The Best DJ Mixers for Beginners – Updated 2019
The mixer is probably the first tool that comes to mind when we talk about DJing. The best DJ mixers on our list are ideal for any beginner to start mixing.
If you are in the search for the best DJ mixer in the market you will come across some models that look like spaceships. Full of faders, switches, buttons, knobs, and many other features. The days past where you had to spend big on a simple 2-channel mixer with only three band equalizers and no effects.
What is a DJ mixer
The basic operation of a DJ mixer is to blend two or more audio signals into one. Along with the ability to control the high, middle and low-frequency range, in order to achieve a nice and smooth mix between the songs.
DJ mixers are very easily recognizable by the volume control, channel fader, master/booth outputs and headphone cue with volume control. As well as the usual functionalities such as EQ, high/low pass filter, phono/line options and mic input with effects.
In 2019 there are effects and other external functions to helps you achieve a smooth transition between tracks easier than ever.
A quick look over the controls of a DJ mixerFaders: Faders control the level output of their corresponding channel. Gain: Gain control adjusts the channel input level of the signal (usually seen on top of the EQ controls of each channel). Since each song has a different dynamic and sound volume you will have to balance the volume between them. EQ: Equalization adjusts the frequency of your tracks. Mixers generally have three EQ knob allowing you to manipulate the high, mid or low frequencies for each input channel separately. Zone mixer by Allen&Heath offers 4 EQ knobs (2 middle freq.) Kill Switches: Also known as isolators, they allow you to cut completely the high, mid or low frequencies of your song. Usually, there is a button next to EQ where you can cut off the frequencies. Otherwise, you will have to turn the EQ knob completely to the left. Cue Buttons: The cue buttons allow you to send the required channel signal to the headphone monitor. This way you find the beat and match it with the music playing through the master channel. Mic Input: A mic input allows you to connect a microphone directly so you can address your audience. XLR or TRS (jack) are the standard input types. Effects send and return: These allow you to ‘send’ signal to an external FX processor which then return to the master channel. Effects such as filter, reverb, delay, and pan, are the most popular to use on your DJ set.
The affordable price and superb features of DJ controllers and DJ software have engaged the biggest piece of newcomers in the field. Stay in place and continue reading as on this list we will see a couple of options that are both a DJ mixer and DJ controller. In case you are looking for the alternative option of DJ controller and software check The Best DJ Controller under $400 in 2018 and The Best DJ Software for Mixing 2018.
The music technology has evolved on a level that has brought a bunch of new performance features for DJing. Almost all new DJ mixers in the market will deliver the job. But what else to consider when buying one…
What to look when you buy a new DJ mixer
- The number of channels: How many audio sources you are planning to use at once? The standard option for a beginner DJ is a 2 channel mixer. In a club, you will usually find 4 or even 6 channel mixer to play with at least 4 sound devices. When you gain experience and you are ready to use more than two sound sources and add a good 4 channel mixer thankfully there are some very affordable choices in the market.
- Built quality: The construction quality is important for all DJ equipment. However, the DJ mixer is one of the tools that get a lot of abuse. The many buttons, faders, and knobs are responsible for often damages. There are brands in the market that have good popularity for quality built products such as Pioneer and Numark and Allen&Heath.
- Effects: Besides the standard crossfader, eq band and volume control, probably all DJ mixers in the market feature effects and filters.
- Additional features: Midi connectivity, USB inputs, and built-in audio interface are some of the extra features mixers offer these days. MIDI and USB connectivity is essential when we talk about live performancesand DJing in 2019.
What else you will need to start DJingAs long as you have purchased your DJ mixer, you will then need to look for turntables. You can either go for the standard vinyl turntables or the digital media players also known as CD players. Even if turntables are not seen on many DJ setups these days, they have started to receive peoples attention once again. That’s because of the features, sound quality, and low budget. You can see our list of The Best DJ Turntables For Every Budget 2018, and will see for yourself you won’t have to spend a fortune on them. Truth is that beginners will be better to go for a digital media player. Why is that? More features, easy to transfer, and more widely appeared on Club and DJ setups. Find here The Best DJ Media Player in the market in 2018 and get ready for mixing. At last a good pair of DJ quality headphones and you will be able to perfectly mix and smooth transit from one song to another. The market is filled with a couple of dozens of affordable DJ headphones and once again we did a short list with The best DJ headphones for you to pick. In case you want to learn more about choosing the best setup to take a look at Dj equipment for beginners – 4 DJ setups. The article will show you four different DJ setups for you to choose, as well as a better understanding of how to pick according to your needs and budget.
How to choose the best DJ mixer
There is no best DJ mixer, there are many great options with different cons and pros. There is a big variety of brands, characteristics and price range to choose what is best for you. In most cases, you got what you pay, but there is always some interesting exceptions worth your attention.
