJing in loud environments.

  1. Assign A Channel

If your mixer doesn’t have any cue buttons, you can move on to step 2. Once your volume has been set, choose the channel to be cued by pressing the cue button. The assigned channel button will normally light up. Once the channel is assigned, you’ll hear it in your headphones and be able to cue.

  1. Set the Cue Mix

You can now set the cue mixer so that all other channels will be muted. You can now slide the crossfader or adjust the knob to choose the channel. Now, you will only be able to hear the track you wish to cue with your headphones.

  1. You can’t go wrong with this!

You should now be able to hear the channel in your headphones. Now, you are ready for cueing the track at the right point. My entire article on cueing will explain what cueing is. This article will help you understand cueing and the different cue points. You’ll learn how to set and control hot cues with the buttons on your mixer/controller. You can check it out by clicking this.

Headphone Beatmatching

Beatmatching is the next use for your DJ headphones. As a DJ, manual beatmatching is one of your most important skills. Even if you have a sync button on your equipment, beat-matching is still a skill that you need to master. Sync can be fickle, it may not work well with some genres and not all equipment have the function.

To get the tracks lined up, you will need to use your cue mix. The crowd is already hearing the first track, while the second track is being played and can be heard by you, the DJ. Once you press play, you can start to beat match. You can also wear headphones and adjust the cue mix to the center position.

To get the perfect beat match, you can make minor adjustments to the cue mixture as you match the two tracks. Sometimes it’s better to hear channel one a little louder and sometimes channel two should be more prominent. The cue mix will prove extremely helpful as you begin to beat match. That’s why you should buy a mixer with this feature.

EQ with DJ Headphones

To EQ your tracks, you can use the cue mixer function. The mini crossfader can be used in the same manner as the main one to make a mix and practice it before you do it live. You can also turn the rotary knob from channel one to channel 2, etc.

For beginner DJs, EQing is an important skill to master. Use headphones for DJ microphones! You can use headphones as DJ microphones for general music listening or gaming. A DJ secret is another way to use your headphones. Your headphones can be used to communicate with the crowd when there is no microphone.

Because headphones and microphones have diaphragms that vibrate, this works. Only difference is that headphones vibrate the microphone to produce a sound. However, microphones listen to vibrations of your voice before amplifying it and sending it to the speakers.

You can use headphones to function as a microphone by plugging your headphones into the microphone socket of the mixer. Headphones and microphones use the same 1/4 plug connector. If the connector is different, attach an adaptor. It’s easy to connect the headphones to the mixer.

Once you have connected them, increase the volume slowly and start speaking into the headphones’ ear cups. It won’t sound as good as regular microphones, but it is a great trick that can help you get out of trouble.

Curing Feedback

If you use headphones to make a microphone, you might hear a louder sound. This is called feedback and it is more common when using headphones as a microphone. Because the headphones have a bigger diaphragm (than a microphone), it is easier to pick up feedback.

Feedback occurs when the sound of your main speakers returns to the sound system through the mic. The sound is then amplified and repeated, creating the irritating high-pitched whine. It is best to reduce the volume of all feedback. If that’s not possible, you can turn down the booth monitors until the main system is still audible.

If you still have feedback point the microphone/headphones away from all main speakers. The tail end of any microphone should always be pointed towards the speakers. Don’t forget to unplug the microphone if you’re done speaking.

How DJs Use Headphones: Conclusion

You should first get used to your headphones and your setup if you are a beginner DJ. Once you are comfortable with this, you can experiment with music and other gear. It will amaze you at the amazing things that you will be able create. For cue mixing, it is important to invest in quality headphones. Mixing with good headphones can be done over time. Simply understand all functions and features.

How DJs Use Headphones: FAQ’s

What is the main difference between DJ headphones & ordinary headphones?

These headphones are different from standard headphones. DJs use them. The DJs can use the folding headphones to rotate one cup to hear cueing tracks on one side and leave the other open to listen to booth monitors.

Why do DJs always need headphones?

Also, it is important to realize that headphones are not necessary for beatmatching, cueing, or mixing if the session has been pre-recorded. If the session is pre-recorded, you don’t need to listen to the next track beforehand.

Which headphones are best for DJs?

The best headphones are comfortable to wear and should have noise isolation features. Clear sound and adequate bass levels are essential. The best part is that the swivel feature allows the DJ to use the sound over one ear, by placing the headphones on the shoulder.

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