The Best Cheap DJ CD and Media Players for Beginners in 2020
If you’ve got a major party planned, or are considering starting a studio as a DJ professionally, you have to know that the right equipment is important. One of the pieces you need to ensure everything is properly managed and set up is a DJ media player. As a beginner, you could simply use your laptop if you wanted to, but we all know that’s not the best idea. You won’t really get the best results.
DJ media players are very different, in that they have specific formats, features, and settings for the ideal DJ experience. That is why it helps to have a DJ media player to easily play at any event even with all the equipment around.
Typical media players don’t provide you with the same convenience since it’s risky to rely on basic features during a performance. So, picking the right media player is an important decision for any beginner. But with all the newer brands and types out there, choosing a media player has become more difficult than usual.
In this guide, we provide you with a list of the 7 best DJ cheap DJ CD/media players for beginners. This will help you make a choice more easily without having to rely on any professional help. If you still have trouble purchasing the right one for yourself, there’s also a list of features you can consider before getting a DJ media player for yourself. So, let’s help you get the best cheap DJ media players for your DJ setup.
What are DJ Media Players?
The title essentially gives the answer away. A DJ media player is an audio device that DJs utilize to mix different audio files using CDs in various sound formats. DJ media players have changed over the years. They now allow you to add audio files from devices other than CDs, like USBs or software. Actually, in a lot of cases, these days just owning one USB is perfect to have everything you need when you want to mix live.
There are certain features that make DJ CD players stand out from simple laptops, e.g. jog wheels, CD modes, BPM faders, and LED displays. Nowadays these have become standard features for any DJ media player. In 2019, a CD player is more commonly referred to as a DJ media player. Since you’re now able to plug in your USB device and use any more music formats like MP3, WAV, AAC, etc. Furthermore, a DJ media player can now work with popular software like Traktor or Serato DJ.
If you are looking for an alternative way to DJ and mix tracks check the best DJ controllers under $400 or if your pocket can afford it, the best pro controller under $1200.
What to consider before buying DJ CD/media players?
If you are a beginner when it comes to DJ media players, you should know that these players are not like media players in your laptops. As they have a lot of different features in them. So, before buying anything, you need to know about some of these specifications. With that said, here is a detailed list of features you need to keep an eye out for when purchasing a DJ CD player:
A jog wheel provides beginner DJs with easy access to their audio files and the ability to perfect their beat-matching too. According to the speed with which you move the wheel, you are able to move back and forth on your music file to get whatever effect you want. You are also able to use scratching sounds and other effects. Most wheels are generally touch-sensitive. However, for high-quality jog wheels that can handle heavy use, you’ll have to spend a bit more.
Using a cue point, you’ll be able to save a specific point on an audio file and then access it through the push of a single button.
Loop buttons allow you to click a start and an end point to your track so you can repeat it. This is great for when you have to extend the length of your track and if you want to get a smoother sound.
Another common feature on DJ cd players is the display function. You can watch complete track info as well as duration and waveform. The waveform display is a pro feature, and you won’t find it easy on many media players.
These days, DJ media players are able to support a huge number of media formats. You should check to see if MP3, WAV, AAC, and AIFF files are supported in any device you’re about to purchase.
A lot of digital media players can integrate with audio software for better performance. Rekordbox software is a popular one that is usually available in Pioneer products.
In terms of budget, you can divide media players by type and price. The professional models generally come for over 1000$ and can even go up to $2000. For beginners, it’s better to target some semi-professional/beginner products that usually hit the $500 mark.
The Best DJ CD Media Players for Beginners
1. Gemini MDJ Series MDJ-900 Professional Audio DJ Media Player
The Gemini MDJ-900 is professionally built to provide ease of use. You won’t have to spend too much time learning. Now, just focus on getting the most of your DJ potential. It supports a big 4.3-inch vibrant full-color display that gives a vivid graphic. Also, you can get feedback for your tracks in real-time.
You’ll like the extra visual feedback which allows you to confidently scratch or use hot cues while mixing. The pitch fader offers a pitch range between 4% and 100%, so you can mix audio with more precision.
The LINK mode allows you to link up to 4 players via Ethernet which means you can share music with the same USB device. Two players can connect with standard Ethernet, so four players can easily and quickly sync through a LAN router. This is one of the better players for sharing music files, media, and libraries, but that’s just the beginning with this mixer. Linking four MDJ-900s can seem difficult, which is why you should enable SYNC to beat-match for a smoother audio experience.
This allows you to make up some more time for you to mix and use the four Hot Cues, Auto Loops, and the large 8-inch jog wheel with LCD display. Along with additional MIDI capabilities, you even get more parameter control for your preferred DJ software from the player. So, you know you’re getting the most out of this model when learning.
2. PIONEER CDJ-350
If you check our list with the best DJ cd players you will find most models are manufactured by Pioneer. CDJ1000 and CDJ 2000nxs2 and are targeting professional DJs and clubs while CDJ-350 is more for a beginner or semi-pro who wants a good practice before an event.
The “light” Pioneer CDJ-350 supports various digital audio formats including MP3, AAC, WAV, and AIFF. And you can import the files either by CDs or USB stick. It also includes beat-display function, auto beat loop function, and BPM lock. With the included Rekordbox software you can manage music files on your computer and make the selection of songs even faster.
