How to Differentiate DJ Headphones

How to Differentiate DJ Headphones
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Headphones are listening devices that are hooked up to any electronic gadget to produce an individual sound experience. Headphones have evolved through the years to fit people’s varying needs. In the present, the types of headphones vary not only in sound quality but also in power and the type of device that is used.

Many use headphones to help us concentrate on work, study or reading. You also use headphones for gaming and/or relaxing on a day off. However, the people who use headphones the most are sound technicians, engineers, musicians and of course, disc jockeys.

Disc jockeys, or DJs, need to use headphones to hear themselves in a radio booth or to hear the sound of music that they mix on their turntables or audio mixers. The DJs would need to isolate the noise from outside and concentrate on the rhythms to place the correct section of music into the main sound platform.

To fully understand what a DJ does, it is important to know what are headphones and the mechanism that works inside them. Headphones are basically small speakers and learning the principles of sound is important to understand how headphones function.

What are the types of headphones?

Earphones and In-ear monitors

Earphones and in-ear monitors are like ear plugs that fit snugly inside the ear canal. The speakers are made so small that they can lead to less noisy and clear listening to music. Many audio engineers and DJs use in-ear monitors to listen to tracks or to mix sounds for a performance.

The advantage of earphones is it provides the best level of comfort because it is placed inside the ear. Since it fits well in the ear canal, noise is already canceled out without covering the entire ear. However, they have a tendency to slip off because it only uses a rubber or silicone cap.

Some earphones are covered with foam and are not placed inside the ear canal, so the chances of it slipping off are higher. This is not good for the DJ, especially during the performance.

On-ear headphones

The most common type of headphone used by DJs is on ear headphones. These are two large earpieces that are covered with hard plastic and foam. Some headphones have ear pads that are padded with memory foam to follow the contour of the ear. These ear pads are joined by a headband and usually are retractable to fit the user’s head.

When the earpads are opened, you will see the mechanism inside which is a magnet and a coil of wires wrapped in silicone.


Headsets are headphones with attached microphones usually used for phone or online conversations. Headsets enable users to talk back and multitask while engaged in a call.

What kind of headphones do DJs need?

DJs and people who use headsets constantly and for long hours look for headsets that deliver accurate and wide-ranging sound. They must be able to hear sounds in detail and must be undistorted with outside noise. This is why headphones with good noise reduction features are a common choice.

DJs also prefer headphones that are not painful to the ear. This means that the headset must be able to deliver middle to high-frequency sounds without breaking their ear drums. It is difficult for party DJs to mix music if they can’t get a full range of beats and sounds, so the headphone must also be able to deliver a good bass quality.

These headphones are usually placed on the ear and are comfortable even after long hours of use. DJs, in this case, will prefer headphones with soft cushioned ear pads. These pads should be able to absorb sweat. Headbands should also be sturdy and flexible so that it can be placed on the head without causing discomfort.

Aside from comfort, DJs prefer that their headphones have detachable cables since this is the first to break. For long-term use, headphones that have detachable and replaceable cables are the best type to fit their line of work.

Sound technicians prefer earphones that can deliver sound in a complete range. Especially for the critical ear, the preferred headphone should be able to deliver all the distinct sounds in the musical piece.

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