The Beyerdynamic DJX-1
I was rummaging around amongst HeadRoom's demo cans the other day, and stumbled upon a Beyerdynamic DJX-1.
"Hmm..." I sez to myself, "I don't remember ever seeing these before. I wonder what they sound like."
Once home, I pulled them out of the box and had a listen ... wow, these aren't bad at all. I wonder why I've never heard them before?
The Beyerdynamic DJX-1 (About $129 street -- may be going down over the next few months during discontinuance.)
I did a little research on Head-Fi, and found very little chatter in the threads, so I called the folks at Beyerdynamic and was informed the product is in the process of being discontinued.
It's sad that a good little product can fly under the radar over its lifetime. Poor little bugger. It deserved better. Here's the good news, at the time of this writing (June 2011) they are still available, and it's very likely going to be discounted deeply over the next few months. Let's check them out.
The Beyerdynamic DJX-1 is intended to be a DJ headphone, and has a number of features that suit it well for that application.
The gimbals that connect the earpieces to the headband provide a numerous degrees of freedom, which allows the user to listen with one earpiece only a number of ways. It's quite easy to pick up the cans and just hold an earpiece to one ear; and either earpiece can be swung backwards so that only one ear is used. The headphones are quite stable and comfortable while using one ear only, however, the cable entry is on the left earpiece and is not interchangeable to the right earpiece. The left earpiece has a button to "mono" the signal allowing the listener to hear both channels in either ear.
The coiled cable extends to about eight feet, and is roughly half that length when not under tension, so it should remain nicely out from under foot and still allow good range of motion while gigging.
Styling and Build Quality
If they wore headsets in Tron, these might be they. Rather chunky and garish, one can only be glad they didn't try to add color to this somewhat bulky plastic headphones. However, form follows function, and the price of flexible earpiece positions means these cans have a rather large hinging mechanism between the earpieces and headband.
The clear plastic piece on the outside of each earpiece emblazoned with the Beyerdynamic logo and model number looks pretty good, but my take on the overall look is big, cheap, and plastic. Sadly, the styling may have contributed to the downfall of these cans.
Comfort and Isolation
It's hard to get both comfort and isolation. Were I a DJ, I'd want my cans to isolate well so I could hear the music clearly when cueing up tracks. Unfortunately, that almost always come with fairly strong clamping pressure, and the DJX-1 is no exception. Fortunately, it does deliver quite good isolation, and the earpads are just large enough to fully cover my ears, and just soft and spacious enough not to be uncomfortable --- though they are a bit confining. The headband is large, but only modestly padded. I don't think they'd be comfortable enough to wear for hours and hours of uninterrupted music, but for the on-and-off use of DJs, I think the good isolation would be worth the trade-off.
Here's the big surprise: these headphones sound quite good. The DJX-1 is remarkably balanced sounding for a headphone in this price range. A slight mid-range emphasis, and very good bass extension, give these cans a dynamic and punchy sound; though the bass is not quite as tight as I'd like, it remains quite good. The DJX-1 is a little uneven through the treble, but the highs are well extended and clear, with little, if any, of the harshness often found in headphones of this price and type.
These are efficient headphones with a relatively constant 40 Ohm impedance and play plenty loud on portable players. Power handling is quite good and the headphones play loud well.
All-in-all, I'm surprised the Beyerdynamic DJX-1 has flown under the radar for so long. I suspect its looks and DJ moniker has kept the enthusiasts at bay ... too bad, because I'd definitely recommend them for rock, hip-hop, ravers, and DJs.
Resources after the video!