Pioneer DJ HDJ-CUE1BT-R headphones evaluate: Strong sound, customizable type

“With a comfortable match and a number of colour choices to make a method assertion, Pioneer will get these principally proper for $100.”

Good audio replica

A number of colour choices and customizations

Wired and Bluetooth operation

Snug, comfortable match

Low cost-feeling construct

Customizations are costly

It’s laborious to say what expectations ought to be for a $100 pair of Bluetooth on-ear headphones. High-tier options and even Energetic Noise Canceling (ANC) aren’t choices because of expense, however the value ought to imply that higher-quality construct and powerful audio efficiency are a given. If these are my parameters, then the Pioneer DJ HDJ-CUE1BT-R headphones — let’s simply name them the CUE1 for the sake of ease — appear to suit the invoice.

Designed for what Pioneer DJ says are “newbie DJs and music fans alike,” the CUE1 attempt to steadiness type with efficiency at a really approachable value level. Let’s discuss whether or not or not they succeed.

What’s within the field?

The CUE1 are merely packaged, with the headphones and included optionally available three.5mm coiled cable tucked into an extruded plastic tub insert. Behind the bathtub is a plastic bag that accommodates related paperwork and directions.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Developments

There’s lots of plastic on this packaging. Other than the bathtub, which ought to be recyclable in most areas, there are lots of gentle plastics on and across the headphones. You probably have the flexibility to recycle gentle plastics by way of your native grocery retailer, nice! Nonetheless, that’s not the norm in most locations, so lots of this packaging goes to finish up in a landfill. That’s not one thing we wish to see.

We are going to get to the construct high quality of the CUE1 headphones shortly, however as a little bit of a spoiler on that, I feel they want a carrying case and, sadly, Pioneer doesn’t embody one.

Design and construct high quality

I actually like the colour choices for the CUE1. For this evaluate, I opted for purple as a result of it’s my favourite colour, however they’re additionally out there in black or white. I used to be form of torn when it got here to selecting the colour as a result of one other promoting level of the CUE1 is that Pioneer DJ gives a set of custom-made earcups and a coiled cable that are available 5 extra colours — orange, yellow, inexperienced, blue, or violet — and none of them go notably nicely with purple.

I’m not notably impressed with the supplies.

The customization kits, product identify HC-CP08, are an extra $30, which feels a bit excessive. The cups don’t connect in any particular means, as an alternative counting on the strain of the fabric to carry them to the plastic cans. If the cups had been, say, magnetic or had a bayonet locking mechanism, then perhaps I might see the worth. Sadly, this type of cup is tedious to placed on or take off and seems like one thing that I’d cross on as a purchaser. I want Pioneer had put a bit extra consideration into this function that I in any other case like.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Developments

Jaron Schneider / Digital Developments

When worn, the CUE1 do look fairly good. They’ve a matte colour end that goes with just about every thing, and the purple particularly will flip heads.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Developments

I discussed earlier that the construct high quality actually dictates utilizing a case, and that’s as a result of I’m not notably impressed with the supplies. This really mirrors our opinion of the high-end Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5 headphones, so to see it right here shouldn’t be terribly stunning. Although there may be metallic within the adjustment strap, which is held collectively by screws, the rest of the product is made out of a tough plastic that seems like it might crack fairly simply if dropped, or if it got here into tough contact with one other object in my backpack.

I do know that Pioneer needed to scale back prices someplace, and clearly that got here into play with the supplies used right here, so I’ll lower them a little bit of slack contemplating the drivers within the cups are the precise ones you’ll discover in these aforementioned Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5 headphones. Extra on what these carry to the desk in a bit.

Controls, consolation, and connections

The left earcup homes all of the controls, ports, and a single microphone. There are a set of buttons that management the amount and, under that, a single button that handles energy, pause/play/skip, answering and ending calls, and Bluetooth join performance. It looks as if quite a bit to place into one button, nevertheless it works nicely sufficient. Beneath that button is the port for the included coiled cable, and under that, you can find the microphone.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Developments

I’ll say, that included three.5mm jack cable included will get it proper. Not solely does it stick in place to the headset by way of a twisting bayonet-style lock, however the different facet of the cable can be an L form, which retains its profile slim in opposition to both a pc or mixing board and reduces the probabilities of knocking it out or damaging the cable. The cable is of nice high quality and the design is spot-on for the supposed use.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Developments

The earcups will each rotate sideways independently to be used with one ear in true DJ type, although they don’t rotate in a means that permits them to comfortably relaxation in your collarbones when not in use. The cups solely rotate away from you and never additionally towards you for some purpose, which is disappointing. Because of this, they aren’t essentially the most comfy if you’re not carrying them.

