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The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2 has been around for a bit now and is considered one of the top DJ controllers for Serato DJ. In this second iteration, it got updated with colored performance pads and support for Serato Flip.

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2 and the Reloop Mixon 4 face off.
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2 and the Reloop Mixon 4 face off.

The Reloop Mixon 4 is the new kid on the block and has a similar layout to the DDJ-SX2, with some really important differences:

  • The Mixon 4 supports IOS and Android devices running the djay Pro app and has a dock that can hold a 12 inch iPad Pro.
  • The SX2 has a hardware mixer that can be used with Serato DVS to connect external audio sources such as turntables and media players
  • The SX2 costs a bit more: USD 980 (check current price) against USD 799 (check current price) for the Mixon 4. Not a big difference, but important enough to play a role in a buying decision.

Supported Software

Before we dive into the hardware differences, let’s first concentrate on what DJ software each controller supports.

The DDJ-SX2 is mainly a Serato DJ controller, and it’s hardware controls are meant to do that primarily. But the SX2 works fine with Rekordbox DJ as well. This is important as Rekordbox DJ is quickly gaining ground and might become the DJ software of choice of many professional DJ’s in the years to come. It equally supports Serato DVS and Rekordbox DVS and it comes in the box with a license for Serato DJ and Pitch ‘n Time DJ.

The Mixon 4 was also designed with Serato DJ in mind and most of the hardware controls are centered around Serato. But there is native support for djay Pro as well, including a nice and large docking back for up to an iPad Pro 12 inch. This means the DJ controller not only works on Windows and Mac but also with IOS and Android.

External Measurements

Both controllers are roughly the same size: around 650 mm in width and 350 mm in depth, with the DDJ-SX2 being slightly larger and the Mixon 4 slightly deeper. They also weigh more or less the same: 5.3 Kg for the Mixon 4 against 5.8 Kg for the DDJ-SX2.

Build quality

The DDJ-SX2 feels overall slightly better made compared to the Mixon 4. Both are plastic controllers, but the Mixon 4 has feels somehow more plastic around the knobs and other controls than the SX2. This is not a big issue and the Mixon 4 is definitely solidly built, but if you are looking for the best quality feel possible then the SX2 has the upper hand.

The decks compared

The decks compared.
The decks compared. Left the Mixon 4, right the DDJ-SX2.

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2

If you are familiar with Pioneer DJ CDJ/XDJ media players, then the SX2’s deck layout will feel very familiar. The deck has the typical 8 performance pads dedicated to different Serato DJ performance features (Hot Cues, Roll, Slicer and Sampler).

Serato Flip and Sequencer controls on the SX2.
Serato Flip and Sequencer controls on the SX2.

There are dedicated controls for Serato Flip and Pitch Play is supported as well. The jog wheel has a center LCD display that indicates track progression and needle position, and there is a touch strip as well for easy track navigation. The pitch fader is large and there are buttons for censor/reverse and to activate slip mode.

 

Reloop Mixon 4

Reloop Mixon's 4 Key lock and Key sync features.
Reloop Mixon’s 4 Key lock and Key sync features.

The Mixon 4 is very comparable. The performance section looks pretty much the same and supports roughly the same Serato DJ performance functions as the DDJ-SX2.  The Mixon 4 has dedicated buttons to activate Key lock and Key sync in Serato DJ, allowing you to lock the key of the playing track and instantly sync the key of two tracks.

Reloop mixon's 4 very handy loop section.
Reloop mixon’s 4 very handy loop section

A feature that I really like and that I wish DJ gear manufacturers included by default is the loop length indicator. It’s vital to track at all times what length of a loop is activated at any moment in the software, as activating looping with a very small loop length can have a disastrous effect on your mix.

 

The Mixers compared

The mixers compared.
The mixers compared.

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2

The SX2‘s mixer is very straightforward. Everything is where you expect it should be, except for the channel switches and crossfader curve knob. These are located at the front of the unit and that makes reaching out to them a bit tricky.

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2 is Serato DVS ready.
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2 is Serato DVS ready.

We are talking a hardware mixer here so channels 3 and 4 can be switched between PC, Line and Mic while channels 1 and 2 can switch between PC, Phono, and CD. This does mean that channels 3 and/or 4 have to be sacrificed when using microphones. The mixer is Serato DVS upgrade ready which means that you still need to buy the Serato DVS add-on in order to use the DVS capabilities of the mixer.

Reloop Mixon 4

Reloop Mixon 4 clever Filter FX.
Reloop Mixon 4 clever Filter FX.

The Reloop Mixon 4 doesn’t have a hardware mixer, so the only other sound sources that you can connect are IOS or Android devices. Nevertheless, the omission of a hardware mixer is an important one, as it limits the flexibility of the controller.

The mixer has an interesting feature though, the Filter FX. This is a clever way of combining 1 FX with the Filter, making for what we could call a combo FX. The creative possibilities are interesting.

Finally, the Mixon 4 doesn’t allow to assign any of the 2 FX units to any channel, like the SX2 does. Not a big problem, but in some cases, it can be interesting to have that assignment button to quickly kill all effects on a channel.

Inputs & Outputs

The DDJ-SX2 (top) inputs & outputs compared to the Mixon 4 (bottom).
The DDJ-SX2 (top) inputs & outputs compared to the Mixon 4 (bottom).

The inputs & outputs of both DJ controllers are very similar. On the output side, both have XLR & RCA master out and TRS Booth out. On the input side, the SX2 has two mic inputs compared to one mic input for the Mixon 4, but keep in mind that on the SX2 a mic input uses 1 line channel.

The big difference is that the SX2 has individual channel inputs, and the Mixon 4 does not.

Mixon 4 IOS and Android support

Reloop Mixon 4 with Apple iPad Pro 12 inches.
Reloop Mixon 4 with Apple iPad Pro 12 inches.

Using the Mixon 4 with a big iPad Pro running djay Pro is a really nice experience. The iPad is large enough to offer a clear view of the djay Pro interface, even with 4 decks activated. The Mixon 4 is the first DJ controller to offer 4 channel support on djay Pro and that deserves a lot of credit.

djay Pro on iPad Pro 12 inches.
djay Pro on iPad Pro 12 inches.

To many professional Dj’s, djing with djay Pro on an iPad was, until now, seen as an amateur move but with a solid 4 channel controller, this views could change. Lastly, the way Spotify is integrated into djay Pro is truly amazing, offering a seamless experience and a virtually unlimited amount of music at the Dj’s disposal.

 

Conclusions

It’s a tough decision, but my preference goes out to the DDJ-SX2. I really like the Reloop Mixon 4, but there are a few smaller glitches here and there that annoy me even so slightly. If you want the whole story, read my full review of the Mixon 4 right here.

The SX2 has considerably improved over the original SX, and the hardware support, the support for both Rekordbox DJ as for Serato Dj and the hardware mixer make it, in my mind a clear winner of this face off.

What do you think of this comparison? Did it help you make your choice? Comment below!

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