The Best DJ Mixers On The Market in 2018
When it comes to choosing the best DJ mixer, it’s essential to know that, nowadays, they have countless features and functions that you may or may not need for your weekly mixing. Gone are the days when DJ-ing equipment was just a two-channel, three-band mixer with no effects or any other additional features. Now, you can find a wide variety of mixers on the market, from the entry-level ones, that are rather inexpensive and only have the most basic and standard features, and the high-end equipment, which is better suited for someone who wants to level up their music making.
First things first – if you’re just starting a DJ-ing hobby, you might need to know what a mixer exactly is. A DJ mixer is a type of audio mixing console, which allows the DJ to make transitions and mix up two or more different tracks or loops. The primary type of mixer will only accommodate two different tracks, while the more advanced ones can accommodate up to four. In addition to DJ software, which is usually on the DJ’s laptop, the mixer can be connected to such units as turntables, CDJS, even cassette recorders. However, the most popular thing used in clubs nowadays is the mixer connected to a laptop with DJ software on it. You can still find turntables in some finicky clubs, and some artists consider that live scratching offers an inimitable audio quality. Nonetheless, the platform you use for having your tracks on doesn’t influence your choice of mixer too much. However, the number of channels or tracks you want to mix is important – as it will stir you toward one of another price range.
High-end mixers will have four channels. You can also use two or three at the same time, but on the cheaper and simpler models, you will only have 2 of them. Besides that, you need to pay attention to the EQ band number, as that will also influence the quality and harmony of your sound. Naturally, the more feature one unit has, the more expensive it will be. When it comes to the price, DJ mixers are no small investment, Even if you purchase the most inexpensive one, it will still set you back a couple hundred. If you go for a more advanced model, expect to pay between $1000 and $2000 for your mixer.
In this article, we have gathered a Top 6 of the best DJ mixers out there on the market, which should give you an insight on what you’re in for. We’ve sorted them out by price range so you can find something to suit every budget in this top.
Here are our recommendations for the top DJ mixers on the market:
Top Rated DJ Mixers
1. Pioneer DJM-2000Nexus
Whether you like it or not, the Pioneer DJM-2000Nexus is one of the classic choices when it comes to mixers. It’s a real etalon for other manufacturers and brands, as it offers the widest spectrum of possibilities for the music producer. With its inbuilt 8-channel USB sound card, this device is meant to recreate a crisp and clean sound, which is perfect for DJ use.
The unit has four channels, thus allowing the mixing of up to 4 different tracks in real time. In addition to that, a 3-band EQ will improve the quality of your sound, and make the mix sound smoother and more harmonious. The unit comes with the classic USB connector, which will help you connect it to a laptop or turntable easily. For DJ software users, this unit is equipped with Traktor and Serato support, so you need not install any additional software on your computer.
The Pioneer DJM-2000 Nexus also has midi functionality, and multiple in and out ports to support different digital and analog devices. Besides that, you have some standard pioneer filters to work with, that can help you bring the live sound to another level. Besides all of that, the feature that is the most spectacular about this unit is the touchscreen control, which allows the DJ to create the Beat Slice effect – enabling them to cut and remix a certain track on the go.
Is this device right for you? This is indeed one of the priciest options out there on the market. Some people might argue that you could obtain the same quality by upgrading a cheaper model with a sound card and an effects unit, but this would certainly complicate the functions way more. It probably won’t make much of a difference to the final price as well, if you have to buy decent quality parts.
Our verdict is: go for this device if you’re already a based DJ with a rather high demand, and this unit is more or less within your budget range. It will spare you of carrying around a lot of other equipment and is the best all-in-one product that you can find.
2. Allen & Heath Xone:DB4
The Allen & HeathXone:DB4 will offer you more of a digital interface than the Pioneer model above, This device is great for all those who wish to have a lot of effects on the mixer – the special effects power bank with a quad core processor will not let you down for sure. In addition to that, the Allen & Heath Xone:DB4 has a 24-bit/ 96 kHz built in USB sound card, a built-in looper, and a wide range of inputs and outputs for accommodating analog and digital devices.
If you prefer to do things the easy way, this device is probably better for you, as the built-in looper will allow you to mix directly on the device, instead of bothering with your laptop software. Besides that, the dedicated effect box is a top-notch quality unit, and you can expect a crisp sound and impressive club quality from it.
When it comes to basic specifications, this unit has four channels and a standard 3-band EQ.
Is this device right for you? You can’t go wrong with anything that’s labeled Allen & Heath, as it’s one of the biggest names in the techno and house music industry. The sound quality is unbeatable, and there are tons of features meant to make your job easier and the final sound as perfect as possible. However, it’s still a pretty expensive thing.
