Best DJ Controllers 2022

11 July 2022

Welcome to our Best DJ Controllers blog for 2022. Here you will discover a range of controllers, across a selection of leading brands, that we think are the best DJ controllers on the current market and deserve a mention in our blog. When browsing through the consoles we have taken into consideration its uses, features, technology and what software it uses. We hope you enjoy browsing through the controllers.

Best Pioneer DJ Controllers 2022

Pioneer DJ is the industry-leading brand for controllers and you will find the CDJ-3000 and CDJ2000NXS2 professional multiplayers in many clubs as their standard setup, and top DJ’s will use it as their Rider. Not only that, the majority of Pioneer equipment uses the Rekordbox DJ software platform. Rekordbox is a music management DJ software developed and created by Pioneer themselves. The software ensures playlists and sets can be fully prepared and planned from the comfort of your home, and transported to the venue effortlessly, without any interruptions.

We have selected controllers to suit all budgets, that are of high quality, and include all the top features that you would expect from the well established Pioneer brand. As an alternative option, we have also included one all-in-one controller (a standalone DJ system) and a solely Serato based controller.

Pioneer XDJ-RX3 DJ System

The Pioneer XDJ-RX3 is a 2-channel all-in-one DJ system and DJ controller packed with features. There is a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, 16 performance pads (8 on each deck), durable jog wheels with colour on jog display, 14 Beat FX and 6 Sound Colour FX. In addition, some features have been selected from the club-standard CDJ-3000 multi-player and DJM-900NXS2 mixer, including the layout of the RX3 and browse section.

The powerful DJ System is durable, easily portable and produces high-quality audio making it ideal for parties and events. Software is included in the form of Rekordbox and Serato DJ Pro (coming early 2022), which provides the effortless plug-and-play capability.

Technically the XDJRX3 has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz and an S/N Ratio of 110dB. There are numerous connections, including two Line, two phono, two microphone and two AUX inputs, along with two master, one booth, two phones, two USB Type-A and one USB Type-B output.

Pioneer XDJ-RX3

Pioneer XDJ-XZ 4-channel DJ System

The highly anticipated Pioneer XDJ-XZ all-in-one DJ System for rekordbox and Serato DJ Pro has landed. The fully-featured system includes everything from a 7-inch touch screen display, full-sized jog wheels, top quality audio, and Pro DJ Link, all within a robust chassis and with a familiar NXS2 layout.

There are a variety of connections available for the XZ including USB drivers, laptop with rekordbox DJ and Link Export to play tracks from the rekordbox library or connect external devices directly including samplers, turntables, CDJs or smartphones. The XDJ-XZ is the first all-in-one DJ system to feature the Pro DJ Link, which allows for flawless synchronisation of external equipment.

The 7” LCD touch screen provides crucial information, as you would expect. The two full-sized robust jog wheels each feature a colour on-jog display in the centre of each, also providing optimal information such as waveforms, hot cues, BPM and more. The unit includes 16 multi-coloured performance pads (8 on each deck), 3 USB inputs and many configurations of input and output options.

Pioneer XDJ-XZ DJ System

The audio is of the highest quality and can adjust to the environment using its advanced features, including a ‘Feedback Reducer’ feature that will diminish any potential ‘howling’ from the microphones. There is a 3-band EQ on the Master Output, and individually on each of the mic inputs also.

Overall, the XDJXZ is jam-packed with features and has the feel of the club-standard CDJ-2000NXS2 professional multi-player and a DJM-900NXS2 DJ mixer. It is ideal for various venues and locations, for example as a professional setup within a bar, club or at an event, or it could be used as a feature piece within a home studio setup.

Pioneer DDJ-800 Rekordbox DJ Controller

The DDJ-800 is a 2-channel Rekordbox dedicated controller, which features numerous pro DJ tools, effects, full-colour on-jog display, and robust trigger performance pads. Its design has been influenced by the DDJ-1000 and the flagship, club-standard, NXS2 setup.

DDJ-800's jog wheels are highly versatile, and there is the option to adjust the tension of the wheels for rewinds and scratching. The on-jog displays provide vital information at a glance, such as waveforms, BPM, playback time and track positioning.

There are eight RGB backlit performance pads that provide trigger modes such as beat jump, pad FX, hot cues and sampler. The controller also features a 100mm pitch fader with an adjustable tempo range, master tempo button, slip mode, quantize button and manual looping controls.

The Sound Colour FX and Beat FX sections have been directly inherited from the DJM series. There is also a separate Beat FX display where you can quickly see the BPM and selected FX. Each of the controllers two channels comes with a 3-band EQ control, cue button, gain control and a dedicated Sound Colour FX rotary control.

