Last updated on Jul 2, 2018 @ 1:04 pm

  • Added Reloop Touch: for Virtual DJ and with a high-resolution touchscreen.
  • Added Roland DJ-505: much more than a Serato DJ controller.
  • Added Numark NS6II: this new  4 channel controller is coming in hot!
  • Removed DDJ-SR: now that the DDJ-SR2 is out it’s time to retire the SR from our list.

 

Scaling up from our look at DJ controllers for beginners, we focus in this feature on DJ controllers that cost between 300 and 900 US dollars. Yes, you can get a decent piece of semi-professional DJ gear for less than 500 dollars, DJ gear manufacturers are pushing their limits and a number of high-end features that trickle down into cheaper gear are amazing.

While these controllers will be meant primarily for domestic use, they need to be sufficiently rugged and solid to withstand the toughness of a club environment/party venue. The quality aspect has been an important element in making our picks.

WINNER

Numark NS6II

  • Price range*: $$$$
  • The Numark NS6II deserves the win: 4 channels, solid build, LCD screens – Read more

 

RUNNER UP

 Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2

  • Price range*: $$$
  • The DDJ-SR2 is a winner. Compact but ultra-powerful, it has everything a serious DJ needs to perform. Read more

 

THE REST

 

WINNER

Numark NS6II Serato DJ Controller

IN SHORT

Numark NS6II

The NS6II combines the best of the Mixtrack Platinum and the NV into a sleek, compact but powerful package.

Price: $$$$ check the price on Amazon Between USD 700 and USD 1000
  • Level: mid-level
  • Power: power supply/USB
  • Inputs: (2) 1/4” mic inputs, stereo RCA inputs for channel 3 & 4
  • Outputs: Stereo XLR outputs, Master RCA outputs, Booth RCA Outputs
  • Supported DJ software: Serato DJ Pro, Virtual DJ
  • DjTechZone Rating (4.9 / 5)
  • More information: Numark NS6II quick review

PROS CONS
  • Great to have LCD screens built into the jog wheels
  • Solid and qualitative build
  • Professional grade inputs and outputs
  • 4 channel hardware mixer
  • Full LCD screens like on the Numark NV would have been even better.

 

The NS6II is an almost perfect blend of the Numark Mixtrack Platinum (the built-in LCD screens into the jog wheels) and the Numark NV (touch capacitive knobs). The controller has dual USB input for easy DJ changeovers, and, quite rare in this price range, a 4 channel, DVS ready hardware mixer.

The NS6II is certainly fit for club use. It’s relatively compact in format, and the roll bars on the front protect it in challenging booth setups.

The performance pads are solid and support various Serato DJ performance functions such as hot cues, loops, rolls, slicer, sampler… Finally, the NS6II has a vast amount of professional grade inputs & outputs.

RUNNER UP

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2 Serato DJ Controller

IN SHORT

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2

The DDJ-SR2 is a winner. Compact but ultra-powerful, it has everything a serious DJ needs to perform.

Price: $$$ check the price on Amazon Between USD 500 and USD 700
  • Level: mid-level
  • Power: power supply/USB
  • Inputs: 2 PHONO/LINE (RCA) 1 MIC (1/4 inch TS Jack)
  • Outputs: 2 MASTER (XLR, RCA), 1 BOOTH (1/4 inch TRS Jack), 2 HEADPHONE MONITOR (1/4 inch Stereo Phone Jack, 3.5mm Stereo mini-jack)
  • Supported DJ software: Serato DJ Pro, Virtual DJ
  • DjTechZone Rating (4.5 / 5)
  • More information: Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2 full review

PROS CONS
  • Hardware mixer
  • Support for harmonic mixing
  • A generous amount of inputs & outputs (XLR, RCA, and TSR)
  • Compact but very well features, ideal for mobile DJ’s
  • Small pitch fader
  • The cool loop size display from the DDJ-SR is gone

 

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2 is a really comprehensive update to the original Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2. It adds RGB backlit performance pads, a hardware mixer which means support for  Serato DVS. buttons to control Serato’s pitch and key features, support for Pitch Play…

With this upgrade, the DDJ-SR2 rises to the same level as the Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR, the Rekordbox DJ version of this controller.

