This is the main characteristic for setting the price of headphones, since the dynamics and the pads are more expensive and reproduce balanced (in terms of frequencies) and dynamic (the ability of the speaker to reproduce sharp dense sounds) sound; not only at low and medium loudness, but also at an extremely high level. The level of this limit is very important and it is good when the headphones have a “reserve”. If you listen to music at a higher level, then the speakers are overloaded and the sound may be distorted. A good reserve of pressure is close to 120 dB; this will safely block or at least be competitive with the level of external sound in the club or on a rave at 110 dB – 130 dB. Unfortunately, in the technical specifications, the maximum sound pressure level SPL (Sound Pressure Level) is not always indicated, and if it is declared, it may not be correct. Therefore, it should be tested, so trust your hearing or our guide.
How Well the Headphone Pads Fit to the Ears and Isolate You From External Noises?
It is obvious, that if the ear pads do not fit the ears well, then the sound from the outside will mix with the sound of the headphones. You can make the sound in the headphones even louder, but the intelligibility will be lost and it can also harm the hearing. The reason for the sound interference can be the design of the headphones (the rotating mechanisms of the pad, its softness and thickness). The shape of your head can be another reason. This is very individual, it happens that DJs choose unpopular models for themselves, but they fit on their ears perfectly. When it comes to the headphone pads material, we must say that the ear pads are made of leather and leatherette and practically all the headphone models have it. It must be noted that additional velour pads may be comfortable, but due to their porous surface the sound waves may interfere and are suitable for studio or home listening. If you are going to use it, you better test it first: check how does one ear pad if you put the second one on the back of the head and vice versa. Hence the following question comes:
Is It Convenient for You to Keep Them on Your Head on Both Ears and in Some Other Way?
No matter how many times you take off the headphones and put them back on and how do you like to hold them on your head; you should not think about that at all. You must feel completely comfortable and have no distractions. The most important thing is how the headphones fit your ears, their shape and weight. It shouldn’t be fixed too tight and at the same time, you must be sure that they don’t fall off. The form is also an individual moment; many of the top models will fit your head since the rotating mechanisms of the cup are good enough. Not all of the low-prices DJ headphones will fit well, but the best ones are also listed below. When it comes to weight, the manufacturers now tend to produce as lightweight devices as possible, huge models are not popular anymore. Some of you might like when big headphones with large cups create more isolated atmosphere and more spatial sound, but they are usually very heavy. Of course, we must say that this is completely up to you. So, in general, the design is eased to the limit, but what about the strength and flexibility?
How Reliable and Durable Is the Structure?
In recent years, new lightweight plastics have been actively used for headband heads production. Metal headband bars can be found too, and these ones are hard to break, but they weigh more than plastic ones. The reliability of other parts of the headphones depends on the quality of the production; even the thin plastic of the rotating mechanisms of the cup can withstand heavy loads if the producer works on it. Each brand presents its model as reliable or super-reliable, but in reality, it might not be as expected.
What Is Its Design and How Do You Look When You Put Your Headphones On?
You must take a look in the mirror or at least imagine yourself looking in chosen headphones. This is your main DJ attribute; let the headphones complement your look.
What Are Main Technical Characteristics of DJ Headphones?
A person hears only from 20 to 20 000 Hz at an average loudness, and it’s only at the age of up to 20 years. By the age of 50, the perceived range narrows down to 40 ˗ 12,000 Hz. In the conditions of great noise in clubs and high volume of your headphones, analyzing the range of the auditory system narrows even more because of a large amount of information and interference. We can say with confidence that all modern DJ headphones reproduce frequencies from at least 40 to 16 000 Hz. That works fine with us, no matter what is written on the package. When choosing right device, it doesn’t make sense to look at this information; the claimed frequency range of headphones is often overstated by the manufacturer, and it is not indicated under what conditions the measurements were taken.
This parameter does not show the clearance of the sound. At this stage in the industry development, the methods and criteria for computer evaluation of the sound purity are only being developed, and the subjective expert evaluation of users prevails for now. That is why all the Hi-Fi forums are constantly having debates about devices quality, and many audiophiles are fiercely trying to prove their how expert they are when it comes to recognizing the sound quality.
Good balance of frequencies is shown on the amplitude-frequency characteristic curve, and its “evenness” is only needed in studio models for accurate monitoring and is absolutely not needed for DJ headphones, because our hearing needs comfort at high loudness in the area of 2-5 KHz, which are the most sensitive and painful frequencies for hearing. The graph is rarely drawn on a box or in a manual since for an inexperienced user this curve looks too much crooked.
The coefficient of nonlinear distortion is for making it easier to understand how much of the output sound from the earpiece differs from the original signal. That is, determining how much have the headphones distorted the signal. Moreover, nowhere is specified in which particular frequency range it is distorted. Therefore, in noisy DJ headphones, the changes for 1 and even 3% will be absolutely imperceptible to us.
The only parameter that is always shown on DJ headphones box and having a value is the resistance (or impedance). The lower the impedance is, the easier it is to connect the headphones with the sound source (player, sound card, mixing console, etc.); it needs less voltage. There is a second feature: when connecting low-impedance headphones, the source will provide a higher amperage, and with it, signal distortion will increase. Therefore, at low resistance: weak source is enough to achieve maximum loudness; there are more distortions. At high resistance: more powerful source is needed; there is less distortion.
Max SPL (Sound Pressure Level) is the level of the maximum sound pressure at which the sound remains without distortion. This is a very important parameter for DJ headphones according to Audio Reputation, but there are practically no manufacturers who put this information on the box.
Sensitivity shows the loudness of the headphones. But to assess this volume, you need to compare several parameters, which cannot be found on the box. The sensitivity value is indicated on the basis of marketing plans and does not carry valuable information. We must say that sensitivity, in particular, depends on the resistance and, according to very approximate concepts, we must remember that the lower the resistance, the higher the sensitivity (loudness) is and vice versa.