Best DJ Controller Reviews 2017

When it comes to modern music, DJing has become the “in” thing, and the audience expects any serious DJ to mix music tracks skillfully. This is only achievable using top-notch DJ controllers. But, choosing one that suits you from the many options available in the market can be a daunting task. To help you overcome this challenge, we’ve searched widely on the best DJ controller brands in the market and pinpointed 5 of their most amazing DJ controllers. We’ve highlighted the features of the selected DJ controllers here to enable you to assess their suitability with ease. "What is the Best":: Armed with top tips on how to choose a DJ controller, let’s look at the key features of the selected products in our review. As you read through, see how each product relates to your DJing needs. This will help you identify the product that works best for you. We hope that as you read this review, you’ll come across a DJ controller that suits your needs.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Size
Software
Input Channel
Design
Sound
Our Top Choice
Pioneer 2-Channel Controller for Serato DJ
Pioneer prides itself on manufacturing products with ground-breaking features in the world of music mixing and professional sound engineering.
Stylishly designed. Jog wheels are large and thus offer better accuracy during scratching. USB powered. Portable. 4-deck control. MIDI controller. Built in soundcard.
Doesn’t come with auxiliary input.
19.2” x 10.7” x 2.3”; 4.6 pounds
Serato DJ, Rekordbox dj, Melodics
1 microphone
All-in-one
Built-in soundcard
Best Value
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1
Native Instruments specializes in the creation of software and equipment used for computerized music production and mixing.
Compact, portable design. Easy-to-touch controls. 3 push encoders, 31 buttons & 8 knobs. Flux mode allows for smooth transitions and looping. Lightweight.
It’s built to work with a computer that has 2.0 GH core i5 or equivalent processors and 4 GB RAM.
11.5" x 4.7" x 2"; 1.5 pounds
Tracktor Pro 2
Computer
Modular-rig
External soundcard
Gemini GV-Series Virtual DJ Controller
Gemini is renowned for highly innovative DJ and professional audio products that are specially built to give value to the consumer.
Durable metallic construction. I2 physical decks control Available with 2 or 4 channels. Supports multiple audio I/O. 16 multifunctional performance pads. Hotkeys on each channel.
Doesn’t come with the virtual DJ software
21.0” x 12.6” x 1.8”; 11.2 pounds
Virtual DJ Pro or Traktor
Auxiliary RCA & microphone
All-in-one
Built-in soundcard
Numark Mixtrack Pro II DJ Controller
Numark has distinguished itself as an undisputed leader in creating technologically advanced music mixing DJ equipment.
Touch sensitive platters enable easy scratching and pitch control. Plug-n-play design. No driver installation. Integrated audio interface. 16 rubber drum pads.
Its Serato Intro DJ software requires additional payment to upgrade to full Serato DJ edition.
10.4” x 18.3” x 2.0”; 4.7 pounds
Serato DJ Intro
Microphone
All-in-one
Built-in audio interface
Hercules USB Compact DJControl
Hercules DJ is wholly owned by the Guillemot Corporation and specializes in top-notch interactive entertainment equipment.
Lightweight design. Ergonomically built controls. Features DJJUICED 18° DJ software. Saves mixes as audio files. 4 modes per deck. Weighs less than 1.23 pounds.
Its DJing software needs downloading and thus setup is dependent on internet availability.
14.7” x 5.3” x 2.2”; 2.2 pounds
DJUCEDTM 18° DJ software
Not available
All-in-one
Needs an external soundcard

(Updated )
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Watch Our DJ Controller Review

How Do I Choose the Best DJ Controller?

Music is beautiful and has been around since the beginning of the very existence of man. It is used to express emotions, communicate and make merry. Music can be performed acapella or with accompaniments, which include percussions, string, brass and woodwind instruments. While music was originally performed live, the age of electronics continues to influence the way music is done. First, it gave rise to audio recorders, which made it possible to record and share music. Today, the music production industry is advanced and incorporates the use of special computerized effects to generate complicated tunes.

