DJ Controllers

In order to mix the best sounding beats out there and to reach the heights of success as a DJ, you need the right gear by your side. When it comes to what you use when you are producing music in the studio, or when you are at a gig, a very important gear that must be of a high quality for you to have a raging success is the controller.

It should give you the versatility you need to let the creative part of you unleash itself, slowly becoming a household name worldwide by mixing sick beats that will make people fall in love with your style fast. Therefore, no matter if you are a producer or a live performer, take a look at the comparison table above to find out what the best models of 2018 are, and continue to read the article to learn interesting info about these products.

Top 5 DJ Controllers Comparison

1. Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ-SZ 2. Numark NV II 3. Numark NS6 4. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MK2 5. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3
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Product Specifications
Manufacturer Pioneer Numark Numark Native Instruments Pioneer
Dimensions (W x D x H) 34.25″ x 16.5″ x 3.9″ 21.6″ x 13.4″ x 2.1″ 23.8″ x 13.4″ x 2.5″ 17.25″ x 12.1″ x 2.6″ 19″ x 10.7″ x 2.3″
Weight 22.9 Lbs 7 Lbs 14 Lbs 5.7 Lbs 4.6 Lbs
Housing Metal Metal Metal Metal Plastic
Platter Type Touch-Sensitive Dual Hyper-Responsive with Search and Scratch Modes Touch-Sensitive, Illuminated Touch-Sensitive Touch-Sensitive
Platter Size 8″ 5″ 6″ N/A 5″
Included Software Serato DJ Serato DJ Serato DJ Traktor Pro 2.5
System Requirements Mac OS X 10.6.8, 10.7.5, or 10.8.4, Intel 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo or Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 1.07 Ghz Duo, 4 GB RAM; Windows 7, Intel 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo or Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 1.07 Ghz Duo, 4 GB RAM Mac OS X 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, or 10.11.1, Intel 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo or Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 1.07 Ghz Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM; Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, Intel 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo or Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 1.07 Ghz Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, or 10.11, Intel 2.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo or Intel 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM or 4 GB RAM; Windows 7 or 8, Intel 2.0 Ghz Core 2 Due or Intel 2.4 Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM or 4 GB RAM Mac OS X 10.9 or 10.10, Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM; Windows 7 or 8, 2.0 Ghz Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM Mac OS High Sierra 10.13, Mac OS Sierra 10.12, or OS X 10.11, Intel Core i3, i5, i7, 4 GB RAM; Windows 7, 8.1, or 10, Intel Core i3, i5, i7, 4 GB RAM
Deck Control 4 / Dual 4 4 2 4
External Audio Mixer Channels 4 4 4 2 2
Hot Cues 8 10 10 8 4
Wheel Resolution (points per rev) N/A 3600 3600 1000 N/A
Bit Depth 24-Bit 16-Bit 24-Bit 16-Bit 24-Bit
Sample Rate 44.1 kHz 44.1 kHz 44.1 kHz 44.1 kHz 44.1 kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion and Noise 0.004%; 0.002% 0.005%; 0.002% 0.005%; 0.003% 0.005%; 0.002% 0.005%; 0.002%
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 111 dB USB, A-weighted; 84 dB Mic 1 and Mic 2, A-weighted; 90 dB Phono, A-weighted; 97 dB CD/Line, A-weighted 112 dB 100% Master Volume, A-weighted; 109 dB 100% Master Volume, unweighted Balanced Outputs > 99 dB; Unbalanced Outputs > 98 dB 105 dB Line Outputs, A-weighted; 105 dB Headphone Output, A-weighted 103 dB
Rear & Front Panel Features
Controls Mixer, Playback, Cue, Loop, Track, Pitch, Navigation, Effects Mixer, Playback, Cue, Loop, Track, Pitch, Navigation, Effects Mixer, Playback, Cue, Loop, Track, Pitch, Navigation, Effects Mixer, Playback, Cue, Loop, Track, Pitch, Navigation, Effects FX Level, Filter, Headphone Level, Master Level, EQ, Trim
USB Connection Port
Master Output (XLR & RCA)
Booth/Zone Output (RCA)
Line Inputs (RCA)
Mic Input
Headphones Input
Other Features
Backlit Performance Pads 5-Column Sort Options Strip Search Virtual Needle-Drop Technology Can Power iOS Devices On-Board Serato Sound Card
Auto Standby Class-Compliant on Mac PC Mouseless Library Navigation MP3 Management with iTunes integration and iPod compatibility Low-Latency Jog Wheels
Built-In Sound Card Dual 4.3″ Full-Color Displays Magnetic Brake Technology
P-Lock Fader Cap Professional Grade USB 2.0 Audio Interface Backlit RGB Buttons
16 Velocity-Sensitive Trigger Pads
Product Warranty 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 3 Years
Customer Support
User Manual

