Best DJ Controller: Ultimate Guide (2020)

Best DJ Controller
Best DJ Controller

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Best DJ Controller
Best DJ Controller

Best DJ Controller

Best DJ Controller: With advances in technology, DJ Controller’s have changed exponentially over the last decade.

Our picks are perfect for any DJ. From beginners to world-renowned DJs, these DJ controllers have something new to offer everyone. They are a powerful tool that are building from strength to strength.

The beginning of the blog features our best choices, runner up, budget, best under $500, and alternative DJ Controllers.

At the bottom of the blog you’ll find the Frequently Asked Questions section. Here, you’ll find a list of the Best DJ Controller for all types of DJs. We have taken into account price, budgets, scratching capabilities, use with iPads, best software for DJ Controllers and much, much more.

Best DJ Controller Overall

Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ DJ System

Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ DJ System
Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ DJ System

Get all the advanced features from Pioneer DJ’s club-standard CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2 right at your fingertips with this all-in-one DJ system.

Looking for a professional setup for events, a bar or club, or your private studio? The XDJ-XZ is perfect for every scenario.

With flexible media support and a layout inherited directly from Pioneer’s own club-standard gear, playing on this all-in-one DJ system feels exactly like you’re using the CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2.

A host of advanced features are right at your fingertips in this robust unit which produces high-quality sound. You can even perform with Serato DJ Pro.

Runner Up – Pioneer DJ Controller

Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000SRT DJ Controller for Serato

Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000SRT DJ Controller for Serato
Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000SRT DJ Controller for Serato

Get a compact, feature-packed Serato DJ controller. The Pioneer DDJ-1000SRT has full-size jog wheels, a club-style layout, and plenty of inputs and outputs.

The 4-channel, Serato-ready Pioneer DDJ-1000SRT inherits the layout of the DDJ-1000, which is similar to a CDJ+DJM club standard set-up.

All the same professional features are there too, including low-latency, full-size jog wheels from the CDJ-2000NXS2 and the slick Magvel fader for tight scratching.

Concentrate on the crowd, not your laptop, thanks to the color On-Jog Display, which gives you important track information in the center of each jog wheel. Build excitement on the dancefloor and create massive transitions with 4 Sound Color FX and 14 Beat FX.

With 16 Multicolored Performance Pads (8 per deck) at your fingertips, you can trigger various features including Hot Cues, Slicer, and Pitch Play to put your own spin on each track and keep your audience engaged.

If you want to use Serato DJ Pro to play at events and parties and you need a controller that’s portable but packed with features, you’ve found your perfect match in the DDJ-1000SRT.

Its multiple inputs and outputs enable you to connect external equipment and assemble different setups, so you’ll be prepared for anything.

Simply plug it into a laptop running Serato DJ Pro to unlock the software – you don’t need a license key or subscription – and use the included Pitch ‘n Time DJ Expansion Pack to enable advanced key-related features. The controller is Serato DVS-ready (Expansion Pack available separately).

Best Budget – Best DJ Controller under $1000

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3 Professional DJ Controller

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3 Professional DJ Controller
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3 Professional DJ Controller

Pioneer has upgraded one of their most popular DJ controllers to create the 4-channel DDJ-SX3.

Designed for dedicated use with Serato DJ Pro (previously known as Serato DJ), the features and expanded connectivity of the new controller enable you to make smooth transitions between DJs, guest speakers, musical genres and individual tracks.

With a familiar layout and a high-quality casing, the DDJSX3 improves on the DDJ-SX2, which earned a strong reputation with a wide range of people including professional mobile DJs.

The new controller’s intuitive interface and professional features let you bring fresh creativity to your performances at all kinds of gigs, from club nights and parties to weddings and corporate events.

Best Budget – Best DJ Controller under $1000

It also offers expanded connectivity to give you greater flexibility when you’re juggling DJs, MCs and guest speakers. Changeovers are now seamless, even when the DJ playing before you uses a different laptop, as you can each plug into one of the dual USB ports at the same time.

Thanks to the dedicated Mic input terminal on the front of the DDJ-SX3, you can talk to the crowd without needing to occupy any of the four mixer channels. And with twin Mic inputs on the rear of the controller, you can keep hold of one Mic while another two are out on the floor, without interrupting your mix.

Control the level, tweak EQs and apply FX to all three Mics independently. Spice up your sets with the four popular Sound Color FX and use the Key Shift, Key Sync and Pitch Play features to effortlessly mix tracks harmonically and create live remixes.

Best DJ Controller Under $500

Numark MixDeck Express Multi-Format USB DJ CD Controller System

Numark MixDeck Express Multi-Format USB DJ CD Controller System
Numark MixDeck Express Multi-Format USB DJ CD Controller System

Rock the dance floor with a slightly scaled-down version of the MixDeck. The MixDeck Express lets you mix via CD, USB drive, computer connection and more.