On the back, there is now an XLR master out, crucial for DJ’s that want professional grade inputs and outputs.

Reloop Touch Virtual DJ Controller

IN SHORT

Reloop Touch

The NS6II combines the best of the Mixtrack Platinum and the NV into a sleek, compact but powerful package.

Price: $$$ check the price on Amazon Between USD 500 and USD 700
  • Level: mid-level
  • Power: power supply
  • Inputs: 1x mic input
  • Outputs: 2x headphone outs, 2x master outputs (balanced/unbalanced)
  • Supported DJ software: Virtual DJ
  • DjTechZone Rating (3.8 / 5)
  • More information: Reloop TOUCH review and video

PROS CONS
  • Excellent touchscreen
  • Small but effective jogwheels
  • Addition of faders to control effects are interesting
  • With 4 decks activated, the screen can feel a bit cramped.
  • Built quality is average on some parts

 

The Reloop Touch is a very particular DJ controller. It has a big, central high-resolution touchscreen that supports up to 4 decks of visual information. It can display full-screen video when video mixing, and it’s also sensitive enough to support FX control via XY effects.

There are also 4 faders per deck, intended for activating audio and video effects. This is quite unique and it’s definitely a plus since faders and effects go very well together.

The jog wheels are small but effective and are placed high on the controllers surface.

The main thing about the Touch is, however, the fact its natively build for Virtual DJ. If you want touchscreen integration with VDJ, this one is probably a safe bet.

On the backside, there are 2 master outputs, 1 is TRS and the second one is RCA.

Roland DJ-505 Serato DJ Controller

IN SHORT

Roland DJ-505

A drum machine, sequencer and 2 channel Serato DJ controller, the DJ-505 offers a lot of value for your money.

Price: $$$ check the price on Amazon Between USD 500 and USD 700
  • Level: mid-level
  • Power: power supply
  • Inputs: 1X TRS MIC, 2 X RCA PHONO/LINE
  • Outputs: 1 X XLR Master, 1 X RCA Master, 1 X TRS Booth
  • Supported DJ software: Serato DJ Pro, Virtual DJ
  • DjTechZone Rating (4.4 / 5)
  • More information: Roland DJ 505 review and video

PROS CONS
  • Fantastic, low latency jog wheels
  • Hardware mixer with DVS support in Serato DJ
  • Built-in sequencer and drum machine are a great addition
  • Small pitch fader

 

The Roland DJ-505 is very similar in features to Pioneer DJ’s DDJ-SR2, except the DJ-505 has a built-in sequencer and drum machine. These additions won’t please everyone as not every DJ’s is interested in sequencing samples and drum sounds, but if you are already into this or this interests you, then the DJ-505 is a fine choice.

The jog wheels are fantastic and have very low latency combined with a solid feel. There are 8 performance pads per channel that feel as good as on any premium controller, and the mixer accepts external inputs such as turntables and media players.

On the back, there are master outputs in RCA and XLR. There is also a booth out in TSR.

Denon DJ MC4000 Serato DJ Controller

IN SHORT

Denon DJ MC4000

The perfect budget DJ controller for mobile DJ’s: small & compact, but with good support for Serato DJ and a decent amount of inputs & outputs.

Price: $$$ check the price on Amazon Between USD 500 and USD 700
  • Level: mid-level
  • Power: power supply/ USB
  • Inputs: 1X TRS MIC, 1 X XLR MIC,  1 X RCA AUX
  • Outputs: 1 X XLR Master, 1 X RCA Master, 1 X TRS Booth
  • Supported DJ software: Serato DJ Pro, Virtual DJ
  • DjTechZone Rating (3.8 / 5)
  • More information: Denon DJ MC4000 review and video

PROS CONS
  • Excellent build
  • Excellent jog wheels
  • Generous amount of inputs & outputs (XLR, RCA, and TSR)
  • 2 mic inputs with controls, sampler & hot cue pads, looping
  • Lacks the 2×8 pads dedicated to performance features

 

The Denon DJ MC4000 is a very, very nice DJ controller. It’s designed with the mobile DJ in mind, and at USD 399 it’s a real steal.

