Having a DJ use a mixer is not a new idea; they have been around since about 1965 when a special prototype called ‘Rosie’ was developed for DJ Francis Grasso. He was the man who invented a style known as beatmatching which is a way of synchronizing two songs with similar beats to complete a seamless transition between them.
A DJ mixer serves a different function to that of shall we say, a recording studio mixer though the principles are similar. DJ’s use them to handle multiple audio signals for cueing and completing transitions from one song to the next.
Using a mixer in some musical genres has become an art form, and therefore they need certain functions and standards. So let’s have a look at the best DJ mixers available and find the perfect one for you…
- Top 10 Best DJ Mixers To Buy In 2021 Reviews
- 1 Numark M6 USB | Professional Four-Channel USB DJ Mixer
- 2 Allen & Heath Xone:92 Fader Professional 6 Channel Club/DJ Mixer With Faders
- 3 Pioneer DJ Mixer
- 4 Mixars DUO MKII Battle Mixer For Serato DJ
- 5 Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 DJ Mixer
- 6 Pioneer DJ DJM-2000nexus (DJM-2000NXS)
- 7 Pioneer DJM-350 2-Channel DJ Performance Mixer
- 8 Denon DJ MC6000MK2 | Premium Digital DJ Controller & Mixer
- 9 Reloop RMX-90 DVS Digital Club Mixer For Serato DJ
- 10 Pyle PMXU83BT Professional Audio Mixer
- Best DJ Mixers Buyers Guide
- So What’s The Best Of The Best DJ Mixers?
Top 10 Best DJ Mixers To Buy In 2021 Reviews
1 Numark M6 USB | Professional Four-Channel USB DJ Mixer
The Numark M6 is an easy to use four-channel mixer designed for DJ’s. It is adventurous with its onboard features, and each of the four channels includes a 3-band EQ. We will take a look at some of the other interesting inclusions, more on this later…
The first thing you notice about the M6 is the build quality. Having a steel chassis, it is rugged and tough and ready for just about anything. In an environment where the occasional knock and movement are common, then a good build is essential. The controls are well-situated and easy to use.
An array of inputs make this an efficient little mixer. It has multiple phono and line inputs and two inputs for microphones as well as RCA inputs that are switchable. It is ready to handle CD players, most forms of audio devices and of course turntables.
The facilities on board are basic, but they allow the M6 to be used in a variety of locations, big or small, and it is suitable for pros as well as amateur DJ’s.
It has a USB interface that is class compliant and will, therefore, without the need for drivers, work with PC or Mac and will play music from any DJ software. The dedicated microphone input has its own EQ. And there is a crossfader where you can send any channel to either side, and it has slope control.
Both XLR and RCA jack connections are provided. You can even record your mix to your computer if you wish.
It is a small little mixer, but with some good facilities and features, and at the price, is very good value.
- Rugged construction.
- Good connections and input options.
- Some may want more facility onboard.
2 Allen & Heath Xone:92 Fader Professional 6 Channel Club/DJ Mixer With Faders
Anyone in the recording business or who uses a mixer professionally will need no introduction to Allen and Heath. They have been producing quality mixing desks for decades. This model though, the Xone:92, is a six-channel mixer designed specifically for DJ’s and nightclubs.
The design allows for a high level of activity with four turntable inputs with RIAA preamps and a further four RCA phono connection line inputs. Two microphone channels with XLR inputs can be switched to line level for returns and effects, and both channels have gain controls and cueing, as well as, a four-band EQ.
The EQ is not limited to the mic channels but can also be applied to all channels. A crossfader, low-frequency oscillator, and resonant filters increase the level of sound performance. There are two outputs with XLR connections and ¼” phonos. Two aux connections allow you to use external effects and other processors. Two separate stereo filters with frequency control using a VCF system.
The build quality is sturdy, and the design is well laid out. There are smooth action level controls, a cue mix balance control, and the cue switches are illuminated. It features LED channel meters and two master gain controls.
The headphone monitor includes autocue and split cue, and all the filter switches are illuminated with a tap in/out operation.
