9 Best DJ MIxers – Fundamental Work Tool for DJs

  • Last updatedLast updated: Sep 08, 2020
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A DJ without a DJ mixer is like a knight without a sword. But it is not necessary to obsess over getting the most expensive equipment, or the same one that your mentors use. With practice and dedication, you’ll soon become a professional DJ. The important thing is to get the best DJ mixer that fits your needs and your budget. Whether you’re practicing as a DJ or sound engineer, you need to find a mixer that’s right for your business. Are you fond of this musical instrument and are currently looking for a worthy model? You have come to the right place!

Here, we will enlighten you on the best models of the moment made by trusted brands. Regardless of the purpose, you have to look into criteria such as the software, inputs, outputs, dimensions, and other features. And these are what we considered while making our list of the best DJ mixers on the market. Let’s start with the comparison table.

Editor’s Choice

This is a 4-channel DJ turntable:

  • Traktor Scratch software
  • Compact and powerful
  • Premium 24-bit soundcard
Read Our Review
9.7
PrimeScoreTM
?
PrimeScore is a unique scoring system designed by our editors and experts. With the help of it, we can combine all the rankings based on product’s characteristics, statistics, and even feedback about the manufacturer’s customer service into one, all-encompassing score.
Best Value

This mixer will be particularly suitable for DJs who love scratching:

  • Very versatile
  • Compatible with the original innoFADER
  • Connects to the SL3 for Serato
Read Our Review
9.6
PrimeScoreTM
?
PrimeScore is a unique scoring system designed by our editors and experts. With the help of it, we can combine all the rankings based on product’s characteristics, statistics, and even feedback about the manufacturer’s customer service into one, all-encompassing score.
Budget Pick

This is a professional 2-Channel mixing console with built-in EQ:

  • Affordable price
  • EQ and gain on mic channel
  • Replaceable crossfader with reverse and slope-controls
Read Our Review
9.4
PrimeScoreTM
?
PrimeScore is a unique scoring system designed by our editors and experts. With the help of it, we can combine all the rankings based on product’s characteristics, statistics, and even feedback about the manufacturer’s customer service into one, all-encompassing score.
Best USB Ports

This mixer allows you to play back songs on memory media efficiently:

  • Both channels have multi-format players
  • 24 bit A/D and D/A converter
  • USB A and B ports
Read Our Review
9.4
PrimeScoreTM
?
PrimeScore is a unique scoring system designed by our editors and experts. With the help of it, we can combine all the rankings based on product’s characteristics, statistics, and even feedback about the manufacturer’s customer service into one, all-encompassing score.
Best Analog Mixer

The mixing console has a well-organized control panel:

  • Audio Innovate mini innoFADER as the crossfader
  • Long life of over 4.000.000 cycles
  • Compatible with the original innoFADER
Read Our Review
9.1
PrimeScoreTM
?
PrimeScore is a unique scoring system designed by our editors and experts. With the help of it, we can combine all the rankings based on product’s characteristics, statistics, and even feedback about the manufacturer’s customer service into one, all-encompassing score.
Best Sound Card

This is one of Pioneer’s most popular 2-way mixers:

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Easy to use
  • Many professional features and functions
Read Our Review
9.0
PrimeScoreTM
?
PrimeScore is a unique scoring system designed by our editors and experts. With the help of it, we can combine all the rankings based on product’s characteristics, statistics, and even feedback about the manufacturer’s customer service into one, all-encompassing score.
Best Crossfader

This is the new plug & play 2-channel digital mixer:

  • Serato DJ enabled timecode system
  • Classic backlit pads
  • 4 pads per deck in total 8
Read Our Review
8.7
PrimeScoreTM
?
PrimeScore is a unique scoring system designed by our editors and experts. With the help of it, we can combine all the rankings based on product’s characteristics, statistics, and even feedback about the manufacturer’s customer service into one, all-encompassing score.
Best Channels

This DJ mixer is a 2 + 2-way mixer:

  • 2-way with its sound card to use its DJ software
  • 2 external channels
  • Connection of 2 DJ vinyl or CD decks
Read Our Review
8.7
PrimeScoreTM
?
PrimeScore is a unique scoring system designed by our editors and experts. With the help of it, we can combine all the rankings based on product’s characteristics, statistics, and even feedback about the manufacturer’s customer service into one, all-encompassing score.
Best Levers

This is a two-channel battle mixer for Serato DJs:

  • 2 USB sound cards
  • Tons of controls for the Serato software
  • Pioneer-own Magvel Pro crossfader
Read Our Review
8.5
PrimeScoreTM
?
PrimeScore is a unique scoring system designed by our editors and experts. With the help of it, we can combine all the rankings based on product’s characteristics, statistics, and even feedback about the manufacturer’s customer service into one, all-encompassing score.

