With our long expertise in DJ equipment, we’re here to present you a full updated list of all new DJ controllers that are in our honest opinion not only fully capable professional DJ devices, but are also perfectly suited for beginners and novice DJs.
All of these devices are not only reliable and simple to use, but they will also provide you with hours of fun mixing your music be it in your bedroom as an amateur DJ, or as a professional performer during your live gigs.
Each of the controllers we tested and added to the list features a short note with the most important essential info regarding it, based not on specs and dull product descriptions, but on our experience with the gear and various comparisons we already did between many of these great products. Read on, and at the end you’ll be able choose the best one for you!
- How To Choose The Best DJ Controller For You?
- Pioneer DDJ-FLX4
- Pioneer DDJ-FLX6
- Pioneer DDJ-Rev1
- Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX
- Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3
- Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3
- Pioneer DJ DDJ-800
- Hercules DJControl Inpulse 500
- Numark Mixstream Pro
- Our Studio Pick: The Pioneer DDJ-FLX10
- How We Chose The Products For Our List
- DJ Controllers For Beginners – Summary
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How To Choose The Best DJ Controller For You?
As you can see, there are many great hand-picked DJ controllers on this list. If you’re new to all this, you might even think “too many”. Fear not however, as all the DJ controllers on this list are both feature-wise and user experience-wise beginner friendly. But let’s cut the to the chase, and answer the question.
If you’re just starting out you have to know a few things: first, all of the DJ controllers labeled as an entry-level device (such as the controllers on this list) are suitable for DJs with all levels of experience and can be used by beginners and professionals alike.
Most of the time, the only difference between an entry-level DJ device and a “professional” DJ controller is the number of extra features present on the device, and sometimes, the general build quality of the device.
Keeping all this in mind, remember that there are a few things you can look at when choosing a controller for you, even if you don’t know much about DJing yet. Here they are:
- 2 vs. 4 mixer channels – most entry-level DJ controllers feature just 2 mixer channels, this means that using them you will be able to mix/play at most 2 different songs at once (with the exception of DJ controllers featuring deck 3/4 switches which allow you to switch to two additional virtual decks without having access to 4 physical mixer channels). 4 channel DJ controllers will almost always be more futureproof and allow you for more creative freedom than 2 channel devices.
- A built-in soundcard – Almost all DJ controllers on this list feature a built-in soundcard, which means that you’re able to connect your speakers directly to the controller and the sound will get processed on the device, rather than on your PC on laptop – this means higher audio quality and more convenient setup. Keep in mind that some portable/mini DJ controllers don’t have a soundcard or audio interface on board, and with these, you’ll have to connect your speakers directly to your laptop/PC, as there will be no master audio output on such a device.
- DJ software compatibility – it’s natural than at first you won’t know much about DJ software in general. The only thing you need to know at first is: Serato DJ and Rekordbox are currently the most popular pieces of DJ software with the best support and highest reliability, while other kinds of DJ software like Virtual DJ or Traktor are in many places just as good or even better than the first two, however they are just a tad bit less popular. Just know that all of these essentially have very much similar features, and are essentially equally good to start off with.
- Exclusive features – many of the devices on this list (and other DJ controllers in general) have mutually exclusive features you can’t find on any other DJ devices. For instance, the Pioneer DDJ-FLX4 which is first pick on our list has its Smart CFX and Smart Fader features (more on these here), which you won’t find on any other device.
- Lastly, watch YouTube videos – no, seriously. After finding a controller that piqued your interest and you’ve checked its price and feature set, search it up by its name on YouTube. This is one of the best methods to get to know any product you’re interested in in the shortest amount of time. Just type in the name of the controller into the search bar and you’ll get tens of high-quality review videos for each of them. Then you can make you decision seeing all that your chosen device has to offer directly, not just by reading a block of text.
Now let’s get to our most complete list of the top popular and reliable DJ controllers you can get this year as a beginner DJ!
1. Pioneer DDJ-FLX4
The Pioneer DDJ-FLX4 is undoubtedly the most popular entry-level DJ controller trending on the market right now. The reason for that is simple – it is a direct replacement to the very best entry-level Pioneer DJ controller to date – the Pioneer DDJ-400 which has been officially recalled.
This little device has a ton of useful features including a great set of audio FX controls on board, and the ability to be used with two most popular pieces of DJ software out of the box – It’s compatible with Rekordbox and Serato DJ Lite by default. You can learn more about the the DDJ-FLX4 here in our little write up about it.
2. Pioneer DDJ-FLX6
Pioneer DDJ-FLX6 is a device that preceded the DDJ-FLX4 when it comes to its release date, however it’s not exactly a downgrade if you decide to go for it rather than for the brand new FLX4.
It features not 2, but 4 mixer channels and full-size capacitive jog wheels alongside a few exclusive FX features that make it much different from the FLX4 that came after it.
If you need 4 mixer channels and a larger, more professional-looking device, the DDJ-FLX6 might be a good choice for you!
