• Official DJ Forums headphone reviews

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    Official DJF headphone reviews

    I started my journey into the DJ world in 2003. The first set of headphones I bought, I still use today. So, I will mention that set first.

    Sony MDR-V700
    Attachment 144

    • Driver Unit : 50mm
    • Frequency Response : 5Hz - 30,000Hz
    • Impedance : 24 ohms
    • Sensitivity (db) : 107dB/mW

    Sound: 3/5, Not the best sounding headphones I've used, but they are suitable enough for DJ work. Plenty of low end.
    Sound Isolation: 3/5, Since the earcups are not over the ear, the isolation will not be as good as headphones that are over the ear.
    Durability: 4/5, I've gotten plenty of use since 2003. Some DJs have brought up the weakness of the swivel on the earcups, this weakness has led to cracks and the earcup eventually broke off. Mine do have small cracks in that same area, but I've filled them with a small layer of epoxy. I also don't fold my headphones, something that seems to contribute to the earcup swivel stress. *I did replace the phono connector because the original one was damaged in an accident a few months ago.
    Comfort: 2/5, I have a small head and these can be worn for short periods with no discomfort. But, since the earcups are not over the ear, wearing these on both ears for extended periods will cause discomfort due to the direct pressure on the earlobes. When I DJ, I only use one earcup so this doesn't really apply to me. But, if you tend to wear your headphones all the way, this may be an issue for you.
    Size: 4/5, The overall size is pretty small. When you wear them, they don't feel terribly large on your head. For DJs like me, I don't want to feel like I'm wearing a huge set of 1970s headphone monitors on my head.

    Would I buy this again if it broke? No. With the DJ headphone choices available in this price range, I would not buy this set again. Overall value: 3/5


    Next up is a set I've owned and used since 2004: Sennheiser's HD280
    Attachment 145

    • Driver Unit : not listed on Sennheiser's site
    • Frequency Response : 8 - 25,000 Hz
    • Impedance : 64 ohms
    • Sensitivity (db) : 102dB/mW

    Sound:4/5, Close to flat(note I said close), but can be bright at times. Not a ton of low end. Still suitable for DJing. Works well for production, especially if you can't blast music at your residence - what I mainly use them for.
    Sound Isolation:5/5, Since these are over the ear headphones, sound isolation is excellent.
    Durability:4/5, The leather(pleather) on the earcups has not worn or shown tearing. The earcup foam has a break-in period and they will feel softer over time. The leather(pleather) on the headband padding ended up wearing out after a few years and started tearing off in little black bits. I put tape over it. Problem solved. The frame and earcup swivels are well manufactured and show no signs of cracking.
    Comfort:5/5, Feels like little pillows over my ears. I can wear these for hours and feel no discomfort.
    Size:3/5, Large because of larger earcups. They still don't feel terribly large on your head which is good.

    Would I buy this again if it broke? Yes. For the price, these are an excellent value. You get a solid package with good sound. Overall value: 4/5


    Next, is a set I bought around late 2004/early 2005 as a basic backup headphone.

    Audio Technica Pro5MSA
    Attachment 146

    • Driver Unit : 40mm
    • Frequency Response : 15 - 28,000 Hz
    • Impedance : 40 ohms
    • Sensitivity (db) : 103dB/mW

    Sound:2/5, Feels a bit muddy. They do get loud. But, the sound quality is not great.
    Sound Isolation:2/5, these are not over the ear headphones. The foam+pleather earcups don't do a great job of blocking external noise.
    Durability:3/5, The pleather on the foam earcups cracked years ago, so I had to just clean those up. The physical design is similar to Sony's MDR V-6 headphones. The ear cups don't swivel out but, they do have a few degrees of movement. No cracks to speak of and it held up to being disassembed for repainting.
    Comfort:2/5, I must say, these are not a joy to be wearing for more than 20 minutes on both ears. One cup monitoring isn't really possible since the earcups do not swivel all the way out.
    Size:4/5, Really the only plus for these headphones, they are small in terms of feel.

    Would I buy this again if it broke? No. I don't recommend these for DJing. If I were to buy an Audio Technica headphone now, it would be the ATH-PRO700MK2. Overall value: 2/5


    Next, is a combo review since I bought and sold the headphones in 2005.

    Ultrasone DJ1 and DJ1 Pro
    Attachment 147
    Specs for DJ1:

    • Driver Unit : 50mm
    • Frequency Response : 10 - 22.000 Hz
    • Impedance : 32 ohms
    • Sensitivity (db) : 104dB/mW

    Specs for DJ1 Pro:

    • Driver Unit : 50mm
    • Frequency Response : 10 - 22.000 Hz
    • Impedance : 64 ohms
    • Sensitivity (db) : 102dB/mW

    Sound:5/5, Both headphones sound amazing. Sound is crystal clear with no noticeable distortion at higher volume. Low end isn't really beefy, but the quality makes up for it.
    Sound Isolation:5/5, Both are over the ear and use leather in the earcups. The pro does a slightly better job since the earcups are larger.
    Durability:5/5, From the few months I had them, I had no issues to report. For the price of each, the build quality is solid. The Pro model features a detachable cord.
    Comfort:5/5, Pillow for my ears. Both can easily be worn for hours. The leather earcups can get a bit uncomfortable if you sweat. By that time, you'll probably want to take them off and air out your ears.
    Size:4/5, The DJ1 feels similar in size to the Sennheiser HD280s. The Pro definitely feels large on your head. Neither feel heavy in weight. But, you can definitely tell you're wearing them.