Top 9 DJ Mixers Review 2020

1.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2Editor’s Choice

Features

Inputs: 7 (line and aux, phono, mic)

Outputs: 6 (Master XLR and booth, Master RCA, headphone)

Dimensions: 18” x 7” x 16”

Weight: 15.8 lbs.

Other features: 2 full Remix Channels, Premium 24-bit soundcard, 3-band EQ section, premium backlit buttons, Traktor Scratch Pro 2 compatible

The Native Traktor Kontrol Z2 is a 4-channel DJ turntable, supplied with Traktor Scratch software. Compact and powerful, it no longer needs to be introduced in the world of disc jockeying. It has everything a disc jockey needs for a juice mix.

Recently updated, the device consists of a 24-bit-96kHz sound card, Traktor Scratch software, a premium 4-channel mixer, and high-quality 3-band EQs. Overall, the model displays professional features that will no doubt appeal to anyone looking for limitless handling and mobility.

The instrument stands out for its very intuitive and versatile audio interface, ready to accommodate the most complex sound systems. This audio interface optimizes sound quality with an ultra-wide frequency response.

Regarding inputs and outputs, this model offers dedicated Flux Mode controls, a Macro FX button, and two analog inputs with phono and microphone preamps. These help connect turntables and CD players. The connections, carefully installed on this device, allow you to connect turntables, instruments, CD players, MIDI equipment, and many more for a more enriched experience.

The DJ Mixer has a wealth of features packed into a well-built mixer. Despite being optimized for Traktor software (obviously), you will be able to use it as a standalone mixer allowing you to work with any other application. It works perfectly with both turntables and CDJs. Available at an under 1000 price, it is our best budget 4 channel DJ mixer.

What we liked: Do you want a futuristic 2 channel mixer with USB input, all the bells, lights on the controls, tons of effects, etc. This mixer should be at the top of your list. Native Instruments is recognized as a leader in digital DJ products. We like the bright and colorful buttons, which make it easy to navigate around the mixer.

What could be better: Over time, the paint layer around the controls fades. A more resistant coating finish could be used.

Pros
  • Simple learning curve
  • Excellent construction
  • Premium model at a low price
  • Compact size
  • Large number of features
Cons
  • Fading finish
2.

DJ Tech DIF-2SBest Value

Features

Inputs: CD input per channel (2 x RCA), phono/line per channel (2 x RCA), DVS return per channel (2 x RCA), MIC (1/4″)

Outputs: Master (2 x 1/4″), booth (2 x RCA), DVS send per channel (2 x RCA), headphones (1/4″, 1/8″)

Dimensions: 8.8″ x 12.2″ x 4.3″

Weight: 7.3 lbs.

Other features: 2-channel, Audio Innovate mini innoFADER as the crossfader, long life of over 4.000.000 cycles, compatible with the original innoFADER, allows DJs to connect to an audio interface such as the SL3 for Serato.

With the DIF-2S, DJ Tech offers an improved version of the popular DIF-1S. This version accommodates a Master output on 6.35 mm jack and a Cue/Master switch on the front panel. There are also two reverb buttons (one per channel) which were not present on the DIF-1S. For the rest, the features are the same with the last version.

This mixer will be particularly suitable for DJs who love scratching, whether they are from the old or the new school! The DIF-2S, here in gray, is a very versatile two-channel mixer. It will suit both owners of traditional vinyl turntables and those who work with CD turntables or DVS configurations. It has all the connections necessary for the compatibility of these different players and even includes a switchable Timecode mode. This will allow you to use your timecoded vinyls (with RCA send/return to connect an audio interface) once the DVS mode has been deactivated.

Scratch lovers are also served, with the presence of a mini InnoFader crossfader, with an adjustable curve. This will allow them to make cuts that could not be more precise! In terms of settings and effects, the DIF-2S features a 3-band equalizer per channel, cue, and reverb buttons. Finally, you get a 5-year warranty on this product, which many consider the best two channel DJ mixer.

What we liked: With a dimension of 8.8 x 12 x 4 inches, it is the best portable DJ mixer in this review. The DJ mixer with arguably the best value on the market. And so we’re really confused about how a solidly engineered is sold for such a low price. This is, without a doubt, the best DJ mixer under 500.

What could be better: We found nothing on this mixer that we can consider a downside, at least for now.

Pros
  • An all-terrain mixer
  • Adjustable crossfader
  • High performance
  • Premium quality
  • 2-channel mixer
Cons
  • None yet
3.

