How to use headphones when DJing? Best way IN 2023

How to use headphones when DJing
How to use headphones when DJing

One of the most essential skills for a DJ is using headphones for cueing and beatmatching. Today we learn how to use DJ headphones for mixing, cueing, beatmatching, and lots more!

We also talk about why DJs wear headphones, What to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Pair of DJ Headphones, headphone cue controllers, the best DJ headphones you should use, and how to use your DJ headphones as a Mic?

Headphones are great for mixing, and many people don’t know how powerful they really are. You can do so many things with headphones, and here’s how to best use them.

Experienced DJs can mix and beat matching without headphones, but we recommend that you perfect it using headphones as a beginner.

Why do DJs wear headphones while they are DJing?

The DJ can hear the sound quality and then know when to change the music or mix it up using headphones. It also helps DJs hear their cue points and waveforms. They can change the tempo and beat to match the incoming music they are mixing.

Headphones will also help them when they are unfamiliar with the songs they are playing. Headphones have many advantages, especially for DJs who are still new to the art form. If you’re not a DJ but just a music fan, wearing headphones can also help.

Other reasons are –

  1. DJ headphones protect your ears from loud music playing on your head.
  2. Most DJ headphones on the market come with soft ear padding and an adjustable headband to provide a comfortable DJ experience.
  3. DJ headphones help you effortlessly mix tracks and make sure the crowd doesn’t feel the transition from one track to another.

The Right Way to Wear DJ Headphones

Want to Scratch and Mix like a professional DJ? To be a good DJ, you need to comprehend the concepts of mixing tracks, adding cool effects, and needless to say, you will need a fantastic awareness of rhythm to line up the beats.

Before knowing how to cue or beat match, you need to know the ideal way to wear DJ headphones.

Most DJs use one-ear headphones to listen to both sound, speaker, and headphones. This makes mixing a DJ set handy and straightforward.

The exceptional quality headphones include a detachable joint. This will allow you to use your shoulder to hold the headset against your ear. It is a perfect way of cueing for DJs without the cue mixer on their own mixer.

Plus, some of those DJs EQ, beat mix, and even cue a song with their headphones. They remove the headphones once the monitor is played and are ready for beatmatching.

Then the DJs will combine without their headphones. It is possible to use the headphones after making a somewhat beat matching adjustment. This is to ensure the end product is ideal.

Therefore, you have to wear the headphones in a way that you like. For beginners, it is recommended to remove the headphones when the track is ready to be played.

What to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Pair of DJ Headphones

Make sure they’re comfortable.

Make sure they feel good on your ears (not too tight, big/small for the shape of your ears), and – when they hang around your neck rather than your ears.

Chose a “closed-back” headphone to make proper noise isolation

These ensure that the background noise is as isolated as possible from what you hear through the headphones. This is important when DJing to “spot” the next track.

You need to hear it well, and with open-back headphones, this can involve cranking up the volume to levels that are potentially damaging to the ear.

Are they LOUD enough?

All the Clubs are noisy places. For this, you need enough loud DJ headphones.

Sufficient bass and an accurate sound

True headphones are crucial for tight mixing. Nobody wants a set full of trainwrecks, no matter how nicely your collection was programmed. You require a pair of headphones that have a punchy enough bass and detail in the high end.

Driver diameter (mm)

The bigger, the better. In general, the larger the speakers (speakers), the deeper the bass they will reproduce. Look for drivers at least 40mm in diameter.

Sensitivity (dB/mW)

Headphones with a higher number of sensitivity in dB can create more quantity. But be cautious -listening to high quantities over time will squander your own hearing loss.

A sturdy lead, whether it coiled or straight.

A thick, elastic cable is perfect for DJing as it won’t break easily. In addition, it allows you to patrol more freely in the DJ booth. Try to avoid contributions with a built-in mic.

They are generally designed for phones, tablets and laptops, not DJ controllers as well as pellets.

Swivelling / movable ear cups (or a flexible headband)

Having swivel headphones is a personal preference. I don’t like them because they don’t suit my mixing style, but I like how they fold up easily. In addition, it allows for more varied styles of headset monitoring.

Make sure your DJ Headphone has a 1/4″ jack.

Most DJ headphones are equipped with a ¼” jack to match the inputs on most DJ controllers and mixers. Otherwise, you’ll need to keep a ⅛” to ¼” converter to attach with the DJ controller.

Are they portable enough?

For a digital DJ, having a pair of ‘phones that fit in your carrying bag along with your laptop, controller, and other essentials is a consideration. Make sure they fit where you intend to store them on the go.


If you play a DJ, the headphones you get will most likely be moved around, trotted on, pulled around, stuffed in travel bags, and sweated for hours, among other gruelling durability tests.


A DJ, like any other artist, needs to watch the room. Of course, let’s say you’re more into production than live performances, or your gigs only involve playing in a neon-lit club on a Friday night.

In this case, you can compromise on elegance and style for more important considerations such as comfort and sound quality.

How to use a DJ mixer for beginners

If you want to be a DJ, you should know how to use DJ mixer. Specially headphone control mixer control panel like headphone volume control, cue mix, cue button, and channel settings.

Headphone controls on a DJ mixer or controller

Headphone controls on a DJ mixer or controller
Headphone controls on a DJ mixer or controller

By learning how to use a mixer, we learned that every DJ mixer will allow you to plug in a pair of headphones. The mixer may also have a headphone volume control.

Most will also have a cue mixer. Some mixers will have cue buttons to select which channels you want to hear through headphones.

Headphone volume control

On the mixer, then you’ll find volume knob for both headphones. It will enable you to correct the volume of different stations only in your headphones.

When adjusting the headphones volume, it won’t influence the master volume (quantity of the speakers).

