So you’ve stepped on the path of becoming a DJ? Are you looking for the best DJ controller?

Look no more, we’ve made a compelling list of choices you should consider, based on your experience, your needs, and your “moolah”.

We’ve made a practical description to all of the controllers below, so you can make an intelligible decision.

Today’s market is overflown with opportunities and possibilities for anyone and everybody, so it’s really easy to make a mistake while shopping for your own controller. We’re going to give you some suggestions and, of course, recommendations on the topic.

Let’s start, shall we?

QUICK RUNDOWN

Best DJ Controller Under $1000

Reloop Terminal Mix 8
  • Very durable case

  • Good sound quality

  • Actually transportable

  • Good price/value ratio

Check Price

Best DJ Controller Under $300

Traktor Kontrol X1 – Mk2
  • Resilient case

  • Intelligent design
  • State-of-art effects section quality
  • Has a touch strip on board
Check Price

Best DJ Controller Under $300:

This controller has appeared in lots of reviews and scored high grades in most of them. The only obvious reason the Hercules lacks in comparison to everything that’s on the market right now are the pads.

As most of the Hercules’ products released lately it comes with a DJUCED software, it’s really not as popular as Serato or Traktor, but it’s a decent piece of software to work and play around with.

In addition to being simple in usage, the controller is quite powerful: its two pressure-detecting jog wheels let you scratch without any latency, as well as scroll within tracks, and control the Pitch Bend function.

A fine choice for a beginner that is looking into experimenting with DJ-ing a bit, because it’s not expensive at all, probably one of the best DJ controllers in the under $300 price range.

For more about Hercules DJ Control Instinct, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI9JsJo26xA
  • Durability 88%
  • Sound 92%
  • Portability 88%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Comes with software
  • Decent for scratching
  • Comes with DJUCED 40 on board
  • Affordable
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Users reported USB ports failing within the first month

Hercules has always been a player on the budget market, So you wouldn’t expect anything great out of it. Wrong. The P32 is packed with all sorts of great features and obviously the gorgeous set of 32 pads.

The pads are backlit and multicoloured and their size allows to efficiently use them, with no discomfort to it. It is accompanied by the DJUCED 40 software.

In case you’re a beginner and you’re looking forward to trying something special, your list of candidates will probably eventually boil down to this piece.

The price of the P32 varies, depending on the market, but it is usually under $300. However, the layout has some flaws, namely the faders are the core of the issue.

They happen to be too short, which may affect the quality of mixing, in case you’re into very slow and detailed transitions. Also, the build isn’t very promising.

It would be wrong to say that it’s bad for its price-range, but it doesn’t create an impression of a durable piece that you’ll still be working with years from now.

Overall, the conclusion is simple: the P32 is an interesting piece of gear that you may find interesting to play with, you may get creatively engaged with the pads and the price is decent, but it won’t be a life-long marriage made in heaven.

For more about Hercules P32, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp6AEbcaUSA
  • Durability 82%
  • Sound 89%
  • Portability 92%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • It has 32 backlit pads
  • Affordable
  • Good price/value ration
  • Comes with DJUCED 40
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Feels a bit vulnerable to damage

As do most of Traktor’s products, the X1 feels very safe and all that great technical potential is locked into a resilient plastic case.

It’s worth mentioning that nowadays you can see the Kontrol X1 in almost any professional DJ booth, which makes it one of the most popular modular controllers made today.

The case has a set of knobs and buttons that are a pleasure to work with, at the same time they do suggest a lucrative a long-lasting collaboration.

Traktor, however, made a bold move, in a good way. They hooked the X1 up with a touch strip, something you wouldn’t normally see on a midi controller, but it’s universal and easy to adjust to a wide array of functions, from skipping tracks to effect tweaking.

Another great thing about the X1 is its price. It is a serious player in the under-$300 market. The capabilities of this seemingly small piece of gear are amazing and the quality of the effects is outstanding. People say that this product is not for everybody, yet we’re sure that it’ll easily find the right hands. Probably one of the best budget DJ controllers in the game.

For more about Traktor Kontrol X1 – Mk2, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4cCxDKXlhI
  • Durability 94%
  • Sound 92%
  • Portability 100%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Resilient case
  • Intelligent design
  • State-of-art effects section quality
  • Has a touch strip on board
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Might not be suitable for DJ’s that intend to scratch

Best DJ Controller Under $1000:

This model is probably one of the best DJ controller under 300$. Its competitive price is one of the many reasons to purchase this controller.

One of the major “off the head” reasons to get the Denon MC2000 is its strong build. You won’t find many secure controllers in this price range, as they tend to be a bit plasticky and toy-ish.

