The music industry is cut-throat, which means, if you’re an aspiring DJ or musician, you need to have a DJ control that exceeds most others. As a beginner, it may be challenging to choose between the different models.
On the one hand, you could purchase a beginner model, but they often lack in software and controls. However, a high-priced DJ set may be too complicated to use at your level.
So, we’ve done hours of research and have determined the best DJ controller for beginners. Keep reading, and we’ll introduce you to five different models you’d enjoy as a starter.
Best DJ Controller for Beginners
Numark DJ2GO2 | Ultra Portable Two Channel DJ Controller for Serato DJ Intro Featuring A Built In Audio Interface With Headphone Cueing, Pad Performance Controls, Crossfader and Jogwheel
Pioneer DDJ-RB Portable 2-Channel Controller for Rekordbox DJ Bundle with Stand, Headphones, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth
Hercules DJControl Inpulse 200 – DJ controller with USB, ideal for beginners learning to mix – 2 tracks with 8 pads and sound card – Software and tutorials included
1. Numark DJGO2 Pocket Controller
The Numark is a professional grade pocket DJ controller that comes equipped with various controls and features. If you’re looking for a high-quality compact controller, then you’ll be pleased with it. The bundle comes with a key for Serato DJ Lite, but the device itself can be paired with any software you’d like to use, making options endless.
Here’s an overview of the Numark DJGO2 Pocket Controller’s features:
- Enhanced interface: The controller comes equipped with an enhanced interface system that includes multiple inputs. This not only makes it easier to control but also reduces the number of cords and devices you’d need to plug into it. Plus, the audio interface supports any audio jack that is ⅛-inch thick.
- Multiple controls: If you’re worried about not having enough customization, the Numark includes various controls. It features two different channels, two jog wheels, multiple faders, and many other buttons that can help you pump out your own custom beats.
- Customized buttons: Think that it already has a nice setup? The Numark also includes four different pad modes which enable you to switch between different cue points, playbacks, and the ability to loop specific beats.
- Compact and lightweight: Overall, the system is solid along with the fact that it’s a portable and compact DJ controller. The sleek design is enough to bring it to public places without it being distracting, while the LED lights can be switched on and perfect for a party.
- Serato DJ software: When you purchase the device, you’ll also get a key which enables you to register one device to the Serato DJ Software. It’s fantastic software which is perfect for those learning how to use their stations, as well as for experts.
- Universal compatibility: Universal compatibility is perfect for those who want to experiment with different programs. While Serato is excellent software for most, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. So, you’ll still be able to use other software with the DJ controller.
- Easy to carry around
- Multiple channels
- Various controls
- Comes with software
- Not durable enough
2. Pioneer DDJ-RB Controller Bundle
The Pioneer is another beginner-friendly system that includes extra items in a bundle. It’s a full-sized DJ controller, except it has a slimmer design and features lightweight materials to make it more portable. It also includes software that’s beginner-friendly and a polishing cloth to keep the device looking pristine.
The Pioneer DDJ-RB Controller has the following features:
- Adjustable stand: An adjustable Gearlux laptop stand is included with the bundle which enables you to transport your setup. It’s made from durable materials that include clamps which can help steady the system. Unlike others, it also can be adjusted to be higher or lower.
- Rekordbox DJ Software: Every DJ controller has to have the software, and this one includes the Rekordbox DJ Software. We’ve done some research, and it’s pretty good software for the price, but if you’re beyond a beginner, you may want something more advanced.
- Enhanced layout: The layout of the controls is what makes this board shine. Even though it’s designed to be lightweight, it still includes excellent spacing between each control. This can help prevent you from accidentally hitting the wrong buttons or feeling cramped.
- Performance pads: Each of the performance pads can be edited and installed with your own personal sounds. Use them to switch between different cues, sounds, and beats. Customize them to your liking and make your performance unique.
- PC master out: Lastly, enjoy the PC master out an output which allows you to plug in speakers, headsets, and wireless devices.
- Comes with software
- Stand included
- Customizable sounds
- Plugs in with almost any type of speaker
- Not compatible with Mac
3. American Audio VMS2
The VMS2 DJ controller is a professional-level system that’s perfect for experts and beginners. It features an all-in-one design that enables the DJ to customize and create their own beats along with playing traditional scratches and sounds. Besides this, the company includes multiple compatibilities with devices, laptops, and conventional vinyl records.