Live performers are commonly replaced with DJs, whose jobs involve the use of DJ controllers and DJ computer software to mix audio tracks for an all new experience. DJ controllers come in either modular rigs or all-in-one designs. Modular-rig controllers consist of individual components such as mixers, sound cards and turntables that are wired together. On the other hand, the all-in-one DJ controllers come as a single unit with all audio mixing features. While modular-rig DJ controllers give you the flexibility of upgrading your system with the times, their all-in-one counterparts are usually compact and can easily fit in your laptop bag for on the go DJing.

DJ controllers are designed to operate with DJ software for better results. It’s thus wise to invest in a quality laptop and headphones that will make your music mixing blissful. So, what do you need to look for in a DJ controller? Let’s find out in the sections below.
Price
The price of DJ controller depends on its construction material and design features. For instance, a plastic, compact all-in-one DJ controller that’s designed for basic and intermediate DJing will cost about $70, while the price of a professional-grade metallic DJ controller with multiple decks, touch sensitive controls, multiple I/Os, limitless track manipulation and built-in sound controls can go up to $1,000. You may also come across cheaper DJ controllers, but you should be careful, as some of them are of poor quality and often fail within a short period of use. However, you don’t need to worry, as we’ve not included such products in our review.
Features
Whether you’re DJing at home or at a club, your satisfaction comes when the crowd goes crazy to your well-mixed playlist. It also feels great when peers listen to your recorded DJing session and give you thumbs up for a job well done. However, to achieve this, you need quality music mixing equipment.

Here are the important features to look for in a DJ controller:
  • Type – Is it an all-in-one or modular-rig DJ controller?
  • Size – Its dimensions and weight
  • Software – Mixing software that the DJ controller uses
  • Input channel – The input signals the controller can receive
  • Output channels – The output signals leaving the DJ controller
  • Controls – The number of controls that come with it, such as mixer, trigger pads, etc.
  • Sound – Sound features that come with the DJ controller such as a built-in sound card
  • Power source – Its source of power, such as USB or AC electricity
These features will help you identify a DJ controller that’s suitable for your needs and is within your budget.
Construction and Design
The design of DJ controllers depends on their type. All-in-one DJ controllers have all the controls such as decks, jog wheels, mixers and sound cards built together as a single unit. In this design, music mixing is done internally in the DJ software. On the other hand, modular-rig designs have controls such as mixers and sound cards that come as a single unit and mixing is done externally to virtual decks on the physical mixer. The individual units are usually wired together and come with additional controls. Each of the designs comes with distinct benefits that make them useful in different DJing settings. Irrespective of your preferred design, it’s wise to find out the DJ software that’s compatible with your DJ controller. Some brands come with full versions of the software while others have DJ computer applications such as Serato DJ Intro which require an upgrade to full version.
Performance and Ease of Use
Mixing music internally, as is the case with all-in-one DJ controllers has wide range of benefits which include:
  • Ease of recording and editing mixes
  • Doesn’t require digital to analogue audio signal conversion
  • Compact and highly portable units
  • No cabling is needed, just plug and play
  • Fairly priced compared to the total cost of buying each unit separately
  • They are usually well designed for an appealing look

On the other hand, external music mixing is complex by comparison as everything is done physically. It also has an array of benefits which are as follows:
  • Suitable for live performances
  • Uses full sized individual units which are spacious with easy to reach controls
  • Gives you direct access and control of output signals such as DJ booth and system master
  • Comes with the flexibility of adding more units over time to create a superior music mixing system
So, as you shop for a DJ controller, think of your future in the DJing industry and pick a controller that will still be relevant to your needs then.

Our Top Choice
The Pioneer Portable 2-channel DJ Controller for Serato DJ is USB powered and comes with a plug and play design with no other hardware setup requirements. Looking for an advanced DJ controller? We highly recommend the Pioneer DDJSR Pro DJ Controller. It comes with 8 hot cues, RCA/Mic input, and 2 headphone outputs.
Pioneer USB Powered Portable 2-Channel Controller for Serato DJ

Pioneer DJ Controller DDJ-SB2


Features
Pioneer is wholly owned by the Pioneer DJ Corporation and first entered the market in 1994 with its flat-top CD DJ player. Since then, the company has continued to produce innovative products that make it an undisputed leader in the music DJing equipment industry. Some of its products include DJ controllers, DJ mixers, remix stations, monitor speakers, and turntables. The success of the brand can be largely credited to the company’s passionate and devoted team of professionals who focus on consumer needs to design highly functional products.

