In our days, the best DJ media players in the market offer handy and powerful features. There is one brand, however, that rules them all.
Pioneer is dominating in the market of DJ cd players, and you cannot go wrong with any of the CDJ models. The successful series has been around for years, and it’s the first option of any new bar/club that installs a DJ setup. Every pro DJ out there has at least once played with one of the CDJs.
Whether you are a club owner, or promoter looking for the perfect DJ players for the club, or a newcomer who wants to take DJing seriously, the list below is for you…
Even if cd players, turntables, and DJ mixers have started to lose popularity to DJ controllers, they are still prominently on every professional DJ and Club setups.
When most people think of DJ CD players, the first image that will pop into their heads is most likely to be the Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2. However, as you will see by our picks, there are lots of quality budget options out there for beginner DJs who want to learn how to mix. The first two places in our list are dominated by Pioneer DJ models, followed by two less popular CD players by Reloop and Gemini. The selection process is the usual: features, brand quality, durability, price tag, customer reviews, and ratings.
Each media player has its pros and cons, but in the end, it’s up to you to pick the one that perfectly fits your needs. Whether you play your music from USB sticks, CD’s or your DJ software, these DJ players will totally cover your needs.
Top 8 Best DJ Media Player (2020 Reviews)
1. PIONEER CDJ-2000 NEXUS2
The beast by Pioneer has been installed in every big DJ event, club, or festival on each corner of the globe. The world-famous CDJ-2000 NXS2 is simply the best DJ cd and media player in the market, and there is no doubt about it. All professional DJ’s have performed with this bad boy, and there are zero complaints about this model.
CDJ-2000 NEXUS2 has a beat-sync mode, with which you can link up to 4 units, one will be set as the master tempo, and the rest will be perfectly synced to the same BPM. 2 banks of 4 Hot Cues allow you to put instant playback of pre-set cue points at your fingertips.
Pioneer CDJ-2000 NEXUS2 offers multiple media playback options USB, SD card, CD, Traktor HID, and Rekordbox. Rekordbox is in the package and ready to give access to more features and enhanced track information. As well it supports all major audio formats, MP3, WAV, AAC, AIFF, FLAC, and Apple Lossless Audio (ALAC).
The 7″, full-color touch screen is the icing on the cake. It displays all track info and pro features such as wave zoom, needle countdown, phase meter, and more. As well as keyword search and track filter mode to help you browse and select your tracks faster.
Conclusion: Without a doubt, CDJ-2000 NXS2 is an unreachable gold dream for any beginner, as a pair of those and a DJM mixer cost as much as a brand new car. But it would probably be waste for a beginner to purchase them for practice at home. CDJ-2000 Nexus 2 is a professional high-end multiplayer worth the title of “the best DJ cd player in the market”.
DJ’s who use it: We already said that probably every DJ out there has touched and perform with CDJ-2000 Nexus2. If not, then they wished they had.
2. PIONEER CDJ-900 NEXUS
Pioneer CDJ-900 NEXUS is an excellent alternative to CDJ-2000 NXS. Some DJs and club owners prefer it because of it’s lower price ratio. If you buy 2 or 4 units for sure makes a big difference. The variations between those two siblings by Pioneer are not much. But some pro DJs indicate that those differences are significant.
One of the omissions of the CDJ-900 NEXUS compare to the 2000 NXS is the Hot Cues. Which certainly gives some creative possibilities for your live performances. Secondly is missing the touch-strip, with which after you enter loop mode, you can just fix your loop length with your fingers. The touch strip is also helpful for quick and easy track searching.
CDJ-900 NEXUS DJ player offers Wi-Fi and USB connectivity like the above. As well as Slip mode, Beat sync and supports all major audio formats. The big full-color LCD screen is flat but is still perfect for browsing and track info. You can also overview a track-waveform with a zoomable display. Both the CDJ-2000 and CDJ-900 turntables include for free the Rekordbox music management software.
Premium DJ equipment requires special skills. Check how to become a professional DJ today.
Conclusion: Even if it’s missing some features compared to the CDJ 2000 NEXUS, my personal opinion is that CDJ 900 NEXUS is a better value for money choice. It covers the needs of any professional in the field, and so will yours.