Disc Jockey Controllers Reviews

1. Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ-SZ

If you are looking for intuitive, physical scratch performances and a fast response, the DDJ-SZ is your best solution. It features full-sized illuminated jog wheels that provide the possibility for precision scratching as they deliver a fast and smooth response. One of the more convenient elements is that you can check your point countdown or playback position with ease due to the On Jog Display provided. it allows you to hook up CD players or turntables in order to control any of the decks via time code, even all of them at once if that is what you are going for. Additionally, it comes with two separate mic inputs that each feature their own level control and EQ.

Performance Pads

The backlit performance pads it features are its greatest highlight, by far. You can instantly trigger Quantized hot cues, the Slicer, the Sample, and the Roll, or hit Short to activate Cue and Slicer Loop. The Velocity Mode it provides allows full control of the sample volume depending on the amount of pressure you directly apply. The multi-colored visual reference provided by the LEDs allows an easier supervision of modes which are in play, thus helping you use the system in a more intuitive manner.


It features full-sized 202-millimeter jog wheels that are made with aluminum to ensure long-lasting durability as you scratch away to create your mixes. Furthermore, the design of the jog wheels is specially intended to optimize the scratch response so that you win even the fussiest crowd over. This optimized response combined with the illuminated cue point markers provided by it gives you effortless control over the system, not having to constantly check the laptop screen when you are mixing.

Mention Worthy Features and Specs
  • Features dual USB sound cards and ports that enable you to hook up two computers at the same time.
  • Provides a dedicated channel that you can use when you record your mix.
  • Features a convenient level/depth dial that enables you to more easily manipulate the sound.
Serato DJ Pro

The Serato DJ Pro software is included with this purchase, a huge benefit as it provides you with an intuitive platform to create your own mixes. The dedicated buttons for FX and the advanced features it comes with, like the Slip mode, the Beat Jump, and Quantize and the plug-and-play control of the included software ease your work during your gigs and when you are creating beats at home. All you have to do is simply connect your PC, and you can start playing.

  • Compatible with Serato DJ
  • Frequency range from 20 to 20000 Hz
  • Color FX options – echo, filter, pitch, and jet
  • Oscillator sampler options – horn, cymbal, siren, noise
  • Jog wheel measures 202 mm in diameter
  • There are no downsides to this product

An obvious choice as it shines and clearly outweighs competitors, this Pioneer controller is a must-have for any upcoming DJ. The large jog wheels and the generous controls and effects ensure you will produce quality music and entertain even the most pretentious crowds.

2. Numark NV II

Numark is one of the most recognizable brands on this market, producing numerous quality DJ gear. But what no one can deny is the fact that the NV II model takes the cake, being their best work yet. If you buy this product, what you will probably first notice is the fact that it adds gridlines to the waveform.

This addition is intended to help artists visualize the beat of their tracks better, ensuring the created beats will hype everyone at the venue where the performance takes place. Another impressive element is the fact that the navigation control comes with selection knobs which allow you to push in order to load the tracks, sorting them by metadata in the browse mode. Besides boasting a generous improvement to the on-screen experience, the NV II comes with touch-capacitive jog wheels that will improve your experience when using them.

It features dual metal platters which measure 5 inches and are hyperresponsive, these platters having search and scratch modes which allow a more versatile performance. The design it boasts makes using it a dream come true, feeling like a star when you are in front of the crowd and you mix songs. Best of all, it is impressively light, allowing you to carry it with ease when you have gigs in different locations on the same night.

  • Perfect beat matching ensured by on-screen gridlines
  • Integrated displays allow the DJ to focus on mixing music
  • Optimum response ensured by adaptive learning platter tech
  • 10 pad modes to choose between for loop slicing, sample triggering, and hot cues
  • Features a professional grade crossfader with curve adjustment
  • There are no downsides to this product

Allowing you to feel and create music as you like, this Numark entry is a definite must-have. While you perform, you can make your own spectacular remix to impress the crowd at the gig, the 16 velocity-sensitive pads giving you all the freedom you need.

