For the Specialized Pioneer HDJ 2000MK2-S DJ Headphones Review

(Last Updated On: March 19, 2017)

The second generation of Pioneers HDJ-2000 professional DJ headphones is a nice upgrade on the original model that adds a few nice improvements while not going back on any of the features that made the original such a tremendous success. The Pioneer HDJ 2000MK2-S DJ headphones are really an outstanding product that has been designed for professional use and they check a lot of the important boxes. They look great, they offer a high-quality durable build and their sound quality and performance are aimed squarely at the needs of professional DJs which make them hard to compete within the category they were specifically designed for. But let’s dig deeper into what the HDJ 2000MK2-S have to offer.

Technical Specifications

Style Enclosed dynamic stereo headphones
Weight (without cord) 10.5 ounces
Frequency Range 5 Hz to 30,000 Hz
Impedance 32 Ω
Max Input 3,500 mW
Output Sound Pressure Level 107 dB/mW
Driver Unit 50 mm domes
Cords 1.2 m side mount coil cord (extends to 3 m)

1.6 m twisted-sheathed straight cord

Plug 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack  – gold-plated, two-way, screw-on
Included Accessories 6.3 mm standard stereo adapter – gold-plated, screw-on

hard carrying case

Overview

While reviewing the Pioneer HDJ 2000MK2-S DJheadphones, one will quickly understand that this is a very specialized product meant to be used in a specific professional situation. If you are looking for versatile personal headphones or general usage studio monitors, this piece of equipment would not really justify its price tag and you would be better off looking somewhere else. This is the case not because these headphones are bad, but because they were not designed to be used for that, but to be used in the DJ booth in the club while DJing – nothing more, nothing less. And they are absolutely perfect for that use case.

When you want to do a very specific job well, you will get the best results by using a highly specialized tool and if you are a DJ, these headphones could really be a powerful weapon on your tool belt. They offer great sound quality with punchy and clear low-end, they offer outstanding sound isolation to allow you to hear what you need to regardless of what’s blasting through the PA and they are extremely comfortable to wear. On top of this, being a professional piece of gear, they offer great build quality and superb robustness and durability so they can survive being lugged around from venue to venue night in and night out for years.

Pros and Cons

The Pioneer HDJ 2000MK2-S headphones are certainly a top-notch product offering a lot of pros and very few cons, but you should still explore what they offer and make sure they are what you are looking for in your particular case.

PROs CONs
Designed specifically for the DJ booth Proprietary cord connectors
Outstanding sound quality with a sharp low end Not that well suited for other use cases
Superb sound isolation
Premium build quality, durability and look
Comfortable to use
Nice foldable design and case

Now let’s explore all those points in a bit more detail.

Sound Quality

The first thing you want to know about a piece of audio equipment no matter what it is, is the sound quality it can offer. In the case of the HDJ-2000 Mark II headphones, the sound quality is amazing as long as you understand that it has been optimized to work best in a very specific environment. There are a lot of Hi-Fi and studio headphones that offer more depth, a more precise sound representation or a nicer soundstage, but you should understand that most of those are pretty much worthless in the DJ booth.

This piece of gear has been designed to be used in loud environments while still providing sound that is clear, crisp and balanced with a nice low end and this is exactly what they do. The large 50mm dome drivers reproduce a wide spectrum of frequencies reliably and efficiently and the thick diaphragms use ensure a powerful but clear sound. These headphones’ sound has been set up in a way that favors two important needs – the ability of the user to distinguish between different instruments clearly and with ease, so beat matching can be performed with as little effort as possible, and a high output level that will not lose clarity at the higher volumes you’d expect it to be used in in the club.

Sound Isolation

When you are in the booth, you want two main things from your headphones. First, you want them to deliver clear high-quality audio output into your ears and second, you want them to isolate you from the loud noise and the music that you’re blasting through the PA as much as possible.  As we already established that  the Pioneer HDJ 2000MK2-S DJ headphones take care of the first one superbly, we should mention that they also really excel at the second and when you put them on, you can really go back into your own world while the club is shaking to the sound of the PA.

The original model did quite well in this department, but the Mark II has really improved on the original design. The headphones are not only closed, but they have special sound-isolation chambers that make sure that as much of the external sound, especially in the low and mid ranges, gets significantly drowned out. This allows for better defined lows and mids on the inside and makes a really big difference during regular club exploitation. Pretty much everything in the earpieces has been built in a way that would enhance the sound isolation, including the stitching.

Build Quality

As this is a high-end professional product, Pioneer have made no compromises with the build quality and the materials used for their flagship DJ headphones. Everything feels nice and the craftsmanship is outstanding. As this is a model for DJs who travel and perform all the time, Pioneer have made sure that it can withstand all the hardships of constant exploitation and everything has been built to last. The fact that the design is quite durable doesn’t mean that it’s bulky or too unrefined. The headphones are a breeze to operate and all moving parts and hinges are smooth and offer a high-end feel when manipulated.

Additionally, the HDJ 2000MK2-Sis a really good-looking model that has expanded on the successful design aesthetic of the original one and many DJs are in love with their sleek design. This model actually comes in two main color options, black and silver and the color is indicated with the last letter in the model name. The particular unit we reviewed was the HDJ 2000MK2-S which is the silver variation which is particularly attractive because it still has a lot of black parts which makes for a clean but lively two-tone design that looks both modern and timeless.

Besides the actual headphones, Pioneer has also included two different cords both of which are of extremely high quality with gold-plated plugs and/or adapters.  The only little gripe anybody might have with them would be the fact that they are basically proprietary so if you need a replacement, you will have to go to Pioneer. This might not be such a bad thing since if you have such a nice piece of gear, you would want to use it with a cord that doesn’t compromise its performance in any way and both cords that are included (a straight and a coiled one) are very well made and look very durable and reliable, so if something happens to the one I prefer, I would want to replace it with the exact same one.

Comfort

These headphones are extremely comfortable to use. Both the headband and the ear pads are made from the highest-quality low-resistance memory foam which allows them to fit every head tightly and pleasantly. The soft padding is covered by synthetic protein leather that feels really nice to the touch while being extremely resistant to wear. This means that these headphones will remain a pleasant piece of gear to keep using for the long run.

Besides being comfortable for the ear, the memory foam filled ear pads form a great seal to your skin, helping retain that high level of sound isolation. Additionally, the HDJ 2000MK2-S features earpieces swivel to up to 90 degrees and can also be flipped out of the way for one ear usage. The hinges used are made from lightweight magnesium alloy which means that they can withstand literally year of constant use and abuse while remaining a pleasure.

While the HDJ 2000MK2-S is model that’s extremely comfortable to use in action in the DJ booth, it’s also a really easy product to store and transport safely. It comes with a hard carrying case and since the headphones employ a foldable design, the case is pretty compact. It is built in a way that protects the headphones and can also store one or both cords. This means that taking these headphones to gigs will be easy and straight-forward and they will be protected all the way to and back.

Conclusion

In the end, the Pioneer HDJ 2000MK2-S DJ headphones are really a top-notch product that has been designed specifically for hard-working DJs who want to use professional gear that offers them exactly what they need. This model has a lot of pros working in its favor with cons that are minor at best and that wouldn’t be a problem for most of the DJs out there.  This means that this is a product that is an extremely nice choice that comes highly recommended as long as you can afford it.

Juan Alexander

Juan is a self-professed sound-nerd and the webmaster / lead author & tester for AllSoundLab. You might literally walk into him on the street because he's tuned out to the world and tuned in to his beats...

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