DJ’s who use it: This is also a cd player that the majority of DJ’s use. Nina Kravitz and Ellen Alien between them.
3. Denon DJ SC5000M
This media player is well-built and can be used for both beginner and professional settings. The display is bright and offers clear and detailed graphics that aren’t typically available in beginner DJ products. The player actually makes it feel like you’re using a smartphone. Also, it can be even like a tablet since most of the touch options on these can be done with this display. The best thing about the Denon SC5000M is that it offers two virtual players. You can have a 4-player setup without needing more space or money.
However, the one drawback to the player is that it won’t support CDs. While this isn’t a huge problem in 2019, this can become an issue for DJs who rely on CDs for mixing or backups. Instead, the area in the front of the player that’s meant for a CD loading space now has one slot each for a USB and an SD card. This makes it hard to access the slots, but on the upside, it also makes it nearly impossible for others to remove any inserted devices to prevent damage accidentally.
Ultimately, the Denon DJ really works for beginner DJs who have a preference for turntables. It is also like having the advantage of a contemporary DJ media player. That’s why it’s not surprising that a lot of people opt for this as a high-quality cheap player option.
4. Pioneer DJ (XDJ1000MK2)
The Pioneer XDJ-1000 MK2 is another great media player option. It has a bright LED display and touchscreen, along with other advanced features such as a massive jog wheel. The DJ player provides you with the option of connecting up to 4 players simultaneously for more music versatility. Another great option is the ability to fully integrate with Rekordbox for more extension into media software capabilities. Again, the MK2 shies away from CD support since CDs are so rarely used nowadays, so old-school DJs may not prefer it.
Even so, its large touchscreen and other mixing features are so attractive that you may overlook this setback to get the best beginner experience. Instead of relying on too many buttons or hardware, you just need a simple touch to get everything started. Pioneer makes sure that today’s DJs get the most of their mixer experience at a fraction of the cost of other professional players. So you can make use of all these integrations and features at a reasonable price. If you have money to spend, this DJ media player is the ideal product to get the professional experience at home or on stage with a beginner player.
5. Pioneer DJ Digital Multi-Media Player XDJ-700
Pioneer is one of the best brands for beginner media players, and the Pioneer DJ XDJ-700 is one of their best products. It is a game-changer in the range of semi-pro players out on the market. The player provides you value for money, although there are some compromises you have to make. The first thing you notice is the full-color high-definition display. The screen comes with a touch ability, so you don’t have to rely on any physical buttons. Now, the jog wheel is where the compromise part comes in. It has a smaller size compared to the other Pioneer models. Moreover, it has no central LED that most other players have.
The lack of a CD slot isn’t a huge issue anymore since USBs and SD cards are now more common. But it’s important to know there is no CD support in case you have any CD backups. That said, the play, cue and loop buttons, as well as the pitch fader, all maintain the conventional CDJ design and vibe.
Also, you can now more easily browse your libraries since the touchscreen has a virtual qwerty keyboard so you can search tracks. You can even link the player to other CDJ/XDJ players to share all your media simultaneously. Finally, the player offers full integration for Rekordbox, so no matter where you are, you’re ready for mixing anytime, anywhere.
|Use:||Semi-pro / Pro|
6. GEMINI MDJ-1000
Pioneer dominated the first three places of our list. But this model by Gemini has similar characteristics to the CDJ-900 and for three times less budget. For sure is lacking appearance and reliability but I believe it worth your attention.
Gemini MDJ-1000 is compatible with various audio formats like MP3, AAC, WAV, and AIFF. Except for CDs, you can also play music on your USB. With the ethernet link functionality, you can use only one USB and share between up to 4 units. It also has a MIDI capability to use as a controller for your music software.
The 4.3” full-color screen is not brilliant but still displays a large waveform. The auto BPM lock, four hot cues points and eight auto loops on this tool are features you see in a pro DJ cd player. However, you might notice milliseconds variation on the auto loop, and you will have to fix the problem manually.
The biggest concern here is the durability of the tool. I found a couple of bad reviews regardless of broken buttons and not readable CDs after a short use period.
