Allen & Heath Xone XD2-53 DJ Headphones Review
Allen & Heath is a British brand well-known for specializing in the manufacture of audio mixing consoles since the late 1960s. In its early days, the company hand built mixers for the most popular brands of that era, including Genesis, Pink Floyd, and The Who.
The other product the company is great at manufacturing is headphones.
Their top-end headphones, the XD-53s, now have an update in the form of the XD2-53.
The Allen & Heath Xone XD2-53 professional monitoring headphones were built to complement any professional DJ’s set-up. One that’s likely to include the Xone DJ mixer range, which is really second to none.
The XD2-53 headphones carry the “Xone” moniker with pride. They exemplify the same high quality and usability that Allen & Heath mixers are known for.
They have a rock-solid and traditional makeup that makes them particularly durable. The over-the-ear closed back design makes them excellent at isolation and perfect for loud environments like DJ Booths.
With dense earcups, they are a bit bulky and chunky. They are “full-sized” in all ways possible.
The XD2-53 headphones also have the typical swivel and folding mechanism found on many DJ headphones nowadays. This makes them easy to handle and conveniently portable.
When unboxing them, you will find a gold-plated screw fit adapter (mini to ¼”), a soft leather-like bag for storage and documentation.
Unlike their predecessors, they come with a detachable coiled cable and a 3.5mm connector.
As mentioned above, the XD2-53 headphones are a bit on the chunky side. They weigh 350g. They are heavy enough to withstand some wear and tear, making them quite durable. But it is worth noting that they are still lighter than the Technics, Denon and Pioneers flagship headphones.
Their weight is likely concentrated in the metal-reinforced headband, the large circumaural earcups and the heavy-duty metal hinges.
The headband, which is ultra-flexible, has padded leather stitched in and metal adjusters inserted to allow the headphones to fit any head size.
The deep earcups have soft leather padding for comfort. These headphones are fairly comfortable but not to the point of forgetting that they are there. To some people, they can actually get uncomfortable after hours or use.
The earcups are fitted with large 53mm neodymium dynamic drivers – hence the name “XD2-53”. These are the largest drivers found on any DJ pro headphone out there. They deliver a frequency range from infrasonic 5 Hz sub-bass to 33,000 Hz ultrasonic treble – which is quite dope if you think about it.
The same earcups with the top-of-the-range drivers swivel a full 90 degrees to allow for one-ear listening. This means these headphones can be used when mixing and monitoring simultaneously. The earcups also move in a way that allows the headphones to lie flat when placed on a surface.
When these headphones are worn around the neck, the earcups swivel out of the way to allow for breathing space.
The hinges on the XD2-53s are very sturdy. They are not likely to break or get stuck like what happens with other similarly-designed headphones such as the Sony MDR-700s.
A great design feature on these cans is that they can fold quite easily to enable portability. They come with a soft leather-like bag for this. But remember, that bag is just that – a bag. If you need to protect the headphones from damage, get a hard case for them.
Despite their pretty straight-forward design, the XD2-53 headphones carry some splashes of branding here and there. “Xone” is subtly embedded on the outside of the earcups. Less subtle branding can be found across the top of the headband.
When it comes to performance, it is really hard to fault the XD2-53 headphones.
They were literally built for DJs. They come from Allen and Heath’s renowned DJ products series, Xone. In case you’ve never heard of it, read about their mixer range. You will find out that Allen & Heath are not playing any games. Xone series mixers are a top-choice for top DJs across the world and can be found in booths at numerous iconic venues.
So it goes without saying that any Xone headphones would follow suit in quality, innovation, and durability.
The Xone XD2-53 headphones are primarily known for their excellent sound production. They reproduce crisp highs, the well-defined mids, and the pounding lows.
As mentioned earlier, their 53mm neodymium dynamic drivers allow a frequency range of 5 Hz – 33,000 Hz. The human ear can only hear between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz, meaning the XD2-53s range is a bit much.
Considering the low bass frequency and the closed operating principle (in terms of specs), these headphones are great for jamming to bass-heavy music like dubstep and EDM. But considering their overall sound quality, you can enjoy using them with any music imaginable.
The XD2-53 headphones are also known for their excellent degree of sonic isolation. The earcups are deep and have a closed back over-the-ear design to provide isolation from ambient noise. This makes them perfect for DJs that need a great monitoring ability while spinning at loud gigs.
The only major difference between the XD2-53 and their predecessors, the XD-53, is the new color scheme and the detachable cable.
Everything else has stayed the same – the classic and sturdy design, the excellent sound production and the high degree of sonic isolation.
You could be a DJ who works in the biggest and baddest DJ Booths out there. Maybe you have some Allen & Heath equipment and you would like to pair them with one of the best headphone models out there. Then the Allen & Heath Xone XD2-53 headphones are the ones to get.
You could be in the studio or you could just be a music lover who needs to get the best sound quality at a reasonable price. Then the Allen & Heath Xone XD2-53 headphones are the ones for you.
Great design, excellent isolation and unmatched sound quality at a reasonable price means we have no choice but to highly recommend them.