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10 Best: DJ Mixers

We look at ten of the best DJ mixers to suit all budgets, with digital DJ options, battle mixers and four channel club favourites all making the grade.

Buying a DJ mixer used to be a considerably easier affair than it is now. With vinyl-only DJing in decline, and laptop-based digital vinyl setups increasingly being used over CDJs in small and large clubs alike, picking the right mixer for your own particular style of DJing is becoming an increasingly difficult affair. In response to this, Juno Plus has picked out ten of the best DJ mixers money can buy in ascending order of price; from simple two channel models through mixers designed specifically for Traktor and Serato, to the kind of high end mixers that have become staple features in clubs across the world, each model offers the best sound quality and functionality for their price points.

Numark M6 USB

This flexible mixer from Numark presents four channels at an affordable price. Each programme channel has gain control with three-band EQ as well as a four segment LED meter designed to facilitate smooth volume matching between channels. The first three channels give you the option of selecting between phono and line sources with the fourth being set aside for line or an additional auxiliary mic input. The M6 also features a dedicated mic channel with a balanced XLR input, gain control, three-band EQ and talkover implementation. The replaceable cross fader has a slope control switch, and although cutting and scratching is not impossible on this mixer it’s really designed as a club mixer with the possibility of assigning all programme channels to any side of the crossfader.

With all the basics covered, Numark have gone the extra mile and added a USB connection that allows computer-based DJs to mix alongside their CDJ and turntable based counterparts. It should be noted that the USB connection doesn’t turn the mixer into a MIDI controller for Traktor, Serato or other such DJ software but rather acts as an audio interface that allows you to perform via programme channel three, as well as opening up the possibility of recording your sets straight to your Mac or PC. The extended set of features doesn’t stop there, because if you look around the back of the unit you’re presented with a surprisingly diverse set of output options. There are three sets of RCA phono ports for the master out, booth and audio record out with balanced XLR’s for the main outs. With a full set of outputs and switchable voltage this mixer offers an astonishingly comprehensive feature set for beginners on a budget who are looking to build on their two-channel DJ experience.
Buy from Juno
Specifications:

 Channels 4
 Inputs 10 x stereo RCA, 1 x 1/4″ TRS mic, USB, 1 x XLR mic
 Outputs 2 x balanced XLR, 6 x phono, 1 x 6.35mm headphone
 Crossfader Replaceable w/ slope control
 Programme channel control Gain, three band EQ
 Dimensions (cm) 31x36x10
 Weight (kg) 4.4

 

Denon X120

This simple two-channel mixer from Denon combines high build quality with functional battle style control in a small and affordable unit, most well suited to those making their first foray into the world of scratching, or mobile DJs for whom highly flexible, well-built professional mixers are paramount. The two programme faders have gain control as well as three band EQ, with the ability to kill the highs, mids or lows. Each side allows you to switch between phono or line sources with the phono side also doubling as a line input. There is a comprehensive cross fader curve control including a reverse button that enhances this mixers battle credentials. The ten segment level meter gives you the option of splitting the reading between the left and right channels or the master output, handy for getting good management over the gain map of each programme channel. There is a mic control feature that allows you to toggle the mic on, off, or talk over mode, which automatically ducks the volume of the music when you need to make an announcement, along with hi and low frequency control.

There are no fancy built in effects on the Denon X120, but it does feature fader start and crossfader start that can be used by connecting a 3.5mm mono cable to a CDJ compatible with the feature, such as the Denon DNS1200 or DNS3700 media players. Fader start is a way of controlling the play function of your CD player from the last cue point by pulling up either the programme fader or crossfader. With a master volume control, stereo balance feature as well as headphone cue level and cue/master control, this compact mixer features balanced ¼” TRS and unbalanced RCA phono outputs.
Buy from Juno
Specifications:

 Channels 2
 Inputs 8 x stereo RCA, 1 x balanced 1/4″ TRS mic
 Outputs 2 x balanced 1/4″ TRS, 2 x phono, 1 x 6.35mm headphone
 Crossfader Replaceable w/ slope control
 Programme channel control Gain, three band EQ
 Dimensions (cm) 22x93x23
 Weight (kg) 2.8

Allen & Heath Xone:22

With a solid reputation for professional sound quality in a robust chassis, Allen & Heath mixers can be found in clubs and bars the world over. For DJs looking for an entry level two channel mixer that has inspiring sound quality, and a few pleasant surprises, the Xone 22 is well worth a close look, suiting beginners on a budget and experienced veterans alike.It has all the standard features that you would expect from a simple two channel mixer including three band total kill EQs on each side with gain control and switchable source buttons allowing you to change between line and phono inputs, while the high quality replaceable crossfader has switchable contour control. For getting good gain command over each channel, an accurate LED meter is a useful tool and on the Xone:22 we are presented with dual nine segment meters that will indicate the level of each individual channel or the master output level. The XLR mic input is situated on the front face of the mixer, alongside gain, dedicated high and low tone controls and a 6.35mm headphone output.