Numark M2Budget Pick

Features

Inputs: 2 x phono/line switchable (RCA), 2 x line (RCA), MIC (1/4″)

Outputs: Master (RCA), record (RCA), headphones (1/4″ stereo)

Dimensions: 11.4″ x 9.5″ x 3.6″

Weight: 8.25 lbs.

Other features: 2-channel, three-band EQ and gain on each channel, EQ and gain on mic channel, replaceable crossfader with reverse and slope-controls

The Numark M2 is a professional 2-Channel mixing console with built-in EQ. Although the Numark M2 BLACK is not one of the most complete models that can be found among the professional range mixer. We are forced to include it in the list because, without a doubt, it offers the best quality to price ratio.

If you’re looking for a basic, easy-to-use mixer for your setup that’s built to last, this is the one. We consider it the best DJ mixer under 100. It is one of the best DJ mixers that we can recommend to anyone who is just starting out as a DJ and wants to get off to a good start. It’s also suitable for any experienced DJ who requires something reliable and simple. It’s ideal for any setting, from private parties to club sessions.

The mixer features a microphone input with EQ and Gain controls and is equipped with a talkover microphone. There is also the Master, Record, and Headphone Output and the 3-band EQ with Gain control. You also have the crossfade and the reverse crossfade. The headphones are equipped with the cue crossfader function.

What we liked: We were surprised by the quality of sound and amplification in both the preamps and filters. The cutoff frequencies are incredibly good to take advantage of, even a decent mp3. The microphone channel gives crisp, clean sound. Also, it is, without a doubt, the best budget DJ mixer here.

What could be better: At 100% volume, some users reported a slight hum. Of course, at that price, you don’t expect a perfect mixing machine, and we totally understand.

Pros
  • Good quality to price ratio
  • High quality sound
  • Works great with CDJs
  • Robust; built to last long
  • Accurate volume indicator
Cons
  • CUE lights aren't big and flashy
  • Slight hum at 100% volume
4.

Pioneer DJ DJM-450Best USB Ports

Features

Inputs: 3 line (RCA), 2 phono (RCA), 1 MIC (1/4 inch Jack)

Outputs: 1 Master (XLR), 1 Master (RCA), 2 headphone monitor (1/4 inch Jack, mini-jack)

Dimensions: 9.06” x 4.25” x 12.6”

Weight: 9 lbs.

Other features: Magvel Fader, 3-band equaliser, 48 kHz sampling rate, 24 bit A/D and D/A converter, USB A and B ports

This table is presented with a design and functions derived from the professional DJM-900NXS2. Both channels of the console have multi-format players, allowing you to efficiently play back songs on memory media. The DJM-450 will help you liven up your nights comfortably.

The DJ mixer has a neat presentation and a design that gives it easy handling. The adjustable equalizer allows you to obtain a perfect mixing result. It is equipped with a Magvel fader that offers long-term control stability. The device has 8 professional beat effects. A free key comes with the rekordbox software (Dj and DVS) supplied with the deck.

There’s a SEND/RETURN option that allows you to use external effects in addition to those in the table. The different ports of this table are designed with high-quality materials for a perfect connection. The MIC section can be used for microphone connection and as an auxiliary input.

What we liked: The Pioneer DJ DJM-450 is a bang for the buck disc jockeying mixer that does everything you wish a nicer could. It’s one of the best sounding DJ mixer models. Easy to use for starters, it is also great for professionals.

What could be better: The power supply weakens over time.

Pros
  • Superior sound quality
  • Professional layout
  • Smooth mixing
  • Robust faders
  • Flexible connectivity
Cons
  • The power supply
5.

Roland DJ-99Best Analog Mixer

Features

Inputs: CD input per channel (2 x RCA), phono/line per channel (2 x RCA), DVS return per channel (2 x RCA), MIC (1/4″)

Outputs: Master (2 x 1/4″), booth (2 x RCA), DVS send per channel (2 x RCA), headphones (1/4″, 1/8″)

Dimensions: 8.8″ x 12″ x 4.1″

Weight: 7.3 lbs.

Other features: 2-channel, Audio Innovate mini innoFADER as the crossfader, long life of over 4.000.000 cycles, compatible with the original innoFADER

Roland has a passion for creating rhythms; proof of this is with the TR-909 drum machine. Today, more than thirty years after the introduction of the TR-909, Roland launched the TJ-99, a limited edition 2-channel DJ mixer. Of course, this is a so-called “Battle” model, which means it is primarily designed for scratching DJs. The mixing console has a well-organized control panel and a mini Innofader. Using the same colors (gray and orange) as the brand’s famous drum machine, it will not go unnoticed in your studio or wherever you’re set. Note that it is DVS compatible, which means you can use it with a digital vinyl system.

