If you’re a bedroom DJing aspiring to play local bars and clubs, the HF350s will be a reliable companion even when you’ve gone from playing to an audience of one to a small-sized room packed to the rafters. If you’re already a gigging DJ, they may appeal as a back-up pair.
First Impressions / Setting up
The HF350s come in a cardboard box with a plastic tray that includes a 1/8″ to 1/8″ cable and 1/4″ adapter apart from the headphones themselves. No bags, no papers, and no fancy unboxing experience here: But what do you expect for a pair that comes in at just under US$100?
The HF350 itself is light, with a matte rubber and plastic finish. It doesn’t feel luxurious, but it doesn’t feel like a cheap pair of headphones either: It feels very “midrange”. The build quality is certainly far from your average entry-level pair of cans, but I don’t expect these to take the beating that comes hand in hand with touring and heavy gig use (again, they’re under US$100). The earcups swivel if you prefer to monitor with your shoulder against the cup, or if you like holding up one cup to your ear while beatmatching.
I connected the cable to the bottom of the HF350’s left ear cup, plugged the adapter and connected it to my DJ controller, and I was ready to go.
I’m using a Pioneer DDJ-SR, which has a fairly loud headphone output, so I didn’t have a problem turning up the HF350s: At moderate levels, the bass was loud (but not as full / detailed as more premium DJ headphones), and there’s a slight bump in the high-frequency range that gives hi-hats a bright sizzle. I prefer warmer sounding headphones that have an emphasis on low end when it comes to DJing, such as my HDJ-1000s, but with that said, the HF350s don’t sound shrill at all, and I reckon a large majority of DJs will prefer this sort of “hyped” sound to a dull one, especially in a noisy gig environment.
I didn’t really find anything I didn’t like about the HF350: The bass was sufficient for a headphone in this budget range, and the mids were clear, making them perfect for DJing with today’s crop of electro and vocal-heavy dance / chart music. Make no mistake, though: These aren’t audiophile headphones, so don’t expect extraordinary depths of clarity and bass / mids detail here.
This is a headphone for DJing in loud booths, and the over-the-ear design helps a bit in isolating you from ambient noise, which is a plus. If Numark kicked the build quality up a notch, this would’ve been the perfect “serious beginner” headphones.
What’s cool about the HF350s is that they are a perfectly usable pair of headphones that you can grow with: If you’re a bedroom DJing aspiring to play local bars and clubs, the HF350s will be a reliable companion even when you’ve gone from playing to an audience of one to a small-sized room packed to the rafters.
If you’re already a gigging DJ, they’d make an OK pair of backup headphones, but you’re going to want better for heavy use. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them as a backup pair of phones.
By the way, another area that these Numark headphones shine is in bedroom production. If you don’t want to use your DJ headphones for monitoring your mixes or if you want an alternate set of reference cans, the HF350 fit the bill nicely: Not only do they sound decent, but they’re really inexpensive for the sound quality that you’re getting, which I think is enough of a reason to pick one up.