This is an excellent mixer with simply too many features to include here. The filters especially are good once you have gone through the usual learning curve with these things. And being analog it generates a warm, impressive sound.
It is supplied with a rackmount kit. All this certainly makes it one of the best DJ mixers around.
- Well made with a stack of features.
- A wealth of inputs and line/outs.
- Quality filters to equalize the sound.
- Some may find it expensive.
3 Pioneer DJ Mixer
This mixer has been designed and built for just one purpose – for DJ’s at clubs. It is though, built with a few options in mind. It is ideal for the large club having two audio interfaces that are totally compatible with Serato DJ, the world’s leading DJ software. Which is used by millions of DJ’s around the world.
Pioneer claim that it is tough enough for battle DJing which is an interesting concept. If one that only seemingly appeals to a minority, who find some brief attention by entering such events. It does though also excel as a stand-alone mixer offering plenty of built-in features.
To mention just a few it has a powerful EQ and six dedicated Beat FX, plus Filter FX like pitch, dub echo, and noise. All that and a crossfader by Magvel Pro. When working with Serato DJ as its controller it gives you eight performance controls, all rubber pad controlled and all multi-purpose and dedicated effects.
Two USB audio interfaces, sound cards are there to make the changeovers comfortable. As one DJ is finishing, the other can prepare, so the changeover is totally seamless. The music just carries on.
Triggering cues and rolls are easy through the performance pads, which are all backlit. And effects which can be customized, all have OLED displays with their high visibility.
The controls look complicated, and to a certain extent, they will be to some, but as with all things, it often takes some time to familiarise yourself with them.
It is a powerful mixer that has a bucketful of features, and Serato is included for free via a simple download.
- Pro-level mixer
- Too many very good features to mention and detail.
- Well laid out controls.
- Might be expensive for some.
4 Mixars DUO MKII Battle Mixer For Serato DJ
Mixar’s offering, the Duo, is another mixer designed for so-called battle-style mixing. Just a two-channel mixer, it comes with a host of features. It has a specific library through which you can load tracks without the use of your computer. It is also Serato DJ compatible and the FX’s when using Serato DJ can be controlled on each channel from the desk.
The controls are quite self-explanatory and well-placed for ease of use. But will require a learning curve to get to know them and get the best from this machine. One interesting feature is the ability to have eight cue points per deck set up from the eight RGB pads. These pads are backlit for use in low lighting.
There are two additional USB ports for the use of jump drives or midi controllers in a built-in USB hub. Other connections include mic and aux inputs which are located on the front panel, phone/line inputs that are switchable and RCA and XLR outputs. There are low and high bypass filters on each channel.
Mixars are very proud of the crossfader. Developed in conjunction with Pro X Fade it is a step forward delivering precise scratching. Reverse, cut-ins, and curve adjustment are located for easy use on the front panel.
It is a plug and play set up for using Serato DJ Pro, which is the higher-level version, and it is DVS enabled. Good sound reproduction is assured using the integrated 24-bit/96 kHz interface.
A well-built, rugged mixer with some good features. Some may want more than just two channels, but it is set at an attractive price point.
- Rugged design and quality features.
- Serato DJ Pro included.
- Some may want more than just two channels.
5 Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 DJ Mixer
Native Instruments are well-known in DJ circles and especially for their Traktor DJ products. Traktor is a series of software packages designed by Native Instruments specifically for DJ’s. But is also the name given to some of their mixing desks, here is one of them – the Z2 mixer.
This is a powerful two-channel mixer that also has an extra two channels for use with remix desks. It provides you with creative control and just about all you require, including the Traktor scratch program.
There is no doubt that this mixer is made to last and looks and feels like it can handle most things. With a chassis manufactured from aircraft-grade aluminum, it is tough enough to withstand the rigors of today’s DJ world.
Everything about this mixer has been designed to give a professional feel to your work as a DJ. 24-bit quality of sound Pro XLR outputs and a control surface that is functional and looks like it is working. Cue point controls in a variety of colors, and knobs and buttons comfortably placed and innofaders mean that you have total control.