Boasting a 909 Celebration Special Paint finish, the DJ-99 is clearly a tribute to the original model, the TR-909. Fortunately, the interior of the mixing console is not left out. Thus, you have a 3-band equalizer on both channels, and you have the choice between three input channels: phono/line, DVS, and CD. It, therefore, not only allows the use of a DVS system but also to connect a vinyl turntable or a CD player. The DJ-99 mixer has a DVS output, which enables you to use it with Serato or Virtual DJ software. It’s one of the best compact DJ mixer tables to buy if you want mobility.

What we liked: The DJ-99 is a small-format mixer, specially designed for DJs, beginners, or professionals, who do a lot of scratching. We like its design, which is sober and clear. This allows you to adjust the various parameters quickly. In short, we are facing a device that combines modern user comfort with a classic design!

What could be better: Roland’s customer service in terms of the timeliness to customers’ requests could be better. As many noted, getting through to customer support is a bit difficult. Responses to emails could take weeks.

Pros
  • Entry-level price
  • Excellent crossfader
  • Solid build
  • Great sound quality
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • Power issues
  • Poor customer support
6.

Pioneer DJM250MK2Best Sound Card

Features

Inputs: Channel 1 – 2 x line (RCA), 2 x phono (RCA), Channel 2 – 2 x line (RCA), 2 x phono (RCA), Aux – 2 x line (RCA), 1 x MIC (1/4 inch Jack)

Outputs: 1 Master (2 x XLR), 2 Master (2 x RCA), 2 headphone monitor (1/4 inch Jack, 1/8 inch Jack)

Dimensions: 9.1” x 4.2” x 12.6”

Weight: 6.6 lbs.

Other features: Recordbox DVS, built-in sound card, 48 kHz sampling rate, 24 bit D/A converter, USB type B port

The DJM-250MK2 is one of Pioneer’s most popular 2-way mixers. In addition to its ease of use, it offers excellent sound quality. This is thanks to the integrated sound card and its many professional features and functions. The arrangement of the many buttons on this unit allows you to mix and achieve advanced performance easily. It is equipped with a Magvel fader that offers long-term control stability. There are 3-band isolators for precision mixing. The channels are equipped with Sound Color effect filters that are also built into professional consoles. The USB sound card makes audio routing and setup easy.

A free key comes with the rekordbox software (Dj and DVS) supplied with the deck. It has two headphone outputs, a 6.35mm stereo jack, and a 3.5mm mini plug. The MIC section can be used for microphone connection and as an auxiliary input. The GND port provides additional security to the table, thanks to the ease with which the ground wire can be connected. The different ports of this table are designed with high-quality materials for a perfect connection.

What we liked: The Pioneer DJM-250MK2 mixer has audio technology, which makes it probably the best sound quality DJ mixer. Also, there’s a clear layout of controllers and buttons, ensuring good control.

What could be better: It doesn’t have enough effects. Also, it is provided with only two channels.

Pros
  • Superb audio technology
  • USB sound card
  • Professional-grade mixer
  • Unbeatable price
  • Reliable and high-quality build
Cons
  • Not enough effects
7.

Mixars DUO MKIIBest Crossfader

Features

Inputs: combo MIC and AUX inputs, a line input, a switchable phono/line input

Outputs: XLR master output, TRS booth output, RCA Rec out

Dimensions: 16” x 15” x 7”

Weight: 11 lbs.

Other features: GALILEO crossfader, 8 RGB rubber pads for controlling cues + samples, fully MIDI mappable, Serato DJ + DVS

The Mixars Duo is the new plug & play 2-channel digital mixer. It has a Serato DJ enabled timecode system that is supported by version 1.9.1. The classic backlit pads, 4 pads per deck in total 8, allow you to activate 8 cue points per deck or use the Serato SP-6 sampler. You can add other hardware devices such as controllersMIDI thanks to its integrated USB hub with 2 additional USB connections. The scratch functions are of high quality. They allow you to adjust all the cut curves and the settings of the crossfader and line faders on the front panel, which also houses an XLR/Jack 6.3 combo microphone input.

On the other side of the mixer, we have phono/line inputs, XLR master outputs, Booth monitor output. There is also the 6.3 Jack, USB 2.0 Hub, and a quality integrated sound card at 24bit/96kHz. And, also, there’s an analog filter on each channel.

This mixer is built around the modern DJ. It is used by very demanding DJs and turntablist winners of national and world championships. These include DJ Mandrayq. We consider it the best professional DJ mixer in this list.

