The Best DJ Headphones for Cueing, Mixing, and Scratching

Daniel Mwangi
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The Best DJ Headphones for Cueing, Mixing, and Scratching.

As a DJ, having a reliable pair of headphones is crucial for cueing tracks, beatmatching, and mixing. But with so many options on the market, choosing the right DJ headphones can be a challenge.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll review the top headphones for DJing and recommend the best models for cueing, mixing, and scratching.

Key Features of DJ Headphones

There are a few key features to look for when selecting headphones optimized for DJ use:

Sound Isolation

DJ headphones need to block out loud music in clubs so you can accurately cue and beatmatch. Closed-back headphones offer maximum noise isolation compared to open-back audiophile headphones.

Bass Response

DJs need powerful, accurate bass to match kicks and snares while mixing. Quality DJ headphones deliver deep low end without drowning out mids/highs.


DJs wear headphones for hours on end. Seek soft, padded ear cups that won’t irritate your ears during long sets. Adjustable/rotating ear cups also improve comfort.


Headphones take a beating in chaotic DJ booths. DJ-focused headphones have rugged designs featuring:

  • Metal headbands and hinges
  • Detachable/replaceable cables
  • Foldable designs for travel

Single-Sided Monitoring

DJ headphones have one ear cup that flips or rotates for easy single-ear monitoring while cueing the next song.


You can find quality DJ headphones ranging from under $100 to over $300. Invest in durability if you DJ frequently.

The 10 Best DJ Headphones

After extensive DJ testing and research, we recommend these top headphones for cueing, mixing, and scratching:

1. Pioneer HDJ-X5

The Pioneer HDJ-X5 deliver a winning mix of premium sound, comfort, and rugged durability.

  • Powerful bass response and clear highs
  • Rich audio with 50mm drivers
  • 90° swiveling earcup for easy monitoring
  • Isolation from closed-back design
  • Comfortable padding for all-night wear
  • Detachable/replaceable coiled cable
  • Foldable design with included case
  • Price: $149

Trusted by DJs worldwide, the HDJ-X5 are a smart choice if you want one headphone that can do it all.

2. Sennheiser HD 25

With an iconic collapsible design tough enough for club use, the Sennheiser HD 25 are a legendary DJ staple.

  • Warm, punchy bass perfect for beat matching
  • Rotating earcup for flexible monitoring
  • Lightweight headband for comfort
  • Rugged collapsible parts
  • Replaceable contact plates and pads
  • Affordable price for Sennheiser quality
  • Price: $149

For decades, top DJs have relied on the HD 25 headphones to capture and tame earth-shaking bass.

3. V-MODA Crossfade 2

Blending style with performance, the V-MODA Crossfade 2 deliver booming bass energy perfect for electronic dance music.

  • Signature V-MODA sound with deep, rich bass
  • Clear mids and crisp highs
  • Cliqfold design folds for easy transport
  • Comfortable memory foam cushions
  • SharePlay feature lets you daisy-chain multiple headphones
  • Endurable build quality made to last
  • Price: $299

With exotic materials like steel and vegan leather, the Crossfade 2 look as good as they sound.

4. Numark NFX

Offering serious sound at an affordable price, the Numark NFX are a fantastic value headphone for both DJing and production.

  • Huge 50mm drivers deliver massive low end
  • Crisp mids and silky highs
  • Rotating earcup for monitoring flexibility
  • Multi-position articulating yoke design
  • Hard carry case included
  • Budget price for quality audio
  • Price: $99

If you're seeking studio-quality audio on a budget, the NFX punch well above their class.

5. Sony MDR-7506

A studio staple with excellent monitoring abilities, the Sony MDR-7506 provide legendary sound quality perfect for focused beatmatching.

  • Detailed audio spectrum from rich lows to clear highs
  • Comfortable and fatigue-reducing for long mixing sessions
  • Rotating earcup for easy single-ear monitoring
  • Rugged headband construction
  • Affordable price given superb performance
  • Price: $99

With sound and comfort that rivals more expensive models, the MDR-7506 is a smart choice for DJs looking to save money without sacrificing audio quality.

6. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

With sound accuracy that belies their reasonable price, the ATH-M50x are one of the best values for studio-quality DJ headphones.

  • Balanced audio ideal for mixing and cueing
  • Punchy bass that won’t overwhelm mixes
  • Circumaural design seals out noise
  • Professional comfort and build quality
  • Detachable cables (straight or coiled)
  • Price: $149

For DJs who want great performance on a budget, the ATH-M50x are hard to beat.

