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Best DJ Controller for Beginners: Top Budget Picks

Spending hours researching what the best DJ controller is, only to find out that a huge chunk of your budget just went to paying for features that aren’t really necessary.

Indeed there are some great controllers out there, but you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to have a great time DJing.

The Mixdeck Express is a simple, high quality DJ controller for beginners and pros alike. A ground-up redesign gives you all the essentials you need in a compact, rugged package that fits neatly into any backpack. We think this is the best controller for DJs on the move…

Overall Best #

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Pioneer DJ DJ Controller, Black, (DDJ-SB3)
  • Intuitive layout, all of the features were designed to be where you need them, when you need them
  • Add scratch effects to cued and currently playing songs without a turntable thanks to Pad Scratch
  • Mixing is Seamless with the FX Fade feature. 5 inch durable aluminium jog wheel. Weight-4. 6 pounds
  • Constructed from premium materials and the audio circuitry
  • Large, low-latency jog wheels to give you a great scratch response and accuracy

Overall Budget #

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Numark Party Mix - Complete DJ Controller Set for...
  • Let’s Get This Party Started Portable 2 channel DJ Controller for Serato DJ Lite (Included) compatible with Mac and PC
  • Complete DJ System with DJ Lights Built-in light show with 3 room filling LED light arrays that auto sync to your music and...
  • Connectivity covered: On board audio interface with 1/8 inch headphone output and 1/8 inch main output for connection to DJ...
  • Mix control: 2 decks outfitted with a crossfader and jog wheels access to critical, must have tools for seamless mixing are...
  • Enhance your performance: 4 pad modes for total control of cue points, auto/manual looping and sample playback to add some...
The controller must be intuitive. It has to allow you to operate it with a single hand and as little from-the-brain functionality AND your brain must quickly understand how it should work.

Thinking too much about how to get the music playing on your computer via this complicated device? Agitating, isn’t it!

DJ controllers have been designed especially for those attempting to move beyond their mixing software and utilize their DJ devices as instruments. A good DJ controller for beginners will allow you to play, prearrange BPMs, trigger loops, mix and crossfade.

1. Pioneer DJ DJ Controller (DDJ-400): Best for Beginners

best dj controller for beginners

Designed for complete beginners who want to learn how to DJ, the DDJ-400 is a thoroughly user-friendly 2 channel controller that gives you hands-on control of essential features like loops, effects and cue points. Take it to the next level by loading your own music files thanks to Audio Overload (PC only), or use the Sound Color FX modes and Wave Zoom function to add an edge to your tracks. Whatever style of DJing you prefer, this compact controller has everything under its belt.

The DDJ-400 from Pioneer DJ is a 4-channel, 2+1 DJ controller designed for everyone from beginners to advanced users looking to mix their own tunes using Serato DJ Lite. With the same features as its big brother, the DDJ-RZ, it packs all of the basic features needed to mix tracks on two channels and add a microphone input for speaking, singing or rapping over your new tracks.

The DDJ-400 is a two channel DJ controller that’s perfect for those just starting out with DJing. It comes fully equipped with Serato DJ Intro and its simplified interface gives you quick access to all the standard features found on Pioneer’s more expensive models, as well as a Jog FX engine and other tools to add character to your performance.

The DDJ-400 is designed to fit in a backpack or laptop bag, and features rewritable VU meters, filter knobs and touch capabilities. The DDJ-400 boasts eight performance pads per deck, and Pioneer DJ’s iZotope software. This mixer is ideal for beginners looking to ditch CDs and use Serato DJ Pro software..

2. Numark DJ2GO2, Ultra Portable Two Channel DJ Controller: Ultimate Controller for Serato DJ

Ultra Portable Two Channel DJ Controller

Numark DJ2GO2 Ultra Portable Two Channel DJ Controller review The Numark DJ2GO2 is a lightweight 2 channel DJ controller for anyone looking to get into the exciting world of mixing music. With USB connectivity you can plug it right into your computer and start playing with your software of choice. The Numark DJ2GO2 will also work with many DAWs and Virtual DJ LE software so you’ll have no problem finding the right mixer to match your unique style.

