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The 4 Best DJ Headphones - Fall 2023 Reviews

Updated
Best DJ Headphones

Every DJ has a unique blend of equipmentโ —some prefer a classic, old-school analog setup, while others favor a more modern, digital approach. Whether your setup revolves around a turntable or a tablet, you always need a good pair of headphones.

A solid pair of closed-back studio headphones will generally be a decent option, but you'll want to look out for a few things. The best DJ headphones have either swiveling ear cups or a flexible headband to monitor your set from one ear and the club's mix with the other. A long, coiled cable will help you move around freely on stage, and if it's replaceable, you can swap it on the spot if it breaks during a set. You'll also want headphones with good noise isolation so that you can focus on the crowd one moment and line up your mix the next.

While we've yet to test some of the more popular and iconic DJ models from brands like Pioneer and Cymatics, we've still tested over 740 headphones. Below, you'll find our top headphone recommendations for DJs. Also, check out our recommendations for the best headphones for music, the best wired headphones, and the best audiophile headphones.


  1. Best DJ Headphones

    The best DJ headphones we've tested are the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless. These over-ears are the previous generation of the V-MODA Crossfade 3 Wireless. While we have yet to test their successor, the second-gen model is still worth considering, especially as they're still available from the manufacturer. These headphones have a premium build quality thanks to their reinforced headband, memory foam ear pads, and customizable (and swappable!) aluminum side plates. They're wireless, which is great if you don't want to worry about a cable snagging something and pulling them off your head, and they last over 11 hours continuously. You can also use them wired via the included audio cables.

    These over-ears have a comfortable fit, which helps limit the feeling of fatigue during long sets. They have trouble blocking background noise, so hearing your audio well in noisy crowds can be hard. In terms of sound, they also lean more bass-heavy. While the extra thump, rumble, and boom don't bloat vocals and instruments, a dip in the mid-treble dulls sibilants like cymbals. Overall, their sound isn't as flat or neutral as other picks on this list but can still be a solid choice for genres like EDM and hip-hop.

    Although we haven't tested them yet, you may also want to consider the Sennheiser HD 25. They're well-regarded in the DJing community thanks to their lightweight design and rotatable ear cups, so you can listen to audio with one ear while monitoring the crowd with the other. They're wired, which won't give you the same freedom of movement as the V-MODA.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range DJ Headphones

    The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x are the best headphones for DJing in the upper mid-range we've tested. Although they don't offer nearly the same level of customization as the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless, these over-ears deliver a well-balanced and fairly neutral sound that outperforms their price point. While audio still has a bit of extra warmth, it doesn't overwhelm the rest of your track. Their all-black design isn't eye-catching, so they won't stand out much, even if you play at a more subdued venue. Their audio cable is also detachable, which is nice because you don't need to replace the headphones if damaged. They have a lightweight, well-padded design that'll make them comfortable to wear for long periods. Their ear cups can also swivel, making keeping tabs on the venue's mix easier.

    Unfortunately, they have poor noise isolation performance, so they aren't ideal if you're looking for headphones to help isolate you from ambient noise. They're also not very portable and only come with a soft pouch to store them in, which doesn't protect them as much as a hard case. The AKG K371, which are similarly performing over-ears, can also be found at this price point. Their sound profile is even more flat and neutral than the Audio-Technica, but they're more prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery. You may especially notice a drop in bass if you have thick hair or wear glasses.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range DJ Headphones

    If you're looking for something more affordable, consider the Sony MDR-7506. If you're looking for DJ-friendly sound in the mid-range, you'll start seeing cuts to build quality. These retro-looking over-ears feel much more plasticky and cheap than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, and their ear cup padding seems susceptible to wear and tear with regular use. Still, they're decently comfortable and have a V-shaped sound profile that adds a touch of extra bass, while vocals and instruments are clear and present. They deliver sound consistently, so they sound the same across different reseats.

    They come with a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter, so they can easily connect to your audio equipment. Their coiled cable design helps you move around freely without tangles. However, the cable isn't detachable, meaning you must replace the headphones if the cord is damaged. The headphones don't block out much background noise, which is quite common for audiophile headphones, even closed-back models. Their soundstage isn't very immersive, but if you're looking for closed-backs with a more natural soundstage, try the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro 2016 instead. They aren't as comfortable, though, and are prone to larger deviations in audio delivery.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget DJ Headphones

    For those on a tighter budget, check out the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x. These relatively inexpensive headphones aren't as well-built as the Sony MDR-7506, partly because their metal headband frame is thin and feels cheap. The cable connecting the ear cups is exposed at points, which makes it easier to damage accidentally. Still, they have a decently comfortable fit and don't put much pressure on your head.

    They have a well-balanced sound profile with a neutral mid-range response, so voices and lead instruments are present, detailed, and clear. Their mostly accurate bass response ensures your audio has punch and warmth, but they lack a little low-bass, so your music will sound light on thump and rumble. Sibilant sounds, like cymbals, also seem dull. Still, even though the 10-foot audio cable isn't detachable or coiled, it gives you plenty of room to move around.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Audio-Technica ATH-M40x: The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x are a cheaper alternative to the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. They have a similarly comfortable fit and warm sound profile. However, they aren't as well-built and have more distortion at high volumes. They also come with one less audio cable. See our review
  • Shure SRH 440: The Shure SRH 440 have a fairly neutral sound profile and a detachable, coiled audio cable. However, they lack a thumpy low-bass. Unlike the Sony MDR-7506, they're also highly prone to inconsistent bass and treble delivery. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Sep 22, 2023: We've added a comparison between the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless and the Sennheiser HD 25. Even though we haven't tested the Sennheiser yet, they're a popular option in the DJ community.

  2. Jul 27, 2023: We've added the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro as an alternative to the Sony MDR-7506, which offer a better passive soundstage performance but aren't as comfortable.

  3. Jun 02, 2023: We removed the V-MODA Crossfade M-100 from Notable Mentions as they're no longer available. However, the main picks haven't changed.

  4. Apr 03, 2023: Checked that the picks represent the best recommendations and that the products are in stock.

  5. Jan 27, 2023: We've verified the accuracy of our text and checked for product availability. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best headphones for DJs in each price range. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for closed-back headphones. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.