Some of the significant shortcomings of the CDJ-350 are the missing waveform display of the track and has no access to cue points. The link between units is also not available.
Conclusion: Pioneer CDJ-350 is an excellent choice for beginner DJs who want a tool to practice and easily transport to small events. It is small, and light and the construction is of good quality. A pair of those cost less than one CDJ-900 Nexus, and they will make a great set with a two-channel mixer DJM-350.
Dj’s who use it: Avicii
3. Gemini MDJ Series MDJ-500 Professional Audio DJ Media Player
Gemini makes our list once again, this time with a predecessor to the -900 and -1000 units. The MDJ-500 media player might be compact, but it still comes with lots of abilities without having to require any external software. It has the quintessential Gemini 4.3-inch full-color screen for track visualization and user-friendliness.
You can see the Title, Duration, BPM, Volume and Pitch clearly and perfectly along with the full waveform window. You also get a lot of other features and modes, including the Slip Mode, the Hot Cues and Loops. These are great for any beginner to learn how to mix with different methods.
The player also has a similar pitch range of 4% to 100% for a better pitch. Since the MDJ-500 is a more compact model, the jog wheel is smaller t 5 inches, but the touch sensitivity is still just as great with the perfect LCD display. Also, the MDJ-500 is totally compatible with most audio software, including Rekordbox and the V-Case Library Management Software. This way, you get to easily manage your music libraries and a quick and efficient way. All in all, if you want the Gemini experience at a more affordable cost, the MDJ-500 offers all the right features at a great price for any beginner.
4. Numark NDX500 | USB/CD Media Player & Software Controller
Coming back to compact players, the Numark NDX500 is just another great option for beginners setting up a home studio. It has great touch-sensitive jog wheels and is able to also work as a controller for the Serato DJ audio software. The display is only able to show basic details though, s you can’t expect any vibrant waveforms. The NDX-500 is like a mini laptop all on its own. It embraces a small but powerful structure at an affordable price. One of the best parts of the NDX-500 is that it is able to support both USB and CDs. That makes it one of the few players that still have CD ports. It also has physical buttons for loops and hot cues so you’re not just reliant on touch sensitivity all the time.
The jog wheel is soft and easy to use, with an attractive LED ring around it. The display is just large enough for standard track details. So, if you’re not looking for a high resolution this is the player to choose. Essentially, you get all the basic features that any contemporary DJ media player has at a smaller price. What’s even better is that the NDX-500 offers a really long pitch fader and vibrant cue and play/pause buttons. At a great price, you manage to get the ideal player that any beginner would love to have.
5. RELOOP RMP-3 ALPHA
At this point, you have a better understanding of the crucial characteristics of the majority of DJ cd players. The Reloop’s first true cross media player offers most of these features and for a very affordable price.
Reloop RMP-3 Alpha covers the needs of the most. With auto loop points, four cue points and 9 DSP effects to experiment and perform live. It supports all major audio formats and also offers USB connectivity. Nice also to see that all control elements, buttons, knob, encoder, fader, and jog wheel are MIDI compatible.
Another DJ cd player that with only one USB you can perform live. Connecting two RMP-3 Alpha players through USB audio link, you need one source. The only thing I dislike here is the small screen which only displays track info and no waveforms.
Conclusion: The Reloop RMP-3 Alpha has a bit better-built quality than the above but still not as good as CDJ’s by Pioneer. It is a bit more pricey and the absence of a waveform display may be a deal-breaker for some DJs. However, if you cannot afford a Pioneer CDJ player, this piece of equipment is ideal for home practice and small events.
6. DJTECH USOLOPRO Digital DJ Turntable
What most DJs will like the most about this media player is its reactivity. Since the effects can be easily parameterized so you get the full DJ professional experience. The player is also easy to use and offers multiple USB ports for easy access to media. You can manage different audio files all at once. One thing that might be an issue though is that the unit is really lightweight. As a beginner, you might think that’s great. But when you use a player multiple times, you’re likely to damage it.
Also, other users also complain that devices with more storage than 1GB tend to have issues being detected, which can be a huge problem for mixing more audio files. With no CD support, you end up relying on the USBs, which can be problematic with the detection issue. Even so, this media player still manages to offer a really great quality-to-price ratio. The uSolo Pro isn’t one of the most popular DJ players out there. However, as a low-end product, it offers just the right amount of calibrations and features to make things work!
The were our top picks for the best DJ CD player for beginners without breaking the budget!
If you think you can afford more check the best DJ media players in the market.
As we’ve, there is a large variety of DJ media players out there for you to buy. Thus, it can be really hard to pick one if you are a beginner. A lot of amateurs prefer to stick with their laptops instead. Even so, falling for bad advice and information is what actually makes the task much harder. So rather than thinking about these unnecessary details, it’s best if you keep an eye out for good features, better settings, and user-friendliness.
You don’t have to break the wallet on any expensive gear or products to have the right DJ setup. You can find affordable DJ media players for cheap as long as you search the right way. Thus, you end up with the best quality product that suits your needs. With this guide, you can make use of this list of the 7 best cheap DJ CD/media players for beginners who want a good setup.
That way, you can rest assured that all of the media players offer you much more than just basic options and features. If you want to consider buying any of the 6 DJ media players on our list, you will be pleasantly surprised.