3. Numark NS6

The gorgeous jog wheel performance of the Numark NS6 is the main reason why it is our choice for the third spot in our top. This four-deck, four-channel model really takes the cake when it comes to durability, boasting an impressive metal construction that ensures it will last for years. The positioning of the external inputs is straightforward enough for you to have an easy time using it, not needing to route external sources through software.

In the middle of this model’s mixer section, you will find 12-bar VU meters which monitor the master output. No matter if you go with digital or analog sources, you will have a top quality overall audio performance. The pitch range can be adjusted from +/-8 to +/-50 percent, giving you the control you need for it to please and impress the crowd in the venue where you are playing.

Each side features 5 cues that work with a shift-to-delete function, making it intuitive and easy for you to use it. In addition, it features no less than 12 effects which not only cover the basics, but that include important features like separate high-pass and low-pass filters. Also, Numark backs up the NS6 with a generous 1-year warranty against defects in parts and workmanship.

  • Works with or without the DVS software – can be used as a stand-alone
  • Features the innovative split-cue function
  • Top of the line jog wheels allow smooth mixing
  • Sturdy and durable build – made to last
  • Lacks actively spinning platters

Add a little spice to your DJ performance with this top of the line Numark product. Easy on the eye and convenient to use, it is specially made to allow you to create the mix of your dreams and keep the crowd in control and happy during the gig.

4. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MK2

With so many products on the market, it is practically impossible to tell them apart at first sight. But this is not the case with the S2 MK2, a controller that does not only look different but performs at another level as well due to the fact that the manufacturer produces the software too.

Even though it is portable as it does not weigh much, this does not mean that it is not durable. On the contrary, the rugged construction makes it a guaranteed resistant and long-lasting investment. It has a very interesting design which makes it stand out from its competitors, a design that is composed of two decks and a pro-grade mixer with multi-effect controls. The direct iTunes integration and iPod compatibility ensure you will have an easy time when using it, allowing you to have complete freedom in order to impress the crowd with your music.

All of the features it boasts alongside the portability make it an exceptional choice not only for the more experienced DJs but for beginners as well. In addition, it features color-coded RGB buttons that trigger cue points, samples, and loops, providing instant visual feedback as you press them.

  • Separate volume control knobs for booth and master outputs
  • Amazing compatibility with Traktor DJ app for Apple devices
  • Low-latency fader and jog wheel
  • Remix decks and other extensive features allow a more versatile performance
  • Does not feature throughputs for emergencies

If Traktor is your main weapon and you are looking for a two-channel model to perfectly compliment your choice software, this Native Instruments gear is what you need. Featuring innovative functions specific only to top of the line music systems, it is a mandatory addition to your DJ collection.

5. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3

Our preferred choice for the right reasons, it’s impossible for this Pioneer entry to let your hopes down. It features large 5-inch low-latency jog wheels which provide an enhanced scratch response and accuracy, thus making the music you enchant the crowd with all the more pleasing. Speaking of scratch, one of its main highlights is the fact that it allows you to add scratch effects to any songs you want, whether they are cued or currently playing, all without the use of a turntable due to the Pad Scratch feature.

It is compatible with the Serato DJ software, but unfortunately, the software is not included in the package when you buy it. However, do note that this is its sole downside, which is great considering that you are interested in mixing quality and not other aspects necessarily. It features an USB B port and a ¼-inch jack mic port. It delivers a 103 decibels signal to noise ratio, and the frequency range is from 20 to 20000 Hz.

One of the more interesting aspects is the fact that it delivers clear audio each and every time due to the fact that the mic input circuit eliminates distortion, thus the music being heard crystal-clear even when you select high input levels. When it comes to manufacturer guarantee, you will be pleased to know that the product is backed by an industry-leading 3-year warranty.

