7 Best DJ Headphones For Beginners (All Budgets)

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  • Learn the differences between studio and DJ headphones
  • Understand what to look for when buying DJ headphones
  • Check out our picks of the best DJ headphones for beginners 

If you have a discussion about music production, then you’re probably going to end up discussing headphones.

A set of quality headphones are a must for any DJ and there are some fantastic budget headphones on the market these days that won’t cost the earth, but still retain excellent sound quality and frequency response.

If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck we recommend the Audio Technica ATH-M30x’s. Audio Technica has been knocking it out of the park when it comes to offering fantastic products at rock bottom prices.

If you’re on a budget the Behringer HPX2000 is the way to go, it’s genuinely difficult to beat Behringer when it comes to packing a lot into the cheapest possible package. They won’t last forever, but they’ll serve you well.

If your budget can stretch a little more the Sony MDR-7506’s are going to get the job done nicely. Sony is a premium brand and they didn’t cut any corners with these, and the price shows it!

What are the 7 best DJ headphones for beginners?

If you’re a beginner DJ and looking for a set of reliable and comfortable headphones, then look further!

Including trusted brands such as Audio Technica, Pioneer, and Sennheiser, here’s our pick of the very best beginner-friendly DJ headphones:

  1. Audio Technica ATH-M30x (best value)
  2. AIAIAI TMA-2
  3. Shure SRH440A 
  4. Behringer HPX2000 (most budget-friendly)
  5. Pioneer HDJ-X5
  6. Sony MDR-7506 (top pick)
  7. Sennheiser HD 25 Light

1. Audio Technica ATH-M30x

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x

The ATH-M30x's delivers the accurate frequency response and solid bass you need to make sound decisions when you're tracking, mixing, or field recording.

Why We Love It:
  • Super comfortable
  • Foldable
  • Powerful low-end
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Audio Technica has been long-established in the pro audio and DJ scene, and their ATH-M30x headphones are a solid option for any beginner DJ.

The lows are powerful and the mids and highs also sound crisp and clear. They’re comfortable on the ears and foldable, meaning you can easily slot them into the pouch and carry them anywhere you need.

The earpads fit snugly around the ear and offer excellent sound isolation.

The cable (although not detachable) measures up to 297cm meaning there is plenty of room for you to move around whilst using them, without worrying about snagging the jack.

This pair gets bonus points as they are also optimized for field recording and mixing.

2. AIAIAI TMA-2

AIAIAI TMA-2 DJ Headphones
$200.00

The AIAIAI TMA-2 has been configured with a titanium-coated S02 speaker unit that delivers a punchy and intense sound representation, focusing on bass and low-end dynamics.

Why We Love It:
  • Great build quality
  • Superb bass response
  • Over-ear cups
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If you are able to squeeze a bit more out of your budget, the AIAIAI TMA headphones are a great option both in terms of build quality and frequency response .

Their titanium-coated S02 speaker units offer superb bass response whilst reducing distortion.

They have a reinforced headband and over-ear cups allowing for excellent sound isolation. An internal vent allows the mid-bass to be punchy and distinct.

They come with a screw in 1/4” jack cable (one of the replaceable parts which you hopefully never need to change, but it’s great knowing you can do so easily if you need to).

These definitely sit a little more on the pricier side, but if you can afford to push your budget a little more then the AIAIAI TMA headphones are a worthwhile investment.

3. Shure SRH440A

Shure SRH440A

The SRH440A is suited for just about any production application you can think of and offers a sleek design that’s just as durable as it is stylish.

Why We Love It:
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Reliable
  • Stylish and very durable
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Shure has long been synonymous with great sound quality, and their budget headphones are no exception.

The SRH440A’s are closed-back headphones and come with a 3-meter detachable cable.

The earpads are extremely comfortable and the build quality is (as expected with Shure!) very high. Considering the price point, these are a great and reliable set of headphones that don’t cost much and will last you a long time.

The headphones are durable, sound great, and have fantastic sound isolation despite the low price.

4. Behringer HPX2000

Behringer HPX2000
$19.90

Whether you're in the studio, at the gig, or at home, the Behringer HPX2000 headphones will give you the quality sound you want.

