Top #5 DJ Controllers of 2023
DJ Controllers For 2023
The DJ industry is exploding, with more and more people getting into the music via DJ’ing and production. With this surge of interest comes a need for quality control, which is why it’s important to know the best DJ controllers for 2023.
2023 brings a wide variety of new and improved DJ controllers, making it easier than ever to create unique sounds. From reliable brands like Pioneer DJ, Denon DJ and Numark, to up-and-coming brands like Reloop, there’s something for everyone in 2023. We look through all the noise and find out who stands out for the beginner, intermediate and pro DJ.
We have seen a huge increase in the number of options that aspiring DJ’s have at their finger tips. Gone are the days of Technics 1200’s or a pair of Gemini turntables. Now there is more options than most people realize which can make the decision process so much harder.
While most pro DJ’s and bedroom DJ’s alike will be brand focused we’re looking at you Pioneer DJ and Denon DJ rivals. There are options that wont break the bank for the youngsters to break in to the scene. Ultimately this is our list of DJ controllers that should be checked out in 2023. Everyones different in their needs and budget so take that in to consideration. Check our must have features that will improve your experience.
Must Have DJ Controller Features FOR 2023
Loop & Hot Cue
Serato & Rekordbox Support
Strong Sound Quality
#1 Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000/SRT
Let’s start at the top. The Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000 as well as its Serato counter part the DDJ-1000 SRT stand proudly at the top of our list this year. While it lacks in one area of our recommended features it absolutely dominates the other areas.
The DDJ-1000 is the cream of the crop. It’s God Tier for a reason, to put it simply it does everything right and more. You could literally take this throw it in any club around the world and have the look and feel of a club style setup. It’s built to last as well not like all the DJ controllers on this list. Obviously entry level products have to cut corners to be cost effective. Not here, the DDJ 1000 and its Serato variant check all the boxes you need (accept our multi software support).
We will get there. Let’s continue on the upsides. Jog wheels feel amazing, performance pads are durable and soft at the same time if that makes sense. Everything from Faders to FX are absolute top notch. If you have used any of the flagship DJ systems the DDJ 1000 has the look and feel. It quite possibly could be the best DJ controller Pioneer DJ has ever made and to be honest Pioneer DJ has been the leader in the industry for the past 20 years. The DDJ 1000 is our #1 pick and to be honest it’s going to be hard to beat in years to come. This four channel monster of a DJ Controller only has one downside.
The price. If you can see past its price tag and see it for its true value the DDJ-1000 and its Serato variant the DDJ-1000SRT are head and shoulders above their competition.
#2 Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7 is a powerful and versatile professional DJ controller. With its intuitive design, it offers an easy transition for those looking to switch from analog equipment to digital. The large jog wheels, mixer section, and control knobs make it ideal for DJs performing in clubs or festivals. It also has built-in audio interfaces that allow you to connect speakers or headphones directly to the controller.
For maximum flexibility, the DDJ-REV7 comes with two USB ports so you can easily connect up to four computers at once and play multiple software titles simultaneously. You’ll also have access to eight performance pads that can be used for hot cues, loops, rolls, samples, beat jumps and more. To top it off, the controller comes with Magvel crossfader technology which ensures smooth transitions between tracks.
So why does the DDJ-Rev7 take second spot on our list? Well the Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7 is a professional DJ controller for DJs of all levels. Which is a big factor as we have a controller for each price point but the Rev7 covers multiple areas. Boasting numerous features that make it an ideal choice for any disc jockey. With intuitive controls, high performance sound and reliability, the DDJ-REV7 is perfect for producing creative mixes, vibrant performances and unforgettable events.
The DDJ-REV7 has eight performance pads with four pad modes so users can cue samples, hot cues, loops and auto loop functions with ease. It also has a USB powered connection to link up with other devices such as laptops or iPads. The audio connections include RCA stereo outputs and two microphone inputs with separate level control knobs so DJs can easily switch between their own music sources and their own microphone source during performances.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. They’re not turntables. Could they be better? Yes and no. Purists will say there is nothing like the real feel of vinyl (I’m one of those people) but the Rev7 offers so much much more than just the feel. The Magvel faders are buttery smooth and so easy to handle. Entry level DJ’s may struggle to begin with, but will get used to its navigation after an hour or so. Software wise Serato and Virtual DJ out of the box but no Rekordbox as of writing this article.
It’s the closest thing to two turntables and a mixer we have seen yet. Amazing piece of kit for that niche of the market.
#3 Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6-GT
The successor to the DDJ-FLX6 this 4-channel rekordbox-compatible DJ controller from Pioneer DJ brings mid tier controllers to its knees. It comes with the Rekordbox software as standard and also works with Serato DJ. Ticking a box off our must have features.
