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The Best DJ Headphones for Under $100 You Can Buy

Last Updated on September 26, 2020 by Ryan Harrell

Want to find the best DJ headphones under $100 you can buy right now? Read on to find our best picks for DJs on a budget.

The Best DJ Headphones Under $100

Best overall: PIONEER HDJ-X5-K
“Pioneer tops this list as well with a fantastically well-rounded headphone at a great price”

Best in-ear monitors: Shure SE215-CL
“DJs looking to break free from bulky headsets should definitely consider the Shure SE215-CL”

Best for budget buyers: Hercules HDP DJ-M40
“A serious piece of equipment at a surprisingly affordable price tag”

Best for beginners: OneOdio Pro-10 
“Despite the flaws, the low price tag makes the OneOdio a great choice for complete beginners”

DJing is an expensive hobby (or profession – if you’re getting paid for it).

DJ controllers are expensive enough, but when you throw in the cost of everything else – mixers, software licenses, sounds, etc. – you can be several hundred dollars in the red before you’ve made one half-decent mix.

Which is why I’m a big fan of cutting corners where you can. Headphones is one area where I feel you can get fantastic value for under $100. While nothing will beat a $400 pair of Pioneer headphones, you can get a lot of mileage from entry-level gear that will cost you less than dinner for two.

So in this guide, I dug deep to find the best DJ headphones under $100.

Here are my six top picks:

We use rigorous research, reviews, and real-world performance when recommending products. Our reviewers include producers, performers, and active musicians. You can read more about our review process here. Be advised that MIDINation might earn referral commissions on purchases made through this website. This does not affect your final purchase price.
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About your reviewer

Ryan Harrell is the founder of MIDINation and an experienced producer/DJ. His first experience with electronic music production dates back to Cubase 3.0 in the summer of 1997, and he’s been a fan ever since. He prefers Ableton as his primary DAW these days, though he is still partial to Cubase and Pro Tools. He lives in San Diego and freelances as a producer and part-time DJ.

The 6 Best DJ Headphones Under $100

For beginners and budget-focused DJs, here are my picks for the best headphones you can buy currently:

PIONEER HDJ-X5-K

If you’re a DJ, you already know the kind of brand value Pioneer has in the industry. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that a Pioneer tops our list of the best DJ headphones under $100 as well. The HDJ has everything you’d want in a pair of DJ headphones and should be an automatic choice if you can pay its slightly inflated price tag.

The PIONEER HDJ-X5-K might not be the flagship pair of headphones from Pioneer, but it comes with plenty of useful features that have us excited. In this review, we will discuss some of the best features of this remarkable pair of cans that make it the best overall DJ headphones for under 100 dollars.

The box contains a 1.2m cable, 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter, a carrying pouch, and a mini-jack. Thus, you have all of the things that you need to enjoy using the headphones. The design is impressive despite the low price. It is built out of thick plastic and has the extenders backed up by a metal strip. The result is that you have a pair of headphones that are lightweight yet durable.

The headband’s underside has been fitted with a thick cushion that will cradle your head without feeling cramped or inconvenient. It hugs tightly on your head and doesn’t feel tight. The earcups are also made with durable materials to ensure that they last for a long time. While they are also made from plastic, we noticed that they still feel very durable and are of high quality. They are not fixed in place and can swivel around the yoke.

The sound performance is impressive and definitely makes the PIONEER HDJ-X5-K sound better than its price. It has a 40 Hz boost that makes your music sound thick and punchy. Due to the sound quality, you’ll have a marvelous time listening to different genres with pleasure. The high frequencies here sound marvelous for a pair of headphones available for less than 100 dollars.

It is a solid pair of headphones that perform with different sounds. They felt comfortable on my ears, although I started to feel a bit uncomfortable after wearing them for extended periods. For the sub-100 price, these are totally worth the cost and will definitely serve you very well.

What I don’t like:

Although this is a great overall pair of headphones, it comes with certain disadvantages. For one, while the lows sound great, the mid frequencies are rather hollow. Thus, listening to midrange to heavy acoustic instruments is a bore.

Recommended for: If you are a DJ with a propensity for playing hip-hop, pop, and EDM, then you’ll love the sound performance of these headphones. They sound pretty great and have excellent durability. While they can crowd out the mids, for most club DJs, the HDJ-X5-K is a great choice.

Most Reliable: Sony MDR7506

The second model on our roundup is the most reliable model you can buy for under 100 dollars. It comes with a sturdy design and impressive performance to boot. The closed-back design of the Sony MDR7506 means that people around you cannot hear whatever you are listening to while ensuring that you get the best sounds. Due to the design, it is great for any DJ on the go and who needs to keep a low amount of load when traveling for gigs. Let’s review these features in more detail.