The Numark DJ2GO2 Ultra Portable Two Channel DJ Controller is the ideal starter mixer for mobile DJs who need a portable, compact solution for their gigs. It features a lightweight and sturdy design with small footprint so you can take it anywhere. It also includes the Serato DJ Intro software so you can mix all your music right out of the box.

The Numark DJ2GO2 ultra portable two-channel controller is designed to be the perfect DJ solution for performing and mixing with your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Android device. This lightweight and rugged unit allows you to mix right out of the box, using the mixer’s 2-channel mixer, 3-band EQ, gain control, crossfader, play/cue buttons and headphone monitor outs. The DJ2GO2’s mixer offers two phono/line inputs that can be mixed together or channeled into separate headphones outputs at a time.

Numark’s DJ2GO2 sets the new standard for ultra portable DJ controllers. This USB-powered, compact two-channel mixer allows you to get your mix on the fly when you use it with your laptop, iPad or iPhone/iPod Touch. It has an adjustable crossfader and start/stop functions and a headphone jack with level control so you can cue up the next track without disturbing others.

The Numark DJ2GO2 is the ultimate all-in-one professional DJ controller, mixer and audio interface. The DJ2GO2 incorporates a built-in sound card for plug and play connectivity to a computer or iPad via included Audio Kontrol DJ app. Designed to meet the needs of both novice DJs as well as more experienced disc jockeys, the DJ2GO2 easily connects to your preferred audio source and provides a solid foundation to build upon.

Also read: Best Pioneer DJ Controllers

3. Numark Party Mix: Complete DJ Controller for Beginners

Numark Party Mix DJ Controller

The Numark Party Mix DJ Controller is the first complete DJ controller for Serato DJ that comes bundled with two-decks. The Party Mix includes a multitude of features that are sure to please any beginner DJ. The Party Mix has room for professional growth, allowing you to add more components as your talents grow.

This DJ bundle includes everything you need to turn your passion into your profession, including two decks, mixers, and performance pads. Imagine yourself standing on stage in front of a large audience, performing at live music events, or in the comfort of your own house. This is the ultimate DJ controller for kids and people new to DJing.

Two decks, two samplers, intuitive looping controls created by legendary mixer, DJ Qbert. One mic input can be used with microphones or line-level sources. Also includes performance pads and a crossfader/mixer. Additional free software download gives you Serato DJ intro, an extremely powerful yet easy to use application with professional features.

Be the life of the party with the DJ Controller. The portable controller has everything you need to take your music mixes to a new level and become the life of the party. The Numark Party Mix controller comes complete with 2 decks, a crossfader, and a mixer to give you total control over your music.

Complete with performance pads, faders, knobs, and triggers, this pro-style 2-deck controller is built for mixing on the go. This all-inclusive DJ controller and audio mixing system includes everything you need to get started including two performance pads that add effects and samples to your mix, a crossfader with an adjustable slope control for fast or slow transitions,

a high-quality mixer with knobs that let you blend and scratch your tracks with precision, VIP software for one-on-one interaction with a Serato DJ enabled computer and more.

Read more: Best SACD Player in 2021- Review & Buying Guide

4. Pioneer DJ DJ Controller, Black, (DDJ-SB3): Perfect for Beginners

Pioneer DJ DJ Controller

Looking for the best DJ controller for beginners when you are just starting to use a DJ controller? Or maybe you just need a high-quality and budget-friendly DJ controller that will last for years and years to come. Then look no further, we will help make your choice so simple with this Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 review.

Are you looking for an easy-to-use, portable, and affordable DJ controller that’s designed for use with Serato DJ software? Then take a look at the DDJ-SB3 from Pioneer DJ. It has a compact design, but it features large jog wheels and two control dials for precise scratching and mixing. The DDJ-SB3 is also compatible with Virtual DJ software, as well as other DJ software.

This one-of-a-kind DJ controller puts advanced technologies—such as the DDJ-SB3’s built-in display screen, its dedicated filter knobs, smooth aluminum jog wheels, and multi-colored Performance Pads—directly in front of you. It’s that important. No matter what your setup: DJ controller or software, plug-ins or hardware, the DDJ-SB3 gives you everything you need to start mixing tracks.

