Friday, June 14, 2024

Top 5 Best DJ Headphones Under $100 in 2022

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In this article we’ll look at the best DJ headphones under $100. You only have one set of ears. You may be a DJ, or you may be an up-and-coming producer, but the truth is that your hearing is your most important asset. That’s why it’s important to take it seriously when looking for the best headphones. 

So, if you want to make music, it’s important to invest in headphones with quality audio. At the same time we realize most of us will be restrained by a budget. That is where we come in as we tested a variety of budget friendly DJ headphones but not only sound fantastic but are comfortable to wear and will not break the bank. Before we get started, I felt it was important to detail some of the key items we were looking for in our budget friendly DJ headphones.

Best for flat sound
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Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5-K
Great noise isolation
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Numark Red Wave DJ
Great sound
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GRADO SR80e Prestige Series
Semi Open-Back Pick
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AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO
Honorable Mention, Semi Open-Back
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What to Look for in DJ Headphones

Sound Quality

Sound quality is the most important factor in DJ headphones. Your hearing is your most valuable asset. If you’re a DJ or producer, you need to take that seriously and invest in quality headphones that provide good sound for an affordable price. We had a few qualifications for this category in regards to the measurable specs:

Drivers needed to be 40mm or greater
The impedance should be around 250 ohm or more
Frequency Range: 20Hz-20KHz

As far as intangibles, we wanted our best budget DJ headphones to DJ have minimal interference in regards to sound clarity but still have the capability of catching sudden highs and lows.

Balanced Frequency Response

Although we were not looking for a studio neutral monitor in this price range, we expect our cans to have an overall balanced frequency response and provide an accurate representation of the music we are playing. We added extra points and emphasis in the bass responsiveness as we wanted it to be slightly boosted but not overexaggerate. 


If sound quality is the most important factor we looked for, comfort could easily be 1a. It is imperative that you are comfortable with your headphones since many sets can extends for hours. We looked at everything from ear-cup size,  cup material, headband padding in addition to how they felt after a few hours of use. Did the cups cause lots of sweating, was the clamping force uncomfortable after an extended period and did the headband and earcups provide enough padding were just a few of the items we considered.

Earpad and headband design

After we narrowed down the field of DJ cans, we took a deeper look at the earcups and headbands for our finalists. We added extra points for swivel earcups since it provides single-sided monitoring of music during a set. Although important, we did not discount a pair of headphones if this was the only item lacking.

We then considered other important factors that matter to most DJs. Below are a few of the items we considered.
– Was the ear padding and headband padding sufficient. 
– Was the material used sweat resistant and not overly hot.
– Could the headphones be worn comfortably around the back of our neck without heat, sweat, and agitation
– Were the earcups sized correctly for our ear
– Did the headband offer enough adjustment to make it comfortable for different head sizes

Closed-Back Design

We gave gave extra point for headphones that were closed-back. Although there are advantages to semi-open headphones, we felt most DJs looking for a single set of cans in this price range would benefit most from a closed-back design. Closed-back headphones allow additional noise isolation from external ambient noise which allows you to put more focus on the music.

Findout more on headphone designs: Open-Back Headphones vs Closed-Back Headphones

In addition to the noise isolation, closed-back designs do not typically require the volume and power that a open-back or semi-open back set of DJ headphones require. This can be beneficial as it will allow us to get away with using a lower class of headphone amplifier saving even more money. The final advantage for closed-back headphones for DJing is increase in the low frequencies in many cases. This can allow us to have a better feel for the rhythm of the music and make adaptions as needed easier.


Another important factor to consider when looking at DJ headphones is durability. Let’s face it, if you are playing sets and party’s, these cans are not going to have an easy life. We considered this and chose headphones that we felt would hold up the best under the stress of regular DJ use.


Since we often need to travel with our gear to different events, mobility of the headphones were an important consideration. We considered the weight and size of the headphones in addition to if they folded, had swivel cups and came with a case.

Now that we covered the bases of what to look for in DJ headphones let’s get back to the topic at hand. Without further ado, we give you  our Top 5 Best DJ Headphones Under $100 in 2022.

