Headphones are one of those technical elements of DJing that you really need to dive into a little bit before you buy them. Honestly, as a beginner DJ, headphones are not the most important thing, but eventually, you do need to get yourself a pair of comfortable and quality headphones. Especially if you intend to DJ for the next couple of years.
The best beginner DJ headphones are affordable, have dynamic drivers so it covers a wide range of frequencies, and are durable and flexible enough to stay intact when you’re moving your headphone up and down from your neck to your head, and twisting them for one-ear listening.
In this article, I will explain some important aspects of DJing headphones and what you need to look for, specifically if you’re a beginner.
Normal Headphones vs. DJ Headphones
The difference between DJ headphones and regular headphones is that with DJ headphones, manufacturers put most of their energy and money into aspects that are important for DJs. They spend time researching what DJs need and like when it comes to headphones.
One of the main differences is the high-quality sound that we need as DJs. even in the cheaper DJ headphone models the quality is better than in normal headphones of the same price range.
When I was at the very beginning of my DJ journey, I used whatever headphones I had laying around. I had a pair of Sony headphones that I was like 50 euros at the time.
Although they might not be the best headphones for DJing, they didn’t hold me back from my development as a DJ. And I think you need to keep that in mind before buying your DJ headphones. It’s not necessary to have the best headphones when you’re a beginner DJ.
However, at a certain point, I realized it was time to upgrade my headphones. It’s much nicer to hear some quality sound when trying hard to create a good mix. You’re doing yourself short if you don’t have some quality headphones to DJ with.
Bedroom DJ vs Professional DJ
When you’re a beginner DJ, you’re probably not DJing in bars, clubs, or festivals. It’s possible but I’m going to assume you’re not. This is an important detail when you’re looking for DJ headphones.
When you’re DJing in your own home, chances are it’s not really noisy and you can hear your music in your headphones perfectly fine.
In clubs, bars, and other venues there is a lot of noise from outside that could interfere with hearing what comes out of your headphone. It’s important that when you DJ on a stage somewhere that you have good quality headphones that isolate the music and leave that noise out there.
For a bedroom DJ or beginner DJ, you don’t need expensive headphones of the best quality. You just need a comfortable pair of headphones that has a good quality of sound coming out of them.
What to Look for When Buying DJ Headphones
If you’re convinced that you need to buy new headphones for you to DJ with, here are some aspects to look at.
It’s probably clear by now that the sound quality has to be on point. One thing to look at for when searching for a good pair of headphones to DJ with is the headphone driver.
A headphone driver is an important part, or maybe the core part, of headphones because they determine the sound quality.
There are several types of drivers but for DJing, it’s important to look for headphones with a dynamic driver.
Dynamic drivers cover a wide range of frequencies. As you might know, an important part of DJing is balancing the frequencies of two songs. With dynamic drivers, the high, mids and low frequencies are all optimized.
Isolation is how well the headphones can clear out noise from outside your headphone. As I mentioned, this is especially important when you’re DJing live on stage.
As I explained before, for bedroom DJs this might not be necessary. However, if you can find one that you like that does have good noise isolation, by all means, buy the headphones.
What you should maybe consider as well is that in the future you might be DJing on stage and by then you definitely need some good sound-isolating headphones.
With isolation I don’t mean over ear-headphones, you can use on-ear headphones with sound isolation. The noise isolation information is often on the title or product page of the product.
With flexibility, I mean the flexibility of the headphone themselves. When you’re DJing your headphones will be on and of your head a lot.
Sometimes they will be on one ear or both ears, sometimes around your neck. You need to be able to grab the headphone pull it down or bring it up to your ear a couple of times without breaking them. The more flexible headphones are the more you can move them around your head and neck.
Lightweight headphones are easier to handle. Like I said you’ll be moving around your headphones a lot when you’re DJing.
Heavy headphones are also often not that flexible and have very expensive drivers. Beginner DJ headphones don’t need expensive drivers. To be sure always look for lightweight headphones.
With size, I really mean the size of the part that is on your ear. The cushions part of the headphone at the end of the headbands.
The size is important mostly for when you hang your headphones around your neck. If you have big cushions they’ll be very uncomfortable around your neck.
A lot of over-ear headphones are pretty big, so be mindful of the size when you want to buy over-ear headphones to DJ with.
Top 3 Recommendations
Here are my top 3 recommendations for beginner DJ headphones, taking into account the requirements that a beginner DJ headphone should have.