    Would I buy these headphones again? Yes. Overall value: 5/5


    Finally, headphones owned by other DJs that I have used:

    Pioneer hdj-1000

    • Driver Unit : 50mm
    • Frequency Response : 5Hz - 30,000Hz
    • Impedance : 40 ohms
    • Sensitivity (db) : 107dB/mW

    Sound:5/5, Awesome for DJing. Low end is very beefy and you will destroy your ears before you get these to distort.
    Sound Isolation:4/5, These are on the ear headphones. Isolation is pretty solid though.
    Durability:1/5, The pairs I've run into have all broken at the headband swivel area. DIY repairs were done
    Comfort:4/5, Easy to wear for extended periods.
    Size:5/5, Feels like nothing on your head.

    Would I buy this today? No. Overall value 3/5. Sound, fit and feel are great. But, the durability is questionable.

    Technics RP-DH1200
    • Driver Unit : 50mm
    • Frequency Response : 5Hz - 30kHz
    • Impedance : not listed
    • Sensitivity: listed as input power of 3500mW, which puts it well over 100dB
    Sound:5/5, Awesome for DJing. Low end is very beefy. Mids and highs are clear.
    Sound Isolation:5/5, These are over the ear headphones. Isolation is excellent.
    Durability:5/5, The set that I occasionally use is owned by my crewmate, John Gaskins. He's had these for a couple of years and they are just as solid as the day he bought them.
    Comfort:5/5, The earcups feel amazing. Easy to wear with both ears or for single ear monitoring.
    Size:4/5, Feels like you're wearing a set of solid headphones.

    Would I buy this today? Yes. Overall value 5/5. Great headphone for the price.


    Mostapha's Headphone Review


    Driver Unit : 50mm dome
    Frequency Response : 5Hz to 30kHz
    Impedance : 40 Ohm
    Sensitivity (db) : 107 db/MW

    Sound: 2/5. I'm really not a fan of how these sound. I might have gotten a bad pair given how highly some people think of them, but they didn't seem broken. The sound was just muffled, no real detail anywhere. I could mix on them, but I never used them for pleasure listening, and they're the only headphones I've had that's true for.
    Sound Isolation: 3/5. They're good for headphones. I could mix on them in loud environments just fine.
    Durability: NA. I sold them pretty quickly at a 50% loss.
    Comfort: 2/5. I don't have a particularly small head. They were fine for the one-ear-off method for DJing, but I didn't like actually wearing them.
    Size: 4/5. Big enough to feel solid, small enough to pack.

    Would I buy this again if it broke? I sold them at a loss, so no.
    Overall value: 2/5.



    Driver Unit : 40mm
    Frequency Response : 10Hz - 10kHz
    Impedance : 63 Ohm
    Sensitivity (db) : 106dB/mW

    Sound: 4/5. They're really flat, and a standard in recording studios for artist monitors. I though they sounded detailed and clean. For DJ use, they're lacking bass just a bit, but I could definitely mix on them in loud environments. I also used them for pleasure listening and will be buying another pair for studio/production work soon.
    Sound Isolation: 4/5. It's good enough to mix on, but it doesn't seem like it is when you're not actually doing it. They fit over your ears, so part of that probably depends heavily on how big your head is and how tight they fit.
    Durability: 3/5. Mine broke, but it was an extreme case. The exposed wires leading to each earcup are a weak point, but they're also reparable if you know how to solder.
    Comfort: 5/5. Over the ear design and not too tight for my head. Loved them. I would use them as general listening and movie watching phones for hours on end. I didn't forget they were there, but mostly because of the cord.
    Size: 4/5. Bigger than the Pios and v700s, but flatter and lighter. No problems.

    Would I buy this again if it broke? I haven't yet, but I'm going to.
    Overall value: 5/5.




    Driver Unit : Unknown (probably 40mm)
    Frequency Response : 16Hz - 22kHz
    Impedance : 70 Ohm
    Sensitivity (db) : Unknown (probably ~ like the others)

    Sound: 4/5. They're pretty flat, just a bit of very solid bass emphasis that's more apparent during general listening, very detailed and clear all the way up.
    Sound Isolation: 4/5. For fitting on top of your ear, they're very good. No trouble mixing in loud areas.
    Durability: 5/5, without question. Every part is user replaceable and relatively affordable. Mine survived a car wreck that destroyed my Macbook and my iPod, which were in the same bag as my headphones. All they needed was a new headband, which was $16 at the time.
    Comfort: 4/5. After a while, you realize they're squishing your ear. It takes a long time and would never show up while DJing.
    Size: 3/5. They pack up pretty small, but they don't fold. The benefit is that the part that breaks on all DJ headphones just doesn't exist on them.

    Would I buy this again if it broke? Without hesitation.
    Overall value: 5/5. I've used them longer than any other headphone and generally love them. I'd get the velour earpads with them, as they're a lot more comfortable and hold up longer. I expect to have these for a long time yet.


