Earlier this year, Pioneer DJ unveiled their latest headphone, the HDJ-S7. They are the successor to the widely popular C-70, and feature Pioneer's latest and greatest tech, with many improvements on their predecessor. After spending some quality time with them in and out of the DJ booth, I can say that these are indeed great headphones. In this review, we'll be discussing exactly what makes them so great.
What are they?
As stated, the HDJ-S7 is the second generation of Pioneer's top of the line on-ear headphone, the C-70. Pioneer had always been known for the HDJ-2000s but decided to shake things up and aimed for the death grip that Sennheiser had on the on-ear market. The result was impressive in how well received they were, and many artists made the switch. It was certainly expected they would receive an update, but it was surprising to see Pioneer drop the C moniker in order to bring all of the headphones under the HDJ umbrella. To top it off, Pioneer DJ spent a lot of time in R&D with some of the world's top taste making DJs to get the sound just right.
How do they work?
While small and lightweight, the on-ear headphones feature the world's first 40mm HD driver, something Pioneer introduced last year with the X line. The HD driver adds a more clear powerful, and robust sound than traditional drivers found in most headphones, and it's quite evident from the first listen. The low end is deeper and more defined than most larger over-ear headphones. The S7s feature folding cups and a removable headphone cable, but don't turn a full 90 degrees, which I found interesting. When I say lightweight, I really mean lightweight, which makes them extremely comfortable for long sessions. They feature a nice hardshell case and come in sleek black and white color ways.
What do I think?
I've always been a fan of Pioneer's headphones, ever since my first pair of HDJ-2000s years ago. I had always been an over-ear type of guy as a direct result. Once I got a pair of the Phonon 4000s, that actually changed everything for me, and I started to prefer on-ear. The C70 always looked cool, but I had never gotten the chance to try them, so when I was sent a pair of these new S7s, I was quite excited. The first thing I noticed, was just how lightweight they were. The X-10s were also very light, but not like this. The next was the sound. It instantly reminded me of the X-10s but with a bit less power, which is to be expected considering the other has a bigger driver. The lows are tight, the mids punchy, and the highs are clear when used in a DJ setting. I specifically say this because when compared to my other headphones, they do seem a bit dull in the top, but this is ideal for a loud DJ booth. Would they work for production? Yes definitely. Would they be my goto? No. But, if they were the only pair of headphones on me, I would be just fine. Speaking of loud DJ booths, the isolation is phenomenal. I played out with them for the first time a couple weeks ago and was very satisfied with how much sound they blocked out, which can be a problem for on-ear headphones. I also really like the case they come in, as it's clean and simple, and provides great protection. The one thing I was bummed about was that they didn't come with the alternate woven straight cable.
Should you buy them?
If you are looking for a rugged, but a great sounding pair of headphones, with replaceable parts, then I strongly suggest taking a look at these.
Headphones are a very personal thing, but the sound quality alone will make you pay attention. Add to that they are repairable and come with a hard case and you have a winner. And they come in two colors. Personally, I prefer black but, that's just me.
Pros: Sleek, lightweight, and great sound. Replaceable parts.
Cons: Only comes with one cable
Final Score: 9/10