You don’t have to be a DJ or a composer to appreciate and work with great music. Experimenting with music and sounds to create something beautiful and stimulating is very much an art, and everyone is welcome in its realm.One great way to play around with music is through a DJ mixer. These amazing consoles are a great way to entertain and polish your interest in music and sounds. Whether you are an upcoming DJ in the making or just a very random hobbyist, owning a good mixer always helps with the work. So, to make sure that you are able to pick the best DJ mixer for yourself at the end of the day, in our article today, we will be looking at some of the Best DJ Mixers out there for you. But before that, let’s take a look at what actually makes mixers so amazing.
What is a DJ Mixer?
A DJ (Disc Jockey) mixer is a console that is used to manipulate, edit, remix and creates music, sounds, and other audios. But, these consoles can also do so much more! You can merge various tracks together to form a unique and engaging track of your own. It has various sound effects that can bring a fresh spin to an old favorite. These audios and sounds are usually sourced from record turntables, cassettes, CDJs or vinyl records. But modern mixers allow you to source it right from your computers through various DJ software. DJ mixers are tremendously popular; if you have ever heard seen that large audio console at a parties or clubs, then chances are that was a DJ mixer!
However, the most awesome part of the whole thing is that DJ consoles are being made more and more affordable and accessible to the mainstream consumers. Many leading companies are coming up with starter controllers and mixers that are priced just right, made enough portable and compact and packed with enough features to entertain beginners and learners with a low budget. Most low to medium priced mixers can offer 2 turntables or CD players, but the more expensive and professional-grade ones can easily give you 4 turntables or CD players. In our list of the Best DJ Mixers, we will cover some of the more affordable as well as high-end and top-of-the-line DJ mixers from the top brands around the world to cater to all sorts of buyers. Stay tuned.
Understanding a DJ mixer
Getting to know some of the keys features and their functions in a mixer are important. While, it is entirely impossible to walk you through every detail, but we will look over just a few but significant components on the mixer. Let’s start with channels. Channels are the number of sources of audio on a mixer. The number of channels equals the number of audio sources.
Next, we have the Gain, also known as Trim, which is a knob that sets the volume control on each channel. After this, we have the EQ. The EQ, most mixers have 3-bands, which control treble (Hi), midrange (Mid) and bass (Low).
Then we have the crossfader, a horizontal slider, which lets you carry out smooth transitions between a pair of more of channels. When the crossfader is to the far right, you will work with one channel’s signal only; the same is true for the far left. And when it is in the center, you will be hearing both channels at the same time.
These are just some of the more important parts of the console. But you will also come across jog wheels, input/output jacks, etc, which are just as important.
Benefits to Owning a DJ Mixer
There is nothing more rewarding than being able to walk the little steps of a long ladder to finally creating a masterpiece. All the hours of messing with the sound effects and the scratching and the trial and errors finally pay off when you feel like you have created something substantial; something worthy. Apart from the feeling of achievement and pride, this fidgeting around with mixer is a great way to learn or polish your budding talent or interest.
Sharing your works of music and sounds is like sharing a piece of your personality. It is very personal, rewarding and a very special thing. The moment when someone or people appreciate and acknowledge your work, your effort, talent, and passion is a moment you never forget. The complements, the criticism, the remark and suggestions all help you grow and learn. Being able to make people’s feet tap when they listen to your work is an out-of-body experience.
Great Party Starter
With regular practice and some sincere guidance, you will very soon be able to work the DJ mixer like an expert, if not a professional. And there is no better way to boost up a failing house party or get-together than with some amazing and catch music and DJ-ing! Everyone will be looking forward to your parties from now on. Better yet, you also save some good cash that you would have otherwise spent on other entertainment or a professional DJ.
Make it Pay
Music has always been a booming business, and people are always looking for great entertainers. You begin by DJ-ing at small gatherings, birthday parties, baby showers, etc. If you can DJ in your own parties, then you sure as well can do it at someone else’s. And you’d be surprised how much your service will be appreciated. The world is your playground as long as you can play your DJ skills. It is a great way to earn some extra side cash, social connection, and confidence.
