The Best DJ Mixers [2019] Reviews and Buying Guide

When it comes to creating magic behind the decks, DJs are second to none. These dance-floor magicians can combine different tracks and create totally new ones—and the tool that makes this all possible is the DJ mixer.

Mixers play a crucial role in electronic music, and DJs are picky about the mixers that they use. But with such a slew of different options and features available, how do you even start choosing the right one?

Today, we’re going to demystify these devices a bit and present you with the top DJ mixers we absolutely feel you should look into.

Our Top Pick

Our vote for the top DJ mixer is hands down the Pioneer DJM-2000 Nexus. Its advanced features and incredible sound output put it in an entirely different league.

 

 

The Best DJ Mixers Reviewed

Pioneer DJM-250 MK2 – Best Entry-Level Model

The Pioneer DJM-250 is an entry-level mixer for the serious scratch DJ and has a nice list of features.

 

Key Features

  • MagVel crossfader
  • Two-channel mixer with three-band isolators
  • Color FX filter
  • Built-in soundcard for connecting the mixer to a PC/Mac

 

What We Liked

For the price, this is quite an excellent battle mixer. The DJM-250 MK2 has the patented MagVel Crossfader, the same one as its bigger brother, the DJM-900NXS2. This is a robust crossfader that can take quite a beating—which is expected of equipment that undergoes the rigors of scratch DJing.

The layout is clean and straightforward, which allows you to perform lightning-fast crosses and cuts efficiently.

You can also hook up the built-in soundcard to a computer, and use the included Rekordbox DJ software for virtual scratching (provided you have a compatible controller for it).

 

What We Didn’t Like

Made for home and gigging, this mixer lacks a booth output, eliminating its legit use as a club mixer.

 

 

Pros

  • MagVel crossfader gives durable and responsive fading for doing quick cuts and shifts.
  • The clean layout means you won’t be overwhelmed when in the heat of things
  • Robust and durable, built for gig situations

 

Cons

  • No booth output

 

Overall, the Pioneer DJM-250 MK2 is a sturdy battle mixer, especially for the beginner scratch DJ. You get the endurance and crossfader quality of higher Pioneer models at a more affordable price.

 

Overall Rating:4.6 / 5

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Stanton M203 – Best for Beginners

The Stanton M203 is a simple and straightforward, all-purpose DJ mixer, and is ideal for beginners.

 

Key Features

  • Two-channel mixer
  • Long-life, replaceable 45 mm crossfader
  • Adjustable crossfader curve with FET-isolated “cut” setting
  • Three-band EQ channel with complete kill controls
  • 10-segment LED VU meters for each channel

 

What We Liked

This is one of the best DJ mixers for beginners, due to the friendly price. It’s a solid performer that gives you just enough of the basics to develop your DJ skills.

The controls are laid out in an uncluttered, easy-to-understand manner, making it suitable for both club and battle DJs. The crossfader is well-built, and even if it breaks down, you can easily replace it yourself without any servicing. Everything you need is here, from the VU meters per channel to the EQ controls.

 

What We Didn’t Like

There are no bells and whistles at all with this model. It’s also a bit larger in comparison to others on this list, making it more unwieldy.

 

Pros

  • Budget-friendly price
  • Fully replaceable crossfader
  • Solid and rugged construction
  • Hybrid mixer for both club and hip-hop genres

 

Cons

  • No extra features

 

The Stanton M203 is a reliable, all-around good buy if you’re a beginner. It nails down all of the basics in a rugged, hardworking DJ mixer.

 

Overall Rating:4.9 / 5

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Behringer NOX101Most Features for the Price

The Behringer NOX101 is a cool-looking battle DJ mixer with an entry-level price.

