Every DJ needs a good pair of headphones; something portable yet durable enough to quickly stash in without having to worry that they'll break. You most likely also want a headphone that sounds good, with rich, deep bass and a sufficiently neutral mid and treble range to reproduce instruments and vocals accurately. The best DJ headphones are comfortable to wear for long sets and have rotating cups for you to easily monitor the party for the right time to drop the bass. A wired design also helps, since you don't want any delay or latency while mixing.
While we have yet to review some of the more popular and iconic DJ headphones from brands like Pioneer and Cymantics, we've tested more than 206 over-ear and on-ear headphones and below are our top recommendations for the best DJ headphones that we've reviewed so far. See also our recommendations for the best studio headphones, the best headphones for music, the best wired headphones, and the best audiophile headphones.
The best DJ headphones we’ve tested so far are the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. They’re comfortable over-ear headphones that can fold up into a more portable format and have swiveling ear cups to help keep you connected to the crowd. They’re well-built and have a minimalist, studio aesthetic that goes well with everything.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x come with three different cables, one of which is coiled, for you to find the best one for your needs. They’re great-sounding headphones, with excellent deep and extended bass, a neutral and even mid-range, and great, balanced treble. They accurately reproduce the deep thump and rumble common to EDM and hip-hop as well as the vocals and instruments in pop and rock music.
Though they’re comfortable, the ATH-M50x don’t have the most stable fit and may wobble off your head if you’re really in the groove. This shouldn’t be a problem most of the time, but if you get really worked up during your sets, you may want to keep a hand on one of the cups just in case. On the upside, if ever they do fall off during a particularly rowdy set, they’re relatively inexpensive and won’t burn a hole through your wallet if you do need to eventually replace them.
If you’re looking for the best in build quality and don't mind the lack of rotating ear cups, then consider the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO instead. They don’t have a foldable design, so they’re less portable than the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, but they have a sturdier metal frame that feels built to last. Their mid-range is neutral and even, so instruments and vocals remain will sound balanced regardless of the track. Their bass isn’t as pronounced as some of the other recommendations on this list, but still sounds exciting and is great for mixing and remixing tracks.
Though their metal build feels durable, the DT 770 PRO are fairly rigid headphones and don’t have any swiveling hinges, so their cups don’t rotate. This means you have to wear them at an awkward angle to be able to keep one ear on the pulse of the party and still hear what you're mixing. They also don’t have a detachable cable, like the ATH-M50x. That said, what they lack in convenience for DJs, they more than make up for with their great sound quality, comfortable fit, and sturdy build that should last you years.
If you’re drawn to the iconic look of the Sony MDR line and want the most portable over-ear headphones that perform well for DJs, then get the Sony MDR-7506. They have a foldable design with swiveling earcups like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x but are much lighter. They do feel a little cheap, and they aren’t as comfortable as the M50X, but they’re a great lower-cost pick for DJs looking for a simple, timeless design.
The Sony MDR-7506 slightly emphasizes both the bass and treble ranges: the result is an exciting sound that may feel overhyped to some but just right to others. Though they have a less neutral sound profile than the Audio-Technica or the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, they’re good headphones for a dynamic set that features a mix of bass-heavy music with more vocal-centric songs.
Unfortunately, these headphones don’t feel as well-built as some of the other recommendations on this list. Although they come with a nice long coiled cable, the cable isn’t detachable, which increases the risk of damage to these headphones. Fortunately, they’re not super expensive, so replacing them if they do get worn down shouldn’t hurt too much. Overall, they’re a good choice for DJs looking for lightweight, portable headphones that deliver versatile sound.
If you like the portable design of the Sony MDR-7506 but need something more comfortable for your longer gigs, consider the Shure SRH 440. Although they’re a bit heavier than the Sony MDR-7506, their ear cups are larger and are covered in faux leather that feels more pleasing on the skin. They also come with a detachable cable and come with a carrying pouch, which is nice to have at this price point.
Although the Shure tend to sound good overall, they have sub-par frequency response consistency in the bass range, which means that different people may not experience their bass the same way. Some people may find it too deep and thumpy, and others may find them lacking in bass. If you’re the only person wearing them and you like the way they sound, this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you pass them to someone else, that person may not hear your mix the same way you do.
If you want better-designed headphones that have a lot more flair and style than the other recommendations on this list, then get the V-MODA Crossfade M-100. They don’t sound quite as balanced as the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, but they look and feel a lot more high-end. premium and fashion-forward than the Audio-Technica or the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO. They have a flexible, sturdy headband and look great whether you're in front of an audience or just walking down the street.
The V-MODA Crossfade have a simple wired design that looks cool, feels well-made, and stands out in a crowd. They’re sturdy yet compact headphones. They come with a great hard carrying case which makes them easy to carry around from set to set. They sound decent overall and have good bass. They also have customizable backplates for the ear cups that you can engrave with your logo to add a bit more personality to your headset or to further push your brand.
Unfortunately, they’re not the most comfortable headphones to wear, especially over longer periods of time. Their ear cups are a bit shallow and their headband tends to feel rather tight. They’re well-padded in general, so this may not be an issue for shorter sets, but they may cause some discomfort if you’re planning a longer performance. That said, they’re a good option for the more fashion-oriented DJ interested in creating a memorable visual identity.
If you prefer the fit of on-ear headphones, then get the Beats EP. They’re among the best sounding on-ear headphones we've tested so far. They also have a decent in-line microphone which is great if you need to communicate with clients in-between sets.
These headphones have a balanced sound that’s well-suited to the most versatile sets. They have deep extended bass that reproduces the thump and rumble of more bass-heavy tracks accurately without overpowering the vocals and lead instruments of brighter tracks. They also do a good job with more vocal-heavy tracks, so you're covered no matter what genres you usually play at your sets.
Unfortunately, the Beats EP don’t have swiveling hinges, which some DJs prefer. However, if you typically just move the earcups to the side to hear the crowd when you mix, then this won't be a big issue for you. They’re a little tight on the head, so they won’t be super comfortable for everyone, but if you prefer on-ear headphones in general you may not mind. Overall, the sturdy design and great sound of the EP makes them worth it for fans of on-ears.
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 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.