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Best DJ Controllers for Beginners 2023

There has never been a better moment to start learning how to DJ. For DJ beginners, technology has taken a formerly prohibitively expensive hobby/profession into the mainstream. Every major high-end DJ equipment maker now offers inexpensive digital DJ controllers.

Many well-equipped DJ software applications, ranging from iOS apps like Traktor DJ or Algoriddim Djay to Serato or Pioneer DJ’s rekordbox intro versions, can be sampled for free or cheap. The learning curve has also been significantly shortened, thanks to simple technologies like auto-sync and smart track recommendations, which may assist even total beginners in mixing convincingly.

While you may learn basic DJ mixing with nothing more than a DJ laptop or mobile device, a controller will help you feel more connected to your chosen DJ application. DJ controllers often come with additional functionality, such as access to other software functions or a built-in audio interface that allows you to connect your entire setup to a speaker system, just like a typical mixer.

Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX

Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX - DJ Controller For Serato DJ with 4 Deck Control, DJ Mixer, Built-in...
  • Complete Serato DJ System – DJ Controller for Serato DJ Lite (Included) with 4 decks of control, built-in 24-bit audio interface and plug and play...
  • Visualize Your DJ Mix - Large 6-inch capacitive-touch jog wheels with high-resolution color displays that show beats per minute (BPM), platter...
  • Personalize your DJ Set - Six Fun, quick-launch FX with dual paddle triggers; dedicated instant loop controls; eight performance pads per deck to...

Numark’s Mixtrack line is one of the most well-known names in entry-level DJing, and it has always provided a good balance of functionality at a reasonable price. The Platinum FX, the company’s most recent addition, may be the best bang-for-your-buck ever as compared to the Numark Mixtrack Pro FX.

The Platinum FX is the highest-end Mixtrack controller, including 4-deck mixing, large jog wheels with high-resolution displays, and a mic input. Hot Cues, Auto Loop, Sampling, and Fader Cuts are just a few of the great performance/remix capabilities included in the FX part of the name. A pair of useful paddle switches allow you to easily access Serato’s built-in effects. All of this adds up to a lot of potential fun, making even the most skilled DJ skills accessible.

While you’re mixing, the jog wheel screens show you important information. When you’re in the middle of a set, you won’t have to look at your laptop or computer. This capability is normally reserved for higher-end DJ equipment. Even though the screens aren’t the best in the world, they nevertheless offer a lot of usefulness.

The Mixtrack Platinum is a 2-channel controller with 4-channel mixing capabilities, making it one of the best DJ controllers for a larger setup. Each jog wheel has a huge built-in LCD panel for keeping track of things like BPM, track play duration, pitch adjustment, and more to ensure a smooth transition between tracks.

You can also swap between four distinct decks and decide which one is active at this beginner dj controller, allowing you to make your own mix tapes with endless layering possibilities. This is also advantageous because you won’t have to continually monitor your laptop, avoiding you from becoming distracted and allowing you to concentrate on actual mixing rather than song selection.

You may utilize the multi touch capabilities to swiftly search through tracks or strip FX. There are 16 performance pads for loops, hot cues, and launching samples. Filter knobs are included for each channel to let you shape your sound even further. Pitch sliders are also included, allowing for even finer pitch adjustments. Tracks may be controlled with precision thanks to intelligent touch controls. This is the Best DJ Controller for Beginners in 2023.

Roland DJ-202

Roland DJ-202 2-Channel Serato DJ Controller with Drum Machine
  • Two-channel, four-deck controller for Serato DJ Lite (free Serato DJ Pro upgrade included with purchase in U. S. Only)
  • Large platters with the lowest available latency, optimized for scratching
  • Built-in drum kits from Roland legendary pattern-909, pattern-808, pattern-707, and pattern-606, realized with advanced ACB (analog circuit behavior)...

The Roland DJ-202 is another excellent low-cost controller that rates among the best DJ controllers. The DJ-202 is a tiny package with a lot of capabilities that are beneficial for DJing, live performance, and studio production. Serato DJ is compatible with the DJ-202, and a Lite version of the software is included to get you started generating music.

The DJ-202 is incredibly user-friendly and modern, with all of the functionality of a high-end controller in a more portable package. DJing, remixing, and even composing tracks are all possible with the DJ-202. Large platters with extremely low latency, dedicated pad and transport controls, an internal sequencer for managing Serato DJ’s sampler, and even a mic input for performing are all features of the DJ-202.

Roland is a relative newcomer to the DJ gear world, but its controllers have a unique selling point: they include emulations of the brand’s classic 808, 909, and 707 drum machines. Because there are fewer controls here than on the higher-end DJ-505 and DJ-808 controllers, it’s a little more tricky to sequence those drum sounds. The large performance pads, on the other hand, are more than enough to allow users to bang out drum patterns in the middle of a mix. A mic input and various onboard vocal effects, including a gate, filters, reverb, and echo, are also included.

