Denon DJ SC Live 4 vs. Prime 4 (Direct Comparison!)

Denon DJ Prime 4 vs. Denon DJ SC Live 4 – which one is better for you? In this DJ equipment comparison we will go over all the differences and similarities between the Denon SC Live 4 and the Prime 4, list all their pros and cons and compare them to other DJ controllers in similar price range with similar feature sets, such as the Numark Mixstream Pro or the new SC Live 2!

  1. General comparison
  2. The screen – touch displays
  3. Jog wheels
  4. Performance pads
  5. Audio FX
  6. Streaming services access
  7. Built-in speakers
  8. Software compatibility
  9. Denon DJ SC Live 2 vs. SC Live 4
  10. Denon DJ SC Live 4 or the Pioneer XDJ-RX3?
  11. Denon DJ SC Live 4 and the Numark Mixstream Pro
  12. Pros & cons
  13. Price & availability
  14. The conclusion

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General comparison

Denon DJ SC Live 4 vs. Denon DJ Prime 4 - standalone DJ controller comparison.
Denon DJ SC Live 4 vs. Denon DJ Prime 4 – standalone DJ controller comparison.

To start off, it’s important to mention that the general purpose of the Denon DJ SC Live 4 is not to replace the current Denon DJ standalone flagship DJ controller – the Prime 4.

SC Live 4 is meant to be a slightly cheaper alternative to the Prime 4 with a few twists that make it something more than the stripped down version of the latter.

The Prime 4 handles audio FX in a slightly different way, is more bulky than the SC Live 4 and it offers you a layout that’s similar yet still quite a bit different from the one on the Live 4. It also doesn’t have the built in speakers you can find on the SC Live 4.

Denon DJ Prime 4 has a bigger touch display, gives you an ability to extend your standalone setup with additional players (including making use of DVS), is much bigger, and in general feels more sturdy than the SC Live 4.

The Denon DJ Prime 4 weighs around 21.34 lbs (9.7 kg), while the Denon DJ SC Live 4 weighs around 12.8 lbs (5.8 kg). Also a notable difference.

Other than that, the Prime 4 also features a Zone Output (an audio output independent on the sound output from main decks) and an in-built drive bay for internal track storage.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the most important differences and similarities between the Denon DJ SC Live 4 and the Denon DJ Prime 4.

The screen – touch displays

Denon DJ Prime 4 features a much larger, 10" touch display.
Denon DJ Prime 4 features a much larger, 10″ touch display.

While the Denon DJ Prime 4 features a 10.1″ touch display, while the Denon DJ SC Live 4 makes use of a smaller 7″ touch screen.

Both the devices utilize the very same Denon DJ Engine OS, but going around through the system settings and the track library is definitely bigger using the larger screen of the Prime 4.

The screen on the SC Live 4 is also notably smaller than the one present on its rival on the Pioneer DJ side – the Pioneer XDJ-RX3 (also a 10.1″ touch display).

Jog wheels

Denon DJ SC Live 4 vs. Prime 4 - jog wheels compared.
Denon DJ SC Live 4 vs. Prime 4 – jog wheels compared.

Denon DJ Prime 4 features two 6″ jog wheels with built in displays, and the Denon DJ SC Live jog wheels are the exact same size.

Just like on the Prime 4, you won’t find any kind of mechanical tension adjustment knob or setting on the Denon DJ SC Live 4.

The SC Live 4 screens are able to display additional track information on its jog wheel displays such as the track tempo, deck number and the elapsed time of the currently playing song.

Performance pads

The performance pads also differ quite a bit between these two devices.
The performance pads also differ quite a bit between these two devices.

The performance pads on both devices have the same modes available, and differ only when it comes to their design. The pads on the SC Live and Prime 4 also both feature RGB backlight.

On the Denon SC Live 4 the shift button is located right to the performance pads, alongside with the navigation arrows, the backlight is seen only on transparent lines on top of each pad.

The Denon DJ Prime 4 has full pad edge backlight and its shift button is positioned in a more convenient place (on the right side of the performance pads on each deck).

Audio FX

Audio FX controls are in different places on the Prime 4 and the SC Live 4 and also handle in a different way.
Audio FX controls are in different places on the Prime 4 and the SC Live 4 and also handle in a different way.

Denon DJ Prime 4 goes with the FX control scheme that is quite similar to the traditional way Serato DJ controllers went about it in the past (ex. DDJ-DX series).