With the Numark MixDeck Express Multi-Format USB DJ CD Controller System, you’re ready for a gig at a moment’s notice.

This two-deck controller with integrated mixer can play virtually any CD, and stream tracks from your computer or flash drive. Whatever you’re looking to spin, the MixDeck Express is ready to play.

This MixDeck Express is a versatile USB DJ controller that can play media from nearly any source. It plays audio CDs, CDRs, MP3 CDs, and flash drives, or connects to your computer to stream audio or control nearly any DJ software right from the MixDeck Express.

Mix tracks from any source on either deck with the onboard mixer. Or connect an external turntable, computer, or effect rig. Whatever setup you’re going for, the MixDeck Express will work for you.

Hit the decks with your MP3 collection and the included Serato DJ Intro software. Mix and remix sounds from your computer, crossfade directly into another track from your collection, or a track on CD or flash drive.

Want to use your favorite DJ program? No problem — the MixDeck Express has been pre-mapped for use with Traktor Pro 2, VirtualDJ Pro, djay, MixVibes, PCDJ and other software.

Alternative One – Best DJ Equipment

Gator GU-EVA-2314-3 Medium EVA DJ Controller Case

Gator GU-EVA-2314-3 Medium EVA DJ Controller Case
Gator GU-EVA-2314-3 Medium EVA DJ Controller Case

Protect your controller in between gigs! This Gator case is designed to fit mid-sized DJ controllers like the Pioneer DDJ-SR and DDJ-SB2 and Numark NV.

This lightweight Gator Molded EVA Case is designed to fit Pioneer DDJ-SR, DDJ-SB2 and Numark NV.

Features:

– Designed to Fit Pioneer DDJ-SR, DDJ-SB2 and Numark NV
– Lightweight construction with reinforced EVA exterior shell
– Interior Lined with Convoluted Foam Padding
– Adjustable and Removable Padded Shoulder Strap
– Reinforced Nylon Carry Handle
– Rubberized Grey Gator Logo and Model Name Badge

Alternative Two – Best DJ Headphones

Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 DJ Headphones

Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 DJ Headphones
Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 DJ Headphones

With a frequency response of 5 Hz to 40 kHz, Pioneer HDJ-X10 headphones bring you the full spectrum of your mix through 50mm drivers in a fold-flat design.

Stay on top of your game with the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X10 DJ Headphones, designed with input from professional DJs to serve you in every circumstance, from festivals to clubs.

The HDJ-X10s are the world*s first DJ headphones to produce high-resolution sound ranging from 5 Hz to 40 kHz*, allowing you to hear frequencies other DJ headphones can*t reproduce. Make an even deeper connection to the music.

The polyurethane leather ear pads and headband cushion are resistant to deterioration thanks to the use of nano coating, so you can easily wipe off sweat and dirt.

The HDJ-X headphones are designed to be flexible. Their swivel mechanism allows you to wear them comfortably, whichever way you prefer, for long periods of time.

No need to worry about bumps and knocks during transport as these DJ headphones can handle severe conditions and heavy use. They even cleared the US Military Standard Shock test.

*First headphones in the world to reproduce frequencies from 5 Hz to 40 kHz in the DJ headphone market (according to research conducted by Pioneer DJ Corporation Ltd, 21st August 2017).

Best DJ Controller – Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best DJ controller for beginners?

Pioneer DJ DDJ-200 DJ Controller

Best DJ Controller for Beginners
Best DJ Controller for Beginners

See how easy and fun DJing can be with the Pioneer DJ DDJ-200, a smartphone-compatible DJ controller that works with popular online music streaming services.

Enter the world of DJing with the DDJ-200, Pioneer’s smartphone- and iPhone-compatible smart DJ controller. The DDJ-200 makes it easy to start DJing with the help of the Tutorial feature in their free app, WeDJ for iPhone (ver. 2.0), which you can download for free from the App Store.

Best DJ controller for beginners

For over 25 years Pioneer has been making DJ equipment, software, professional audio gear, and music production tools that have been used by everyone from bedroom DJs to global stars.

Now, the DDJ-200 offers anyone — regardless of their musical or technical knowledge — an intuitive way to make the leap into mixing music.

Designed with beginners and hobbyists in mind, the smart DJ controller is compatible with a variety of music streaming apps and offers access to features that demystify many aspects of the craft. You can use the DDJ-200 to mix tracks at home or on the go and take your first steps as an artist.