3. Native Instruments Z2
This unit is perfect for anyone who wants to have a hybrid device that is a half controller, half mixer. The Native Instruments Z2 is a device designed to work seamlessly with Traktor and can utilize up to 4 channels despite having only 2 line faders. The secret behind it is that you can integrate midi devices and traditional deck controls at the same time, making the possibilities of creating with this mixer endless.
The manufacturer even gives a couple of recommendations as to which devices would work well with this mixer. You could use it in combination with a modular controller, such as the X1, or with turntables, in a Digital Vinyl System. Besides that, you can also integrate midi devices, such as Maschine or Novation Launchpad, which could give you more control over the track or the remix pad.
The Native Instruments Z2 has an inbuilt 24bit/ 96 kHz sound card, and all sorts of Traktor adapting features. You can use Traktor Scratch Pro with remix decks, digital vinyl, and CDs.
Is this device right for you? Compared to the two previous units, the Native Instruments Z2 is a great value for the money. You can get the same features and possibilities as you would from a Pioneer or Allen & Heath. This is also a great unit for anyone who wants to get into Traktor, or who already uses it professionally, as it has tons of adaptions for the software, and can even work as a standalone.
Our verdict is: go for this device if you’re looking for a high-end mixer, but are not too fussy about the brand or built in effects. If you’re a Traktor user, this unit is probably the best thing you could get on the market.
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4. Rane Sixty-Two Performance with Serato Live
The Rane Sixty-Two Performance with Serato Live is a dual mixer, which means it’s designed with two independent USB soundcards, so that two DJs can use it at the same time. The mixer has only two channels and has tight Serato integration to ensure a more ergonomic interface.
This mixer has a dedicated effects unit and full EQ control and filtering. It also has a spacious mixing section, with easy to reach knobs, making the device perfect for DJs who work with turntables. Grace to the 32-bit audio processing, the Rane will deliver flawless quality sound as well.
Is this device right for you? If you’re a part of the turntablist crowd, the Rane is certainly the right choice for you. Known as being the leader in Serato hardware and a step forward compared to the once popular TTM mixers, it is great for anyone who aspires to be the next Q-Bert.
5. Allen & Heath Xone:23
If you want to avoid the situation where the device you bought ends up being smarter than you, but still don’t want to compromise the quality of the sound and the most important attributes a mixer should have, the Allen & Heath Xone:23 is a great budget option.
This mixer is a 2-channel one with built-in phone and line inputs. A standard 3-band EQ is a classic attribute for any Allen & Heath, but the RCA and XLR outputs are something that cannot be found on most of their other units. Besides these, you have a rather decent set of trademark filters and effects to work with, as well as FX Loop for greater convenience for those who are just getting started.
The only drawback about this model is that doesn’t come with a built-in sound card, like all the high-end models listed above. Customer reviews have it that you can buy a separate one and integrate it into the Xone 22, but if you can live without it, the sound quality of this mixer alone is already good enough.
Is this model right for you? Again, it depends on your requirements about the sound quality and intensity. If you’re starting off, and you don’t mix in large clubs and in front of a big audience, it’s a great device to learn the basics of mixing on.
6. DJTech DIF1S
Judging by today’s standards, the DJTech DIF1S would be classified as a rather minimalist mixer. It doesn’t feature any trigger buttons or dedicated effect unit, but it does include a Mini Innofander and DVS Inputs. The DVS mode will switch between digital analog inputs in real time.
This mixer is a 2-channel scratch one and has the regular 3-band EQ. With 2 CD inputs and two phono inputs, it offers some flexibility for the beginners out there, so they can experiment with different media.
Much like the previous product, this one doesn’t come with a built-in soundcard. For a more powerful and cleaner sound, it should be paired with a soundcard, a pair of decks or a controller.
Is this model right for you? The DJTech DIF1S is a great mixer if you’re a beginner or seasoned scratcher who doesn’t have the money to spend on the Rane. However, you will have to purchase additional accessories to bring it to the performance Rane offers, but it’s still great to get you started.
As a conclusion, you probably want to know what is the best mixer out there? There’s no right or wrong answer to that question. It depends mostly on how you like to make your music – by mixing or by scratching. If you’re starting from this point, it probably going to be easier for you to decide on one particular device. Next, in question comes the budget – there are hundreds of models and manufacturers out there, and the price range for one such unit may cost anything between $200 and $2000. Next, you should probably choose a model that is appropriate for your level – if you’re just a beginner and need only the crossfade and some effects to toy with, a cheaper and minimalistic mixer will be the right choice for you. However, if you’re already a seasoned DJ who like to have lots of features besides the essentials, as well as more than two channels to work with, you probably need a more advanced unit. The soundcard is another priority for those who need superior sound quality, but this will also add up to the price of the mixer.
To sum it up, the perfect mixer for you might not be the same as for any other DJ. It’s essential to put down your needs and requirements and go for a unit which has exactly what you need.