Pioneer DJ HRM-5 Headphone Review: The Best Surprise!

The HRM-5 is surprisingly non-chunky for being a studio headphone.


The Pioneer DJ HRM-5 is a $100 studio-style isolating pair of headphones. It comes with two detachable cables and a bag. It folds flat and collapses. The box, styling, and many of the features closely mimick the popular Audio-Technica M40X. But Pioneer has done more than just clone a popular pick. They’ve added memory foam cushions. They’ve thickened up the build quality. And they’ve gone with a flat tuning that’ll probably please more people than the Audio-Technica house sound.


These have maybe the flattest sound I’ve heard in a $100 pair of headphones?


My big problem with the $100 studio headphone range has always been comfort. Aside from the V6/7506, models tend to be a little clampy and un-padded compared to more expensive pairs. The SRH440 was particularly bad in this area.


Isolation is great for this style of headphone/price range. Not as good as an active pair of course, but more than adequate for public coffee shop-style use. The bass ports on the top don’t seem to have a bad impact on isolation or leaking. You’d have to really crank these to have them leak badly, and then you’d be injured by the sound.


The headband is reinforced with stainless steel. The adjustment and folding mechanisms are very sturdy. The adjustment arms don’t have lines or numbers printed on them, which is a bummer. On the whole, it’s a solid-feeling headphone. It has a bit more heft to it than the M40X, which I always thought felt a touch thin and cheap compared to the M50X.


Pioneer includes a really soft bag in the box. It’s nicer than Audio-Technica’s standard bag. The headphones fold down, which is good. You get two detachable cables: a coiled one, and a stupidly springy and long 10 foot straight cable. I think the 10-footer would probably calm down and stretch out over time, but at first you’ll probably find it annoying.

Final Thoughts

I’m quite impressed by the HRM-5! It seems like Pioneer studied the M40X in great detail, said “We could make that but better,” and then they did it.

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These look surprisingly normal for studio headphones!



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Alex Rowe

Alex Rowe

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