The first step in choosing the best pair of DJ headphones is to take into consideration your individual needs as a musician. The genre of music you play may have a significant effect on the headphones you select. For DJs who play bass-heavy music, a headset with high quality bass response would be most appropriate, whereas DJs focusing on rock or similar types of music may wish to pay extra attention to a product's middle and treble specifications. Other factors which may have an effect on your final decision may include how often you perform and in what kind of environment.
DJ headphones differ from home or studio headphones in certain ways that make them more effective in a performance situation. Be sure that the headphones you choose are specifically designed for DJing. Signs that indicate a headset will be appropriate for this kind of work include a swiveling or rotating earpiece on one or both ears, a closed ear design, a detachable cord, and a durable design. The aesthetic appeal of the headphones should be secondary to their ability to provide you with the best performance.
A rotating earpiece allows the DJ to quickly compare the track they are preparing to the track that is currently being played over the live sound system, making by-ear beat matching much easier. Many new DJs have started out with headphones that lacked a swiveling earpiece and have found that just sliding the earpiece off of their ear can easily result in the headphones falling off, especially in high energy environments. A closed ear design will allow you to properly hear the music you are queuing, even when the music being played live is very loud. Open ear headphones should be avoided, as they are generally designed for use in a studio.
Carefully examine the pair of DJ headphones you are planning to buy and ask yourself if they will be sturdy enough for the environments you plan to use them in. If they seem fragile or flimsy, you may want to keep looking. To increase the life span of the headset, the cords for durable DJ headphones are often coiled and have thick jackets. The wire for the headphones should be detachable so that it can be easily replaced if broken. This is especially important for DJs who plan to perform regularly in any kind of party environment, including bars and nightclubs.