Pioneer DDJ-800 DJ Controller

The DDJ-800 features two RCA (Line/Phono) inputs, one RCA (auxiliary) input, one XLR ¼ inch/6.3mm TRS jack (microphone) input, one ¼ inch TRS jack (microphone) input, one XLR (Master) output, one RCA (Master) output, one ¼ inch/6.3mm TRS jack (Booth) output, one ¼ inch/6.3mm stereo phone jack (headphone) output and one 1/8 inch/3.5mm stereo mini-jack (headphone) output. Each of the microphone inputs feature a 2-band EQ control, along with independent gain controls, which ensure greater control over microphone volume.

This rekordbox dedicated controller is the first to introduce the newly developed Feedback Reducer. This is a feature that automatically detects the frequency of a feedback signal and brings it down, reduces it so that it does not interfere with your performance. There is the option to set it to light or heavy, dependent upon your situation.

Pioneer DDJ-1000 4-channel Rekordbox DJ Controller

The Pioneer DDJ-1000 replaces the DDJ-RX Rekordbox DJ controller. This is a fully loaded controller packed with features, including five new beat FX and the LCD on-jog display. There is a fantastic range of effects and performance controls, along with the capability of fully optimising rekordbox v5.1, making the DDJ-1000 ideal for digital DJs (familiar with rekordbox ) who want to add a little something extra to their setup.

This Pioneer's DDJ 1000 controller includes four channels which can control up to four decks, two full-sized (ball bearing) CDJ jog wheels complete with high-definition LCD on-jog display screens, sixteen multi-coloured performance pads (eight per deck), 14 Beat FX, improved Magvel fader all in-built into a sturdy, robust and portable DJ controller reflecting a club-style layout.

Pioneer DDJ-1000

The LCD displays are located within the centre of each jog-wheel. They are of the highest quality and display all the relevant information you require at a glance, including playback position, loop points, playback time, waveform, track data, hot cue and album artwork. It is also worth mentioning there are four new Beat FX included with this controller which are Enigma, Mobius Saw, Mobius Triangle and Low Cut Echo extending the creative potential even further!

This unit comes in slightly heavier than its predecessor at 6kg. The frequency range and soundcard remain the same as the RB and RR yet it now has a Total Harmonic Distortion of 0.002% and a Signal to Noise ratio of 114dB.

The DDJ1000 includes two USB B ports, two Line/Phono (RCA) inputs, two Line (RCA) inputs and two Mic (XLR/ ¼-inch TRS Jack, ¼-inch TRS Jack) inputs. The outputs consist of two master (XLR, RCA) outputs, one Booth (¼-inch TRS Jack) output and two Headphone (¼-inch stereo jack, 3.5mm stereo mini-jack) outputs.

Pioneer DDJ-REV7 Battle-Style DJ Controller

The Pioneer DDJ-REV7 is a battle style DJ Controller for Serato DJ Pro. It is a 2-channel professional DJ controller that features two large motorised jog wheels complete with on-jog display, instant scratch, 22 built-in FX and a Magvel Fader Pro.

The REV7 controller is aimed at scratch DJs and emulates a pro DJM-S mixer and PLX turntable setup. One of the key features, and a first for a Pioneer controller, is the relocation of the tempo sliders to the top of the deck along with rotating them horizontally. This is what aids in the replication of the PLX turntable arrangement and how DJs would expect them to be in a battle.

Pioneer DDJ-REV7 DJ Controller

The new motorised jog wheels give the feeling of playing with records and the on-jog display provides vital information at a glance including waveform mode, virtual deck mode, DJ Logo display and artwork display. The aforementioned Instant Scratch rapidly fires samples with dedicated buttons whilst the Magvel Fader Pro allows for scratching freely. The REV7 also has 22 in-built FX which includes 3 new additions.

Best Native Instruments DJ Controllers

We have discussed the Pioneer brand, next let’s move on to another very competitive brand in the form of Native Instruments.  Again, we have selected controllers that we believe are most suited to experience, value for money, features and budgets. 

Native Instruments use Traktor as their software platform to ensure consistency within their brand and user experience.  The following NI controllers have been categorised into those that feature jog wheels, displays and stems compatibility.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3 DJ Controller

The entry-level model in the brand new mark 3 range of Traktor controllers packs a big punch for a controller small enough to fit in a backpack. This 2 channel mixer comes all the features you would expect to find on a professional standard DJ controller such as; hot cues, mixer effects, and looping functionality. All this amazing functionality comes in the club-standard layout you would expect to find on a professional quality setup.

