Everyone needs the best arsenal to win a battle. With DJ-ing being a demanding job itself, foolproof gear is absolutely essential. While other accessories matter too, the best DJ controllers can alone set the tone of success for you as a DJ or your event as a DJ venture.
Now, money can’t buy happiness. It can however buy you DJ gear that’s incredible in value. It’s true but we beg to differ sometimes. For DJ equipment to be great, price is not a determinant. We have exemplary Dj controllers under $600 that support our claims.
Read on for our take on the best DJ controllers and their place in the bigger picture of DJ-ing.
Just like any endeavor, DJ-ing too requires making informed decisions about the equipment needed to excel in the industry. It’s obvious, amateur and professionals alike struggle to channel their talent and passion. But what sets them apart is the know-how of the best DJ equipment in the market and how the gear would make a difference in their performance. The right DJ equipment, especially controllers are critical in any setting. Since it can take a performance from a ranking of a hit to miss and vice versa, it’s important to choose them wisely.
Knowing how informed decision-making roots from knowledge base and awareness, we bring you a comprehensive guide about the top DJ controllers of 2021. After all, we pledged to have you back in all DJ endeavors.
Here’s everything you need to know:
How to Choose A DJ Controller?
A DJ controller that fits your definition of a great tool might not exactly include the cheapest 4 channel DJ controller. But ours does. The reason is that choosing the best DJ controller does not mean choosing the top-of-the-line, most expensive, and most loaded with features equipment. It means choosing what’s best for your DJ-ship. What rocks our DJ ship/boast is a controller with the following features:
- Built-In Mixer: A great feature to look out for when choosing a DJ controller is a built-in mixer. This allows DJs to easily play with basics like pitch faders, EQ capability, play, and cue buttons, and line and crossfaders without having to deploy a separate mixer.
- Universal Compatibility: The Apple and Android wars are never-ending. However, in the wake of these wars, it’s important to have DJ gear that is compatible with all operating systems, laptops, PCs, and accessories that require port connectivity.
- Top budget DJ controller nature: It is always wise to buy equipment that’s practical and functional. Spending on a brand name is not wise. It is instead better to look for functionality on a budget that serves both purposes: saving and succeeding in a DJ endeavor.
These 3 pointers might seem too little of a guideline for how to choose a DJ controller. However, the truth is the simpler, the better!
We keep it simple and so should you. The top DJ controllers in our opinion are those that despite being simple, on a budget, and not too loaded let you bag compliments and make your event a super success. While all other features make it a must include list when it comes to choosing the best gear, remembering that pocket-friendly options always go a long way is critical. The above-mentioned features are common in our favorites for this year, however, what makes our favorites a real hit is that they are all under $600.
In times when we all are facing crunches of some sort, entrepreneurs are especially impacted. Keeping our DJ entrepreneurs and their struggles during the pandemic in mind, we selected the best DJ controllers that were not only great in their functionality but also practically budget-friendly.
Here’s an overview of the controllers all set to take on the 2021 DJ market with their $600 and under the price tag. Read on for an extensive highlight of their bonus features that makes them a show stopper this year.
Top DJ Controllers of 2021 under $600
Club or event, formal or a party, the DDJ 400 takes a win in every setting. Known to be the best DJ controller for practicing skills using an interface similar to that of Pioneer’s club-standard player, the DDJ 400 is a must-have for enhanced mixing. Its Beat FX feature allows amateurs and professionals alike to devour a world of matching tempos, creating music from scratch and playing in sync. Developed to help you create unique new beats, DDJ 400 is considered the best Pioneer DJ controller. Its universal compatibility allows it to be used with iOS as well as other operating systems.
To add to its usefulness, the iDJ and DJ Pro for PC/Mac allow you to mix and stream songs simultaneously. Along with being the best controller for iDJ software, its flexibility makes it a showstopper. Paired with your computer, the DDJ 400 allows you to listen to the created music through internal speakers or connected desktop speakers at the same time. You can also cure various tracks using headphones while other songs play out loud.
Pioneer DDJ SB3
The new DDJ-SB2 and Serato DJ blend by Pioneer is the best controller for beginner DJs given its ease of use, flexibility, and capability of allowing skills to be honed in a home setting. It is a 2-channel controller, created to help new as well as professional DJs to navigate through multiple channels easily and make transitions feel like a breeze. It features a professional-style layout inspired by Pioneer’s top DDJ-S range, critical to take on the DJ world.
Additionally, the DDJ SB3 is also known to have the best DJ controller interface. Its added FX Fade feature allows you to dive into a world of musical possibilities with scratch effects, without using turntables and via the new Pad Scratch function. Co-developed with DJ Jazzy Jeff, this technique adds scratch recordings to tracks at a touch of the Performance Pads.
That’s not all. We place our bids on this controller for being one of the best DJ controllers for the reason that it offers all the essential functions performed by jog wheels, Performance Pads, play and cue buttons, independent Auto Loop buttons, and all knobs and fader to be accessible easily as they are arranged in an easy-to-reach way.
Its convenience of seamless mixing and controlling is also attributed to its durable design, low-latency jog wheels to give you a great scratch response, and an immensely friendly user interface. Being compatible as well as budget-friendly, this controller makes it to our list of top DJ controllers for 2021.
Pioneer DDJ – SR
Known for a compact control system the Pioneer SR wins as the best small DJ controller and best Portable DJ controller for 2021. Its compact nature may be deceiving but it is in no way less than the other most popular DJ controllers we have listed for 2021.
This is a special Pioneer SR controller that brings ease, and functionality together. Its practical gear nature enables you to make use of its dedicated buttons for FX and advanced features such as Beat Jump, Slip mode and Quantize. Moreover, it lets you edit on mute while live music plays without hindrance.