Sennheiser Pro Audio HD280 PRO

as of June 14, 2024 10:46 pm

Best for flat sound

For slightly under $100 it is hard to find many faults with the classic Sennheiser HD280 PRO. These closed-back headphones are one of our favorite headphones in this price range for studio work as well as DJing. They have a very neutral, linear sound reproduction that is a very accurate. They are very comfortable headphones to wear during extended sets and are built to last. 

For the price range these are about as close to neutral as you will get with a pair of headphones. They have a great frequency response of 8Hz-25kHz, according to Sennheiser. One thing to note, these are not “basshead” headphones due to the sound curve. If you are interested in these amazing headers, make sure to see our full review: Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones Review

– Built to last with replaceable pads and headband, very durable
– Natural, neutral sound with punchy, tight bass
– Amazing comfort for long sets

– No removable cable
– No swivel cups
– Neutral sound signature and not a “basshead” headset, may turn some DJs off

Audio Technica ATH-M40X 

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Professional Studio Monitor Headphone, Black, with Cutting Edge Engineering, 90 Degree Swiveling Earcups, Pro-grade Earpads/Headband, Detachable Cables Included
as of June 14, 2024 10:46 pm

Best all around

Audio-Technica is a professional company that specializes in manufacturing high-quality headphones. This is top comfort and extraordinary sound quality of these headphones makes them a top choice for anyone considering a pair of DJ headphones.

They’re large but not to the point of feeling heavy while wearing them or unwieldy while traveling. However, the large size really shields you from outside noise. This allows you to concentrate on your mix and get the most accurate sound.

They are a comfortable mix of classic and modern— and the extra padding gives you comfort that lets you last for hours at a time. These cans are great for DJing, listening to music or working out. The construction seems to be quite sturdy and they also come with an acoustic filter that can help you keep external noise to a minimum.

The sound quality leans to the warm side of the spectrum (not as warm as the Sony) and is top notch. In addition to the great sound, the AT ATH-M40X features a detachable cable and swivel cups making them perfect for DJs. If you are in the market for a DJ headphone under $100, do yourself a favor and make sure to audition these cans.

If you love the Audio Technica ATH-M40X, make sure to also check out the Audio Technica ATH-M50X 

– Comfortable with good noise isolation. – They are lightweight and can be worn for long hours without causing discomfort.
– The ear pads seal really well and the headband is adjustable enough to fit a wide range of head sizes.
– Great sound quality with a warm, rich sound and strong bass frequency
– Feature an interchangeable cord and swivel earcups

– A bit chunky in the design department
– Lots of plastic in the design but seemed durable

Sony MDR7506 Professional

Sony MDR7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone
as of June 14, 2024 10:46 pm

Best warm sounding

DJ headphones are often the preferred choice of DJs because they offer a more experienced sound. The Sony MDR7506 Professional will provide you with professional sound, complete with a bass that won’t let you down. These can have a warm and rich sound with a frequency response of 10 Hertz to 20 kilohertz.

These modified models feature a 40 mm diameter driver that produces good bass response with less distortion, making it ideal for DJing. They also feature a detachable oxygen-free copper cable. They are great for a DJ on the go as the foldable design offers easy mobility. These factors make them great for DJs on the move as they are quite an upgrade over your average headphones.

With its high-quality output, surely, it’s perfect for DJs to be used in events and party’s as well recording stations, film production, video, and virtually any application. It has rugged construction with a folding design which is a reliable headphone wherever you go.

– Warm, rich sound
– Rugged construction
– Comfortable with great portability

– No swivel cups
– Some may prefer a closer to neutral sound of the HD 280

Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5-K

Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5-K
as of June 14, 2024 10:46 pm

Great noise isolation

These are one of the top headphones we found for sound isolation. The sound quality is very good and offer more of an audiophile clarity. For DJing we found the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5-K to also be one of the most comfortable pair of cans we tested during extended sessions. One issue I found was that although the snug fit on my ears provided great isolation, it did cause some sweating during long sessions.

I will say these are a great choice for traveling DJs, the foldable design is fantastic. In addition these cans feature a removal cord and are very durable. They have a built-in limiter to make sure you do not blow out your ears by accidentally maxing out the volume. Finally, the DJ HDJ-X5-K feature a swivel earcup design that makes one ear monitoring easy.