What we liked: We like the collaboration of Mixars with Serato. This has helped create a mixer designed to ensure that the standards that all professional DJs expect are met. The table turns out high professional quality performances such as software integration, audio quality, and the relationship between usability and workflow.

What could be better: The button design could be better. For example, it’s hard to know whether the blue buttons are on or off. Finally, it’s a bit expensive, but it’s one of the best DJ mixer under 1000.

Pros
  • High professional-quality mixing
  • Software integration
  • Great usability and workflow
  • Awesome price
  • No driver needed for Mac
Cons
  • No control CDs
8.

Allen & Heath XONE:23Best Channels

Features

Inputs: 4 x line (RCA – 2 pair), 4 x phono (RCA – 2 pair), 2 x FX Return (RCA), 1 x MIC (XLR-3M)

Outputs: 1 main MIX (2 x balanced XLR-3M), monitor 2 x RCA (2 pair), record 2 x RCA (pair), FX send 2 x RCA (pair), headphones (TRS 1/4 inch Jack, stereo 3.5 mm Jack)

Dimensions: 9.4” x 12.4” x 4.2”

Weight: 6 lbs.

Other features: 2+2 channels, VCF Filter system, 3-band true total kill EQ, external FX loop

Allen & Heath is a legendary brand which, since the 70s, has continued to innovate with remarkable products. Their tables are used by artists such as Pink Floyd and groups seeking new sonic possibilities. A&H’s DJ division benefits from this immense know-how, and DJs like Deadmau5 or Richie Hawtin salute the sound and construction of the XONE series.

The XONE 23 illustrates very well the vocation of the brand to produce equipment with very high standards. Their mixers have designs that are both modern by the purity of its lines, and classic by the natural arrangement of the controls. These ensure they will not confuse any DJ. This DJ mixer is a 2 + 2-way mixer. There is the 2-way with its sound card to use its DJ software. And there are 2 external channels to connect 2 DJ vinyl or CD decks. The table offers reliable sound-filtering functions, an external effects loop, and a USB socket to record your set on a computer. For the price, it’s a DJ mixer to recommend with your eyes closed. Weighing just 6lbs, it is the best small DJ mixer with lightweight construction.

What we liked: The Allen & Heath XONE:23 is an almost perfect mixer which produces crystal-clear sound. Asides the sound, the faders are really nice and smooth. There are no crackling sounds you hear from lower quality mixers.

What could be better: The Xone: 23 doesn’t have a built-in audio interface, neither is there a built-in USB connectivity port. This means you can’t connect it to your computer.

Pros
  • Produces warm sound
  • Responsive knobs
  • Built-in HPF and LPF filters
  • Total kill equalizer
  • For cutting and scratching
Cons
  • No built-in audio interface
  • No USB functionality
9.

Pioneer DJ DJM-S9Best Levers

Features

Inputs: 2 CD/line (RCA), 2 phono (RCA), 1 MIC (XLR/Jack Combo), 1 AUX (RCA)

Outputs: 2 Master (XLR, RCA), 1 booth (1/4 inch Jack), 2 headphone monitor (1/4 inch Jack, mini-jack)

Dimensions: 16.04” x 10.51” x 4.25”

Weight: 10.14 lbs.

Other features: Customizable FX buttons, 2 large style levers, 2 built-in USB soundcards, Magvel Fader, enhanced MIC input, auto standby, 2 USB B ports, Serato DJ Pro and Recordbox DJ compatible

It took a long time for Pioneer to bring a high-end battle mixer with a focus on scratch DJs back onto the market after the touchscreen classic DJM-909. With the latter presented in 2003, it has long since been available as a second-hand product. So it’s long overdue for the DJM-S9 to come on board.

We are dealing with a two-channel battle mixer for Serato DJ. Thanks to 2 USB sound cards, it enables seamless back-to-back playback. Plus, there are tons of controls for the Serato software, on-board effects, and the Pioneer-own Magvel Pro crossfader.

The connections on the back of the Pioneer DJM-S9 are relatively complete. There are cinch sockets for phono and line sources per channel. Also, there’s an aux input (cinch) and a microphone input (XLR and jack combined, switchable to line and mic level). It goes out via XLR with level adjustment switch and cinch (unfortunately, these master outputs cannot be regulated separately).

What we liked: Pioneer has installed new, handy phono grounding screws, which you cannot accidentally turn off completely. This makes the frustration of the previous one a thing of the past. Easy to adapt to, it is the best DJ mixer for beginners. Also, this is the best scratch DJ mixer online, although it is costly.

What could be better: This is the organization of the keys and features. At first glance, the front of the Pioneer DJM-S9 is very crowded. It houses the mic settings, including EQ, talkover and echo controls, the aux level, and all fader settings such as curves, reverses, and crossfader ease. Also, its design is not ergonomic enough.

