Top 15 Best DJ Controllers [2019]

Are you looking for the best DJ controller to update your setup in 2019? When it comes to DJ controllers, these days, there are a lot to choose from. And they cover a wide range of sizes, features and pricing. Well, in this article we are going to give you a thorough review of the top 15 best DJ controllers in the market. We are going to give you a list of the ‘cream of the crop’ DJ controllers to ensure that you make the best buying decision. Let’s cut to the chase:

1. Pioneer DDJ-SR2 – Our Choice

Overview:

The Pioneer DDJ SR 2 is Pioneer’s solution to a two-channel Serato controller. It is one of the best DJ controllers for beginners and experts alike. Based on the original SR, the SR2 comes with improvements that enhance its ability significantly. In terms of its physical size, it’s almost exactly the same as the SR. It is still lightweight and portable, allowing you to have a quick setup wherever you want. It’s audio can deliver output via phono cables and requires you to purchase an AUX adapter, if your speaker uses one. The SR2 has Pioneer classic jog wheels that are made from brushed metal and feel sturdy. Despite this, the wheels are still pretty sensitive and, once you get used to the sensitivity, you can start producing some fire beats to light up your party. While it is meant for Serato, do note that the DJ controller does not come with a Pro version of the software installed. Overall, it’s a great controller for those of you not wanting something absolutely massive, but to have a feature-packed controller in a really nice little package.

Quick Specs:

Size: 10.7″ x 19.2″ x 2.3″
Weight 6.65 lbs
Channels 2
Deck Control 4
Rating
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

2. Numark Party Mix – Best Budget Option

Overview:

If you are in the market for the best budget DJ controller, then this is the option for you. The Numark Party Mix allows you to be a DJ in the comfort of your own home, with your own favorite music. You can consider it as a plug-n-play DJ controller that already has an easy-to-use DJ software installed for working with your iTunes playlist as well as your other favorite music collection. The DJ controller comes with full function controls that truly put you in control of the music – you can easily transition from one song to the next. There are lights on the back that sync perfectly with the music, but if you have your own lighting or prefer to have these lights off there is a button on the back that will allow you to do so. You will also find upgraded play controls that allow you to hit cue points if you have them. Not to mention, there are extremely fun sounds to mess with. There you have it. The Newmark Party Mix is a great entertainment tool, as well as a great learning tool, for the up-and-coming DJ. So let’s get this party started!

Quick Specs:

Size: 7.8″ x 12.8″ x 2″
Weight 1.76 lbs
Channels 2
Ratings
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

3. Pioneer DDJ-SX2 – Premium Controller

Overview:

DDJ SX2 is a high end DJ controller. It is one of the best DJ controllers if you are looking to upgrade your system. It’s got a four channel stand alone mixer with 3 band EQ, hardware filters, level meters for each channel and a pair of master output meters. There are also trim pots for channel faders plus one extra fader for the Serato SB 6 sample player, and a replaceable crossfader. Compared to the previous version, the SX2 has new multicolored hot key pads, which follow the assigned cues in Serato DJ. There is also a dedicated control for Serato flip and a revamped center ring LED display that shows cue countdown markers.Taking into account all the hardware as well as software features, the DDJ-SX2 will allow you to create powerful and innovative beats. However, do note that this controller only comes with a trial version of the Serato DJ Pro. Overall, with all the bells and whistles of a four channel premium controller from Pioneer DJ, this is the controller to get. While it’s not cheap, but it still isn’t crazily expensive and will make for a great long term music partner in your young DJing career.

Quick Specs:

Size: 6.9″ x 29.9″ x 17.7″
Weight 16.5 lbs
Channels 4
Rating
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

4. Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 – Best Mid Range Controller

Overview:

The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 is one of the best DJ controllers for laptop. It is a fairly mid-ranged DJ controller that can do most of the basic to moderate stuff. You can connect it to your laptop and control the DJ software you are using. Cue up your song and fire it up. The controller has got some nice lights to let you know if all the cues are working properly. There are 19 multifunction pads to toggle and loop keys to create some addictive beats. You can use the precision control and dual zone stop or scratch feature to create the old school sounds if you are in to it. Apart from the features, you also get the Serato DJ app and a remix toolkit by Numark. Overall, compared to other options, this is one of the best DJ controllers in its price range.