Why We Love It:
  • Extremely affordable DJ headphones
  • Robust build
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Definitely one of the cheapest options on the market, the Behringer HPX2000 headphones are easy on the wallet but actually sound very good (considering the price).

Of course, you aren’t going to get the same bass response or sound isolation as you would with higher-end models, but for what you pay, you definitely won’t have any complaints.

They incorporate a half open-back design and have a decent dynamic range and robust build. In fact, there isn’t much of a downside to these other than some may not be the biggest fan of their look!

If you’re just starting out and really don’t want to spend a fortune, then the Behringer HPX2000s are a solid choice.

Plus, if you’re worried about replaceable parts on more expensive models, these are cheap enough to where you can just straight up buy a new pair if anything was to go wrong!

5. Pioneer HDJ-X5

Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5

Claiming an ultra-wide frequency range, HDJ-X5-K DJ headphones allow you deeply into your mixes — even at high volume levels

Why We Love It:
  • Ultra-wide frequency range
  • Adjustable over-ear design
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Pioneer is a long-standing and well-respected brand in pro audio and this extends to their headphone range too.

The HDJ-X5s have an adjustable over-ear design with ear pads that stay comfortable during prolonged use.

These are a mid-priced set, so not the cheapest on the list, but are arguably one of the best value for money offers.

These headphones have been through strict shock testing so you know they are going to be sturdy and last a while.

Their frequency response is impressive.

They also come with a cable, 6.3mm stereo adapter, and carry pouch so you’ll have everything you need to get started.

If you’re likely to be moving around a lot, it’s worth noting that the cable is a bit shorter than some of the others on our list, but this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker! They’re still perfectly adequate for most listening scenarios.

6. Sony MDR-7506

BEST VALUE
Sony MDR-7506

The Sony MDR-7506s are exceptionally affordable headphones that give you studio-quality sound and impressive sound isolation.

Why We Love It:
  • Comfortable
  • Extremely durable
  • Frequency response is extremely balanced
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Another household brand name on our list, Sony definitely offers some of the best budget DJ headphones for beginners.

If you’re going to be spending a lot of time behind the decks, these are great options as they offer top-notch sound quality and are also very comfortable.

The frequency response is extremely balanced with the bass, mid and high responses all being well represented with no pokey peaks and accented areas.

These do sit on the pricer range, however, the ear cups are comfortable, the build quality is great and we think you’ll be unlikely to regret paying that bit extra.

7. Sennheiser HD 25 Light

Sennheiser HD 25 Light

The Sennheiser HD 25 Light delivers the well-defined bass and detailed high-end you need to make decisive mixing decisions. 

Why We Love It:
  • Great for mixdowns and DJing!
  • Comfortable
  • Top-tier build and sound quality
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The HD 25 headphones are another offering from an extremely reputable manufacturer that won’t break the bank.

Sennheiser’s headphones are designed to be minimalistic but still perform well. Not only a great option for DJ’ing but also monitoring, mixing, or even just listening to music recreationally.

With a double-sided detachable cable, these should last a good long time even if the cable fails as you can simply just replace that part and keep the cans!

These are easily some of the best DJ headphones for beginners both in terms of build and sound quality. Their single headband also provides maximum comfort.

Final Thoughts

If you’re just starting out as a DJ, it can be confusing knowing what set of headphones to choose from. You’ll probably find yourself lost in an endless list of reviews!

The great thing is there are some fantastic budget headphones on the market currently, so whichever you decide to go for you’re likely to find a solid pair that will help you as you progress.

Think about your own usage. If you’re going to be DJ’ing several nights a week you really need to think about durability, something that might not be as much of an issue if you are a bedroom DJ.

Similarly, sound quality is important so where you can, try out the headphones before you buy.

At the very least do your research online and through YouTube and you’re bound to find a pair that suits your own needs and budget.

FAQs

Can’t I just use any old headphones for DJ’ing?

Ideally, you need a set of dedicated DJ headphones. There are plenty of options on the market but you need to consider what you’re using them for.