The jog-wheels are hard as a rock and, moreover, pressure-responsive. In a general perspective, the case is ready for all types of knocks, kicks and any other collision.

A good thing about the design of the controller is its simplicity and intuitiveness. Although it may be boring to some, the MC2000 has many options to play with and it’s designed to be extended and upgraded through Serato.

The navigation process is clear and simple, something that appeals to many DJ’s. It is really suitable for podcasters, rookies and for warm-ups in your local club. To sum up, it’s plain and simple, yet intelligent and discreet.

For more about Denon DJ MC2000, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnRy4_r2h68
  • Durability 88%
  • Sound 94%
  • Portability 94%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Strong build
  • Intuitive layout
  • Great price
  • Firm, collision-resistant jog-wheels
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Might be a bit limited in functions

Another piece that creates a remarkable sense of security, due to its high-quality build, and it might be heavier than you would expect, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

The metal case contains a set of rubber buttons, knobs and faders that are very comfortable to use. There is also a sense of adequate robustness to them, which many DJ’s will appreciate.

The design of the case is very well-done, because it features a lot of controls, yet they do not feel cramped at all.

This model has made a lot of noise for its effects and their quality: crystal-clear reverbs, intense delays and fat filters. Probably the best part of the feature-list of the controller is its price.

It may be more expensive for most beginner DJ’s would intend to spend, but reviewers and users claim that the value of this machine in comparison to its price is amazing and that it’s very well-worth purchasing if you have high aspirations of becoming a DJ.

There is a big probability that the popularity of the product will only grow. There are certain bugs in the Reloop Digital Jockey, however, most of them are part of the firmware, thus there are big chances that those will get fixed very soon.

For more about Reloop Jockey 3 Master Edition, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z758sgMUK2E
  • Durability 94%
  • Sound 92%
  • Portability 90%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Rock-solid build
  • Great control over the effects section
  • Attractive design
  • Good price/value ratio
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Doesn’t have a built-in timecode compatibility
  • The decks can at times be fiddly

The NVII looks impressive, to begin with. It has an impeccable design and layout, and it looks comparatively “mature” around other DJ controllers.

It is designed to give the DJ the possibility to work without the computer out of the side or closed, and concentrate on the manual experience.

This is a nice improvement for the ecology of movement, think about it… You no longer need to make needless movement from the computer to the controller, back and forth. The case features 16 velocity-sensitive pads, which will allow you to loop, slicing and finger drumming.

Numark intended to make this controller as portable as possible, but without losing any of its potential for movement’s sake. They’ve definitely succeeded in doing so.

It blends perfectly with the Serato software, but it also comes with a bank of loops and samples from the artists of Toolroom Records.

The price of this controller is great for the value you get, however, it might be too much for some. If we analyse and compare it to other representatives on the market, and skinny fit it into the $500 category, it is one of the best DJ controllers available at this particular price-range.

For more about Numark NVII, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX38Kme4EA8
  • Durability 90%
  • Sound 94%
  • Portability 95%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Great design
  • Actually Portable
  • Works great with Serato
  • Comes with a sample and loop pack
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • A bit pricy

The NVII looks impressive, to begin with. It has an impeccable design and layout, and it looks comparatively “mature” around other DJ controllers.

It is designed to give the DJ the possibility to work without the computer out of the side or closed, and concentrate on the manual experience.

This is a nice improvement for the ecology of movement, think about it… You no longer need to make needless movement from the computer to the controller, back and forth. The case features 16 velocity-sensitive pads, which will allow you to loop, slicing and finger drumming.

Numark intended to make this controller as portable as possible, but without losing any of its potential for movement’s sake. They’ve definitely succeeded in doing so.

It blends perfectly with the Serato software, but it also comes with a bank of loops and samples from the artists of Toolroom Records.

The price of this controller is great for the value you get, however, it might be too much for some. If we analyse and compare it to other representatives on the market, and skinny fit it into the $500 category, it is one of the best DJ controllers available at this particular price-range.

For more about Reloop Terminal Mix 8, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NH8XiBSNbY
  • Durability 96%
  • Sound 95%
  • Portability 92%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Very durable case
  • Good sound quality
  • Actually transportable
  • Good price/value ratio
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Some find the faders a bit fragile

Best DJ Controller Under $2000

Pioneer’s DDJ-SX is hooked with a 4-channel mixer and two jog wheels and the style and design of the controlled is a continuation of Pioneer’s legacy.

It is probably the best DJ controller for Serato users. Throughout the years Serato and Pioneer have been engaged in a very fruitful collaboration, given this perspective, the layout of the controller features every control of the Serato software itself, so an experienced Serato users will find this piece of gear very comfortable and intuitive.

