If you’ve got Vestax gear and you’re looking for a pair of durable DJ-friendly headphones to match it, these are OK. They will be fine for short-term use anywhere, thanks to their compact, foldable design and good looks. Expect them to wear on the ears with prolonged use, though, both thanks to the way they colour the sound, and to the uncomfortable grip that’s necessary for them to offer decent isolation for DJs in an on-ear design. That’s the compromise you make here.
First Impressions / Setting up
Made predominantly in plastic, these red and black headphones (they’re also available in white) are pretty striking, in a lower-end Dr Dre kind of way. They feed undeniably cheap, though. They certainly feel like they should be worn around the neck when not actually on your head, and indeed they’re really comfortable like that, due to their overall compact design.
The box contains the headphones, the detachable cable, and a 3.5mm to 6.3mm adaptor – no bag. The only metal parts are the hinges and the size sliders. They’re very “bendy” and I suspect they’d be pretty resistant to being tossed around and (accidentally, of course) trodden on. The transfers come off easily, though.
The plastic-padded earcups rotate slightly on ball joints, just enough to find a reasonably comfortable fit on your ears. Note I said “on” your ears; these are an on-ear rather than an over-ear design. Combined with the rather clamp-like grip exhibited by the headband, this makes for a less than comfortable long-term fit; best off used for DJ sessions and short listening periods rather than a lazy afternoon on the sofa, then.
I have to say I’m usually a fan of a coiled cable on DJ headphones, but when, like the HMX-05, they have “street” leanings too, I can see the attraction of a straight, one-size-fits-all cable instead. This is a three-foot job, and as mentioned earlier, it’s flat rather than rounded; that basically means it doesn’t tangle, so you can bundle these up and when you come back to them, you’re all ready to go. One of their best features.
Sound quality wise, they’re a bit poor; it’s all mids – there is bass there, but it’s higher-end, punchy bass, with a notable lack of full, rounded sub-bass. It’s fine for DJing, and for general listening – but for more discerning listening sessions, you’d be better off with a more comfortable ‘phone that has a fuller, more natural sound.
That said, the punchiness and volume on offer here are well suited to loud DJ booths and to beatmatching; the kick drums are clear, and the treble covers the hi-hats well too, so it’s easy to use percussion for fine beatmatching.
If you’ve got Vestax gear and you’re looking for a pair of durable DJ-friendly headphones to match it, these OK. They’ll do you for smaller gigs, and they will be fine for short-term use anywhere, thanks to their compact, foldable design.
Expect them to wear on the ears with prolonged use, though, both thanks to the way they colour the sound, and to the uncomfortable grip that’s necessary for them to offer decent isolation for DJs in an on-ear design. That’s the compromise you make here.
If you have no particular allegiance to Vestax, you’re probably better checking out other models in the price range, because there are plenty of alternative options, one of which might suit you better.