May 2021

DJ Controllers: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of DJ Controller rankings posted by key online experts, as of May 2021.

Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend DJ Controllers.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of DJ Controllers, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for May 2021 ranking

At a glance - May 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Price DJ Controller
Music Radar
Music Critic
Passionate DJ
Prime Sound
DJ Tech Reviews
Equipboard
Home DJ Studio
MSpot
LandR
Consordini
#1
$339 Native Instruments S2 Mk3
8
-
-
-
8
-
2
7
-
2
#2
$249 Pioneer DDJ-400
-
-
-
-
6
-
1
4
-
4
#3
$249 Pioneer DDJ-SB3
7
-
-
-
7
-
3
2
2
-
#4
$999 Native Instruments S4 Mk3
2
-
-
4
13
-
-
-
-
-
#5
$1699 Pioneer XDJ-RX2
-
-
-
1
11
-
-
-
5
-
#6
$1199 Native Traktor Kontrol S8
5
-
-
10
3
-
-
-
-
-
#7
$859 Reloop Mixon-4
10
8
-
5
-
-
-
-
-
-
#8
$560 Numark Mixtrack Platinum
-
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
3
#9
$300 Roland DJ-202
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
9
-
5
#10
$84 Numark Party Mix
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
9
#11
Check price Hercules DJControl Starlight
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
1
-
#12
$1835 Pioneer DDJ-RZ
-
-
-
3
2
-
-
-
-
-
#13
Check price Pioneer DDJ-SX3
3
-
-
8
-
-
-
-
-
-
#14
$700 Pioneer DDJ-SR Pro
-
6
-
-
-
4
-
-
-
-
#15
Check price Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
-
-
6

We ranked Native Instruments S2 Mk3 #1 in May 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

A solid budget controller for Traktor,with iOS compatibility

Pros
Laptop and iOS compatible
Compact and affordable
Well-built

Cons
Just two decks with no extra inputs

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DJ Tech Reviews

Pros
Excellent compact design that will fit in small DJ booths
Excellent entry-level price with software included
Very portable for travelling DJs
Bigger job wheels than the previous version

Cons
Only possible to use it with the NI software
Soundcard isn’t as great as some other NI options

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Home DJ Studio

Excellent Traktor Controller For Beginners

Pros
Solid Build Quality
DJ Software
Portable
Pro Layout

Cons
Plastic Knobs

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MSpot

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Consordini

The best DJ controller under $500

Pros
Comes with Traktor Pro software.
Plug and play functionality allows you to make music anywhere as long as you have a computer.
Includes generous mixing effects and other useful tools for transitions and beat matching.

Cons
Low volume output.
Only has RCA outputs which is a bit outdated.

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We ranked Pioneer DDJ-400 #2 in May 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Pioneer DDJ-400 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
DJ Tech Reviews

Pros
Professional looping section included
Incredibly good build quality
Reasonable pricing and good portability
Responsive performance pad section

Cons
Looping section can be complex for beginners
Plastic throughout

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Home DJ Studio

The Best DJ Controller For Beginners

Pros
Professional Layout
Rekordbox DJ Software
Tutorial Feature
Long Pitch Fader

Cons
Smaller Mixer Section

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MSpot

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Consordini

Perfect for absolute beginners

Pros
Controller is set up more professionally so that you feel comfortable when you upgrade.
Durable enough to take on the road.
Comes with rekordbox DJ software.

Cons
Not suitable for those who are not absolute beginners.
Not compatible with software other than rekordbox DJ.

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We ranked Pioneer DDJ-SB3 #3 in May 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

New to DJing? This is the best Serato controller for you

Pros
Pad scratch function
Bundled with Serato DJ Lite

Cons
Small pitch faders

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DJ Tech Reviews

Pros
Helps with learning how to scratch
Easy to transport thanks to a lightweight design
Out-of-the-box plug and play performance
Affordable pricing is excellent for beginners

Cons
Simplistic in some areas, limited in effects and control options
Only comes with Serato Lite tech

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Home DJ Studio

Popular Entry-Level Serato Controller

Pros
Quality Jog wheels
Logical Layout
4 Channels Available
FX Fade

Cons
Intro Software

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MSpot

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LandR

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We ranked Native Instruments S4 Mk3 #4 in May 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

Flagship Traktor controller with ‘haptic’ jogwheels

Pros
Innovative haptic jog wheels
Tight Traktor 3 integration
Flexible selection of analogue I/O

