For DJs on a budget tighter than a crab’s-bottom, and home users looking for a cheap and cheerful set of headphones (or ‘cans’ as us aficionados like to call them), the Numark HF-125 Dual-Cup DJ Headphones are a very affordable option.
Finished in a modern, two tone silver and black finish, the HF-125s feature a padded headband with 7-position height adjustment each side with the ear cups having soft cushioned surrounds.
Lurking inside the ear cups are 40mm Mylar speaker drivers, protected by a thin black material.
With the left cable running through the headband, the 2m lead attaches at just the right ear cup which can certainly help banish those embarrassing moments behind the deck when you find yourself being half strangled by a tangled headphone lead.
The headphones were reasonably comfortable to wear, but with that sweaty vinyl covering the ear cups, we wouldn’t fancy having them on our noggins for more than an hour or so at a time.
The lead terminates in a 1/4″ connector, which may prove a pain for people using devices like the iPod which comes with the smaller (and very popular) 3.5mm headphone jacks.
The headphones are made of fairly tough-looking plastic and have bene given a tough going-over at several venues, including regular nights at the Offline Club in London.
Priced at a bargain basement £10 or so, we weren’t expecting to be entering a sonic wonderland with the Numarks, but the headphones did provide a fairly impressive soundstage for the price.
The bass was loud’n’proud in an exaggerated but not unpleasant manner although the midrange certainly suffered a little cloudiness. True, deep bass was, predictably, nowhere to be found.
The sharp treble response quickly informed us that these headphones would not go down well with the Classical cats (Word up the Albert Hall Massive!) but we very much doubt that’s who they’re aimed at.
What these headphones do provide is a loud (important for DJs) and straightforward package that offers a commendable mix of value for money and robustness in a cheap-as-chips package.
Serious musicians, DJs and music connoisseurs are advised to look elsewhere (we recommend the Grado S60 headphones for home users), but as a pair of ‘knock about’, workaday headphones, the Numarks are certainly worth considering.
Sound quality: 60%
Value for money: 85%
Long term verdict
After using these headphones for two years or so, we can still recommend them as a great budget choice, but they’re definitely not designed for a hard life on the road.
We found each pair lasted around nine months on average, with the main problem being the cabling into the earphones becoming damaged/snapped.
With a reasonable amount of care, amateur DJs should enjoy their Numarks for some time, but if you’re relying on DJing as a job, we’d strongly recommend shelling out for a more rugged pair.