Allen & Heath have also incorporated a version of their controllable filter, normally reserved for more expensive units in the Xone range. There are two modes for the filter; low pass and high pass, with a control for the amount of resonance and the filter cut off between 20Hz to 20kHz. A soft FX loop feature allows you to implement a separate FX unit using the send and return phono ports on the rear panel, controlled by the filter function buttons. The output options are in line with the high pedigree of Allen & Heath mixers with balanced XLRs for the main outs as well as RCA phono outs for monitoring or recording requirements. There is also a handy 3.5mm headphone output on the rear for any headphone emergencies that might occur mid set. Also, hidden within the inner workings of the Xone 22 is the possibility of changing the phono sources to extra line inputs (although this operation does involve getting access to the inner workings of the unit by unscrewing parts of the unit).
Buy from Juno
Specifications:

 Channels 2
 Inputs 8 x stereo RCA, 1 x balanced XLR mic
 Outputs 2 x balanced XLR, 4 x phono, 1 x 6.35mm headphone, 1 x 3.5mm headphone
 Crossfader Replaceable w/ slope control
 Programme channel control Gain, three band EQ, filter
 Dimensions (cm) 8x19x31
 Weight (kg) 2.2
 Filter VCF filter


Allen & Heath Xone:42

Few mixers have the pure reliability and flexibility of the Xone:42 from Allen & Heath. And it’s no surprise that this eminent manufacturer has made it into our ten best mixers feature for more than one model. With four channels featuring full kill EQ across three bands, channels one and four offer you the choice of phono or line inputs whilst two and three allow you to select between two different line inputs. This time, along with the gain and EQ control, each channel has its own button designed for the task of toggling the filter as well as an FX control knob that permits you to send signal to an external FX unit via the X-FX send and return outlets on the back panel. Each channel has a nine segment level meter for attaining smooth continuity in volume, and of course it includes a quality Penny and Giles cross fader with contour control.

The filters on the Xone:42 allows for low, band and high pass modes with control over the resonance as well as a cut off sweep that extends from a trouser flapping 20Hz to an ear splitting 20kHz. Perhaps one of the features that outline this mixer’s versatility, alongside the FX send control, is the addition of USB technology. The USB channel is shared with the mic channel, which includes a balanced XLR input with gain, high frequency and low frequency control, underlined by a level knob. In USB mode it’s possible to hook up your Mac or PC and use your chosen DJ software without the need to disturb any CD/media players or turntables that are already plugged in. It should be noted that the mixer is not a MIDI controller and you will need a separate control unit if you prefer tactile control over your software of choice. With professional balanced XLR outs and monitor and record outputs in the form of RCA phono ports, the Xone:42 is one of the most popular mixers out there at the moment and can be found in clubs and bars in all corners of the globe; as such it’s ideal for DJs with differing levels of experience from novices all the way to seasoned veterans, and from mobile DJs to serious vinyl addicts.
Buy from Juno
Specifications:

 Channels 4
 Inputs 18 x stereo RCA, 1 x balanced XLR mic, USB
 Outputs 2 x balanced XLR, 4 x phono, 1 x 6.35mm headphone, 1 x 3.5mm headphone
 Crossfader Replaceable w/ slope control, Penny & Giles
 Programme channel control Gain, three band EQ, filter, FX send
 Dimensions (cm) 8.4×30.5×35.8
 Weight (kg) 5
 Filter VCF filter


