Pioneer is constantly releasing new gear for DJs, producers, and studio professionals. From headphones to mixers, they’ve been one of the most talked-about brands for pro audio gear. Their DJ line is one of their most popular, with their HDJ series among one of their most expansive selections. The HDJ-CX is one of their latest efforts, an on-ear headphone meant for mixing and monitoring music. For $149, is this a suitable option for your professional set-up?
What You Get
- 1.2 m Coiled cable (extended length 3.0 m)
- 1.6 m straight cable
- 6.3 mm stereo plug adapter (threaded type)
- Plug adapter holder
- Spare ear pads (1 pair)
- Instruction Manual
Look and Feel
On the surface, the CX doesn’t stick out of the pack in terms of style or build quality. The steel core headband is a fine piece of construction, and the way the ear cups turn feels durable. Even though these pieces are thin they never feel flimsy, but the plastic parts still feel less desirable than aluminum ones. I’m not the biggest fan of flat ear cups, with even the most comfortable Grado models feeling like there’s too much pressure on my head. The CX does a great job of reducing that pressure with its light construction.
The HDJ-CX comes packed with a 35mm dynamic driver. It comes with one 1.6m straight cable and one 1.2mm coiled cable.
|5 – 30000 Hz
WEIGHT (WITHOUT CORD)
MAXIMUM INPUT POWER
A closed-back DJ headphone brings different expectations for the soundstage than a lot of other headphones out there. Some DJ headphones have a habit of congealing towards the center of the mix, leaving obstruction between layers of frequency. For the most part, the HDJ-CX is not one of those headphones. It has some trouble with overlapping, but it stays consistent in presenting a linear stereo field. It attends to the positioning of the left and right channels with some admirable accuracy, giving you a solid reference for where things are in the mix. Spatially it may leave a lot to be desired, but the imaging goes a long way to make sure specific elements are given their time of day within the soundstage.
Being a DJ headphone, you expect the focus to be on the low end of the frequency spectrum, which the CX delivers in droves. The extension in the bass cuts deep and asserts itself at the front of almost every mix you play. It presents an impactful but steady resonance for the frequencies to express themselves while keeping the amount of bleed to a minimum. The sub-bass makes itself known, giving the timbre a good kick of rumble and texture, while the mid-bass provides the hit that many will be looking forward to.
While the midrange takes a dip in a few places, there’s a good amount of retention in other frequency bands that can still showcase a good amount of clarity and detail. You can definitely feel the dominance of the low-mids over the rest of the frequency spectrum, but there’s still a good amount of resolution given to the instruments and vocals in each track you listen to with the CX. There’s even a bit of a bump in the upper mids that make a few details pop, but not to the extent that it masks some of the notches that already exist response.
Of course, the highs aren’t going to be very pronounced on a DJ headphone, but the frequencies aren’t rolled off either. They actually possess a pretty flat timbre that appears even and well communicated. It presents a good amount of clarity with a solid amount of volume to the treble region.
It might not seem like the Pioneer HDJ-CX is that special, but it can be pretty reliable for a good sound. As far as accurate studio headphones go, there is a ton of strong competition, but if you’re specifically looking for a flat ear cup with a focus on bass, then the CX will better speak to you.
The Pioneer HDJ-CX is available at Audio46.