When I first heard about Pioneer's new flagship HDJ-X10 cans priced at $349, I called them over-engineered. What traveling DJ actually wants headsets with a frequency response which tops out in twice the limits of human hearing? None, I'll tell you. I've been a traveling DJ for a long time, and I will tell you half people have lost a chunk of luxury hearing scope anyhow from hammering booth monitors through the years. Now that I've used these Pioneer cans for a couple of weeks, I maintain the HDJ-X10s are still over-engineered, but perhaps not in the way I anticipated: they sound too fantastic to be helpful DJ headphones.
Here's what I mean: many DJ headphones have a wonderful increase in the upper bass and also lower-midrange frequencies. They are not completely true, however, it makes for an easier time when blending tunes reside at a loud atmosphere. Plus, robust bass just sounds nice. It's exactly what we all want when we are in a club. Almost all the DJ-specific headphones I've needed, in the V-Moda Crossfade LP2 into the Audio-Technica M50x display some taste close to the, providing kick drums that have oomph, along with 808s with meat and character.
The Pioneer HDJ-X10 does not play to these expectations. The model boasts a whole lot of firsts in the world of DJ headphones, such as ranging around 40kHz (most lavish DJ cans go up to 30kHz), along with the ability to reproduce high-definition sound. So... cool? However, who asked for that? This model also includes a flatter low end than Pioneer's previous flagship, the HDJ-2000, and warms the highs up. Consequently, the HDJ-X10s wreak havoc on some bass-centric tracks that seem hearty on other cans and most club systems. Do I need DJ headphones that expose every production flaw because they prioritize knife-like breeding? I know it's weird to assert for downgrading, however, like anything else, consider the goal.
One "Bodak Yellow" bootleg I'm fond of that I've been including in DJ sets seemed like trash about the HDJ-X10s. I picked up on distortion at the 808's assault, distracting sidechain compression on the vocal (a method where one part of a song briefly lowers in quantity to generate space for when another component hits, like a drum), and as soon as an upper-range bell tune kicked in, it was so bright, the spike in treble hurt. All of these are things many other DJ headphones would compensate for. And, in a bar, if that melody actually enrolled as overly shrill on a system, I might correct it on the fly with the mixer.
DJs play with a good deal of bootlegs and home-produced material that is not perfect and won't ever pass through an engineer's hands on mixing or mastering. One of my favourite tracks to DJ are not technically accessible, but damn they get a crowd moving. I know this "Bodak Yellow" bootleg stinks up when I play with it live, but listening to it at home using the HDJ-X10s, all I can feel is my own nose being pushed against each imperfection. It is kind of gloomy. On the plus side, this model's draconian devotion to accuracy means songs which have gone through a expert rigmarole sound positively lush and radiant.
I took these cans for a spin at The Mid, among Chicago's best nightclubs, double. While DJing with the booth monitors on, the HDJ-X10s effectively swallowed kick drums and bass. Snares and hi-hats climbed out from songs instead, verging on appearing sexy. I discovered I needed to boost the headset volume greater than normal, creating a vicious cycle of increasing an already competitive high end in order to hear the highs.
"Where's the bass?" He said nearly instantly. In case the room were quiet, devoid of clinking glasses and voices pinging off walls, then he'd have heard some heat. This is the frustration with all the HDJ-X10s: they could be beautiful when your surroundings is hushed, or whenever you're listening to tunes that were made with each care. But the truth of exactly where and how they'll be used is in a very loud area with very loud folks, most likely playing some songs that are prey to bedroom technologies. There is a motive other DJ headphones increase the lows, and that's it.
So far as durability, it is possible to twist and bend the HDJ-X10s without anxiety, like wringing out a wet towel. I did it to get an audience of DJs another weekend, and also there were legitimate oohs and aahs. Thus, you likely won't suffer a cracked headband or internally pinched cables, but that doesn't mean it's possible to just throw them in your backpack. There is a detachable cable using a mini-XLR connector and a gorgeous horizontal carrying case; simply take the cue and treat them well, they deserve it. And that nano coating that's supposed to produce these cans sweat resistant? After using these for 2 high-energy gigs I handed them off to some buddy who sweats while DJing. A lot. As in, his cans are infamously rank. (I will not even touch them.) In a week that he rinsed them through two collections, which can be similar to, 20 ordinary person DJ sets if we are talking about sweat. And, they still smell just fine! Points!