Finding the best cheap DJ controller can be daunting, especially when you’re just starting in the world of DJing. With so many options on the market, weighing performance and features against the price is essential to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.
In this article, we’ll review some budget-friendly DJ controllers, covering their features, pros, and cons to help you find the perfect one to match your needs. So, let’s dive right in!
- Best Cheap DJ Controller: Reviews
- Buyer’s Guide
- Do I need a built-in audio interface for my DJ controller?
- Can I use these cheap DJ controllers with any DJ software?
- Are Serato DJ Lite and rekordbox DJ Lite good enough for beginners?
- What factors should I consider when choosing a DJ controller?
- Can I connect my smartphone to my DJ controller?
- Do these DJ controllers come with a warranty?
- Can I use these DJ controllers for professional gigs?
Best Cheap DJ Controller: Reviews
Numark Mixtrack Pro FX
The Numark Mixtrack Pro FX is a 2-deck DJ controller designed for Serato DJ, aiming to inspire and develop your DJ skills. Equipped with everything you need to sound professional, it boasts large 6-inch capacitive-touch jog wheels, a 24-bit digital audio interface, six dedicated software FX buttons, and 16 performance pads.
With the ability to stream millions of tracks via Serato DJ Lite from providers like SoundCloud and TIDAL, you’ll never run out of fresh sounds to mix and explore.
One standout feature of the Mixtrack Pro FX is the dual paddle triggers, allowing effortless command over Serato’s built-in software FX with dedicated buttons for accessing effects like Echo, Reverb, Flanger, and Phaser.
The large jog wheels offer an authentic turntable feel, perfect for scratching and precise cue placement.
The Auto Loop function makes blending between songs a breeze, and the controller provides everything you need for immediate performance, including a microphone input, headphone output, and RCA output to connect to DJ speakers.
With its full 3-band EQ, filter knobs, channel faders, and crossfader, the Mixtrack Pro FX is a powerful and versatile tool to elevate your DJing skills.
- Decent value for the money
- Light and compact design
- Fun pad to use
- Beautiful aesthetic
- Large jog wheels
- Crossfader may be challenging for some
- Jog wheels could feel heavy depending on your preference
Numark Party Mix II DJ Controller
If you’re looking for a DJ controller that combines all the essentials with an exciting party atmosphere, the Numark Party Mix II is perfect. This DJ controller features 2 decks and a built-in audio interface, allowing easy USB connectivity with your Mac, PC, or iOS device.
You’ll find all the essentials to create the perfect mix, such as large touch-sensitive jog wheels, sync, play/pause, cue buttons, and library controls for browsing and loading tracks.
What sets the Party Mix II apart from other DJ controllers is the built-in LED DJ light show which syncs to your mixes, creating a room-filling, beat-synchronized experience. Manipulate your music with style using the performance pads that give you access to cue points, loops, effects, and samples.
Plus, you’ll find large filter effect knobs on each deck, 2-band EQs on each deck, dedicated channel faders, and a software-adjustable crossfader.
The 1/8-inch main audio output allows you to connect to external DJ speakers, while the 1/8-inch headphone output ensures you can easily monitor your mix.
The controller comes pre-mapped with Serato DJ Lite for Mac and PC, providing an intuitive and feature-rich experience. Numark Mix Academy also offers helpful resources for those learning the art of DJing. With the Numark Party Mix II, you’ll be the life of the party while mastering your DJ skills.
- Affordable way to start Djing
- Compact design with 2 decks and DJ mixer
- USB connectivity for easy setup
- Serato DJ Lite included (for users in the USA)
- Party lights for added fun
- Lacks some features found on other budget decks
- USB cable provided is short, so consider purchasing a USB hub
Pioneer DJ DDJ-200
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-200 is a 2-deck digital DJ controller with a pro-style layout and multiple streaming options. This lightweight and compact controller is tailored for beginners who want to learn to mix and develop DJing as a hobby.
The DDJ-200 supports a variety of DJ apps and software like WeDJ, djay, and edjing Mix. Depending on the device and program, it allows you to mix music stored in your iTunes or rekordbox library or stream songs from Beatport LINK, SoundCloud Go, Deezer, or Spotify.
