Pioneer DJ HDJ-CUE1 & HDJ-CUE1BT-K Review

Pioneer DJ HDJ-CUE1 & HDJ-CUE1BT-K Review

Pioneer-DJ is expanding its headphone portfolio with the HDJ-CUE1 and HDJ-CUE1BT models. The two budget-friendly headphones are aimed at beginners, have the same design, and mainly differ in terms of a Bluetooth radio module and the price. Moreover, the headphones can be individually modified in color using an optional accessory package. I took a closer look at both candidates for this test and got an impression of the quality and sound. You can find out below whether a model emerges as the winner of this test.


  • Affordable
  • Powerful, bass-forward audio performance
  • Long semi-coiled cable included for wired, passive monitoring


  • Sculpted sound signature not for those seeking an accurate mix
  • No quarter-inch headphone jack adapter


The two headphones HDJ-CUE1 and HDJ-CUE1BT, are classified by the manufacturer Pioneer DJ as entry-level models. The quality is neat, and the materials used look solid. The headband and ear cups are covered with polyurethane, softly padded, and the inside of the handle adjustment mechanism is made of metal. From a purely visual point of view, the two only differ in small details; the Bluetooth model is completely black but is also available in white and red (indicated by the letters -K, -R, -W), while the wired version is available it is only available in black and anthracite.

Pioneer DJ includes a 1.2-meter long spiral cable with both headphones, which can be stretched to 1.8 m and is mounted with a bayonet lock. At the end of the cables, 3.5 mm mini-jack plugs and 6.3 mm screw adapters must be purchased separately if you need them. The HDJ-CUE1BT is also equipped with a micro USB cable for charging. I would have liked a twist-proof USB-C variant here. Transport bags are not included in the scope of delivery. There is a large selection of these in specialist shops.


The Pioneer DJ HDJ-CUE1 are closed, supra-aural headphones with two-way rotating and folding ear cups. The diverse adjustment options allow easy adjustment and folding for transport. The headphone cable has a connection option on the left auricle and can be firmly anchored thanks to the rotating mechanism. The technical data reads more than solid for a “beginner” headphone because, according to the manufacturer, the 40mm drivers have a frequency response of 5 to 30,000 hearts, a resistance of 32 ohms, and deliver a sound pressure of 104 dB. The HDJ-CUE1 weighs 215 g without cable and is in the lower mid-range compared to other DJ headphones.

HDJ-CUE1 folded

The HDJ-CUE1BT offers the same adjustment functions as its sibling model and can also be used with a cable. The technical details make it clear that the same drivers are installed in both devices because the size and frequency response and sound pressure and resistance are identical. The HDJ-CUE1BT is also equipped with a Bluetooth 5.0 interface and supports the SBC and AAC codecs. Small buttons control the Bluetooth functions on the left auricle, and a red/white LED illuminates different operating modes.

According to the manufacturer, the internally built-in battery should allow 30 hours of operation and fully charge after 2.5 hours. The range of the radio connection is specified as 10 meters. The HDJ-CUE1BT is also equipped with an omnidirectional microphone that can be used for phone calls and has a frequency response of 100 to 4000 Hz. The weight of the headphones is 250 g and is therefore only slightly higher than that of the HDJ-CUE1.


Pioneer DJ offers the HC-CP08 accessory package for customizing the two headphones available in orange, yellow, green, blue, and pink. The packages each contain two artificial leather ear pads and a 1.2 m spiral cable which is cheap. So if you need spare parts for your headphones, you can give them a new look at the same time or upgrade their color for visual reasons.

HDJ-CUE1 accessory package

Pioneer DJ includes both headphone models HDJ-CUE1 and HDJ-CUE1BT with expandable coiled cables so that there is a practical radius for DJ purposes. 6.3mm screw adapters are unfortunately not included, but since many controllers and mixing consoles are equipped with mini jack sockets, you should be able to cable them in most cases. Thanks to the soft padding, both headphones can be worn comfortably over a longer period and adjusted for different wearing positions. If you fold the headphones together, the pack size is also small.

The Bluetooth interface of the HDJ-CUE1BT extends the range of use of the headphones and can be used in combination with mobile devices for listening to tracks, streaming services, or preparing DJ sets. The design-related latency of this wireless connection prevents it from being used in a DJ contest, which of course, cannot be blamed on the device. The activation of the interface and the pairing take place in just a few steps and are self-explanatory. The wireless connections to my Mac and Huawei smartphones were always stable. Connection interruptions or other malfunctions did not occur. Songs can be conveniently started, stopped, and skipped back and forth at the touch of a button, and the telephone functions (accepting/hanging up) can also be controlled.


To test the sound of the two devices, I connected them to my mixer by cable and listened to an extensive selection of audio CDs. Not surprisingly, due to identical technical parameters, both offer the same sound image, which is bass-heavy. I find this quite practical for mixing tracks, but the transparency and depth gradation suffer a bit. However, since the two Pioneer bolides do not want to be all-purpose or studio headphones and are aimed primarily at DJ beginners who benefit from this emphasis on frequencies, there is nothing wrong with the sound they offer. The shielding from outside noise works well thanks to the closed design, and the volume is also convincing.

To check the Bluetooth sound quality, I paired the HDJ-CUE1BT with my Mac. Again, the SBC codec used here does not negatively affect the sound quality, and in this case, the bass frequencies dominate. It is clear whether you play CDs, MP3 files from online shops, or streams for the sound quality.


The two new additions, HDJ-CUE1 and HDJ-CUE1BT, round off the range of headphones from the DJ equipment supplier Pioneer DJ in the entry-level segment. Both devices are solidly constructed and, thanks to numerous adjustment options and not too heavyweights, they are comfortable to carry. The scope of delivery includes stretchable cables that can be connected to the controller or mixer via a mini-jack. If you miss a 6.3 mm screw adapter or want to add color accents with colorful ear pads and cables, you will find appropriate products in specialist shops. If you only need headphones as a beginner to hang upon, the HDJ-CUE1 is sufficient; if you also want to hear wirelessly, you can use the HDJ-CUE1BT.

Pioneer DJ HDJ-CUE1 & HDJ-CUE1BT-K Review
Pioneer DJ HDJ-CUE1 & HDJ-CUE1BT-K Review


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