With the advent of modern technology, along with all the bells and whistles of most DJ controllers, it’s kinda hard to turn your eyes off these convenient gears. DJ controllers may not replace the old-school sound and the fidelity of vinyl records, but they provide more versatility and flexibility to users.
While using turntables can really get the DJ prowess out of you. But if you want to get ahead in today’s music industry, you really need to know the in’s and out’s, which include the gear that you need.
For those who are into DJing and wanted to dominate the world through their music production, here are a few DJ controllers we can recommend to you.
We’ve made thorough research and compare our feedback and the comments from users around the world to give you the most reliable info you need. Before buying your next DJ controller, check out this list first.
10 Best DJ Controllers 2021
For aspiring DJs, Numark Mixtrack Platinum comes with a lot of features you can maximize for great performance. This controller has multiple FX manipulation, 16 performance pads, two-channel mixer with four-deck layout, LCDs built in jog wheels for monitoring on the computer.
Furthermore, it has long and sensitive pitch sliders for beat matching, and a few other great features you can easily get attuned of.
There are filters and EQ knobs with two multi-function touch strippers for dynamic FX control and needle-drop track searching. In just less than 14 pounds, it’s lightweight and portable enough to give you a satisfying performance wherever your gig maybe.
With its USB connectivity and with a built-in sound card, you can easily connect this controller to microphones, headphones, and speakers.
- Look and feel is more rugged and professional
- Great for those who want to develop their craft in DJing
- Produce intolerable noise and buzzes
- Observed some latency when doing music production
- May freeze and even disconnect itself from the computer sometimes
Every professional DJ needs a great controller like the Numark NVII | DJ Controller for Serato DJ. It’s one of the few DJ controllers with dual-screen controller and integrated display screens, so you won’t be focusing on the computer.
Instead, you’ll focus on your performance to make great music and really drive the crowd to dive and jive at the moment.
With its clear markings, responsive and touch-capacitive knobs, you can easily make tweaks and changes with our settings on the fly.
It has dual 5-inch, hyper-responsive metal platters, 16 velocity-sensitive RGB trigger pads, 10 pad modes for loop slicing, hot cues and sample triggering and a lot more. With its sleek and low-profile design, surely your career as a DJ is just about to get pretty.
- Comes with pro features you’ll surely like
- Easy to use and lightweight
- Slicer is great and the FX too
- Searching music slows the controller
- Need to follow setup instructions thoroughly to avoid malfunctioning
- Cannot be powered through USB only
Any DJing style has a more suitable DJ controller that you can use. But, if you’re not sure of your style yet, you may start crafting your own style with the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk3 DJ Controller.
This controller helps you easily craft steppy synths, bass-heavy breakdowns or peak-time rewinds, among others. The two-deck layout helps you access looping and beat-syncing tools easily along with some more effects.
It has 16 RGB pads, enough to help you trigger hot cues, loops, and samples. To give more freedom and versatility, you can check on its jog and beat grid for adjustable modes.
With USB connectivity, high-end audio interface and the full version of the DJ software Traktor Pro 3, you can bring it on stage and play without hassle.
- Can access great features of the Traktor software through its deck
- Construction is of quality
- Only RCA output
- No XLR
- Not really ideal for scratching
- Great hardware
- But not as good as the predecessors
Numark NS6II | 4-Channel Premium DJ Controller
If you think the 4-channel NS6 needs some improvement for you to master your DJing, Numark has the same sentiment as well. So, the maker gives you the new Numark NS6II | 4-Channel Premium DJ Controller packed with features you deserve.
It’s a digital mixer with two inputs (phono/line) that can be mixed directly without the need of software.
In addition, you can also connect this controller to two laptops simultaneously — perfect if you have a co-DJ who performs with you, playing between the four channels of this DJ controller.
It has a 2-inch full-color high-resolution display so you can monitor the BPM, platter position, pitch adjustment, key lock and more. Since it has two USB outputs, NS6II can be a standalone four-channel mixer that can easily be connected to turntables and other external media devices.