    Etymotic ER-6

    Driver Unit : In-Ear (single armature, I think)
    Frequency Response : Don't remember.
    Impedance : Don't remember
    Sensitivity (db) : LOUD

    Sound: 5/5. Detailed and clear all the way up, surprising bass response. In a word, gorgeous.
    Sound Isolation: 5/5. Better than any set of headphones, even without custom molds (if one of the provided ones fits your ears well enough).
    Durability: 1/5. They will break eventually, right where the cord attaches to the body of the IEM. So will all earbuds/IEMs that don't have removable cords.
    Comfort: 3/5. Your ears sweat while they're in. Custom molds would extenuate that. It's worth it. You just have to take them out and let your ears breathe every now and then.
    Size: 5/5. They fit in the 5th pocket of your jeans.

    Would I buy this again if it broke? No, because they're not made anymore. I got mine for $70 off amazon and definitely got my $70 worth out of them (compared to everything other than my HD-25s). I would buy Etymotic again, but only if they have removable cords, which none of their current line does.
    Overall value: 4/5. Despite not buying them again, they were probably the best sounding headphones/earbuds I've used. When listening, I heard everything. When DJing, I heard everything I needed to at lower volumes than actual headphones and could run booth monitors very low, mostly for other people who were there and not me. But, it requires a mixer with either split cue (if you like it…I don't) or a cue/master blend for the headphones…which is common but not ubiquitous.


    If I were buying today: I'd buy a pair of either HD-25s or MDR-7506s, depending mostly on looks and whether you wanted to use them as studio monitors as well…and a set of IEMs with removable cords. I'm not sure what I'd get, but I'm probably going to start with the cheapest Shure SE series that comes with the removable cord and have custom molds made. The big headphones would just be as a backup in case the mixer I was playing on didn't have a cue/master blend control. But I just really like mixing with IEMs. People assume you can't hear them, so most people don't bug you. You can still hear enough, but they block out so much that you can definitely mix…and your monitoring setup is quieter and more consistent between venues. The only downside is not being able to hear requests/comments shouted at you from the floor (sometimes you can), but when was the last time you wanted to hear that?


    Estacy's Headphone Review

    Technics RP-DJ 1210

    Driver units: 41mm (1 5/8in.) diameter
    Frequency response: 5Hz - 30kHz
    Dimensions (H x W x D) 10.2" x 11.0" x 22.4"
    Weight 4.5 lbs

    Sound: 4/5, They sound great, more than enough power and volume, despite the 1500mW power handling which is less than similar priced headphones (even though 1500mW is also a lot). They are bass heavy, great for mixing. Sound is good for all kinds of music. They need a good amp though, I find that with high-end mixers the sound becomes a lot better. When I tested them in the shop, they were plugged into a DJM 800 with the volume halfway, I though somebody turned on some speakers, but it was the headphone. just a testimony to how loud these things can go.
    Sound Isolation 4/5, they are on the ear, but they isolate very well. Not as good as lets say an in-ear, but the isolation is more than adequate for club use
    Durability 5/5, the special hinges are a lot more solid than normal swivel style hinges (I'm looking at you MDR 700) and the headband is very sturdy. the headphone creaks a lot, but it doesn't seem to matter. I've had it for 3 years, and its like new. You need to wet the earpads and headband every now and again to keep it from cracking, but thats all. I've heard stories of these headphones surviving 8 years of abuse, which puts it in a category above even HD-25s
    Comfort 3/5, If you wear glasses, this thing is a no-no. its very tight, and when using it like a normal headphone for more than an hour or so you start feeling your ears. the tightness adds to the isolation factor though. For DJ use you wont have any problems with comfort, since you won't have it on all the time. the swivel system is a bit weird at first but after half an hour or so you start noticing how much better it is than normal swivel hinges. It's really, really good, and it makes using them in a DJ situation very comfortable. Between the shoulder and ear style monitoring is possible, despite what some people say. You just have to have the other (not used) cup a bit farther backwards.
    size 5/5, with the supra-aural cups they are very compact. they fold up very small. Size is perfect.
    nifty things 4/5, the 6.5mm Jack screws on, so you'll never lose it when you pull it out of a mixer. great for club use. the hinges like said are great. It comes with a neat real leather bag. only downside is that the cable isn't detachable. It is curled (straight on the RP-DJ1200) so you can walk around in the booth.

    would I buy it again very much, for the price (seen it as low as 109 euros) this is the best DJ headphone money can buy. I don't feel the need to buy something more expensive, because for DJ use this thing is perfect. sound is good, more than enough volume and very durable. what more is there to want?


    mr. smashy's Headphone Review

    Technics RP-DH1200
    *photo by mr. smashy*
    You Are Who You Are Before You Got Here by mr.smashy, on Flickr

    Driver units: 50mm diameter
    Frequency response: 5Hz - 30kHz

    Sound: 4/5. After using Sony MDR-V700DJs, I found these headphones to have cleaner and more extended bass. High end was also clearer, but the mids were warm. These tend to color sound toward a warm, full bass sound, which works well for DJ use, but not great for much of anything else. I'd like a better pair of headphones that are flatter, but these do work well.

    Sound Isolation: 4/5.
    These isolate great. It's hard to have a conversation with a person wearing them without music going. They easily beat out my old Sonys and are great for DJ use.