Pros
  • Built-in USB soundcards
  • Software compatibility
  • With multi-colored pads
  • Fx buttons customizable
  • For beginners
Cons
  • Design not ergonomic

Buying Guide

A DJ mixer is a fundamental work tool, both for professionals in this field and for those who are just starting. However, given the wide variety of models that exist, it is vital that we clear all our doubts regarding the purchase process.

What is a DJ mixer?

9 Best DJ MIxers - Fundamental Work Tool for DJs

As we have already mentioned, a DJ mixer is one of the essential tools for every disc jockey. Of course, this is not a universal and absolute standard machine. Each DJ has his tastes. Some use other types of mixing consoles; others use DJ controllers. There are even those who choose to use only a computer or other portable devices. The important thing is that you use the system that best suits you. But what is undeniable is that many DJs, both professionals, and beginners, use a DJ mixer as a basic element. So what is its function? A DJ mixer allows you to control and vary the parameters of sound sources.

In other words: thanks to the DJ mixer, we can raise or lower the volume of the soundtracks, adjust the treble or bass, add effects, superimpose audios or go from one song to another with a fade. These are some of the main functions. Of course, the features and utilities of a table can vary from one model to another.

DJ mixer vs. DJ controller

What are the differences between a DJ mixer and a controller? A DJ mixer and a DJ controller are similar tools, although they have important differences. The purpose of both is to mix different audios. However, their main difference is the way they work. A DJ mixer is a device that can be analog or digital to which other devices that reproduce sound are connected.

For its part, the most common is that a DJ controller is used connected to a computer to handle the software installed on it. The controller usually incorporates two decks and two jog wheels as standard (although this is not always the case). Also, they usually have a sound card.

When it comes to DJ mixing consoles, as we’ve seen so far, this is usually the centerpiece of the DJ equipment. We will connect different devices to it, whether they are turntables, CD or MP3 players, portable, or a combination of them. Next, we will show more clearly the main differences between these two devices.

 DJ mixerDJ controller
Software useIt does not require software to work.The most common is that you need software to work.
Computer connectivityIt does not need a computer to function.It is usually connected to a computer (although there are models that allow you to connect tablets and smartphones).
ConnectivityWe need to connect audio-playing devices for it to work, be it turntables, CD players, or MP3 players.Simply connect it to the portable device for it to be operational.

 

PriceHigh-end models are more expensive.Although there are very high-end models, there are very inexpensive options.

 

Experience levelA large number of professional DJs use this type of table.Some professionals also use controllers, either as a complement to their tools or as a single piece of equipment.

 

 

Features to consider when buying a DJ mixer

Surely you really want to have your new DJ mixer. But to avoid possible disappointments in the future, it is better to take into account specific criteria when choosing a model. Here are some of the most important ones. In this way, it will be easier for you to get the best mixer of 2020.

Type

What kinds of DJ mixers are there? First, we are going to introduce you to the types of existing DJ mixers. They are not too many, but there are several differences that are quite remarkable to pay attention to.

Generic mixer: This is a type of mixer that does not include a full software version, since it relies on its lightweight options. In many cases, they are expandable to the full version. If your goal is to get to expand it, it is better that you go for a dedicated one.

Dedicated mixer: This is the full version and therefore offers the use of all available options. It also has a higher sound quality. And, as you may well suppose, they are more expensive than generic ones.

The crossfader

On a DJ mixer, we have volume settings for each deck. Very quickly, DJs realized that it was possible to do what is called a crossfade, by lowering the volume of the song being played while increasing the volume of the next music. Rather than using both hands to raise and lower the sound on two tracks, the manufacturers of DJ mixers invent a control to perform a fade in a single gesture. This is the arrival of the crossfader. This allows you to make perfect sequences with one hand at the desired speed. This is one less worry for the DJ, who will be able to devote his efforts to less laborious tasks.

The arrival of the crossfader on DJ mixers gives DJs wings! It allows us to multiply the creative possibilities. In particular, we see the development of beat-mixing: to match the rhythm of two discs so that their sequence is invisible. Achieving beautiful rhythmic mixes with this allows the DJ to deliver what the dancers want on the track. Producing music that never stops, letting them dance the night away.

The crossfader makes it possible to offer a quality crossfade. But not only that: it also gives the possibility of switching from the sound of the first disc to the second in record time, if you move the crossfader suddenly. With a special setting, rather than being a smooth mixing tool, the crossfader turns into a sharp knife to cut passages from one record to another. This is called the “cut”!