It comes with a great selection of DJ performance features built-in: browse thousands of songs with multi-colored buttons. Download the Serato DJ Intro app and you’ll have everything you need to start mixing. Pioneer has been a leader for more than three decades in the DJ industry. This controller was very well designed with many great features.

We are excited to offer this product to our customers. This two-channel controller for rekordbox DJ Controller offers many of the same controls as DDJ-SX2, including 16 multicolored performance pads with Sequence Call and Sound Color FX, 8 Hot Cues, and an 8-slot sampler.

Plus, you get dedicated low-profile knobs, buttons, and switches for variable speed playback, hands-on loop control on the fly, and smooth FX control via large aluminum jog wheels.

Related post: Best Integrated Amplifiers under $1000 & 2000 – Buyer’s Guide

5. Numark DJ2GO2 Touch – Compact 2 Deck: Outstanding USB DJ Controller

USB DJ Controller

The Numark DJ2GO2 Touch is a compact 2 deck USB DJ controller with a built-in mixer/crossfader and audio interface (requires an external sound card) that will play in any DJ software that has been optimized for USB controllers, including Serato® DJ. The DJ2GO2 Touch comes bundled with Serato DJ Intro at no extra charge, giving you an instant setup for mixing and scratching digital files stored on your computer.

This DJ controller is the next generation of truly portable controllers for the performing DJ. Featuring a compact design, lightweight, and easy setup and teardown, this exciting new addition to the Numark DJ line combines traditional DJ mixing with the power of Serato DJ software.

With dual decks for incredible hands-on control over your mix, while out on the move, its intuitive layout and motorized touch-capacitive jog wheels allow you to mix at a level previously only possible with traditional tabletop mixers.

Whether you’re just starting out as a DJ or seeking a convenient compact controller that allows you to practice at home, the DJ2GO4 Touch is packed with features at an unbeatable price. Take your passion for music and mixing to the next level with creative tools that give you total control over your DJ performances.

This easy-to-use Serato DJ controller gives you, even more, adding touch-capacitive jog wheels, dedicated track browsing controls, and plug-and-play USB connectivity — no additional setup required! This is a compact and portable 2 channel USB DJ controller with Serato Dj Intro making it the perfect choice for aspiring DJs.

The DJ2GO2 is easy to setup allowing you to plug and play straight out of the box. Dedicated track browsing controls allow you to browse your music directly from the front of the unit, backlit media transport buttons allow you to control start/stop and search functions without taking your eyes off the dance floor while a dedicated loop section gives you hands-on control over cue points and loops as well as reverse playback for added creative flair.

Read here: Best Integrated Amplifiers under $100, $200 & $500

6. Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX: Magnificent DJ Controller

Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX - DJ Controller

Achieve the same sound as a professional DJ with the Numark Mixtrack Platinum DJ controller. This mixer has four decks, a built-in audio interface, and gives you displays on the jog wheels and FX paddles for enhanced mixing. With 8 hot cue points, all looping and effects are supported by Serato DJ—a free download that comes bundled with the controller.

The metal housing ensures that this DJ controller is durable and can withstand hours of constant use. This is the next generation of DJ Controllers from Numark. The Mixtrack Platinum builds on the success of the first Mixtrack line by adding 4 deck control, an updated mixer and crossfader, improved jog wheels, improved channel performance, and effects LEDs, and more.

Like the rest of the Mixtrack family, it will work with virtually all DJ software. This DJ Controller for Serato DJ Upgrades your set-up with the all-in-one Numark Mixtrack Platinum DJ Controller for Serato DJ. The Mixtrack Platinum is heavily redesigned to incorporate a personal monitor mixing system, audiophile output, and a built-in 24-bit audio interface to connect directly to your sound system.

Additional features include the same ultra-sensitive jog wheels found on the industry’s most innovative controllers, complete MIDI control, improved deck select buttons, and new controls for instant looping with auto mode. This is a compact DJ controller and audio interface that contains all of the tools a DJ or producer needs to get started with Serato.