The CUE1 ought to keep firmly connected to you even when doing exercises, if that’s your jam.

When you find yourself carrying them, nonetheless, they’re sufficiently comfy. On-ear headphones are inclined to exert lots of stress onto my ears to remain affixed to my head, and these are not any exception. Although that stress does result in some carrying fatigue over time, it additionally assures they don’t fall off throughout actions and that in addition they have fairly good noise isolation. That is in distinction to the Jabra Elite 45H, which sound nice however have points staying connected to the listener’s head throughout actions. The CUE1 are positively higher at this and may keep firmly connected to you even when doing exercises, if that’s your jam.

The Bluetooth connectivity on these is stable, permitting me to journey to the far reaches of my yard whereas leaving my telephone on my kitchen counter.

The CUE1 supply 30 hours of battery life, which is fairly par for the course on the subject of headphones that don’t supply ANC. They’ll’t contact the 50-hour runtime of the Jabra Elite 45H, however nobody but can.

Sound high quality

I discussed earlier that the Pioneer DJ CUE1 use the identical drivers as the corporate’s HDJ-X5 headphones, which we praised for his or her high quality, and I’m joyful to say that the CUE1 do certainly sound nice.

The highs, mids, and lows are all well-represented and well-balanced.

The highs, mids, and lows are all well-represented and well-balanced. For a set of headphones that wouldn’t have any app help to regulate the EQ, it’s necessary that they sound improbable out of the field, particularly for the bass-heavy beats that DJs are going to need to hear clearly. The bass isn’t overwhelming, however in pop and EDM songs, you positively received’t miss it.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Developments

I’ll say that although the sound out of the CUE1 is heat and approachable, it’s not notably shining in its readability, most notably within the larger registers. They do an incredible job of not muddying any of the tones collectively, which makes them excellent for monitoring music as a DJ would, however along with the dearth of readability, they actually push the heat up past what I’d say qualifies them as true studio screens. We had related notes on the HDJ-X5 in our evaluate, and subsequently I feel Pioneer did a great job migrating these drivers into these headphones at a $50 low cost.

How do they evaluate to a different $100 set? It’s shut. The Jabra 45H really can have a bit extra punch behind their bass output in the event you regulate their EQ within the app. General, the audio illustration between the 2 is de facto shut, however I’ll give the nod to the Jabra 45H for barely higher readability.

Name high quality

Although the Pioneer DJ CUE1 will suffice for telephone calls, they don’t do an incredible job with them. My voice was described to me as sounding as if I used to be inside a closed pantry and never notably clear. On my finish, voice high quality was nice, and though I wasn’t as clear as my listener needed me to be, we had an uninterrupted 20-minute dialog whereas I watered my backyard.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Developments

Our take

The Pioneer DJ HDJ-CUE1BT-R are good headphones for $100 that provide a stylistic angle few different headphones match, particularly at that value level. The execution of the swappable colour choices might have been higher, however we wish to see it nonetheless. They sound pretty much as good as their dearer brother, the HDJ-X5, but additionally carry the identical points with sturdiness and lack of a carrying case. However for $100, they do sufficient proper.

Is there a greater various?

The Jabra Elite 45H headphones supply very related audio high quality, together with significantly better battery life and Bluetooth multi-point functionality. The factor is, you get these options at the price of the higher noise isolation, safe match, and attachable cable on the Pioneer DJ CUE1. You also needs to take into account the Standing Audio BT-1 or, because of the stronger bass you get, the Sony WH-XB700.

How lengthy will they final?

Pioneer DJ gives a one-year guarantee, and we anticipate that in the event you deal with these nicely, they may last more than that. The factor is, you can purchase a case in the event you choose these headphones up in an effort to guarantee they don’t tackle extra put on and tear throughout journey.

Must you purchase them?

Sure. The choice to combine customized colour into your headphones and likewise get stable sound efficiency for $100 is a mixture of choices that just about leaves the Pioneer DJ CUE1 standing alone. They’re positively value a hear.

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