The dedicated performance pads support Hot Cue, Loop, Sequencer, and Sampler modes. You can apply effects like gating, a high pass filter, reverb, and even an echo on the mic input. Built-in drum kits from Roland’s renowned drum machines are also included. They include superior Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology, which gives them a lot of power and realism. A bass drum, snare, closed and open hats, toms, rim shots, and claps are included in each kit.

The DJ-202 is software-wise built for Serato Lite (included), but if you own or acquire a Serato Pro license, the 202 is fully mapped to take advantage of the software’s more pro-level functions. You’re paying for the high-quality drum sounds and vocal effects, so if those appeal to you, this is a good deal; otherwise, you could get more bang for your buck elsewhere.

Pioneer DJ DDJ-400

Pioneer DJ DDJ-400 2-Deck Rekordbox DJ Controller
  • 2-deck Digital DJ Controller for rekordbox dj Software (Included)
  • With 8 Performance Pads and 2-channel USB Interface

The Pioneer DDJ-400 is a fantastic DJ controller for beginners. I strongly recommend getting this controller to learn on if you want something reasonably priced and know you’ll want to upgrade in the future. This controller has a much lower learning curve than other beginner controllers, making it simple to get started with DJing. If you’re not sure where to begin, just grab this one and you’ll be OK.

Pioneer DJ is a well-known and well-liked audio solutions firm, and they provide DJ controllers as well. The DDJ-400 was designed with novices in mind and is intended to be used as a person’s first DJ controller. The DDJ-400 is a 2-channel DJ controller that includes a license for Pioneer DJ’s own DJ software, rekordbox. Learning to DJ on the DDJ-400 is simple and enjoyable. It’s jam-packed with features that will help you quickly improve your talents and feel confident using more powerful DJ controllers in the future.

The DDJ-400 is set up similarly to Pioneer DJ’s NXS2 controller, a more advanced model, so that when you upgrade, you may feel at ease utilizing a more professional setup. Dedicated cue buttons, beat FX for spicing up your mixes, CDJ style looping, and more are some of the features contained in the DDJ-400 that you’ll also find on more advanced DJ controllers.

The DDJ-400 offers a tutorial option that will help you understand the ins and outs of the controller. The training feature pairs with the integrated rekordbox DJ software to assist you in learning both the hardware and software.

You can select to hear the mix through your computer’s speakers (if it’s connected) or studio monitors for more versatility. You can also listen to the master output with headphones at the same time. The DDJ-400 is ideal for traveling and is quite sturdy, so you won’t have to worry about it becoming scuffed up in the process for the best dj controller under 1000.

Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 | All In One 2 Deck DJ Controller for Serato DJ

Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 | All In One 2 Deck DJ Controller for Serato DJ Including an On board Audio...
  • Next Generation Feature Packed Controller : Ultra Portable two deck DJ Controller for Serato DJ Intro (Included) for Mac and PC with high resolution 5...
  • Connectivity Covered : On board pro grade class compliant audio interface with 2 headphone outputs and main output for seamless connection to mixers &...
  • Mix Control : Two physical decks outfitted with a crossfader, dedicated browsing controls, individual filter controls, touch capacitive jog wheels and...

The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 is the newest member of the Numark DJ controller family, and it was created with the professional or aspiring DJ in mind. Professional features include 100mm pitch sliders, 16 multi-function pads, and a copy of Serato DJ Intro bundled with the controller. This tutorial will show you how to download, install, and use the Moxtrack Pro 3 and Serato DJ Intro software.

When the action doesn’t stop, we make sure you’re the one in charge. We provide the muscle you need to get the job done. Mixtrack 3 will never disappoint you. Everything you loved about the Mixtrack II is still here, but there’s much more now. What’s more, we’ll provide you 100mm pitch sliders that make even the tiniest pitch adjustments a breeze, making it simple to keep two cuts in perfect beat sync without any drift. Other 60mm pitch sliders can’t compete with this level of performance. We give you a wonderful look and sound!

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk3 DJ Controller

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk3 DJ Controller
  • Jog mode: Classic spin-to-nudge function, as well as scratch capability
  • Beat grid adjust mode: Use the jog wheel to manually adjust beat grid in TRAKTOR
  • Club-standard layout with identical deck design, 2-channel mixer, and fast control of key TRAKTOR features

NI’s entry-level Traktor controller, now in its third iteration, is one of the most beautiful appearing devices at this price point. It’s also well-made, and seems far more professional than its pricing suggests. The S2 is a controller designed exclusively for Native Instruments’ Traktor platform. It’s made to function with both the cross-platform, beginner-friendly Traktor DJ app and the more powerful Traktor Pro 3 – and the fact that it comes with a complete license for the latter is a big plus.