- Pros: Plastic construction
- Yet feel solid and rigid
- Has one loop button that allows easy adjustment to the right or left
- Moving the jog wheels is very easy
- Jog wheels have some delays
- Some buttons and knobs got loose
- Though not detached from the board
- Phono mic connection only
- no echo
- Bass or doc
Denon DJ A-B Box MC7000
Be envied with your DJing prowess with Denon DJ A-B Box MC7000. It’s a compact and very reliable four-channel controller and mixer that has dual USB outs to connect to two computers simultaneously like the Numark NS6II | 4-Channel Premium DJ Controller.
Although it’s quite expensive, it’s worth every bit of your money with all the controls and built-in features, you can easily take advantage of during your performance.
It comes with dual six-inch touch-capacitive platters with rotational LED displays, 16 velocity-sensitive pads for easy cueing, slicing and looping and a dedicated Key Matching and Changing controls that help you achieve harmony in your performance.
With four RCA inputs, two mic inputs, two headphone outputs, XLR, and Booth outputs, this thing is just what you need to complete your setup. Not only that, it has four software free downloads — Serato DJ Pro and the expansion packs: Pitch ‘n Time, Flip and Video — so you can easily manipulate your mixes on the fly.
- Working perfectly with very good sound quality
- Hardware is very solid and sturdy
- Great four-channel mixer with dual USB
- Not compatible with Virtual DJ 8 or 7
- Music stops playing at some point
- Needs to reboot
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 DJ Controller
Another four-channel DJ system with great effects onboard is the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 DJ Controller. Featuring new large motorized jog wheels with haptic feedback, you can easily transmit cue points, loop markers directly with your fingertips.
These jog wheels are also very responsive to scratching, nudging, back spins and pitch-fading, if either of these is part of your signature style.
Each jog wheel is surrounded with RGB LED rings for intuitive visual feedback. The hi-res color display allows you to monitor the track ID and tempo, transport data, phase meter, loop length, and state and so much more.
With external inputs on each channel, headphone out, mic ins and DVS support, you’re surely covered. So, just enjoy the rest of the evening with this great controller with you.
- Has two mic inputs
- One 1/4-inch TRS and one combo 1/4-inch TRS/XLR
- Mic and line inputs are more sensitive
- Great jog wheels with haptic
- When a loop is set
- Then you activate the hot cue
- Loop still continues
- No recalibrate option to the reset knobs
- Filter/noise knobs are being off center
- Creating noise sometimes
If you don’t mind the price and just the functionality and versatility of a DJ controller, have the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 Professional DJ System.
It’s an upgrade of the XDJ-RX with the features of the maker’s flagship DJ controllers, which includes a two-deck, two-channel all-in-one system that delivers the best DJ experience. It has a 7-inch large touchscreen with QWERTY search, plus, rotary selector, track filter, short cuts, Sound Colour FX and Beat FX.
With eight large multi-colored performance pads you can control over hot cues, slip loop, beat loop and jump to take your performance to the next level.
This all-in-one solution helps you perform precise and smooth mixes with EQs and the channel faders like those in professional clubs. With USB connection, you can connect it directly to your laptop, import tracks for easier manipulation of your sounds.
- Has a built-in LCD screen display
- Perfect for practicing and mixing
- Easy to set up
- Simply plug in power
- Speaker and the music
- Includes all useful features for you to get quality mixes right away
- Not enough upgrade from its predecessors
- LCD screen has no multi-touch
- Only Qwerty keyboard
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3 Performance
Another controller for serious DJs, the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3 Performance will surely level up your skills and your music production. It has an intuitive interface with professional features like filter, echo, jet and noise FX.
With 16 multi-colored performance pads, on-jog display and mixer sections, you can easily make a few tweaks to achieve more creative sound production.
Its connectivity is expanded with dual USB ports, three mic inputs, and mic FX, so you can easily integrate it with your laptop and other devices. It’s compatible with Windows PC and Mac that has 4GM of RAM, which can be easily integrated with Serato Pro DJ software, Serato Flip and more.
So, if you have gigs whether in club nights, parties and weddings, you can surely rely on this DJ controller.