 

Key Features

  • VCA-Controlled Ultraglide long-life crossfaders rated at 500,000 life cycles
  • Two-channel mixer with three-band EQ and kill filters
  • Direction-reverse and adjustable crossfader curve control

 

What We Liked

The Behringer NOX101 is an impressive, feature-packed battle mixer at a great price point. The Ultraglide crossfaders are a scratch DJ’s dream, and they readily respond to the slightest touch, thanks in part to VCA control, a contact-free technology. The crossfader can be modified with different curves to suit your style.

Feature-wise, it packs a punch. It has three-band EQs and kill filters to fine-tune your channels when mixing quickly. The VU meters are also accurate, great for making sure the signal is in check. For hip-hop DJs who use the microphone a lot, it has a mic input with the XENYX Preamp built-in. This gives superior voice quality with plenty of headroom.

 

What We Didn’t Like

Lack of split cue functionality when doing headphone monitoring can be problematic for most users.

 

Pros

  • Ultraglide crossfaders are a joy to use and will last you a long time
  • Incredible functionality at a budget price
  • Comprehensive LED signal meters
  • Robust microphone sound quality with the XENYX Preamp

 

Cons

  • Lacks headphone monitor features

 

The Behringer NOX101 is a sleek DJ mixer available for a surprisingly affordable price. For the novice or even advanced scratch artists, this is a solid buy.

 

Overall Rating:4.5 / 5

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Numark M6 4-Channel – Most Compatible

The Numark M6 is a high-performance DJ mixer with flexible connectivity at a competitive price.

 

Key Features

  • Four-channel DJ mixer
  • USB connectivity for direct playing and recording on a Mac or PC
  • Three-band EQ control, gain and LED metering per channel
  • XLR microphone input

 

What We Liked

The Numark M6 brings a lot of flexibility into your DJ set at a surprisingly affordable price range. For starters, it’s a four-channel mixer with phono/line inputs. This way, you’ll be able to hook up your CD player or turntable and switch around at the press of a button.

Where the M6 really shines, though, is the USB connectivity. With this feature, you can connect it to your Mac or PC and take advantage of DJ software or your music library. This provides the flexibility to grab music from any source – CD, vinyl, digital – and mix it all together.

If you’re recording, the M6 has a separate audio output for this application—you can even record yourself during live sets. Performance-wise, it has robust EQ controls and slope settings on the crossfader.

 

What We Didn’t Like

The lack of an EQ kill switch can be a severe limitation, especially when performing in public.

 

Pros

  • Robust EQ controls per channel give a fantastic level of control to your mixes
  • USB connectivity allows for playing and recording on a workstation or laptop
  • XLR input for microphone
  • Competitive price

 

Cons

  • No EQ kill switch

 

The Numark M6 is a competitive DJ mixer with tons of connectivity features and robust controls. This is an excellent DJ mixer for intermediate and advanced house DJs.

 

Overall Rating:4.4 / 5

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Behringer DDM4000Most Flexibility

The Behringer DDM4000 is a high-end digital DJ mixer jam-packed with valuable and useful features.

 

Key Features

  • 32-bit, five-stereo channel DJ mixer
  • Beat synchronized sampler with two BPM counters
  • Supports up to eight input sources with four phono and four line-stereo inputs
  • Parametric three-band EQ with kill switch
  • MIDI controller for use with DJ software

 

What We Liked

At first glance, this is a very complicated-looking DJ mixer, packed with knobs and buttons, but it’s actually pretty intuitive. For one, it supports lots of input options, from MP3 to turntables.

The DDM4000 boasts five individual channels, with the fifth dedicated to the microphone input. Channels 1-4 are assignable from any of the phono and line inputs. Each channel features EQ controls with up to a 12 dB boost and kill switches.

What makes the DDM4000 unique is its BPM sampler. This feature allows you to create an audio loop in real-time while still saying in sync with the beat.

 

What We Didn’t Like

The overall design and layout can be intimidating to some users, especially beginners.