Ever heard of a boring DJ? Yeah, none of us have. DJs have a reputation of being fun, tactile, risk-takers and generally, a very positive personality from people’s perspective. And while you may not consider this a benefit per se, but many people love the idea, the fun atmosphere and living that DJs are associated with. It’s all on the label after all!
Being able to resort to music at the end of a long and difficult day is a blessing. Whether you are an aspiring DJ or a random enthusiast, the DJ mixer is a great way to unwind and express yourself through music and beats.
Things to Look for in DJ Mixers
To get your hand on some of the Best DJ Mixers, look for these features:
Number of Channels
Simply put: more channels equals more sources of audio. When you are looking for your next mixer, first decide how many channels you can and would like to mix. If you are a beginner, start off with 2 channels. If you are a pro, the sky is your limit. Most basic and starter DJ packs will offer you 2 at least, but many advanced and top-of-the-line mixers will easily accommodate up to 8 or even 12 channels! The Mackie Mix Series Mix12FX is a great example.
A heads-up, though: you just may come across a single channel mixer as well, but steer clear of those; if a console can’t offer you at least 2 channels then it is as useful to you as a fish on a bicycle.
Now, this may sound funny but you just may want to pay special attention to your mixer’s knobs. You will be surprised how troublesome these tiny details can be; they are often too tight, too loose or may even start moving on their own! Needless to say, testing out each knob, turning them to test for ease and resistance can say you a lot of frustration and insanity.
Number of Inputs
Each channel of your mixer is very likely to have at least 2 inputs; thus, 4 inputs for 2 channels. This is because your channels have switches that indicate which of the channel’s 2 inputs to source the input from.
One absolutely crucial feature to look for is whether your mixer can connect to your computer, most can. Many use USB plugs to connect but there may be other forms of connecting heads involved as well.
Number of Outputs
Many DJ mixers do not have multiple output jacks. In fact, some have only one; especially true for basic and beginner DJ mixer packs. Now, we all know the importance of being able to connect to external devices; this key feature just can’t be stressed enough on. Your mixer is of no use if it can’t blow up the roof at parties, now is it? So, look for enough jacks that allow you to connect speakers, amplifiers, monitors, headphones, etc. You never know when you’ll need that extra volume!
Just in case your mixer lacks these jacks; you can use external interfaces and splitter cable to connect all your devices to the mixer. It is a solution to the problem, but it is still a headache to have to buy additional gears for a mixer. The DJ mixers give you all the jacks you will need and more; the Gemini DJ G4V is one of them. More on this later.
This component is a LED strip that moves from left to right to show the volume of your channel’s beat. It is very important to have a lever meter for the mixer’s main output.
Your DJ software will become your best tool to make the most out of your mixer after purchase. It gives you the power to more and more. It is only with the help of your software that you can play the playlists on your computers, music players and other mediums on your mixer. But obviously, it has heaps more to offer that essentially makes for your whole experience.
One dreadful thing about DJ software is that most come with trial limits and expiry dates of 30 days. However, many high-end mixers give you free and complete usage facilities too. Make sure the mixer you pick is compatible with some of the more popular and useful DJ software out there. If you aren’t happy with the software, you won’t be happy with your mixer.
Jog wheels may be cliché to the DJ-ing world, but it is crucial for DJs to know their ways around it and be comfortable with it. Most of the popular effects, like scratching, can be carried out all thanks to jog wheels. If you want to have some great fun with your mixer then make sure you can attach a turntable to your mixer with proper jog wheels.
Now, we think you’d appreciate having the touch-sensitive or pressure-detecting jog wheels; makes scratching, track searching, etc, a lot easier and effortless. This isn’t mandatory by any means, but it does make the process so much more controllable and fun.
Now, this feature right here is not a luxury if you are a sincere learner. A BPM counter detects the tempo of the track being played automatically through a given channel. This is particularly helpful if you want to match beats.
10 Best DJ Mixers Reviewed!
For the first contender on our list of the Best DJ Mixers, we picked a console that fits right onto your lap; it is the DJControl Compact by Hercules and it a great piece for beginners.