    Durability: 4/5. These are swiveling headphones and will break at the swivel if abused. I had a pair crack because my wife stepped on them because she had already broke her headphones and thought it was OK to borrow mine, and storing them on the floor was OK too. This was some extreme abuse, but they have a flaw like most swiveling plastic headphones, so treat them with care.

    Comfort: 3/5. These have circle shaped cups and rather strong clamping force, so after a couple hours they tend to become uncomfortable. The headband is fine, but you will get some discomfort on your ears. Oval shaped headphones tend to feel better longer for me, and my next set will not have circle shaped cups.

    Size: 3/5. These are large, heavy headphones. I don't mind them now, but I felt like an air traffic controller when I first got them. They fold up for travel but don't stow very well due to the large size, even when folded up.

    Would I buy this again if it broke? I would and I did.

    Overall value: 4/5. These are heavy duty, high quality headphones and can be had for a decent price if you shop around. They have good sound for DJ headphones and a detachable/replaceable cable that is just now becoming standard on other headphones. They get dinged for comfort and size, and ultimately I'd prefer a flatter sound, but overall I've been happy enough with these headphones to buy them twice.


    Meow Mix's headphone review

    Technics RP-DJ 1210
    Driver units: 41mm (1 5/8in.) diameter
    Frequency response: 5Hz - 30kHz
    Dimensions (H x W x D) 10.2" x 11.0" x 22.4"
    Weight 4.5 lbs

    Sound: 5/5 The sound quality is great with very clear highs and mids and plenty of bass. You will have no problems mixing with these. Had the chance to compare them to TMA-1s just yesterday and they sound brighter than the TMA-1s (which are know for having a warmer sound) but no difference in the quality of the sound. Id definitely recommend these if you are mixing genres with prominent highs and mids. I should point out i am basing the sound quality grade on my experience with MDR-700, TMA-1, Shure 750, HD-205.

    Sound Isolation 3/5 In my experience isolation is not bad but not great. There is some leaking from the outside but it's nothing that would terminally affect your mixing. Keep in mind these are over the ear so sound isolation was never going to be optimal.

    Durability 5/5 Yes the cord is not detachable but in 2 years of use since i got them from the previous owner i have never had an issue with it and havent heard of anyone else complain. The cord is coiled and pretty thick so it definitely can take serious punishment. I gig almost every week and in 2 years these have taken some decent abuse and never faltered. The swivel cup system is very durable compared to other methods used and cant think of a way id break it unless i intentionally forced it.

    Comfort 3/5 My vote for DJing would be 5/5 because you plain do not notice you even have these on in the constant commotion. However for just listening at home, in my case, they get very uncomfortable (tight) on my ears very quickly to the point that i have to take them off and rest a bit before going back into it. I also have a big head and big ears so this issue might be specific to me. If you are going to use them exclusively while DJing though you wont have any problems.

    One of the reasons i got these is because my previous pair of Shure 750s kept slipping off my head when i was beatmatching with 1 cup. With these i have never had that problem. Moreover, the swivel cups are just awesome since you can just rest headphones on your shoulders and prop up one of the cups 90 degrees and use it that way. Or you can leave them on your head and just push back one cup without moving the actual headband and hence having the issue of the whole thing sliding off your head. The swivel cup and its lock system definitely are great features that you might get very attached to (i know i am). Changing the cup arm length (tightening or loosening) is very easy so no problems there. The headband sits on you very comfortably, you wont even notice its there.

    Size 5/5 I bought these because my Shure 750s were just too big. I have a big head and adding big headphones to it made me look a bit ridiculous. These are the perfect size and i like the simple streamlined look with no unnecessary aesthetic features. They fold nicely and take very little space.

    Overall value 4/5 Would i buy these again for DJing? In a heartbeat. For the price you really cant beat them. However, since i plan to also use them as listening headphones I will probably be looking into the HD-25s if these ever break (so far unlikely).


    Stripe's headphone review


    Ultrasone DJ1

    Specs: Frequency Range 10 - 22.000 Hz
    Impedance 32 Ohm
    Sound pressure level 104 dB
    Driver 50 mm Mylar
    Weight 285 g (excl. cord)
    Cord, ca. 3 m coiled
    3,5 / 6,3 mm scewable adapter

    Sound: 5/5
    Overall sound quality of these has been great. Has incredibly clear highs and just the right amount of bass. Have become my go to headphones for just about everything as well.

    Sound Isolation: 5/5
    The isolation on these is great. Blocks out just the right levels of background noise. I actually use one of my old pairs for yardwork, does a great job of filtering out the drone of a leaf blower.

    Durability: 5/5
    My old set has been through a bunch, and now is used outside. They are holding up perfectly.

    Comfort: 5/5
    Have worn these for hours at a time (8 hour flight was the longest actually) and they don't bother my ears at all.

    Size: 5/5
    Not to big, not too small, just right.

    Would I buy this again if it broke?
    I already have another pair, just in case. So That would be a yes.

    Overall value: 5/5

    Ultrasone Proline 650's (Blue ones in the pic) - discontinued

    Sound: 5/5
    Amazing is a good word to describe the sound quality. The DJ1s produce a bit more bass than these, but the highs were crisp!