Headphone cue mix

The cue mix is set to mute all other channels. By turning the knob or sliding the crossfader, you can choose the right channel for you.

This will allow you to hear only the recording you want to spot. Since you will be clearly listening to the channel through the headphones, you are ready for cueing.

Cue buttons

Cue buttons let you pick the channels that you wish to hear in the headphones. Some mixers will also have cue buttons to get different functions such as outcomes, samplers along the stall tracks. These are typically only found on more expensive feature-packed pellets or controllers.

By isolating specific channels, you can beatmatch and sign up for numerous monitors. This is terrific for DJ’s using numerous decks, and so for performance DJing.

How to use headphones when DJing specially mixing?

Once you have familiarized yourself with the correct way to wear the headphones and the headphone controls, you are ready to learn how to mix with the headphones. The first thing to do is locate the trail. See how you can spot a track with your headphones.

Now that you know what the controls on your mixer headphone panel do, you will be able to learn mixing through your headphones. The first thing you need to learn to do is spotting a trail.

Set the volume

To cue a path, you’ll need to adjust the headphone volume until you can clearly listen to the track over the main speaker volume.

Be careful to not set the headphone volume too loud as possible to lead to hearing damage. DJing in louder environments is a fantastic idea to get some DJ earplugs to reduce the risk.

Assign a channel

If your mixer does not have cue buttons, go to the next step. When your volume is adjusted, select the channel you want to cue by pressing the appropriate cue button.

The assigned channel button usually lights up. You will then hear the chain in your headphones, ready to use.

Set the cue mix

Now you can set the cue mix so that all other stations are silenced. Slide the miniature crossfader or turn the knob to select the right channel. You must now just hear the track you wish to cue via your headphones.

Cue it up

Once you perfected it in the helmet, you can report it to the public.

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Can I DJ Mix Without Headphones?

YES, It’s possible to DJ without headphones using the method sometimes referred to as visual “waveriding”. You’ll have to have an extensive understanding of your songs and excellent mixing abilities to make this possible.

This method depends on the visual waveforms of your DJ program. You will also need to understand your tracks really nicely.

DJs using this method match the beat of two tunes employing the peaks of the waveforms from the DJ program.

They can also utilize automated beat matching in their DJ applications to help smooth out the mix.

EQing using DJ headphones

You can also utilize the cue mix purpose to EQ your tracks ready for mixing. The majority of the DJs find cue mix helpful for EQing your own songs.

It’s advised to use the mini crossfader for EQ. For a beginner DJ, it will be better to practice together with your headphones before you perform it live.

With the support of a knob, you can EQ your tracks by shifting from channel 1 to 2.

Beatmatching With Headphones

Beatmatching is an essential skill to learn in the DJing world. Even though most setups have an async knob or button, our experts recommend not solely relying on it.

Upon study, we discovered that the sync functionality available in most, but not all, setups might not work for all probable genres of music.

Whenever your second track to be played is in line, you should have your headphones on as you start to beatmatch.

Based on your taste, feel free to make instant changes to the cue mix to find the perfect equilibrium.

How to Use Your DJ Headphones as a Mic

Headphones and microphones are actually very similar. Both headphones and microphones have a diaphragm. Both apparatus transaction in vibrations; it is just that headphones vibrate the diaphragm to make noise while walkers track vibrations from sound to record it.

Tips For Using Headphones As A Mic

To use your headphones as a mic, plug in your headphones into the mic input of the mixer. Make sure the mic amounts are turned all the way down, speak into the microphone and deliver up the amounts as required.

In case the mixer/controller has EQ controls, then turn down the lows to decrease the boominess of your own voice and boost the highs.

One other important thing to look out for is comments (high-pitched squeal from the mic picking up the sign ).

Headphones have a larger surface area which makes it really easy to pick up comments. Switch off the booth tracks so that it doesn’t pick up the music or your own voice.

Make your statement, turn off the microphone, and then disconnect your headphones.

How do DJs use headphones?

To make it short review content, we will discus here shortly about how do DJs use headphones.

  1. Block Ambient Noises
  2. Protect Ears from loud noise or sound of club
  3. Provide the Comfort
  4. Look Cool and Stylish
  5. Flawless Transitions and Cuing
  6. Cueing
  7. Sound monitoring

What are the best DJ headphones for beginners?

  1. Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5 DJ Over-Ear Headphones – Silver
  2. Pioneer HDJ-X7 Professional DJ Headphones
  4. Shure SRH750DJ
  5. Denon HP500SW DJ Headphones DN HP500S
  6. Sennheiser HD 25 Plus.
  7. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Headphones

What headphones DJ’s use

Finding the right headphones for DJing is essential. We just mentioned that some mix styles would require things like swivel joints. But that’s not all. There are specific requirements that a DJ needs that some headphones don’t provide.

There are many options of headphones available, and it is vital to choose the right ones. For a complete guide to helmet buyers and all the top recommendations, go HERE.


What is the best free DJ software with all options?

Some DJ software are open source or free of cost and their update also free. Among the free DJ Software, top 3 softwares are –
1. Mixxx
2. Serato DJ Lite
3. Cross DJ

On the other hand some are paid with awesome premium features. Among these, top 3 are –
1. DJay
2. Serato DJ
3. Virtual DJ

Can I mix without a DJ controller?

Yes of course. Me and a lot of us have mixed up for years. First with turntables and records, then with CDs, then with sound files and software controlled by a mouse and keyboard. Along the way, cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes, MDs and other storage media.

What basic equipment should an aspiring DJ have?

The basic equipment that you should have and can control well-
1. DJ controller / Mixer
2. DJ Software
3. Sound monitoring
For more details, click here.

How much time do you need to become a DJ?

There is no accurate time, your learning duration depends on your understanding, correct guidelines, equipment, practice and your excellency of learning.