Ok so the new version is more than just a splash of new colour. The FLX6-GT brings a new design, a new color scheme, and support for Virtual DJ! Yes, another strong point you dont have to be locked into any specific software. Making the FLX 6 GT more appealing for those upgrading from entry level DJ gear. The Pioneer DDJ-FLX6-GT is full-sized, with great feeling touch-capacitive jog wheels which boasts a backlit screen in the centre. So what stops the FLX-6-GT from being God Tier?
It’s still somewhat, entry level….
Obviously Pioneer DJ don’t want ever DJ controller they release to have club style layouts with all the bells and whistles. Let’s cut to the chase… It may be a 4-channel DJ controller but here’s the thing you can only use 4 channels software based. Yes that’s right you can’t add turntables or CDJ’s to the mixers. Now this is no deal breaker and here’s why.
The DDJ-FLX6-GT fits perfectly into that bedroom or party space as you take your steps up the ladder into performaces. There are some qwerks that take a beginner into a new world of DJ’n, not everyones a pro “Steve!” for example, the ‘Merge FX’ makes transitions super easy to switch between genres/BPMs. Yet still teaches you on the process if you are looking at your laptop during the process.
Whilst it’s far from perfect, the DDJ-FLX6-GT is a cost-effective 4-channel rekordbox controller that sits a top of the mid-tier for those taking their next steps in the DJ world. It’s not something we’d play out, but it has a place of its own.
#4 Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX
Numark mixtrack platinum fx is a powerful digital mixer and controller that offers advanced features for DJs. It has four decks of control, a 24-bit audio interface, and built-in FX controls for vocal processing. Numark mixtrack platinum fx is perfect for both beginner and experienced DJs alike. With its intuitive layout, customizable multi-function pads, and ergonomic design, this device makes it easy to mix tracks in any style.
The Numark mixtrack platinum fx includes 16 velocity sensitive performance pads with backlit LCD displays to give you visual feedback while mixing. You can also trigger samples or loops with the pads as well as control effects such as echo, reverb and flanger directly from the unit.
This has to be the biggest surprise to the list on our end. We have always known that Numark has a place in the DJ world and for the most part its been a fairly entry level part at that. But this new line of controllers really steps things up.
Okay its not DDJ 1000….but.
Like all DJ controllers on this list there is a reason its here. Possibly the best entry level DJ controller that has graced our path since the DDJ-400. Solid performance pads with great responsiveness with all the usual capabilities. Good pitch controllers almost full size for such a small unit. Jog wheels a little heavy to the touch but great for those starting out and the screens are beautiful. While they have a unique FX paddle that makes things different than most controllers out there.
Overall the Mixtrack Platinum FX is bang on what it needs to be for the entry level DJ looking to take a cost effective leap into the DJ world.
#5 Roland DJ-505
Looking to be a creative DJ when your behind the decks? Performance pads not enough? OK so the Roland DJ-505 takes creativity one step further for our top 5 DJ controllers. Jam packed with the Roland Drum Machine built in makes the DJ-505 a performance powerhouse.
If you are coming from a production background look no further. The Roland DJ-505 stands on its own when it comes to creativity. Scratching feels incredible with its low latency but lets be real for a second.
This has a built in drum machine…..TR-S…
Not just any old drum machine but the classic Roland drum machine which boasts the TR808 and 909 that you can edit live during your set. Giving the DJ-505 enough features that you could play it live during a gig or stream. Packed full of FX and features you’d expect from Roland it makes this one hard to pass up. As well as having the option to play external decks with 2 RCA inputs and 1 Phono input for turntable through Serato DJ it ticks all the boxes.
We obviously know that the DJ-505 is locked to Serato but with its functionality it finds a place on our list anyway. The Jog Wheels are smaller than that of the full sized DDJ 1000 and its overall built quality is sturdy but not built for a regular road trip. But the price is what puts the DJ-505 right where you’d expect it.
We can’t say much more really. Great overall unit with plenty of features to live remix or create tracks on the fly. Versatile and afforable cements the Roland DJ-505 in our picks for 2023.
The top 5 DJ controllers for 2023 cover all levels of ability to ensure that we have an even mix between budget, performance and functionality for all users. The real fact of the matter is that we are spoilt for choices. Gone are the days of two main options. The real question is what is your skill level and budget. If you know these two things it will make your choice alot easier. We are all for the best of the best we’re looking at you DDJ-1000 but do you really need all the bells and whistles if you’re a DJ who plays music in his bedroom? Only you can answer those questions.
A few honorable mentions Rane’s One has been on many peoples lips and its a solid option. Traktor Kontrol if you can find one kicking around has a place out there as well. Get into your local store where ever you are around the world get a hands on and experience things yourself.
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Cob Web Audio Team
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