Connect the DDJ-200 to your iPhone and mix songs from your iTunes via Pioneer’s app, WeDJ. Or connect the software to SoundCloud Go+ and Beatport’s Beatport LINK streaming service to access huge online sources of music.

Download Algoriddim’s djay iOS/Android app and you can mix tracks from Spotify (Premium account required), or download MWM SAS’s edjing Mix iOS/Android app and access content from SoundCloud and Deezer.

What’s the best DJ controller under $300?

Pioneer DJ DDJ-400 Controller for Rekordbox DJ

Pioneer DJ DDJ-400 Controller for Rekordbox DJ
Pioneer DJ DDJ-400 Controller for Rekordbox DJ

Perfect for learners but deep enough for pros, Pioneer’s DDJ-400 is an affordable 2-channel Rekordbox DJ controller inspired by Pioneer DJ’s top club decks.

If you want to try DJing at home and see how far you can take it, Pioneer has created the perfect controller to learn on: the DDJ-400.

Made for dedicated use with our professional performance application, rekordbox dj (free license key included), the 2-channel DDJ-400 is designed to help you get the most from rekordbox software.

Pioneer DJ DDJ-400 Controller for Rekordbox DJ

If you want to try DJing at home and see how far you can take it, Pioneer has created the perfect controller to learn on: the DDJ-400.

Made for dedicated use with our professional performance application, rekordbox dj (free license key included), the 2-channel DDJ-400 is designed to help you get the most from rekordbox software.

The DDJ-400 is the ideal piece of kit for first-time DJs. Its controls enable you to easily learn the basics, plus it’s packed with features that will help you develop your skills.

The controller is compatible with the Tutorial feature in rekordbox dj, which explains basic equipment operation step by step. Even if you’ve never ventured behind the decks before, you can learn how to DJ.

Thanks to the lightweight and portable design, you can take the DDJ-400 to friends’ houses to practice together or bring it to parties and small venues to perform.

And if you want to take mixing to the next level, you’ll feel at home in the club DJ booth because the DDJ-400 inherits design traits from our professional range controllers. The layout of dedicated play/pause and cue buttons, Beat FX, CDJ-style looping controls and more is inherited from our NXS2 set-up.

What’s the best DJ controller for Scratching?

Numark Mixtrack Pro FX USB DJ Controller

Numark Mixtrack Pro FX USB DJ Controller
Numark Mixtrack Pro FX USB DJ Controller

The Numark Mixtrack Pro FX USB DJ controller has what you need to master your DJ skills: built-in effects, 16 performance pads, auto loop, and much more!

The Mixtrack Pro FX is a Serato DJ controller designed to inspire, develop and hone your DJ skills.

It has everything you need to sound professional from the get-go: large 6-inch jog wheels, a 24-bit digital audio interface for pristine sound quality, 6 dedicated software effects buttons for easy transitions, 16 performance pads for hot cues, auto loop, fader cuts and sampling.

Plus, you can even stream the music you love direct from TIDAL or Soundcloud via Serato DJ Lite. With Mixtrack Pro FX, everything the modern DJ demands is here – entering a world of pro DJ performance has never been simpler.

Center stage on Mixtrack Pro FX are two premium paddle triggers for effortless command over Serato’s built-in software effects; there’s even quick access buttons to essential effects including Echo, Reverb, Flanger, Phaser, HPF (High Pass Filter) and LPF (Low Pass Filter) – a sure-fire guarantee that everything you need for creating buildups, crafting unforgettable transitions and adding your own unique spin to your mix is only a touch away!

You demand complete control over your mix, period. Mixtrack Pro FX’s large 6-inch capacitive-touch jog wheels emulate an authentic turntable feel for scratching and precise cue placement, while the rugged grooves on the platters’ side enables you to nudge your mix perfectly into place.

What’s the best DJ controller under $200

Hercules DJ Control Inpulse 300 DJ Controller

Hercules DJ Control Inpulse 300 DJ Controller
Hercules DJ Control Inpulse 300 DJ Controller

Learn to DJ with the Hercules DJ Control Inpulse 300. Its built-in light guides and Intelligent Music Assistant can teach you how to DJ, step by step.

Hercules introduces the first-ever range of DJ controllers for learning how to DJ. With the DJControl Inpulse 300, you will love to practice your listening skills and learn to master beatmatching manually.

Start DJing easily and improve quickly with the help of exclusive features from the DJControl Inpulse 300 and its DJUCED software: light guides on the controller to learn the right moves, the Intelligent Music Assistant (IMA) to help you pick the best songs to play, the ENERGY feature to manage the party mood, and the DJ Academy with its onboard video tutorials.

The DJControl Inpulse 300 also offers everything you need to perfect your mixing skills: 16 pads, 8 modes, large jog wheels, effects on par with pro controllers, and much more.

