Top DJ Mixers

Your guide to DJ turntables

If you DJ for a living or as a hobby, it’s vital that you have professional equipment. A basic repertoire of equipment for DJs includes professional headphones with excellent sound isolation, a microphone, a pair of DJ turntables (or mixable CD players), a laptop computer, a mixer and an amplifier connected to at least two active and two passive speakers.

This article will focus on DJ mixers (sometimes called a DJ controller). This is the piece of DJ equipment that allows you to mash up songs, create bridges between tracks and explore your own musical creativity.

Here are our recommendations for the market’s top-performing DJ audio equipment:

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Denon DJ DN X1600

This is a four-channel mixer that is compatible with both analog and digital sources, making it ideal for DJs who want to use their record collections during a show. The roomy layout makes it easy to access the multitude of built-in effects, which number 14 in total. Better yet, all 14 effects can be assigned to any of the four channels at any time, giving you plenty of creative freedom.

One of the most appealing aspects of this system is that all inputs can be customized and configured to your liking. There is a total of five compact disc (line) inputs, two microphone inputs and three RCA phono inputs.

The equalizer has a three-band isolator configuration and complete high-middle-low fading capabilities. There is also a wide range of unique fading effects which you can access through the fader controls.

On the whole, this mixer delivers excellent value for your investment. The only real down side of this product is that it is so rich in features that it may seem confusing or overwhelming to new DJs, which isn’t much of a drawback at all.

Specifications:

  • Type: 4 channel digital
  • Sound: Floating DSP processing and 32 bit DAC output
  • Sampling rate: 24 bits @ 96 kilohertz
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS-X 10.6.4 or higher
  • ASIO driver: Low latency 32/64 bit
  • Modes: DVS direct (CD and LP)
  • Input/output: USB MIDI (in/out) and 5-pin MIDI (out)
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Pioneer DJM 700

With a three band per channel equalizer, a total of 14 beat effects, and the first effect frequency filter ever to hit the market, the Pioneer DJM 700 has excellent high and low pass filtration capabilities and offers excellent versatility. Its reputation in the DJ industry is so strong that some people consider it to be the gold standard.

However, it suffers somewhat from weakly designed and constructed ground terminals. Its layout isn’t as generous or intuitive as some comparable mixers, but what it lacks in design it makes up for in portability. On the whole, this is an excellent piece of equipment that will provide years of reliable use.

Specifications:

  • Power requirements: 120 volts AC, 60 hertz
  • Power usage: 34 watts
  • Weight: 14 pounds, 8 ounces
  • Audio input: CD, phono, main and sub microphone
  • Frequency characteristics: 20 to 20,000 hertz
  • Signal to noise ratio: 104 decibels
  • Sampling rate: 96 kilohertz
  • Headroom: 19 decibels
  • Output terminals: 2 x master output, 1 x headphone monitor out, 1 x rec out
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Pioneer DJM 600

This is considered an entry-level mixer, but it is so replete with features that it will serve the needs of seasoned professionals very well. The Pioneer DJM 600 offers a comprehensive range of effects, which are both standard and innovative in style. It also has some of the clearest sound quality in the industry.

However, this model suffers from some design flaws, particularly in the placement of the headphone jack. Overall, though, if you are looking for a mixer that you can grow into as you gain experience, this model is well worth the investment.

Specifications:

  • Power requirements: 120 volts AC, 60 hertz
  • Power usage: 36 watts
  • Weight: 14 pounds, 9 ounces
  • Audio input: CD, phono, main and sub microphone, return
  • Frequency characteristics: 20 to 20,000 hertz
  • Signal to noise ratio: 87 decibels
  • Channel equalizers: Hi-mid-low (all 12 to -26 decibels)
  • Reverb: 1 to 100 percent
  • Headroom: 19 decibels
  • Output terminals: 2 x master output, 1 x RCA out, 1 x booth monitor phone, 1 x send