The things you would expect from American Audio VMS2 are:
- Mixer: Every DJ knows that the secret to a soundtrack is having the ability to play with the controls. The VMS2 includes two channels, many sounds, and enables you to use the Virtual DJ LE Software that’s perfect for learning. While it isn’t a professional quality DJ controller, it is simplistic enough for beginners.
- Two jog wheels: There are two huge jog wheels located on each end of the controller. These enable you to scratch and produce high-quality sound while playing CD’s or old style Vinyl records. No matter what type of music you’re playing, you’ll be able to make it sound unique with a fresh new beat.
- Pitch control: Being able to control the pitch of each sound is what makes a good track. If you’re worried about the music being too erratic, it’s good to know that the installed faders are perfect for pitch control. You’ll be able to extend the sound louder or silent it entirely with just a quick flick of a knob.
- Intuitive layout: Each button is ultimately the same on the DJ controller as it is on the Virtual DJ LE Software. This makes it easier for beginners to practice and learn how to create and play their own music.
- Extra controls: Use the looping feature to create different sounds and repeat playback of specific beats. Installed navigation controls also enable you to extend or shorten each beat, making it easier to mix up your songs. Lastly, the input allows you to attach mics, which can be useful if you’re using live music.
- Simplistic controls
- Great for beginners
- Multiple controls
- Comes with software
- Hard to see knobs; no dark-lighting
4. Hercules DJ 200 Controller
The Hercules DJ 200 Controller is a contender for the best DJ controller for beginners because it has built-in software to help guide you through the whole mixing and editing process. Start to enhance your skills by using the mix controls and built-in tutorials to help create new tracks.
Here’s an overview of the features of Hercules DJ 200 Controller:
- Guides: The Beatmatch Guide button includes many suggestions on how to mix your tracks so that they’re unique. If you’re a beginner, you can activate this button for when you’re still learning. However, when you’re at an intermediate level, simply press the button, and you can deactivate it and create your own tracks without assistance.
- Easy to adjust: This enables you to edit the flow of the music by increasing or decreasing its BPM. Just slide the button up or down and flawlessly adjust the tempo to your desires.
- Align tracks: If you’re playing multiple tracks at once, it can become a little hectic. Luckily, the system has a built-in feature that automatically aligns the tracks together so that they play in perfect harmony.
- Music assistant: The music assistant is a smart system that helps give you music suggestions. While you don’t have to use this feature, it can come in handy for those who are just getting into DJing.
- Energy function: Select the type of mood you’d like to play by either sliding the function to blue, which plays calmer beats, to red, which plays more erratic beats. Either way, it can help select appropriate tracks and sounds for what song you’re playing.
- DJ academy tutorials: Lastly, use the DJUCED tutorials to help improve your skills and learn how to create your own beats. You’ll have full access to their personal classes which help guide you through the whole music-making process.
- Excellent for beginners
- Musical assistant
- Auto aligns tracks
- Multiple guides
- Simplistic design
- Limited connectivity to other software
5. Roland DJ Controller
The last on our list is the Roland that is an excellent choice for beginners. It features a compact design which is perfect to transport and doesn’t weigh that much.
As for compatibility and controls, you’ll get a decent amount so you can mix your music. However, you may be limited compared to other models.
The features of the Roland DJ Controller include:
- Includes software: The software is beginner friendly and offers multiple guides on how to improve your music. It’s the Virtual DJ LE software and is excellent for beginners. However, if you’re a more advanced user, you may want better software.
- High-quality sound: Installed into the system is a high-quality sound card that’s able to amplify anything connected to the input. If you’re using mics, instruments, or playing from your laptop, then you’ll be happy to know that the DJ controller will do the music justice.
- Multiple outputs: To help make things easier, the device includes an output where you can plug in any ⅛-inch jack. This includes wired speakers, wireless speakers, and headphones.
- USB port: The whole system is portable; thus, to power the system, you must plug it into a USB port. This enables you to use it from wherever you are without the need for a wall outlet. Perfect for those who travel a lot and have out-of-town gigs.
- Multiple inputs and outputs
- Powered through USB
- Comes with software
- Older version of Virtual DJ LE; Can’t upgrade
As you can see, there are plenty of different DJ controllers out there that are beginner-friendly. Not all of them are simplistic and some are too complex to focus on learning.
Out of all the ones listed, we’d have to say that the Hercules DJ 200 controller is the top pick. That is because it comes with a whole host of software and interactive learning guides that can help you develop your skills as a DJ. It’s not easy to learn on your own, and if you don’t want to spend time paying a professional or spend hours teaching yourself, this is an excellent way to learn.