DJ headphones are an intensely personal thing. They're the only weapon in a DJ's arsenal directly in contact with the body during their work, and as such, concerns of fit, comfort, sound, and style all have a part to play in choosing them. One design has risen above the fray, as unarguably the most consistently popular single model in the DJ world – the Sennheiser HD 25. More recently four other models of headphones with a very similar look and feel have come onto the market, most notably the brand new Pioneer HDJ-C70. This begs the question: what is the best HD-25-style pro DJ headphone?
When DJing, as we know it today, first shimmered into life in the discos of the late 70s, stick headphones were very much standard issue for all spinners. They've lost out in popularity to regular over-ear cans for many years now, but some stalwarts are still gripping tightly on to their sticks today. Why do they do so? And should you be following their lead?
There's something in the air around the Naonext Crystall Ball MIDI controller: your hands, coaxing any parameter you assign to its five infrared sensors. The accompanying 24-button pad grid either assigns parameters to the sensors or works like traditional pads. With 24 banks of 5 control sets each, there are thousands of programmable controls to give your airborne hands plenty more to do than just pump up a crowd. Let's see how it performs with software like Traktor and Ableton Live.
With so many great DJ apps out on iOS, there is a need for affordable sound cards that can provide both headphone and master outputs for phones or tablets. Controller DJs also need a good sound card, and can play a very decent set with just two channels of audio and a small controller like the Kontrol X1. Fortunately, we've found three great options - the Reloop Play, Traktor Audio 2 MK2, and Griffin DJ Connect - in the market around $100, so read our round-up and comparison inside.
It's easy to scoff at the hyperbole that companies spout when presenting their new products. Writing this during the Apple keynote, I'm bombarded with lines like “the best phone ever made” and “revolutionary product”. Meanwhile in the DJ world, Numark boldly claim that their new NV is the Serato DJ controller that “changes everything”. Marketing hype, or justified? Watch the full video review inside where we spent some time putting the new controller through its paces.
Mixcloud announced that they are adding to their platform for DJs by offering Pro and Premium subscription accounts for both listeners and content uploaders. Read below about Mixcloud’s Pro and Premium accounts with advanced analytics, comment control, and more.
The original Akai APC40 is one of the rare breed of products in the computer music age to achieve iconic status. Launched in 2009, the APC40 (followed by its more compact sibling, the APC20) was, along with the Novation Launchpad, the first dedicated, plug-and-play Ableton Live controller to hit the mainstream market. Five years later, Akai are releasing a re-imagining of the original APC40, the Mk2. Will it be as widely adopted as its forebear? We spent some time with it to try to find out.
Akai is launching two new controllers for Serato DJ that have a small form factor but unlock full control of the software. We've got details on the AFX, a effects and cue point focused controller, and the AMX, a two channel mixer with a soundcard.