    Sound Isolation: 5/5
    Isolation on these was a slight step above the DJ1s due to the larger ear cups.

    Durability: 5/5
    Seem as rock solid as the DJ1s.

    Comfort: 5/5
    Being I had the velvet pads from the 750s, they were super comfortable.

    Size: 4/5
    I actually found these to be a bit too large for my preference.

    Would I buy this again if it broke? Perhaps
    I did end up giving these away to my brother as I wasn't using them (kept the velvet pads though). Perhaps one day I will pick up another pair for music listening.

    Overall value: 4.9/5

    And finally Sony MDR-700s.

    Sound: 3/5
    A bit heavy on the bass, after awhile (used these for 10 years) they started to sound flat.

    Sound Isolation: 3.5/5

    Durability: 4/5
    I am going to go out on a limb here, yes mine now have stress cracks. They did see 10 years of use (I guess the old ones held up better). They had traveled with me, been to a bunch of gigs, dropped, kicked across the floor, thrown at people.... and they held up

    Comfort: 3/5
    Not so uncomfortable, however after a bunch of years the ear pads felt as flat as the sound became.

    Size: 4/5
    They fit me comfortably.

    Would I buy this again if it broke? No
    They don't seem to make them as durable as they used to

    Overall value: 3.5 / 5


    deejaysin's review


    Pioneer HDJ-2000

    Specs:Type Fully enclosed dynamic headphones
    Frequency Range 5 Hz - 30,000Hz
    Impedance 36 ohms
    Maximum Input 3,500 mW
    Sensitivity 107 dB/mW
    Driver Unit Type 50mm dome
    Plug 3.5 mm 3P mini plug (Gold-plated)
    Cord 3.94 ft long single coiled cable (Extended 9.8 ft)
    Weight 10.2 oz (without cord)
    Accessories 6.3 mm 3P plug adapter & Carrying bag
    Extra Features Protein leather surface with memory form padding

    Sound: 5/5
    Sound quality is great. Clear throughout the entire volume range. Bass isn't overwhelming like other headphones I've tried.

    Sound Isolation: 5/5
    Isolation is awesome. Even in loud environments the sound is very good without my volume having to be turned all the way up.

    Durability: 5/5
    I have only had these for about 4.5 months and they've held up great so far, just like the day i got them out out the box.

    Comfort: 5/5
    The most lightweight and comfortable headphones I've ever used. Even after 7 hours they don't bother me at all.

    Size: 5/5
    I like the sleek design. Not super bulky like other headphones.

    Would I buy this again if it broke?

    Overall value: 4.5/5
    Even though I love these headphones and I would recommend everyone try them out just so they could get a feel for them, they are OVERPRICED which is my only complaint.


    Archon's Headphone review


    personalize your review: to start off these are THE BEST headphones i have EVER heard.
    amazing for production and DJing
    Sound: 10/10. im a headphone nut, im very active on head-fi (headphone forum) and the frequency response on these is AMAZING. The bass is deep and responsive, but not overbearing. its great for ALL kinds of music. highs are nice and crisp, mids are clear, bass is accurate. best sound ive heard ever. period.
    Sound Isolation: Great. they're closed back so once you put them on you can't really hear the outside world very well and what i like the best is the outside world cant hear you, even at super high volumes
    Durability: also amazing. ive dropped these from an upwards of 5 feet off a countertop on a hard tile floor at least 6 times and they still work great.
    Comfort: this is where they lack a bit. they're really comfortable at first, but they're slightly heavy so after about an hour and a half they start to weigh down on the top fo your head and it hurts a bit so you have to reposition them a lot.
    Size: a bit big, but they're not too big.
    Would I buy this again if it broke?: yes one hundred percent.
    Overall value: amazing. at 150, (200 with a 2 year anything is covered warranty which i highly suggest) these are the best headphones for the price and the NUMBER ONE reccomend headphones for DJing and production by the Head-Fi headphone community


    B-Frank's Headphone review



    Driver Unit Type: 53mm

    Frequency Response: 5 – 33,000 Hz

    Impedance: 36 ohms

    Sensitivity: 105 dB/mW

    Sound: 5/5 Maybe a tad heavy on the bass, but overall they sound great.

    Sound Isolation: 5/5 I can't hear anything outside of the headphones when these are on my head.

    Durability: 4/5 They feel solid. These would get a 5/5 if they came with a removable headphone cable, and fortunately they've been updated with just that as the xd2-53.

    Comfort: 5/5 I hardly notice when they're on my head. They can easily be worn for 2+ hours at a time.

    Size: 5/5 They look big to me, but that's coming from hd-25s. When you compare them to most of the other dj headphones they look just fine.

    Would I buy this again if it broke? Yes! Since A&H is known for their awesome build quality I don't see them breaking anytime soon, but if they got run over by a bus or something I'd definitely pick them up again. Also, with the xd2-53s just being announced, there's even less to be worried about. They now come with a removable headphone cable and a sexy chrome paintjob.

    Overall value: 5/5 Definitely worth every penny.


    Synergy's Headphone review


    Type: Closed-back Dynamic (circumaural isolation design)
    Driver Diameter: 40mm
    Magnet: Neodymium
    Frequency response: 15Hz - 28kHz
    Maximum Input Power: 1300 mW
    Sensitivity: 103dB/mW at 1kHz

    Sound: 5/5 The highs are bright and crisp. GREAT sound.