It features a solid Denon Dj worthy build, well-weighted jog wheels, 4 performance pads to trigger samples, a two-channel mixer with a 3 band EQ and filter knob, an fx section, two mic inputs with full EQ controls, 4 hot cue buttons per deck… The list goes on.

There is even an AUX input with dedicated volume control.

Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR Rekordbox DJ controller

IN SHORT

Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR

The DDJ-RR is a fantastic Rekordbox DJ controller. It has all the professional features a mobile DJ needs in a compact format.

Price: $$$ check the price on Amazon Between USD 500 and USD 700
  • Level: mid-level
  • Power: power supply/ USB
  • Inputs: 2 PHONO/LINE (RCA), 1 MIC (1/4 inch Jack)
  • Outputs: 2 MASTER (XLR, RCA), 1 BOOTH (1/4 inch TRS Jack), 2 HEADPHONE MONITOR (1/4 inch Jack, mini-jack)
  • Supported DJ software: Serato DJ Pro, Virtual DJ
  • DjTechZone Rating (4.7 / 5)
  • More information: Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR review & video

PROS CONS
  • Independent hardware mixer
  • Colored performance pads
  • Touchstrip
  • Per channel VU meters + master VU meter
  • Support for Rekordbox DVS and Rekordbox Video
  • Very small pitch fader
  • Slightly cramped interface

 

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR is the newer brother of the DDJ-SR, this time fully optimized for Rekordbox DJ. With the new version of Rekordbox DJ around the corner, Rekordbox DJ moves closer in usability towards Serato DJ, making it more attractive for users that consider switching.

The controller has several important enhancements, such as colored performance pads, and colored LEDs in the jog wheels. The key enhancement, however, is that the DDJ-RR has a fully independent hardware mixer, which makes it compatible with Rekordbox DVS.

It also has dedicated VU meters for each channel, buttons for the Rekordbox DJ sequencer, a touch strip… It actually has so many features that the usability almost suffers.

Reloop Mixon 4 Algoriddim djay and Serato DJ controller

IN SHORT

Reloop Mixon 4

The Reloop Mixon 4 is Most powerful IOS compatible DJ controller on the market today, and it’s a steal considering it works with IOS, Windows, and Mac.

Price: $$$ check the price on Amazon Between USD 700 and USD 1000
  • Level: mid-level
  • Power: power supply/ USB
  • Inputs: 1 X MIC Input
  • Outputs: 1 X XLR Master, 1 X RCA Master, 1 X TRS Booth
  • Supported DJ software: Serato DJ Pro, Virtual DJ, djay Pro (IOS)
  • DjTechZone Rating (4 / 5)
  • More information: Reloop Mixon 4 review and video

PROS CONS
  • Fully fledged Serato DJ 4 channel mixer
  • Support for IOS and Android devices is a welcome and flexible addition.
  • No hardware mixer, which is a shame for a 4 channel DJ controller.

 

The Reloop Mixon 4 (will there be a Mixon 2?) is a complete Serato DJ controller that can also play from IOS and Android devices. It supports Algoriddim’s djay Pro on several devices.

The built-in slot will accommodate anything from an iPhone up to the big iPad Pro (12.9 inches). The mixer has 4 channels and a multi-FX function that Reloop calls Macro FX.

The decks have high-quality jog wheels and support Serato DJ features such as harmonic mixing (sync the track keys).

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MK2 Traktor Pro controller

IN SHORT

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MK2

Compact and budget-friendly DJ controller for Traktor Pro.

Price: $$ check the price on Amazon Between USD 300 and USD 500
  • Level: mid-level
  • Power: power supply/ USB
  • Inputs: 1 X MIC Input
  • Outputs: 1 X RCA Master,/Booth (switchable) 1 X TRS Booth
  • Supported DJ software: Traktor Pro, Virtual DJ
  • DjTechZone Rating (4.2 / 5)
  • More information: Traktor Kontrol S2 quick review

PROS CONS
  • Very compact
  • Control over most Traktor Pro features
  • Very well build
  • Little support for advanced Traktor Pro features (Stems, Remix decks)
  • Limited outputs (only a booth output is available)

 

The Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 is a compact DJ controller that is compatible with the Traktor DJ IOS application.