Quick Specs:

Size: 9.2″ x 1.2″ x 21.6″
Weight 4 lbs
Channels 2
Ratings
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

5. Hercules DJ Control Compact – Best For Beginners

Overview:

The Hercules DJ control has a much smaller form factor and a way lower price. It is marketed towards beginner DJs who want to learn the basics of digital DJing. It is a compact, two channel controller for Serato DJ. With touch sensitive jog wheels, four performance pads per deck knobs for EQ and filter control, and LED lighting on the bottom that reacts to your music. The controller is built primarily of plastic, which makes it very lightweight but not as durable as some more premium controllers. So it is recommended to keep this in a plastic casing. Coupled with Serato DJ Pro, you could record mixes, practise a set, and experiment with transitions and mixes between tracks. This can also be a useful controller for those gigs where DJ booth space is limited, or a more casual event like a backyard party or a family barbecue. You could also keep this little controller in your DJ bag as a backup system, in case the main setup fails. However you plan to use this controller, just be sure that you understand its limitations, specifically with its performance features and its output connectivity. by what this thing can do, given that it costs so less. Being one of the best DJ controllers for beginners, you are bound to learn a lot playing with this.

Quick Specs:

Size: 14.7″ x 5.3″ x 2.2″
Weight 1.69 lbs
Channels N/A
Ratings
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

More Options:

Well, the above five best DJ controllers were categorized according to their strengths. This does not mean that there are other excellent products in the market as well. Let’s have a look at some other DJ controllers from trusted manufacturers:

5. Numark NV

Overview:

Let’s take a closer look at the Numark NV, or envy as the product designers nicknamed it. This relatively lightweight controller is a high end machine. The screens on the model are full-color lcds, which have waveforms that load in instantly from Serato DJ. For the screens, there are a few different pages, a standard track deck, track name, tempo, time and effects. There is impressively very little latency at all, when loading a wave forms and affecting them with a jog. The controller also comes with touch sensitive knobs. They can be used on the eq’s and the capacitive knobs are also present on the three effects knobs on each deck. The NV has also gained the filter role and filter effects modes. The velocity-sensitive pads below each jog wheel operate in a similar way toNumark Mixtrack Pro 3 most standard Serato DJ controllers. There’s cue points, looping rolls sampler control and slicer control as well as cerrado flip control. With 4 decks under your control, you can simply rock the party with Numark’s NV. It does ask you to pay a premium for buying the machine, but the quality music you can create from it makes it one of the best DJ controllers out there.

Quick Specs:

Size: 28″ x 5″ x 16″
Weight 11.77 lbs
Channels N/A
Ratings
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

6. Pioneer XDJ-RX

Overview:

This is a great DJ controller for DJs who want the premium Pioneer music experience, without spending two grands for a DJing machine. It comes with four channels, but no oscillator sampler like the DDJ SZ. There is one sound card and the platters are of smaller size, but there are 16 pads that come with different colors depending on what track you loaded, to visually aid you during your performance. On the top of the machine, you will find effect parameters, a needle search and a looping mode. The sequencer section looks quite similar to a flip mode inside Serato DJ. You can put your sequencing samples for navigating around a track with preset information, which is a very handy feature. The color effects can be customized inside record box DJ, so you can change the parameters of the effects. There are a few new hardware buttons that have been added, such as the beat parameter button that will let you change the size of the beat. There is also a sampler cue section so you can cue your sample mode here. Overall, this is a pretty neat machine. If you are looking to experience one of the best DJ controllers without paying thousands of dollars, then this is the closest you can get.

Quick Specs:

Size: 19.8″ x 32.4″ x 8.5″
Weight 22.5 lbs
Channels 2
Ratings
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

7. Pioneer DDJ-SR

Overview:

The Pioneer DDJ SR is a digital DJ controller built for Serato DJ. It’s a two channel DJ controller with large plotters, a full EQ section pads for engaging performance modes and for deck control. The DDJ SR is plug-and-play and does not require any set up beyond downloading Serato DJ and connecting the included USB cable. This makes it one of the best DJ Controllers for laptop use. There are 16 total pads, with eight below each platter. These pads can be used for engaging hot cues, roll slicer and sampler, with visual color aids. Next to the pads is a section for you to activate your loops. There are dedicated buttons for play, cue and sync. The platters are made of high-grade aluminum and at the top of the controller are your pitch adjust faders. You have a 3-band EQ with control over highs, mids and lows. There’s also a knob for trim at the top, while in the middle you have a dedicated knob for your sampler volume and above that is a headphone mix knob for assigning the mix between your head phone, cue and master volume. This is one of the best DJ controllers for you, if you do part time DJing at clubs and are already at an advanced DJing level.