    Sound Isolation: 4/5 These are on the ear not over the ear so some sound will get in but not a lot unless the music around you is LOUD.

    Durability: 5/5 These feel way more solid than the Sony 700's I had before, these feel like quality.

    Comfort: 5/5 Super comfortable! Can be worn for a very long time with out strain.

    Size: 4/5 They feel a bit small but again these are ON THE ear not OVER.

    Would I buy this again if it broke? Yes. Also, I would upgrade mine to the 53 - the 40's are great but I would spend the extra to get the step up, for sure!

    Overall value: 5/5 Worth every cent.




    Transducer Principle Dynamic, closed
    Driver Unit Size
    40 mm
    32±15% Ohm
    Load Rating
    Frequency Response
    20 to 20.000 Hz
    Total Harmonic Distortion
    Weight without cable
    190 Gram

    Sound: 5/5, Sound is clear with no distortion. Sounds favor the low end without being excessive. The highs and mids still come out clear. Comparable to the technics Technics RP-DH1200 or pioneer hdj1000s.

    Sound Isolation: 5/5, Sound isolation is great with the heavier earcups. I am not a fan of the other earcups included in the box. Definitely blocks out the voices from annoying people with requests and birthday shoutouts.

    Durability: 5/5, I've barely had these two weeks. I tried to beat the crap out of them at my two gigs last week, but they held up. I even dropped them a few times. Long term, I'd bet on these lasting a good number of years (8+ easy). My sony mdr v700s lasted just over 8 years before i retired them and they still work. The way the headband is built, I can't see how these would snap at any point. If anything were to break I'd say it would be all user error, or something heavy dropped on them or they were crushed by a car or the hydraulic press that killed the terminator. The detachable headphone cable is a plus. Not sure why other reviews put this as a minus/con since they don't fall out at random times like they claim.

    Comfort: 5/5, I have a small head (I wear a 7 1/8 fitted) and these feel like my ears a getting laid by a oiled up brazilian chick. I have taken a nap with these bad boys on and had no discomfort after the ear cups were broken in. They are so light and I love them.

    Would I buy this again if it broke? Fcuk yea.

    Overall: 5/5, no other headphone I've used/borrowed or owned comes close to these.

    *also, I ordered these from Turntable Lab and I got hooked up with the extra cord for smartphone use.


    Cardell's review

    I saw a few weeks ago that DJF was back up, and today I was so bored I actually decided to stop lurking on the 2.0 board (and for that matter, other DJ-related boards) and wrote this review. I guess this is a productive first post. I'm happy to see so many old users back on the forum, and I'm glad to be back!

    If you want pictures or videos there are plenty of them online, so here's a stock photo.

    I'll only review headphone/IEMs I have at hand starting off with the Pioneer HDJ-2000, Shure SE535 and maybe lying around somewhere as a pair of spares, the AKG K518 LE (which only differs from the DJ version cosmetically and shorter cable).

    The HDJ-2000s are as a pair of DJ headphones highly regarded by a larger part of the community with a lot of
    solid points, but with some flaws often overlooked.

    Manufacturer product sheet: http://www.pioneerdjusa.com/images/gear/pdf/HDJ2000.pdf

    Sound: 4/5

    The HDJ-2000s have a warm and very forward, yet clear mid range and solid bass with a good punch. Not only is the mid range accentuated, the bass from around 50 Hz and up is also enhanced, and this extends up to around 500 Hz, probably up to +5 dB SPL around 100Hz measured against the SPL at 1 kHz, which is highly noticeable. And while the bass is solid, it doesn't extend very to the lower frequencies, as the HDJ-2000s have a very steep bass rolloff. I suspect that from the 100 Hz mark down to the lower end of human hearing, the rolloff results in roughly a -20 dB drop, yes - it's a massive bass drop (pun somewhat intended, I'm sorry).

    Furthermore, when Pioneer states the HDJ-2000s go down to 5 Hz, considering the bass rolloff, they clearly mean that it's possible to shoot a 5 Hz sine wave through them. While 5 Hz cannot be heard, it can definitely be felt. However, you will need a very hot signal for that, and it is not controlled at all - weird hissing mechanical noises can be heard. This has not been a limitation from any audio interface, I tried this with professional grade signal generators (which for the record was visually checked with an oscilloscope of similar quality) which I had at hand from my university. Conclusion: the deep bass is lacking due to a steep rolloff, and they definitely do not produce 5 Hz in an intended manner. I have no similar experience for the 30 kHz mark, I must have forgotten to look at it, or maybe I ran out of time.

    The largest disappointment for leisure listening is the upper high range though. A lot of clarity disappears here, sounds becomes harsh and grainy at best. The upper high range is likely the largest flaw with the HDJ-2000's audio quality, it's what turned me away from them to look for alternatives, it's one of those things that once you hear and realize what's lacking you can't ignore it.

    Another thing like that is the channel imbalance present in the HDJ-2000s, the left channel is slightly louder when run in stereo. Most people may actually never hear it, and just assume it's either one's own hearing or psyche (or a combination of both). This has been reported by several individuals on different forums, but I've yet to find any hard figures on how large the imbalance is.