First, Sony MDR7506 comes with a sound impedance of 63 Ohms. What this means is that you have a pair of cans that will serve you well in the club or studio. The technical details might bore you, but be rest assured that for the price, you’ll likely never find another pair of headphones as reliable as this model. It also sports large 40 mm drivers and neodymium magnets that let your sound come out clear, expansive, and crisp.

Another notable feature that I observed is that the mid-range frequency is impressive. You will have a great time listening to EDM, pop, hip-hop, and other genres commonly played by DJs.

There are several instances where it is vital that you have a pair of headphones. One such time is when traveling, and you want a moment of peace. The Sony MDR7506 is great for this use because they are noise-canceling headphones. While the noise cancellation isn’t as dope as what you’d find on far more expensive models, it is still quite impressive. Another reason why the noise cancellation technology is vital is for DJing and production. The Sony MDR7506 is the industry standard and will give you overall reliable performance.

In terms of design, there’s plenty to like about these headphones; however, there are also some things that need to be worked on. The good side is that they are built, lightweight. You can, therefore, carry them around without much fuss. The cable is non-detachable, which is somewhat of a bummer. However, the good thing is that it is very thick and thus durable.

What I don’t like

First, the headphones are completely made of plastic. While this results in a lightweight model, it means that these aren’t very durable. Sound-wise, I observed that the treble range is somewhat disappointing.

Recommended for: While the MDR7506 aren’t strictly DJ headphones, they perform very well in a range of settings – including DJing. The sound is clear, strong, and most importantly, reliable. If you’re looking for the best DJ headphones under $100 that won’t fail you, you’ll love the MDR7506.

Best In-Ear Headphones: Shure SE215-CL

Who says you can only DJ with headphones? In-ear headphones can perform perfectly well, especially while mixing or practicing.

If you are looking for the best in-ear earphones, then you can do no better than the Shure SE215-CL. These are excellent earphones that give you impressive sound for less than 100 dollars.

Shure is a relatively popular manufacturer of headphones and audio equipment, and these are some of the best options from the company.

First, let’s consider the design features. Shure has made the Shure SE215-CL be a pair of highly comfortable earphones. While other models come with earbuds that do not slip well into the ear, these will slip into your ear properly and will not come off even when you move your head aggressively. Apart from the ability to remain in your ears better, these also offer some of the best noise-isolation compared with other models at this price.

The earbuds feature modules that are designed like the ear. Therefore, they remain in your ear and will still be comfortable even after wearing them for extended periods. The over the ear design will keep them out of the way of your playing.

The Shure SE215-CL are Bluetooth or wireless options; therefore, they come with detachable cables. Since these cables are detachable, it is possible for you to change the cable in case of any damage. Additionally, you can play without fearing damage to your earphones.

Overall, the design is one of the best that you’ll find at this price. While the design is great, what is truly astounding about these earphones is the performance. The mids, highs, and lows sound impressive. The excellent performance is even better than some of those found on more expensive models. The clear bass and treble are delicious to hear.

What I don’t like

While these sound rather great and are durably constructed, there are no in-line controls. This impacts functionality. Additionally, while these end up being comfortable, it might take some time for your ear to get used to wearing them.

Recommended for: If you are a DJ on a budget that wants in-ear earphones, then these are the best DJ headphones under $100 you can find on the market right now. The sound is incredibly accurate and, for earphones, surprisingly loud.

Best Budget DJ Headphones: Hercules HDP DJ-M40

The Hercules HDP DJ-M40 is one of the most affordable models on this roundup. It comes at a very affordable price. Although it doesn’t sport state of the art technology or bells and whistles, it is majorly effective at what it does. The built-in drivers offer good performance that will help you to enjoy your DJing.

The design covers the ear, thus offering more than decent soundproofing. It is, therefore, a very good option if you are working at a club or party. The Hercules HDP DJ-M40 is made to help you monitor sounds over a wide frequency range. The build is solid, although it isn’t premium. It is made of relatively durable materials that will certainly last and take rough handling without breaking. If you are usually on the go, you’ll likely appreciate the ability to fold it into a compact form for storage and transportation.

The large ear pads will shield you from any ambient noise, and the closed-back design prevents any sound bleeding. With bandwidth that covers all of the frequencies audible to the human ear, you’ll certainly have a good time listening to music or monitoring using these headphones.

In addition, the 60 Ohm drivers are just at the low level of impedance that will give a powerful output volume as you DJ on your rig. It is compatible with different devices, including computers, phones, and other audio players.

The pair of axes for rotation allows you to easily continue your one-ear monitoring, which is essential to a successful time as a DJ. The extendable arms on the headphones can be adjusted to ensure that it suits different head sizes.

What I don’t like

This is an overall excellent model; however, I observed that it isn’t as durable as I’d have liked. The sound quality is alright, but there isn’t any definition in the low range.