There are two decks, each equipped with touch-sensitive jog wheels for pitch bending and track scratching, plus there’s an internal sampler with full looping functionality.

7. Pioneer DJ (DDJ-800): High-Quality DJ Controller for Beginners

DJ Controller

Pioneer DJ professional DJ controllers empower the next generation of DJs with industry-leading technology and features that allow for seamless mixing, high-quality sound, and creative performance. The DDJ-800 is compatible with rekordbox DJ performance software and specially designed for beginning DJs. It comes with a great set of features and has 4 channels.

It is a really easy-to-use, plug-and-play DJ controller for beginners who want to start mixing right away. Here it is the first DJ Controller that makes using a laptop alongside a mixer truly seamless. You’ll be able to manipulate track data, effects, and plug-ins with ease. The DDJ-SX can also be used in Rekordbox™ mode, triggering prepared audio loops and cues from your PC or Mac directly from the unit.

The DDJ-SX represents the next evolution of Pioneer DJ controllers as the industry’s first full support for advanced performance application Serato® DJ. Designed primarily for professional DJs and performers, this fully-featured desktop unit gives you 4 channels of audio control over external devices, plus intuitive deck control and dedicated track browsing controls.

As one of the top-rated DJ Controller for beginners, the DDJ-SP1 has been designed with essential features for you to grasp when you are first getting into your music production career. It is created to give you a better understanding of the mechanics behind the music and how it can be played by a simple controller.

It’s got the features that aspiring DJs need to develop their skills, and an array of features for professional DJs such as Velocity Mode and Keyboard Flip that are designed to expand your creative potential.

8. Numark Mixtrack Pro 3: All In One 2 Deck DJ Controller

All In One DJ Controller

We want you to be relaxed when you’re DJing. That’s why we’ve created Mixtrack Pro 3, a 2-deck controller for Serato DJ that does everything for you, so you don’t have to. It has all of the features needed for the digital DJ on a budget, including an integrated audio interface, built-in library, and prime loops remix tools.

And its 5-inch adjustable touch-sensitive jog wheels deliver a great feel so you can scratch and mix your heart out. The all-in-one DJ controller for Serato DJ features a 5 inch, high-resolution jog wheel plus 16 velocity-sensitive trigger pads for immediate tactile control over Hot Cues, Loops, and samples – all assignable directly from the intuitive controls.

This 2 deck DJ controller also boasts a built-in 32 slot music library and support for MP3, AIFF, and WAV files. The unit has a professional 26-key turntable style MIDI controller with multi-colored status LEDs for Serato DJ control, an audio interface that invites you to plug in headphones or powered speakers. It is also compatible with Virtual DJ LE software allowing anyone to mix like a professional DJ.

This DJ controller is the latest and most exciting member of the Numark range, setting a new standard in 2-deck controllers for DJs new and old. PRODJ magazine said “this controller provides a superior experience” and DJWorx.com said, “manufactures convenience and great value through onboard features.” This DJ controller that is jam-packed with all the features you need to perform your best.

Featuring an onboard Audio Interface, 4 ultra-responsive, backlit pads for Hot Cues / Auto Loops or Samples, and an amazing feel design and workflow, creating a mix has never felt so natural.

9. Pioneer DJ, 5.16X22.95X13.46 (DDJ-SB2): Excellent DJ Controller

Best DJ Controller

This DDJ-SB2 is an entry-level 2 channel DJ controller that is designed for use with Serato DJ but can also be used with Traktor Pro and day. It has a black aluminum chassis designed to fight off vibrations, a Vinyl/CD/MP3/iTunes playback capability, a Built-in sound card, USB ports for installing software updates, A jog wheel for scratching and mixing music on the fly.

However, in case you are a newbie and curious to know what you should really focus on when you are getting into this art of mixing MP3s on your computer, the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 2-channel professional controller is definitely for you. Improved jog wheel response makes scratching with a Pioneer DJ controller more enjoyable than ever.

