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HDJ-2000 - sooo good but $450 good?
HDJ-2000 - sooo good but $450 good?
Posted by Gizmo on October 22, 2008 :

Pioneer HDJ-2000 headphones

So let's talk about these new Pioneer HDJ-2000 cans for a moment. Having unleashed them last week as the only fresh product release at the BPM Show, all eyes and ears were on the striking yet ber expensive offering. I had a go and came away with mixed feelings.

This is by no means a review - just a first impression from 5 minutes of bending, shaking and wearing these pre-production HDJs, so don't set too much stall by my opinion here as things might change.

You'll see from the picture above that the new HDJs are somewhat slicker that their older 1000 sibling, not just in looks, but also in construction. It's a matter of less is more, with the lines being smoothed off and everything being made simpler.

Pioneer HDJ-2000 headphones

Much has been made of the use of metal in the construction of these HDJs, and there's a much better plastic to metal ratio in these. It's not without a fair amount of fiddly covers that hide the joint, but nothing that will fall off or generally annoy you into throwing them away and moaning on every DJ forum on the internet. I like the fact that they spring back into position. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has thrown headphones on the floor in frustration when I couldn't get them back on my head quickly.

Pioneer HDJ-2000 headphones
Pioneer HDJ-2000 headphones

Pioneer have also opted for a mini XLR cable connector as well, as found on AKG headphones. Held in place by a springy push button connector, it's sturdier than a regular screw-in mini jack, but I wonder how long it will be before the plastic knob becomes worn, requiring a replacement cable. Perhaps AKG owners would like to chip in at this point.

Pioneer HDJ-2000 headphones

For me, DJ headphones live or die by the isolation they offer, and here the HDJs don't disappoint. The large memory foam endowed cups gently hug your head and do keep out a huge amount of noise - more than most I've used. This does of course allow you to appreciate the audio fidelity of the cans as well, rather than just cranking them up and hoping that you can hear something above what the crowd are swinging their pants to.

This is the point where I have mixed feelings about the audio quality of cans. In a quiet controlled environment like a studio or your living space, the audio quality of your chosen headgear will shine, and I'm quite sure that the HDJ-2000s will sound wonderful. But when you have gigawatts of ambient ear bleeding choons coming through the foam insulation and muddying the sound, the quality becomes a moot point. I would need to spend some time with a few sets of high quality headphones with the music turned up loud in the skratchlab before passing real judgement on the sound quality of these or any other cans.

Pioneer HDJ-2000 headphones

There's no denying that the spangly new HDJ-2000s are really nice, like I really want to own a pair nice. But I really feel that Pioneer have pushed their premium price policy just a tad too far here. I can understand positioning yourself at the top end of the market, but Pioneer just redefined top end entirely with the new HDJs.

Essentially they've made almost sure (for nothing is guaranteed) that the joints won't break in a hurry and improved the isolation, which in turn improves the sound quality. But every other set of high end headphones comes in at least one third cheaper and offering all of these features. And the US $450 is an ludicrously hard pill to swallow. But even with the price tag, I have no doubt that Pioneer will shift scary numbers of the HDJ-2000s.

Bottom line - first impressions are that the HDJ-2000 headphones are a solid lump of the usual Pioneer quality, but it remains to be seen if they can live up to the crazy price tag. I am yet to be convinced of that. Here's looking forward to the review pair to see if they can win me over.


NOTE: No further comments are being accepted.
22 comments to this story

{subject}
On October 23, 2008, mitsubishop said this:
Wow! That is a price tag and a half!
For the dj who has everything else surely?!

{subject}
On October 23, 2008, Oneil Stuart said this:
Obviously for the DJ who doesn't feed his family. I am like totally on the wrong side of this recession.

I sure hope that foam gives good ear massages.

{subject}
On October 23, 2008, mookster said this:
Wireless headphones, with the quality of hdj's.

{subject}
On October 23, 2008, Iron Monkey said this:
They should massage more than my ears for that price!

Sure I want them, but that's ludicrously priced. I'll stick with my Ultrasones

{subject}
On October 23, 2008, djas said this:
$450 should be a studio class headphone.

{subject}
On October 23, 2008, romeo said this:
it's not that expensive..

i'll buy 2 of them,1 for in the bedroom connected to my vestax 08 and the other 2 the tv in the livin' room..

i just don't want to hear the wife's annoying voice no more.mad.gif

{subject}
On October 23, 2008, DJ_AS said this:
I had a play around with these at BPM too, and I would have to agree with everything Gizmo says. First impressions of sound quality and build quality are impressive...

...but I am really unconvinced that they're worth the asking price.

I tested them alongside the HDJ-1000s and the difference in percieved sound quality was minimal.

