They’re good sounding, apparently well built, undeniably stylish, and therefore a promising choice for the pro DJ who wants to make an impression with his or her headphones. If you’re looking at pro DJ phones and especially at the Pioneer HDJ-2000s, these should be given careful consideration too.
First Impressions / Setting up
he RHP-20s feel sturdy, and look expensive and stylish. Unlike some other pro headphones, these seem to have had a lot of thought put into what they look like. They have a sleek, minimalistic, Bang & Olufsen feel about them – definitely futuristic.
The earcups are big and finished in soft leather. The same leather lines the inside of the headband, which is made of hard rubber indented with an understated Reloop logo. Plastic is kept to a minumum, appearing mainly as part of the trim to the swivel mechanisms and within the metal headband adjuster extenders. The headcups themselves are finished in rubber paint. and the oversized headcup holders are solid aluminium, bolted with large metal pins to the headband itself.
The coiled cable has a gold-plated 1/4″ TRS jack plug in it, which unscrews to reveal an 1/8″ mini jack. Meanwhile the other end is a detachable mini-XLR, meaning the cable can be removed or replaced with ease. I have to say that the mini-XLR looks excellent too, clipping smartly into the base of the left earcup.
Overall, these are an immediately desirable headphone looks and build-wise.
Due to the soft leather earcups and the oversized ear enclosures, these are comfortable to wear on the head, although they do apply a bit of pressure and are not so comfortable after extended wearing (they’re not meant for hi-fi sit-back-in-a-chair listening, to be fair). There is maybe 100 degrees of forward/backward motion on the earcups, meaning you can wear them with one ear only listening to the music and the other open to your monitor speakers.
Worn over both ears, they are good audio isolators, and the sound is warm but punchy, not harsh yet with a lot of definition in the kicks and percussion – just what you want for beatmixing.
The other thing to consider in DJ headphones is how they are worn around the neck – I spend a lot of time with my headphones dangled around my neck, at least as much as with them on my head. Some DJs never take their ‘phones off their heads, but that’s not me – so I like a set that feels comfortable in that position too.
As these are big, they feel a little obstructive compared to mini-cup phones, but they’re not actually uncomfortable – it’s down to the leather padding, which feels nice against the skin whether it’s against the side of your neck or your ear. They are also lightweight (about 230g), which helps.
The closest comparison is with the Pioneer HDJ-2000s, which appear similar (although to my eyes not as stylish), and also have leather/metal construction and mini-XLR cable, yet cost a fair amount more. The Reloops appear to have the edge on value here.
While I haven’t reviewed the Pioneers, the Reloop cans certainly have a sound quality that befits their price – they have a claimed 3-30,000 Hz frequency response and 110dB output rating, and I had no issue with the sound quality, as outlined above.
Another similar model is the Allen & Heath Xone XD-53, but those headphones don’t have the styling of these – nowhere close. Also, the industry standard Sennheiser HD-25s should be considered at this price range – their compact, close-to-indestructible design and proven sound quality (with surprisingly good isolation considering the size of their earcups) mean they’re the phone to beat at the top end of the market.
The Reloops certainly can’t claim the portability of the Sennheisers; they come with a lightweight felt-style bag and fold neatly into their own headband for stashing away, but they are nonetheless a big set of phones, and they don’t fold “flat”. If you want full-sized headphones, though, you probably won’t be stuffing them into the side pocket of a DJ backpack or messenger bag as I do with my current favourite all-rounders (the Allen & Heath Xone XD-40s), so this is a compromise you’ll make.
For the price, the thing you’re going to be looking for here is durability, and that’s something I can’t report back on without using them for a while. They certainly appear to be excellently constructed, but as someone who gets through headphones at a rate of about two pairs a year, I’m as good a test as anyone as to the durability of them. Watch this space on that!
Overall, then, they’re good sounding, apparently well built, undeniably stylish, and therefore a promising choice for the pro DJ who wants to make an impression with his or her headphones. If you’re looking at pro DJ phones and especially at the Pioneer HDJ-2000s, these should be given careful consideration too.