With the Z2 you get the full version of Scratch Pro 2 from Traktor. Colored waveforms give you a visual appearance of some performance elements, and it is easy to integrate and prepare your tracks. Tracks may be selected by artwork if you choose using Crate Flick and beats can be matched and integrated manually or using phase syncing.
This is an innovative mixing desk that has a huge capability. Traktor is a big selling point, but it will also operate with Serato if you prefer? A powerful machine at a good price.
- Tough, sturdy build with good built-in features.
- Powerful and all-inclusive software and DJ applications.
- It will take a little time to get to know it.
6 Pioneer DJ DJM-2000nexus (DJM-2000NXS)
Another mixing desk from Pioneer. This is a powerful performance level mixing desk that will help you up the game. Its predecessor was a respected desk, but this version takes the original and just adds even more quality.
Tracks can be arranged using a touch panel and with the new Beat Slice feature that allows you to now in real-time, cut and slice tracks. This is a brilliant feature. Allowing you to create new slices via the touch panel, that can be sampled instantly.
The beats from any external best digital audio players can be controlled using the Sync master function easily, thus giving you a higher level of creativity. You can now sync automatically the beat and tempo with the mixer’s master clock.
In fact, Pioneer has built an array of great features into this mixer. The design and layout make it easy to use, and having PRO DJ link included, multi-DJ is possible. To avoid distortion at higher levels, a limiter is installed, and smooth channel faders provide a slick performance level.
There are plenty of inputs that let you connect four audio players and two PC’s all at the same time, and there is a built-in audio interface. Each channel has a three-band EQ that is switchable and a three band isolator.
When you need to use the mic, Talk Over will automatically lower the volume of the music to a level which means you don’t have to worry about being heard. Each channel has a Peak Level meter, and the crossfaders can be assigned to each channel input.
Pioneer has created a powerful mixing desk, that as they say, will certainly up your game, though it is quite expensive.
- Packed with features and great systems.
- Well designed and laid out.
- The price will scare some people.
7 Pioneer DJM-350 2-Channel DJ Performance Mixer
Another DJ mixer from Pioneer, and like the other mixers in their range this one is built to last with a rugged metal frame that will take a few knocks.
This mixer is not designed with a particular style or for visual excitement, but it is built to be reliable, and it is not going to let you down. It is a member of the Pioneer DJM range of DJ mixers and will offer you similar functions as the other models. The difference with the DJM-350 is that it is much more of a beginners mixer and the price is more affordable.
A 3 band EQ and four onboard effects will give you a good performance level, and you can record what you do to a USB storage device such as one of the best portable audio recorders without the need for a computer.
One of the assets it has is whilst it has a lot of onboard features it is very compact in size making it easy to carry wound with you but its seven pounds weight gives you an idea of how strongly made it is.
Plenty of connections are provided…
These include 2 RCA inputs for CDs and two more for phono. There is a ¼” mic input and a further ¼” RCA aux input. The headphone output is also ¼” and there are two RCA master outputs, plus of course the USB port.
We wouldn’t say this mixer is ideal for the big clubs and the Pro DJ’s, but as a starter mixer, it is a good buy. It comes with all the essentials you will need. It is quite basic, but at entry-level, you don’t need to get too adventurous too early — a great little mixer to learn the trade.
- Well-built, sturdy but compact.
- Has all the basic features you will need.
- Some may need more technology than this mixer offers.
8 Denon DJ MC6000MK2 | Premium Digital DJ Controller & Mixer
Denon is an audio company known for the quality of its products. They are a Japanese company but were actually started by an American back in 1910. And have established a solid product line, and we have some personal experience of their products through the world’s first digital 8 track recorder which we used.
They became a big-time player in the early 2000s, when they merged with another manufacturer of hi-fi quality, Marantz.
This mixing desk is typical of the Denon style. Packed with innovation and features it is built for professionals, but its ease of use makes it suitable for everyone. It is a four-channel, four decks digital mixer that is compact enough to be portable. The body is made of steel so it is suited to be transported around and will take a few knocks.
