• Price: US$145
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Ultrasone DJ1 Headphones Review

Phil Morse
Last updated 4 October, 2018

2202

The Lowdown

These are lovely headphones for DJs. Sure, they haven’t got the detachable cable and earcups of the DJ1 Pros, but they’re actually better balanced for DJing, feature-wise. They apply just the right pressure for sound isolation. I suspect that (and the shape of the earcups) is why the sound is slightly more coloured – they certainly sounded bassier to me than the DJ1 Pros which I tested them alongside. This is what DJs ultimately want, in my view.

Video Review

First Impressions / Setting up

They come with none of the bells and whistles of the more expensive pair. The DJ1 Pros have spare ear paddings, a hard case, and detachable, interchangeable leads, whereas the DJ1s have just a soft bag accompanying them in their box. (There’s CD of classical music too. Mmmm.) At least the soft bag is kind-of custom, being material rather than the usual plastic, and embroidered with the company’s logo.

At first glance, they seem very similar to the DJ1 Pros, but you soon realise the differences. While they’re the same colour, and the same overall build quality (excellent), and they even have the same headband and earcup couplings, the actual earcups are different.¬†On the DJ1 Pros, the earcups are oversized and round, whereas on the DJ1s, they are oval and not so big. The leather is different too, being finer on the Pros. The single cable is coiled, and has a 1/4″ to 1/8″ adaptor on the end.

The DJ1 Pros actually look more like a studio headphone, whereas the DJ1s appear more DJ-oriented, which is reflected in the way the earcups rotate on the couplings; with the DJ1 Pros, vertical earcup rotation is limited to a pretty limited 30 degrees whereas with the DJ1s, you can rotate the earcups 180 degrees too, as well as backwards and forwards 90 degrees.

In Use

These feel more like a pair of DJ ‘phones than their more expensive counterparts. They fit completely over the ear, but with not as much space left for your ear to “flap around” in. They feel tighter on the ear, too; good for DJing in that it offers more isolation, but not so good for long-term use, as they’ll be less comfortable than the looser Pros.

Technically, these phones have a lower impedance (32 ohm rather than 64 ohm) than the Pros, which in layman’s terms mean they’re louder. Again, this is good; while sounding marvellous, the DJ1 Pros aren’t the loudest of headphones.

On to sound quality then, which I’m happy to report is excellent. They seem bassier than the Pros, and I think this is probably due to the shape of the earcup and the slightly higher pressure on the ears.

Ultrasone makes much of the S-Logic technology that the company claims offsets the soundwaves to utlise the outer ear, make everything sound more directional and spatial. I am in no way qualified to comment on whether it works, but testing them with Agoria’s “Impermanence”, I was struck by the stereo imagery as well as the overall quality of the sound; deep, rich bass, a good “thud” on the kicks, and light, playful percussion with no hint of harshness.

Conclusion

These are lovely headphones for DJs. Sure, they haven’t got the detachable cable and earcups of the DJ1 Pros, but they’re actually better balanced for DJing, feature-wise.

Ultrasone DJ1 folded
These are closer to a “traditional” DJ headphone than the DJ1 Pros.

They apply just the right pressure for sound isolation. I suspect that (and the shape of the earcups) is why the sound is slightly more coloured – they certainly sounded bassier to me than the DJ1 Pros which I tested them alongside. This is what DJs ultimately want, in my view.

While the DJ Pros are the better of the two if you’re looking for one all-round set of headphones that will be fine for DJing as well as studio and relaxing, if the only time you every put your headphones on is for DJing gigs and practising your mixing, and you don’t think you’ll miss the bells and whistles, these are your better bet. The fact that they’re cheaper than the DJ1 Pros is a bonus.

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