Headphones Not Working on DDJ-400? Here’s How to Fix It

How to Get Headphones to Work on Pioneer DDJ-400
Many people have told me that they have problems with sound output on Pioneer DDJ-400 connected to Rekordbox. Most of them were fairly new to DJing, eager to learn to mix, and afraid their controller might arrive broken.

Some were having problems immediately after unpacking, and some successfully used their headphones since purchasing the controller. Still, all of a sudden, they cannot get any sound out of their headphones no matter what they do.

Is there some sort of software button that you accidentally toggled? Is there maybe be a hardware issue? Maybe the level is turned up, the cue button for that track is highlighted, but still there’s no sound from headphones. What could you be doing wrong?

Before you try to get it warrantied/repaired, please read this article first. I covered most of the sound issues that could happen with headphones on DDJ-400.

Let’s dive right in.

Causes Of Headphones Not Working on DDJ-400

DDJ-400 won’t work well if you don’t have it configured as the audio device in the Rekordbox preferences. 

If you cannot set the DDJ as the audio device, you may not have installed the drivers correctly because of OS security settings. You may require to uninstall and reinstall the drivers to get that prompt in the security window.

If your DDJ-400 is set as the default Windows output audio device, Rekordbox can’t properly use it for audio output, and your headphones won’t work as expected.

Make sure DDJ-400 is not connected to a computer through a USB docking port because it will not work, and the USB has to go directly to the PC. 

Preliminary checks

1. If you’re using wired headphones, check your audio jack. Headphones plug into the front of the controller using a smaller 1/8th TRS connection. Ensure your headphone jack is correctly plugged in. You can also unplug and connect them back in to push it in all the way until you feel it click.

2. Windows needs to have whatever speakers you want to use still set as the default output (Speakers, monitor, Voicemeeter, etc.). Sometimes this will automatically switch to DDJ-400 when you first plug it in. Just go into Sound Control Panel and switch this back to whatever it was before. 

3. In the Output Channels section in the Audio Preferences in Rekordbox change “BOOTH OUTPUT” to “DDJ-400 WASAPI: PHONES”.

4. Make sure the CUE buttons are turned on for whatever channel you want to hear through your headphones. If you want Master sound coming out of your headphones and the Cue sound, there is also a CUE button under Master Level that you need to press.

5. Is the song loaded to the deck playing? Is the gain on the song up/do you see the LEDs on the VU meter running, on the computer screen as well as the controller? 

6. Is the cue button for the channel active? Is the headphone blend turned to the channel or the master?

7. Lastly, make sure the headphones’ volume is not set to zero.

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Can’t Get Volume Up After Rekordbox Freezing

This is the issue that can be happening seemingly randomly on Windows 7. It all works fine for about an hour after starting to mix. Then, the Rekordbox freezes everything for about 5 seconds and then resumes. During the freeze, everything stops; the music, interface, controller.

After it does that, your headphone jack doesn’t work right. Even when the cue buttons are off, you hear audio through the headphones, but the volume goes up just a touch when you turn them on. You’re still not able to hear the music flawlessly.

The temporary fix for this is unplugging the USB and plugging it back in. This will let you play for around an hour again, but it will cause another jump in the audio.

I had this problem when I was using my laptop soundcard. Switching to Rekordbox DDJ-400 integrated soundcard did it for me.

These are the preferences you should have in Rekordbox:


Additionally, ensure that the computer symbol is on (lit in blue) as your speakers are connected to the computer:

Finally, set these knobs on your deck like this:

  1. Crossfader in the center
  2. CUE buttons in the center pressed either for 1 or 2, depending on what you want to listen to in your headphones
  3. TRIM control at 12 o’clock
  4. Headphones/MIXING control at 12 o’clock
  5. Headphones/LEVEL control at 12 o’clock

Can’t hear cues through headphones on Macbook

When you’re trying to set up DDJ-400 with Rekordbox on MacBook Pro but can’t hear cues through their headphones, there are a few simple steps you can take to solve this.

If your audio settings are set up exactly as instructed in the manual, it can also sometimes happen that the sound comes through your laptop speakers and not headphones.

Maybe you tried to cue through your headphones, and the track your cueing gets played through speakers instead of just the headphones.

The adjustment knobs for cue volume levels and the cue buttons on the DDJ-400 do absolutely nothing, even the master cue. What to do?

Preliminary checks:

  1. Check if your “Headphones” knob is not set to Master. If it is, either set it to Mix (Cue + Master) or just Cue.
  2. Plugin your headphones first in your DDJ-400 before you start Rekordbox.


  1. Go to your MacPro settings.
  2. When everything is up and running, hold down the Option Key on your keyboard and select the sound icon in your taskbar.
  3. Likewise, you can click on Apple > go to your System Preferences > Sound.
  4. Choose the Pioneer as your Playback Device.
  5. The master cue needs to be employed, letting you cue individual channels.

Don’t forget to connect the headphones to the controller and turn the headphones’ volume up.

Headphone Delay Issue with DDJ-400

Sometimes, the sound from the headphones is slightly ahead of the master sound, which makes it quite annoying when you want to sync your tracks for transitions. 

Assuming you’re using Windows PC and the Master is plugged on a 3.5mm Jack output on your computer, with the headphones being plugged in the controller, the issue is the Master plugged into your computer.

I had this problem on Windows before as well, and also on a few surround sound systems. 

THIS IS NORMAL for any sound that requires to be routed through a computer. There is some processing that your computer needs to do that causes the delay. 

The best way around this is to connect external speakers straight to your controller. 

I ran into this problem when I tried a Bluetooth speaker (via computer connection) for Master. When I used one with an aux cable, the audio from headphones and Master synced up, and it was okay. 

If you have RCA wires, try running the speaker from the Master out of your controller. That’s the whole crux of your issue right there. There’s zero need to run audio to your computer that isn’t getting transmitted through the USB cable.

Some manuals assist with adjusting the buffer size for your audio, but it will never be 100% perfect. So if this agitates you, you’ll almost surely need to find a way to connect your controller straight to some external speakers.

Can’t Select DDJ-400 WASAPI as an Audio Source

If you were able to select DDJ-400 WASAPI as your audio device before and all of a sudden when you select it resets to “No audio device,” know that you’re not alone.

I tried everything before finding the solution; uninstalling the driver, uninstalling Rekordbox, and nothing worked. The buttons on my controller never lit up, only the loop buttons.

A quick solution to this issue is to delete the DDJ-400 sound in the hour sound mixer completely, close Rekordbox, re-open it, and re-plugin your controller.

As for me, using an AV switch that hooked up to my laptop and my DJ controller, I could pick whether my external speakers work for my computer or my DDJ-400 (to bypass the delay problem mentioned above). 

I discovered that if Voicemeeter had my speakers set as a Hardware Output device and I was attempting to shift to use my External Speakers (Realtek Audio), it would automatically turn this to be “No Audio Device Selected.” 

Before I launched my laptop out the window, I switched the hardware output in Voicemeeter to be something different from my speakers, and everything started working well.

Tray Fiddy

Tray has come to terms with the fact he will probably never be a famous DJ.... but that hasn't stopped him from mixing and throwing parties around the town. Tray has over 10 years experience of DJing at home and events.

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