When DJ’ing, it’s imperative to have the right set of headphones for the job. Firstly, you need to be able to have good sound clarity to ensure you can correctly match the beat and provide the crowd with a smooth transition between tracks. Speaking of said crowds, excessive noise may impair your judgement so the ability to access sound cancelling is also vital with headphones you wish to DJ with.
Some of the best models on the market you may wish to consider are:
When buying headphones to DJ with, there are a few considerations that wouldn’t necessarily apply to headphones you’d use just for listening to music at home. For one, they need to be able to clearly give you bass, mid-range and treble distinction, even in noisy environments. Plus, there’s the added need for durability modifications to ensure they can withstand everything a packed club has to throw at them.
Headphones you intend to DJ with are built slightly differently than regular headphones, with features that will enable purpose-built clarity against background noise, as well as user-friendly adaptations.
How to choose headphones to DJ with?
Choosing headphones to DJ with is not like buying any regular pair of headphones that you could potentially use for different purposes, such as listening to music as well as Skype calls.
DJ headphones are purpose built and adapted specially for use in clubs, so you should look out for models which are going to offer you the right experience.
Look for models with adjustable ear pieces that can be swiveled round, as well as large padding to seal in the noise.
Also, consider a model with a high-frequency response that is adaptable to different setups. You will notice that similar to studio grade headphones, DJ headphones offer more superior stats when it comes to aspects such as decibel sensitivity and maximum power input.
The advantages of DJ headphones
First and foremost, as an artist who people are coming to see perform and experience a good musical experience, having purpose-built equipment to hear exactly what the beats are doing is the best way to up your game and ensure you can hear everything even in challenging conditions.
With the larger padding DJ headphones provide, they will also ensure comfort around the ear and head, which other types of headphones don’t always provide, especially in-ear models which don’t fit everybody the same. With DJ headphones, you can adjust the headband to suit your head size exactly, keeping things comfortable while keeping a tight fit to exclude external noise.
Also, DJ headphones tend to have a curled-up cord instead of a long straight one. The advantages of this mean you can move around just the same without tripping over the cord, or have it catch on equipment which is likely in a dark, crowded environment.
Things to look for:
Think about the environment of a club; not only is it loud, but it’s hot, crowded and there’s a chance drinks can get spilled, or that someone could step on your equipment. Therefore, you need to be looking for durability to ensure a good lifespan for your headphones.
One of the best features is a strong and sturdy earphone connection to the handle. Seeing as it’s likely you will be using only one ear at times, how easy does the earphone piece swivel around? Also, is the connector made of cheaper plastic or a more durable metal?
You should also look out for headphones which fold down, preferably flat, as this makes for easier transportation. Your headphones need to be able to withstand the rough and tumble of your DJ kit bag, and also people placing heavy objects onto them by mistake, which is much less damaging if they are compacted while in transit.
The best way to use headphones for DJs
There are multiple ways to use DJ Headphones depending on what suits you, and also the environment you are in. You can, for example, use both ears and relying on the sound without hearing it through the venue speakers, though at times, this might not allow you to experience the atmosphere in the same way and pick up on the vibes of the crowds.
Many DJ’s opt to use one ear, either with the phones adjusted at the handle so it can slide off at one ear, yet still fit tightly to the head without slipping off. Alternatively, some headphones allow for the ear to be flipped over, which exposes the ear to the outside noise, in a way that can easily be flipped right back over so both ears are again covered.
What Are The Best Dj Headphones?
While the model you choose may depend on several factors, in terms of all-round appeal and engineered quality, the Monoprice 108323 Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style Over-the-Ear Pro Headphone Bundle is the top choice from the above options, because they are specifically engineered for DJ use. While the KRK KNS8400 are also excellent, being studio over DJ headphones means they don’t have that deep bass clarity which is required, meaning you are not able to experience the true clarity of the music.
Also, being able to switch between one- and two-ear listening to the mix is important. While other models such as the Vic Firth Stereo Isolation Headphones offer greater protection against ear damage and outside noise, in a live environment they may not be that practical as it would require removing the headphones altogether to be able to hear the mix through the speakers or have a conversation.
The Monoprice model also comes with interchangeable cables at different lengths, which is ideal, as every time you set up in a new location, there may be restrictions on how much room you have, plus if the cables were to get damaged, you wouldn’t have to replace the whole bundle.
While they don’t adjust as far as other models, overall, they are more geared towards the challenges a live setup can throw at DJ’s. The fact you can swivel each ear would also allow for a rest if they became too tight, meaning you can get around that one potential issue if you like to switch up quite a bit. Ultimately, they will give you the best sound experience compared to the other models and would best suit your needs as a DJ.