It has some great installed preamps for the microphones, echo facility, and a three band EQ. It also has a nice feature that reduces the sound when the mic is being used. And connecting to your vinyl deck or audio or media player is easy through the four sets of aux inputs on the back of the machine. There is also a USB which will provide the link to your digital music library.
A license to download the full version of Serato DJ Pro is included when you purchase this mixer, and it is optimized for Traktor Pro2 and also Mix vibes.
Some of its other features include real vinyl sound via 105mm platters and a 45mm crossfader and 60mm pitch slider. While the navigation ring and control buttons are illuminated for operating in dim lighting, and it includes a USB interface for recording.
One quick look at the mixer will tell you we have not mentioned some of the outstanding facilities, but the onboard space is limited. It is a quality mixer at a competitive price and certainly a contender for best DJ mixers.
- Tough, sturdy steel construction but slimline and portable.
- Packed with features and DK software.
- Due to its compact size, some of the controls are a little cramped.
9 Reloop RMX-90 DVS Digital Club Mixer For Serato DJ
This is a four-channel mixer that has an eight in and eight out DVS interface. It has been designed with one feature in the forefront, and that is to provide a big sound. A 24-bit audio interface with high resolution and a fully digital build has created a powerful sound.
An array of features and facility have been built-in, including a three-band EQ, sound filter, and a bipolar filter. Also included is Beat-FX, which benefits from studio-quality effects across its twelve different options. It is Serato enabled.
It is extremely well-built, with a metal body finished in black metallic. Parameter changes are shown through two digital displays, and the setup menu is inclusive and extensive. The control knobs are all screwed in and therefore, very secure.
Reloop has included plenty of connection options. There are seven line inputs, two for microphones and two for phono. Outputs include a Master XLR and RCA, record RCA and a headphone jack. All the inputs and outputs are placed conveniently on the back of the mixer keeping cables out of the way.
It is a compact mixer, but for its relatively small size is quite heavy at 15 pounds. Its rugged build means that the weight is going to increase, which is a good thing.
Get your head around it…
Looking at the mixer, it is well-designed with everything clearly labeled and in view, and it has a uniformity to the design, which makes it easy to use. As with all these things, there is a learning curve to go through, but the design and layout will make that easier.
A good mixer, sturdy and with a lot of sound and connection options, but some may think it a little expensive.
- Well-built and sturdy.
- Plenty of features and connection options.
- Might be expensive for some.
10 Pyle PMXU83BT Professional Audio Mixer
This mixer from Pyle is designed to be multi-use. Yes, it is ideally suitable for DJ’s, carrying all the necessary bells and whistles usually seen on DK mixing desks, but it has other useful possibilities.
It would make a good basic audio mixer for sound engineers and even extend to club performers and musicians. In fact, any venue where the sound needs to be controlled, and there needs to be some quality in the sound reproduction this mixer will fit the bill.
It is compact in build and well made as all Pyle products are, and features eight channels, four XLR jack inputs and two stereo ¼” and RCA jack sockets. The in-built microphone preamps provide 48v phantom power if required, and will produce up to 64dB of gain.
A three-band EQ is operative on all channels as are sound peaking indicators. Each channel can also access one or a number of the 16 effects provided by the DSP effects engine. A1/4” send and return handles any effects used from external sources.
There is a USB port that will connect to a computer or use it for MP3 files from a flash drive. There is a stereo headphone connection which has its own gain control and ¼” stereo outputs for use with speakers or a PA or recording device. Illuminated LED displays to allow easy monitoring of performance and activity.
The mixer is Bluetooth enabled, so music can be streamed in from your devices.
It is a good little mixer with several options for use, which makes it very appealing. What also makes it attractive is that with all these features onboard it is placed at a very budget price. Great value mixer.
- Well made with plenty of sound and facility options onboard.
- Very good price point.
- Some may require a more dedicated DJ mixer.
Best DJ Mixers Buyers Guide
What makes a good mixer for a DJ? What is going to set you apart from the rest of the crowd? Does the technology exist to create new things?