Since we are looking for a DJ mixer for a beginner, the list mainly includes 2 channel mixers. As well as, a budget-friendly 4 channel to be able to upgrade your setup when you are ready.
Our best 5 picks below were made according to personal experience, features and price tag. All are perfect for beginner DJs as well as pros who want a simple mixer to practice in their home studio. I bet lists from other blogs and platforms do no differ a lot with our picks. That’s because the majority of professional DJs as well as every-day customers rate and review them as the best DJ mixers.
5 BEST DJ MIXERS FOR BEGINNERS
1. ALLEN&HEATH XONE:23
Allen&Heath has created a very successful series of DJ mixers. Xone:92 and the new Xone:DB4 is the most popular and over-used mixers among professional Progressive and Techno DJs. Along with the model below by Pioneer, they have dominated the market of DJ mixers for electronic music and not only. The nearly perfect reviews on Amazon store leave no doubt.
Allen&Heath Xone:23 is an update of the Xone:22 and has excellent built quality and ripping sound. The 2+2 channel mixer (dual phono/line inputs) offer 3-band EQ with a full kill to control the high, middle and low frequencies of each track separately. The crossfader switch is great quality and the same applies to the rest faders and switches.
The only thing that is missing here is the LED volume meter that doesn’t show to individual channels. It only shows the master volume and this is a deal breaker for some DJs. Except for the 3-band EQ on each channel, you also have low and high pass filters for full manipulation.
conclusion: Xone:23 is a basic 2 channel DJ mixer, superb for beginners and semi-pros. It can be used at home studios for practicing or at small events with no expert needs. Characterized as “Touring grade quality” so you can transfer it anywhere you go. It’s built and sound quality stands out and if you can afford one I highly recommend it. Our value for money choice.
|Number of channels:||2+2|
|Additional features:||Low and high pass filters|
2. PIONEER DJM-350
Pioneer makes a lot of DJ mixers. From entry-level such as DJM-350 and 250 to the most popular and wide-used mixers, Pioneer DJM-900 and DJ 2000NXS. The new 2 channel mixer by Pioneer is extremely powerful and many beginners would like this tool to start DJing. It’s a rock-solid mixer that will get you from a bedroom DJ to your first gigs.
The brand trust of Pioneer guarantees great build, unique design, and powerful features. Except the standard 3 band EQ on each channel, headphone output and crossfader it also offers 4 kinds of effects. Crush, Gate, Jet, and Filter might be used by Big Room or EDM DJs but you won’t see them much in a deep or techno DJ set. However, the effects are not applied on each channel like the XONE:23, but on master only.On each channel, you have a volume slider with LED level meters, 3-band EQ (low, mids, and highs), and a Trim control. One feature that you don’t find easy on DJ mixers is the “total EQ kill”. Fortunately, on this DJ mixer you can completely turn down the LOW, MID, or HI, there is absolutely no sound in that frequency range. If the appearance is an important factor for you, you are lucky. The design is professional level, and the tool is so light, as its weighing in at 7.05 lbs (3.2 kg), that you will be able to easily transfer it everywhere you go.
What makes this model stand out?
A super additional feature for beginners is the USB port. You can now very easily record your set, share it and podcast it without a need for a computer, extra cables, or any other gear. If you check our article “how to become a DJ“, you will read the importance of recording and share your sets for feedback.
conclusion: Pioneer DJM-350 is a great mixer and it will make a superb setup with 2 CDJ-350 or CDJ-900 NEXUS. It has a quality build that will take abuse and often transportation. Its price tag won’t catch you by surprise, especially if you know that a 4 channel Pioneer DJ mixer will cost three-four times more.
Musicians who use it: Avicii
|Number of channels:||2|
|Additional features:||4 effects / USB port|
3. NATIVE INSTRUMENTS TRAKTOR KONTROL Z2
For those who prefer the classic DJ setup with mixer and cd players, but also want to approach to the new age technologies and performance opportunities, they can now combine it with the new Traktor Kontrol Z2.
The tool by Native Instruments is a highly recommended DJ mixer for beginners as well as pros. It might get mistaken as a midi controller because of its name and the fact that integrates perfectly with Traktor, but truth is that Kontrol Z2 is a DJ controller and a DJ mixer likewise.
The mixer control offers 2 stand-alone channels with the usual functionalities such as EQ, high/low pass filter, phono/line options and mic input with effects. On each side of the mixer, there are four RGB Traktor cue buttons, with the innovation flux mode control. So you can “jump” at any point in your track without missing a single beat. Furthermore, the Macro FX which adds around 30 effects to work with on each channel grows your creativity for nice and smooth mixing.
