How To Use Headphones While DJing

How To Use Headphones While DJing[Full Guide]

There is a reason why DJs wear headphones while DJing. There are multiple benefits and for the non-stop music, they have to hear the sound quality of the music. So that they can change the music or mix them up while DJing.

It also helps them hear waveforms and cue points. They have to mix the very next song with the previous one to make the tempo of the workflow. When you don’t have booth monitors, you have to use headphones for mixing.

If you are new to DJ, you will probably encounter some problems which may relate to the controls settings or knobs information. If you don’t know, where and how to start things, it can be daunting entering into the DJ World.

We have exclusively made a guide to help you with “how to use headphones while djing” with the help of a senior DJ person.

He has guided us in the following works:

  • Selection of pairs of DJ headphones
  • Why DJ use headphones
  • Beatmatching
  • Mixer controls

We will try to solve every beginner’s query related to DJing.

Why Do DJs Use Headphones while DJing?

Creating Focus 

It helps them to know which song is playing as there is a massive crowd sufficient to confuse and divert their mind.

Protecting Ears

DJ headphones protect your ears from the too-loud music and noise of the crowd.

Usability made Easy

DJs have to practice or perform almost regularly, so it is important for comfortable usage.


DJ headphones help the DJs in the selection of the next song and its mixing with the previous song, so to make the tempo of multiple songs, it is necessary to use DJ headphones.

Block Ambient Noises

DJ headphones also help in blocking the ambient noise coming from the background. It is very crucial to focus on the track currently playing in order to drive retention.

Why Do DJs Use Headphones while DJing

How to Cue with DJ Headphones?

Cueing has the most role to play while DJing. It creates the tempo of the next and previous songs which has to look natural. So, to integrate them into each other, DJ has to be very careful in lowering and increasing the volume of the songs they select with one ear of headphones where the next song is coming from the channel. It matches the beat of both tracks to ensure smooth mixing.

You can find the Cue button on the mixer. Turn it on and it will light up telling you that the next song is being cued. The crowd will not be able to listen to that song as the volume of channel fader is zero.

When the next song to be played gets matched with the previous song in terms of its tempo, DJs increase the volume and the song is naturally integrated with the previous one. Hence, the tracks keep going with proper mixing.

How to Cue with DJ Headphones?

What headphones do DJs use?

There are multiple options available to DJs to select headphones for DJing. Some songs mixing styles may require swivel joints.

The selection of the best DJ headphones depends on the following factors:

  • Build quality and the material used.
  • Noise isolation.
  • Ambient noise blocking Ability.
  • Drivers and frequency response.
What headphones do DJs use?

Understanding Mixer Controls

You should know how to use a mixer if you want to be a DJ. When you fully understand the settings and buttons of the mixer, you should start mixing as follows:

Volume setting

It is very important as you have to hear the main speaker, so to decide on the next song and make it integrated with the previous one, you must set the volume properly.

  1. Select a channel 
    You can select between different channels by only pressing the button on the cue.
  2. Cue mix 
    You can change the crossfader in order to cue the track.
  3. Cue it up
    Now, when you are all ready, go and cue it to the crowd.

Mixer can be of many types. It may be a simple two-channel or any advanced arrangement.

The mixer has different controls and volume buttons and it will take you time to understand the setup and the settings. They also have control volume for the headphones.

Volume for the headphones makes it easy to hear different tracts which the DJ wants to mix and play next and it won’t be audible to the audience as it has no connection with the main speaker. So, after deciding on the best one, they simply increase the volume and cue the nest track.

Mixer Controls


Beatmatching is the top skill that you must master in order to be a DJ. Manually beatmatching is a little bit tough and requires serious time to master.

You may have the sync option to use but it is not compatible with many devices and different types of tracks. You must learn “How to beatmatch” in order to make the workflow of the tracks smooth going.

So, you are at the point where one song is already playing over and you have to select the next track and you just hear the song from one of the ear cups of the headphones. So, when you play the next track, you have to set the cue mix to the central position to get the two tracks naturally integrated.

A mixer with beatmatch gives you a lot of ease in order to judge the song and its importance in playing with the previous one. Sometimes, you have to make the 2nd channel more prominent to decide whether it needs to be mixed with the track earlier.


EQing using DJ headphones

Cue mix is a wonderful option. You can use the cue mix in order to EQ your tracks which are ready for mixing.

You can use a mini-crossfader just for practicing mix if you don’t have much grip and you can do it before you get it live in the show.

Volume Control

You may find the volume control option on the mixer. It needs to be used carefully as the higher volume may damage your ears. It should be at an optimal level in order to save your ears and also you might not find it difficult to listen to the track.

If you are continually listening to very loud music, you may suffer from ear illness and it may harm your ears entirely which can ultimately result in complete hearing loss.

You must take special care in selecting the right headphones. These headphones have the ability to save your ears from the outside sounds coming out of the main speakers meanwhile also enabling you to hear the track with the help of the headphones which you want to mix with the previous one.

Read more: How To Use Headphone Mic On Phone

How to Use Headphones as A Mic When Mixing

When there is any concert or a special country event is organized, there is a need of having some important announcement for the audience and at that time if you have forgotten to bring your microphone, there is still an option for you to announce and you can do it through headphones. 

Headphones and mic both have the ability to reach our sound through the speakers to the massive crowd. You just have to plug the headphones into the mic port.

You must reduce the boom effect and check if your controller is using Equalisation. You can use it to decrease the low tones and increase the high tones. This is for the audience that when you are not satisfied with the mic performance of the headphones, you don’t increase the volume.

Must turn off your booth monitors in order to avoid any feedback. Feedback is the high-pitched screen sound that we may experience at concerts and parties. Due to the increased surface area of the headphones than mics, the chance of feedback picking may increase.

Reading Recommendation: How to Wear Headphones

Can I DJ Mix Without Headphones?

If you have mastered the art of mixing the tracks, you can mix the songs manually with the help of visual waves.

This method totally depends on the visual waveforms and you need to understand your songs properly in order to mix them without the help of headphones. A nerd in DJing knows and reads the wave-riding very carefully and he has the ability to make the tracks look so naturally integrated.

Automated beatmatching also helps in this mixing process to make the songs mix smoothly.

Can I DJ Mix Without Headphones?


If you want to master the art of DJing, you have to get yourself familiar with some technical terms like Mixing, Cueing, and Beatmatching and you have to get your hands-on experience with these technicalities which will help you master the DJing.

You must not fear practicing DJing and their sub-works like Mixing and Cueing to be a wonderful DJ who knows how to turn on the audience, and who has the ability to naturally mix the tracks. 
I hope this article will help a beginner hoping to be a DJ. We wish you the Best of Luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Many headphones have the feature of mixing adjust between hearing the ‘Cue’, ‘Mix’ and ‘Master’. You can do practice with your headphones only on your DJ mixer.

  • Plug in the headphone pin in the mic port.
  • Take care of your ears from hearing very loud music.
  • You can use any software or mixer.

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