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DJ & Monitoring Headphones€

No Apple earbuds in the world can replace a good set of DJ and monitoring headphones. They may both feed sound into your ear, but that's where the similarities end. DJ headphones are a vital piece of DJ equipment and aren't something you throw in so you won't get bored jogging.

Things to Look For

DJs wear headphones a lot, so the first thing to look for is comfort. Your headphones need to fit comfortably on your head; they can't squeeze too much, but they have to stay on when you move one of the cups to listen to the crowd. Weight matters, too. Heavy headphones are a real drag. Pay attention to your cord length: too short and you'll pull it out; too long and you'll snag it or trip. Coiled cords are usually preferable to straight ones because they tend to stay out of the way.

Things to Listen For

It may be surprising is that DJ headphones don't always need perfect reproduction; what they do need is strong bass and clear highs. These tones are most important for dance music, so they matter more than the midrange. For bass, a good set wants big drivers and if possible closed backs. The bigger the driver, the deeper it sounds, and closed backs bounce the bass back to your ear. They also help tune out everything but the mix you're playing at the moment.

Daily Drivers

When you wear your headphones for hours a night almost every night, you have different needs than the casual wearer. Lightness isn't the only weight factor that matters; you also want to pay attention to weight distribution. A good set feels comfortable both on top of your head and around your neck. Being able to change out your ear pads and cables is also a great feature. Both take a beating, and changing them out can do a lot for the lifespan of your headphones.

Quality Counts

No matter whether you're wearing a professional in-ear monitoring system or a full set of cans, you want quality and performance. Brands like Sennheiser, Shure, Beyerdynamic, and AKG stand behind their DJ equipment and products. It's easy to find a good set if you put in the research, but always remember the best set for someone else might not be the best for you.