    The mono mode on the HDJ-2000s is probably the best passive mono summation switch I've heard in a pair of headphones ever. That being said, it does degrade sound quality, but hey - it's a mono switch for single ear monitoring (or whatever other reason one might need for leisure or professional listening), and there are much worse on-headphone mono summers.

    This might sound a bit hard on the HDJ-2000's sound quality, and to be fair they are not audiophile headphones, but they're good sounding, warm and enjoyable save for the deepest bass (there are mods to enhance the deep bass) and the somewhat harsh upper high range. I still listen to them from time to time and use them when mixing at home, and I would recommend them for DJs in terms of audio quality, but they are sonically overrated on DJ forums. They are easily driven, and can handle a very strong signal. They don't sound muffled like a lot of cheaper headphones, but I definitely feel a an auditory' veil' between me and the music, some things just won't get through. That said, they're still a solid 4 out of 5 for DJs in the sound department.

    Sound Isolation: 4/5

    Isolation is another point where these headphones are good (better than the average on ear headphone), but even better isolation can be achieved, such as with Sennheiser's HD25s (which unlike the Pioneers are on ear, not over ear, a difference important noting). However, well fitting IEMs will isolate much better. Oh, and the HDJ-2000s leak quite a lot of sound, not that it's a problem on scene really.

    Durability: 3/5

    Wow, this will be a fun one. I've had my Pioneers repaired once since they broke in the plastic parts above the hinge. Yes the magnesium alloy is nice, it's never failed me, but the plastic has. After the repair, the cable started going bad (something I to be expected over time), an easy fix as it's detachable and replaceable. But after a few months, plastic cracks were starting to reappear on the new headband. This is also a very common problem with the HDJ-2000s, and possibly the biggest. Pioneer should have opted for a metal band surrounded by soft rubber instead of lots of plastic parts. Less is more, Pioneer. Less parts used, lower complexity, fewer repairs, more profit for you. Now there's a carrying case designed for them one can purchase, but it's too little, too late for this DJ.

    Comfort: 5/5

    In terms of comfort, I have yet to find any headphones that are more comfortable than the HDJ-2000s. I can literally wear this for every waking hour without any fatigue. They are super comfortable, highly adjustable, they don't get (sweaty) warm, they aren't super light - but the weight they have provides a solid feel. If there would be something to point out is that the cable can be a bit heavy and bulky, but to be perfectly honest, it's not a problem in the booth. It's more a problem if you use them as portable headphones and bring them with you. A 3m, heavy coiled cable with a bulky connector playing from your phone/PMP is a hassle at times. However, the cable is user replaceable, and there are plenty of shorter and lighter cables available (or one can easily make one).

    Size: 4/5

    The HDJ-2000s are over ear headphones, with a headband with room to grow, well cushioned, fluffy pads and a large cable - they're bound to be large. However, they are easily foldable and become very compact. Also, they are not bulky when you're wearing them, they actually feel slim.

    Overall value: 4/5

    Would I buy this again if it broke? There was a time when I'd say yes in a heartbeat, right now, as I've moved over to mixing with IEMs, it would more likely be no. Would I recommend them for a dj looking for a pair of over ear headphones? I would tell them about my own experience with them and their limitations. I realize it may seem I'm trying to bash on the HDJ-2000s as much as I can, but I'm not - they have a lot of ups, and they also have some (often ignored) downs. They are expensive, and right now if I would have to buy a pair of headphones (not IEMs) for DJing, I would probably investigate the Sennheiser HD25s a bit closer. Probably a backlash from the durability problems (the HD25s are more easily repaired by the user), but the few times I've listened to them they've been enjoyable. As stated earlier though, the Sennheisers are on ear, and not over ear, so it's a different beast altogether. (And this is not a permanent recommendation, just my own thoughts, subject to change, as of April 2012).


    JFunk's review

    I'v just started playing with a couple of Beyerdynamic models so thought I would give a quick review

    Beyerdynamic DT1350

    Sound: 5/5 - I have been lucky enough to try most DJ headphones at some point and i think these are definitely the clearest and most detailed closed backed headphones I have used. The thing you really notice other than the detail is how accurate they are at the low end - it really takes you by surprise when you hear the sub bass without muddying the sound.

    Sound Isolation: 4/5 - Beyerdynamic developed new pads for these that mold really well to your ears to block out a lot of external noise - I would say they isolate slightly better than the HD25 but not as much as the HD280.

    Durability: 4/5 - The headband is of metal construction and feels very solid - they don't have a detachable cable so that is probably their week point, the cable can ve changed but you need to solder it in place. I have not been brave enough to really throw them around but being metal I suspect they could be dented rather than bouncing like the HD25s do

    Comfort: 4/5 - They are nice and light with a split headband for extra comfort - I do find that the super squishy earpas form such a good seal on my ears that the cause a bit of suction when I remove them which is a little uncomfortable for a second but I have played some 6hr sets with them with no discomfort.

