DJ Mineh Ishida

DJ Headphones for under $30? | Monoprice 108323 (MEP-839)

monoprice-side

The iconic image of a DJ always includes him/her holding their headphones up to one ear while spinning music, or for more relaxed portraits, wearing their headphones around their necks.  There is no denying that a solid set of headphones are a critical tool in the DJ’s toolkit.

I’ve recently been looking for a pair of headphones to keep at work.  Being spoiled by having a nice set of DJ headphones, I wanted to keep my sound quality similar, without breaking the bank.  Having heard good things about the Monoprice headphones in the past as a budget alternative, I ordered a pair and decided to give them a try.  Below are my thoughts.

Specs:

Specifications

Drivers

50 mm

Impedance

40 ohms

Sensitivity

100 dB

Frequency Response

20 Hz to 20 kHz

Cord Length

11.4 ft

Included in the Box:

Fit & Finish

These headphones are very comfortable.  They are plastic, but they are built solidly and do not feel cheap.  They have good padding on both the ear cups as well as on top of the band.  The padding is pleather, but it is reasonably comfortable.  The plastic of the body is solid, but I wouldn’t throw them around too much.  They feel well put together, but you wouldn’t mistake these for a more expensive pair of headphones.

Comfort

I wore these for 2 hours at a time through an 8 hour work day without discomfort.  They do get a little warm due to the fact that the pads do not breathe, but for a working DJ, you wouldn’t be wearing them constantly, so I’d say the Monoprice’s are comfortable enough.  The headband does create a snug fit, so if you’re not a fan of tight bands, these might not be the right set for you.  It does create a better air seal however, which can be a blessing when the DJ booth is right next to a speaker.

monoprice-folded

Audio Quality

The Monoprice 8323 is an interesting headphone.  For the price, you’re getting quite a good quality of sound.  I would be very comfortable DJing with these at any venue.  That said, here is my opinion about the sound.

When I first put these on, the music sounded hollow and tinny.    I was not impressed.  Through the course of the day however, I ran them hard for several hours.  As they “broke in” the tones became richer and sound more full.  Compared to my Sony MDR-V700s, these definitely seem to have a flatter curve, and not as full of a sound.  I do however appreciate that, as I felt like I could hear more details in the music. Compared to more expensive headphones you can definitely tell the difference, but I am comfortable saying these have a good sound quality.  I would NOT recommend these for anything requiring audio accuracy, but for a DJ needing a workhorse headphone, I dare say these sound good!

Notable Features:

There are two things that make the Monoprice DJ Headphones a good choice for the mobile DJ

First is the removeable cable.  After 2 years on the road, the coiled cable for my Sony headphones has just about had it.  I’m now looking at a new pair of headphones just because of the cable.  The drivers still sound great, and the build of my V700s is still solid., but with a shot cable, It’s time for a new pair.  The Monoprice 8323s come with a removable cable, so you can replace them when they’re worn. It also makes wrapping your cable when travelling easier.

These headphones also fold like most DJ headphones.  They swivel both horizontally as well as vertically, making listening to on just one side easy.  The foldable design also makes packing them up for transport much easier.  This is not a unique feature, but it is a prerequisite for any headphones I consider for gigging.

Price

Here’s where the Monoprice cans really shine.  At the time of this article, these headphones go for $28.75 on Amazon.  Less than $30 for solidly built DJ headphones that sound good? Yes. These are great for mobile DJs.

I travel a lot to DJ.  Whether I’m driving or flying to another city for the next west coast swing event, I very rarely have the luxury of time to carefully pack all of my gear.  That said, Spending $300 on a pair of headphones is just out of the question for me.  I want a pair of workhorse headphones I can quickly throw in my gig bag, and hit the road.  When I get to the gig, I don’t want to worry about them getting stolen, or ruined when someone forgets that the DJ booth is a terrible place to set their drink.

Getting a quality workhorse set of cans for $29 is unbelievable!

Final Thoughts:

If you’re a new DJ looking for your first set of headphones, or a gigging DJ looking for a backup pair, or something you can use when on the road, I highly recommend the Monoprice 8323 Premium Hi-Fi DJ Headphones as a budget friendly contender.  The sound quality is good enough, the build quality decent, and it comes with some very DJ friendly features.  Ultimately though, the kicker is that for less than $30, you can have a very functional set of cans that will get the job done well!

 

 

About the Author: DJ Mineh Ishida is a west coast swing DJ living in Tampa, FL.  He founded WestCoastSwingMusic.com in 2012 and is passionate about contributing to the West Coast Swing community through DJing and his work with this website.  You can Find more information about DJ Mineh on the About Page.  For booking Inquiries, please use this Contact Form.