And now the pro features:
Traktor Kontrol Z2 offers a built-in audio interface with great sound quality. The package comes with the Traktor Scratch Pro 2 software with remix deck technology to start DJing from day one. You can now control 2 channels on Traktor Pro as well as 2 vinyl decks and 2 CDJ decks. This machine gives you the opportunity to take full advantage of both phono and line inputs on each channel. As well, the 4 buttons on either side can actually turn into 8 for each channel once you use the SHIFT key.
conclusion: NI Traktor Kontrol Z2 has a surprisingly tough built quality with an aluminum chassis. It’s faders, knobs and buttons are highly durable. The reviews on most music online stores will prove my words. It is the most expensive DJ mixer in our list but it worth every penny. Don’t forget that it is a DJ mixer and DJ controller with a built-in audio interface that comes in a package with one of the most popular DJ software.
|Number of channels:||2+2|
|Additional features:||Traktor Pro DJ software, Traktor Scratch timecode for vinyl and CDs, Macro FX & Flux mode with 30 effects.|
4. BEHRINGER DDM 4000
Our first and only 4 channel DJ mixer is DDM 4000 by Behringer. By first look, you can spot the wide array of buttons, faders, knobs and even a small screen to view your effects, BPM and more… Among the numerous features in the DDM4000 are the sample record and playback, individual fader curve adjust, an extensive bank of sound FX and lots of LED-backlit lights. At first, you might think that it will make it more visible in dark environments but it is also a bit exhausting for your eyes, especially after long sessions. Furthermore, the model by Behringer offers is a 2-in-1 piece of equipment. With the MIDI functionality, the door to creative applications opens really wide. For example, the mixer can be used as a MIDI controller for your favorite DJ software. Channel faders, EQ knobs, and buttons can all be configured to send customized MIDI data. The possibilities here are quite endless.
What’s more?Except all the above, Behringer is a well-established brand involved and producing musical instruments from the very beginning. The build quality will handle manipulation, just don’t test its limits. It sure is reliable for home use and events at clubs, bars or weddings etc. However, it won’t handle the job as the main DJ mixer in a club. Buyers, who purchased this model for that reason, were left hanging with unsatisfied results as well as loose buttons and faders.
conclusion: Overall the Behringer DDM4000 is a great choice for anyone looking to enter the world of DJing with more than just two decks but cannot afford much. Its price tag is fantastic compared to its features and competitors on the market.
|Number of channels:||4|
|Additional features:||Sample record and playback, individual fader curve adjust, an extensive bank of sound FX and lots of LED-backlit lights|
5. RELOOP RMX-22I / RMX 33I
Reloop’s latest production are the new RMX-22I and RMX-33I DJ mixers. The models are identical with the same features, characteristics, design and only one difference. RMX-22I is a 2+1 channel digital mixer and the RMX-33I offers 3+1 channels. An interesting option if you want to get away from the conventional choice of 2 audio inputs.
Each channel has 3-band EQ and you can set it to Kill mode or Classic mode according to your wants. White noise, Filter, Bit Crusher, and Gate are the 4 sound color effects assignable on each channel. The channels are switchable between phono, cd and iPad split input, which allows you to connect your iPad, Android tablet or smartphone.
In addition the digital DJ mixer offers cross-fader curves, auto-start and crossover-reverse settings. The built construction is good quality and can handle situations outside your home studio.
conclusion: Reloop might not have the popularity of the brands above, but RMX is a quality and very affordable serie of dj mixers. It lacks nothing from it’s competitors with good sound quality and built.
|Number of channels:||2+1 /3+1|
|Additional features:||4 sound effects, iPad/tablet input|
6. DJTECH DIF-1S DJ SCRATCH MIXER
Might the DJTECH DIF-1S targets hip-hop DJs and scratch performances, however, it still is a great option for all artists.
The 2 channel with 3-band EQ mixer by DJTECH doesn’t excite anyone with this classic old-school look. It doesn’t offer any special features but it gives a superb scratch performance with adjustable crossfader curve and reverse. The feature that stands out here is the Mini innoFADER contactless digital crossfader.
With the timecode mode DVS input/output section you can switch between Vinyl, CD and your DJ software without reconnecting any cables. For example, you can have your turntables or CD players connected to the DJ mixer, and then easily connect your DVS soundcard in and start using your DJ software. Works with Serato and Tractor Scratch but sound cards are not provided. Regardless the built quality is probably one of the toughest.
conclusion: It might not reach “today’s” standard DJ mixers with awesome design, effects and trigger buttons but is light, tough and the most affordable mixer in our list. DJTECH DIF-1S offers all the basic features a beginner needs in a trustworthy built.
|Number of channels:||2|
|Additional features:||Mini innoFADER crossfader|