WHETHER YOU NEED A DJ STARTER KIT, WANT TO PRACTICE YOUR MIXING SKILLS OR YOU JUST WANT TO FIND THE BEST DJ CONTROLLER FOR BEGINNERS 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 and the best DJ controllers for beginners. Instead of “Cheap”, we want you to think “Budget Friendly” , 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! All of these DJ Controllers are under £300 and are perfect for professionals as well as those looking for the best beginner DJ controllers to hone their skills.
Presenting: The 7 Best Cheap DJ Controllers That Don’t Suck
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. PIONEER DDJ-WEGO4 PORTABLE DJ CONTROLLER
The Pioneer DDJ-WeGO4 Portable 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 way under £300 and includes the world famous Rekordbox DJ software so you have supreme control over your mixing and built-in effects. For the laptop DJ and performing DJ on the move, the Pioneer DDJ-WeGO4 makes a perfect addition to any set up.
You have Pioneer’s famous jog wheels as well as a host of intuitive features such as Hot Cues, samplers, Pad FX and loops. Best of all you can take your set anywhere with you as you can play through external speakers thanks to the built-in soundcard. You can also perform and record mixes on-the-go thanks to the Algoriddim djay 2 feature. Simply connect your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and mash up songs straight from iTunes or Spotify. This is one of the best cheap DJ controllers for DJ’s on the move. Available in Black or White.
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 DJ DDJ-200 SMART DJ CONTROLLER
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-200 Smart 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 straight out of the box. You can start mixing straight out of the box, whether you’re a beginner or consummate professional looking for something to use around the home. At around £150 you get an extremely roadworthy option that you can hone your skills with or comfortably gig with. You can mix with your phone, tablet Mac or PC making it an incredibly versatile DJ controller and easily a contender for best cheap DJ controller on the market today. You have plenty of Pad FX, Transition FX and plenty of hard wearing faders and pads to sculpt a sound with. You can also hook up a set of speakers, use it with headphones or even enjoy sound on the go thanks to the built-in speakers. If you’re just starting out in the world of DJ, this is a great option.
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 MK3
Last but by no means least, we have the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3. Firmly within the budget friendly price point at just over £200, this will provide you with the tools you need to start mixing your next set with minimal fuss. Aside from the price, we think this is one of the best cheap DJ controllers as it includes an array of feature that beginner and professional artists, alike, will enjoy. This updated version features a set of new large (14 cm / 5.5'') smooth precision jog wheels with two modes: Jog and Beatgrid Adjust mode. These new modes allow you to enjoy everything from classic spin to nudge functions and manually adjust beatgrids in TRAKTOR.
There are 16 RGB pads for triggering Hotcues, loops, or samples as well as a pro mixer layout with new Mixer FX, filter controls and filter types. This allows you to manipulate sound like never before and really add a new dynamic to your sound. You also get Traktor Pro 3 included, which allows you to start mixing 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.