Headphones are undoubtedly a major weapon in any DJ’s arsenal. Since the earliest days of DJing, they’ve proven invaluable, sometimes doubling as a mic in a pinch. Mind you, these aren’t the ubiquitous white earbuds that come tucked under the box your iPhone came in. DJ-grade headphones are built tough, designed for the best possible audio response and output in a party environment. Even today, I’ve known DJs who are so particular about their headphones that they keep them in pristine condition in zippered shock-proof cases tucked away with their second most valuable possession: their music drives.
The “Beats by Dre” movement has moved high-end headphones to the forefront of not only technology, but fashion. Here in New York City it’s not uncommon to walk down the streets of the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Manhattan and see Beats color-coordinated with people’s outfits. All of a sudden, the grandeur associated with DJs seems lost. It almost feels that anyone can pick up a pair of good headphones at their local Best Buy, pirate a copy of Virtual DJ and expect to become the next big thing overnight. DJ’s, however, are a finicky bunch. I know guys who swear by Beats. I know guys who’ll use anything but Beats. I know converts, and experimenters, and brand loyalists. While it all boils down to personal preference, the headphones themselves carry the story. [Read more…]