Whether you need a DJ starter kit, want to practice your mixing skills or you just want to find the best DJ Controller that won’t break the bank, we’ve got you covered with the 7 Best Cheap DJ Controllers that don’t suck!
Long gone are the days where you have to re-mortgage your house to afford a DJ controller, as some of the best DJ controllers available today will cost you around the same price as a handful of vinyl records.
So, as part of our “Cheap Instruments That Don’t Suck” series where we explore instruments that don’t cost a fortune but still provide a high-quality sound and playability, we’re discussing cheap DJ controllers. Instead of “Cheap”, we want you to think “Budget Friendly” instead, as these are some of the best DJ controllers that won’t break the bank or let you down mid-set at 3am when the party is just getting started!
Presenting: The 7 Best Cheap DJ Controllers That Don’t Suck – in price ascending order
1. Numark Party Mix DJ Controller
The Numark Party Mix DJ Controller is one of the best cheap DJ controllers on the market today. At way under £100 it wont break the bank, and it will easily slot into any DJ starter kit. It’s a great way to learn how to DJ, mix tracks and perform live without investing too much and also a great option for practicing or nailing your setlist in a hotel room or on the move.
Although it’s a lot of fun to play with, it’s definitely not a toy, but a powerful portable USB controller that you can mix tracks off any computer. With this simple plug and play controller you get the industry-standard Virtual DJ LE software so you can mix on any Mac or PC as well as the ability to loop, sample, trigger and mix away with eight colour-coded pads with multiple modes at your disposal. A ¼-inch headphone jack allows you to monitor everything that’s happening and the built-in lightshow is fantastic for getting the house-party started and really setting the party mood. One of the best cheap DJ controllers that certainly doesn’t suck!
2. Korg Kaoss USB DJ Controller
The Korg Kaoss USB DJ Controller is an extremely versatile DJ controller that is also one of the best DJ controllers in terms of performance, portability and price. This makes our best cheap DJ controllers list as it sits just over £150 and includes the world famous KAOSS Pad technology built-in so you have supreme control over your mixing and built-in effects.
For the laptop DJ and performing DJ on the move, the Korg Kaoss USB DJ makes a perfect addition to any set up. You have KORG's famous and inimitable touch pad effects unit built-in and the ability to use filters to create drops, delays to manipulate a beat and isolators that allow you to mashup your sounds – and that’s just scratching the surface! The built-in audio interface allows you to connect to your PC via USB and start performing straight away and the included "Serato DJ Intro" software (Free download) will provide everything you need to create sets. This stylish, two-channel mixer will add an entirely new dimension to your performance and provide a budget friendly way to create music.
3. Numark Mixtrack Pro III
The Numark Mixtrack controllers are some of the best-selling USB DJ controllers on the market today, used by professionals and beginners alike due to their high-performance capabilities, lightweight construction and ease of use. Whether you’re looking for one of the best cheap DJ controllers for your home studio to gig with or need something to get your DJ starter kit up and running the Numark Mixtrack Pro III is an ideal option.
You have beautifully designed and highly responsive jog wheels that allow you to scratch, cue your music quickly and easily as well as 100mm pitch sliders which allow you to make fine pitch adjustments to tempo. Dedicated filter knobs for the 2 channels provide accurate and smooth tonal control whilst an intuitive multi-function touch strip allows you to navigate your library and tracks directly on the DJ controller.
Beginners and those in need of a DJ starter kit will enjoy the fact you have Serato DJ Intro bundled with your controller which means you can plug directly into your Mac or PC and start mixing straight away.
4. Stanton SC System 3 USB Touchstrip DJ Controller
Next up we have the Stanton SC System 3 USB Touchstrip DJ Controller. This completely mobile MIDI control solution is entirely touch sensitive and utilises touchstrips instead of faders or moving parts, so there’s nothing to break off or snap off when those gigs start to get a bit rowdy – it happens!
At around £250 we think it’s one of the best cheap DJ controllers around, providing professional level control, still well within the budget friendly price bracket.
