As we mention on the homepage, the mixer you choose is quite essential. If you’re a beginner, you want to spend as much as you can afford on a quality mixer to help you out in the long run. If you’re an amateur DJ with a bit of money coming in from gigging, it may be time to consider an upgrade. We put together this list of the best DJ mixers on the market with reviews and ratings to help you make the right choice.
Things to Consider
You may discover that certain features you thought you wanted end up going unused; this is why it is best to know what type of DJ you want to be before you pick your mixer. If you want to be a scratch DJ, you want to have a mixer that is best suited to provide top-quality scratching sounds and perform well. If you intend to be or are a mobile DJ, you might consider a standalone mixer with at least 4 channels to allow you some headroom for last-minute requests via a client’s iPod or phone.
Mobile DJs also prefer portability, so you might consider getting an all-in-one controller that includes a built-in sound card or high quality audio interface to make transportation a whole lot easier. Many of today’s top controllers work great as mixers and even have a mic input or two.
A final thing to consider would be whether or not you want to rely on a computer. Computers fail, so you are running a risk when you go this route. However, this con is often outweighed by the pros of having all your music in one place, being able to hook into a variety of setups, and being portable. If you operate on a standalone system, such as a couple CDJs and a mixer, you’ll have a reliable setup. However, you’ll also be paying more and having to transport more cumbersome equipment.
A Quick Look
Before we detail some of the top DJ mixers on the market, let’s review our top choices. If you want simply the best DJ mixer, you need to check out the innovative Pioneer DJM-2000 Nexus. It’s the mixer that many world-class DJs and venues use. It’s got great sound quality and packs a ton of features, but it also carries a hefty price tag.
Our second-best mixer, the Rane Sixty-Two, offers all the top features you might want in a mixer at a slightly more affordable price than the Pioneer. You could also say these same thing about the Allen & Heath Xone:DB4, which instead offers 4 separate sliders — one for each channel.
Some of the top-selling and customer favorite mixers are not necessarily always the best ones you can purchase. For this reason we have also decided to take a special look at the Behringer DDM400 and the Numark M6 USB, which are both top selling mixers.
It wasn’t too long ago that a DJ mixer was simply that, not an all-in-one controller allowing the user to connect to computer software. Regardless, due to this change in the industry some of the best mixers for DJing are included in controllers with a sound card and USB connectivity.
You’ll find that some of the products below are DJ controllers with quality mixers. These may be an option for you to save money or keep your setup to a minimum. You’ll find an asterisk next to these product titles.
Best DJ Mixers
|1. Pioneer DJM-2000 Nexus||★★½||★★★★★||★★★★★|
|2. Rane Sixty-Two Performance Mixer||★★★||★★★★★||★★★★½|
|3. Allen & Heath Xone:DB4||★★★½||★★★★★||★★★★½|
|4. Numark NS7III*||★★★½||★★★★½||★★★★★|
|5. Denon DJ MCX8000*||★★★½||★★★★||★★★★½|
|6. Pioneer Pro DDJ-SX2*||★★★★||★★★★||★★★★½|
|7. Reloop Terminal Mix 8*||★★★½||★★★★||★★★★|
|8. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2*||★★★★||★★★½||★★★★|
|9. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2||★★★★||★★★★||★★★½|
|10. Behringer DDM4000||★★★★★||★★★½||★★★½|
*Midi controller with top-quality mixer-emulating software and audio interface
Now, let’s dive into some more in-depth reviews of our top standalone mixer choices:
The latest and greatest mixer from Pioneer is truly a masterpiece. The DJM-2000nexus is one of the only mixers which offers touch screen functionality and more features than any other standalone mixer. It’s a high quality choice that leaves little to be desired.
The screen offers visualization of all sound whenever you use an effect of EQ knob, helping you now to fully “see” your transitioning. With FX, looping, and more MIDI buttons than you could ever need, this would be a purchase that would last you an entire career of creativity.
|5.8” Touch Screen||A little big.|
|4-channel mixer, each with line/phone/USB support||May require a specially built case.|
|FX with frequencies, easy looping.||Expensive.|
If you don’t mind having a more simple, but high-quality mixer the Rane Sixty-Two might be your best option. This channel offers two channels with knobs, and two channels with fader and crossfader support.