It's small but mighty in potential. To begin with, we see it as a top DJ controller as it delivers many of the superior performance features of any top-flight 4-channel controller within a small packet. This small yet powerful gear enables you to utilize the built-in Serato sound card, large jog wheels, and Slip Mode to create, listen to and mix music like never before.
With performance pads plus, allowing a more efficient cue roll, access to tactile control, and a large job wheel for low latency, great scratch response, and accuracy we have our eyes on this one for 2021. In fact, having 2 channels and support for USB power, yet a lightweight body helps you take your performances wherever you go.
Reloop Beatmix 4
Drumrolls for our cheapest 4 channel DJ controller.
Yup. This on a budget, performance-oriented beast is our favorite for 2021. Its plug ‘n’ play, seamless mixing, and optimized characterization have us all in awe.
The Beatmix 4 comes with the 4-deck version of the ultimate Serato DJ Lite, a major winner since it came ours. Its perfectly ergonomic-friendly design, easy setup, and integrated audio interface allow amateurs as well as professional DJs to make the most of its loaded features.
This super DJ controller has easy to access equalizer and gain dials and dedicated high-quality line-faders, that offer smooth crossfading, perfect transitioning, and managed control. This lets you be creative while using its two extensive FX units and allows you to manage volume, RCA output, and speaker separately to maximize the likeability of created music.
After all, that’s what DJs do right? Set a proper mood.
An additional specialty in the Reloop Beatmix 4 that makes it stand for the rest of 2021 is that it has a sophisticated Serato sampler control. This control allows you to start and stop samples via the pad section. Split Mode offers the possibility of a combined workflow as you can control both your cue points and trigger your samples at the same time.
Ultra-flat, touch-sensitive jog wheels with aluminum platters and a diameter of 14.4 cm guarantee selectively precise beat matching, fast searching within tracks, and an authentic vinyl feel. Furthermore, the implemented LED technology on the surface and border of the jog wheels always shows you the virtual needle position.
Need we ask more? Check out What DJ Equipment do you need to become a Professional in 2021?
Reloop Beatmix 2
Guess why Beatmix 2 is considered one of the best DJ controllers of 2021? Its inclusion of the best DJ boards makes it fully loaded with features along with being highly rated as the top budget DJ controller.
The ultimate Beatmix 2 controller is a powerhouse of mixing features that let DJs accomplish more than just a successful event. It allows practicing, skill-building, and innovation to take the front row for those actually enthusiastic about making music. The Beatmix 2 is being pitched here as one of the must-haves for 2021 because:
- Has 2-deck performance pads
- Allow easy plug n’ play
- Features a hot cue mode for quick mixing
- Color code triggering pads allow real-time visual feedback for transitioning
- Has a superior split mode that allows you to combine cue and sampler mode
- Greatly ergonomic in its access to tabs and controllers
- Dedicated 3-band EQ control and gain control per channel
- SP-6 sample bank control with dedicated sampler volume fader
- Fader-start feature: Easy CUE control with the channel fader
- Quick-skip: Fast search within a track
- Slim-profile, big jog wheels with premium aluminum platters and superior scratching integration
Also, this great controller is USB bus-powered meaning there is no power supply required for it to function flawlessly. Isn’t that enough to categorize this one as one of the best portable DJ controllers?
Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
When we talk about DJ controllers, Numark comes to mind automatically. That’s because none of the companies offer as many features together in one product as Numark.
This year, we are placing our bids on the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 to lead the DJ controller market.
This all-new, innovative controller is a must-have for those wanting to embark on an exceptional experience with its supreme features. These features are:
- 5-inch high-resolution metal jog wheels
- Dedicated filter knobs for each channel
- Multi-function Touch Strip for dynamic FX control and Track Search
- 100mm pitch sliders for fine pitch adjustments
- Dedicated track browsing controls for your library
- 16 multi-function performance pads
- Integrated class compliant audio interface with ¼-inch and 1/8-inch headphone connections
- 1/4" Microphone Input
- Includes Serato DJ Intro upgrade-ready for Serato DJ
- Includes Prime Loops remix tool kit
Actually, there’s more. It makes one of the most popular DJ controllers for a reason. The reason is its carefully curated nature for skill-building, professional endeavors, and incredibly interactive integrated interface nature. Unlike conventional controllers, the Mixtrack Pro 3 is known to deliver high-performance convenience for even the most beginner DJs owing to its 00mm pitch sliders. These pitch sliders allow easy adjustments even without having additional knowledge about them.
In addition to pitch, the filter knobs on the controller are dedicated to providing a separate tone adjustment for each channel. With the exact amount of tonal control you need for a winning performance, who says this controller will let you down in 2021?
Now, What’s a Good DJ Controller Deal in 2021?
A good deal for a DJ would be buying practical, yet superb in functionality, easily transferable, and compatible equipment. Luckily, our favorites mentioned above greatly allow for DJs like you to experience these features. Professional DJs are proactively diving into buying small DJ controllers, Portable DJ controllers, and DJ controllers with a friendly interface. These make the most popular DJ controller choices these days owing to the wide array of benefits they provide. At a quick glance, here’s why they are making rounds as the best controller for beginner DJs as well as professionals:
The best DJ controllers we are pitching to you for 2021 feature properties that align with the aforementioned benefits. They are highly popular among event managers, DJs, and relevant organizers for the reason that they are top budget DJ controllers as well. With a great many talents channelizing opportunities, these controllers additionally offer pocket friendliness.
Having said all, it's clear that if you can think of it, DJ controllers can do it. There are limitless possibilities that DJ controllers open for you in the world of eventing and performing.
Dive into the avenues that come with new and innovative DJ controllers and make the sky, actually not even that your limit!!!