The DJControl Compact, like the name suggests already, is probably one of the most compact DJ mixers out there. It measures 5.3 x 14.7 x 2.2 inches in dimensions and weighs 1.8 pounds only; in other words, it fits right into your bags for you to carry anywhere and onto your lap for you to use anywhere! But, what eventually makes the DJControl Compact one of the Best DJ Mixers is its generosity with features.
The DJControl Compact features dual mixing decks with 4 modes (Loop, Fx, Samples, Cue) and 4 pads per deck, 2 equalizer potentiometer and 1 volume potentiometer per deck; 2 jog wheels 2.95 inches in diameter. It also features a 1.77-inch crossfader, 10 control buttons. Above all of its fantastic features, the most useful and appealing one has to be its user interface: DJUCED 18°. It is powerful enough for experts and intuitive enough for beginners. DJUCED lets you mix, customize, create, display and save your own beats; it is fun, user-friendly and effective.
Get loud with the DJControl Compact. Just hook it up to your computer and speakers and start mixing and playing all your saved playlist on it. It is a small-scale mixer for sure, but it is definitely one of the Best DJ Mixers for learners and hobbyists. We did a big review about Hercules DJ Control Compact which you can find here.
- The DJControl Compact is portable and lightweight; great traveler
- Uses a very intuitive and user-friendly interface that lets you do more
- Can connect to computers, speakers or headphones
- Not compatible to virtual DJ
- You have to download a certain program to start using it
- Has no others jacks, but a USB. Also, the absence of an AUX port is very off-putting
Our second pick for the Best DJ Mixers around is also one the top rated and best-selling consoles in the market for beginners. It is the Part Mix Starter DJ Controller from Numark.
The Party Mix DJ Controller comes with Virtual DJ LE software with a download card, making your experience with the mixer as seamless and smooth as possible. The mixer couldn’t get any simpler than its plug-and-play approach; simply connect it your computer and speakers and start mixing your own beats your playing own personal playlists. It relatively small in size and has a built-in sound card that is great for practice through your headphones; perfect for in-room practice. The Party Mix DJ Controller has a compact chassis with 2 side platters and slide control. You also get 8 multifunction pads; great for sampling and looping, backlit sync controls and master and cueing audio outputs for sharing.
But what make the Party Mix DJ Controller one of the Best DJ Mixers is the complete and wholesome experience it gives you. The mixer offers you an amazing light show that sync beat to beat with music to give you a more in-depth and deep experience. You can also switch it off to your convenience. A big review is also available here about Numark.
- The Party Mix DJ Controller isn’t too bulky or large
- Uses a very simple user-interface
- Has a built-in sound card
- Offers a light show
- Has several built-in output jacks for more connectivity and sharing
- Made out of cheap plastics and other flimsy materials
- Unreliable customer support
- Can’t be used to scratch or mix.
Apart from some of the most coveted and top-of-the-line DJ mixers, we want our list of the Best DJ Mixers to cater to people with a very tight budget as well. And the Hercules DJControl Instincts S series is just that without having to compromise on performance and features.
The DJControl Instincts S series is a very mobile console considering its size and weight: 3.5 x 12 x 9.1 inches and 2.2 pounds. It includes a very user-friendly DJUCED 18° software let lets you mix 2 tracks and save your work. The mixer is USB compatible and has a USB cable attached to it to minimize the risk of losing it. The DJControl Instincts S series lets you preview tracks, and has 1 mini-jack output for speakers and headphones. You also have your 2 RCA outputs, 2 decks with mixer controls in the center and individual deck control on the right and left. This mixer, similar to our Numark Party Mix Starter DJ Controller, features a fun light show.
However, the feature that makes S series one of the Best DJ Mixers for us is its pressure-sensitive jog wheels. This pressure-sensitivity lets you scratch just like you would on a vinyl record. You can also browse through the tracks and control the Pitch Bend function through it. The Hercules DJControl Instincts S series: a great mix of affordability, performance, and entertainment!