Quick Specs:

Size: 21.8″ x 12.6″ x 2.6″
Weight 9.7 lbs
Channels 2
Ratings
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

9. Numark Mixtrack Pro II

Overview:

The best DJ controller in the world, in terms of sales, is even better. The Mixtrack Pro 2 has a slim refined look to it to be more portable and and give you better ergonomics. The capacitive platters have been redesigned, with illumination features and more tactile responses. Above each platter are eight pads designed for cueing, samples or for engaging loops. You have your full array of controls for pitch, gain, volume and cue. There is a dual headphone output and if you’re DJing in tandem, you have the capability to feed the system and to headphones at the same time. Mixtrack Pro 2 is designed to work with Serato DJ intro right out of the box and does not need any extra equipment to send the sound to the system. Overall, this is a full-featured DJ controller and a sequel to the best-selling control in the world. With new improvements, there is really nothing in the market to beat it in terms of the value it brings to the table.

Quick Specs:

Size: 22″ x 13″ x 4″
Weight 1.1 lbs
Channels 2
Rating
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

10. Numark Mixtrack 3

Overview:

Numark’s Mixtrack 3 is another option released by the company to tackle the overly expensive controllers in the market. It comes with some of the most advanced features, while keeping the price just right. The controller does not come with Serato, but is associated with Virtual DJ LE. Since there is no sound card, you would be required to get one yourself. Besides these two points, Numark Mixtrack 3 is fairly straightforward. It has a typical Mixtrack layout, with 2 decks and mirrored controls. The trigger pads on the controller are ergonomically designed and are super sensitive. Working with such high quality trigger pads may make you forget that you are playing music on a mid-range controller. Similarly, there are touch strips for your functions and a brilliant display to show the level of volume. Other basic features are already present on this machine and should come as expected. All in all, the Mixtrack 3 does not intend to blow you out of the water with its breakthrough technologies. However, what it does best is bringing out the best technologies for you at a reasonable price. This makes it one of the best DJ controllers for beginners and intermediates.

Quick Specs:

Size: 14.1″ x 14.6″ x 3.6″
Weight 9 lbs
Channels N/A
Ratings
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

11. Pioneer DDJ-WEGO3-K

Overview:

This is one of the all-time best DJ controllers for laptop. Not only does it work with your MacBook or your Windows laptop using record box DJ, it also works with an iPad and an iPhone. There is a dedicated slot for your phone on the system and automatic connectivity with your iTunes or Spotify. Despite many several features on board, the controller maintains to keep a portable size that will allow you to easily carry to clubs or parties. The controller has a typical Pioneer layout. It comes with well lighted turntables, easily accessible buttons and ergonomic jog wheels that will allow you comfortable create music and keep the party lit. You can use Dj software like Serato, Traktor or Vjay in tandem with this device and due to the easily accessible controls, you will never have to go through a big learning curve to achieve great results.While you may find some people complaining about the size of the machine, do not take its ability to produce uncompromising quality of music. It maintains the high standards of a Pioneer device.

Quick Specs:

Size: 10.4″ x 17.8″ x 9.6″
Weight 4.83 lbs
Channels 2
Ratings
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

12. Hercules Instinct

Overview:

The Hercules DJ control Instinct is one of the best DJ controllers for beginners. This controller is small, light and cheap. There are very few controls on it. There are six knobs, three faders, a couple of paddles and just one lead. Despite the lack of several features, the Hercules does the basics just right. The jog wheel has been precisely engineered to give you the best ergonomics while scratching; meanwhile, there are dedicated keys for pitching and bending the sound. You can use any DJ software with this and the machine is going to complement the software, without requiring you to download a multitude of special drivers or buying any special equipment. There is a 2-deck rig, with several mixing controls as well as deck controls for quick access. So there is the Hercules DJ control instinct. It’s limited but it’s got what it takes considering the very low price it comes with.