The Pioneer DDJ-SB2 DJ Controller comes with a built-in soundcard, thus allowing you to connect it directly to speakers or an amplifier without the need for external sound cards. It’s also built with a robust circuitry that ensures powerful and reliable audio output. It also features a built-in USB/MIDI controller that ensures quality control of audio output. This DJ controller comes with tactile control pads with hot cue, cue, auto loop, manual loop, play, sync, sampler, and shift functions.

Moreover, these additional features make the Pioneer DDJ-SB2 a great pick:
  • Headphone output
  • Comes with trim knob and level meters to control the input volume on its channels
  • Has manual low/high pass filters on each of its two channels
  • Compatible with Windows 7/above or Mac OS 10.8/above operating systems
  • Requires at least 2.0GHZ (for Windows) or 1.6 GHZ (for Mac OS) Duo Core CPU & 1 GB RAM to operate well
  • It also needs an at least 1024 x 768 display resolution screen
Best Value
The highly portable Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1 DJ Controller has 2 track decks, 2 FX controls and a touch strip that allows maximum deck and effects control. Need a controller with higher audio mixing capabilities? Check the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2 DJ controller. It has a built-in sound card and can handle up to 4 decks.
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1 MkII DJ Controller

Native Instruments DJ Controller 22494


Features
Native Instruments was established in 1996. Since then, the company has grown to become a true leader in computer synthesized music. The company uses a multi-brand strategy to deliver highly specialized products to DJs and sound professionals around the world. Besides DJ controllers, the company also manufactures audio software that is designed to integrate seamlessly with the hardware controls. The brands associated with Native Instruments are Traktor, Komplete, and Maschine.

The Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1 DJ Controller has a highly sensitive touch strip that allows you to nudge, cue and loop your tracks with unmatched precision. Its encoders are also touch-sensitive and give you instant access to your playlist on Tracktor Pro 2, allowing you the flexibility to browse, loop and add effects to your tracks with ease. This DJ controller comes with backlit control buttons that are color-coded for better visibility at night.

Here are more features of this DJ controller:
  • High power and can control two decks and two Traktor FX units
  • Has a flux mode that allows you smooth track cuing and looping
  • Comes with a shift key that allows you to view track information or functions on your Tracktor Pro 2 software
  • Comes with USB 2.0 interface which also acts as its power supply
  • Compatible with Mac OS 10.9 or later and Windows 7 or later
The Gemini 4-Channel Virtual DJ Controller has a USB/MIDI software controller with a 4-bit PC/MAC audio interface to boost any regular DJ MIDI equipment for superior sound mixing capabilities. Looking for a fairly priced DJ controller with touch screen? See the Gemini CDJ Series CDJ-700 DJ Controller. It’s compatible with CD, SD and USB media.
Gemini GV Series Professional Virtual DJ Controller with Touch Sensitive Jog Wheel – Available with 2 or 4 Channels

Gemini DJ Controller G4V – 4-Channel


Features
For more than 40 years, Gemini has embraced a culture that seeks to understand the ever changing consumer needs and bridge the gap with their products. This has helped the Gemini brand to grow in popularity and become a preferred choice for many professional DJs, musicians and sound engineers around the world. Besides DJ controllers, the company manufactures a wide range of professional audio products such as loudspeakers, equalizers, amplifiers, portable PAs and wireless sound systems.

The Gemini G4V comes with a four-channel mixer with gain and filter controls per channel. It also features a three-band equalizer and hot keys that offer cues, auto & manual loop and sampler track manipulation. Its platters and button controls are designed to respond to the slightest pressure for easy and single touch operation. This makes your DJing enjoyable and less tedious. Moreover, this G4V incorporates controls with backlit designs for added efficiency and better visibility during the night.