Each channel also has FX support, allowing you to even do things like add reverb to your voice while making announcements. With enough practice, this mixer can compete at any level.
|24-bit / 48 kHz soundcard||Buttons and knobs are a little close together.|
|DJ Microphone FX||FX with multiple channels is hard to do.|
|Bundled with Serato Scratch Live||A little expensive.|
The Allen & Heath Xone:DB4 offers all of the top features that you are looking for, in a simpler format. With FX buttons individual for each channel, BPM counting, high and low pass filters, this piece of equipment packs a nice punch of power.
This mixer also has a built in looper for each channel, allowing looping to be done really easily. The screen BPM display and intuitive lighting are excellent additions to the mixer which give it the aesthetic touch it needs to be a top DJ mixer.
|4-channel mixer with separate looping/FX.||Price.|
|Excellent 24-bit / 96 kHz soundcard.||No included software.|
|Durable, metal construction.||Screen isn’t color.|
Offering 32-bit sound, the Behringer DDM4000 offers an incredible amount of features for its price tag. With FX, looping, BPM counting, and MIDI capability, this controller is an economical alternative to high-price features.
This mixer also offers a screen to give you a rundown of any programs you are running on the mixer. With its price tag, you really can understand why fans like this one over some the more expensive options.
|FX, Looping, BPM Counting.||FX quality is a little lacking.|
|32-bit sound quality.||Needs careful use to make it last long.|
|Reasonable price.||Cheap plastic parts.|
If you want a mixer that is cheap to buy, durable, and you could care less about other features, you would like the Numark M6 USB. Of course, this mixer still allows for timecode and digital (but not MIDI) support for any DJ with software.
Although it is a tad basic, it packs the basics well. This is probably why it is a top-selling mixer, despite its lack of bells and whistles.
|Great price.||Levels can easily clip.|
|4-channels with separate faders.||No FX, Loops, or fancy features.|
|Separate microphone channel.||Cheap plastic parts|
Do Your Research
- Do you know what an RCA port is?
- Do you know what a soundcard (or audio interface) is?
- Do you know what a channel is?
- Do you know what EQs are and understand how to use them for volume control?
- Do you know the difference between a standalone and a MIDI controller?
- Do you know the difference between phono line and line inputs?
- Do you know what a gain is?
- Do you know what a crossfader is and understand fader curve?
- Do you know what a sampler is?
- Do you know what tempo, BPM, and beat matching are?
- Do you know if you’ll need a mic input?
- Do you need a mixer outside of DJing for music production?
If you answered no to one or more of the above questions, you really should consider putting in more research on these terms before you even think about opening your wallet. An uneducated decision is the same as a poor decision.
Make sure you are up-to-date on the latest lingo. It really is not as hard to understand basic the terminology as it may appear. Make it easier on yourself and your wallet, by learning these things before you start purchasing equipment.
What’s the Best DJ Mixer for Beginners?
Although all-in-one DJ controllers seem to be improving, they limit the type of performance that you can do. If you have a standalone mixer, you can perform with or without a laptop and still purchase equipment that will account for the features you would have in any all-in-one system.
For this reason, we have selected the Behringer DDM4000 as the best mixer for any beginner DJ. This mixer will give you the freedom to explore your style while you are beginning your DJ career, using a mixer with the same functionality as nearly any.
Accompanied with MIDI capability, the Behringer DDM4000 is capable of doing anything the mixers on all-in-one controllers can, and more. This controller allows you to have a more personal set-up, and you will be able to later hand-pick the controllers that you use alongside.
Every DJ wants to use only the best DJ mixers. However, when both wallet and necessity are taken into account, it is easy to buy the lower-priced alternatives.
The best mixer on the market right now (check it out in action) is easily the Pioneer DJM-2000 Nexus. Since it comes with a cost, some more economical alternatives to this model would be the Rane Sixty-Two, or Allen & Heath Xone:DB4.
If you want a cheaper option with a nice share of features, check out the Behringer DDM 4000. Or, if you simply want a cost effective mixer that has 4-channels, your best bet would be the Numark M6 USB.
Stay tuned as we’re currently looking into the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 which deserves a spot on the list. In the meantime, you can check it out here.