When it comes to the entire DJ setup, from the decision to use a laptop or turntable to the gear itself, the most cumbersome part is the headphones. And, most DJs make this no secret. Look at any lengthy DJing gig (or even an hour-long festival set), and the headphones are regularly being adjusted: on the head, around the neck, or, at some point, resting on the surface below. In short, even the most comfortable, economical headphones are annoying to wear.
The Numark Redphone, a professional DJ stick headphone, is one effort to change that. In line with Numark’s innovations, the Redphone is apt for the DJ tired by being tethered (and collared in many cases) to ordinary headphones. What’s noticeably different is the shape. Rather than with the wraparound format with adjustable ear cups, the Redphone has a stick shape to give the DJ a wider range of motion and freedom on stage.
Numark based the headphones on the classic Red Wave design, in which the mix is channeled through a high-quality 50mm driver with a neodymium magnet and voice coil for excellent response. Like standard headphones, the Redphone has a swivel design, allowing the DJ easy and flexible monitoring of house audio and cue audition. The cup, for hearing clearly, fully covers the user’s ear and blocks most outside noise.
A comfortable design does not come at the expense of sound. It would be a shame for Numark to introduce something so structurally innovative (and rarely seen until now), only to have it provide mediocre sound quality. Instead, the 100 +1-3dB, 3,000mW gives professional-quality, clear sound, essentially doing the job the DJ needs and more.
While the sound quality is an asset and good enough for any professional, Redphone takes convenience to a higher plane. The cushioned, ergonomic handle is attached to the swiveling, protein-leather ear cup and is ideal for one-handed use. All the DJ has to do is pick up the Redphone, hear whatever he needs, and then can get back to performing. Basically, it’s about as simple as a landline phone: pick it up, listen, and put it back down.
In many instances, however, DJs need both hands to operate equipment. The Redphone, in these cases, can easily be balanced on the DJ’s shoulder – again, just like a landline phone. Compounding to the convenience is a three-meter (or roughly 10-foot) long cable that gives the DJ a decent range of motion behind the booth. Rounding out the rest of its setup is a 1/8”-to-XLR cable, a ¼” adapter, and a carrying bag.
Although the Redphone practically screams “definitive piece of gear,” it has one drawback – one that could deter DJs looking to have an economical setup. That is, the device really is not ideal for extended listening of music and is not designed for studio use. When you need to check that your tracks are synched up and that everything is running smoothly, however, it’s likely to turn into a must for professionals.