7. Shure SRH750DJ

With a built-in headphone amp, the Shure SRH750DJ offer premium sound and bass response powered for the club.

  • Tuned with a DJ-friendly sound signature
  • Built-in preamp delivers loud, clean audio
  • 50 mm drivers provide rich low end
  • Rotating earcups to monitor channels
  • Durable construction for live performance
  • Detachable cable with 1/4" adapter
  • Price: $149

If you crave bass that hits hard for long DJ sets, the SRH750DJ delivers power and performance.

8. AIAIAI TMA-2 Studio

With fully modular construction, the AIAIAI TMA-2 Studio let you customize each component of the headphone.

  • Modular design lets you configure or upgrade every part
  • Clear, balanced audio tuned for mixing
  • Lightweight for all-night comfort
  • Earcups rotate 90° for monitoring
  • Premium aesthetics and Scandinavian design
  • Price: $240

For DJs who covet customization and sound quality, the TMA-2 Studio are a creative choice.

9. Pioneer HDJ-1500

With professional-grade durability, the Pioneer HDJ-1500 are built to withstand night after night of club use.

  • Rugged construction from steel and magnesium
  • Powerful 50mm drivers deliver deep bass
  • Rotating earcup for mixing versatility
  • Comfortable leather pads for long DJ sets
  • Excellent noise isolation blocks loud environments
  • Carrying case included
  • Price: $149

If you need headphones that can endure being stuffed in a bag and used nightly for gigs, the HDJ-1500 are built to last.

10. Sony MDR-V55

Boasting serious sound quality for the money, the Sony MDR-V55 are an unbelievable value for DJs on a tight budget.

  • Deep bass response perfect for beatmatching
  • Rotating earcups for quick track cueing
  • Reliable comfort for long DJ sets
  • Budget price but impressive audio clarity
  • Rugged design stands up to heavy use
  • Price: $78

If you want quality DJ headphones for under $100, the V55 are simply unbeatable.

Tips for Picking the Best DJ Headphones

Here are a few final tips for choosing headphones that meet your unique DJ needs:

  • Decide whether you prefer an over-ear or on-ear fit. Over-ear provides more noise isolation but some find on-ear more comfortable during extended wear.
  • If you'll be traveling frequently with your headphones, look for a collapsible and foldable design that's easy to pack.
  • Make sure headphones have a rotating earcup you can flip left or right to monitor channels independently.
  • Consider purchasing separately replaceable earpads and cables so you can easily fix headphone parts as they wear over time.
  • If you'll be DJing in very loud club environments, look for headphones with a built-in amplifier to boost headphone volume.
  • Read reviews and demo headphones first to ensure they deliver the sound signature and features you need.
  • For critical listening at home, open-back audiophile headphones provide a more natural sound but are less suited for noisy clubs.


What is cueing when DJing?

Cueing refers to listening to and previewing a track you're about to mix in through your headphones before the audience hears it. This allows you to set cue points, match tempos, and beatmix flawlessly.

What headphone impedance do I need for DJing?

For the powerful output of DJ mixers, you'll want lower impedance headphones around 25 to 70 ohms. Higher impedance headphones above 100 ohms are more suited for low-powered mobile devices.

How loud should DJ headphones be?

Look for DJ headphones with a high sensitivity rating around 100 to 110 dB SPL/mW to deliver loud volumes. This allows you to hear cue tracks clearly over very loud ambient club sound.

Should I get wireless DJ headphones?

Most pro DJs avoid wireless headphones which can fail due to interference and latency issues during performances. Wired headphones are more reliable for ideal monitoring while mix

What's the best headphone brand for DJs?

Top pro-audio brands like Pioneer, Sennheiser, Sony, Audio-Technica, V-MODA, Numark, and Shure consistently make the best DJ headphones balancing sound quality with ruggedness.

Do DJs use open-back or closed-back headphones?

Closed-back circumaural headphones that seal over your ears are better for DJing, as they isolate sound and prevent bleed. Open-back headphones are preferred by producers for mixing in the studio.

What's the difference between studio and DJ headphones?

Studio headphones prioritize neutral sound for mixing. DJ headphones emphasize bass for beatmatching and feature swivelling earcups. But high-end studio headphones can work well for DJs seeking accuracy.

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