Cons
Users of previous versions may feel a little lost

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Prime Sound

Best 4-Channel Controller

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DJ Tech Reviews

Pros
Excellent performance with fantastic features throughout
Feels very solid and reliable – great for pros
Easy enough to understand that beginners can enjoy it too
A dedicated section for remixing decks

Cons
No curve/reverse linefader functions
Only one effect per module
Plastic rotary knobs

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We ranked Pioneer XDJ-RX2 #5 in May 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Pioneer XDJ-RX2 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Prime Sound

Editor's Choice

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DJ Tech Reviews

Pros
Fantastic and highly durable built quality
8 performance pads per deck for high-level control
Excellent jog wheels that feel fantastic to use
Large touchscreen for easier control
Pro DJ features included

Cons
Quite bulky – so harder to transport
The touchscreen can be a little problematic to use at times

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LandR

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We ranked Native Traktor Kontrol S8 #6 in May 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

The best high-end Traktor controller

Pros
Stems compatibility
MIDI connectivity
Standalone capability

Cons
No jog wheels

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Prime Sound

Best Controller without Jog Wheels

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DJ Tech Reviews

Pros
Incredible high-quality performance
MIDI connectivity and Stems compatibility
Easy enough to transport
Fantastic range of analogue inputs and outputs
Fun to use

Cons
No Jog wheels included
No pitch faders

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We ranked Reloop Mixon-4 #7 in May 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

The best iOS and Android DJ controller

Pros
Multi-platform support
Plug and play with djay PRO and Serato DJ Pro
Integrated docking station can hold an iPad Pro

Cons
Mic input not XLR

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Music Critic

Pros
Industry-first hybrid designed to work with djay Pro and Serato DJ software
Capable of supporting multi-platforms such as IOS, Android, PC, and Mac
Comes with multiple inputs and outputs

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Prime Sound

Best for Tablets

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We ranked Numark Mixtrack Platinum #8 in May 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Passionate DJ

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Consordini

Platinum quality for platinum mixes

Pros
Deck layering for extensive, advanced mixes.
Multi touch controls allow for precise control over tracks at any time.
LCD screens on the jog wheels make it easy to keep track of your current songs.

Cons
Not compatible with an external audio interface.
Not enough connection options.

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We ranked Roland DJ-202 #9 in May 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Home DJ Studio

Great Choice For Creative DJs

Pros
Built-In Drum Machine
Responsive Jog wheels
4 Channel DJ Controller
Midi Out

Cons
Flimsy Feeling Build Quality

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MSpot

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Consordini

Impressive features for DJing anywhere

Pros
Solid construction with handles for transport.
Mic inputs for performing.
Large selection of drum kits for on the fly creation.

Cons
Drivers can be difficult to set up on your computer.
A bit too lightweight.

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We ranked Numark Party Mix #10 in May 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Numark Party Mix as #1.
Critic endorsements:
MSpot

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Consordini

The best beginner DJ controller for around $100

Pros
Optional light show feature.
Pad Mode for extensive looping.
Automatic beat syncing.

Cons
Loading performance pad files can be difficult.
Pitch sliders are not as precise as a deck.
Not ideal for those with epilepsy or other similar issues due to the light show feature.

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We ranked Hercules DJControl Starlight #11 in May 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Hercules DJControl Starlight as #1.
Critic endorsements:
MSpot

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LandR

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We ranked Pioneer DDJ-RZ #12 in May 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Prime Sound

Premium Pick

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DJ Tech Reviews

Pros
Attractive and sturdy build with intuitive layout
Excellent range of high-level features, including Oscillator sampler
Double USB inputs
Rekordbox DJ licensing included

Cons
Huge and heavy, so not great for transport
Only works with Rekordbox DJ

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We ranked Pioneer DDJ-SX3 #13 in May 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

The best Serato DJ controller under £/$1,200

Pros
Jog wheels feel great for their size
Serato Flip and Pitch N’ Time included

Cons
Color FX could get old quickly

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Prime Sound

Best Controller with Case

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We ranked Pioneer DDJ-SR Pro #14 in May 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Critic

Pros
Equipped with 16 performance pads to execute functions like hot cue, slicer, roll, and sampler
Large jog wheels to enhance its scratching and the mixing capabilities
The setup is very simple and is USB operated
Comes with all the features necessary to provide you with quality mixes

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Equipboard

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We ranked Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 #15 in May 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Equipboard

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Consordini

A fantastic all-in-one controller

Pros
Extremely realistic feeling platters with pitch control.
16 pads for launching loops and going between hot cues.
Precision crossfader for seamless mixing.

Cons
Platters don’t move as smoothly as original vinyl records do.
Lack of individual gain control for the decks.

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