Quick Specs:

Size: 3.9″ x 15.3″ x 9.4″
Weight 3.65 lbs
Channels 2
Ratings
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

13. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8

Overview:

Native Instruments is a trustworthy brand in the world of DJing and makes some of the best DJ controllers out there. The Traktor Kontrol S8 comes with several features to get your music party started and let you create some sick beats. It comes with a dual panel of displays that show the Traktor software and all the needed information such as playlist, next cue, filters, etc. The display also shows graphs and waveforms to let you know everything that you may need about the music. On the deck, there are controls for true customization of the music, with 4+4 faders. Moreover, Native Instruments has installed 16 multi-pads on the system to let you dabble with loops, samples and much more. Other features such as knobs, faders and LED backlighting are also well developed to assist you in making music. All in all, this is a great DJ controller to have. It works natively with the Traktor Pro software, which itself has tons of features to help you with your music. For the masters of music making, this is truly one of the best DJ controllers in the market.

Quick Specs:

Size: 24″ x 5″ x 15″
Weight 11 lbs
Channels 4
Ratings
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

14. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MK2

Overview:

If you are looking for one of the best DJ Controllers for laptop or mobile phones, then the S2 MK2 by Native Instruments is worth looking at. It can work with your iPad, iPhone and Windows / Mac laptops. On the back, we got our mic input as well as our gain with our levels for our output. We have two modes, booth and main, and we also have our USB input, our power cable and our on and off button. On the face of the controller, we do have our tempo slider, along with shift, sink, cue and play buttons. On top of that, we do have four cue buttons so we can have hot cues and those also double as sample buttons. There are dedicated keys for manually controlling our loop and little jogs, which double as a button, to configure your music. You can also do your own custom mapping with interactor. Other control features include a crossfader, gain for each of our channels and nice LEDs to show us our levels of each of the tracks. With an interface that is super friendly, a top built quality and the reassuring brand name of Native Instruments, The S2 MK2 is one of the best DJ controllers in the market.

Quick Specs:

Size: 22″ x 5″ x 13″
Weight 8 lbs
Channels 2 + 1
Ratings
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

15. Numark DJ Controller 20 (Mixdeck Express)

Overview:

The Numark MixDeck Express is one of the hottest unit in the market, because it gives you the value of the original Mix Deck at hundreds of dollars less. Since the device is created with portability and a small form factor in mind, it is extremely lightweight and can be carried in a laptop bag. It features USB drive flash support and mp3 playbacks. It also has support for scratching, searching, breaking and reverse which can all be controlled with the touch sensitive platter. The touch sensitivity is still on point, despite the smaller form factor of the device. The controller also has some balanced outputs, auxiliary and a microphone jack. There is also a mic on the front with independent level control and bass treble. Other features include mp3 searching and small interface lighting for guidance. The Dj controller ships in North America with Virtual DJ software and overseas with the Traktor software. Compared to the Mix Deck, you’re getting about 95% of the same features as well as some new features for a much lower price. This is what makes it one of the best portable DJ controllers.

Quick Specs:

Size: 11.8″ x 20.9″ x 3.8″
Weight 9.74 lbs
Channels 3
Ratings
  • Sound Quality
  • Design & Build
  • Value For Money

How To Choose The Best DJ Controller For Yourself

If you are a DJ who is starting out and you have no idea what DJ controller you want to use, then this short guide will point you in the right direction.

  • First of all, any controller has all the main functions you need to learn how to DJ. So don’t start looking for a controller with special features. Those don’t really matter much as a beginner DJ, since you want to master the main functions.
  • Decide on the purpose of the DJ controller. Do you want one for your personal music making or do you want to play in the clubs? The choices of buying will be different for different purposes of usage.
  • Decide on your budget. This is usually the main obstacle in the way of DJ controller purchasing for newbies. Once you get your budget in mind, then you can quickly cancel out the options that are out of your range. This will simplify things a lot.
  • Decide On portability of your machine. Ask yourself if you need to carry it along with you or will your controller be at your work station? Professional club players usually have big rigs, while personal DJing can be done with a portable machine.
  • Decide if you need compatibility with a phone or a laptop. Not all controllers are compatible with external devices.
  • So now let’s look at the three biggest djs software that you can use. There’s Traktor, Serato and Virtual DJ. Using any of these software with your controller is highly recommended.

Conclusion

We’ve highlighted the features of the selected DJ controllers here to enable you to assess their suitability with ease. Now that you have gone through the 15 best DJ controllers in the market, you can go ahead and get one that sufficiently fulfills your requirements.

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