  • Frequency range from 20 to 20000 Hz
  • 103 decibels signal-to-noise ratio
  • Mic input circuit ensures distortion-free audio for a crystal-clear sound output
  • You can add scratch effects to songs that are cued or currently playing without the use of a turntable
  • Intuitive layout ensures you will have an easy time mixing songs with it
  • Serato software must be purchased separately

When it comes down to user-friendly DJ gear, it doesn’t get better than the DDJ-SB3 that boasts what most praise as being the most intuitive layout possible. Ensuring great scratch response and accuracy, and allowing you to add these awesome effects without the need for a turntable, it’s the product with which you will hold the crowd in the palm of your hand.

6. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2

DJ-ing is not easy, and it is surely not for everyone. But with the right gear, you can easily reach the top if you are passionate and hard working. Of course, the first step you must make in order to reach your peak and become famous is to invest in a quality disc jockey controller. A model you can rely on is the DDJ-SB2, which despite the fact that it has a plastic housing feels very durable. Also, it is extremely lightweight, being perfect for those who have gigs in different places.

A spec that made us instantly fall in love with the DDJ-SB2 is the fact that it features large, low-latency jog wheels which give a great scratch response and are extremely accurate, ensuring you will perform at your peak when using it. The level meters and the trim knob it comes with allow you to quickly check and adjust the input volume on each channel as you see fit.

Best of all, it features filter fade, meaning that when you go with this option, two high pass filters will be added to the crossfader. This will allow you to manipulate the bass and volume filters simultaneously with one hand for effortless, professional mixes. In addition, it stands out through the warranty it comes with as well, being backed up by the manufacturer for 3 years!

  • User-friendly design makes it especially great for beginners who want to master the art of being a DJ
  • Features a top of the line soundcard
  • Provides four deck capabilities
  • Affordable – comes at a cheaper price than most products
  • You will need a software upgrade if you want to integrate it with most software out there

The price point alone is enough to convince you that this Pioneer product is what you need. Considering how expensive DJ gear gets, you need to find as many products that do not sacrifice quality while managing to remain affordable, and the DDJ-SB2 provides exactly this.

7. Denon DJ MC4000

Another top choice we recommend you go with if you are an aspiring DJ is the MC4000. Not only does it come at a relatively fair price, but it provides an excellent performance that guarantees the people at the venue will fall in love with your performance. It is a premium 2-deck system which is perfect for DJs who are on the go all the time, having more than one gig per night. The USB connection it features allows you to connect it to your computer.

It is made of professional grade steel which guarantees a long-lasting durability, so you can rest assured knowing you have spent your money wisely on it. The mixing capability it features reduces the need for additional equipment when you are playing for a crowd and you want to impress. The independent level control of the booth outputs provides a superior versatility.

It features long-throw 100-millimeter pitch faders and touch-activated jog wheels which allow an accurate scratching. It is easy to use as it comes with dedicated EQ and FX control knobs on each channel. It boasts a signal-to-noise ratio of more than 88 dB and a total dynamic range of over 105 dB. Additionally, it comes with hot cue and sample trigger pads that feature an illuminated feedback.

  • Reliable build quality makes it an outstanding gear for those who work numerous gigs during the week
  • User-friendly design makes it perfect for beginners as well as professional DJs
  • Features two microphone inputs to offer enhanced versatility
  • Compatible with numerous DJ software
  • Does not feature a slicer or slip mode

The great price to quality ratio and the numerous features it comes with make this Denon entry an option worth taking into consideration. Purposely built for DJs who have different gigs in one night, it is as user-friendly as these devices get.

8. Numark Mixtrack 3

A more affordable option to go for as opposed to other entries in this top, the Mixtrack 3 puts at your disposal everything you could need during your DJ gig. It is an all-in-one solution you will not be able to perform without from the point of purchasing it on for sure. It features 100-millimeter pitch sliders which keep everything in perfect sync, the pitch being longer than what other products have accustomed us with.

The touch-sensitive metal jog wheels allow you to mix how you desire and create sick new beats to win over even the most pretentious crowds with ease. The backlit elements make it easy for you to see where all the needed controls are. Additionally, the volume levels are displayed so that you know what selections you are making at all times.

It comes with the Virtual DJ 8 LE software which allows you to create the mixes you desire with ease, a welcoming addition for beginners in this domain. Overall, it includes numerous convenient, professional controls and settings which aid during the gig, some of the best examples being the dedicated tracks browsing controls from the library, the filter knobs which are dedicated for each channel, the multiple FX manipulation, and so on.

