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 615 headphones. Below, you'll find our top recommendations for the best DJ headphones that we've tested. Also, check out our recommendations for the best headphones for music, the best wired headphones, and the best audiophile headphones.
The best DJ headphones that we've tested are the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. They feature a relatively lightweight design that makes them comfortable to wear throughout longer sets, and their well-padded ear cups can swivel and allow you to keep tabs on the venue's mix. They're also well-built, with dense plastic construction and a trio of detachable audio cables.
They have a fairly well-balanced sound profile that makes them a good fit for many genres, though their slightly overemphasized low-bass response emphasizes the thump and rumble of EDM and hip-hop tracks. Due to their conservative-looking design and monochrome color scheme, they also shouldn't stand out too much, even if you're playing at a fairly subdued venue. If you prefer a wireless design, this manufacturer makes a Bluetooth variant of these headphones called the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT, which we've tested.
Unfortunately, they aren't especially portable, making them a bit of a hassle to carry around when not in use. Their poor noise isolation also means that you hear a lot of the sound around you, which isn't ideal if you're playing a noisy gig. Still, if you're looking for sturdy headphones with a versatile sound profile, these are a good option.
If you like to showcase your style via your headphones, try the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless. While they're more prone to inconsistencies in bass delivery than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, they have a unique, customizable design. You can swap out their ear plates, ear cup cushions, and audio cable or even create your own customized ear plates with color prints or laser engravings by purchasing these parts directly manufacturer's website. They have a comfortable fit as well as a great build quality that feels dense and well-padded. Their bass-heavy sound profile also delivers more thump and boom than the Audio-Technica, though some users may prefer this sound. Unlike other headphones on this list, they support Bluetooth too, and their battery supplies just over 11 hours of continuous playback time, which is nice for more casual use. While their wireless latency is quite high and not ideal for DJing, they come with a 1/8" TRRS cable so that you can use them passively during your shows.
Go for the Audio-Technica if you're looking for more neutral-sounding headphones with a wired-only design. However, if you want to customize your headphones' look to suit your tastes and if you want Bluetooth support, take a look at the V-MODA.
The best DJ headphones under $100 that we've tested are the Sony MDR-7506. These headphones have a classic, retro-style design and a decently comfortable fit suitable for long sets. Their ear cups can also tuck within the frame to help reduce their footprint, making it easier to fit them in bags when you're on the go.
These over-ears have a slightly v-shaped sound profile, ensuring your mixes have a touch of extra thump, rumble, and boom while vocals and lead instruments sound bright and sparkly. They also have decently consistent audio delivery, so once you get the right fit, seal, and positioning, their sound shouldn't vary greatly. Thanks to their coiled audio cable, you have roughly four feet of range to move around, and they come with a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter too, which is nice if you want to plug them into an amp or mixer.
Unfortunately, the headphones have a plasticky design that feels a bit cheap, despite the thin metal frame that reinforces their build. Although they have a closed-back design, they also struggle to block out background noise, which isn't ideal for very noisy venues. That said, if you're looking for more affordable headphones with a balanced sound, they're a suitable choice.
The best DJ headphones in the budget range that we've tested are the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x. These headphones have a simple all-black design that doesn't stand out too much, giving them an understated look that you may like. They're quite comfortable since they're lightweight and don't clamp onto your head too tightly.
Their sound profile is quite well-balanced overall, with incredible mid accuracy. Instruments and lead vocals sound clear, present, and full-bodied. Their bass response is mostly accurate as well but lacks some thump and rumble because the low-bass range is underemphasized. Their audio cable isn't detachable, but it gives you plenty of range since it's 10 feet long.
Unfortunately, their treble response is uneven, so sibilants like cymbals and S and T sounds lack brightness. They also don't have the best build quality, since they're made of cheap-feeling plastic and the cable connecting the earcups is exposed, making it more prone to damage over time. That said, they're a solid choice if you're looking for comfortable over-ears with a decently well-balanced sound.
Sep 02, 2021: Check our picks for accuracy and product availability. We haven't changed our picks.
Aug 03, 2021: Checked picks to make sure they still represent the best recommendations, and that the products are in stock.
Jun 15, 2021: Checked the text for accuracy and product availability. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Apr 16, 2021: Removed the Beats EP, JBL CLUB ONE Wireless, Beats Studio3 Wireless, and Beats Solo Pro Wireless as they don't offer the best value to users. Added the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless as 'Most Customizable Alternative' and renamed 'Best Portable DJ Headphones' to 'Best DJ Headphones Under $100' to better align our picks with user expectations.
Feb 17, 2021: Verified that all main picks are still in stock and that they're the best fit for their category.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best DJ headphones to buy for most people 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.