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Pioneer HDJ-500 Headphones Review



The Pioneer HDJ-500 Headphones are the latest headphone iteration from the Pioneer DJ product family. They come with all leather earpieces and headband along with coiled and straight cables to suit the DJ needs. My good peeps over at Pioneer was able to send me a set (or two) for a full written review inside!

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Unboxing Video

Setup & First Impressions

The Pioneer HDJ-500 Headphones are the latest headphone iteration from the Pioneer DJ product family. The Pioneer HDJ-1000 headphones, released a few years ago, were one of the best set of cans any DJ could purchase. Continuing with that line of quality, craftsmanship, and audio prowess, the Pioneer DJ Division decided to develop a new line of DJ headphones consisting of the HDJ-2000 and HDJ-500 models. The HDJ-2000 is Pioneer’s flagship headphone set ($250 retail) which was designed to replace the HDJ-1000’s in the near future. The HDJ-500 headphones ($100 retail) are Pioneer’s entry-level DJ headphones, but there isn’t much “entry-level” about them. The HDJ-500’s pack many features that DJ’s want without sacrificing usability and high-end materials and craftsmanship. The HDJ-500 headphones are available in Silver/Black or in Red/Black combinations.

In the Box:

-Straight 3ft Cable -Coiled 9ft Cable -Mini to ¼” Screw-on Adapter -Documentation



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The Design of the Pioneer HDJ-500 Headphones is fantastic! Almost everything a DJ would want is incorporated into this design. Starting at the bottom; the HDJ-500’s come with two different cables. There is a 9ft Coiled cable and a 3ft Straight cable. I love it when headphone-makers give the user the option of either having a long coiled cable or a short straight cable, because usually when playing at home or bedroom the DJ only needs a short cable without any extra dangling cable in the way. Then when it is time to gig; the same DJ can now break out the longer 9ft coiled cable for that extra mobility needed during a performance.

The earpieces and headband on the HDJ-500’s are made of urethane padding which actually has memory and provides crazy amounts of comfort during short and long performances. The padding is wrapped in real authentic leather meaning it will last for a long time and provide even more comfort. The Pioneer HDJ-500 headphones also have a unique feature that I have grown to love over the past few weeks I have used them. The right-side earpiece has a 60-degree swivel where it connects to the headband allowing the DJ to work with a “one-ear-on and one-ear-off” configuration while staying perfectly still on the DJ’s head. At that position, the flexible headband maintains enough side pressure to allow the DJ to listen to audio on just one side of the headphones without them moving around on the DJ’s head. When I first saw this feature, I didn’t think it would come in handy, but as I began to use them, this was one of my favorite features of them all.

The headphones overall are very light! They are made with a magnesium alloy core wrapped in hard plastic to keep the weight down and the durability high making them great for traveling DJ’s or for long periods of use. The only gripe with the design that I have is that there is no way to completely collapse or fold these headphones in a good way for traveling or storage. For the most part, the Pioneer HDJ-500 headphones must stay in a fully open mode for traveling and storage.

Sound Quality:

The Sound Quality of the HDJ-500 headphones is really good. They have 40mm diameter drivers with thick diaphragms and with copper-clad aluminum wire voice coil. These features allow the HDJ-500’s to maintain better-than-average reproduction of the lower frequency range. I was able to use these headphones on two separate mixers and one controller where the HDJ-500 headphones could handle the sound at extremely high levels. In some rare, high-volume instances, the bass would occasionally lose some of its crispiness but not so much as to lessen the experience. Live instruments, snares, and bass all sound really good on these headphones and I would say they are extremely comparable to other $100 DJ headphones that we have tested on the site in terms of sound quality. Overall, the highs are nice and crisp, while the bass is extra punchy.

In conclusion the Pioneer HDJ-500’s are some great headphones for the price. The Pioneer HDJ-500 headphones have good overall sound quality, they come with two types of cables, they are very comfortable and lightweight, and they have a cool rotating right earpiece. The only really minor issue I have with these headphones is that they don’t completely fold away for traveling and storage like some of the others are able to do. The Pioneer HDJ-500 headphones are recommended for performing DJ’s, beginner DJ’s, or any DJ that just needs another set of great quality headphones for under $100. These will also make for a good secondary set for that other setup you may have.


  • Great Sound Quality
  • Removable/Replaceable Headphone Cables
  • Straight and Coiled Cables included
  • Urethane pads for Ears/Headband with Real Leather
  • Rotating Right Earpiece


  • Non-Foldable design



Pioneer HDJ-500 Headphones Unboxing & First Impressions Video

The Pioneer DJ Division has sent me a couple of pairs of their HDJ-500 Headphones to take into the Lab for a full written review. In the meantime, I was able to put together a quick video of the unboxing and first impressions of the Pioneer HDJ-500 headphones. The video will show the quality of workmanship plus everything that is included in the box at the time of purchase. (Video Inside).


Pioneer HDJ-700 Headphones Announced [Video]

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Pioneer HDJ-C70 Headphones Unboxing [Video]

The new Pioneer HDJ-C70 Professional DJ headphones have a compact and lightweight design with 40mm on-ear drivers with comfortable memory foam in the earcups that can rotate 90-degrees in either direction. The Pioneer HDJ-C70 also has removable and replaceable headband, housing, cushions, earcups, and cables which means they can continue to be a go-to pair of headphones for a very long time. Check our unboxing video to see the HDJ-C70's up close.


New Pioneer HDJ-1500 Headphones (Video)

Pioneer DJ has just announced a new addition to their professional DJ range of performance headphones dubbed the Pioneer HDJ-1500. The new Pioneer HDJ-1500's boasts a very comfortable over-the-ear design with new state-of-the-art isolation technology that make sure the performance DJ is only hearing what is meant to be heard. They come with large 50mm drivers and copper-aluminum voice coils for excellent sound quality. Get the press release, the video, and a bit more of my personal breakdown after the jump.


Pioneer HDJ-500 Headphones Now in Green & Violet

Pioneer is now offering its base-model DJ headphones in all of the colors they offer the new DDJ-WeGO. The Pioneer HDJ-500's which are already offered in Black, White, and Red, will now also be offered in the latest color schemes of Green and Violet. We reviewed the HDJ-500's a while back and they are a great DJ headphone for all users all in a great price. The new Green and Violet HDJ-500's will be available by the end of December 2012 with a street price of about $125. Check out the press release straight from Pioneer and my review inside.