The First Question To Ask Yourself Is What Sort Of DJ Are You?
If you are a starter, then we will discuss your options a bit later on but for now, let’s start off by dealing with experienced DJ’s.
The reason we ask that question is that you might approach your DJing in a different way depending to a large extent on the musical genre and the venues. You might, therefore, be looking for a whole range of features on your mixer, that some do not provide. Alternatively, a mixer might be giving you a lot of functionality that you don’t need.
For example, DJ’s in the club world are largely playing house or electronic music or any other genres where the principal object of the music is to dance. They then would be very interested in the facilities onboard a desk to achieve easy and smooth transitions between pieces of music to keep the beat flowing and keep the people on the dance floor.
Other DJ’s might be playing at large events where there is a variety of music played. They will also need a seamless transition between songs perhaps linked by some announcements or introductions. Do you, therefore, need a microphone facility? Does it need effects to make your voice prominent and appealing? You will be interested in the provisions made on the desk for that requirement.
What about these DJ’s that have created a whole new creative element to DJ’ing. Some call them turntablists. These use their mixers more like a musical instrument that will create new sounds than a desk to produce music, and words like ‘scratching,’ ‘beats’ and ‘loops’ have achieved a different connotation. Are you one of those? If so, you will require some sophisticated software and facilities.
Knowing what your requirements for a mixing desk might be, are linked to what style of music you play and the venue you will be working in.
What Will Be Your Sources For The Music?
Traditionally the sources have always been vinyl, compact cassette and later on came CDs. Technology has moved on though, and now we have other options. Have you a library of your own, maybe on a computer or a storage device. If you plan to use that you will require a USB port.
Most mixers will come with this facility, but it’s important to look at what they will do with your signal. Are there effects you can apply or is it just how it is recorded meaning you won’t be able to manipulate the sound if you wish. How many channels will use USB ports? If it is just one, and you will be using your library that could be somewhat limited depending on how you use it.
Finally, are you hoping to use one of the specialist DJ software packages like Serato or Traktor? If so, then you will need to check to see if it is included in the package and which one it is. Some mixers include the license for either, and some are actually designed with the use of one of these packages in mind.
How Many Channels Will You Require?
Some of the lower to mid-priced mixers are only equipped with two channels meaning that two turntables or CD players and that’s it. Some will give you more channels, but it usually comes at a price, sometimes a high price. This then is where common sense comes in. Do you actually need more than two possibly four channels? If you don’t, you are probably going to save yourself a lot of money.
Any Other Bells And Whistles?
Some mixers come with all sorts of interesting additions. Some may be of interest, some may not, but it is always wise to consider your audience and whether they will appreciate what any special effect might give you and them
A starter DJ Or Playing Smaller lLow-key Venues?
So far, we have discussed the equipment that may be suitable for the Pros and others who are serious about what they are doing. But what about those who either do it for fun or just enjoy the smaller local events, maybe a dance or a wedding. Your requirements are going to be vastly different usually.
In the reviews, some great mixers are designed as entry-level machines. Good quality with nice effects but without many of the rather more complex and costly facilities that you may not need anyway. The same principles apply to your choice, though. What sort of music are you playing and how many channels will you need.? What is your music source, and finally how much do you want to spend?
Setting The Budget
In our reviews of the best DJ mixers, we covered a wide price range. Some great machines cost a lot of money, but there are also some great budget models. Decide what you need facility-wise and then decide your budget.
So What’s The Best Of The Best DJ Mixers?
We would be looking for something easy to use. This applies to many of the products we reviewed, and as they are all quality manufacturers, it makes the job quite hard to select one. We would also like there to be several built-in features to allow you to develop the sound platform and at least four channels.
Finally, we did not want to spend a fortune on a mixer and are looking for something in the mid-range price-wise.
We have therefore decided that for us the best of the Best DJ Mixers is the…
It has all the bells and whistles we want and is at a price that is good value for what it offers.
Our choice of the best DJ mixers.