Monday, April 16, 2012

NEW: Pioneer HDJ-1500 Headphones

My love of headphones is well documented. My industry leading group test of pretty much every headphone that matters is equally well documented too. So when something headphoneish hits my inbox during my 2 week holiday, I cannot resist breaking the enforced rest period to post it up for you. It seems that Pioneer are properly filling the wide gap between the lifestyle HDJ-500 and the pure pro HDJ-2000. Say hello to the HDJ-1500.

Pioneer launches the HDJ-1500 – Professional DJ headphones 
10th April 2012: Every DJ knows that a spectacular set requires high-quality headphones. Enter the HDJ-1500s, the pro-DJ headphones that deliver flawless sound reproduction and impressive durability in a seriously stylish package.
The latest addition to Pioneer’s professional headphones range, the HDJ-1500s owe their crystal-clear sound quality to increased output levels, a lower impedance and an exclusive soundproofing chamber specially developed by Pioneer.
The HJD-1500s’ copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils guarantee accurate reproduction of deep base notes and superbly balanced sound across all frequencies. And the exclusive soundproofing chamber eliminates outside noise so DJs can easily monitor the beat –even in the loudest of venues.
Ruggedly built, with lightweight but durable magnesium alloy parts, the HDJ-1500s are perfectly designed to endure the rigors of frequent professional use. And the urethane memory foam ear pads hug the ear for maximum comfort even during the longest sets.
Available in two stunning colors – classy chrome black and sleek deep silver– the HDJ-1500s look good in every venue, while the included carrying pouch means they’re perfectly portable.
Key features of the HDJ-1500
Superb sound quality
With high-quality components, the HDJ-1500s deliver perfectly balanced sound across all frequencies. The headphones feature copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils, large 50 mm driver units, rare earth magnets and 38μm-thick diaphragms, guaranteeing accurate reproduction of deep base notes and clear delivery of other low to medium frequencies, such as kicks and snares. Output levels are 1 dB greater than Pioneer’s HDJ-1000 headphones, and a lower impedance offers even greater sensitivity, so DJs get pristine sound reproduction every time, regardless of what device the HDJ-1500s are hooked up to.
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: groundbreaking soundproofing component
Monitoring tracks on a heaving dance floor is a breeze with the HDJ-1500s, no matter how rowdy the party gets. Sound insulation around low and medium frequencies (300 Hz to 1,300 Hz) has improved by an impressive 4 dB compared to the HDJ-1000s thanks to the innovative sound-isolation chamber on the bass reflex port, which eliminates background noise.
Durable design for professional use
The HDJ-1500s’ moving headband and hinges are composed of rugged yet lightweight magnesium alloy to withstand the rigors of professional use. Plus, the single-sided cable can be easily replaced if it gets damaged, further prolonging the life of the headphones.
Supreme comfort with interchangeable urethane foam ear pads
The narrow ear cup design creates a tight seal on your ear to block out external sound, while the low-resilience urethane memory foam ear pads make sure the HDJ-1500s are easy on the ears even during prolonged use. The included ear pads can be replaced with the HDJ-EP01s –open-cup protein leather ear pads which sit around the ears and are sold separately –so DJs can choose the best option to suit their comfort and listening style.
Available in two colors: chrome black and deep silver
DJs can coordinate their headphones with the club, the studio, their kit, their set, their clothes or even their mood as the HDJ-1500s come in two striking colors–classy chrome black and sleek deep silver.
Included accessories
The compact carrying pouch means the headphones can be safely transported to the club or the studio in style. The HDJ-1500s also fit perfectly in the slim and lightweight HDJ-HC01 carrying case. Accessories such as USB memory sticks and SD cards can be stored in specially designated pockets within the carrying cases for added convenience.
Main specifications – HDJ-1500
Description Enclosed dynamic stereo headphones
Impedance 32 Ω
Sensitivity 108 dB
Frequency range 5 Hz to 30,000 Hz
Maximum input 3,500 mW(JEITA)
Drive units φ50 mm domes
Cable length 1.2 m single-sided coiled cable (approximately 3.0 m when extended – removable type)
Plug φ3.5 mm stereo mini-jack (gold-plated, two-way, screw type)
Ear pads Polyurethane (leather type)
Weight 285 g (excluding cable)
Included accessories φ6.3 mm standard stereo adapter (gold-plated, screw type) and carrying pouch
The king is dead, long live the king? Sitting between the HDJ-500 and HDJ-2000s, these look to be the logical successor to the HDJ-1000. We can but hope – those cans are getting old, and no amount of wacky paint jobs is making them look like part of the new era of Pioneer headphones.

They do seem to take their design lead from the 2000s, but revert to a more familiar hinge mechanism. The HDJ-1000 look is there, but updated – this I suspect is to appeal to the huge user base who are looking for an update to the HDJ-1000s, but don’t really want to stray too far familiar territory or brand.
I like the specs, but it’s the detail that counts. All new isolation technology, replaceable pads and cables, as well as an optional hard case – and available in black and silver. Which would you choose?
I’m certainly looking forward to testing them – I liked the HDJ-500 once they’d been fixed, and loved the HDJ-2000 which I’ve previously described as “head sex”. The HDJ-1500 have a lot to live up to – not just sitting comfortably in current range, but also matching up to the legacy of the venerable HDJ-1000.
Still waiting for confirmed global prices, but Pioneer USA list these as $209 suggested retail price. So my guess is a street price no more that $199, but possibly lower.
UPDATE: £149/€189 prices confirmed.