The XDJ-RX2 improves considerably on the original XDJ-RX. The overall build quality is very similar: the enclosure is in plastic like most of Pioneer DJ products, but it all feels qualitative and build to last. Two things stand out as obvious improvements:
- The mixer: the new mixer is very similar to the DJM-450, with 4 sound color effects and a full beats effects section on the right. The track navigation section has moved up next to the screen, leaving room to accommodate the cue buttons and the VU meters in a more logical spot.
- The performance pads: Aside from having now 8 pads per deck compared to 4 pads on the XDJ-RX, these pads now are much better quality, making them far more useful for quick finger action.
The XDJ-RX2 is capable of working in different modes: standalone mode reading tracks from memory sticks, as a midi controller connected to Rekordbox DJ and through Pro DJ Link, using your computer as the track source. More on this further down.
Features & functionalities
Let’s focus on the decks first.
With those performance pads at the bottom, it could almost be a deck from a DDJ series controller. The classic CDJ layout is still there, with the loop section on top, track search and search buttons, and so on.
The jog wheels
The jog wheel is unchanged from the previous model, and is solid, with good resistance and responsiveness. There are buttons for REV (reverse) SLIP and JOG MODE, and the center LED ring displays track progress and needle position. This is not a full-sized jog wheel like on, for example, the DDJ-RZ, but it performs well. The VINYL SPEED ADJUST knob allows to set the speed at which the track stops, handy if you want to re-create the classic vinyl stop effect.
The performance pads
The performance pads really stand out here. They are rubberized and color-coded, and that makes it easy to identify what function (or which hot cue exactly) is behind each pad.
There are different modes the pads can be set to HOT CUE (access up to 8 at any time), BEAT LOOP (easily launch loops of different sizes), SLIP LOOP (create loop rolls of different sizes that stay in sync with the music) and BEAT JUMP (jump back and forward in the a track in various beat sizes). It’s great to have all these performance functions on a media player, it brings DJ controller like features to the “CDJ” world and that is a fantastic thing.
The screen on the RX2 looks now very similar to the ones on other recent XDJ/CDJ players. It’s sharp and clear, even under difficult lighting conditions. The added navigation buttons are very useful and help to quickly navigate the different screen functions. The addition of touch capacities enables track search using a built-in qwerty keyboard and the needle search to quickly go through a track. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow to do modern multitouch gestures, like the Denon DJ SC5000 can.
It feels a bit weird to have such a limited touch screen on a new media player in 2017, but on the other hand, it would be equally weird for the XDJ-RX2 to receive a multitouch screen before Pioneer DJ’s flagship model. I hope though that Pioneer DJ quickly improves this in future releases.
In any case, it’s good to have the added touch functionality, as it makes it easier to navigate & search tracks on the unit.
Very similar to the Pioneer DJ DJM-450, the mixer on the XDJ-RX2 is a full-blown two-channel mixer with several effect options. It has, first of all, 4 sound color effects: DUB ECHO, SWEEP, NOISE, and FILTER. Additionally, there is a parameter button to change the characteristics of each effect. I found it particularly useful for the NOISE effect, as this needs to be adjusted to the volume of the track constantly.
The mixer also features a beat effects module, with total 8 effects onboard: DELAY, ECHO, SPIRAL, REVERB, TRANS, FLANGER, PITCH and ROLL. These effects work as in any other DJM mixer, and sound crips and clear.
The mixer can work internal mode, but also has inputs for external media sources, such as turntables and media players. The XDJ-RX2 is certified to work in DVS mode with Rekordbox as well.
If you need to connect an additional source there is a dedicated AUX input with TRIM level knob.
Finally, there is also a booth monitor output with a volume knob, a feature missing on the DJM-450.
There are two USB inputs on the XDJ-RX2. You can use both for reading media, and USB2 can also be used to record your mix. This takes the hassle out of recording your sets, although to get audience noise into your recording you still will have to resort to an external recording unit.
To complete the mixer section, the XDJ-RX2 has two microphone inputs with dedicated Low and High EQ, trim level for each microphone input and talk over switch knob.
Inputs & Outputs
The XDJ-RX2 has a host of inputs & outputs on the back. There are two master outs, one XLR, and one RCA. There is also a TRS booth out. Each channel has its RCA input, including the AUX input. Finally, there are two balanced microphone inputs.
Used with Rekordbox and Rekordbox DJ
The XDJ-RX2 can easily be connected to your laptop and used in any of the two following modes:
- Pro DJ Link: In this mode, the player accesses the computers media library as if it were a USB stick.
- MIDI: for this mode, you do need a Rekordbox DJ license. The XDJ-RX2 becomes a DJ controller and you can easily control all features in Rekordbox DJ. The integration is very well done. The screen displays the Rekordbox DJ waveforms in high resolution, the performance pads are mapped to Rekordbox DJ’s performance modes, with the second set of performance features accessible under the SHIFT button. Great work!
The Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 is a very flexible piece of DJ gear. It works perfectly well as a standalone media player, and it improves on the XDJ-RX with better and more performance pads per deck, a better and more logically laid out mixer, a touchscreen and several other small improvements.
But more than that, it works also very well with Rekordbox DJ, including full-color waveforms on the XDJ-RX’s the built-in screen and full access to Rekordbox DJ’s performance features using the 8 performance pads per deck.
In short, for around USD 1.700, the XDJ-RX2 offers:
- Two CDJ-like media players and 1 DJM-like mixer
- A high-quality Rekordbox DJ controller with built-in screen
- A hardware mixer that connects to turntables and media players
That’s a lot for the price, and definitely a serious contender for any DJ home/mobile setup.
*Price Ranges in USD: 300:$ 300-500:$$ 500-1000:$$$ 1000-2000:$$$$ 2000+:$$$$$
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