12 Best DJ Controllers in 2017

Whether you’re the person everyone calls when they need a DJ for their party, or you’re just starting out learning how to DJ, you know your controller is one of the most important pieces of equipment.

With so much resting on it, how do you know which is the very best DJ controller to scratch, mix, control effects, and navigate through your computer library?

Controllers come in all shapes and sizes, some with certain abilities, some with others. In order to navigate through the choices and make the best decision for yourself, continue on through our guide to better understand which DJ controller is the very best buy for you.

Top 12 DJ Controllers Ultimate Table

Design Name Sound Card? Size Rating (1-5)
   1. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Portable 2-channel controller for Serato DJ  Yes  13.5” x 22.9” x 5.2”  4.5
   2. Numark Orbit | Wireless Handheld MIDI Controller  No  2” x 2” x 2”  4.5
   3. Gemini DJ G4V DJ Controller 4 Channel Midi Controller  Yes  12.6” x 21” x  1.8”  4.3
   4. PIONEER DDJSR Pro DJ Controller  Yes  21.8” x 12.6” x 2.6”  4.2
   5. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1 MkII DJ Controller  No  14” x 4” x 7”  4.1
   6. Numark iDJ Pro | Professional DJ Controller  Yes  22” x 13” x 2”  4.0
   7. Hercules DJ Control Instinct USB DJ Controller with Audio Outputs  Yes  12” x 9.1” x 3.5”  4.0
   8. Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 | USB DJ Controller  Yes  9.2” x 1.2” x 21.6”  3.9
   9. Numark DJ 2 Go Ultra-Portable USB DJ Controller  No  17.2” x 4.9” x 1”  3.9
   10. Numark DJ 2 Go Ultra-Portable USB DJ Controller  No  9.2” x 21.6” x 1.2”  3.8
   11. Hercules DJ Controller with “Touch” and “Air” Controls  Yes  10.7” x 3.2” x 16.8”  3.8
   12. Numark Party Mix | Starter DJ Controller with Built-In Sound Card & Light Show  Yes  7.8” x 12.8” x 2”  3.6

Important Details

As you browse through the DJ Controllers, here are a couple details you should keep in mind as you search for the right controller for your needs.

  • All-In-One or Modular – You need to decide if you want a DJ control system that includes everything or has lots of separate parts. We’ll touch more on this below to help you understand which would fit your needs best.
  • Sound Card – A sound card takes digital computer music files and transforms them into audio signals that can then be amplified and played. Your computer is able to play sound because of the sound card that’s already built into it.

If you have a sound card in your DJ controller, it allows you to be playing music for everyone else out of the speakers, while also listening to different music through some headphones. This way, you can prepare the next song while listening to it through headphones all while everyone else is enjoying the current song through the DJ speakers.

  • Size – Think about where you are going to be using your DJ controller. If you plan to travel a lot with it, obviously, it’ll be easier on you the smaller the controller is (as well as the less parts it has).

However, if a smaller type won’t meet your needs don’t choose a controller solely based on size. If you want a certain type of quality you can’t get from a smaller controller, go for the big one and just plan to have a good case and someone strong to help with the carrying!

Understanding All-In-One and Modular Control Systems

How much does the type of your controller really affect you? Which type of DJ controller is best for you? It depends on how you plan to use it, as well as on your experience.

  • All-In-One – all-in-one DJ controllers are controllers that are self-contained and very simple to set up and use. This is the type of controller most people go for. It doesn’t have separate parts (like separate radios or CD players).

This type of system is easier, and in the long run, likely less expensive since you don’t have to buy separate parts. If you prefer not having to buy a ton of separate pieces, or if you don’t have as much experience being a DJ, this option would probably be your best bet.

  • Modular – As you may have guessed, modular DJ controllers are the opposite of All-In-One controllers. These allow you to tailor your control system to be exactly how you want it. You’ll have separate pieces that all make up the whole. You can have a separate radio, hi-fi with a separate amp, another part that has a CD player etc.

If you play in clubs a lot or just prefer having flexibility, the modular system may be your preference. However, you need to know what you’re doing enough to make sure you have all the necessary parts if you go for a modular control system.

As you can see, there are many different excellent DJ controller choices! The following are four of our favorites.

Top 4 Best DJ Controller Reviews

1. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Portable 2-channel controller

This number one best seller is an awesome example of a DJ controller! Whether you’re just beginning as a DJ or have been using DJ controllers for years, this is an excellent choice for you.

It sets up easily, doesn’t weigh a huge amount, and feels solid and stable. The included sound card produces absolutely amazing sounding audio quality. If you’re looking for an all-in-one controller, this is an excellent option. Simply plug it into your laptop and start playing music!

This controller both looks and sounds professional. It will impress you as well as the people you are being DJ for. This is absolutely our top choice for the very best DJ controller!

2. Numark Orbit MIDI Controller

This is another excellent choice for a DJ controller. This one is unique in that it is a wireless, handheld controller. If you plan to travel somewhere and want to DJ when you get there, this could be the best choice for you. This is another controller that works well on its own. It does not come with its own sound card, so you need to be prepared to not have the options that come with one of those, however it is extremely easy to use.

If you’re hoping to attract people to the DJ booth, this is the way to do it! It’s so easy to use you could even let others try it out at parties. As small as it is, there’s a lot packed into it!

3. Gemini DJ G4V DJ Controller

This awesome controller gets high praise for its easy usability and its excellent audio quality from the sound card that’s included with it.

The knobs on the controller are plastic rather than rubber, but this is an advantage in this case since it actually helps the user move them with great accuracy. The knobs are light and move easily, making it simple for the DJ to put the settings exactly where he or she wants them to be.

The controller isn’t overly heavy, but it is solid and heavy-duty feeling.

Overall, this is another excellent controller. We highly recommend it!

4. PIONEER DDJSR Pro DJ Controller

Last but not least, this DJ controller is another beauty sure to make others stop and look and wonder where you got it. It has a professional appearance and has plenty of abilities to make your next party spectacular. It produces precise scratching and mixing and uses its included sound card with excellence. It is sturdy and doesn’t look as though it would be easy to break.

Easy to use without needing a mound of additional equipment, this controller will have any party jamming in no time.

One thing to watch with this one is that some of the buttons are close together, making it likely you’ll accidentally push one button when you were going for a different one a few times. But, like anything, a little practice and you shouldn’t have that problem for too long. This DJ controller is another worthwhile buy.