While the S2 lacks the more complicated effect and sampling features found on larger Traktor controllers, there’s still plenty to get your teeth into for both novices and seasoned DJs. The S2 isn’t the cheapest starting controller on the market, but it’ll certainly satisfy intermediate DJs as their requirements and goals increase.

NI’s reimagined basic DJ controller is a knockout. The Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 has a more modern and elegant look, as well as a number of useful features. With a strong, though slightly limited, range of possibilities, performance pads perform admirably. Another wonderful feature is the dedicated knobs for loop functionality. The jog wheels are comfortable to operate and can be utilized to perform scratch routines.

This two-channel controller also has a lot of connectivity choices. Both balanced and unbalanced master outputs are available. There’s also a microphone input. The built-in sound card is capable and produces high-quality audio.

The Traktor S2 Mk2 is one of the greatest beginner DJ controllers, thanks to Traktor Pro 3 software. It’s also a great backup system for Traktor DJs.

Hercules DJControl Inpulse 200

Hercules DJControl Inpulse 200 – DJ controller with USB, ideal for beginners learning to mix - 2...
  • Learn the Basics of Djing With the Controller'S Exclusive Features: Tempo and Beat Align Guides That Light Up, In Addition to The Assistant and Energy...
  • Comprehensive Djing Software Included: Discover the Basics of Djing With Interactive Help and Integrated Tutorial Videos
  • Choose Your Tracks Easily with The Intelligent Music Assistant, and Its Suggestions of today’s Hottest Tracks

Whether you’re a budding DJ or a seasoned pro, the Hercules DJControl Inpulse 200 will come in handy. It also comes with the DJUCED DJ software, which is compatible with the Hercules DJControl Inpulse 200’s small design.

The Inpulse line from Hercules is aimed squarely at beginning DJs. They’re not only inexpensive and simple to use, but they’re also designed to teach you how to mix.

The controllers come with Hercules’ DJUCED software, which includes built-in video tutorials and a light guide on the controller itself to show you what each button performs. These tools are combined with visual “beat align” guides to help visualize the synchronization of your two decks, as well as a “Intelligent Music Assistant” tool that will automatically recommend the next track to keep your mix moving.

The controller hardware is a little toy-like, and there’s no meaningful connection with any of the big DJ apps, unlike most of the controllers in this roundup (Serato, Traktor, rekordbox). However, the price is really reasonable, and for young aspiring DJs, this could be exactly the ticket.

You can use the DJControl Impulse’s twin deck design to perform track browsing, vinyl-style cueing, and pitchbend capabilities. These are also conceivable due to the fact that the wheels are capacitive jog wheels that are also touch sensitive. The brightening up of the rainbow performance pads indicates the four control modes of the DJCONTROL Inpulse, which comprise sampler, FX rolls, and hot-cues. There are around 8 of these pafs. The intelligent music assistant (IMA) that is included into this DJControl Inpulse 200 would be ideal for a beginner.

The DJUCED’s Intelligent Music Assistant assists him with making ideas for tunes to play that will match the party’s intensity and vibes. The DJControl Inpulse deck includes guidelights. You would be less likely to look at the computer screen as a result of this.

It also contains tempo instructions that show you how to move the tempo for a fader effect in the right way. It doesn’t stop there; the beat align also demonstrates how to move the jog wheels in the most efficient manner. The DJControl Inpulse comes with a headset.

Pioneer DJ DDJ-200 – 2-deck Digital DJ Controller with USB/Bluetooth Connectivity

Pioneer Electronics DDJ-200 2-Channel Smart DJ Controller
  • Lightweight and compact with a pro-style layout it’ll help you learn to mix

Pioneer’s CDJs are the industry standard, and their extensive variety of mid- and pro-level DJ controllers routinely outperforms the competition. The DDJ-200 is a stripped-down version of these higher-end devices, with jog wheels, a simple mixer, and performance pads that look and feel professional without overwhelming novice DJs.

The DDJ-200 may be used with Algoriddim Djay, edjing Mix, or Pioneer’s own rekordbox and WeDJ programs in terms of software. The latter is an iOS/Android software with some excellent educational features targeted at bringing newcomers up to speed on the fundamentals of DJing. Stepping up to the more pro-featured rekordbox software also provides a wonderful path into sophisticated mixing.

The DDJ-200 is Bluetooth-enabled, allowing it to connect wirelessly to mobile devices or computers, and its power requirements are low enough that it may be powered by a portable USB charger. Users can also use the WeDJ software to mix music from SoundCloud Go+ or Beatport LINK, albeit both services require separate subscriptions.

The lack of an audio interface is a noticeable drawback, requiring a separate device for a full master out/headphones DJ setup — which is reflected in the low pricing. However, a split audio wire is included in the package, allowing for a basic workaround for monitoring tracks for the best dj controller under 400.

