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.

Sound Quality
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!

Beyerdynamic DJX-1 measurements PDF.
A weak Head-Fi thread here --- there just wasn't much to be found.

beyerdynamic Inc. USA
56 Central Ave.
farmingdale, NY 11735
(631) 293-3200

donunus's picture

I like seeing impressions of these undiscovered cans. I've also been wondering about some akg k530s and k540s lately. I wonder if you have any of them lying around there to try out next time :)

xnor's picture
k520s! Heard the 530/540s have quite some treble power.. :|
donunus's picture

very nice! Its the first time ive seen that there is a k520. These look classic yet futuristic at the same time. Weird and cool at the same time. Have you heard them?

Tyll Hertsens's picture
... to keep InnerFidelity article comments on topic, please. There are forums for chit-chat.
donunus's picture

Sorry Tyll, back in topic... How do these compare with dt440s or the dt880s for example. Same typical Beyer recessed mids and bright highs?

Tyll Hertsens's picture
No, these don't have the "typical" beyer sound. Surprisingly even, somewhat warm, highs that are fairly smooth.
priest's picture

I confess to being one of the Head-Fi'ers who owns and loves these headphones and has never written a word about them for some reason. I agree that it is a shame they never caught on.

To answer donunus, I agree with Tyll that these sound nothing like the DT 440 or DT 880 -- even a closed version of those. Obviously, being closed, they don't have nearly as airy a presentation. I don't find the mids to be recessed, but since I don't generally focus on that, I may well be missing it. I would not characterize them as forward-sounding or aggressive, I can say that. As a final note, as DJ headphones, they can be expected to have more bass than the other two, and they do.

They also have a right-sided cable, which I have never used before, just as a small point.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
I knew there must have been someone holding out. Tsk tsk stk. :)
dalethorn's picture

Beyerdynamic tells us what a particular headphone was designed for, and they may even give us a hint about the sound signature, but there's never a complete statement about the new designs, and I think it would help sell more units and satisfy more people. Such as "The DJX-1 is intended for DJ's and has a strong midrange and softer treble so it can be played louder and drown out ambient noise better than other headphones." This is obviously not a description of the DJX-1 - I'm just suggesting that Beyer for one could link the sound signature to the design goal so as to better inform us audiophiles, and they could do so on page 3 of the brochure so as not to scare off less-knowledgeable buyers.

rhythmdevils's picture

I think this begs for a comparison to the ath-M50 :-)

incidentflux's picture

Man, really liking the quality of the reviews here. Thanks!

How would you compare Beyerdynamic DJX-1 vs DT 770 M vs DT 770 PRO for namely...

1. Sound isolation (on airplanes).
2. Clamping pressure.
3. Mostly listening to Deep House or Tribal House, Big beat such Crystal Method and Chemical Brothers (Electronica) and Alternative Hard Rock and Hard Rock genres.
4. Occasionally movie scores.

My personal preference is to listen to Hard Rock with the bass slightly turned up and neutral treble, which might be contrary to most listeners of this genre.

Or should I just go with Audio-Technica ATH M50, as most of the forums threads keep saying.

Edit: Bought the DT 770 PRO 80 Ohm version. Now just need to get a carry case :-)