HF-150 DJ Headphones from Numark on review
The HF-150 DJ Headphones are new from Numark and are 1 of 3 new models in the HF range. The other 2 models are the HF325 and the HF350.
But the HF-150 is the cheapest of the three and possibly the cheapest DJ headphones available in South Africa at the moment – well at least ‘phones from a reputable company.
If you’re a DJ your ears are pretty important in doing your job. That’s why it’s imperative that when you invest in headphones you consider getting a pair that are not stupidly loud as these will simply damage your ear drums. Ever hear of tinnitus? It’s a noise or constant ringing in the ear. 1 in 5 people are said to suffer from it, and it is alleged to be more common among DJs who obviously listen to music too loud, especially in headphones in noisy DJ booths.
So cheap is not always best, and even though the HF-150 DJ Headphones are ridiculously well priced, a test was in order to see if they cut the mustard.
The bright red box the HF-150 comes in will no doubt jump out at when browsing at your local retail store. You won’t find any have any accessories in the package; it’s pretty much the headphones with a single cable about 1,2m long which is attached to the one headphone cup. The only extra thing in the box is the 6,3 mm adapter for standard sized use. This does of course mean that with the mini-jack you can use the headphones with mobile devices such as iPad, iPods, Smartphones etc.
I find the black and red finish quite striking and the overall build reasonably robust. I’ve used some pretty expensive headphones over the years and often been disappointed by how long they last. The reality is headphones are only as strong as their weakest link – some will break on the cup where they fold, others suffer from a worn cable connection… it’s hard to tell what’ll wear out quickest.
On the HF-150 I’d be concerned about two areas; firstly the cable is not detachable so if you stand on it by mistake it could be ripped from the earphone cup and that’s pretty much going to ruin your night. The other thing I’ve experienced with cheap headphones and these could possibly have the same problem, is that the ear cushions – which are made from a plastic leatherette – tend to degrade over time, mainly from the acidity from your body and sweat of one’s ear following sustained use.
Now I’m not saying that either of these are definite flaws but it is the most likely two wear and tear areas. Because other than that the HF-150 DJ Headphones are actually very nicely built and even the joins where they fold up seem pretty sturdy. They also don’t feel cheap or low grade and if you like the striking red and black colour mix they’re kind of eye-catching.
They also fold up neatly so this further ensures durability when packing them in your gig bag although I’d invest in a small bag to keep them from scratching when packing away, if you can find one.
The leatherette ear cushions are adequate if not hugely plush and the cushioned headband adds to the overall comfort. I like that the HF-150 DJ Headphones are not overly bulky but still have enough padding to wear for long periods of time. They adjust quite far up and down the headband and you can also rotate the ear cup for single-ear monitoring, something I do often. They’re light and fitted my head. For me that’s good enough!
The specifications for the HF-150’s are pretty standard with a claimed 20 Hz – 20 kHz frequency response. Even in-ear headphones seem to claim this so I’m always a bit curious as to how these numbers are deduced. Nonetheless the proof is in the listening and I was pleasantly surprised by the overall balance of sound from these. First off the cushioned pads do a pretty good job on the isolation so if you’re forced to do all your beatmixing in headphones – you know on those nights where there are no booth monitors – they cancel out the external sounds remarkably well. The HF-150 has 40mm drivers so you get a pretty good bass response from them too, however it’s the clarity of the mids that interest me more, since I like to mix on the snappy part of the kick and also hear the snare to make sure the beats are completely in. The balance of sound is good and when the bass is killed, the rest of the frequency range is nice and clear for accurate mixing. Bottom line, they’re loud enough (but not obscenely so) and clear enough and I don’t think I’d suffer listening fatigue with these too quickly.
I know DJs and of course manufacturers will always advocate expensive headphones and for professional, long-term use, there are a lot of reasonably priced pro headphones to consider.
But if you’re either doing most of your DJing at home, intimate house parties with friends or even the odd gig or 3 a month at clubs, then the HF-150 at R 495 is a steal. A lot of young DJs use the Sennheiser HD 205 headphones these days. They both have similar specs or features and sound wise I could not actually tell them apart much. But the HF-150’s will cost you R 200 less so for DJs on a tight budget, these are definitely good value for money and will more than do the job