Numark DJ2GO2 Complete USB DJ Controller Set

Numark DJ2GO2 | Ultra Portable Two Channel DJ Controller for Serato DJ Intro Featuring A Built In...
  • Get them Gifts They’ll Remember this Holiday Season; The perfect DJ inspired Christmas gift for kids, women, men, mum, dad and Secret Santa
  • Ultra Portable, Feature Packed; Compact 2 channel Serato DJ Lite (Included) USB DJ Controller for Mac and PC; MIDI mapping for use with other popular...
  • Connectivity Covered; On board audio interface with 1/8 inch headphone output and 1/8 inch main output for complete hookup flexibility with DJ...

Numark’s redesigned DJ2GO is one of the most feature-packed DJ controllers on the market in terms of size and capabilities. The device’s compact form factor makes it almost pocket-sized, yet it still has room for two jog wheels, a crossfader, a built-in interface, and four performance pads for each deck.

This is an excellent beginner device for both children and adults, and it has enough functionality to be utilized by a professional DJ on the go. This DJ Controller is exceptionally light, weighing only 11 ounces! It measures 17 x 3.4 inches and is just over an inch thick, making it highly portable. Most notably, the width measurement is extremely small, which may fit a variety of folks based on their own setup and style. I

It’s difficult to overstate how compact and light this DJ Controller is, and it’d be an excellent choice for anyone who wants to move around with it without feeling bogged down. It also lends itself nicely to being a second unit in terms of cost, as it won’t break the bank. There’s a compromise to be made here. You can’t have extreme portability without sacrificing essential features, such as controls. Because they can’t be full size on this unit, you’ll have to accept that if you want to consider the Numark DJ2 GO2, but that’s to be expected.

As a result, the jog wheels are plainly fairly small, and mastering them will take some time. Because there isn’t enough physical space to make them any longer, the faders are also shorter. You also don’t receive the same range of control options as you do with larger controllers for identical reasons. It’s a good one to get acclimated to, and it’s a fantastic alternative as a backup or for those on a tight budget. It comes preloaded with Serato Intro software, so you can start learning right away for the best dj controller under 200.

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 DJ Controller

Pioneer DJ DJ Controller, Black, (DDJSB3)
  • Intuitive layout, all of the features were designed to be where you need them, when you need them
  • Add scratch effects to cued and currently playing songs without a turntable thanks to Pad Scratch
  • Mixing is Seamless with the FX Fade feature .5 inch durable aluminium jog wheel. Weight-4.6 pounds

The Pioneer DDJ SB3 is the third in a line of Serato DJ controllers from Pioneer. It’s also a terrific backup for seasoned professionals, drawing inspiration from Pioneer’s more expensive models. For an entry-level controller, the mixer portion is well-equipped. Quick cuts will be a breeze with the crossfader’s modest weight. You can keep your channels out of the red using two channel faders and individual VU meters. However, because there is no master VU meter, you’ll have to rely on the software to keep your mix from going into the red.

Above the faders is a comprehensive 3-band EQ that lets you regulate low, mid, and high frequencies. As a result, you’ll be able to fine-tune your mixes for the best transitions. The addition of a high and low pass filter knob gives you even more control and versatility while mixing. There are also dedicated gain knobs for controlling the volume of each channel.

Serato DJ Lite is included with the Pioneer DDJ-SB3. To begin with, this basic version of the software is adequate. It gives you access to all of the essential features you’ll need to get started DJing. The problem arises when you want to start expanding your talents and use all of the features. You’ll need to upgrade to Serato DJ Pro at this time. If you do decide to purchase the DDJ-SB3, keep this additional cost in mind for the best dj controllers under 500.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are DJ Controllers for Beginners?

Absolutely. They’re appropriate for everyone from complete beginners to international superstar DJs. Manufacturers have designed their product lines to appeal to DJs of all skill levels. Choose wisely from the many options available.

How much should I spend on a DJ Controller?

You may be surprised to learn that $400 can get you a pretty nice novice DJ controller. A set of suitable controllers is available for the entry-level market. Prices range from $120 to $1,000. At this early stage in your DJ career, it truly depends on how much you’re willing to pay. We recommend starting modest and working your way up to the more complicated DJ equipment!

Do I need a mixer?

If you can’t afford a sophisticated audio connection or mixer, a splitter may be the solution. It essentially combines the left and right channels into a single mono stream, freeing up the other channel for headphone monitoring.

What DJ equipment do I need to start?

A typical setup includes headphones, a laptop, a MIC input, DJ controls, an audio interface, monitor speakers, and accessories such as USB or hard disks. DJ necessities are defined by the amount of room available for your DJ gear, your budget, and the style of DJ you want to be.