June 2022

DJ Controllers: Meta Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of DJ Controller rankings posted by key online experts, as of June 2022.

Summary

As of 4 Jun 2022, Pioneer DDJ-400 takes the cake as the most critically-acclaimed dj controller with 6 expert endorsements. 1 experts out of 6 recommended it as the '#1 dj controller' this month. It is followed by Native Instruments S2 Mk3 and Pioneer DDJ-1000 , with 6 and 3 expert endorsements respectively.

At a glance - June 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price DJ Controller
Music Critic
Equipboard
Home DJ Studio
LandR
Music Radar
DJ Tech Reviews
Passionate DJ
Prime Sound
MSpot
Consordini
1
- $279
Pioneer DDJ-400
-
-
1
-
2
6
10
-
4
2
2
- $298
Native Instruments S2 Mk3
-
-
2
-
8
8
12
-
7
1
3
- $2695
Pioneer DDJ-1000
-
-
-
-
1
1
1
-
-
-
4
- $930
Native Instruments S4 Mk3
-
-
-
-
3
13
2
4
-
-
5
- Check price
Pioneer DDJ-SB3
-
-
-
2
7
7
-
-
2
-
6
- Check price
Pioneer XDJ-RX2
-
-
-
5
-
11
-
1
-
-
7
- $279
Pioneer DDJ REV1
-
-
3
-
9
-
11
-
-
-
8
- $559
Roland DJ-202
-
-
5
-
-
-
-
-
9
3
9
- Check price
Reloop Mixon-4
8
-
-
-
10
-
-
5
-
-
10
- Check price
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2
1
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
11
+1 $100
Hercules Starlight
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
5
-
12
+1 Check price
Native Instruments S2 MK2
5
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
13
-2 $125
Numark Party Mix
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
5
14
- Check price
Pioneer DDJ-RZ
-
-
-
-
-
2
-
3
-
-
15
+1 Check price
Gemini G4V
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
10
-
16
-1 Check price
Native Traktor Kontrol S8
-
-
-
-
-
3
-
10
-
-
17
- $772
Native Instruments S4 MK2
7
2
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
18
+5 $247
Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX
-
-
4
-
-
-
9
-
-
-
19
- Check price
Denon DJ MCX8000
-
-
-
-
6
-
-
6
-
-
20
-2 $1090
Roland DJ-505
-
-
-
-
5
-
7
-
-
-
21
-1 $219
Native Instruments Traktor X1
-
-
-
-
11
14
-
-
-
-
22
-1 $700
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2
-
-
-
-
-
4
8
-
-
-
23
-1 $1438
Pioneer DDJ-800
-
-
-
-
-
5
6
-
-
-
24
- Check price
Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
-
5
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
8

We ranked Pioneer DDJ-400 #1 in June 2022 because:

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

The best affordable rekordbox controller

Pros
CDJ-style layout
Easy-access loop controls
Great value

Cons
Lacks deeper effects control

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DJ Tech Reviews

Best DJ Controllers under $500

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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Passionate DJ

Best DJ Controllers Under $500

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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 Native Instruments S2 Mk3 #2 in June 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Native Instruments S2 Mk3 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Home DJ Studio

Excellent Traktor Controller For Beginners

Pros
Solid Build Quality
DJ Software
Portable
Pro Layout

Cons
Plastic Knobs

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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

Best Budget DJ Controller Option

Pros
Excellent compact design
Excellent entry-level price
Very portable
Bigger jog wheels

Cons
Exclusive use with NI software
Soundcard isn’t that great

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Passionate DJ

Best DJ Controllers Under $500

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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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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 June 2022 ranking

We ranked Pioneer DDJ-1000 #3 in June 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 3 experts ranked Pioneer DDJ-1000 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

Pro-level rekordbox control with a CDJ feel

Pros
Large jog wheels with HD screens
DJM-900 inspired mixer section
Updated Magvel crossfader

Cons
Significant size/weight footprint

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DJ Tech Reviews

Best DJ Controller Option

Pros
Advanced performance
Fantastic range of effects and updated Magvel crossfader
Large jog wheels and HD screens included
Ideal for digital DJs with DJM-900 mixer session
Fantastic array of bonus features like four new Beat FX

Cons
Complicated set-up
Not the smoothest jog wheel
Very heavy

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Passionate DJ

Best DJ Controller Over $1000

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We ranked Native Instruments S4 Mk3 #4 in June 2022 because:

  • 4 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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DJ Tech Reviews

Best DJ Controller for Traktor

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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Passionate DJ

Best DJ Controllers Over $1000

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Prime Sound

Best 4-Channel Controller

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We ranked Pioneer DDJ-SB3 #5 in June 2022 because:

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

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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