Native Instruments Traktor S2MK3 DJ Controller

The Traktor Kontrol S2 is USB powered and comes with a high-end audio interface as well as a full copy of the new Traktor Pro 3 software. This makes this perfect for DJing house parties or small events. The 8 velocity-sensitive RGB pads allow you to set and trigger hot cues live in a mix for added creative flair. The assignable mixer effects offer professional-quality effects that can be accessed quickly. Open up a nice reverb for added atmosphere, maybe a delay for adding even more excited to a build-up section, or maybe you want a nice classic low and high pass filter for smooth transitions between tracks.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3 DJ Controller

The S4 Mk3 is one of the most feature-rich controllers to be released in recent years and is designed to work seamlessly with the new Traktor Pro 3 software and all of its functionality. This even supports DVS integration so you can add 2 turntables to your setup if you wish. The addition of brand new Haptic Drive technology means that this controller responds even more accurately to hot cues.

Native Instruments Traktor S4mk3

The mixer effects section has been redesigned to allow you to assign up to 8 different effects to the knobs for each channel as well as 3 different types of filters which offer you incredible mixing and transition power between tracks. The hi-res displays allow you to keep track of vital information such as track length, BPM, and key. Native Instruments Traktor S4MK3 is an amazing controller that offers all the professional quality DJing functionality you need in one portable controller.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S3 4-Channel DJ Controller

The Native Instrument Traktor Kontrol S3 is a 4-channel DJ Controller that is high quality, crammed with features and is affordable. Creative possibilities are endless with 16 RGB touchpads that trigger loops, hot cues and samples, eight effects, three filter effects that can all be linked to one FX knob control, large precision jog wheels that come with illumination strips for instant visual feedback whilst mixing, long pitch faders, dual deck control and numerous inputs/outputs that offer great flexibility.

The controller can be made more portable by replacing the required laptop with an iPad and using the Traktor DJ 2 app on iOS. There is also the option for the controller to be mains adaptor or USB powered.

With the S3 comes a license key for the Traktor Pro 3 Software, renowned for its reliability and responsive beat jump and looping functionality. The remix decks allow for re-edits, samples and scratching tunes mid-mix which is ideal for live mashups and make your DJ performance stand out.

Best Denon DJ Controllers

Next, we look at Denon DJ who have, over the years, proved themselves to be worthy of making this list with two of their top-flight controllers.  Denon is a brand that is currently pushing technological boundaries with the ranges they are working on and producing, and they are visually making an impact amongst their peers.  The main software Denon use is Serato however they have also designed their own called ‘Engine’ which is used to power their standalone controllers.

Denon DJ Prime 4 Standalone DJ System

The Denon DJ Prime 4 features an impressive 10-inch touchscreen display, a professional mixer, two decks, and a powerful multi-core processor which negates the need for a laptop. The touchscreen displays clear information such as track waveforms, BPM, Track and Artist info, key info, pitch info and time.

The Prime 4 includes four channels, each featuring a 3-band EQ, gain control, dedicated dual-function sweep FX and filter control, perfect for modification control of your tracks. The DJ system has two decks, however, this can be transitioned into four independent decks. Each deck features transport controls (play/pause, cue and sync) and looping controls, which includes an automatic looping encoder.

The touch-sensitive jog wheels are not only highly responsive but they also feature a high-definition on-jog display providing track information at a glance. Both decks come with eight RGB backlit performance pads where you can trigger Loops, Hot Cues, Rolls, Beat Slices, Auto-loops and Slicer Loops.

The standalone unit features four USB inputs, one SD card port and a 2.5-inch SATA drive bay. Recording of mixes to a USB drive or SD card is also an option via these ports. FLAC, ALAC, WAV and MP3 file types are all supported and there is even the option to connect an external keyboard for complete browsing geekiness!

On the rear of the unit, you will find four RCA (line/phono) inputs, two XLR (¼ inch/6.3mm) inputs, two XLR (master) outputs, two XLR (booth) outputs, two XLR (zone) outputs, one RCA (master) output, one ¼ inch (6.3mm) headphone output and one 1/8 inch (3.5mm) headphone output. Just to note, the Zone output allows for a dedicated playlist to be sent to a separate location, whilst still taking control of the dance floor.

Denon’s Prime 4 comes integrated with their signature Engine Prime Music Manager software. This allows you to import your digital music files from iTunes, Rekordbox, Serato DJ Pro and Traktor Pro. Any new music will be analysed automatically. Finally, StagelinQ is available where lighting visuals and Video Scenes can be set up, ideal for events or Mobile DJs.

Top DJ Controllers Numark

Numark is one of the leading brands that are very well-loved amongst their many users.  They provide a quality build, advance technical features and provide competitive controllers amongst those on offer.  We have selected controllers that suit all finances, are value for money and provide a positive user experience.  Numark controllers are primarily Serato software-based.

Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX DJ Controller

The Mixtrack Platinum DJ Controller is an all-round controller suitable for amateurs to the most advanced DJs. Despite it being compact it certainly does not compromise on features or quality, so do not let its basic layout fool you.

