The Complete Guide To Buying DJ Headphones On eBay

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The Complete Guide To Buying DJ Headphones On eBay

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The sound quality of any music player is only as good as the speakers or headphones through which the music is played. A good music system demands a good pair of headphones, and many people find DJ headphones the best choice for getting the most from their music collection.

Are DJ Headphones Just for DJs?

DJ headphones are more formally known as close-cupped (or close-backed) headphones. They are designed to block out all ambient noise completely. The other main type of headphone is called open-cupped (or open-backed), and they let in some ambient sound. DJ headphones earned their nickname because many DJs found them the ideal way of allowing them to focus on their music in the noisy environment of most nightclubs. Increasingly, however, they are being bought by people who simply wish to enjoy their own music in peace, without bothering other people or being bothered by external noises. Many people who commute regularly by bus or train are turning to DJ headphones to make their trip a more pleasant experience. As DJ headphones have become more popular with the general public, more of them have become available second-hand (or used) on eBay.

What Is the Best Way to Find the Right DJ Headphones?

The first point to decide when buying any type of new headphones is what type of earpiece is most comfortable. There are four main types of earpiece available.

Earpiece Type

Earpiece Specifications

Ear-Cup (Over the ear)

Ear-Cup headphones surround the ear completely. These ensure that almost all ambient noise is blocked; however, some people find these earpieces a bit too constricting.

Ear-Pad (On the ear)

Ear-Pad headphones look very similar to ear-cup headphones, but they sit on the ear rather than actually enclosing it completely. The better quality DJ headphones may use additional noise-cancelling technologies to reduce ambient noise. Some people find these more comfortable.

Earbud (In Ear)

Earbud headphones essentially sit in the outer ear. They are a very unusual choice for DJ headphones as they are prone to falling out and also tend to let in ambient noise. Having said that, some companies do offer them as an option and use noise-cancelling technologies to compensate for their disadvantages.

Canal Earbud (In Ear Canal)

Canal earbud headphones are becoming an increasingly popular choice for DJ headphones. The earpieces actually sit in the ear canal, which means that they are much more effective at blocking ambient noise than the simple earbuds. With advances in noise-cancelling technologies, these are almost as effective at blocking ambient noise as the ear-cup headphones and far more portable.

eBay allows buyers to filter on earpiece design so that users only see listings with the design they want.

Wired or Wireless?

Under the heading Connectivity, it's possible to search for headphones which are wired or wireless. Wired headphones use physical cables to connect the headphones to the music player. Wireless headphones use either Bluetooth or Digital RF technology to carry the sound from the player to the headphones. Bluetooth is more common and tends to be cheaper, but Digital RF can carry the sound over greater distances. Although wireless headphones do eliminate the problems of cables, they are dependent on having a source of power, which for practical purposes means a battery. If the battery runs out of power, the music goes with it.

What Are the Other Key Features of DJ Headphones and what Do They Mean?

eBay has a number of filters to help shoppers find DJ headphones with the features they need. Some of these points are self-explanatory (e.g. Foldable), others may benefit from some explanation.



Detachable Cable

The cable is usually the most vulnerable part of any pair of headphones. Not only is it subjected to the highest degree of everyday wear and tear, but it is also vulnerable to being caught on obstacles and broken. Buying headphones with detachable cables means that worn or broken cables can be replaced, which is usually much cheaper than buying a whole new set of quality headphones.

Noise Cancellation

Sound travels in waves. Noise-cancelling headphones identify the sound waves created by ambient noise and create mirror images of them. This cancels out their effect on the ear, creating the equivalent of silence, so that the wearer can listen to their music without unwanted interruptions.

Surround Sound

Surround-sound headphones have extra speakers in the earpieces to give the impression that the wearer's music is literally coming from all around them. This tends to make them bigger than other headphones.

Volume Limitation

Volume-limiting headphones tend to be bought for young people by adults. They are designed to ensure that the wearer can only play their music within levels which are considered to be safe. Some people choose them for themselves to ensure that they do not accidentally push their volume up too high in noisy environments.

What Are the Key Points to Look For in eBay Listings?

eBay requires sellers to provide all relevant details on their listings and encourages them to provide as much detail as possible (including pictures) to help buyers to make the best possible buying decision. If information is needed, the eBay messaging system should be used to contact the seller. This is particularly useful in the case of amateur or inexperienced sellers, who may still be learning how to write effective listings. Here are some key points to look for.


Leads come in varying lengths and can be straight or coiled. Longer leads allow for greater distances between the listener and the player, but they can also create hazards, such as tripping. It is now possible to buy devices which keep the cables tidy to avoid the problems of excessively long cables. The other alternative is coiled cables. Cables can be attached to one or both of the earpieces. Cables which attach to both earpieces can literally be a choking hazard unless they are detachable.


These days many headphones come with 3.5mm jacks as standard. These are used as they are compatible with most types of music players. Most DJ equipment requires a 6.5mm jack. There are plenty of adapters available to adapt 3.5mm jacks for 6.5mm plugs and vice versa.

Water Resistance

Although eBay's filters include Water-Resistant and Waterproof/Underwater, it can be worth checking the listing (or checking with the seller) to confirm what this means in real terms.


The wide variety of products available on eBay combined with eBay's reputation as being an excellent place to find value for money makes it the obvious place to go when shopping for new DJ headphones. Even though transactions on eBay are between the buyer and the seller, rather than the buyer and eBay, all sellers on eBay must follow eBay's rules, so buyers are assured the same degree of protection as they would have buying in a shop, either online or on the high street.

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