- All the features work great
- Functions well after getting the controller set up properly
- Play button stops controlling the Serato software
- Won’t play the music that’s already been five minutes into the set
Denon DJ MCX8000 | Standalone DJ Player
Take charge of your music and take charge of your career as a DJ with Denon DJ MCX8000 | Standalone DJ Player.
You can take advantage of two hi-definition display screens that will help you monitor your changes on the standalone Engine 1.5 software and Serato DJ. It has a four-channel digital mixer with three built-in instant effects for the Engine software and line inputs.
With two USB inputs for standalone operation, you can easily connect it to other music equipment. Its metal and reliable construction allow you to have a great performance with its velocity-sensitive pads in which you can easily trigger cues, samples, and rolls.
Since it’s the only controller with built-in software, you can push club parties and gigs to the next level.
- Sturdy construction
- Sounds great and very flexible
- Very responsive and the screen is awesome
- The most expensive on the list
- Great controller
- But it freezes and needs to be restarted
- Engine is not smart after all
- Crashes like every five minutes
Pioneer DJ DDJ 400 2 Channel Controller
For beginning DJs, Pioneer DJ DDJ 400 2 Channel Controller -rekordbox is a great controller to start with. Packed with basic features you can easily learn and practice, this gear is compatible with most computers — Mac or Windows.
Read: Best Beginner DJ Controllers
Since it’s also compatible with the new Tutorial features in the rekordbox dj, you can easily get in tune with the operation of this controller through its step-by-step instructions.
With its lightweight and portable design, it’s very easy for you to carry it from home, for practice to parties and small venue concerts. Plug and play connectivity via USB cable and has a built-in sound card onboard.
Club-style layout, so you won’t need to get familiarized with other high-end DJ controllers and just do your thing without any problem.
- Extremely easy to learn and to use
- Though made of plastic
- But seems well-built and compact
- as all the necessary controls and aspiring DJ needs
- Has no master tempo button
- Some users complained about dead headphone jack right out of the box
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST DJ CONTROLLERS 2021
Money is definitely not the determinant in looking for the best DJ controller for 2019.
While it might affect the choices of some people, but a great controller — whether expensive or cheap — if you really have the skill, you can sound like a pro with entry-level gear. What matters, however, are the aspects below:
Maybe, if you’re coming from turntables to CD players and now, with the aid of computer connectivity, it’s tempting to get something that suits all your needs, says Digital DJ Tips. Depending on your needs and your resources, you definitely go for something, which connectivity options serve your purpose well.
If you have a large collection of vinyl records or CDs, you might need a controller that helps you get your favorite track to play with this controller. But, for most cases, you might prefer to have USB connectivity or better yet, wireless if that’s more convenient to you.
Some DJs are already dependent on music production software onboard in most common DJ controllers. While some controllers, specifically cheaper ones have Lite versions of some popular software, it’s still best to assess whether the software is really useful to you.
Number of channels
Still, depending on your application, you need a two-channel or a four-channel controller. The number of channels can be equated to the number of mixing deck in your software or number of decks or turntables to mix.
If you’re a mobile DJ, two-channel is more than enough, says getinthemix.com. But, for club DJs, maybe four or more channels are necessary to give more versatility and creativity.
Built-in sound card or audio interface could be a huge plus in your DJ controller. So, even if you don’t have a screen to look into, you can still make music with your controller only. If you think this feature works for you, check if the controller you’re eyeing for has a ‘headphone jack.’
You’re looking for a new DJ controller because you either new to DJing or you need to replace your gear. For the former, this YouTube video might help you understand what you’re looking for in a controller.
For the latter, however, the video might not be that useful, but it gives you tricks on how to really find the right equipment for your needs. So, check it out!
What is the best DJ controller in 2021
Numark NVII | DJ Controller for Serato DJ and Denon DJ A-B Box MC7000 are top picks for the best dj controllers – primarily because they have the features we need in a DJ controller. The Numark is very intuitive with the layout, screen displays, trigger pads, and pad modes. The Denon, on the other hand, is a premium DJ controller with all professional features onboard.
For budget buyers, Numark is a great buy for you. However, if you really want to explore more and craft your DJing skills better, the Denon is the one for you. You’ll be more flexible with this versatile DJ controller.