 

Pros

  • The unique BPM sampler allows for creative touches to your set
  • Robust controls and effects to really fine-tune your mixes
  • Five channels and eight inputs provide plenty of flexibility

 

Cons

  • The layout can be complicated

 

The Behringer DDM4000 is a high-performance mixer made for the house DJ. The myriad of input channels, EQ controls, and sampler all allow for some very creative mixes during live sets.

 

Overall Rating:4.6 / 5

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Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 – Most Choice in Features

The Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 is a mixer, audio interface, and Traktor controller all rolled into one.

 

Key Features

  • Two standalone channels with two channels for Remix decks
  • Well laid out controls with faders, three-band EQ and filter knob per channel
  • Backlit buttons provide illumination even in dark situations
  • Premium 24-bit soundcard with Cirrus Logic converters and pro XLR outputs
  • Macro FX for controlling Traktor effects

 

What We Liked

While designed for use with the audio software Traktor, the Traktor Kontrol Z2 is nevertheless a robust standalone mixer for use with conventional CD players.

On its own, it’s a powerful mixer, but where it really sets itself apart is when used with Traktor—and then it becomes a force to be reckoned with because you can take advantage of the myriad knobs and switches dedicated for this.

 

What We Didn’t Like

The only real problem we have come across is that some users are complaining of USB connectivity issues with this model.

 

 

Pros

  • Allows you to maximize the capabilities of the Traktor software fully
  • Hardy construction makes it suitable for heavy-duty use on clubs and bars
  • RGB control buttons illuminate well in the dark for ease of use in club settings
  • The modern, sleek design makes for one fantastic looking mixer

 

Cons

  • Problems with USB connectivity

 

Overall, the Traktor Kontrol Z2 is one of the best Traktor control interfaces on the market (if not the best). It excels in giving DJs creative and powerful tools that will bring life to their sets.

 

Overall Rating:4.7 / 5

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Pioneer DJM-S9 Battle MixerBest for Battle DJs

The DJM-S9 is a top-of-the-line battle mixer specially designed to be used with Serato DJ Pro.

 

Key Features

  • MagVel Fader Pro durable magnetic crossfader
  • Customizable FX buttons for use with Serato DJ Pro software
  • FX filter knobs with a default high/low pass filter
  • Two built-in USB soundcards
  • 16 multi-colored touchpads
  • Style levers for turning effects on and off quickly

 

What We Liked

The DJM-S9 is a hardened battle mixer from one of the best DJ brands in the market. The MagVel Pro crossfaders are some of the smoothest and most responsive we’ve ever used. Both the level of rebound and crossfader curve can be fine-tuned, making it superior at lightning-fast cuts and fades.

The level meters are also useful at giving you a visual cue if your audio tracks are going over. The built-in peak limiter also helps to reduce distortion.

The DJM-S9 is built with Serato DJ Pro in mind. This is evident in the sheer volume of knobs and buttons that are mappable to Serato DJ Pro functions, such as Touchpads, FX Buttons, FX filter knobs, and style levers. It’s also entirely MIDI-assignable when connected via USB.

 

What We Didn’t Like

The construction can be somewhat fragile, given that this is a battle mixer, and should be more durable.

 

Pros

  • MagVel Fader Pro crossfader is one of the smoothest ever put in a battle mixer
  • Lots of mappable buttons and knobs to extend Serato DJ Pro software functionality
  • Two built-in soundcards allow you to switch between Serato and standard CDJ decks seamlessly

 

Cons

  • Not as durable

 

The Pioneer DJM-S9 is the best DJ mixer for scratch and battle artists. The amount of Serato functionality combined with a robust crossfader make this a top-notch buy.

 

Overall Rating:4.9 / 5

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Allen and Heath Xone:92 – Best for House DJs

The Allen and Heath Xone:92 is one of the best and most powerful DJ mixers explicitly made for the house DJ.

 

Key Features

  • Six-channel mixer for the professional club DJ
  • MIDI output capabilities
  • Two independent stereo mix outputs
  • Two independent LFOs for filter manipulation
  • Two aux sends for FX outputs

 

What We Liked

The Xone:92 is perfect for a house DJ and one of the more powerful mixers in the Xone series.

