DJ Guide: Can You DJ Mix Without Speakers?

Mixing music without DJ monitors is not good, but it is possible. Having a good pair of DJ headphones is an important piece of equipment, but some unknown things like your car audio system and speaker of your smartphone are essential as well. While a great set of DJ monitors is a huge investment, you can employ several hacks and tips to create a great mix, although you’re on a tight budget. Be sure to check out the best DJ Speakers right here on

The hardest challenge of mixing on headphones isn’t to get drawn into mixing only on DJ headphones. Since headphones feed both ears with a speaker that is too close to the eardrum, they own a special set of sensual properties that are unique from what you had hearing near-field monitors. The result is that the base point is usually a “hyped” sound, and you would experience ear fatigue quickly once your phones are too noisy or not very comfy. Also, since each ear can only hear one speaker, the audio image is different and some staging problems are more difficult to detect. In this guide, we will address each issue in return. 

Getting the Perfect DJ Headphones for Mixing

Choosing the right DJ headphones is among the best ways to counter ear fatigue and overhyped bass problems. DJ headphones for mixing like monitors should be right, and not fascinating. For example, the Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pros is a great pick. This can be more than $200 and of course, there are also affordable and more expensive choices. Probably, the most important thing is to make sure that your pair is precise, not hyped and more comfortable to wear as well as hear music for extended hours.

The open-backed DJ headphones are universally considered as the better option for mixing as they are less remote and don’t overly upgrade low frequencies. Also, another advantage of the open back headphones is you don’t get a little confusing “swimming underwater” experience that a few closed-back versions can cause, which means that they’re more convenient for longer periods.

Disadvantages of DJ Mixing on Headphones

Among the advantages of hearing music with DJ, headphones are the big audio spread and the precision level that comes together. This can be a disadvantage when DJ mixing. Since headphones deliver very detailed and distinct audio images, it’s easier to listen to a part perfectly fine in DJ headphones, except it vanishes when you add the DJ mix to several speakers. This is something panned strongly enough left and right and usually vanishes since it wasn’t strong enough, however, DJ headphones deceived you into believing that it was.

Phasing Difficulties are More Difficult Find on Headphones

Headphones can conceal some phasing problems that DJ speakers would disclose, for instance, an audio pair of microphones on a drum set. If those microphones are panned strongly enough left and right, it might be more complicated hearing phasing problems on the DJ headphones than you would if the audio was going from the speakers and beating both ears. The most effective way to find these problems fast and constantly is to review your mixing in mono, and this is through a stock plug-in in your DAW or on various outboard studio monitor controllers and DJ headphone amps. Essentially, you must always be performing this, regardless of what you are DJ mixing on. But it’s very important to execute when mixing on DJ headphones. If your mixing does not sound clean and stable in mono, then it’s not ready.

Listening Fatigue Results to Bad Mixing

Listening fatigue is a health problem to all DJ mixing and is exhausting when using DJ headphones. Since the sound is exploded directly to your ears, it’s easy to pump up the volume. Mix that along with ultimate discomfort that is caused by wearing headphones and thus, you have a formula for bad mixing. It is important to use a break and remove the cans off of both ears. If you come to a point where it’s difficult to determine what is working and what is not, still want to blast the volume up or get frustrated, then it’s time to take a breather. Throwing your mixing on a speaker or even on your laptop speakers, and hearing from the whole room in your chair is the best way for your ears to rest and help you listen to what is working and what is not.


DJing skills are about flexibility, and it’s also a special ability that we can play any kind of recorded setlist at any moment. This character should also be associated with your idea about the technical aspect, which is the reason why it’s important to learn how to handle a situation where your prowess to play could be little.

Learning how to mix without speakers and even comfortable in that case allows you to be your best even when circumstances are not, and that’s what distinguishes the expert DJ from the beginners.