3. Pioneer DDJ-Rev1
The Pioneer DDJ-Rev1 is a DJ controller that’s really worth your attention if you’re an aspiring scratch DJ. In comparison to the FLX4 it features larger and much sturdier jog wheels, FX paddles that are often found on professional standalone scratch mixers, and most importantly – a battle style control layout!
For now, I can’t think of a better option if you want to quickly jump into the world of scratching, beat juggling and mashing up your tracks on a small form factor DJ controller. If that sounds like you, be sure to check it out!
4. Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX
Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX is a little bit different, and not only because of its longer name and different manufacturer. It’s a highly capable entry-level DJ controller that can be much more affordable than the two we mentioned before. It also has a tuned-down version without the built-in displays – the Mixtrack Pro FX.
This device is amazing for what it is, featuring the already mentioned jog wheel displays, full-size pitch faders and… paddle FX. Yes, this is the second DJ controller that we mentioned that has these on board (and the only one left on this list).
5. Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3
Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3 is a neat proposition straight from the company named Native Instruments. They are well known for their Kontrol DJ gear line-up, which they make exclusively for their own DJ software – also called Traktor.
All Kontrol devices are full-featured DJ controllers which can be used by both beginners and professionals alike. If you decide on getting the S2 MK3, you won’t be disappointed with neither the quality nor the feature set. You can trust NI when it comes to DJ gear – they’ve been updating their DJ controller designs alongside their software for long years – with great success on the market.
6. Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3
If 2 mixer channels on the Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3 seem to be too little for you, fear not! The Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3 was made specifically to address this issue.
While it is a little more expensive, it will allow you for more creative freedom in the art of multi-channel mashups and mixing. An upgrade definitely worth it!
7. Pioneer DDJ-800
Pioneer DDJ-800 is in a sense a scaled-down, 2 channel version of the Pioneer DDJ-1000 – a flagship professional Pioneer DJ controller which has been recently replaced by the new DDJ-FLX10 which we’re going to talk about in a short while.
DDJ-800, while a little bit more expensive than the DDJ-FLX4, brings a lot of new features into the game, while still being very much beginner friendly! If you’re searching for a way to start your DJ career with a blast without breaking the bank, the DDJ-800 is a great choice to consider.
8. Hercules DJControl Inpulse 500
Hercules, while being the lesser known brand on the general DJ equipment market, still has many interesting propositions to offer when it comes to entry-level DJ gear. In this case, the most worthwhile beginner-friendly DJ controller we found in their offer was the Hercules DJControl Inpulse 500.
This little device might not seem like much, but it’s just as capable as other DJ controllers in this price range, including the Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX. All that, while maintaining an almost portable form factor and a stylish look. If you’re looking for a great budget solution for your first DJ controller, look no further!
9. Numark Mixstream Pro
Numark Mixstream Pro is a rather interesting DJ controller, mainly because, it’s the only fully standalone DJ controller that is present on this list.
What this means, is that you’re able to use your Mixstream Pro without connecting it to a laptop or a computer! Moreover, it’s fully compatible with various popular music streaming services, so provided you have power and Wi-Fi hot spot around, you are ready to party!
Did we mention that it has built-in speakers too? This is a really interesting one if you’re going the mobile DJ route!
10. Our Studio Pick: The Pioneer DDJ-FLX10
Finally, here comes our studio pick – the Pioneer DDJ-FLX10. Many would say that this all-in-one DJ device is not aimed at beginners at all. They would be only partially right. The recently released Pioneer DJ powerhouse and new flagship DJ controller while having all the features of a full professional club setup (and more) is also extremely easy to use!
If you’re still intimidated by all the buttons and switches on various DJ devices you’re seeing, you’re in the right place. Here at djgear2k we have various guides aimed specifically at beginners, including one explaining all of the parts of a professional DJ controller.
With that said, this is definitely the most capable DJ controller on this list. If you want to go all out right form the beginning, this is the right choice!
How We Chose The Products For Our List
With years of experience with hands-on hardware testing, mixing and researching DJ equipment trends here at djgear2k we’re aiming to give you the best latest information about DJ gear for digital musicians of all levels of experience. After seeing, testing and reviewing hundreds of different devices over the course of the last decade we do think that among a few other sites tackling these topics we are one of the most trusted ones.
You can learn much more about different DJ types of DJ equipment in our extensive hardware reviews and comparisons available here. Use the provided information to your advantage and save yourself money and time!
DJ Controllers For Beginners – Summary
We hope you found our list helpful! It features all of the most popular and most reliable gear choices when it comes to entry-level DJ controllers aimed at beginners, novice DJs and people who’d really like to start their DJ journey as fast as possible.
We based the presented selection not only on our knowledge and experience, but also on various voices and testimonies both from our users and online store clients.
If you’d like to learn even more, feel free to check out our other DJ gear comparisons, tests and reviews in the Hardware section of our portal. Rock on!
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