This past year, Pioneer released their flagship headphone, the HDJ-X10. I love this headphone’s sound, durability, and utilitarianism. But recently, Audio 46 recieved the new HDJ-X5. I’m super excited about it because it is in the same line as the X10 but is super affordable at just $99. For less than a third of the price of it’s big brother, how does it perform? Today I’ll find out with this Pioneer HDJ-X5 headphones review.
In the Box
-Pioneer HDJ-X5 headphones
-1.2 m short, coiled cable (3.5 mm connector)
-L-type mini jack
-3.5 mm to 6.3 mm adapter
The headband of the Pioneer HDJ-X5 headphones is made of thick plastic and it’s extenders are reinforced by a strip of metal. As a result the headphones feel light, yet super durable. They don’t appear to have any major points of weakness. The underside of the headband has a thick cushion that is coated by synthetic leather. Additionally, the headband is flexible like any proper DJ headphone should be. There are two standout features that feel particularly well done on these headphones. One is that the headband hugs the head well. It holds securely, but doesn’t feel too tight. Secondly, the headband yolks which hold the earcups are super durable with the classic Pioneer fastening style. Well done, Pioneer!
The circular earcups of the Pioneer HDJ-X5 DJ headphones are not too bulky. Like the headband, they are made of plastic but still feel durable and high quality. The earcups can swivel freely in their yolks. This mobility is useful and functions smoothly.
Like the earcups, the earpads of the Pioneer HDJ-X5 headphones are circular. They’re also made of a firm foam which alone, seems like it’d be comfortable. However, I wish the padding was a little bit thicker. When I put the headphones on my head, my ear fell in the hole of the earpad to touch the earcup. As a result, the headphones get uncomfortable pretty fast and wouldn’t work well for me for long duration use.
The Pioneer HDJ-X5 has a short, detachable, curly cable. One either side of the curly portion of the cable are lengths of straight cable. As a result, the cable is easily manipulated and not overbearing at all.
The low frequencies of the Pioneer HDJ-X5 is thick and punchy! Due to a boost at 40 Hz, they sound particularly fun when listening to hip-hop, pop, EDM, and anything else with bassy synthesizers. This low frequency energy bleeds into the low mids due to another boost between 100 Hz and 200 Hz. As a result, classical, jazz, folk, rock , and singer-songwriter tunes get a little bit cloudy down there. Sometimes, this cloudiness and low frequency energy is aesthetically pleasurable because it adds a lot of energetic vigor to upbeat tunes. However, it doesn’t work so well for ballads or songs with stripped-down arrangements.
In contrast to the low frequencies, the mid frequencies of the Pioneer HDJ-X5 are a bit hollow. There are frequency cuts at 400 Hz and then between 1.5 kHz and 3.5 kHz. As a result, heavy guitars, strings, and other midrange heavy acoustic instruments sound dull. Additionally, cymbals are not as harmonically rich as they would otherwise be. However, the high-mid frequencies are accented at 5.5 kHz which makes vocals sit forward in the mix. This is especially good for hip-hop and pop music because the vocals feel separated from the rest of the midrange.
The high frequencies were a lot less accented than I was expecting them to be. Perhaps this is due to the relative loudness of the big low-end. However, this modest high end response was welcome, especially in a $99 pair of headphones. While the highs had a cut around 11 kHz, a boost at 9 kHz maintained vocal breath and detail. Despite these lower high frequency levels, the Pioneer HDJ-X5 actually has nice high frequency extension, so they can carry air so long as it is enhanced in the mix and/or recording.
The Pioneer HDJ-X5 is a solid pair of headphones.They are bass heavy and perform the best with hip-hop, pop, and EDM, although can still be fun for other genres if you like bass heavy sound signatures. They’re a bit uncomfortable on my ears, so they’re not the best choice for long duration listening. However, for just $99, the Pioneer HDJ-X5 headphones are totally worth the money and are a great set of headphones!
The Pioneer HDJ-X5 headphones are available at Audio 46 here.
-Frequency Response: 5 Hz- 30 kHz
-Impedance: 32 ohms
-Output SPL: 102 dB
-Input Power: 2000 mW
-Type: closed, dynamic
-Driver: 40 mm, dome type