Native Instruments Kontrol Z2

With the ever-popular Traktor software spreading like wildfire, it makes sense that Native Instruments would offer some hardware for use with their groundbreaking software. With the X1 and F1 units designed for controlling Traktor’s remix deck functions and FX features, and with the S2 and S4 decks offering more comprehensive control, the Z2 enters to bring a more pointed mix angle to the Native Instruments family. The layout is that of a two-channel mixer that deceptively includes two further remix decks, a feature of the latest Traktor software that expands your creative options whilst you’re in the heat of battle. Each side of the mixer includes a gain knob as well as three-band EQ and a filter with Innofaders that give the entire unit a familiar feel. The cross fader has curve control as well as a reverse switch that hints at possible uses as a scratch mixer. In digital USB mode working with Traktor the integration is incredibly tight, and as a MIDI controller hybrid it comes with plenty of controls to help you get a handle on looping, FX and the remix decks as well as more obvious controls such as browsing. There are two headphone outputs; one for 6.35mm jacks and the other for smaller 3.5mm type and it is possible to plug a microphone into the unit using a 6.35mm TRS jack. The unit allows control over the mic, or any auxiliary device you deem fit to plug into the unit, with two knobs to control the level and tone. There is also a full set of output options on the back panel including balanced XLR’s as well as RCA phono’s with the booth mix being serviced by ¼” jack outs.

Not only does the Z2 have tight integration with the Traktor software, it also allows you to plug in your turntables and CDJs and use the Z2 as a more traditional mixer, while you can even use Traktor FX with your vinyl or CD sources if you do so desire. Perhaps one of the most practical advantages of this unit however is that it allows you to use timecode vinyl or CDs without the need for fiddly rewiring, while a pair of USB ports on the unit that, effectively, turn it into a USB hub, make it considerably easier to set up any additional Traktor controllers you may have. Although it’s been noted that that the sound quality in vinyl mode isn’t quite as good as it is in digital USB mode, if you are a digital DJ with a view to getting creative mid set then the Kontrol Z2 is arguably one of the most flexible options available.
Buy from Juno
Specifications:

 Channels 2
 Inputs 18 x stereo RCA, 1 x balanced XLR mic, USB
 Outputs 22 x balanced XLR, 4 x phono, 1 x 6.35mm headphone, 1 x 3.5mm headphone
 Crossfader Replaceable w/ slope control, Penny & Giles
 Programme channel control Gain, three band EQ, filter, 4 x function buttons, flux/tap button, FX1, FX2, loop size knob, deck c/d, FX send, FX on
 Dimensions (cm) 27x39x11
 Weight (kg) 5
 Filter Filter, Traktor EFX


Denon X1600

The second brand to enter our ten best DJ mixers twice is Denon, this time with the X1600 four channel mixer. Each channel features flex faders with a cross fader that comes with the option of adjusting the cut point as well as tension control, with fader start operated from either the programme channels or the cross fader. The three band full kill EQ is headed by a gain control and a switchable matrix style source selector for each channel that gives access to all of the inputs, negating the need for complicated rewiring. Multi segment LED meters give clear feedback on the gain structure of each channel and there is an EFX implementation button on every channel for sending signal to the two FX engines that present a total of 14 FX that can be assigned to any channel.

With its basic mixer credentials in shape it comes as a pleasant bonus that this mixer is also a sound card, and what’s more, it allows you to control aspects of your favourite software directly from the hardware using MIDI over USB. The rear panel sports a pro grade set of balanced XLR outs with a secondary set of RCA phono outs for the main mix and another for a recording option, whilst the booth mix is fed by a pair of balanced ¼” outputs. There is a mic channel that is serviced by XLR and ¼” jack inputs with controls on the front upper face including separate trim for each mic, lo and hi frequency, level control and ducking for talk over functionality. For integrating video into your sets, the X1600 even comes with Roland’s V-Link protocol that allows visual FX to be synced to the music. This mixer is so full of features that it may be unsuitable for complete beginners, but if you need a mixer that is versatile, and has great sound quality in a durable package, then this mixer from Denon is a convincing contender.
Buy from Juno
Specifications:

 Channels 4
 Inputs 16 x stereo RCA, 1 x balanced XLR mic, 1 x 1/4″ TRS mic, USB A, USB B
 Outputs 2 x balanced XLR, 4 x phono, 1 x 6.35mm headphone, MIDI, Digital out
 Crossfader 45mm Flex fader w/ tension adjust
 Programme channel control Gain, three band EQ, EFX on, MIDI on,
 Dimensions (cm) 32x36x9
 Weight (kg) 9
 Filter Dual EFX Engines (Cascade)

 

Allen & Heath Xone:DB2

With their mark of quality cemented, Allen & Heath turn their attention to digital technology to form the backbone of its Xone:DB2 mixer, aimed at intermediate and advanced users. Each of the four channels is topped with a matrix source selection control that gives each channel access to all of the four analogue inputs, four USB sources and two digital sources, including the ability to have the same source on multiple channels. Each channel has three-band EQ with three modes of operation that include an asymmetric, total kill and filter mode. There is a dedicated mic channel that doubles as an auxiliary line input that features gain, hi, lo, cue and level control with the mic XLR input and dual ¼” line inputs situated on the top face of the unit for ease of access. To the left of the crossfader is a dual headphone output that features space for a 6.35mm and 3.5mm jacks with headphone level and cue/mix control.