The StanTouch technology offers easy scratching, scrubbing and navigating of digital audio on the fly whilst you mix tracks via the included Native Instruments' Traktor LE and the multiple finger touches can prompt quick kills on EQ's or transform effects to create entirely new dynamics. This is taking a traditional DJ rig to an all new level of control and providing music makers with the ability to set up and mix anywhere, anytime within minutes.
5. Pioneer DDJ-SB2 DJ Controller For Serato
The Pioneer DDJ-SB2 DJ Controller is an entry level DJ controller that can easily provide professional level players with everything they need for the stage and studio. You have complete control so you can start to mixing, include trims and utilise metering controls as well as make use of master volume and Pad Trans beat effects so you can add a new dynamic to your sound. Large aluminium jog platters offer expert control over queuing tracks and mixing in songs while an array of touch sensitive pads ensure everything such as Hot Cue, Auto Loop, Manual Loop and Sampler engage exactly when you need them to.
At just over £200 you get an extremely roadworthy option that you can hone your skills with or comfortably gig with. It’s USB bus powered so you don’t need a power supply, just connection to your Mac or PC and you can control up to 4 decks with it. In addition the Slip Mode is an amazing addition, especially when you’re just starting out or utilising an array of the Serato DJ FX powered by iZotope – one of the best cheap DJ controllers available to order now.
6. Roland DJ-202 DJ Controller
Next up we have the Roland DJ-202 DJ Controller. Now we’re still way under £300 so although it’s still definitely on the more budget friendly scale of things and one of the best cheap DJ controllers in our list.
One of the coolest things about the DJ-202 is the fact this intuitive Serato DJ Intro controller utilises Roland's Analog Circuit Behaviour, adding in and beautifully recreating the legendary sounds of the iconic TR-909 and TR-808 drum machines, meaning you can completely change the style of original tracks and add new beats on the fly.
The Roland DJ-202 DJ controller is a two-channel, four-deck control, USB powered controller that is extremely lightweight and portable complete with easy to grab handles – ideal for travelling musicians and those who need a quick set up and go option for impromptu gigs as it’s simply a case of plug-and-play.
Dedicated Serato controls have been installed on-board the unit which allow you to hot cue, loop and trigger samples and the Deck Select button ensures you can flick between all four decks instantly.
In addition, you can also add line level instruments or vocals thanks to the ¼” TS mic input which features onboard reverb and echo FX – perfect for MC’s. A 16-step sequencer, four sample slots and MIDI output for synchronising external devices makes adding the controller into your existing set up a breeze.
7. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MkII USB DJ Controller
Last but by no means least, we have the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MkII USB DJ Controller. Firmly within the budget friendly price point at under £300, this will provide you with the tools you need to start mixing in seconds.
At your fingertips you have the intuitive 2+1 design which puts two decks, Remix Decks, and a pro-grade mixer with multi-effect units at your fingertips. In addition, the sturdy knobs and RGB backlit buttons keep you aware of what’s going on even under the lowest of lighting conditions. You have commands for quickly triggering loops, performing on the Remix Decks as well as Cue and Seek functionality and the highly sensitive, high-res jog wheels with aircraft-grade aluminium plates respond beautifully to your touch providing track, tempo and pitch bending control.
The cool thing with this unit is the fact S2 also pairs with Traktor DJ for iPad and iPhone meaning you can enjoy mixing and remixing tracks anywhere, anytime, free from the constraints of a Mac or PC setup – best of all, there’s no control mapping assignments so you can literally plug in and play.
The Traktor Kontrol S2 is also bundled with TRAKTOR PRO 2 with Remix Decks so you can get to work creating your ideal set list straight out of the box.
For up and coming DJs who don’t want to have to upgrade ever again and those looking for a complete DJ starter kit without breaking the bank, this is a great option.
Shop a full range of DJ controllers over at PMT Online today or call in to your local PMT store to speak to one of our experts about your DJ needs.