Even if you have headphones that already sound great, sometimes that added swivel flexibility can really make your life easier during a set!

A good set of DJ headphones will offer excellent build quality as well as sound quality.

In terms of the sound itself, DJ headphones will generally have more of an emphasis on the low end and mid-range because in a live setting a lot of the highs can be drowned out.

You also need to factor in durability. A good set of DJ headphones can be transported and used frequently without the risk of breaking or becoming damaged.

What should I look for when buying DJ headphones?

It’s easy for us to say ‘great sound, good value’ when looking for a reliable set of DJ headphones but there are a few other things to keep in mind.

Making sure your headphones are built for the task is a great first step, most online retailers will have sections for DJ headphones (or you might even be buying from a dedicated DJ store).

Check to see if the included lead is coiled or straight. A coiled lead can become tangled, which is the last thing you want when you’re behind the decks.

On that note, check to see if the lead is detachable as there is a risk of it being tugged and pulled which may potentially drag half of your gear down with it!

Ideally, you could do with a lead you can remove if it becomes damaged, but if not try and get one with as long of a lead as possible to avoid snagging.

Check to see how comfortable the headphones are by reading reviews, or if you can get to a store, try a pair on. You’re going to be using them a lot!

Similarly, if you can see a pair in person, visually inspect them. If they look like they are flimsy or made of cheap parts it’s worth looking elsewhere.

Lastly, jump on YouTube and see if you can compare a few models through reviews and tests. It’s always helpful to get the opinions of experienced users before committing to buying anything.

Are closed back or open back headphones better for DJ’ing?

There are pros and cons to using both. Open-back headphones are designed to let a certain amount of sound in and out of the headphones providing a more clear tone.

Closed-back headphones offer much more sound isolation (both to you as a listener and to anyone nearby!).

Really it is down to personal preference although depending on your use, you’ll probably favor one over the other.

For example, if you’re going to be DJ’ing live, chances are you’ll prefer the isolation of a closed-back set of headphones in order to segregate you from any other noises.

Of course, if you’re mixing at home, you might enjoy open-back headphones for their clarity.

Do I need good headphones to DJ?

Like anything in music, you get what you pay for. If you can afford to pay more then you will get better quality headphones.

Whilst we’d recommend investing in a good pair, for a beginner, it isn’t necessary to spend a fortune to get good results.

Ultimately your mix will depend on your response to the music you are hearing, so it does help to have a solid set of headphones but if you’re just starting out don’t fret too much about remortgaging your house for a pair.

Are studio headphones and DJ headphones the same thing?

Technically both serve the same purpose, but there are differences in the headphones you’d typically find a DJ using versus the ones you’d see in a studio.

Usually, the main difference is that open-back headphones will be found in studios for reasons we’ve stated above, whilst DJs will typically use closed-back headphones.

There’s no hard and fast rule, of course, but you’ll find most of the time this is the case.

Can studio headphones be used for DJing?

Technically yes, however, you will be missing the isolation that you’d often find in a set of closed-back DJ headphones.

You’ll still be able to hear music, but you need to consider that you’ll likely hear a lot of external noise that will interfere with your own mixing.

Ideally, you want to be able to focus solely on the music, without distraction from other noises and frequency content.

Should I avoid Bluetooth DJ headphones?

There are some great Bluetooth options on the market, but the subject of these is hotly debated.

Whilst there is no doubt a wireless set of headphones is more convenient than its wired counterpart, there are some important issues that can arise from using them.

First and foremost is battery life. Losing your headphones to a flat battery is no problem if you’re sitting on a bus or at the gym, you can just recharge when you get home.

But you aren’t going to look great in the middle of a gig if your headphones go down and you’re scrambling in your bag for a backup pair.

The other potential issue is latency.

In receiving and processing the incoming signal, your wireless headphones will suffer a small delay. Often this will be unnoticeable but once it starts to get to more than a few milliseconds it can easily impact your mixing.

If you’re trying to beat match then a small delay is naturally going to cause problems in your accuracy.

Of course, this is no problem if you’re just listening to music, but it can be quite a crucial issue when DJ’ing.