The controller has two channels and a 3 band EQ per channel, a high-quality build and excellent jog wheels. There are back-lit buttons for transport controls and loops, and a button to switch flux mode (comparable to Serato Dj’s slip mode) on and off.

Since this is a Native Instruments controller it runs Traktor Pro, and while it can run any DJ software (since it’s a midi device), the depth of integration with Traktor Pro will be hard to achieve with other software.

Reloop Beatpad 2 Algoriddim djay controller

IN SHORT

Reloop Beatpad 2

If the Reloop Mixon 4 above is too big for you, the Reloop Beatpad 2 has similar features in a more compact format.

Price: $$$check the price on Amazon Between USD 500 and USD 700
  • Level: beginner/mid-level
  • Power: power supply/ USB
  • Inputs: 1 X MIC input, 1 AUX RCA input
  • Outputs: 1 X XLR Master, 1 X RCA Master
  • Supported DJ software: Traktor Pro, Virtual DJ, djay Pro (IOS)
  • DjTechZone Rating (3.9 / 5)
  • More information: Reloop Beatpad 2 quick review

PROS CONS
  • Support for many solutions and devices
  • Sturdy build
  • Large high-resolution jog wheels
  • High-quality velocity-sensitive performance pads.
  • A bit too much of color flashing going on, but ultimately it’s all functional
  • Big jog wheels take away room that would have gone to a dedicated effects section

 

The Reloop Beatpad 2 is a very versatile controller. It is well built and the large jog wheels are pleasant to use.

The Beatpad 2 supports a range of solutions, such as Android and IOS devices, but also PC and Mac. It can run Traktor, Virtual DJ or djay Pro, and the touch-sensitive drum pads allow for expressive performance.

Even if the color scheme might come over as a bit gimmicky, this is for sure not a toy and the price point (USD 599) proves that.

Denon DJ MC6000MK2 Serato DJ controller

IN SHORT

Denon DJ MC6000MK2

The Denon DJ MC6000 MK2 is a 4 channel Serato DJ powerhouse for the serious mobile DJ, with all the inputs & outputs you might ever need.

Price: $$$ check the price on Amazon Between USD 500 and USD 700
  • Level: beginner/mid-level
  • Power: power supply
  • Inputs: 2 Mic Inputs (XLR & 1/4 TRS), 2 X RCA Line Inputs, 2 X RCA LIne/Phone Inputs
  • Outputs: 1 X XLR Master, 1 X RCA Master, 1 X TRS Booth
  • Supported DJ software: Serato DJ Lite, Virtual DJ
  • DjTechZone Rating (4.4 / 5)
  • More information: Denon DJ MC6000 Quick Review

PROS CONS
  • Rough, sturdy build, ready for “on the road” abuse
  • 2 mic inputs with full 3 band EQ
  • Hardware mixer
  • Extensive inputs & outputs on the back
  • No support for many Serato DJ performance features

 

The Denon DJ MC6000MK2 is a true powerhouse. It’s a compact controller, but packs a huge amount of features, such as 2 microphone inputs, full EQs on both mics, crossfader curve control, separated booth out, 4 fully analog channels, high-quality jog wheels.

The controller comes with Serato DJ Intro but supports the full version of Serato DJ and Serato Video.

The build is extremely high quality and the overall layout and functionalities are clearly aimed more at the mobile DJ than the controllerist DJ, notably due to the absence of performance pads.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2 Traktor Pro controller

IN SHORT

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2

The Traktor Kontrol S4 is the OG (Original Gangster) of Traktor Pro controllers, and has a lot to offer for a competitive price, including a 4 channel hardware mixer.

