Every DJ has a unique blend of equipment—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 couple of things in particular. The best DJ headphones have either swiveling ear cups or a flexible headband so you can 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 headphones from brands like Pioneer and Cymatics, we've still tested over 705 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.
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 haven't tested their successor yet, 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 shields. 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. That said, 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 it can be hard to hear your audio well in noisy crowds. 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.
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're playing at a more subdued venue. Their audio cable is also detachable, which is nice because you don't need to replace the headphones if it's 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 it easier to keep tabs on the venue's mix.
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.
If you're looking for something more affordable, you'll want to consider the Sony MDR-7506. At this price point, you'll start seeing cuts to build quality and comfort to maintain a DJ-friendly sound. These retro-styled over-ears feel a lot more plasticky and cheap than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Their padding, although soft, also seems susceptible to wear and tear over time. However, their v-shaped sound adds a touch of extra bass that won't overwhelm the rest of your track. Vocals and instruments are also still clear and present. They're consistent across reseats too, which means that their sound won't deviate too much depending on fit, positioning, and seal.
These over-ears come with a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter, meaning you can plug them into your audio interface. Their non-detachable coiled cable design also allows you to move freely without having to worry about tangles. However, this also means that if the cable gets damaged, you'll need to replace the entire unit. They also struggle to block background noise; however, this is somewhat common amongst closed-back audiophile headphones.
For those on a tighter budget, check out the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x. Larger sacrifices have to be made at this price level. Unfortunately for these over-ears, their affordable price comes at the expense of their build quality and simple design. They feel even less durable than Sony MDR-7506 since the metal that reinforces the headband is thin and feels cheap. Also, the cable connecting the ear cups is exposed at points, making it easier to damage. They have a decently comfortable fit and don't clamp onto your head too tightly.
Their sound profile is reasonably well-balanced, with a very accurate mid-range response that ensures lead instruments and vocals sound present and clear. They also have a very neutral bass response, so your audio has punch and warmth, although they lack some low-bass. Their underemphasized treble response makes sibilant sounds, like cymbals, seem dull. While the 10-foot audio cable isn't detachable, it gives you plenty of room to move around.
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.
Oct 05, 2022: We've restructured this article to better align it with user expectations. We've renamed the categories and made the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless the 'Best DJ Headphones'. We've also cleared the Notable Mentions of any out-of-date picks.
May 05, 2022: Updated text and checked product picks for accuracy and availability.
Mar 09, 2022: Verified that the recommendations represent the best picks in their categories and that the products are available.
Feb 08, 2022: Checked that picks represent the best recommendations in their categories and that the products are in stock.
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.