There are two effect sections, one for each deck, and they consist of FX select, FX parameter, FX frequency and FX wet/dry knobs. Above the knobs there are small displays that will show you what audio effect is currently chosen and what is the current state of the set FX parameters.

Aside from these 2 FX sections, you have access to 4 sweep FX from the mixer section (Filter, echo, wash & noise).

On the Prime 4 you can activate up to 3 audio FX at one time – 2 from the 2 main FX sections, and one from the Sweep FX section.

Denon DJ SC Live 4, has its FX section modeled after DJM mixer FX controls, in a similar way to the Pioneer XDJ-RX3. You can activate up to 2 audio FX at one time (one Sweep FX effect and one effect from the main FX section).

The important advantage that the Prime 4 has here, is that it features two independent FX sections that you can assign to each and every of its 4 mixer channels.

On the SC Live 4, you can only assign the main FX section to one channel at the time.

Note: Wash FX on Denon DJ devices is a Denon take on an Echo Out FX.

Streaming services access

As the Denon DJ SC Live 4 features a wi-fi module and it can support wireless network connections, you can make use of quite a few music streaming services for sourcing your music.

Denon DJ SC Live 4 supports the following music streaming services:

  • Amazon Music
  • Beatport Link
  • Beatsource Link
  • SoundCloud
  • TIDAL
  • Dropbox (with your own uploaded tracks)

Amazon Music support is notable here, as the SC Live 4 is the very first DJ device on the market that is able to source music from the Amazon music collection.

Denon DJ Prime 4 also has a wi-fi module on-board, and it can support music streaming services we mentioned above just as well. With one exception – for now the Prime 4 doesn’t support Amazon Music.

Built-in speakers

The speakers on the SC Live 4 are located on the top of the device.
The speakers on the SC Live 4 are located on the top of the device.

Denon DJ SC Live 4 has a set of 2 speakers. These are pretty loud and have a nice bassy tone to them. Don’t expect them to hold up in house party kind of situations though. When a few talking people are involved they might simply not be enough.

Overall, the speakers on the SC Live 4 are meant either for home practice, or for audio monitoring during your set. Yes, you can set the speakers to function as audio monitors, so that you don’t have to rely on your headphones all the time.

Can You DJ Without Headphones? – And How To Do That

Can you disable the speakers on the Denon DJ SC Live 4? Yes, you can freely enable and disable the speakers, as well as control their volume using the speaker controls placed on the mixer section.

Compared to the speakers on the Numark Mixstream Pro, the SC Live 4 speakers have been confirmed to be a bit louder. This difference however shouldn’t be a deal breaker for anyone.

Software compatibility

Currently, the Denon DJ SC Live 4 is compatible with Serato DJ Pro and Virtual DJ software if you wish to use it when connected to your laptop.

Denon DJ Prime 4 also supports Serato DJ Pro and VDJ, so there are no notable differences here.

As with most pieces of Denon DJ gear, Traktor Pro 3 is not officially supported by the hardware.

Denon DJ SC Live 2 vs. SC Live 4

There is another! - Denon DJ SC Live 2 is a stripped down 2-channel version of the SC Live 4.
There is another! – Denon DJ SC Live 2 is a stripped down 2-channel version of the SC Live 4.

Denon DJ SC Live 2 is the stripped down 2 channel version of the SC Live 4.

Is the Denon DJ SC Live 2 worth it? Well, in our opinion, not quite. At this price point you could either go a little bit higher and get the full SC Live 4 experience or go lower and settle with the Numark Mixstream Pro which is very close to the SC Live 2 feature wise.

The price difference between the SC Live 2 and the SC Live 4 just doesn’t justify going for the only slightly cheaper and highly simplified 2-channel version of the full SC Live 4 unit.

The Denon DJ SC Live 2 features no in-built jog displays, no booth outputs, no aux input, doesn’t have a second microphone output and has only 4 performance pads per deck.

Denon DJ SC Live 4 or the Pioneer XDJ-RX3?

Pioneer XDJ-RX3 vs. Denon DJ SC Live 4.
Pioneer XDJ-RX3 vs. Denon DJ SC Live 4.

A device that’s definitely worth to compare with the Denon DJ SC Live 4 is the Pioneer DJ’s flagship standalone DJ controller – the Pioneer XDJ-RX3.

When it comes to the places where the XDJ-RX3 is at a disadvantage, the lack of built-in wi-fi capabilities is a first thing. This of course means no support for any streaming services on the RX3.