9 Best DJ MIxers - Fundamental Work Tool for DJs

Used with faster and more precise crossfader movements, this is how DJs invent more and more sophisticated techniques to manipulate music on records. The “sleight of hand” technique requires two identical records and requires a sense of perfect timing so that short passage of rhythm can be repeated endlessly, constantly switching from the first to the second record. This technique requires you to “rewind” the passage in question very quickly while the other disc is playing, then reverse, and start over.

The “cut” of the crossfader is also the main weapon of another emblematic technique: the scratch. While giving complex rotational movements to a disc, we open the sound in cuts with fast and jerky rhythmic figures with the crossfader, to the sound of a drum passing on another disc. Very quickly, these extremely complex techniques will arouse the admiration and the emergence of a new sound: hip hop. Not all DJs will necessarily be seduced by these new techniques. But the DJ mixer will have to evolve to cope with the inflamed fader movements of these supercharged.

Build quality

Just like the ease of use is essential, make sure that the mixer allows you to use it frequently and over time. The buttons must be well fixed, and the materials of manufacture very solid to withstand possible shocks during handling. Also, some brands offer guarantees of quality. Ensure you compare models from the same range and different brands.

2-5 years of warranty coverage is a good number to start from. These models have better reliability and will last for several years.

Software and system requirements

This is an important criterion when you buy a DJ mixer since the software is essential for its proper functioning. Perhaps the most used are Serato DJ (usable in the Pioneer DJ DJM-S9), Rekordbox DJ (found in Pioneer DJ DJM-450), and Traktor Pro (also for the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2). Some of the software have a few days of trial, so you can decide. Remember, the mixer is just as important as the program itself.

It is quite common for the manufacturer of the DJ mixer to offer some type of license with specific software. As there are often alliances, it may be that the device works better with some programs than others. This is an aspect that you have to consider when you have to decide between a few models.

This factor also causes the price of equipment to skyrocket considerably. We may have different reasons for wanting our console to be connected to a software. For example, if we’re going to control playback by means with time-code, but we want to avoid buying and transporting the interface in turn. Or simply because we want our mixing console also to be an audio interface in case we want to use software and simplify wiring significantly by reducing it to a simple USB cable.

Inputs (connectivity)

Before buying a DJ mixer, you should also ask what devices can be connected to it. A DJ mixer, to fulfill its function, needs to have a sound source connected. The number of devices that can be connected and used at the same time will depend on the channels and inputs of the console. Next, we will see the devices that can most often be connected to a DJ mixer through its different inputs.

  • Phono input: Through this input, we can connect a vinyl player, also known as a turntable. Many DJs use two turntables, one on each side of the mixer, to be able to mix the sound coming from two different vinyls. It is very common that they are also used to scratch, a very common technique in this area.
  • Line input:Thanks to this input, you can connect a wide variety of devices, such as CD players, cassettes, MP3 players, laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Of course, it never hurts to take a look at the manufacturer’s specifications to see which devices it is compatible with.
  • Microphone input: It is important to note that not all DJ consoles have a microphone channel. However, many models do incorporate it. Many DJs like to communicate with the audience during their shows. The simplest way to do this is through a microphone connected to the mixing console. If you intend to use it as well, you must make sure that the table model you choose has an input for this device. The most common microphone connections are jack and XLR.
  • Headphones: Many mixing consoles have a headphone connection. Depending on the model, it will allow you to listen to the mix of the song before it sounds through the speakers.
  • Other inputs: Some mixing consoles have ports to connect USB or SD cards. Good examples are the Pioneer DJ DJM-S9and the Mixars DUO MKII. 

The number of channels

9 Best DJ MIxers - Fundamental Work Tool for DJs

It is an important thing to know how many channels we are really going to need in our new DJ table. This is because the price factor of the mixer will be seriously affected by this parameter. Although you can find varying options on the market, most options focus on even numbers, with 2 or 4 channels being the most common. 2-channel mixers like the Numark M2 BLACK and the DJ Tech DIF-2S are the most common and cheapest. Meanwhile, 4-channel mixers like the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 are often more expensive.

There are consoles with three channels (Behringer Mesa Dj Pro Dx626) or more than four (Behringer Mesa Dj Pro Vmx1000usb), to give just a few examples. Although we only mix from two or four main sources, having a complete extra channel (with gain and EQ) in which connecting an iPhone or auxiliary player can get us out of the odd trouble.

The current DJ table standard is 4 channels for the main sources, plus some extra stereo auxiliary input plus dedicated microphone input(s). Almost any decent console includes a dedicated mic input. And it would be normal for it to have EQ and could be assigned to the internal effects of the console.