- The Hercules DJControl Instincts S series is compact
- Uses a DJUCED 18° user interface
- Uses pressure-detecting jog wheels
- Offers a light show
- Has a robust sound card
- Great for beginners
- Too small a unit for professional grade output
- Slow customer help
- Is not backlit; limits usage in dark rooms of spaces
Throwing in a Behringer or two into the list for some of the Best DJ Mixers was an absolute given, and here on your radar right now, is the Pro Mixer DX626.
The Pro Mixer DX626 is a professional triple channel mixer which uses some of the most qualified phono preamps; the 3-band kills EQ (-dB) and gains control per channel. It uses a smart, dual BPM counter and VCA controlled crossfader for the smoothest audio output. It features a manual talkover function, a studio-grade microphone input with ULN technology, monitor function with mix or PFL mix option, a precise peak-hold lever meter with a PFL bar graph and a BNC gooseneck Lamp socket for optimum viewing.
The Pro Mixer DX626 proves its German quality through its very high quality, durable and tough construction and components; so much so that it uses gold-plated RCA connectors to catch signal most efficiently. The Pro Mixer DX626 is a little chunk of professional goodness in an affordable and small mixer!
- The Behringer Pro Mixer DX626 is qualified enough for professional use
- Uses exceptional quality raw materials; is durable
- Comes with 3 channels
- Uses dual BPM counters
- Gold-plated RCA connectors for the best signal connection
- Uses a gooseneck connector for convenient viewing, even in dark places
- Has no USB jack on it
- The BPM counter fails to perform; goes out frequently
If you are looking for a mixer with a few more channels than the Pro Mixer DX626, then the Behringer Pro Mixer DJX750 is one of the Best DJ Mixers for you.
The Pro Mixer DJX750 is a professional 5 channel ultra-low noise mixer with dual auto-BPM counter with time and beat sync display. This DJ mixer, more or less holds the same features, functions, and output as the Pro Mixer DX626, except a few small yet significant changes. The Pro Mixer DJX750 offers control over 2 more channels than the DX626 and also features an auto ducking feature which basically brings down the volume of the music during a talkover.
The Pro Mixer DJX750 is also made with same high-quality materials and trusted German attention to detail construction.
- The Behringer Pro Mixer DJX750 offers 5-channel
- Is professional grade
- Constructed with high-quality materials; promises durability
- Uses dual BPM counter
- Low volume
- Inaccurate BPM counter
Now, if you are skipping the complete set and looking are for a DJ controller only, then the Mixtrack 3 from Numark is one of the Best DJ Mixers out there.
The Mixtrack 3 is powered by USB connection for external connectivity with computers. Plug it in with your computer, download and install the soft and get mixing! Speaking of software, the Mixtrack 3 comes with a virtual DJ LE user interface which you will get to start using after registration on the Numark’s website. The Mixtrack 3 is just small enough to make it mobile, but still not lightweight enough. The console uses long, 100 mm pitch sliders with sync with the beat harmoniously. It has 16 backlit RGB pads and dedicated filter knobs for each channel. The Mixtrack 3 metal platters give you the best of it and offer to you the ability to scratch and stop tracks by simply touching the top; you can pitch bend from the sides too.
One thing about the Mixtrack 3 however, is that it was not designed keeping audio output in mind. Which is why this console has no sound card or audio jack. A bit of letdown, obviously, but an external interface of splitter cable should get the job done.
- The Numark Mixtrack 3 is mobile and compact in size
- Uses the versatile and user-friendly DJ LE user interface
- Uses 100 mm pitch slider
- Touch-sensitive metal jog wheels
- Is backlit
- Uses a USB port only
- Has no sound card, output or audio jack for speakers or headphones; you will need an external interface for other connectivity
- Comes with a 30-days limited license; you will have to purchase the license after the trial expires in order to use the software
Just in case the Pro Mixer DJX750 did not make the cut for you, we have the Behringer Pro Mixer VMX1000USB to fill in the void.
The Pro Mixer VMX1000USB is a professional 7 channel rackmount with USB interface with BPM counter and VCA control. It uses a built-in USB interface with your computer for recording and playback of all digital audio files. The mixer offers a vast software package including Audacity vinyl, Golden ear, Podifier, etc on the company website for you to enjoy.