It offers a four-band EQ with treble, bass, and two mid-tones, allowing you to really segment your audio track. Other features are the low and high pass filters, arguably the best in the industry.

The available options the Xone:92 offers are staggering, to say the least. The control is incredible, and the mixing is seamless.

 

What We Didn’t Like

The crossfader has a few dead zones, but nothing too intrusive or limiting.

 

Pros

  • Four-band EQ gives precise control over your mixes
  • Robust construction
  • Excellent monitoring with EQ, split cue and mix controls

 

Cons

  • The crossfader has dead zones

 

Overall, this Allen and Heath is the top DJ mixer for house, techno, and trance artists. The subtle level of control and MIDI compatibility gives you lots of creative room for your live sets.

 

Overall Rating:4.8 / 5

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Pioneer DJM-2000 Nexus – Best All-Around

The Pioneer DJM-2000 Nexus is one of the most advanced DJ mixers ever to enter the market.

 

Key Features

  • Fully customizable MagVel long-life magnetic crossfaders
  • 8-inch multi-touch full-color display
  • MIDI and LAN compatibility; will support up to two laptops or Pro DJ Link
  • Three-band EQ isolator per channel
  • Built-in Beat Slice and Sync Master plug-ins
  • Peak level meter with Peak Limiter

 

What We Liked

The Pioneer DJM-2000 Nexus is way ahead of its time. It’s like an overpowered mini-computer inside a DJ mixer and has features that go beyond what a standard mixer offers. It’s robust enough for both live and studio settings and is suitable for any music genre.

The DJM-2000 has a built-in LAN connection that allows you to connect all sorts of players, turntables, and computers all at once. It has tons of plug-ins and effects and features a gorgeous 5.8-inch LED touch display.

Performance-wise, the DJM-2000 is close to perfection. Recording is smooth with zero latency. The sound quality is superb and made even better with noise-reducing crystal oscillator technology. And if your levels are getting out of hand, the Peak Limited feature will automatically limit distortion.

 

What We Didn’t Like

As expected, this is one of the more expensive mixers in the market—but as with most technology, you get what you pay for.

 

Pros

  • Built-in LAN for seamless connection of multiple audio sources
  • Crystal clear sound output makes it suitable for studio recordings or large venues
  • Lots of built-in plug-ins

 

Cons

  • Quite expensive

 

The Pioneer DJM-2000 Nexus is one of the best DJ mixers around. Its powerful features and unparalleled sound output make it the choice of pro DJs for live and studio settings.

 

Overall Rating:5 / 5

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DJ Mixer Buying Guide

What A DJ Mixer is For

It can be argued that DJ mixers are the most vital part of any DJ’s arsenal. As the name suggests, these machines allow you to mix different audio sources together in an artful way. It enables you to blend songs seamlessly, or layer in sound effects and samples to spice up your set even further.

Despite the ability to use laptops to mix songs, the DJ mixer still has an added advantage. It’s more intuitive to use the knobs and sliders of a mixer as compared to clicking with a laptop touchpad. Mixer controls are also essential if you’re into hip-hop, where quick cuts and chops are a staple.

Although you can technically use any normal mixer for your sets, DJ mixers have added features that are explicitly made for playing live. Their most important feature is to make beatmatching easier.

In DJ parlance, beatmatching is the art of aligning tracks together by matching their bass beats. This allows the DJ to transition or blend them together seamlessly.

This technique is generally done by matching the tempo of the next track to the one currently playing. A good DJ mixer will let you do this by allowing you to listen to the next track on your headphones while playing a different track to the audience. This feature allows you to hear the two tracks simultaneously as you try to match them up.

Some DJ mixers also feature a BPM (beats per minute) counter. This gives you a ballpark on your tracks’ BPMs so you can beatmatch faster.

