Well-made, attractive and good-sounding, the HD-2500s from Zomo are a decent choice for pro DJs looking for a specialised headphone. The semi-coiled cable is a bit strange and the fit is definitely on the tighter side, but overall we liked them and thought they offered excellent value.
First Impressions / Setting up
First impressions of the HD-2500s are good. Once removed from the pretty tasteful packaging, we’re faced with an understated, attractive headphone, with a rubberised plastic headband bearing a subtle Zomo logo, three under-headband black cushioning pads, and two moulded, simple black textured plastic earcups, that slide up and down simple adjuster strips. These are screwed securely (and visibly) to the headband.
Medium-sized earpads in leatherette enclose the 40mm drivers, and the cable can be attached to left or right as required (they can also be daisy-chained with other headphones by using the “spare” socket, not that DJs would typically want to do this of course).
In the box with the headphones is a totally standard cloth drawstring bag bearing the Zomo logo, a pair of velour-type replaceable earcups if you want to switch from the leatherette ones, and the lead. The lead is curious in that it is coiled at both ends, but straight in the middle. I am not sure why this is. It also has a small clip at one end that appears to be to to clip the supplied 1/8″ to 1/4″ adaptor to when not in use, but unless I’m missing something, it’s not very good as the adaptor isn’t held securely enough on it for it to feel safe. One of the 1/8″ plugs in straight, and one at right angled, and the right-angle plug fits snugly into the adaptor should you need it.
The lead snaps into your earcup of choice firmly but doesn’t twist to lock; this is fine as it won’t come out accidentally, especially as the lead is coiled (at least at the ends).
The earcups of the headphones can be adjusted forwards and backwards on their hinges through a good 210 degrees, so there’s no problem twisting one out of your way for one-ear, hands-free monitoring; however, it’s a shame they won’t somehow fold all the way up into the headband for folded-up storage. It’s not possible in any headphone of this type of design, though.
While they can of course be adjusted up and down to fit the circumference of your head, there is little give forwards and backwards or up and down once you’ve actually chosen the position of your earcups, so in my case, they applied more pressure to the top of my ear than the bottom, and I couldn’t find an adjustment that would correct this. A person with a smaller head wouldn’t have this issue.
Switching the pads between the leatherette ones and the velour ones is really simple; they twist off easily, which is good because it would indicate that it’d be a simple job to swap them out should they perish after months of use in sweaty clubs.
On to the most important thing: The sound. I’m pleased to report that they sound excellent. There is vibrant bass, and overall a punchy, clear, engaging sound, helped no doubt by the pressure they apply to your head in use. This means that they’re not going to be comfortable for long-term listening; to be fair nor should they be, as they’re a pro DJ headphone, so you’re not going to have them on for hours on end; rather, you want the to isolate well and give you the best possible sound for beatmixing etc. This they do excellently.
These are an attractive, well made and decent sounding headphone, that isolate well for monitoring in loud situations thanks to the decent pressure applied to your ears by the headband. They’re not very comfortable if you have a big head, and they’re not the best for all-round use (the provided lead is not a “lifestyle” cable, to start with); but what they are is a good choice for pro DJs, especially those who like this new, modern, “exposed” design.
While they’re not cheap, they are good value compared to similar headphones in this price range. And while they don’t fold up into their own headband and therefore are’t the smallest headphones out there to stash, that oughtn’t be a problem as they are quite “flat”.
The manufacturers say they’re for “DJs, live performers and audio engineers”. I’d say you can strike audio engineers off that list (too uncomfortable for long-term listening) and I’m not sure what type of live performers would want to wear these (please feel free to suggest!), but for DJs? They’re a solid choice at this price point, and what’s more, they seem likely to last – which is more than you’ve been able to say for many so-called “pro” DJ headphones over the years.