Price: $$$ check the price on Amazon Between USD 500 and USD 700
  • Level: mid-level
  • Power: power supply/usb
  • Inputs: 1 X MIC Input, 2 X RCA Input (Line/Phone)
  • Outputs: 1 X TRS Master, 1 X RCA Master
  • Supported DJ software: Traktor Pro, Virtual DJ
  • DjTechZone Rating (4.3 / 5)

PROS CONS
  • Solid quality built
  • Nice and responsive jog wheels
  • Hardware 4 channel mixer
  • Responsive performance pads
  • A bit dated compared to the newer S5 and S8
  • No support for advanced Traktor Pro features

 

With the arrival of the Traktor Kontrol S5 and S8 that ditched the jog wheels in favor of touch strips, pads, and screens, the Traktor Kontrol S4 has gone a bit to the background.

Which is a bit of a shame, since it remains a top-notch unit, with 4 deck support, backlit performance pads for cues and samples, a hardware mixer that can accommodate external audio sources such as turntables and media players…

I always liked the LED loop indicator, makes it so easy to keep track of the value your loop is set at and avoid surprises.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S5 Traktor Pro controller

IN SHORT

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8

More compact than the Traktor S8, the Traktor S5 is better suited for mobile use. There is, however, no hardware mixer onboard.

Price: $$$$ check the price on Amazon Between USD 700 and USD 1000
  • Level: mid-level
  • Power: power supply/usb
  • Inputs: 1 X MIC Input, 1 X RCA Input (Aux)
  • Outputs: 1 X XLR Master, 1 X RCA Master, 1 TRS Booth
  • Supported DJ software: Traktor Pro, Virtual DJ
  • DjTechZone Rating (4.1 / 5)

PROS CONS
  • Innovative workflow
  • Amazing screens
  • Support for latest Traktor Pro functionalities such as Stems.
  • No hardware mixer so no DVS support, a shame for a 4 deck controller with built-in screens.

The Traktor Kontrol S5 is the smaller brother of the Traktor Kontrol S8 that came out in 2014.

The S5 is designed to work with the Traktor Pro software and most notably the STEMS format, that allows DJs to manipulate individual channels within a track, unlocking the possibility to truly remix on the fly.

Jog wheels are replaced by touch strips, and the controller has no pitch faders. This means that the idea is to rely on sync and use tracks that are well beat gridded in advance.

The presence of 2 high-resolution screens allows DJs to focus on their mix without having to look at the laptop screen.

Numark NVII Serato DJ controller

IN SHORT

Numark NVII

A compact and budget-friendly Serato DJ controller with built-in screens, also featuring a professional-level array of inputs and outputs.

Price: $$$ check the price on Amazon Between USD 500 and USD 700
  • Level: mid-level
  • Power: power supply/usb
  • Inputs: 1 X MIC Input, 1 X RCA Input (Aux)
  • Outputs: 1 X XLR Master, 1 X RCA Master, 1 RCA Booth
  • Supported DJ software: Serato DJ Pro, Virtual DJ
  • DjTechZone Rating (4.3 / 5)

PROS CONS
  • Built-in screens
  • Four channel mixer
  • A generous amount of inputs & outputs
  • Support for most Serato DJ performance features
  • Small form factor
  • The jog wheels are tiny
  • Overall the control surface feels crammed with buttons and knobs.

 

The Numark NV is a pretty cool Serato DJ controller, and much of its appeal comes from the build in screens.

This controller is very well featured with high-resolution pitch faders, 4 channels, touch-activated knobs, small but high-quality jog wheels and professional grade input & outputs (master out, booth out, XLR out..)

The addition of the color screens means that you can close the lid of your laptop and avoid looking at the screen all the time.

One of the lesser points of the NV is at the same time its strength: its small form factor. It’s super easy to place in most DJ booths and you will for sure find a spot at home, but because it’s so well featured, all the knobs and buttons are really close to each other. I guess it’s something you end up getting used to.

 

*Price ranges: In order to avoid showing incorrect price ranges for the gear discussed, we work with price ranges. Click on the “check current price” link to find out the current price on Amazon.com at any time.

Between 200 and 300 USD $
Between 300 and 500 USD $$
Between 500 and 700 USD $$$
Between 700 and 1000 USD $$$$
Above 1000 USD $$$$$