At NAMM 2018, we had some time to review and get an overview by the brand’s rep to see what it was all about. As you all now, we’re huge fans of DJ gear in particular, especially DJ headphones. So what is the new Ultrasone Signature DXP all about? For one, their fit is extremely comfortable. They have the standout features all DJ headphones should have — hinged ear cups, folding capabilities, a long coiled cable and more. But how does it sound? What other features make this worthy of a purchase vs. the already popular DJ headphones in the market? Let’s see if it stands the test.
Main features of the Ultrasone Signature DXP
- Closed-back headphone design
- Hinged ear cups
- Frequency range: 5 Hz to 30 kHz
- Includes Ultrasone’s S-Logic Plus technology
- Foldable and flexible headband
- Weight: 290 grams
- Made in Bavaria
Surveying these features from face value, we love the necessities it brings us. The hinged ear cups are big to allow us to monitor our separate tracks at will. We wouldn’t consider headphones “for DJ’s” if they didn’t have at least some type of way to monitor with more ease than just simply sliding an ear cup over — we feel there needs to be more. The build is fine but quite average — you don’t have stainless steel or a rugged material we’ve seen in some other high-end headphones (like V-Moda or some Sennheiser), but it’ll still get the job done. It’s not cheap at all — Ultrasone doesn’t skimp on material, and we’d hope not with a headphone priced retail (for now) at half a grand USD.
Ultrasone Signature DXP sound quality
We had a chance to listen to some tunes on the MacBook they had set up by connecting the Signature DXP via the headphone jack for Spotify (take this as you will, considering it’s not through a mixer, audio interface or headphone amplifier you may be using with these). For DJ headphones this price, we were concerned with two main factors — overall audio clarity as well as how the frequencies are distributed. No complaints here in that regard — it sounded great, and although not necessarily some of the higher-end studio headphones we’ve reviewed in this price-point, it can still get the job done. We don’t think DJ headphones need to be all concerned about ‘complete and absolute clarity considering you’ll be in loud environments and aren’t mixing and mastering (no, don’t use these for mixing and mastering if that’s the case).
Since we were in a loud convention center, it was also a great opportunity to see how the noise isolation of the Ultrasone Signature DXP sounded. It definitely wasn’t a ANC type of noise cancellation although they aren’t advertised to be that, we still feel they will be quite feasible when using it on a louder environment such as a house party, wedding, club or smaller bar — you’ll be able to hear your mixes very well, while still getting some of that crowd energy in to feel them out.
The Signature DXP fit and comfort
We of course got to keep these on for about 10-15 minutes while we jotted down some notes about the sound. Some may complain that a price-tag like this should include perhaps leather or plush; however, you aren’t getting that here. We wouldn’t let that steer you away however, considering they’re still quite comfortable in the ear cup as well as headband region. You have a nice soft-like material for a snug fit when combined with the adjustable headband. We were able to get it just right. Plus it weighs nearly 290 grams (about 10 ounces) so you aren’t getting something clunky at all. Keep in mind the headband is also ‘flexible’ so even if you adjust it well, it can form to your head.
In terms of long-term pain with the Signature DXP, you’re going to have to stand by for us to let you know how it feels after 3-4 hours of continuous wear. To us, this is a big deal especially for DJ headphones since a lot of us gig for maybe even more than that, and ear pain with headphones is by far the worst. We’ve never heard of this or experienced it ourselves when it comes to Ultrasone headphones, and that usually happens with the cheaper DJ cans in the market. This material definitely doesn’t appear to be prone to pain at all. We love the fit, although are huge fans of leather, velvet or plush, but usually those are popular with studio headphones for recording or mixing and mastering since you won’t be traveling with them a lot. You have less chance to damage those and you can’t replace it, so we understand why this may be even preferred for DJ’s on the road frequently.
What is Ultrasone’s S-Logic Plus technology?
This is a big selling point of their Signature headphone line, and will be a big determining factor when it comes to purchasing these over other DJ headphones with a price-tag like this. So what exactly is S-Logic Plus technology? Just another fancy name to state that their sound quality is ‘clear and accurate’? Well yes, to a certain extent. To analyze what exactly it entails however, we think it has some credibility. It involves a means to attaining a 3D-like, surround sound audio quality with just two ears. A lot of headphones give us a ‘direct’ sound, which we are all accustomed to. The S-Logic tech however attempts to push this sound around your head to emulate what speakers can do from a greater distance to your ears. Technically speaking, they’re able to do so with decentralized driver placement. They send the audio signals to your outer ear so it (in a way) bounces off of your ears in different directions to give a 3D sound, as opposed to direct audio signals into your canals like traditional headphones with normal driver placement.
For audiophiles and headphone junkies, let’s talk frequency response. So considering the average human ear can hear between 20 Hz to 20 kHz, let’s just say we’re fine in this category. Going all the way down to 5, it’s more of a security blanket to make sure we can get as low as possible. They made the highs all the way up to 30 kHz, so we’re fine in regards to the entire spectrum as a whole. This is big for DJ sound to make sure we don’t have a bad mix to our audience — what’s a great set with bad quality with clipping and too high of peaks?
The conclusion of the Ultrasone Signature DXP headphones
We really like these for a number of reasons. For one, they offer nearly every part of our checklist that goes into determining what the ‘best DJ headphones’ should have — comfortable fit, adjustable headband, some type of way to effectively monitor with moving an ear cup, and of course, great sound. Combine the excellent and very broad frequency response with the flat and accurate sound quality with 3D-like listening in the S-Logic Plus, they make for a solid pair of DJ headphones if you have the cash in this price-point.
The Ultrasone Signature DXP will of course need a time test first, and of course not just from us, but many users out there in the world. We’ll let time determine what these can do in the long-run, but for now, for those of you who like that ‘new gear’ and are serious about your DJ gear, these are a high-end pair of new DJ headphones with advanced technology built-in for a better ‘listening experience’ than others. You’ll get what you pay for. Read our DJ headphones guide for some other options if you want to compare and contrast.