    Size: Small - possibly the smallest pro dj headphones

    Would I buy this again if it broke? - If I could afford it... For may years I have been playing with HD25s and they are fine headphones but these are worth the extra - they will blow your mind but empty your wallet

    Overall value: 4/5 - I would have given 5/5 but they have an RRP of £275 which is undeniably pricey but they are the best sounding headphones I have tried

    Transducer type . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dynamic
    Operating principle . . . . . . . . . . Closed
    Frequency response . . . . . . . . . . 5 - 30,000 Hz
    Nominal impedance. . . . . . . . . . 80 Ω
    Sound pressure level . . . . . . . . . 109 dB
    Max. SPL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 dB
    T.H.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . < 0.2%
    Power handling capacity . . . . . . 100 mW
    Sound coupling to the ear . . . . . Supraaural
    Ambient noise attenuation. . . . . approx. 23 dBA
    Nominal headband pressure. . . . approx. 5.5 N
    Cable. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.5 m / single-sided
    Connector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gold plated mini stereo jack
    plug (3.5 mm) and 1/4" adapter
    (6.35 mm)
    Weight (without cable) . . . . . . . 174 g

    I have only just started modding them so not sure of all the option yet but they definitely have some good potential


    Phil Noize's review

    Beyerdynamic DT1350s

    I know Beyerdynamic DT770s are held in very high esteem by many European DJs and sound engineers, so when the more compact DT1350s were released with Tesla technology, I was very curious. I’ve been itching to get my hands on a pair for a few months now, so after reading a few reviews, some of which were good and some exceptional, I sold my V-Moda LP12s and splashed out the extra cash for a pair.

    First Impressions … Wow, these things are tiny! I expected them to be small, but their compact size really took me by surprise. Even in the case that is supplied, they aren’t going to be space hogs in my gig bag.

    Sound: 5/5 Upon first listen, I was a bit disappointed. I expected an enormous rich sound which the Beyers didn’t seem to deliver. However, the more I listened the more their quality started to shine through. They deliver a sound with clarity the likes of which I’ve never come across before in a pair of DJ headphones. It’s like comparing cheap hifi speakers with top-of-the-line studio reference monitors. The highs are crisp and clear, really showing you the detail of sounds like cymbals. Mid-range is un-muddied and bright. The bass seems bottomless and punchy, but doesn’t swamp the rest of the sound. It’s a precise analytical sound. They make the sound seem transparent, enabling you to see exactly how to fit the tunes together. I can mix more easily and more accurately with these, and I can see why they are marketed as DJing/Sound Engineering/Sound Recording headphone.

    When I tried them against my Pioneer HDJ2000s to see how they compared, it was like chalk and cheese. I never thought I’d describe the 2000s as muddy, but it was like wading through a swamp compared to the little Beyers. The DT1350s sound amazing!!

    Sound Isolation: 4/5 I usually prefer over-ear phones, as my ears are slightly strangely shaped (I guess all ears are different!). I find the Beyers with their memory foam pads perfect on my left ear, and not quite perfect on my right ear, otherwise I would have given them 5/5. For an on-ear phone, they are excellent.

    Durability: 4.5/5 This is only an impression, as time will tell just how durable they really are, and I’ve only had them a couple of weeks. They ooze quality without being over the top. There’s no polished flashy bits on these cans, but the metal construction of the headband and pivots seems totally purposeful. They scream German precision. The only aspect that might be perceived as negative is the fact that the cable doesn’t unplug from the phones, but this might also be perceived as a positive, since placing a plug and socket in them only provides a further obstruction in the path of the signal. This may seem negligible, but from a sound engineering or audiophile perspective, it’s a good thing. Anyway, Beyer claim the tough polyurethane cable withstands over 20N of force (like hanging roughly 2kg on it). For me, I’ve never broken a cable yet, but if I do I’m not averse to getting my soldering iron out to replace one.

    Comfort: 5/5 The soft memory foam ear-pads and memory foam pads on the headband are very comfortable. I can wear these phones for hours with no discomfort whatsoever. They can be worn in almost any position. The headband splits, and ear-cups pivot forwards and backwards like the HD25 ii. However, the cups also swivel to allow on-the-shoulder monitoring … something you can’t do with the Senns, unless you go for the cheaper SP model.


    Size: 5/5 I’m not sure how to give a mark on this. The phones are tiny, without a doubt the smallest pro DJ/Sound Engineering phones I’ve used. When you drop them around your neck between mixing, there’s no bulky ear-cups digging in your chin or collar bone.

    Beyer also provide you with a very high quality custom ballistic nylon case. The headphones fit in there in a flat position, and the cable folds into its own space. There’s also a couple of pockets in there where you can store adaptors etc, or even a small headphone amp. And the whole package takes up much less space than my old HDJ2000s … win!


    Overall Value: 3.5/5 Would I buy these again if they broke? Well, at the price point these suckers come in at, I’d probably try to fix them first. They’re truly excellent cans, but the price is pretty darned high. Having said that, clearly the money is spent on the Beyer’s new Tesla drivers rather than flashy bits. If you are looking for best, I would say that these are the new contenders. My HDJ2000s just got demoted to spare cans.

    Technical Spec: I'm not going to cover this as JFunk has already covered it in his review two posts above.

    If you want a pair for a decent price, drop a PM to JFunk and he'll see what he can do for you.

    His website ... http://www.customcans.co.uk/
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Review of DJ headphones [I've owned and used over the years] started by Jason Cerna View original post
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