This mixer also includes extensive dual FX engines which each offer five FX types, including delays, loopers, reverbs, resonance and more, all with editable parameters. The DB2 has a built in four-in, four-out soundcard with USB technology that allows you to play audio from your Mac or PC without the need for a separate breakout box. In addition, the Xone:DB2 provides seamless MIDI control of your DJ software of choice; if you are already the owner of the Allen & Heath Xone: K2 controller then you will be pleased to hear that the DB2 has the handy X-Link capability that will further enhance digital controllability. With a professional set of output options including XLR, ¼” TRS and RCA phono, the Xone: DB2 takes the DJ mixer concept and pushes it to its creative limits.
Buy from Juno
Specifications:

 Channels 4
 Inputs 8 x stereo RCA, 1 x balanced XLR mic, 2 x 1/4″ TRS line, USB, 2 x digital in
 Outputs 2 x balanced XLR, 2 x phono, 1 x 6.35mm headphone, 1 x 3.5mm headphone, Digital out
 Crossfader Replaceable
 Programme channel control Gain, three band tri modal EQ, crossfader/FX assign
 Dimensions (cm) 45x16x35
 Weight (kg) 9.8
 Filter Dual FX Engines (editable), filter


Pioneer DJM850

Pioneer is the name that has become the industry standard for DJ equipment. They have been the market leaders for over a decade now, and with their ground breaking CD technology, their products have found their way into all kinds of venues from super clubs to bars, in pretty much every city on the planet. The DJM850 mixer is the updated version of the similarly ubiquitous DJM800, with its four programme channels, crossfader, and FX processor wrapped up in a single digital mixer that incorporates USB technology. Building on the standard feature set of its predecessor, this model presents a set of four sound colour FX that can be implemented on any of the four channels. In addition, the DJM850 includes 13 beat syncable FX called “Beat Colour FX”. Further to this, the level/depth control acts as a dry/wet knob as well as a pitch effect for echo and reverb FX.

The DJM850 also includes a four-channel soundcard that allows you to hook your Mac or PC up with a single cable via the USB port conveniently located on the top face of the unit. If you are using Traktor, or any other MIDI mappable DJ software for that matter, the DJM850 also doubles as a MIDI controller. With a full compliment of professional outputs, there isn’t a DJ alive that isn’t familiar with the simplicity of Pioneer equipment. The DJM850 is no exception, making the full compliment of its features as intuitive for beginners as it is for the more experienced DJ.
Buy from Juno
Specifications:

 Channels 4
 Inputs 16 x stereo RCA, 1 x balanced XLR/TRS combi mic, 1 x 1/4″ TRS mic, USB
 Outputs 2 x balanced XLR, 4 x phono, 2 x 1/4″ TRS, 1 x 6.35mm headphone, 1 x 3.5mm headphone, MIDI
 Crossfader Carbon Rail
 Programme channel control Gain, three band EQ, sound colour control
 Dimensions (cm) 32x38x11
 Weight (kg) 7.7
 Filter 13 beat FX, 4 x sound colour

Rane Sixty-Two

Rane has been a force to be reckoned with in the world of high-grade DJ mixers for generations now, with designs that are fit for both club style and scratch DJs. Here Rane partner up with DJ software pioneers Serato to introduce a two-channel battle mixer that supports two turntables and two computers with two-deck vinyl simulation. The Rane Sixty-Two features a sound card with 20 internal channels that are able to effortlessly deal with two digital vinyl signals with playback, separate playback for the SP6 sample player, is able to record both programme channels, feed send and return for software FX and simultaneously record the main output mix, all at once. Quite a heavy workload for what looks at first glance like a simple two channel mixer.