Conclusion: MDJ-1000 has the right amount of useful features and comes in a lovely price tag. The built quality and appearance are lacking compared to Pioneer’s models and is not recommended for professional use. If it’s your first DJ cd player you will ever purchase then Gemini MDJ-1000 is ideal for learning the primary purpose of many performing features.
For a small reduction on the price, you can also check Gemini’s “smaller” model CDJ-700.
7. Numark NDX-500
This model by Numark offers two pro features for its price. Firstly it is compatible with Serato DJ, but it is not included in the package. Second, it has a built-in USB computer audio interface for playing back music from your Mac or PC. The touch-sensitive jog wheel will get the job done as well as the auto BPM with tap override for instant tempo analysis is always nice to have.
8. Gemini MDJ-500
The MDJ-500 DJ media player is perfect for beginners and semi-pro DJs. The small size is ideal for places where space is a factor. You can easily learn to play and experiment with four programmable hot cues, eight auto loops, as well as, slip and scratch functions.
This extremely affordable media player is so small that it will fit anywhere. With this irresistible price tag, you would probably do not expect many things on the screen display. Well, the 4.3-Inch Full-Color Screen except for the basic track info, it will also show you moving waveforms.
These were our picks for the top 8 best DJ media players in the world today!
If the last two options seem more affordable for you, check the best cheap DJ CD players for beginners.
What is a DJ CD player?
The name pretty much gives everything away. It is a sound device that is used to reproduce music files from CDs in a variety of audio formats. DJ players have evolved and allowed you to add music from your USBs or DJ software.
Some features characterize a DJ cd player. Jog wheel with vinyl and cd mode, cue points, BPM fader, and loop buttons are some of the standard features of any DJ cd player.
In 2019 the CD players are better-called DJ media players. As you can insert your USB stick and support multiple music formats such as MP3, WAV, AAC, AIFF, and more. Furthermore, your new media player will integrate with your DJ software such as Traktor, Serato DJ, etc.,
What to consider when buying a DJ CD player?
- Jog Wheel:
With a jog wheel, you are having easy access to the song and perfecting beat-matching as well. By the speed you turn the wheel, it takes you forward and backward on your track. You can also perform scratching or other effects. Touch-sensitive wheels are easy to find. But for quality wheels that will last abuse, it will cost you a bit more.
- Cue points:
With a cue point, you can save a specific spot of the song and then access it by pushing a single button.
- Loop Buttons:
A loop button lets you select a start and an end part of the track and repeat it. It’s ideal for extending the duration of the track and for achieving a smoother mix.
- Display Function:
Another common feature of 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.
- Audio formats:
Check if the cd player supports the audio formats you are using. MP3, WAV, AAC, AIFF are some of them.
- Software integration:
Some digital DJ players offer integration with music software for super easy performance. Rekordbox software is one of them and is available with Pioneer models.
We could easily separate the media players on two quality and price categories. The professional ones (the first two on our list) are over 1000 dollars and closer to the $2000 limit. Second, are the semi-pro/beginner models with a price tag around the $500.
What else you will need to start DJing:
As soon as you have a pair of CD players, the next thing it should be in your setup is the DJ mixer. With a massive variety of options regarding your budget and brand preference, we narrowed that list with the best DJ mixers to complete your DJ setup. If you are still looking at what to buy or how to build your setup, check our article DJ equipment for beginners.
Some may say that real DJs don’t need any digital, visual information on a big display filled with BPM counters and moving waveforms. Right or wrong, technology has evolved to give plenty of room for beginner DJs to improve and maximize their skills. It is definitely a bit pricey option, compared to DJ controllers and a Software but you get what you pay.
I’m sure everyone is dreaming of a NEXUS Pioneer DJ setup, but if you are a beginner, you probably cannot afford it. Nevertheless, it won’t hurt to a look at the best professional DJ mixers and set the target for your perfect setup.
So, if you made a decision and you are ready for the next step, check our quick guide on How to become a DJ in 4 easy steps.
In case you feel nostalgic about vinyl turntables this is for you: The Best DJ Turntables in the world.
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