Newly released from Pioneer, the HDJ-X5BT features the rugged build quality of the original wired HDJ-X5, sans cable. And at $149, this headphone won’t dissuade the price-conscious listener. But is the sound right for you?
Pioneer HDJ-X5BT Review
The HDJ-X5BT comes with a charging cable and a 4 ft (1.2 m) coiled aux cable.
Battery life comes in at a fair 20 hours, which may seem light but actually measures pretty high for a wireless DJ headphone (read: more bass).
Bluetooth connectivity is achieved via Bluetooth 4.2, and the headphone supports aptx HD, AAC, and SBC codecs.
In terms of build quality, the X5BT utilizes the same robust construction found on the X5. Comprised primarily of plastic, this headphone remains near-bulletproof with a solid construction that just won’t quit. Thick PU leather padding on the headband and earcups allow for a comfortable and isolating fit. Aluminum struts reinforce the headband, giving the headphones a bit of clamp that can be adjusted by stretching the headband.
Earcups swivel 90 degrees but also flip 180 degrees on their horizontal axis, allowing for easier one-ear listening.
Frequency Range: 5-30,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance: 32 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 104 dB
Pioneer rates the frequency range at 5-30,000 Hz, which should translate to some extension in the lows and highs. The low impedance of just 32 ohms seems par for the course for a wireless headphone. Lastly, that sound pressure level of 104 decibels should translate to accurate volume in most listening situations.
The Pioneer HDJ-X5BT offers a lively low end punctuated by a powerful bass response. While nowhere near balanced or accurate, this heavy low end remains fun and engrossing for rock, hip-hop, and electronica. Overall, there’s some decent detail at play here – but it’s quickly overshadowed by that pounding, throbbing bass.
In the mids, the X5BT delivers a forward-leaning sound. When paired with the intense lows, this sound can seem a bit oppressive at times. However, vocals remains surprisingly clear and precise, with only a whisper of distortion in the upper mids. This small amount of distortion only seems evident in fits and starts on some vocal-heavy tracks, while instrumentation doesn’t seem quite as off-kilter.
The high end hosts a significant amount of detail and way more than I was expecting from a DJ headphone at this price. Just a tad bit bright, this high end offers plenty of extension that works well with the HDJ-X5BT’s thick low end, resulting in a emotive, v-shaped sound signature. Female vocals sound relatively smooth, while strings can seem a bit peaky or piercing at times – but only on the highest high notes. Still, for the money, this remains a surprisingly good high end.
This headphone skimps on soundstage. Though, I wasn’t really expecting much from a wireless DJ headphone retailing for a buck and change. There’s some minor depth here, and it’s not bad for making the sound a little more interesting…but if you’re expecting to visualize instrument placement in a given track, you should probably look elsewhere.
The Pioneer HDJ-X5BT isolates like a champ. I can’t hear anything when I have these things on – phones ringing, my boss yelling at me to answer the phone, the fire department knocking down our office door, etc. All of this just ebbs away to silence from which my music emerges.
Also, there’s really fun bass here. It doesn’t just steal the focus on the lows; the bass steals the entire show here. From the moment you put the HDJ-X5BT on, you’re feeling that deep, jaw-massaging reverberation that has converted many an audiophile to an incorrigible basshead.
At $149, it’s hard not to tout the Pioneer HDJ-X5BT for its value. For folks who want a more neutral, balanced sound, I would suggest the Sennheiser HD4.50 BTNC (at $179). In addition to a more even-keeled sound, the HD4.50 also sports noise cancelling.
For folks who want a similar level of sound quality and perhaps just a little less bass, the Audio Technica M50XBT (at $199) offers more benefit, as it dials back some of the low end while delivering more detail.
Still, for the money and the bass, the HDJ-X5BT packs a wallop and if you’re looking for that bassilicious headphone with great isolation, look no further.
With an impressive low end that punctuates every track, the Pioneer HDJ-X5BT headphone offers a fun and intoxicating sound that seems tailor-made for rock, hip-hop, and electronic music. At $149, this headphone won’t break your bank. And, although it may not be for everyone, anyone craving bass will love this headphone.
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