The source selection choices include two individual USB connections allowing two computers to be hooked up to the hardware at the same time. It also allows the mixer to be effectively split in half, with one computer being operated by the left side and the other by the right – especially useful during troublesome DJ changeover transitions or when two performers are playing one on one. The Rane Sixty-Two also features an abundance of controls to integrate seamlessly with Serato’s cues, samples, loops and flex FX including built in beat FX.

The Rane Sixty-Two is also impeccably built for scratch use, with magnetic faders that are all but immune to smoke, moisture, ageing and temperature. The contactless design translates smooth hand movements into level changes, and along with an eye for the detail of their design, Rane have included extensive contour controls for both programme channels and cross fader with a reverse switch for each individual fader control. In short the Rane Sixty-Two has all the features of a top of the line analogue battle mixer in a tough but lightweight package and with digital integration built into the fabric of the design, the Rane Sixty-Two is an ideal mixer for professional DJs that need the flexibility to compete in the ever developing world of digital DJing.
Buy from Juno
Specifications:

 Channels 2
 Inputs 10 x stereo RCA, 1 x balanced XLR/TRS combi mic, 2 x USB
 Outputs 2 x balanced XLR, 2 x phono, 2 x 1/4″ TRS, 1 x 6.35mm   headphone, 1 x 3.5mm headphone
 Crossfader Non contact magnetic w/contour control and reverse
 Programme channel control Gain, three band EQ, pan, filter
 Dimensions (cm) 36x27x10
 Weight (kg) 4.3
 Filter Internal FX engine, filter


Pioneer DJM-2000nexus

With a built in eight channel soundcard, syncing and browsing via LAN, comprehensive EQ and FX, MIDI control and touch screen technology to name just a few, the DJM-2000nexus from Pioneer is surely the most all inclusive and comprehensive feature laden unit to have ever graced the market place. Building on their classic four-channel design, Pioneer have included their dual mode three band EQ, which allows you to switch between asymmetric and isolator modes. All inclusive FX based on their very own EFX 1000 unit are included here, together with added reverb, slip roll, gate, and a multi-tap delay, while each of the four channel faders has its own filter rotary, perfect for enhancing build-ups and drops in your set.

The conspicuous touch screen in the centre of the mixing console gives you the chance to make good use of a frequency mixer that allows you to cross fade between seven frequencies on any two channels you choose, while a remix mode delivers powerful side chain effects. The MIDI mode in this section aids control of Mac or PC laptops running DJ software and finally the remix mode delivers powerful side chain effects. Adding to the creative versatility is a MIDI mode which allows control of Mac or PC laptops running DJ software, and a live sampler that permits you to grab samples on the fly and load them onto LAN linked CDJs (up to four CDJs and two laptops can be connected) for scratching or looping. The DJM-2000nexus’ abundance of functionality might be daunting for beginners but intermediate and advanced club DJs will find plenty to keep their creativity occupied for years to come – if you can afford the hefty price tag.
Buy from Juno
Specifications:

 Channels 5
 Inputs CD/Line x 6 (RCA), Phono x 2 (RCA), Digital In x 4 (Coaxial), Mic x 1 (XLR & ¼ inch Phone x 1)
 Outputs Master Out x 2 (RCA x1, XLR x 1), Booth Out x 1 (¼ inch Phone), Headphone Monitor Out x1 (¼ inch Phone on top), Rec Out x1 (RCA), Digital Out x1 (Coaxial)
 Crossfader 7 band
 Programme channel control Gain, three band EQ, pan, filter, beat Slice, frequency, sidechain, MIDI
 Dimensions (cm) 43 x 40.4 x 10.8
 Weight (kg) 8.6
 Filter Internal FX engine, filter

 

  1. [...] Dziś nietypowy news jak na tę stronę. News technologiczny o mixerach! Święta idą wielkimi krokami. Wiadomo nie od dziś, że didżejka i generalnie muzyka to drogie hobby. Trzeba dać szansę swoim dziewczynom, chłopakom, rodzicom, dziadkom, ciociom czy innym powinowatym, na odłożenie odpowiedniej sumy na „trafiony” prezent. Dlatego też Juno już teraz publikuje zestaw 10 najlepszych mixerów didżejskich na rynku. Wiadomo, że najlepsze to będą często najdroższe, na które nawet ciotka z ameryki sobie nie pozwoli. Tutaj mamy inne zestawienie, bo pokazuje najlepsze okazy z bardzo różnych półek cenowych. Zapraszamy do lektury na stronie Juno Plus. [...]

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