Last updated on Aug 13, 2017 @ 11:48 am

In a world dominated by computer depended DJ controllers, we have a look at the best all in one DJ systems available on the market today. Usually, these systems are midi capable DJ controllers as well, but the focus is mainly on the standalone aspect. Most of them still carry CD decks, but the tendency is to move more and more to USB support only.

Why a standalone DJ system and not a midi DJ controller? In many cases, DJs are hesitant to bring their expensive MacBook Pro’s into a greasy DJ booth, for understandable reasons. Also being able to read track information directly from the deck screens in front of you instead of looking at the laptop screen helps to connect with your crowd.

You might look for Gemini’s upcoming SDJ-4000 in this list, but since it’s not been released yet (hopefully it will be around Q3 this year) I didn’t add it. But as soon as it’s out, this article will be updated!

Let’s have a look at a few units that are available on the market today.

Between 0 and 300 USD $
Between 300 and 500 USD $$
Between 500 and 1000 USD $$$
Between 1000 and 2000 USD $$$$
Above 2000 USD $$$$$

 

Top Pick!

Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX

Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX
Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX

The Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX looks on the first inspection like it belongs in Pioneer DJ’s DDJ family of DJ controllers, but looking closer reveals this is really in the first place a media player, hence the XDJ denomination.

It has a big, high-resolution screen above the mixer, that displays all necessary track information and waveforms. The decks contain the usual controls found on Pioneer’s CDJ/XDJ units, such as looping controls, a big jog wheel similar to the one found in the DDJ-RX. Additional to that, it has 4 performance pads per deck for auto loops, hot cues, and loop slicer.

The mixer has sound color effects build additional to a full blown FX module, much like on other Pioneer DJ DJM mixers. It has 2 channels you can connect turntables to each channel if you prefer using those over the built-in decks.

At approx. USD 1.499 the XDJ-RX doesn’t come cheap, but on the other hand, any combination of CDJ/XDJ media players with a DJM mixer will be (much) more expensive. Plus here you get “controller” like features, like the performance pads on each deck. Finally, the fact it will also work as a midi controller for Rekordbox DJ is a big advantage of the XDJ-RX.

Positive

  • Cheapest way of owning a full Pioneer DJ CDJ/DJM like setup
  • Built-in high-resolution screen
  • Fully loaded mixer
  • Performance pads allow emulating performance features previously only available on DJ controllers
Negative
  • Too much of a compromise?
  • Not enough features compared to Rekordbox DJ controllers
  • Too much of a controller for CDJ/DJM adepts
  • No touchscreen
 

 

Top Pick!

Gemini GMX Drive

Gemini GMX Drive
Gemini GMX Drive

The Gemini GMX Drive has not received much attention in the dedicated press, and that is a shame. There is much to like here, such as the flat spacious jog wheels, the 8 pads per deck and the high contrast screens that show rough waveforms and other track information. It plays CDs or USB, and it can also function as a midi controller for Virtual DJ.

It won’t be the unit that has the best sound or is build to the highest standards, but if you need an all-in-one DJ system and you are on a tight budget, this unit is worth your consideration, especially since it sells for approx. USD 340.

Positive

  • Support for CD and USB
  • Screens offer small waveform display
  • Excellent jog wheels
  • Doubles as a midi controller
  • XLR outputs out on the back
  • Performance pads are a nice addition.
Negative
  • No onboard effects in the mixer
  • No AUX input
 

 

Top Pick!

Numark Mixdeck Express

Numark Mixdeck Express
Numark Mixdeck Express

The Numark Mixdeck Express is standalone DJ system with large jog wheels, 3 channel mixer and 1 screen per deck that displays basic track information. The mixer’s third channel is switchable between AUX and a microphone input. On the back, you will find XLR and RCA outputs, and AUX and microphone input.

The Numark Mixdeck Express accepts USB sticks and CDs. The onboard screens are very basic but do display everything you need regarding your tracks.

Overall, the Numark Mixdeck Express is a good solution for mobile DJ’s that don’t need the latest technological gimmicks. It will get the job done, and for approx. USD 600, it’s a good value for money.

Positive

  • Support for CD’s, USB and midi
  • 2+1 channel mixer
  • Large jog wheels
  • Straightforward layout.
Negative
  • Very basic screen (no waveforms)
  • Plasticky build
 

Gemini CDMP-7000

Gemini CDMP-7000
Gemini CDMP-7000

 

The Gemini CDMP-7000 is fully featured professional DJ media controller, and it does offer a lot of value for your money. At approx. USD 600, it’s hard to find a better deal. Considering the unit came out over 4 years ago, it has held up surprisingly well over time.

So what is the catch? Well, even it mimics the Pioneer DJ gear look, it’s not Pioneer DJ. If you can get over that fact, the CDMP-7000 has a lot of functionality to offer: bright touch screens for each deck that shows a lot of information, support for CD’s, USB’s and SD cards, a 3 band mixer, external inputs for each channel, and much more.

Positive

  • Large CDJ like jog wheels with central LCD
  • Colour touch screens
  • 3 channel mixer with VU meter per channel and master VU
  • CDJ like features on each deck
  • Pro inputs and outputs on the back.
Negative
  • The screens are rather small, operating them (as they are touch enabled) can be a hassle.
  • Overall quality doesn’t come near of the that of the industry standard
 

Pioneer DJ XDJ-R1

Pioneer DJ XDJ-R1
Pioneer DJ XDJ-R1

The Pioneer DJ XDJ-R1 is a well build, professional looking all in one solution from Pioneer DJ. It has built-in CD players and a USB slot. The preferred workflow for the XDJ-R1 is to prepare your music in Rekordbox, export to USB and play from there.

The layout is very similar to a CDJ/DJM setup from Pioneer DJ, and the mixer even has color effects, similar to those on the much more advanced & expensive DJM mixers. It has XLR  and RCA master out, RCA booth out and individual inputs per channel.

With the XDJ-R1 Pioneer tried to introduce the concept of wireless DJing, allowing the XDJ-R1 to be fully controlled remotely from your phone using the Remotebox app. Useful for some but, many DJs remain skeptical of controlling (or playing) from wifi, as interruption and disconnection can ruin a set completely.

The XDJ-R1 sells for around USD 900.

Positive

  • Similar features to two CDJ-350’s + 1 DJM-350 at half the price
  • Nice aluminum jog wheels
  • Decent screens with relevant track & library information.
Negative
  • The whole wireless thing didn’t really catch on.
 

Numark CDMIX USB

Numark CDMix USB
Numark CDMix USB

Another Numark Product worth mentioning here is the Numark CDMix USB a very compact “traditional” double CD player with rudimentary screens and jog wheels. It does support USB sticks, so you can play your MP3 without having to burn them to CD.

The great advantage of the CDMix USB is its compact size and solid build. This is the kind of gear you want in small bar booths. Also, if you have a huge collection of CDs that you don’t want to replace or transfer to USB, this a good option.

Positive

  • Support for USB & CD
  • Clear informative displays
  • Jog wheels are useful for track search and nudging purposes
  • Very solid (steel) build
Negative
  • Jog wheels are useless for anything else beyond track search/nudging
 

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