The new “pad scratch” function enables you to perform a circular scratch, making mixing DJing easier. Updated control pad usage familiar with Serato DJ software makes it even easier to trigger a Hot Cue Point or Pad FX. This DJ controller that is designed for the beginner to advanced level performer.

With the same attributes as the DDJ-SB, it provides similar features but is smaller in size and lighter in weight to accommodate for a more mobile setup. Control your music with dual jog wheels to remix tracks on the fly, and use the dedicated loop buttons to cue and tap your favorite parts.

The 4-channel DJ mixer gives you complete control over the mix, while the high-performance built-in sound cards let you harness all the power of Serato DJ – completely plug and play. This controller has numerous functions and uses for the DJ, from music production to live shows, as you will be able to mix, fade between songs and use jog wheels.

10. 12-Channel Bluetooth Studio Audio Mixer: Best DJ Sound Controller

Bluetooth Studio Audio Mixer - DJ Sound Controller

The Pyle 12 Channel Bluetooth Mixer is designed to be the ideal entry-level mixer for wedding ceremonies, houses of worship, karaoke parties, or any other application where multiple channels are needed for multiple microphones.

Featuring 12 mono channel inputs with key switches, 3 stereo channel inputs with individual volume knobs, TRS and RCA inputs, a phantom power switch (no need for external adapters), a USB connection with the included data cable that allows you to record directly to your computer’s hard drive or an SD card (not included).

This is a professional-level DJ controller system and a great choice for anyone looking to start DJing, mix their own music or play karaoke at home. It features a fully-functional 12-channel mixer along with built-in Bluetooth connections for smartphones or other devices.

The mixer has high-quality audio circuitry allowing it to deliver exceptionally crisp, clean digital sound and can be connected to either amplified or passive speakers by RCA, 1/4″, and XLR connectors. The unit also comes with an included USB input so you can record all your mixes. This is a DJ controller mixer built with an intuitive layout and mixing quality that few other mixers can match.

The mixer gives you the ability to mix up to two microphones or instruments on the fly and includes 16 different built-in high-quality sound effects that enable you to create performances of unmatched style. Its large 128 x 64-pixel display screen enables you to clearly see all your settings and effects, making it easy to play as well as it is fun.

This DJ controller comes complete with a USB port to allow for computer recording/editing via onboard USB input. Two XLR/TRS combo (MIC/LINE) inputs are provided to ensure superior sound quality from your microphones, instruments, or any other devices, where XLR/TRS cables are required.

11. Pioneer DDJ-400 2-Channel:Affordable DJ Controller

MultiColored Electric Guitar Power Amplifier

Welcome to the Pioneer DDJ-400 Controller for rekordbox DJ, the 4-channel DJ controller that’s ready to go straight out of the box. Designed with DJs in mind, the controller features large jog wheels and a layout familiar to DJs used to working in CDJs and turntables. It also comes bundled with rekordbox DJ and a free sample pack from Loopmasters so you can start using it straight away.

This Dj Controller is designed to get the most out of your software, taking cues from the features and layout of Pioneer’s industry-leading DDJ-SX DJ system. It’s a lightweight, compact controller that gives you all the essentials needed for performing with rekordbox DJ and rekordbox DVS.

The smooth, matte finish gives you the perfect surface to operate its smooth interface with GUI buttons and RGB indicators making it intuitive to play. In addition to its two channels, the DDJ-400 has utility options for music players, such as dedicated buttons for Hot Cues, Samplers, Beat Jump, and more.

And with its lightweight design and Pad Scratch function, you’ll be able to focus on your creativity and execution. Welcome to the Pioneer family. It’ll make your mixing skills shine, even if you’re a beginner. That’s because it’s made for any budget, and just like every Pioneer DJ controller, it gives you pro features to help you find your own style.

And with its built-in sound card, you can plug in professional headphones and scratch with the beat. This is the first dj controller in the DDJ series with an LCD screen, offering a compact and portable solution for rekordbox DJ, with familiar layout and features inherited from the widely acclaimed DDJ-RR.

The 2-channel controller is designed for use as a plug-and-play device straight out of the box, and can also be used with other software programs as a simple control surface.