Another great DJ mixer feature is the number of options you have to mix tracks together. The most basic control is the crossfader. With this, you can set how much of each track is playing. If it’s set in the middle, then the two tracks play at the same time with equal volumes.

Complementing the crossfade are the EQ buttons. These are used to adjust the amount of bass, mid, or treble in a track. These can make for some pretty great transitions if used creatively.

And for added oomph, most DJ mixers also have special effects built-in. You can play audio effects samples, like horns, and even warp them for some truly unique performances.

 

Which DJ Mixer is Right for Me?

Just like any genre of music, electronic music has a lot of categories and niches. Each has varying styles and warrants different mixer features. As a DJ, you need to be aware of the style you’re playing when buying your own mixer.

House music is all about long, seamless mixes and layering from one audio track to the next. Beatmatching is therefore much more crucial, and you can benefit with features that help you in this area. Effects, filters, and loop controls also enable you to add depth and richness to your sets.

Hip Hop DJs need to be prepared to do a lot of quick cuts, chops, and tight scratches. Speed is the name of the game here, and you need a mixer with a layout that’s intuitive for you. That’s why mixers made specifically for scratching have a very durable but sensitive crossfader. They’re also very simple and easy to set up.

Drum and Bass fanatics need multiple audio inputs and channels to help support the more complex sets.

 

 

Things to Consider with a DJ Mixer

Number of Channels

The number of channels determines how many different audio tracks you can mix in together. The standard is two and is used in most situations. Note that the microphone input isn’t really considered a channel in most mixers

Nowadays, there is the emergence of “performance” DJs who can mix three or more audio tracks together rapidly. For these, you’d need a four-channel DJ mixer. Although flashy, be warned that it can get overwhelming and confusing with all those extra buttons.

 

Audio Inputs

Some people are confused with inputs and channels, thinking they are the same. When talking about DJ mixers, however, they are totally different.

Inputs refer to how many audio sources you can connect to your DJ mixer. These are usually turntables and CD players but nowadays can also include smartphones.

Channels, as we covered above, are the number of audio tracks you can actually mix. Now, a DJ mixer can have more inputs than channels. It’s common, for example, to have DJ mixers with two channels and four inputs.

This all comes together through an input switch. This device tells the mixer which input is assigned to which channel. This is useful when you want to connect two turntables and two CD players, for example. Note that even though you can, the two-channel limitation means you can only play only two inputs at a time.

 

EQ Controls

These are controls that allow you to adjust the bass, treble, mid, and other parameters of your sound. You want to look for a mixer can do this on a per-channel basis for the utmost in control. Some DJ mixers also have gain and kill switches to boost the levels of each channel instantly.

 

Monitor Controls

Monitor refers to ways of hearing the next track to be played, called the cued track. These are essential features for any DJ, as define how accurately you can beatmatch the cued track to the main track being played.

You want to look for mixers that allow you to listen to the cued track in one ear and the main track in the other when monitoring with headphones. Some DJ setups also have booth monitors, which you can use to hear the music being played clearly.

 

Microphone Inputs

Most DJ mixers have a microphone input. This allows you to do voice-overs or talk over a set. Most DJ mixers automatically lower the volume when the microphone is being used. Aside from the convenience, it also avoids you having to set the mic volume too loud, which can damage your speakers.

As you can imagine, this is something a club DJ wouldn’t normally need. It’s more useful for a mobile DJ or (sometimes) the hip-hop DJ.

 

Final Thoughts

As we wrap up this review roundup, one model stands out as the top DJ mixer in the class—and it’s none other than the Pioneer DJM-2000 Nexus. Cost aside, this is one of the best DJ mixers you can get.

It blows everyone out of the water with its innovative features. The sound output alone is incredible, and the level of control you can achieve is also second to none. The MagVel crossfaders are extremely durable, and the LED display just plain looks cool. This is a very versatile mixer that can be used by both house and battle DJs to great effect.

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