I just went to the Dirty Tones DJ competition at Habitat Living Sound. It was pretty rad. You could see me dancing up front, and I totally lost it when @3verplay finished with dubby-wubby. Listen to the set on his blog, Mixing Juice.
That got me all thinking about DJ headphones. It’s a pretty specialized field, and these guys have needs. Headphones to some DJs are like hot pockets for gamers.
How I truly learned what a microwave minute was
Finding the right DJ headphones depends on style. There are different areas of disc jockeying, such as producing on your laptop at home or in a studio, live mixing in a club, and clicking play on your iPod for board games night. Depending on where you find yourself on the spectrum of this value chain, you’re going to need different headphones. Earpads need to be comfortable yet seal out sound. The frequency range has to fit in with the environment, eg. playing bassy hip hop on a 1000W system requires headphones that overcome this competing source. Weight becomes a big issue if you wear them for hours on end, making earpads even more important in whether or not they make your head sweat so much that you get all your electronics wet with the dripping.
Electrocution is not funny
Some sets stow and go quite easily. Some have swivelling ears, and some have spring-loaded swivelling ears. Some have coiled cables, and some have cables that disconnect from the ears. Sometimes you need an 1/8″-1/4″ adapter, and sometimes you need one that screws together with the cable plug. Sometimes you need a mono to stereo adapter. Sometimes you want them to be built like a tank for when you inevitably trip over the coiled cable.
If you’re like me and you want to be completely satisfied with a purchase, you want to talk to someone who knows what they’re talking about, who understands the nuances of actually using a product in a certain way. I certainly have much to learn about all the different listening environments and applications, but I don’t know where else I’d go to find this information easily. I hope that this blog acts as a resource for people in a similar situation.
Oh yeah, check out the Pioneer HDJ2000. They’re awesome.
I listened to them myself. If only there were some retail store where the rest of us could try out headphones before we bought them…