The Pro Mixer VMX1000USB features a dual BPM counter to keep track of the time and beat sync; VCA-controlled faders, adjustable crossfades and ultraglide faders with up to 500, 000 cycles. The stereo surround effect makes sure you get to enjoy your music to the fullest. It also has 3-band kill EQ (-32 dB) with EQ on and off switch on stereo channels, has a gain control and precise meter per channel. The Pro Mixer VMX1000USB also has monitor function with PFL/main balance control and split option, automatic talkover and balanced main and additional zone outputs.
The Pro Mixer VMX1000USB does not stop here; it has a subwoofer output as well for that extra roar. Not to mention, it has very high-quality construction and components, gold-plated RCA connector; all made with the German workmanship. Needless to say, The Pro Mixer VMX1000USB is a ridiculously feature-packed and a very professional grade console; a truly worthy product to be one of our Best DJ Mixers.
- The Behringer Pro Mixer VMX1000USB is a professional DJ mixer
- Is packed with all the features and more for unlimited variations and versatility
- Has a subwoofer output
- Uses dual BPM counter
- Is made with high-quality material and is very durable
- Uses gold-plated RCA connectors
- Produces a lot of humming and distracting noises
- Many of the output ports did not work, as per consumer complaints
If the war is on channels, then our current pick has won already: the Mackie Mix Series Mix12FX.
The Mackie Mix Series Mix12FX is a 12-channel effects mixer; the highest number of channels offered by any DJ mixer in our list today. These have been proven to have a high-headroom and a low-noise performance, keeping your mixer’s audio output at its peak. This mixer offers you 4 mic input with studio grade quality and performance. You get 3-band EQ with accurate tone shaping, low cut filter (75 HZ), pan, level and overhead indication and phantom power. The Mackie Mix Series Mix12FX feature 4 stereos ¼ line input and a stereo RCA inputs/outputs as well. Connectivity and sharing are clearly not a problem with the powerful The Mackie Mix Series Mix12FX.
However, the Mix Series Mix12FX made its way into our list of the Best DJ Mixers for one very appealing feature. It has 12 amazing sounding integrated effects including reverbs, choruses and delays; the perfect additions to a track to transform it into something else entirely!
- The Mackie Mix Series Mix12FX offers 12 channels
- Offers generous sharing and connectivity; multiple ports and jacks
- Amazing sound quality
- Has 12 very useful sound effects to transform your tracks
- Is rugged and durable
- Has no USB port
- Hums and buzzes a lot, as per consumer complaints
It is absolutely no surprise that we have a pioneer in our list of the DJ Mixers. And this time, we have its DJ DDJ-SB2 to admire for all the right reasons.
The DJ DDJ-SB2 is a 2-channel controller for Serato DJ. It is portable, sizing up at just 13.5 x 22.9 x 5.2 inches in dimensions and weighing 6.7 inches; compact but not the most lightweight. The Serato DJ user interface offers you all the facilities you’d expect from a high-end and powerful mixer. The DJ DDJ-SB2 remains true to its previous model: the DJ DDJ-SB, for all the popular features but has a few amazing improvement to it. It has been upgraded to a 4-deck control and buttons to swap between tracks seamlessly. Add in a trim knob and level meters for taking care of the input volume.
The DJ DDJ-SB2 is backlit; USB powered and comes to you with a built-in sound card. Portable, powerful and versatile, exactly what you’d expect from Pioneer.
- The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 uses the Serato DJ; very popular and versatile user interface
- 4-deck control
- Amazing sound quality
- Great volume control
- Is backlit
- Built-in sound card
- The software comes to you for trial; has to be purchased after later trial expires
- Misbehaves when you try to scratch
For our last pick on the list of DJ mixers, we want to showcase a top-of-the-line and one of the higher-end mixers you have as an option. For a little extra splurge, you will be landing your hands on the Gemini DJ G4V, one of the Best DJ mixers money can buy.
