Top 5 DJs and What Equipment They Use

DJs who are trying to become better and learn their style often look up to more successful DJs. This is a natural thing to do. As far as equipment is concerned, you might be surprised to hear that many of the top 5 DJs of 2017 use very similar setups.

The reason for this is simple, touring DJs simply don’t have the desire to haul around coffins and cords from city to city, country to country. As a result, many venues who book shows for DJs will have very similar setups for them to use.

The Typical Setup

Pioneer is the industry standard for DJ equipment. Most DJs use Pioneer brand mixers and CDJs, which in many cases which are provided by the venue. Of course, specific models can vary from venue to venue, but usually the top DJs will use something like this combo:

Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2 Professional Multi Player - Black
  • DJ CD Player/Media Player with 7" Multicolor Touchscreen
  • Complete rekordbox Integration - Black
  • Extensive Media Format Support
Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2 4-Channel DJ Mixer with Effects
  • 4-channel Digital DJ Mixer with Analog and Digital I/O
  • 3-band Switchable Iso EQs
  • Dual USB Connectivity

Last update on 2024-02-18 at 13:08 // More Information

Every DJ that is a big name in the industry has worked with these items at one point or another. Some prefer them, some prefer other equipment, but generally they all fall back on this setup if they don’t want to haul equipment to their next gig.

David Guetta

When working in the studio to mix a track, you will likely find David Guetta working on a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) of some sort. However, when you see him working a live set, he seems to prefer using the typical setup described above.

By glancing at Guetta’s preferred equipment, we can see that he prefers having top of the line products, which aren’t necessarily the cheapest options. If you have the extra money, these products are definitely worth the investment, but not necessary.

Mixer Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2
Decks Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2
Headphones Beats Mixr
Accessories Pioneer RMX-1000
DAWs Pro Tools, Ableton Live, FL Studio


Calvin Harris

Mr. Harris seems to pick favorites when it comes to equipment. He tends to prefer using the industry standard DJ equipment, with his tracks harbored on a USB hard drive.

When he is making music, you can find Calvin Harris on his MacBook using Apple Logic Pro. Since he is most famous for what he does in the studio, it is no wonder that he seems to go along with the typical setup.

Mixer Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2
Decks Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2
Headphones Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-2000
Tracks Lacie Rugged Mini USB 3.0
DAW Apple Logic Pro


DJs like Zedd prove that you don’t need to invest in the most expensive equipment or software to make it big in the industry. Zedd tends to prefer using a MIDI controller as his main mixing board.

One thing that sticks out in particular is that Zedd uses a firewire audio interface. These tend to be a little bit more difficult to setup, but the sound they produce is much better than a USB audio interface.

Controller Native Instruments Kontrol S4 MK2
Audio Interface Universal Audio Apollo FireWire
Headphones Beats Mixr, Audio Technica ATH-M50
DJ Software Traktor DJ
DAWs Pro Tools, Steinberg Cubase 7


Armin van Buuren

Armin van Buuren is one of the industry’s most rounded DJs. He tends to prefer using equipment that is nicer than the typical setup. However, you never really know what to expect Armin van Buuren to use for a live set.

When making music, Armin van Buuren can use just about any sort of production software, including PreSonus, which many producer DJs might not even have heard of. Trance music is an art, take notes from Armin van Buuren.

Mixer Pioneer DJM-2000, Allen & Heath Xone:DB4
Decks Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2, Technics SL1200 MK2
Headphones Beyerdyamic DT 250, Beyerdynamic DT 770
Accessories Pioneer RMX-1000, Pioneer EFX-1000,
DAWs Pro Tools, Ableton Live, FL Studio, PreSonus, Apple Logic Pro


Every aspiring DJ has looked up to Skrillex at one point or another. Like Armin van Buuren, Skrillex seems to have a very eclectic style of DJing, using industry standard equipment, retro turntables, CDJs, and a variety of different software.

Skrillex is an excellent DJ to model if you want to be able to be the best in the studio and at the venue. The secret to his success is hiding right in his equipment.

Mixer Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2, Rane Sixty-Two
Decks Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2, Technics SL1200 MK2
Headphones Audio Technica ATH-M50, Beats Studio
Accessories Pioneer RMX-1000, Pioneer EFX-1000
Audio Interface Traktor Audio 10
DJ Software Serato Scratch Live
DAWs Pro Tools, Ableton Live, FL Studio,

Why This Information Matters to an Aspiring DJ

Let’s be clear: you want to develop your own style as a DJ. You don’t want to, for example, buy David Guetta’s setup just because David Guetta uses it. Make sure that you are only purchasing the equipment that fits you and your style.

That being said, the secret to becoming a great DJ is in the equipment. When the big-name DJs go on stage and show off what they are using, they are really giving away their secrets. From this short list alone, we can see that you can either use industry standard, expensive equipment, or just be like Zedd and develop your own style. Either way, you can make it as a successful DJ without worrying too much about the money for investment. The top 5 DJs of 2017 is a judgment call, but regardless of your opinion all of the DJs listed above are having a huge impact on the industry. 


**All pictures in this article licensed CC BY 2.0