Review: Numark Electrowave Headphones
Headphone opinions tend to be subjective, don’t they? And the Numark Electrowave headphones will certainly divide opinion on looks alone. In white and grey with flashes of blue, they have a kind of trance-meets-retro look, and they’re also really very big and bulky. At the same time, they’re highly specced for DJs – big, isolating ear cups, fold up nice and small when not being worn, coiled and straight detachable cables, loud drivers, rugged build. So let’s find out how they stack up overall and put them through their paces…
As stated in the intro, I think these will divide opinion. They’re certainly distinctive. They are a “DJ” headphone, through and through; you wouldn’t want to wear these on the street. They are very “rounded”, so apart from the top of the white plastic-covered headband touching your head, the wide band sits apart from your head on either side. This leads to the ear cups sitting comfortably on your ears, and to them isolating you from external sound well.
The ear cups themselves are finished in quite an attractive grooved metal with blue flashes and glossy white casing, and a very comfortable, with in soft felt padding in mid-grey. Again, this makes them rather distinctive and kind-of luxurious feeling, and may be preferred by some DJs, especially those using them in hot places where leather (or plastic) may get slippy and uncomfortable.
The adjusters and hinges are plastic coated but appear to have metal inserts; as with most headphones, it’s impossible to make a judgement on how resilient these will be over time. Numark’s “jukebox 7″ single” logo and written name appear on the outside of each edge, and the word “Numark” is indented in the headband’s plastic coating, too, with “Electrowave” printed in blue on the underside of the headband. Where the headband joins the ear cups, the headphones are exceptionally wide, making them very chunky overall.
As well as the headphones, the box contains a bog-standard vinyl drawstring bag, and the two cables (in grey); coiled and straight. There’s an adaptor to convert either from 1/8″ jack to 1/4″ jack.
Firstly, I have to say these are very comfy. Normally with DJ headphones there’s a trade-off between comfort and isolation, because in order to effectively isolate from the outside world, they need to apply quite a lot of pressure to the head. In this instance, though, maybe due to how big they are and the shape of the headband, they seem to sit very nicely on the ears without undue pressure, and still isolate reasonably well. If you want some DJ headphones that you can use for extended listening, this is definitely a plus point.
In use, they have that “DJ” feel about the sound; loud bass, and emphasised mids. They sound more controlled and refined than the cheaper Red Wave headphones from the same brand, though (especially in the bass frequencies), and while they may not please the audiophile or serious producer, they sound great for both day-to-day listening and DJing. They are plenty loud enough due to big 50mm drivers, and overall the sound is pleasing and perfect for beatmatching – which is, after all, what they’re intended for.
Despite being big, they’re actually really practical, because the chunky headband make them easy to grasp when putting on and taking off (to hang round your neck while DJing), and once they are around your neck, the ear cups instantly swivel out of your way so it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a neck brace. I actually think that despite looking almost comically big on your head, they are ergonomically excellent for DJing with.
I ended up quite liking these. Sure they’re big, brash, plasticky, and some will baulk at the overall styling, but they undeniably say “DJ!”, and that bulky styling seems to weight in with benefits for isolation and comfort. Moreover, they ended up being really very practical for DJing with, which is the most important thing. They are primarily a DJ headphone; they’re not multi-purpose (you wouldn’t want to be seen in the gym using them…), but that’s no bad thing; the inclusion of two cables gives you the straight/coiled option which is a plus point, and the “DJ!” styling is something I am sure many jocks will take as a plus point, ditto the unusual colour scheme.
Overall, they’re good. They’re far cheaper than some DJ headphones from more established brands in this area, and weight in with similar sound quality and comfort to some far more expensive models. If you like the look of them and they’re in your budget, definitely check them out.
Do you own these headphones? would you like to? Please share your thoughts on the Electrowaves in the comments.