The Gemini DJ G4V is a 4-channel MIDI controller which can be used with any software with MIDI learn feature. It comes with a sound card and has a built-in 24-bit PC/MAC interface for optimum sound quality. This 4-channel mixer comes with a triple band EQs with Trim and filter control per channel. You get advanced Fx controls for Virtual DJ all put out for you. You also get 2 pairs of 4 multifunctional pads and 4 rotary controls per deck. quick keys for various sound effects lets you transform your tracks in an instant. And, with the touch-sensitive jog wheels, scratching has never been easier.
But, what makes the Gemini DJ G4V one of our Best DJ Mixers is that it is high on output and input connectivity. It offers you one front ¼ inch mic input with Gain control and heaps more jacks.
- The Gemini DJ G4V produces exceptional quality sound output; has a sound card and dedicated audio features
- Professional grade
- Quick access keys for sound effects
- Pre-mapped FX controls for Virtual DJ
- Amazing connectivity features; several input/output jacks
- Touch-sensitive jog wheels
- Is bulky and heavy; not ideally mobile
- Knobs seem to be move on its own, as per customer complaints
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
- Can I use any sound card on my mixer? What are some of the best sound cards for my mixer?
Answer: First, make sure that your DJ mixer accepts cards; not all consoles accommodates for cards. Next, before you pick out a sound card, make sure it is compatible with both MAC and Windows. Some of the best sounds cards include M-Audio, RME, EMU, ESI, Antex, etc. Note that these are very expensive and professional-grade cars. If you want something a tad bit more affordable then try M-Audio Revolution, CreativeLabs, etc.
- What exactly is a cue point? How do I set the cue point on my mixer?
Answer: A cue point records a particular and a very specific part in a song. This is for quick and easy re-finding of interesting mixing parts. If you are using DJ Mixer then you can cue by using the “SetCuePoint” button which is located near the CUE button. Easy!
- Is there a way to connect my mixer to speakers if it does not have any output jack?
Answer: Many mixers do not offer any output jacks, but that does not limit you. Yes, you can connect speakers and other equipment to your mixer even if it does not have any jack. It’s simple: just plug in an external interface or a splitter cable and you are good to go.
Tip and Tricks
- If you are a beginner at DJ-ing, then we would recommend you look at some of the Best DJ mixers under low to medium price range. Refrain from buying top class, expensive and high-end DJ mixers right away. Now, if you can afford it, that’s great! But, remember your first mixer will be taking quite the pounding from you since you are a beginner. It will be used and misused on all occasions. You will mess up a lot of things, crack it, mishandle it and at some point, even forget to clean and maintain it. Therefore, it is best that you buy a durable yet affordable mixer that you can learn on without feeling too cautious.
- On the other hand, if you are an aspiring DJ or an expert, then we would recommend you to invest on some of the higher-end mixers. Yes, this will cost you a good amount of money, but it will all pay off when you consider the benefits and results it brings with it for you. If you are on a budget and can’t seem to buy one of the DJ Mixers right away, then you really do not need to buy one right away. Instead, take a little time to save up and go for the best mixer that compliments your work.
- If you are a professional, always keep a backup mixer alongside your main mixer. You never know when things could go wrong!
- Good hardware will make a huge difference to your learning and DJ-ing experience. It will change the way you listen to music entirely once you get your hands on some great quality headphones, amplifiers, etc. Keep a few splitter cables, power strips, and external interfaces with you as well. It is always a good idea to pay attention to the hardware of a mixer as well.
- Many starter DJ packs offer you DJ software with the purchase, but they are often trial versions of 30 days. It would be fantastic they would offer free and full software usage since they can be relatively expensive, but do not get put off if you have to buy it anyway.
DJ mixers are essential for professional, of course, but it is also great equipment for people who harbor an interest or enthusiasm with the art of creating music. You will never regret owning a good quality mixer, which is the very quest of our article today.
With this, ends of our search for some of the DJ Mixers. We put together all the information you will need to filter out the best mixer for yourself. We reviewed some of the Best DJ Mixers available in the market today keeping in mind the various demands, budget, and visions of our readers for their perfect console. For more information, refer to the corresponding links above each review for more details. Having said that, just reading is not enough; always test out your mixer thoroughly prior to purchase to make sure that you do not regret it later. Good luck!