Here are more features of the G4V DJ controller:
  • Comes with two physical decks that allow you to control the four decks on its virtual DJ software
  • Has 16 multifunction trigger pads to enable you to expand your creative music mixing skills
  • Comes with an auxiliary RCA input line for additional music mixing effects
  • Its ¼” microphone input comes with gain control for better regulation of input volume
  • Features balanced XLR and RCA master outputs for superior noise-free audio signals
  • Has a RCA booth output with its own volume control unit
  • Comes with a 1/4” headphone output for firsthand sampling of your music mix
  • Needs 100/2240V AC power supply to operate
This plug-n-play Numark Mixtrack Pro II DJ Controller has an integrated audio interface for effortless setup and 16 rubber trigger pads with three modes (loop, sample and hot cue). Shopping for a DJ controller with better sound controls? We highly recommend the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 USB DJ Controller. It includes a built-in sound card.
Numark Mixtrack Pro II USB DJ Controller with Integrated Audio Interface and Trigger

Numark DJ Controller MIXTRACKPROII


Features
Numark has more than 40 years’ experience in manufacturing professional music players and mixers. The company is famous for creating a number of first products of their kind in the industry such as the hard-drive based and iOS enabled DJ systems. This company has continued to grow in leaps and bounds owing to its innovative culture.

The USB powered Numark Mixtrack Pro II DJ Controller is specially designed to offer you professional DJing using your computer. Its hot wheels design allows you to control pitch by working on the platter from the sides. The platters are also backlit and light-up when touched to enhance higher precision even in poorly lit areas. This DJ controller features a MIDI communication protocol that allows for seamless integration with most DJ software. It also comes with two headphone inputs with 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch diameters that allow multi-DJ mixing.

Moreover, the following features attract many customers to this DJ controller:
  • Has a crossfader, 3-band equalizers and playlist navigation controls for professional music mixing
  • Comes with a complete built-in audio interface that has microphone input, headphone and PA system output to lighten the setup process
  • Designed to work with both Mac and PC without the need for driver installation
  • Comes with a Serato DJ Intro software that’s upgradable to Serato DJ
The Hercules DJ DJControl Compact DJ Controller is highly portable and suitable for on the go DJing. It comes with two decks each with loop, FX, samples and cue modes. Looking for a DJ controller with more features? Consider the Hercules Instinct P8 Ultra-mobile USB DJ Controller. It comes with audio outputs and pressure-detecting jog wheels.
Hercules DJControl Compact Portable USB DJ Controller with 8 Trigger Pads and 2 Virtual Turntable Decks

Hercules DJ DJ Controller 4780843


Features
The Hercules DJ brand has been in the market for more than three decades. Currently, the company operates in over ten countries and has a worldwide customer base. Its products include DJ equipment such as controllers, headphones, and speakers. The company is also known for manufacturing versatile wireless audio devices for outdoor use. Its products, especially the DJ controllers, are famed for their adaptability and ease of use.

The Hercules DJ DJControl Compact DJ Controller is specially built for basic and intermediate level DJing. It comes with all essential music mixing features such as jog wheels for smooth vinyl record scratching, pitch control, and convenient track navigation. This music mixer has a USB port interface that allows easy connection to a laptop with its detachable 3-foot cable. Its jog wheels come in handy when you want to scratch vinyl records or loop and navigate through tracks. This allows you to easily add effects to your music while maintaining great pitch control. This DJ controller also allows you to save you mixes as tracks which you can easily play back or share with friends.

Here are additional features that make this DJ controller a great pick:
  • Has a shift function that allows double use of its ten control buttons
  • Comes with 1.77" crossfader for better track mixing
  • Allows you to mix two tracks while on action
  • Works well with Traktor, Virtual DJ and all MIDI-compatible DJ software
  • Compatible with 32/64 bit MS Windows or Mac operating systems
  • Comes with one volume and two equalization potentiometers for each deck
  • Comes with a 2-year limited manufacturer’s warranty

Get the Best DJ Controller of 2017!

Having gone through our review on the best DJ controllers, it’s our wish that you’ve found one that works for you. Go ahead and purchase on Amazon through the provided links. You will also discover other DJ controllers from the trusted manufacturers by following the links on this review page.

Our Top Choice
Pioneer 2-Channel Controller for Serato DJ
Best Value
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1
Gemini GV-Series Virtual DJ Controller
Numark Mixtrack Pro II DJ Controller
Hercules USB Compact DJControl