To help newcomers, this controller is designed with an easy-to-use interface and a comprehensive, 5-day WeDJ tutorial course led by DJ HAPA. The course covers music theory, effects, rhythm, tempo, mixing, looping, etc. Learners can create a 15 to 20-minute DJ mix for feedback upon completion.
Compatible streaming sites depend on your app and device combination. The updated WeDJ app for iPhone includes Tutorial and Pop-Hint features that teach the basics of DJing and controller operations. With 11 different effect styles, Transition FX helps beginners transition between tracks effortlessly.
The DDJ-200’s compact body allows you to play sound from your smartphone, tablet, or PC/Mac’s audio outputs, and it can even be powered by an external battery.
- Easy to use and great for beginners
- Mobile and compact, allowing for on-the-go Djing
- Compatible with top DJ apps like WeDJ and Djay
- High-quality build and performance pads
- Smooth platters with a good feel for better control
- Suitable for both mobile and desktop setups
- Smaller than expected, but makes it more portable
- Requires a subscription for a more complete app experience, but offers more features
Hercules DJControl Inpulse 200
The Hercules DJControl Inpulse 200 is an ideal choice for beginners looking to dive into the world of DJing. Featuring USB connectivity, this DJ controller comes with two tracks, eight pads, and a built-in sound card.
The controller’s exclusive features, such as Tempo and Beat Align guides, provide a helpful learning experience for beginners. The software and tutorials included with the DJControl Inpulse 200 offer a comprehensive introduction to DJing.
Designed to make learning accessible and enjoyable, the DJControl Inpulse 200 has software covering the basics, including interactive help and integrated tutorial videos.
The Intelligent Music Assistant (IMA) suggests tracks according to today’s hottest music trends, ensuring users always have the best selections at their fingertips. The controller’s layout mimics professional DJ setups, making transitioning skills easy to more advanced equipment.
Windows 7, 8, 10, and macOS 10.11 or higher are compatible with the DJControl Inpulse 200, making it a versatile choice for various operating systems. The controller’s light guides, energy function, and DJ Academy tutorials create an intuitive and interactive experience for budding DJs seeking to master beatmatching and track alignment.
Overall, the Hercules DJControl Inpulse 200 is a fantastic option for those looking to learn the basics of DJing in an engaging and user-friendly manner.
- Ideal for beginners learning to mix
- Not overwhelming with features
- Affordable price for a learning tool or hobbyists
- Comes with software and tutorials
- Compact size for portability
- Not suitable for those looking to expand beyond beginner-level features
- Size might be smaller than expected, making it travel-friendly
Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX4
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX4 is a fantastic option for beginners looking to learn DJing while offering versatility and professional features. It’s a 2-deck DJ controller compatible with multiple devices, providing USB audio output for microphone sound, streaming integration, and smart mixing.
The DDJ-FLX4 is designed for easy use, with a user-friendly design and brand-new features that enable easy track mixing and application of pro-sounding effects. Its compatibility with popular DJ software, rekordbox, and Serato DJ Lite allows seamless integration into your DJ setup.
You can purchase a license or subscription if you upgrade to Serato DJ Pro.
This controller also supports multiple devices, allowing connection to a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Android phone/tablet. The coming update in early 2023 will also enable Bluetooth and USB cable connections to rekordbox for iOS/Android. This versatility makes the DDJ-FLX4 perfect for trying out DJing without any hiccups.
The USB audio output enables you to mix your set’s sound with the microphone’s audio, making it ideal for live-streaming or MCing over your mixes. With a weight of just 4.63 lb, this lightweight controller is portable and easy to transport.
Overall, the Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX4 delivers a powerful combination of beginner-friendly functionality and professional features, making it an excellent choice for those new to DJing or seeking a compact, feature-rich controller. Don’t be surprised if this versatile DJ controller becomes your go-to tool for all your mixing needs!
- Ideal for beginners
- Lightweight and portable design
- Compatible with both Rekordbox and Serato DJ software
- Stylish graphite finish
- Solid build quality and audio output
- Suitable for intermediate to advanced DJs
- Not compatible with iPad yet; however, this can be resolved with future software updates.