  • 16 backlit RGB pads and dedicated filter knobs for each channel so that beginners have an easy time using it
  • Comes with the Prime Loops remix tool kit
  • Reasonable asking price as opposed to other more expensive models
  • Endorses multiple FX manipulation
  • Features high resolution metal jog wheels<
  • Does not come with RCA connectors

Easy to work with, which makes it equally friendly for old timers as well as newcomers, this Numark product is a must-have for any serious mixer. With it in your gear setup, there is no crowd you will have difficulties winning over, all of your gigs becoming instant successes.

9. Gemini GV Series G4V

We start off by praising the design it boasts as its all-metal enclosure ensures it will last a lifetime, so your investment is bound to generate a whole lot more profits than you could initially imagine. Ideal to use with Virtual DJ, it features 4 rotary controls that add to its ease of use and 16 multi-function pads which enable you to mix music as you please.

It features a 2-channel mixer section where each channel has 3 band EQ, input metering, filter, and gain. The aforementioned performance pads are backlit to allow you to mix on the fly. It features front mounted auxiliary, microphone, and headphones controls so that you will have an easy time setting it up.

The LED monitor ensures you will be provided with proper visual feedback each and every time you use it. As it measures only 21.02 inches by 12.6 inches by 1.77 inches and weighs a mere 11.2 pounds, portability is a given with it. Additionally, the manufacturing company backs it with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor, so you can rely on free repairs and replacements if needed.

  • Features 16 multi-function performance pads
  • Backlit pads and buttons and active LED monitors ensure a user-friendly experience
  • Features 2 decks that promote full control of the 4 virtual software decks
  • Offers an easy and intuitive sound fine-tuning
  • Backed by a 1-year warranty
  • Some customers have complained that its design can be a bit flimsy

Perfect for beginners and professionals alike, the G4V offers a user-friendly design that is accompanied by a plethora of features and intuitive controls so that your gigs are well received by the most pretentious crowds out there.

What You Should Know

Digital DJ-ing has been made possible due to the multitude of music systems existent on the market at the moment. These products are mostly easy to use, making the life of a beginner DJ a lot easier when it comes to producing quality beats or playing gigs at different venues. Also, they are just as great for those who are more experienced, offering them the versatility they look for to reach the top and become household names.

A department where owning a controller will help boost your performance considerably is your beatmatching. Thanks to the numerous technological advancements which have lead to the appearance of these devices, they automatically beat match and synchronize the songs for you, ensuring no beat will be off.

All in all, these systems are truly crucial in your career as a professional DJ, being of an utter importance for you to not only learn how to work with them but being equally important for you to invest in a model that comes with as many useful specs and features as possible.

How It Helps Your DJ Career

In the modern time we live in, the many technological advancements across all markets have led to numerous benefits for all of us. When it comes to being a digital DJ, you can consider yourself lucky to live in this era where your job is made a lot easier by the innovative gear you use. Unfortunately, there is a downside to everything, the main downside to this hobby or profession being that you have to spend a lot of money on the devices you carry with you. But this surely does not take away from their importance, this being especially true when it comes to DJ controllers. If you are curious to find out exactly what advantages come with spending extra money on a top of the line model, read the following lines.

  • Easy Transportation

    What makes them a heaven sent to DJs is the fact that they are incredibly easy to transport, making it convenient to go from one gig to another. Also, they rid you of having to transport vinyl records or CDs which could get scratched during the transportation, thus hurting your performance. With it at your disposal, there won’t be a need for vinyl records or CDs, it will not weigh much in the bag, and you will only have to take your laptop with you, which is not much considering how light laptops are these days.

  • No Limitations When it Comes to How Much Music You Can Carry

    In the old days, you could not carry a lot of music with you, which meant that if you forgot a part of it at home or if the crowd was not responsive to a certain selection, the entire gig would have been a fiasco. Fortunately, things have drastically changed due to the apparition of modern systems, giving you the possibility to carry as many tunes as you need with you. This way, in case the people at the venue are not responding well to a certain type of music that you have selected, you will surely have enough backups to satisfy them and make the whole performance a raging success.

  • Find Your Music With Ease

    Time is of the essence when you are at a gig, the people who come to these acts wanting to dance and have fun, not wait for the artist to find the vinyl in a crate. With this product, you will not be faced with this issue ever in your career, having the music at your fingertips. All you have to do is to use the music system, and you will be able to scan through the playlists you have created fast, keeping the crowd entertained by being responsive to their expectations.