The equalization

Except for the most radical scratchers, who will have the most critical element of their mixing console in the crossfader, the workhorse of the rest of DJs is the equalization. The equalizer standard includes three EQ controls (treble, midrange, and bass) plus one for filtering. And it must be said that the cutoff frequencies of each model and the modification ranges on the frequencies affect the final sound of our mix very significantly. Also, not all EQs attenuate the signal of each band until the channel is completely silenced when we lower all three.

The possibility of incorporating “total kill” or “kill” buttons for each frequency band is quite important, depending on our mixing style. In our opinion, the channel filter is essential, the most common configuration being low-pass on one side and high-pass on the other. Although, there are models with 4 bands of equalization, which allow a smoother and more perfect control over the mix, such as the Allen Heath Xone 92. Most of the models presented in this review have 3 bands of equalization. Examples are the Allen & Heath XONE:23 and the Pioneer DJM250MK2.

Effects

The more the years go by, the more technology brings its share of novelties on the material so that the brands sell their new models. Thus, digital multi-effects have entered DJ mixers to expand the sound arsenal available further. It’s a whole panoply of reverb, delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, echo loop, resonant filters, saturation, ring modulation, etc. We do not count the number of possible effects, more or less useful, to appear on DJ equipment. Mixing with effects is a must have for the modern DJ. The effects modules integrated into the latest generation equipment are of good quality. And you can decide if you want to have them integrated into each of the reproduction sources, for example, in CDs. This will allow you different effects for each of the songs, or on the contrary, have them integrated into the table. In the latter case, the effects can be applied to each of the channels or to the master through a switch, but normally we will only have one effect available. Tables with two processors offer a significant price jump. There are consoles capable of directing the signal from the channels to the outside through a pair of outputs, to process this in an external effects module. This possibility is undoubtedly interesting and versatile, and you should contemplate it whenever your economy allows it.

9 Best DJ MIxers - Fundamental Work Tool for DJs

On more sophisticated models, two sends per channel (individually switchable between post and pre-fader) can be made to external processors. And there are two independent, fully equipped return channels for external processors.

There are tables with more than one effects processor and signal routing systems. These are capable of sending as many signals as we want for processing, in any combination. They are often high-end models.

Dimensions and weight

Are you a DJ who will regularly transport the equipment? Or rather an enthusiast who works mainly in a recording studio? Depending on your use, it is essential to choose the dimensions of your equipment well, to make sure that you can transport it easily if necessary. If you’re conscious of the weight and dimensions, and want a transportable model, choose a model such as the Pioneer DJM250MK2 or the Allen & Heath XONE: 23.

FAQ

The essential list of equipment a beginner DJ needs are CD and vinyl DJ Turntables, mixers, controllers, software, speakers, headphones, and DJ Accessories.

You can find compatible software such as Serato DJ, Native Instruments TRAKTOR Pro, and more for your DJ mixer online. You can download some of these for free online. Also, some come with free trials. You can download Serato DJ through their website and also enjoy a 14-day trial. You can also buy or update the Native Instruments TRAKTOR Pro from their website.

After using a mixer for some time, dirt can get stuck in the knobs and the levers of the mixer. This can cause irreversible damage. We recommend cleaning your mixer frequently with a dry air canister, which will drive away some of the dust that gets stuck in the knobs. Then use a mini vacuum cleaner.

Wondering what is the best brand of mixer? You should know that the brand of a mixer is decisive for the efficiency and durability of the device. Among the most recommended brands on the market, here are a few ones we can recommend:

The Pioneer brand: This is also a world-famous brand that offers different types of equipment, such as home theaters, HI-FI speakers, etc.

The Behringer brand: This is the flagship brand in the audio-visual sector. This German brand offers quality and durable products.

The Denon brand: This is a Japanese brand very popular with DJs. The brand specializes in Hi-Fi products and DJ equipment. Denon products generally have full and exciting features for fans of the mix.

Our Verdict

Mixing songs or controlling multiple musical instruments at the same time is best done with a good DJ mixer. The best DJ mixer offers all the necessary features, optimal ergonomics, and an unbeatable price.

The overall best and our Editor’s Choice is the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2. This is a 4-channel DJ turntable supplied with Traktor Scratch software. Compact and powerful, it has everything a disc jockey needs for a nice mix.

The DJ Tech DIF-2S wins our Best Value nomination. This mixer will be particularly suitable for DJs who love scratching, whether they are from the old or the new school! Do you want a low-budget under 100 model? Choose our Budget Pick, the Numark M2 BLACK. This is a professional 2-Channel mixing console with built-in EQ. The Numark M2 BLACK, without a doubt, offers the best quality to price ratio.

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