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Best Beginner DJ Controllers 2019 The DJ Shop Blog

Friday, 21 December 2018 13:46:00 Europe/London

Best Beginner DJ Controllers 2019

We have recognised the need for informative and useful information which would aid budding individuals to select the appropriate equipment required to start Djing.  As a result we have produced this guide with exactly that in mind.  A number of controllers have been hand selected by our knowledgeable team, which we believe are the best DJ controllers for beginners, along with an insight into the best beginner DJ software platforms for anyone starting out.

The minimum set up you would require as a beginner DJ is:

  • DJ Controller
  • DJ Software
  • Laptop/Computer
  • Headphones
  • Speakers


Best Beginner DJ Software

To start with, we think it is best to discuss the most user-friendly, reliable, used and industry recognised DJ software platforms available. We are going to talk briefly about Rekordbox DJ, Serato and Traktor Pro. Each of them offers their own set of features and compatibility options.

It depends upon which brand/model of controller you choose that will determine what software you end up using. It is worth noting that most controllers are MIDI mappable (meaning other software can be used in conjunction with the named controller) however this is not recommended, as not all the features are fully compatible.


Rekordbox DJ software

The industry-leading Rekordbox DJ software has been designed and created by Pioneer DJ. Many of Pioneers products have been created purely for use with Rekordbox.  The software allows you to manage your music, prepare and perform sets.  It holds a music library which you can access through your connected controller. 

Rekordbox DJ Software

There is the ability to export your music and playlists to an SD card or USB device to take with you to a club or wherever you go.  You are also able to modify music and settings on the go using the dedicated Smartphone app.  If you find yourself getting to grips with Djing and would like to take it the next level then Rekordbox Plus Packs are available. 

Rekordbox DJ Video 

Serato DJ Software

Serato DJ is another industry leading software used by numerous professionals worldwide.  It is an award-winning DJ software that provides high-quality features, that is reliable and is compatible with numerous leading brands. 

Serato DJ Software

It is easy to use and has extensive library options which include iTunes and Pulselocker.  Again if you find you have a flare and want to take it to the next level there are several expansion packs available to enhance your creativity.

Serato DJ Video

Traktor Pro 3 DJ Software

Traktor Pro 3 is the latest iteration of Native Instruments legendary digital DJ Software and has been upgraded with some incredible features. The software is designed for perfect integration with NI’s Traktor S-range of DJ Controllers and come with functionality to control every aspect of the software.

Traktor Pro 3

The layout is intuitive which is great for DJs with experience in digital DJ software and if not will serve as the perfect introduction to digital mixing for beginners.

Traktor DJ Video


Best DJ Controllers under £300

We appreciate there are a vast number of differing controllers on the market and that budgets, especially when starting out, can be limited.  You don’t know right now if this is just for fun, not for you, a hobby or a potential career, so we have picked six DJ controllers that are easy to use and learn, yet provide you with top features and quality build.


Numark Mixtrack Platinum DJ Controller

The Mixtrack Platinum DJ Controller is a 4-deck 2-channel mixer which comes equipped with an audio interface and is USB powered. It comprises of eight sample buttons and eight hot cues per deck.  The headphone connection is 3.5mm mini jack or 6.3mm jack and the microphone connection is 6.3mm jack.  The Numark Mixtrack Platinum comes with a downloadable copy of Serato DJ Intro.

Numark Mixtrack Platinum Starter DJ Controller

The unit has two 5-inch metal jog wheels with an in-built 1.75-inch LCD display, sixteen illuminated durable performance pads and a inbuilt 24-bit/44.1kHz audio interface.  The two channel mixer section includes a 3-band EQ, gain and crossfader.  It is compatible with MP3, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis and WMA file formats.

Mixtrack Platinum Video

Pioneer DDJ-400 DJ Controller

The DDJ-400 is a 2-channel controller which is USB bus powered, and has an accustomed club-style layout, which is user friendly. The DDJ400 includes jog wheels, cue/loop call buttons, play/pause and cue buttons, EQ and trim knobs, tempo sliders and headphone cue buttons.

Pioneer DDJ-400 Starter DJ Controller

One of the features that stands out the most is the DJ Tutorial feature which provides beginner DJs with a step-by-step guide on how to use the controller. The software it uses is rekordbox DJ of which a free licence key is included. The controller includes a mic input circuit, an in-built soundcard (audio interface) and is class compliant, so a standard OS driver will be automatically installed.

