Pioneer HDJ-CUE1BT: Attractive, budget DJ-style headphones hands-on

The HDJ-CUE1BT with the optionally available $30 add-on pack

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

When the unique Beats headphones arrived way back in 2008, they created an prompt marketplace for DJ-style headphones and celeb endorsements alike. Whereas Pioneer’s HDJ-CUE1 vary does not have a celeb tie-in and it does not appear like a regurgitated Swarovski crystal, it’s attractively priced. However is it a “DJ headphone” as Pioneer claims?

The HDJ-CUE1 is a spread of on-ear headphones, and Pioneer says the fashions use the identical drivers because the HDJ-X5 over-ear mannequin and “intensify essential low bass and kick drum frequencies for mixing.” The vary affords a muted, professional look with a foldable design that lets the person flip each earcups a full 90 levels. Identical to the DJs do, however then once more you possibly can guess Tiësto is not utilizing $70 on-ear headphones on stage.

Costs begin at $69 per pair for the wired HDJ-CUE1 in darkish silver end, whereas the Bluetooth model HDJ-CUE1BT is accessible for $99 per pair (in a selection of matte black, matte white or matte pink). The headphones will be supplemented by a $30 accent pack that features alternative earpads and a coiled cable in a selection of orange, yellow, inexperienced, blue or violet.  

Pioneer says the play time on the Bluetooth mannequin is roughly 30 hours on a two-hour cost. The locking cable on this costlier model disables the Bluetooth, the microphone and quantity buttons.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Ears on

The headphones are plastic and never very adjustable fit-wise. But even with my bigger noggin I did not discover them uncomfortable.

I listened to a set of the HDJ-CUE1BT in each wired and wi-fi mode and located them to be as bass-forward as I would count on from DJ headphones. They have been finest suited to the ’80s dance flooring beats of Tame Impala’s Borderline or the slam of Gorillaz’s Really feel Good Inc. The music I discovered them most spectacular with was Beta Band’s Life — at 2.20 the music ends with a super-deep synth bass, however in contrast to with some headphones and audio system I’ve heard, every every notice was performed at an equal quantity and with out distortion.

The HDJ-CUE1BT provided sufficient presence to make vocals pop, even when there wasn’t a lot that a lot treble coming via. When plugged within the sound turned flatter; the bass prominence was nonetheless there, however the midrange sparkle was gone.

Pioneer is aware of that “severe” DJs aren’t going to be utilizing these on the dance flooring, however in order for you a pretty set of funds headphones that may do deep bass effectively, then these are price investigating.


  • Sort: Closed, Dynamic 
  • Frequency response: 5Hz to 30,000Hz 
  • Impedance: 32 ohms 
  • Sensitivity 104 dB 
  • Driver: 40 mm 
  • Weight: 215 g (with out cable) 
  • Guarantee: 1 12 months 
  • Equipment: 1.2 m coiled cable

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Ty Pendlebury