I stand by the statement I made recently on Twitter. You can tell how much a DJ cares about sound and music based on the headphones they use. While they may not dictate the true sound from the P.A., a great set of headphones in the DJ booth (or any space that requires for music to remain isolated and “sealed” from external environments) will not only save your ears from fatigue but also dramatically lower your overall “play” volume. There is simply no need to put that much stress on your ears.
Think of it this way: the damage caused by loud, distorted music on your eardrum is as harsh as the damage that cigarettes does on your lung (the difference clearly is that smoke inhalation will cause cancer while loud noise will cause tinnitus and hearing loss – the former will kill you, sadly).
There are a variety of excellent options in the sealed headphone realm, all of which will run you just around $200 in price. No need to spend more than that in this category. I’ve been testing the Sennheiser HD-25-1 II model (shown above in the flat black; my demos are the Adidas version in blue which are exact in spec other than color). The HD-25-1 II has gained major juice through the DJ world as a replacement for the old Sony MDR series. The advantage of the Sennheiser lies in their durability and size. They take a beating in ways that most headphones simply will not. Size-wise, the cups fit over the ears in an almost locking method. Move around in the HD25-1 II and they’ll remain properly in place. And please swap out the pleather pads for the soft ones. Makes a hell of a difference in the summer.
Sound-wise: the quality is solid for a $200 can. Highly sealed while retaining clarity, they need no extra amplification. Plug them into your mobile device and computer; they will work better than most.