  • Easy Mixing

    Obviously, mixing is a lot easier when you use a USB controller, unlike the old days when you had to beat match for hours in order to level up your mixing skills. With this type of a product at your disposal, you will not have to worry about losing all of your free time on these activities because the system makes everything a lot easier, allowing you to focus on finding the tunes you are looking for and dropping effects which will impress everyone.

  • Convenient Setup

    Another major advantage that comes with owning one is the fact that the setup will be very convenient. All you have to do is to find a flat surface on which to place the laptop and the system and insert each cable where it belongs. The whole ordeal should take only 5-10 minutes, meaning you will not leave your fans waiting for too long.

  • It Helps You Save Money

    It might sound surprising at first that a device which costs so much can help you save money, but it is actually true. This happens due to the fact that the music will be a lot cheaper, thus ensuring in 1-2 years you recover the money spent on it. Also, considering how vast the market actually is, you might end up not paying a lot of money on the device in the first place.

Proper Use Tips

Want to learn some neat tricks which will help make your number more appealing to the crowd? Then apply the tips and tricks that we will tell you about in the following lines, and you are sure to have a raging success. Of course, do not forget to practice them thoroughly at home before the gig starts to not embarrass yourself by making any mistakes.

  • The oldest trick in the book is to close the fader on the last beat that precedes the climax of the song and open up with the first beat of the song that comes next. This faded effect has a major impact on crowds and they respond well to it as it offers a smooth transition between the tracks.
  • If you are performing in front of a large crowd, you can add some interaction to the gig and integrate the spectators into the show by lowering or closing the up fader for the people in the crowd to hear themselves singing. Of course, this only applies to songs that have vocals on them and smash hits generally known and loved by all audiences.
  • Always avoid cutting the mids, highs, and lows, as the effect created won’t be a pleasant one for the crowd. If you cut the mids and the lows, the metallic sound which is created will get the crowd out of tune with you as the bassline will be lost. If you cut the mids and highs, the song will sound threatening, ensuring the crowd won’t have a good time at all.
  • Sometimes, it is good to cut the lows because cutting the bass at the end of the preceding phrase will emphasize the climax of the song. You can also use the lows to stimulate the crowd to sing along, cutting the bass when there is a catchy hook you notice the people like a lot, thus making them a part of the act and receiving a warm response.

Buying Guide

As a DJ, you need to have the best gear possible at your disposal in order to win the crowd over. To make sure everything you use when you perform is of a top quality, you have to ensure the DJ system is amazing as well. This is the reason why we have conducted the proper research and written this section of the article, putting together a buying guide which will surely help you pick the perfect model to go with.

  • Sample Rate

    The sample rate represents how fast the samples are taken. The sample that we are talking about is a measurement at a specific time in the audio track. Also, it is described in the binary language. The number of times that specific measurement is taken represents the sample rate, and it is expressed in kiloHertz. The ideal choice to go with is the standard 44.1 kHz sample rate.

  • Bit Rate

    The bit rate represents the number of bits of the integers and other data units which are used by the data. When it comes to this spec, you should look for models that have a 24-bit rate because this is the most optimal choice to go with.

  • Portability

    Of course, we cannot end our buying guide without mentioning portability. When you go shopping for the gear, you have to keep in mind the fact that you will take it out of the car and transport it inside of the venue where you are playing on a regular basis. Therefore, you cannot afford to lose time you could have spent preparing the setup, and you cannot take the risk of not being able to move it on your own either. Therefore, keep in mind to check for a portable model, the only way to do this being to choose one that is lightweight.

Some simply do it better than others, this rule being true even when it comes to producing top quality products that truly impact a DJ’s performance as the controllers do. On this market, the brands which have the most renowned and recognizable names by far are Pioneer, Numark, and Native Instruments, these three titans ruling over their competitors.

  • Pioneer

    Pioneer is a brand that does not need much in the way of introduction, being a household name thanks to the impressive performance shown by the products it has delivered since it was founded in 1938. The founder of the company, Nozomu Matsumoto, was a man who appreciated music and knew how important it was for high-quality audio speakers to be on the market. It was due to this passion that the company started with a booming success, and this great man’s legacy will always have a rightful spot in the history of DJ gear.