– Portable collapsible designs and durable
– Great sound isolation and quality of sound
– Detachable cord and swivel earcups
– Solid, well balanced sound
– Runs warm and caused some sweating due to the snug earcup design

Numark Red Wave

Numark Red Wave DJ
as of June 14, 2024 10:46 pm

Great sound

The Numark Red Wave is a set of closed-ear design headers that look as good as they sound. One of the best sounding DJ headphones we tested and have a sound signature geared towards bass heavy music. They feature a a 50 mm driver and are designed for DJs. These lightweight cans are easy to power and comfortable to wear. 

One of the things we were concerned with is the durability. We had no issues in our short test but have seen reviews from other DJs having issues with reliability. Make sure to do your due diligence but still defiantly a pair of DJ cans I suggest to audition.

– Great sound
– Good noise isolation
– No issues on the comfort front

– Concerns about durability

Honorable Mentions – Semi-Open Designs

I did want to mention two of our favorite semi-open back ear design headphones for DJs. I would suggest to check both out during your auditions and see if they are right for you as the open-back or semi-open back does offer some advantages.

Best Semi-Open Back DJ Headphones Under $100

Grado Sr80e

GRADO SR80e Prestige Series
as of June 14, 2024 10:46 pm

Semi Open-Back Pick

These retro styled cans from Grado are defiantly one to take a look at. Outside of the cool design, they feature amazing sound and very solid construction. One of the first thing you will notice when looking a these is they have a slimmer design and smaller earpads than the other cans on our best DJ headphones Under $100 list. We did not find the slimmed down design to cause any compromise to the comfort but I know some DJs will be turned off by the style.

Sound wise the 40 mm neodymium drivers 40 mm are tuned to emphasize the bass dynamics and high-frequency performance which is perfect for DJ work. We found these cans to have plenty of bass while they were able to maintain great clarity. 

AKG K240 Studio

AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO
as of June 14, 2024 10:46 pm

Honorable Mention, Semi Open-Back

A pair of over-the-ear headphones with a semi-open back design, the AKG K240 Studio headphones are comfortable and sound great. They feature soft earpads making them perfect for long sessions.

The sound is detailed with good separation and less bleed from the outside world into your mix. You can also crank these without them getting too distorted which provides for better dynamic adjustment. The overall sound signature is warm but not dark.


We hope our review of the best DJ headphones Under $100 list to be insightful in your search. We recommend you audition the headphones covered and find the one that works best for your sound and style preference. You really cannot go wrong with any of these quality, budget friendly cans.

Have questions, leave us a note in the comments below


Is Audio Technica ATH-M40x Headphones good for casual listening?

The M40x is great for casual listening in addition to being a great low-cost DJ headphone. It features an emphasis in the bass and treble frequencies and provides a warm, rich sound that makes it great casual listening. 

What ‘s the distinction between DJ headphones and studio headphones?

Studio headphones will normally have a neutral or reference sound signature. DJ Headphones will in general have an emphasis in bass and high frequencies.

How long do earphones last?

Ordinarily a pair of headphones or ear headphones will last 3 to 4 years. 

Are beats useful for Djing?

Most styles of beats that aren’t being showcased in the DJ division will not be appropriate for them, and they shouldn’t be. 

Why do DJs need headphones when they can hear the mix through speakers?

A solitary ear, while a DJ hears all the sounds in their region, so they might not pick up all of the sound. The other ear, among other things is used to blend vocals and other elements and can be utilized for mixing purposes that are critical. 

What does hd mean in headphones?

HD stands for high definition or high audio quality. Headphone makers use it to rate the sound clarity of their headphones.

Why do DJs utilize one headphone?

There’s one reason DJs wear headphones while they’re playing: to listen to the next song before mixing it in. 

Research links:

Sound Study 1

Hi, I am Quinn. I am an experienced audio engineer who has worked in the audio field for the past 20 years. I enjoy most genres of music and enjoy home recording and learning about new recording techniques. In my free time I enjoy reviewing the latest audio gear and gaming.

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