What’s the best DJ controller for iPad?

Reloop Beatpad 2 DJ Controller

Reloop Beatpad 2 DJ Controller
Reloop Beatpad 2 DJ Controller

With the Beatpad 2’s jog wheels and drum pads, you can mix, slice, loop, sample and control effects in Algoriddim DJAY on your Mac, iOS or Android device.

The BeatPad 2 from Reloop is the only professional and truly reliable cross-platform controller that is able to completely utilize the full potential of the award-winning DJAY 2 mixing software from Algoriddim.

Based on the original BeatPad controller, which quickly established itself as an affordable yet professional DJ tool for “Smart-Device DJs,” the BeatPad 2 works plug-and-play across all platforms.

Whether you’re using DJAY 2 on your iOS or Android device, or using DJAY Pro on Mac, the integration is seamless and completely stress-free. No other hardware offers such versatile support, and inside the box with the BeatPad 2 are USB, Apple Lightning and Android OTG cables.

Slicer, loop, sampler and dynamic multi-effect control are just a few of the exciting remixing possibilities that can now be controlled directly via the BeatPad 2.

The touch-sensitive drum pads with smart RGB illumination give you visual feedback for the selected mode so you know exactly what you’re doing.

Matching the colors of the software, 8 cue points and 6 samples per deck can be triggered straight from the BeatPad 2’s control surface.

With Auto-Loop it is possible to activate an automated loop in 8 different lengths via the performance pads. Bounce Loop fires 8 different loop rolls with the touch of a button.

Touch FX and Jog FX mode are creative options for mixing with DJAY 2’s extensive effects section. In Touch FX mode you can define and dynamically use a total of 8 different FX presets via the performance pads. The effect’s intensity is influenced by the pressure applied to the pad.

Jog FX mode offers the possibility to modulate two effects via the jog wheel. This way, effect parameters as well as the dry/wet intensity can be adjusted with optimum accuracy.

The pulsing multi-colour LEDs at the jog wheels’ edge give you visual feedback regarding effect selection and parameter adjustments.

What’s the best DJ controller software?

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1 MK2 USB DJ Controller

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1 MK2 USB DJ Controller
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1 MK2 USB DJ Controller

Load tracks, make loops, and control effects fast. The Traktor Kontrol X1 MK2’s pads, knobs, and touch strip are pre-mapped to work with Traktor software.

Traktor becomes tactile with the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1 MK2, a portable USB DJ controller offering full integration with your Traktor decks, effects, loops, and all other DJ functions — with or without turntables or CDJs.

An awesome add-on for any Traktor DJ rig, this performance controller takes you away from your computer and closer to your music.

Full-on effects control is at your fingertips — use the Traktor Kontrol X1’s eight intuitively placed knobs and buttons to work with two of the four effect units.

You get browse, cue, sync, and loop controls, plus a touch-sensitive browser exactly where your hands want to go. At-a-glance visual feedback is provided by professional RGB back-lit buttons and displays, for instant communication with Traktor Pro or Traktor Scratch software.

Ready to remix? The DJ controller delivers direct access to Traktor’s Flux mode, allowing you to juggle cue points and loop effects without missing a beat.

Swipe your finger across the X1’s multipurpose touch strip to get complete control over track position, pitch bend, and effects.

Digital displays and LED indicators provide even more visual feedback so that even in the darkest rooms, you always know what’s up with your tracks.

The Traktor Kontrol X1 lets you control one or both decks simultaneously and access important playback functions, such as track seeking or loop length.

The touch strip is at your command; it’s user adaptable, allowing you to change default settings to match your DJing style.

What’s your deck status? Depending on whether your deck is stopped or playing, the touch strip will be assigned to track seeking, needle dropping, pitch bend, or whatever else. Customize your setup in seconds by assigning the touch strip to control any effect parameter.

What’s the best DJ Controller for Virtual DJ?

Rane Twelve MKII DJ Controller

Rane Twelve MKII DJ Controller
Rane Twelve MKII DJ Controller

Scratch it up with the precision-crafted Rane Twelve MKII, a turntable-style DJ controller with classic feel, modern features, and an intuitive layout.

The RANE TWELVE MKII is the standard in motorized DJ performance.

This powerful controller provides an uncompromisingly accurate, hands-on performance experience for digital DJ software, liberating DJs and Turntablists from the pain of damaged tonearms or needles and eliminates unwanted audio feedback, bringing sub-bass back into their music.

In addition to Serato DJ integration, the TWELVE MKII now adds TRAKTOR & Virtual DJ control, giving DJs a true vinyl-like experience to their chosen DJ platform.

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