DDJ-400 Video

Pioneer DDJ-WeGo4 DJ Controller

The Pioneer WeGo4controller has been designed for beginner DJs; it includes all the features necessary for mixing tracks like a professional.  The DJ controller comes with a copy of Rekordbox, Virtual DJ LE.  It is a 2-deck 2-channel mixer with four sample and four hot cue buttons for each deck, two durable illuminated jog wheels, an incorporated audio interface and is USB powered.

Pioneer DDJ-WeGo-4 Starter DJ Controller

There is a 3.5mm mini jack and 6.3mm jack headphone connection and a 6.3mm jack microphone connection.  There are a number of outputs available to suitably connect speakers to the DJ controller. In addition to using Rekordbox there is a WeDJ app that works with the iPad, also situated at the top of the face of the WeGO4 there a very handy slot to hold the iPad in place!

DDJ-WeGo4 Video

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MK2 DJ Controller

The Traktor S2 MK3 has been created in order to give the beginner DJ access to certain industry standard DJ technology that is widely used by some of the best performers in the business. To give you access to these features in a portable, easy-to-learn controller is something that few DJ controller manufacturers manage to achieve to a high standard.

Traktor S2 Mk3Just some of the amazing features include; a smooth 3-band EQ, large 5.5inch jog wheels to give you greater control of your mixing or scratching, and 8-RGB touch-sensitive pads for sample triggering. In addition, other features include assignable effects to the sound colour fx knobs and an intuitive layout which will educate the beginner DJ to be able to progress to more complex professional setups with a layout that feels familiar to the DJ.

Traktor S2 MK3 Video

Pioneer DDJ-SB3 DJ Controller

The DDJ-SB3 has been specifically designed for use with Serato DJ Lite, which features Pad Scratch (co-developed with DJ Jazzy Jeff). This is to cater for users who prefer the look and feel of Serato, as opposed to Rekordbox, however still like to use a Pioneer DJ controller.

Pioneer DDJ-SB3 Starter DJ Controller

The SB3 is a 2-deck 2-channel controller which features two aluminium jog wheels, eight performance pads (on each deck), dedicated Auto Loop, 45mm temp fader and dedicated play/cue/sync/shift buttons,

The Pad Scratch feature allows you to reproduce scratches, based on the recordings done by DJ Jazzy Jeff, at the press of a button. One other feature worth a mention is the FX Fade which allows you to smoothly changeover the incoming track even if the two musical genres differ. The unit is USB bus powered, has a mic input circuit, in-built audio interface and comes with a copy of Serato DJ Lite.


DDJ-SB3 Video

Reloop Beatmix 2 MK2 DJ Controller

This is the final DJ Controller we would recommend for beginners and is at the lower end of the price bracket.  The Beatmix 2 MK2 isn’t short of features though as it is a 2-deck-2channel mixer with dedicated 3-band EQ, sixteen multi-coloured performance pads, two robust jog wheels with pitch control, eight sample buttons and two hot cue buttons.

Reloop Beatmix 2 Starter DJ Controller

This Reloop DJ Controller features a built-in 24-bit/48kHz soundcard, is USB powered, has a 3.5mm mini jack and 6.3mm jack headphone connection, a 6.3mm jack microphone connection and an analogue input.  The Beatmix 2 comes with a copy of Serato DJ Intro software.

Beatmix 2 MK2 Video


Hercules DJControl Inpulse 300 2-Channel DJ Controller

The Hercules DJ Control Impulse 300 comes with a world-first feature. The ability to assist the DJ while in the mix. You also receive tutorial videos that will help you master the basics such as beat matching, scratching, slicing etc.

Hercules Impulse 300

Intelligent light guides on the pitch fader and below the jogwheels which provide visual support to beginner DJs, which is actually quite a unique feature that you won’t find on most DJ Controllers. The layout is again in keeping with industry standard controllers, which will be invaluable to DJs looking to progress further to professional or club-standard technology.

To Conclude

There are some top quality and feature rich DJ controllers on the market perfect for beginner DJs.  The type of software you use will depend on which controller you decide upon.  Most well known DJ equipment outlets, including ourselves, will have a shop with a demo area incorporated within them.  Combine that with expert team knowledge and you can be sure to walk away with a controller that suits your needs and abilities.  We hope you found this article useful, and we are available to contact should you have any queries or questions.

Best Beginner DJ Controllers 2019

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Laura Apps