When taking a first glance at the Mixtrack Platinum FX, you cannot help your eyes being drawn to the two 5 inch, touch-sensitive jog wheels, where each one includes a built-in multi-function LCD in the centre. Each display is 1.75 inches and enables you to monitor BPM, time, needle drop, keylock and pitch adjustment. The aim of the displays is to minimise the time spent having to take your eyes off the controller to look at the laptop.

Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX DJ Controller

The unit offers 4-deck mixing capability for each channel along with dedicated gain, filter and EQ controls. There are multiple FX adjustments and dedicated track browsing controls from the library. There are sixteen multi-function performance pads, 100mm pitch sliders and touch strips where various functions can be activated including dynamic FX control and strip search.

Mixtrack Platinum is ready to plug-and-play, especially with the inbuilt 24-bit audio system. There are a ¼-inch and ⅛-inch headphone jacks, mic, and PA system connections. Finally, the controller comes complete with Serato DJ Intro (with the ability to upgrade to the full Serato DJ) and Prime Loops remix toolkit, which includes six sample packs with over 380 top sounds.

Numark NS4FX 4-channel DJ Controller

The Numark NS4FX is a 4-channel DJ Controller crammed with features. The controller features 6-inch capacitive-touch jog-wheels with multi-colour display, 8 performance pads on each deck, dedicated volume faders, large filter knob on each channel, 3-band EQ on each deck and an FX section with six selection buttons, parameter controls and two toggle switches.

The NS4FX comes with Serato DJ Lite software, however the unit is Serato DJ Pro upgrade ready and can utilise the full set of features it brings with it. Other software applications can be used including Virtual DJ and Algoriddim djay Pro AI.

Numark NS4FX 4-channel DJ Controller

The NS4 comes with an array of flexible connection options that include balanced XLR main outputs, dedicated RCA booth output, two separate ¼-inch microphone inputs with dedicated volume and tone controls, RCA inputs and USB connections. The Numark controller is suitable for club DJs, mobile and event DJs or livestreaming mix masters.

Numark Mixstream Pro Standalone Streaming DJ Controller

The Numark Mixstream Pro is a powerful standalone DJ Controller that is packed full of features and provides advanced connectivity and music accessibility options. There is in-built WIFI that allows access to a number of streaming services including TIDAL, Beatport Streaming, Beatsource Streaming, Dropbox and SoundCloud Go+.

As no laptop is required the standalone controller relies on an embedded operating system, in this instance, well-known Engine DJ. Another features to highlight is the in-built speakers with volume control and Engine Lighting for embedded control for Philips Hue smart home and DMX lighting.

Numark Mixstream Pro Standalone Streaming DJ Controller

The Mixstream Pro controller also features a 7-inch multi-gesture high-definition touchscreen display, 6-inch capacitive-touch scratch wheels with Smart Scratch function, 4 dual-layer performance pads on each deck, large filter knob, 3-band EQ on each deck, USB and SD card inputs and an FX section with four effects and two toggle switches.

Top DJ Controllers Reloop

Reloop is another leading brand that are well-loved and trusted amongst their users.  They provide a product range that offers incredible functionality and years of technical know-how along with quality build and advance technical features. They provide competitive controllers amongst those on already offer within the industry. 

Reloop Mixon 8 Pro 4-channel Hybrid DJ Controller

The Reloop Mixon 8 Pro is a 4-channel Serato DJ controller that is built for advanced and professional DJs. The controller is packed with features including two jog-wheels with integrated displays, dedicated sound colour filter, dual microphone inputs, hybrid mixing of digital/analogue input sources and eight colour-coded performance modes. The Mixon 8 Pro is also the first controller in the industry to feature four individual FX toggle switches and support USB-C devices.

Other features the unit includes is a docking station for iPhone or iPad users as well as the ability for analogue players to be connected. Additionally, there is digital vinyl systems support thanks to the in-built standalone mixer. Software integration is seamless with compatibility with Serato DJ Pro or Algoriddim djay Pro AI. As a result of the multi-platform compatibility, using a variety of sources is flexible and includes using applications, devices and platforms from PC, MacOS, iPadOS and iOS.

Reloop Mixon 8 Pro 4-channel Hybrid DJ Controller

Additionally, exclusive performance modes are unlocked in the form of Scratch Bank support for Serato where accessing scratch tools and Neural MixTM AI technology is fast, and the ability to isolate drums, vocals and instruments on the fly for djay Pro AI.

To Conclude

Thank you for taking the time to read through this best DJ controller 2022 article, we hope it has been of some use. All of the controllers mentioned have their unique features and capabilities, so it is extremely challenging for us to single out ‘The Best’. We are confident that if we put this to our team, opinions will differ, as circumstances and experience will influence decisions, not to mention personal preference.

Please remember, we are always on hand to assist, so if you do have any questions/queries, please contact us (details can be located on the ‘About Us’ page) where one of our expert team members will be only too happy to help!

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