Best DJ Controllers under $500

Pros
Helps with learning how to scratch
Lightweight design
Plug and play
Amazing value

Cons
Bit too simplistic
Only comes with Serato Lite

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MSpot

Premium Choice

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We ranked Pioneer XDJ-RX2 #6 in June 2022 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:
LandR

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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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Prime Sound

Editors' Choice

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We ranked Pioneer DDJ REV1 #7 in June 2022 because:

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

Entry-Level Battle Style Serato Controller

Pros
Big Jogwheels
Affordable Serato Controller
4 Channels Available
Battle Style Layout

Cons
Intro Software

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Music Radar

The best budget controller for scratch DJs

Pros
Decent scratch capabilities at a low price
Battle config and DJM-style layout
Decent crop of performance pads

Cons
No software license included

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Passionate DJ

Best DJ Controllers Under $500

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We ranked Roland DJ-202 #8 in June 2022 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 Reloop Mixon-4 #9 in June 2022 because:

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

Best for Tablets

Pros
Low weight
Its set up makes it ideal for use with tablets

Cons
Poor crossfader

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We ranked Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 #10 in June 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Music Critic

Pros
Comes with all of the same features as the famous Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB in addition to new professional features like trim pots, level meters, pad trans effect etc.
Easy to use
USB powered
It's a compact controller that can fit in the smallest of DJ setups and is extremely portable

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Equipboard

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We ranked Hercules Starlight #11 in June 2022 because:

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

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MSpot

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We ranked Native Instruments S2 MK2 #12 in June 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best DJ Controllers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Native Instruments S2 MK2 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Music Critic

Pros
Comes with plug-and-play support for hands-on control with iPhone and iPad. Great for mobile DJ use.
High-resolution cueing and scratching. Comes equipped with silicone-damped jog wheels with aluminum top plates.
Can be played with a desktop, laptop, iPhone or iPad.

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Equipboard

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We ranked Numark Party Mix #13 in June 2022 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

Best Overall

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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 Pioneer DDJ-RZ #14 in June 2022 because:

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

Pros
Sturdy build with intuitive layout
Excellent range of high-level features
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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Prime Sound

Premium Pick

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We ranked Gemini G4V #15 in June 2022 because:

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

Best Value

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MSpot

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We ranked Native Traktor Kontrol S8 #16 in June 2022 because:

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

Best Controller without Jog Wheels

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We ranked Native Instruments S4 MK2 #17 in June 2022 because:

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

Pros
4-deck product specifically designed to work with TRAKTOR DJ software.
The look, feel and the visual feedback of this unit have been upgraded from previous models.
Plug-and-play, with TRAKTOR DJ for iPhone and iPad.

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Equipboard

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We ranked Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX #18 in June 2022 because:

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

Best Option For Learning Beatmatching

Pros
Long Pitch Faders
Screens on Jog wheels
Soundcard
4 Deck Mixing

Cons
Appearance

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Passionate DJ

Best DJ Controllers Under $500

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We ranked Denon DJ MCX8000 #19 in June 2022 because:

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

Best high-end Serato controller

Pros
Standalone capability
Dedicated filters
Two HD displays

Cons
Not the largest platters

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Prime Sound

Best Heavy-Duty Controller

Pros
18lbs weight
Robust

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We ranked Roland DJ-505 #20 in June 2022 because:

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

A Serato controller with classic drum sounds onboard

Pros
Plug-and-play setup
Easy to use
Quality built-in sounds

Cons
Looks a little garish

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Passionate DJ

Best DJ Controllers Under $1000

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We ranked Native Instruments Traktor X1 #21 in June 2022 because:

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

The best add-on Traktor controller

Pros
Assignable touch strip
LEDs and digital readouts

Cons
No included software

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DJ Tech Reviews

Pros
Great for tactile control of multiple effects with various FX units
Touch-sensitive knobs for extensive access to a range of performance components
Multi-purpose touch strip for loops and FX
Very small and portable

Cons
No Jogwheels included
Doesn’t feel like a full DJ setup

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We ranked Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2 #22 in June 2022 because:

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

Best for under $1000

Pros
Multiple connections so you can link to a professional PA system
Lightweight and portable design
Large jog wheels included
Fantastic range of integral controls
Plug and play performance

Cons
Small pitch fader
Lots of knobs and buttons make the interface cluttered

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Passionate DJ

Best DJ Controllers Under $1000

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We ranked Pioneer DDJ-800 #23 in June 2022 because:

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

Best for under $1000

Pros
Compact design
Professional inputs and outputs
LCD screen with a feature-rich mixer

Cons
Only two channels
Effects only work with the Rekordbox DJ tech

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Passionate DJ

Best DJ Controllers Under $1000

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We ranked Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 #24 in June 2022 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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