The American Audio ETR 1000B DJ headphones are truly an intriguing piece of DJ gear. Very unique in their own way, these cans have been a topic of discussion among DJs for a long time.
If you have never heard of these headphones so far, they’ve been designed by the multiple DMS DJ Champion – DJ Etronik. And if you’ve been to one of his gigs in LA or New York, you know that he knows what he’s doing. Well, if they’re good enough for a DMS DJ Champion, they’re at least worth me writing a review on them.
Hopefully, I’ll manage to give you all the ins and outs, and pros and cons, to help you choose a new pair of DJ headphones.
Why Headphones Are Important
Music monitoring is one of the most important tasks a DJ has when they perform. Not only are they important for your performance, but it’s the only piece of DJ gear that stays on you the whole night.
You want your headphones to be comfortable and have high sound quality. A DJ has to cut out the rest of the party and focus on a song that they’ll drop in front of the crowd. To do that, you need a reliable pair of headphones that will assist you during the night!
American Audio ETR 1000B DJ Headphones: Overview
Before we start, note that the B in 1000B stands for blue. These headphones also come in red, and that model is called 1000R, where R stands for red.
The ETR 1000B headphones are a solid piece of DJ gear, inside and out. They have the classic DJ headphones design, the one you would find on T-shirts or DJ stickers. They don’t offer a fancy or revolutionary design, but rather a simple design and a long cable.
The earpads have a classic old-school DJ look, with a flexible housing design that you can flip inside and out. Single ear monitoring is one of the most important components of a DJ mix, and this is going to be of great use to you for ear monitoring.
At the same time, the earcups on the American Audio ETR 1000B DJ headphones are made of leather and feel very comfortable on your ears. I was really impressed by how well they cut out the outside world. There is no need to boost your volume up, these got you covered!
They’re pretty light and compact so they feel great when you hold them. Along with the package, you will get a ¼” adapter for your ⅛” mini-jack, in case you need it. All that will come in a headphone bag which will make it much easier for you to carry them around town.
They have a very light weight cable, but it doesn’t have the everyday cable look. Most DJ headphones have spiral cords. However, the ETR 1000B headphones offer a flat cable, with a satisfying 5 feet length.
I must say, I’m not a fan of this but the cord length makes up for it in a way. I think that would be okay if the cable wasn’t fixed to the housing design. I’d say that this is the weakest link of the American Audio ETR 1000B headphones.
The problem with this is that the cable can’t be used independently. This means that everything that will happen to the cable, will somehow affect the whole headset because they’re connected.
If you trip over the plugged-in mini jack, you will not take just the cable with you, but the whole headphone set. This could lead to more problems with the driver unit, sound quality, and so on. It would be a pity to go through all that because of an issue that could’ve been fixed by a simple cable plugin.
From the inside, the American Audio ETR 1000 DJ headphones pack a 40 mm driver unit per pad, which is quite enough to produce good bass and isolation. Most speaker drivers vary in size from 20 mm to 50 mm, so I think that 40 is quite decent (and on the larger side).
Finally, American Audio ETR 1000 has a pretty attractive price tag to its name. They cost around $70 which falls into the mid-price range category. To be honest, I’ve seen a lot of more expensive headphones that are nothing compared to the ETR 1000B.
American Audio ETR 1000B DJ Headphones: The Likes
There is a lot to put on the Like List when we’re talking about the American Audio ETR 1000 headphones. Apart from the price, headband, or the material used for the earpads, the headphone specifications are also important for the general impression.
Speakers Driver Unit
The general rule goes, “the bigger the speaker drivers the stronger the bass,” so I’d say the ETR 1000 is doing well in this field. But that’s not the whole story.
In other words, the size of the speakers’ driver is not a crucial part of producing a clear sound. To make things clearer, let’s take a little peek into the driver unit.
In headphones, the driver is the most important component because it’s responsible for transforming electrical signals into sounds. It comprises a magnet, voice coils, and a diaphragm. I don’t want to take a lot of time by explaining how speaker drivers work, but I will give you a short overview.
We could use the last element to explain why people believe that bigger drivers give harder bass. The diaphragm vibrates inside your housing and produces bass. Naturally, if you had a bigger speaker driver, you’d have a bigger diaphragm, and maybe that could lead to stronger bass.
However, the overall sound quality depends on a lot more factors, such as frequency response, sensitivity, and even build quality.
Audio materials can be heard on three frequencies – low, mid, and high. Recognizing these three frequencies will make your ear monitoring and mixing much easier. Every sound (audio) that you hear is being played at a certain frequency.
If you’re a hip hop or techno DJ, you probably like listening to some good punchy bass! Well, that bass sound you love is playing at low frequency, that’s why you’ll often hear DJs say they’d cut the bass, where in fact, they’d cut the low frequencies of the song.
Anyway, the driver unit on the American Audio ETR 1000 is quite powerful. It provides an output of 2,500 mW (Megawatt), which gives it a wide frequency response range. Specifically, the frequency response of the ETR 1000 goes from 20 – 20,000 Hz.
The human ear can hear the lowest frequency at 20 Hz, which is the exact low-end with these headphones. The same goes for higher frequencies which means that these cans got you covered. If you sometimes see that the upper limit is 20 kHz, that’s because 1 kHz = 1,000 Hz.
The average sensitivity range in headphones goes from 80 to 125 dB SPL/mW, or simply dB (decibel). We already said that the driver unit converts electrical signals into perceptive sound. The sensitivity determines the loudness of that audio (sound).
The sensitivity of American Audio ETR 1000s falls into the middle range category with 108 dB, plus or minus 3 dB. This is just enough, perhaps even more than enough considering how good the isolation is on these headphones.
