Being a DJ isn’t possible without hearing what you’re doing. Headphones are obviously an essential piece of gear regardless of what type of sound you’re conjuring or listening to, but when you’re a DJ there are certain models that will fit the mold perfectly. If you’re on a budget, it’s important to find the best pair of cans that fall within the range you’re looking for, and in this case we’ll be checking out the best under $100. You’ll need to take in a few other factors, however, and we list those accordingly. Let’s review the best DJ headphones for under $100.
How to choose your DJ headphones
- Your exact budget. As we read in our best DJ headphones article, there’s a decent range with these types of cans. Models for $20 are very different from models that hit just the $100 mark.
- Closed-design headphones are best. If you’re confused about the headphone style, we recommend going with closed-back headphones since they’re best for isolating sound and disallow it from exiting the earcups. This is best for DJ’s since we need as least amount of external sound leaking in as possible.
- Comfort. If you DJ, you know what that annoying pain feels like when you wear headphones after a few hours. You need a pair that feels great on your ears and can be worn for numerous hours on end.
- Extra headphone features. For DJ’s, swivel earcups can come quite in handy. Models that do swivel are a bit hard to find under $100, but you can also grab a pair that folds for traveling when you’re going from set to set. Some cords are even interchangeable as well.
- Preferred brand. We lastly like to stick this in here because some of my DJ friends have some brand loyalty going, although in our opinion if the user reviews are positive then they are a proven model, regardless who has made them.
Our picks for best DJ headphones under $100
The following is our list of best DJ headphones for under one hundred bucks. Some of these made an appearance in our top 10 best studio headphones list as well, so we know they are trusted models within the broader spectrum of popular models. We list our favorite first but also provide a few others we like to give you some options (mainly with price). You may also want a headphone amplifier to power these babies up. Let us know in the comments your thoughts and if we missed a model worth looking at, we’ll be sure to listen.
Numark Red Wave
If we had to choose the absolute best pair of DJ headphones under $100, this would be it. It isn’t lacking anything to be honest. First and foremost we get some swiveling earcups, a nice leather padding for excellent comfort (no pain!), super big 50 mm drivers, and detachable cables. You also get a storage pouch for traveling (soft case) and the Numark brand name always gives us a warm feeling of security in our tummies. The sound quality is great for the price and although bigger isn’t necessarily better, that driver size is impressive. The over-ear design fulfills our checklist above and there’s really nothing this headphone is lacking when it comes to DJing. Also comes with a 1/4″ adapter if you need it and it goes up to 24 ohm. It’s just been said to get a little sweaty when you’re wearing them due to the leather, but that’s what you get when you wear over-ear headphones in general. Grab the Numark Red Wave headphones if you want the real deal, not to mention they’re well under $100.
Pioneer DJ gear is one of the best out there as many of us already know. Their most popular headphones for DJ’s under $100 is the 500 model and for good reason: very clear audio quality across the board in terms of frequencies. One of the most important features we have with these however is the 60 degree rotating arm structure. This is obviously perfect for those needing to isolate a specific ear for some nice performance\recording flexibility. Lastly, you get some color choices of red, black or white, so if aesthetics are important for you that’s always a plus. This quality is great since it’s under $100 but also is said to rival more expensive models in terms of sound quality. Not only for DJ’s, but you can also use these for other activities as well — no need to constrain the use of your headphones, and the Pioneer HDJ-500 headphones are perfect for that. Check these out if you’re looking for something other than the Numark model we suggested (perhaps the colors attract you).
Sony electronics is another brand name we all have obviously heard of. With the MDR7506’s you get 40 mm drivers (better than the average pair but not too crazy), a very long cord (9.8 feet) that’s perfect for DJ’s, and most importantly it folds up for storage. It comes with a soft case for spinners who travel but I would almost recommend grabbing a harder case if you want to be on the safe side. The earpads are also replaceable so that helps the life of these things. They’re technically studio headphones but they go hand in hand with DJ’ing since you can hear all ranges of frequencies clearly and the response is solid at 10Hz to 20 kHz. The closed-ear design is ideal for sound isolation and it also disallows from sound leaking in as to not distract you from your mixes. The Sony MDR7506 headphones are by far one of our favorites in the market. The only downfall is the lack of interchangeable cord and the earcups don’t swivel but you won’t find many models that do that with this price and quality of sound. If the rotating arm structure is important to you then we wouldn’t recommend these, grab one of the pairs above. CNet’s MDR7506 review was pretty positive as well.
We’ve written about these more times than we can count but it’s for a good reason. Read our ATH-M40x review for more info but to highlight a few more features, you get a pair of cans that are super affordable, provide high quality sound (not as warm as the Sony but it’s up there), and most importantly is one of the best pair of headphones for DJ’s if you’re looking for an interchangeable cord as well as swiveling ear cups. They’re technically studio headphones but the flat sound and swiveling is what makes them attractable to us. Not to mention they fold and come with a soft case for travel. They come in just at $100 typically around the net, although they may be higher or lower depending on where you’re looking. If you can save up some cash and go with these, you’re getting one of the best headphones for DJ’ing and merely recording in the studio in our opinion. The Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is one of our favorites.