- USB-C connection might feel loose for some, but it’s still functional.
Now that we have looked at some of the best cheap DJ controllers available in the market, it is essential to understand what to consider before making your final decision. Here is a buyer’s guide to help you choose the perfect DJ controller for your needs and budget.
You must ensure that your DJ controller is compatible with your preferred DJ software, whether Serato DJ, Rekordbox, Virtual DJ, or any other. Some controllers include specific software, while others may require additional purchases or subscriptions.
Familiarize yourself with both the hardware and software to have a seamless experience.
Invest in a DJ controller made of sturdy and durable materials. Controllers with solid construction can withstand constant transportation and regular use, ensuring long-lasting performance.
Consider the quality of the jog wheels, faders, and knobs, as these are the parts you’ll interact with the most.
The built-in audio interface is essential when choosing a DJ controller. This determines the sound quality and allows for connecting speakers and headphones. A higher-quality audio interface will provide better sound output, enhancing your overall DJing experience.
DJs often travel between gigs, so having a portable controller is essential. Lightweight and compact models are favored by many, thanks to their easy transportation and setup. However, ensure not to compromise on build quality and features while opting for portability.
Modern DJ controllers offer an exciting range of features that help enhance your DJing creativity. Each controller will be unique, so choose one that provides a mix of popular functions like performance pads, effects, large jog wheels, and loops to help you achieve the desired sound and style.
Set a budget and stick to it when shopping for a DJ controller. Cheap models are available for those on a tight budget, which still offer a range of great features. Remember not to compromise on quality or essential features to save money.
Choose a DJ controller from a reputable manufacturer known for its high-quality products and excellent customer service. The DJ equipment market has well-established brands, like Numark, Pioneer DJ, and Hercules, which have consistently created reliable and innovative DJ controllers.
Reviews and Testimonials
Research customer reviews and testimonials to better understand the controller’s performance, durability, and compatibility with your needs. Gaining insights from other users’ real-life experiences can be a valuable asset while making your decision.
In conclusion, the right DJ controller is essential to create an enjoyable and professional DJing experience. Consider these factors, analyze the reviews of each model, and pick the best cheap DJ controller that fulfills your specific requirements and preferences.
Do I need a built-in audio interface for my DJ controller?
While not necessary, having a built-in audio interface can be highly beneficial. It lets you connect your DJ controller to your sound system and headphones directly without needing an external audio interface. This makes your setup more compact and streamlined.
Can I use these cheap DJ controllers with any DJ software?
Most DJ controllers are designed to work with specific DJ software. However, some controllers are compatible with multiple software platforms. Always check the compatibility of a DJ controller with the software you plan to use before purchasing.
Are Serato DJ Lite and rekordbox DJ Lite good enough for beginners?
Serato DJ Lite and rekordbox DJ Lite are great for those new to DJing. They provide all the essential features needed to learn the art of DJing with
out overwhelming beginners with too many options. You can upgrade to the full software version once you are ready to explore more advanced features.
What factors should I consider when choosing a DJ controller?
When choosing a DJ controller, some factors included software compatibility, built-in audio interface, number of channels, input/output options, build quality, and size/portability.
Can I connect my smartphone to my DJ controller?
Some DJ controllers, such as the Pioneer DJ DDJ-200, offer Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to connect your smartphone and use it as a source for your music library. This can be an excellent option for beginner DJs who may not have an extensive music collection or a laptop with DJing software.
Do these DJ controllers come with a warranty?
Most DJ controllers come with a limited manufacturer’s warranty. Always check the warranty information on a specific product before purchasing.
Can I use these DJ controllers for professional gigs?
These affordable DJ controllers are great for learning and practicing, but their build quality and feature set may not suit high-stress professional environments. However, if you’re just starting out and looking to play small gigs or house parties, these controllers could be ideal until you’re ready to invest in more advanced equipment.
Finding the best cheap DJ controller doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With options like the Numark Mixtrack Pro FX, Numark Party Mix II, Pioneer DJ DDJ-200, and Hercules DJControl Inpulse 200, you can start your DJ journey or elevate your mixing experience without breaking the bank.
Consider your specific needs, budget, and compatibility with your desired software.