  • Numark

    Another renowned manufacturer of DJ gear is Numark, this company standing its ground as an industry leader due to the fact that it has revolutionized how the mixing experience undergoes again and again. It has been founded back in 1971 by Harry Kotovsky and Robert Kotovsky, and in the over 40 years of experience, the company has produced a variety of cutting-edge performance gear which has changed mixing for all of us. Despite the fact that the company has managed to pull a lot of breakthroughs, it has not stopped manufacturing innovative, top-quality products, still being among the top brands of the moment by continuing to add improvements wherever it is possible.

  • Native Instruments

    Any respectable DJ knows the Native Instruments company, a manufacturer of software and hardware for DJ-ing that has developed numerous innovative and fully-integrated solutions which have helped the people who work in this domain. What the company always prides itself on is the fact that it has always pushed technological boundaries, making it easier for amateurs to boost their skills, and offering professionals new creative horizons in order to reach the heights of success.

What is Behind Our Ratings

No matter if you are curious to find out what determined us to rank the models in our top the way we did, or you simply want to find out what certain rating criteria mean, you have to make sure you check out this section of the article.

Criteria Impact/Importance Best Product
Platter Type and Size As these products get more innovative as time passes, we cannot overlook the fact that the platters are evolving as well. The platter must be responsive to your mixing needs and boast a decent diameter. Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ-SZ
System Requirements Of course, when you look at it, you have to take the system requirements into consideration as well. It is important for a disc jockey system to be as great performing as possible, but without asking too much when it comes to how well the laptop will perform. Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ-SZ, Numark NV II, Numark NS6, Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MK2, Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3
Deck Controls For it to truly be of a great quality, it must feature at least a 4-deck control. If you take a look at our ranking, you will notice that no less than 4 of the models boast this spec. Of course, our choice for the upper hand was had by the dual 4-deck control model. Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ-SZ
Hot Cues The hot cue represents a point that the user can set on any track on the fly. As you will see, when it comes to all the models we have ranked as being the best on the market, they all allow you to set multiple hot cue points to an individual track, thus making your life a lot easier. Numark NV II, Numark NS6

Frequently Asked Questions

?Does the weight matter?
Yes, it does matter how much it weighs as you would not want gear that you will find too difficult to carry from the car to the gig and vice versa. Also, if the one you do choose is lightweight, you will have an easier time setting up, which means that you can start your concert faster than you expected, pleasantly surprising the crowd.

?How should the platters be?
In a qualitative system, it is preferable for the platters to be touch sensitive. This way, you won’t have a hard time mixing the songs and producing quality music when you are in front of the crowd. You should also pay attention to the size of the platters. Preferably, they should measure between 5 and 9 inches in diameter.

?What should I check to make sure it will be compatible with my laptop/PC?
To check for compatibility, you should look at the system requirements noted on the spec sheet. Ideally, it should be compatible with older as well as the newest versions of Windows and Mac OS. When you do purchase it, make sure it is compatible with the operating system of your laptop/PC, thus avoiding an unpleasant situation where you have to install a newer version of the system or even change the laptop or PC as it is not compatible with the system at all.

Without the right gear, you will not be able to take your performance to a proper end. Among the important gear pieces for a DJ stands the controller. As a matter of fact, it can be even seen as the most important piece of the puzzle due to the fact that with it you mix your music and deliver the sick beats you must get your crowd accustomed to in order for them to return the next time you have a show. In this article, we have reviewed and presented you with the best of the best, systems that should not miss from the collection of a serious aspiring disc jockey.

The crown inevitably went to the Pioneer Pro DJ DDJ-SZ as it actually boats a wide PC compatibility range, thus making it very likely for it to be compatible with your existing system. It is a bit spicy in terms of pricing, but you cannot expect for an excellent product of its caliber to come at a cheap price. Some of its greatest highlights include the built-in sound card it features, the multitude of intuitive controls, the touch-sensitive 8-inch platter, and so on. Another model that rocked our world was the Numark NV II which delivers what we consider to be the best price to quality ratio at the moment, meaning that it provides with must-have features for aspiring DJs like velocity-sensitive trigger pads, USB connection ports, a 3600 points per revolution speed of the wheel, and so on, all while managing to remain an affordable option.

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