The controller has a built-in sound card with a very high-quality capacity, namely 24 bit / 96 kHz, yet an important perspective is the reliance on a power source, which can generate a certain difference in the output level.

The build of the Pioneer DDJ-SX creates a solid impression due to aluminium panels on the sides and the bottom of the controller. Yet, unfortunate to some, Pioneer makes very toy-like hardware, because it is mainly made of plastic and the above-mentioned aluminium plates are there for the sake of security.

However, most probably they opt for a plastic built for a comfortable transportation, but bear in mind that many users think it’s too big to be actually portable.

For more about Pioneer DDJ-SX, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmWahVHJWTE
  • Durability 84%
  • Sound 92%
  • Portability 70%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Comfortable integration with Serato
  • Secure build
  • Compatible with Serato
  • Intuitive design
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • It’s expensive
  • Lacks portability

The 4D has been around for a while and it doesn’t look its popularity is going to fade away soon. This rather expensive piece of hardware is known for its hybrid concept of combining an analog mixer and a MIDI platform.

Probably the best DJ controller for customised sets. It unleashes the opportunity for experiment and not to forget its great design. The 4D is a rational continuation of the A&H “3D”.

The changes that appear in the newer prototype of the controller are not necessarily obvious, yet really consistent. An upgrade any DJ will find intriguing is the 10-in and 10-out configuration of the machine.

Let’s not forget why this brand is high appreciated though — the sound. The quality of the output signal is absolutely amazing and, of course, the filters that are the A&H showstopper in the industry.

Moreover, the sound latency is as minimal as it can physically get. In comparison to other hardware producers in the game, none of them can compete with the analogue signal paths similar to the ones on the 4D’s board, this guarantees an impeccable sound.

The juicy filters will always outdo any of the other pieces currently in the market. As you’d expect all of the above-mentioned benefits aren’t cheap. At all!

For more about Allen & Heath Xone:4D, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO4ZWDfnTrk
  • Durability 95%
  • Sound 98%
  • Portability 80%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • 10-in/10-out board
  • Great filters
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Analogue mixer
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Very pricy
  • Not very portable

The 4D has been around for a while and it doesn’t look its popularity is going to fade away soon. This rather expensive piece of hardware is known for its hybrid concept of combining an analog mixer and a MIDI platform.

Probably the best DJ controller for customised sets. It unleashes the opportunity for experiment and not to forget its great design. The 4D is a rational continuation of the A&H “3D”.

The changes that appear in the newer prototype of the controller are not necessarily obvious, yet really consistent. An upgrade any DJ will find intriguing is the 10-in and 10-out configuration of the machine.

Let’s not forget why this brand is high appreciated though — the sound. The quality of the output signal is absolutely amazing and, of course, the filters that are the A&H showstopper in the industry.

Moreover, the sound latency is as minimal as it can physically get. In comparison to other hardware producers in the game, none of them can compete with the analogue signal paths similar to the ones on the 4D’s board, this guarantees an impeccable sound.

The juicy filters will always outdo any of the other pieces currently in the market. As you’d expect all of the above-mentioned benefits aren’t cheap. At all!

For more about Numark NS7III, check out customer reviews on Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG0uh18HhNA
  • Durability 92%
  • Sound 94%
  • Portability 88%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • 3 hi-res screens
  • Motorised decks with adjustable torque
  • High quality Akai MPC pads on board
  • Serato included with the controller
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • A tad pricy

Conclusion:

So to boil this down to a personal preference, if you do have the money, opt for the A&H Xone:4D. This is a a masterpiece and the only gear that features an analogue mixer.

In my personal opinion, Xone:4D does the trick, whatever your intentions are. It has versatile and unique design, crystal clear sound and a wide array of opportunities in terms of experimenting.

Now, I know what you’re going to say, this is a life-long debate over analogue versus digital, but we shouldn’t forget about how our gear makes us feel. We always need to keep in mind that our hardware motivates us to work harder, experiment and spend another hour at work.

If you’re an experienced DJ or a DJ with some experience, try to recall the moment you bought your very first piece of hardware. What did you feel when you unpacked it? Our gear is more than a friend, it’s our colleague.

Always go for the controller that you like visually. If a controller looks and feels inviting — buy it.

Best Dj Controller

Let’s now be really pragmatic, just for a second. To back up everything mentioned above, let’s be honest, merely all controllers are the same, they do the same things — they send midi signals to your computer. So choose something that speaks to you personally.

Also be sure to check our guides about Dj speakers and mixers.

I have a rule that might not work for everyone, but you could keep it in mind: If you want anything for three months straight — in the cart it goes! It’ll be the right thing to do.

Good luck!