Recommended for: These headphones are perfect if you want a pair of secondary headphones, or are just starting your DJ journey. While they have their durability and sound quality issues, the overall balance and affordable price tag makes them one of the best DJ headphones under $100 you can buy right now.

Most Versatile DJ Headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-M20x

The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x comes from the Audi-Technica brand, which is the favorite headphone manufacturer for many DJs. There are so many high grade, impressive models in the brand catalog. Some of these range into hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x is the budget model from the brand. As such, it costs very little. However, do not be fooled by the low price. It is an entry-level model that beats more expensive units due to the build and performance.

First of all, the build quality is amazing for this price. It weighs just 190 without the cable attached. This lightweight build is due to the fact that most of the unit is made of plastic. The headband adjustment rails are made of metal, though.

This headband is excellent and feels great on the head. The ear pads are equally impressive and give you almost the same level of comfort as what you’d find in expensive units. Even though the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x relies mostly on plastic, it is still very durable.

Sound performance is one of the most important considerations when choosing a pair of headphones, and we are pleasantly surprised by the results of these budget headphones. These are among the top-rated closed-back headphones when considering the neutral frequency response, and it costs a fraction of the price.

Channel balance is another reason why these are awesome headphones. They blow the rest of the competition out of the water in this regard.

Overall, when you consider the price of the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x, you’ll certainly love to own a pair.

What I don’t like

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x has some flaws, which is certainly expected, considering that it is a budget model. First, while they are largely comfortable, you will need to take a break from wearing them after about an hour of wearing. The cable that connects the left and right ear cups exposes some of the cable, which makes it susceptible to damage.

Recommended for: Anyone looking for a versatile set of headphones. While they will do perfectly well for casual DJing, they’re also great for music production, film editing, or even gaming. I wouldn’t recommend these if you’re looking only for DJ headphones. But if you want a multi-utility pair, these are some of the best DJ headphones under $100 money can buy right now.

Best Entry Level DJ Headphones: OneOdio Pro-10

OneOdio or OneAudio isn’t a hugely popular brand; however, it has slowly started gaining positive attention because of the performance of some of its headphones, especially the entry-level model, the OneOdio Pro-10 DJ Headphones. Now, these budget headphones are the cheapest on this list, but they still manage to feel quite comfortable on the ears. They are also relatively durable and give decent sound quality.

First, the design is interesting. Although it isn’t the most intuitive of designs, it still feels easy to use. The OneOdio Pro-10 DJ Headphones comes with a foldable design; thus, if you are a DJ frequently on the move, you’ll easily store these and transport them as well. In addition to the foldable design, the OneOdio Pro-10 DJ Headphones has easier cups that rotate in the left and right directions. Therefore, you can enjoy superb single-ear monitoring.

As pointed out above, they come with a closed-back design. During use, I found these to be very comfortable. The padding is sufficient, and the faux leather feels soft over the ears. Overall, I found them easy to wear more than similarly priced units on the market.

Right out of the box, it is clear that these are not premium headphones. They look the price, but that doesn’t mean that it looks tacky. It still manages to look stylish and elegant. While it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, we liked it.

In terms of features, these are a solid pair of headphones. It comes with a 50mm neodymium driver and a nice frequency response. The 32Ohms impedance is relatively low, but that is to be expected at this price. One of my favorite features of these headphones is that there is a pair of detachable cables. These can stretch up to three meters.

They give you a classic look with the red plastic accents in the black body. They are also made of good quality drivers and large earcups.

Performance-wise, you’ll find it difficult to find a pair of headphones at this price that gives this much quality sound. Although it isn’t premium-sounding, it is more than decent for the cost. I observed that the bass is hefty and powerful without overwhelming the mids and trebles. Since they come with a closed-back design, they are convenient to use in noisy environments.

Ultimately, the OneOdio Pro-10 DJ Headphones doesn’t come with the bells and whistles of expensive models, but we certainly enjoyed using them for a bit.

What I don’t like

First, the ear cups are round instead of oval. This can have an impact on your comfort. Other things like the less impressive sound should be expected for a pair of headphones under 30 dollars.

Recommended for: These are a bare minimum pair of headphones that only DJs that are absolutely strapped for cash but still want decent quality should opt for. They won’t blow you away but they do pack in all the basic features you’d want when you’re starting out your DJing journey. Casual DJs and beginners alike would appreciate them in particular.

Over to You

As a DJ, your top priorities are a little different than music producers, film editors, and casual listeners. You want balance, loudness, and DJ-friendly single ear operation. Hopefully, this list will help you zero-in on the best DJ headphones under $100 you can find on the market right now.

For more recommendations and advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also Read:

References:

Changelog
  • Sep 25, 2020: Article first published

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