Other than that, the RX3 features only 2 mixer channels and lacks all the additional features that the Denon DJ Engine OS software has to offer (such as the ability to control lighting – Phillips Hue, Nanoleaf, and DMX systems).

Pioneer XDJ-RX3 is a great choice if you’re more used to (or prefer) the Pioneer DJ ecosystem. It will handle somewhat similar to a standard club setup and if you already used some of the Pioneer DJ players, mixers or professional DJ controllers, it might seem more familiar.

The Pioneer XDJ-RX3 also features a bigger touch display (7″ on the SC Live 4 vs. 10.1″ on the RX3). Keep in mind though, that the display on the RX3 is still a standard resistive type sceen incapable of supporting on-screen gestures or multitouch).

If we were to add something here, the FX implementation and the general variety of the available effects is much better on the RX3 with the traditional DJM mixer-based FX sections and access to the additional Pad FX mode.

Denon DJ SC Live 4 and the Numark Mixstream Pro

Denon DJ SC Live 4 vs. Numark Mixstream Pro.
Denon DJ SC Live 4 vs. Numark Mixstream Pro.

Another relatively new standalone DJ controller featuring built-in speakers is the previously mentioned Numark Mixstram Pro.

Mixstream Pro is a little bit more limited when it comes to its feature set when compared to the Denon DJ SC Live 4, and it has a pretty similar 7″ touch display on-board. It also makes use of the very same Engine OS operating system.

Other than that, 4 performance pads, only 2 mixer channels, no jog wheel displays and limited FX section place the Numark Mixstream Pro somewhat closer to the Denon DJ SC Live 2 – the cut-down version of the SC 4.

Pros & cons

Denon DJ SC Live 4:

Denon DJ SC Live 4 top view.
Denon DJ SC Live 4 top view.

Pros:

  • Audio FX section layout based on Pioneer DJM mixers.
  • Quality jog wheel screens able to display most important track info.
  • An aux input for external audio devices.
  • Built in speakers that can be used as master output or monitor speakers.
  • Support for Amazon Music streaming.

Cons:

  • The screen is small (7″) compared to the Denon DJ Prime 4 and the Pioneer XDJ-RX3 (10.1″).
  • The shift button is placed in kind of a weird position, just next to the performance pad mode select buttons.
  • No way to adjust the jog wheel tension.

Denon DJ Prime 4:

Denon DJ Prime 4 top view.
Denon DJ Prime 4 top view.

Pros:

  • Great quality 10.1″ touch display.
  • FX section allowing for greater creative freedom (2 separate FX modules approach).
  • 2 microhpone inputs on board.
  • Internal drive bay (for drives up to 1 TB).
  • Zone output feature (additional audio output independent on playing decks).

Cons:

  • Much heavier and more bulky than the SC Live 4.
  • No way to adjust the jog wheel tension.

Price & availability

Here you can check the current price and the availability of the Denon DJ SC Live and Denon DJ Prime 4 standalone controllers.

Always remember to also check your local music stores, they might have the equipment in stock even when it’s not available with most bigger online vendors.

ControllerFeaturesPrice
Denon DJ SC Live 2:
– Very cut down SC Live 4.
– 2 decks & 4 performance pads.
– A slightly cheaper option.
Check price on Amazon
Check price on Ebay
Denon DJ SC Live 4:
– Built-in speakers.
– Great jog wheel displays.
– Amazon Music support.
Check price on Amazon
Check price on Ebay
Denon DJ Prime 4:
– Large touch display.
– SD drive bay.
– Great build quality.
Check price on Amazon
Check price on Ebay
Denon DJ SC Live 4 / 2 and the Denon DJ Prime 4 availability.

The conclusion

Denon DJ Prime 4 vs. Denon DJ SC Live 4 compared.
Denon DJ Prime 4 vs. Denon DJ SC Live 4 compared.

So, which one of these two would be better for you? The Denon DJ Prime 4 is still a flagship Denon DJ device when it comes to standalone DJ controllers, and if you want all the features without any compromises (the 10.1 inch display and a few other features we mentioned) you should definitely go for it.

The Denon DJ SC Live 4 is only a slightly cheaper option, but it offers a few interesting solutions such as a DJM-styled audio FX section and built-in speakers. In the end the choice between the two boils down to deciding on which features are more important to you.

Denon DJ SC Live 2:Denon DJ SC Live 4:Denon DJ Prime 4:
Denon DJ SC Live 2 on Ebay:
Denon DJ SC Live 4 on Ebay:
Denon DJ Prime 4 on Ebay:

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