{subject}
On October 23, 2008, Solo said this:
I feel like the price goes hand-in-hand with the durability of these cans. My DSLR camera is made of magnesium alloy, and I know precisely what it feels like to move from a plastic body to this one. The difference in quality and overall toughness is immense. I feel like the DJ would never have to worry about babying the joints on these, taking care not to stress them out, and the memory-foam pads have got to be a dream to wear for extended periods (ever worn an airplane headset? Extremely comfortable and superb isolation).

{subject}
On October 23, 2008, That Mexican DJ said this:
Thats quite a price for just few improvements, to be honest I bought a pair of 1000's for $180 and do a nice job, I would even consider if it was on the 200ish price, but double?

Theres always ebay :P

{subject}
On October 24, 2008, rs said this:
Personally I prefer my stick headphone (aka lollipop headphone) though they're far from right for everybody. Duo Audio has been making them with (full-size) XLR connectors for years...

{subject}
On October 24, 2008, phillip said this:
the monster dr dre headphones are $350 and i don't think theyre that great. they sound good but the build seems really cheap, so this may not be that bad..

although, i think my ultrasones are due to last me a long long while. 8)

{subject}
On October 25, 2008, Sherz said this:
I had an old pair of Pioneers that were old and knackered, although the drivers still worked. I removed one of the drivers and stuck it inside the earpiece of an old 70s telephone handset. Chopped the cable off at the phone end and stuck a 1/4" jack on the end of the cable! Retro cool baby... and a shedload cheaper!

{subject}
On October 30, 2008, Stereo Galaxy said this:
Not Sure where the $450 came from...! UK price is 199.99.
Believe me - you need to sell thousands of pairs of headphones to recover development coststhis is not a cynical plan to generate huge profits
Supporting and developing a market is not all about profitbut like any company we have to cover costs and invest in new technology and we have to feed our engineers.. ;-)
The target market is the PRO DJ and the price point reflects 18 months of R&D and the revolutionary new materials used to deliver durability, comfort and amazing sound quality its what DJ's told us they wanted from a pair of serious cans...and we hope weve risen to the challenge..!
Although we understand its not possible to make a perfect product to suit every DJ we hope the HDJ-2000s deliver the goods and reflect the investment.
As I've posted before on Skratchworx - Pioneer offers a great range of headphones to suit the budget for all but the entry level DJ, but trust me we always listen to the market and take on-board issues like price vs. performanceweve always been DJ lead and this will never change - I hope it translates into products that are intuitive and easy to operate.
Pioneer has built its business by trying to give DJ's the best products in the market for the past 15 years (CDJ-500, CDJ-1000, CDJ-400, DJM-600, DJM-800 etc) and we will continue to push the boundaries in the coming years
After all its all about the music.
Jason Pook Product Development Manager PRO DJ Europe

{subject}
On October 30, 2008, Louis said this:
quote:
"After all its all about the music."


Yep, that's Pioneer alright. One big charity.

Feel that backdoor love while you open your wallet.

{subject}
On December 6, 2010, naidar said this:
I have a pair and they are crap. absolute crap. I can list off about 10 pairs of headphones better.

Yeah, the construction is nice, but if you don't keep the headphones flush on your head, there is a metal plate that will dig in.. they are clearly designed to be worn over both ears, not 1.

Also, the mini xlr plug is a joke. I got about 15 hours of play time with it before it broke. I wont be replacing it. After taking the cable apart in attempt to replace the connector, i realised just how poor they've constructed it, it is simply designed to fail, and quickly.

I bought a pair of technics 1200's about 7 years ago, literally thousands of hours of play, I've replaced the plug twice, all in all, still a much better headphone.

I bought these when they first came out.. wasn't $450, but $699, and IMHO, if I knew about the problems I were to encounter, would've struggled to part with $150 for them.

{subject}
On January 20, 2011, Jack UK said this:
I bought these headphones about 2 years ago now and I have to say they have not disappointed. I use them 4 nights a week and they take a hammering. Ok they are a little on the expensive side but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for! I went through two pairs of HDJ 1000's at 170 a pop due to the joints breaking, the 2000's are very well built, metal joints instead of plastic. And not to mention the sound is phenomenal! You will not be disappointed, 10/10!

{subject}
On January 29, 2011, Mike said this:
I think french fries are delicious.

{subject}
On March 27, 2011, CanHead said this:
The guy who said he paid 699 for these is either an idiot or a company shill for a competitor. These headphones blow the other DJ headphones out of the water. I'm sure you can find some Grados or other Audiophile cans that can do a better job, but I've been real happy. I mean, having magnesium cans beats all the plastic shit right out and the Sony 700's ? forget it. Way better. They're too expensive sure. They're worth 2 bills tho.

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