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

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

Overview

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.

Sound

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

Comfort

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

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.

Build/Design

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.

Features/Extras

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

I write independent game reviews and commentary. Please support me directly if you enjoy my work: https://xander51.medium.com/membership