Plus, note that the human ear perceives every sound over 120 dB as pain, and can cause you harm.
I always advise that you don’t mix a lower output level device and low sensitivity headphones. Combining two low-sensitivity and a low output level device will distort the audio and it will mess it up even more if you increase the amplifier level.
The same will happen if you use high-sensitivity headphones and connect them to a high-powered device. This goes hand in hand with impedance, which I will write about in the next section.
All you need to know for now is that the ETR 1000s have good impedance and match perfectly with the power input provided. I will also put in a few words about the maximum power input, so make sure you stick around long enough to find out all about it.
People take this for granted. For me, impedance is one of the most important things you need to know about your headphones. Knowing the impedance will reveal to you what kind of headphones are in question, and for what purpose they’re best suited for.
Impedance is measured in ohms (Ω), a measurement of the power needed in order to reach a good listening volume on your headphone set. In other words, that’s how much you’ll have to turn up the volume knob in order to listen to your tracks comfortably.
The American Audio ETR 1000s packs a 32-ohms impedance. The normal range is from 16 to 32 ohms, everything above this is the so-called gray area.
The 16 – 32 range is considered to be low impedance, which means that you can easily hook it up to any portable device, such as a smartphone or DJ controller. You won’t see any benefit of connecting this pair of headphones to an amplifier.
Maximum Input Power
The ETR 1000s have a maximum input power of 2500 MW (megawatt). This figure shows the maximum supported capacity of the electricity (power) supply. If you exceed that level, you are putting your headphones at risk.
This doesn’t mean that you can have your headphones powered at 2,000 MW the whole time. That’s determined by other factors, such as output level, for instance. Usually, the output power, i.e. the power that a device generates, is higher than the input power.
What Could Be Better
The ETR 1000s are a solid piece of gear. They offer great features and specifications for the price. However, since there is always a better version of everything, here’s how I imagine a better version of the American Audio ETR 1000 headphones.
It’d have the same characteristics regarding power input, ohms (impedance), and sensitivity range. The driver of 40 mm is pretty great, and I described why above.
The only thing I might change is that old-school classic design which is kind of outdated. I know there are fans out there that are actually enjoying this housing design, but it’s just not my cup of tea.
I understand that this is subjective, but I’m more into some exciting and contemporary designs.
At the same time, I really don’t like the cable solution. I mean, the cables are great in terms of length and weight, but the fact that they’re permanently attached to the housing design has question marks floating over my head.
I think this is where the United States-based company made the cuts. It’s a brave move that might backfire, because it comes with a risk of ruining the driver every time you accidentally pull the cable or trip over it.
Truth be told, I didn’t encounter many comments of people saying that this has happened to them.
Although there are a few more things to consider before adding this nice pair of DJ headphones to your shopping cart, the specifications you see on the product descriptions will be much clearer after you’ve read this article.
There are a few factors you should know and rules you must follow to end up with the headphones that truly meet your needs and match your budget. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Set Your Budget
Setting your budget doesn’t always mean figuring out where to find the money for the item or gear you like. On the contrary, setting your budget means seeing how much money you can afford to set apart for the headphones you need!
As I said earlier, the American Audio ETR 1000 falls into the mid-range category at around $70. For that kind of money, your headphone set should include:
- 40 mm or more driver;
- Flexible housing design;
- Long and sturdy cables;
- Comfortable headband;
- Leather or preferably artificial leather;
- Good frequency response;
- Impedance 16 to 32 ohms;
- Good sensitivity range.
Once you find the headphone set with these features, you can consider buying it. Of course, the market offers cheaper items, as well as more expensive ones.
Do Your Research
If you’ve noticed, the market is flooded with all kinds of DJ gear. It can be overwhelming to search through all the websites to find the right piece of equipment. However, you must know what you’re buying if you want to be satisfied after the purchase.
In order to have a good shopping experience, you have to read an article on two about the item you’re getting. In this case, looking for headphones requires reading about decibels, different types of speaker drivers, or at least digging into some online reviews. The star rating on the product page, for instance, can give you a good idea of whether users are happy with brands or items.
Don’t be the person that’ll buy a pair of cans because it says 16 – 32 ohms on the box. Sure, that figure is great for headphones, but try to understand why this is important. Who knows, you might even find out that they don’t do the job for you. Always research!
American Audio ETR 1000B: Conclusion
On the whole, the ETR 1000s are a solid piece of DJ equipment. They were designed by one of the United States’ finest – DJ champion Etronik, who also uses them in his gigs. If they are doing the job for the game master, they’re probably good for us too.
Still, the American Audio ETR 1000s have a few flaws, that’s for sure. I cannot get over the cable that is attached to one of the earpads. I, for example, don’t trust myself that I won’t trip over it and mess the whole housing up.
On the other hand, the cable is very flexible and it’s flat. A good thing about it being flat is that it won’t get twisted all the time and you won’t lose precious time running your fingers across the wire to untwist it.
Anyway, when you put together the brands’ reputation, the price, features, design, and specifications, I’d say you don’t have to worry about making a mistake with this one. Everything you need is there, all you need to do is to drop some heavy mixes on them decks!
Let’s take one final look at the pros and cons of this item:
|Good cord length
|Cable is attached permanently to the housing
|Design is quite démodé
|Includes mini-jack ¼” adapter
|Flexible housing design allows comfortable one-ear monitoring
|Good sensitivity range
|Comes with a transport headphone bag
|40 mm driver
|Good frequency response
|Designed and endorsed by prominent DJ champion
American Audio ETR 1000B: FAQ
What Are The Best Headphones Under $100?
Are Cheap Headphones Good?
This depends on what you consider to be cheap. If we take a range from $20 to $50 to be cheap, then you’ll be surprised how much quality you can get for that kind of money!