Review & Video: Pioneer XDJ-700 Multi Player

Review Summary:

The XDJ-700 is a niche product. If it were more affordable, we would see it in more pubs and bedrooms. However, there is a small audience of controller DJs out there who would like to get started DJing without a laptop present. It will also appeal to club and pro DJs looking for a more compact, less expensive player for home use.

XDJ-700
  • XDJ-700
  • Rating: 3.5
  • From: Pioneer DJ
  • Price: US$620
  • Reviewed by:
  • On June 15, 2017
  • Last modified:June 20, 2017
XDJ-700

We take a look at the XDJ-700, the little brother to Pioneer DJ's XDJ-1000 multi player in this review.

XDJ-700 Full Review

Pioneer DJ shook the DJ world two years ago when it released the XDJ-1000, a multi player that resembled the company's standard CDJ line, but with the CD drive omitted. The DJ world reacted, with some DJs moaning about the absence of a CD/DVD slot, but it was generally well-received by those who needed a cheaper CDJ alternative for home or club use. It's since been updated with the new XDJ-1000MK2.

In the time between the launch of the two XDJ-1000 models, Pioneer DJ released another multi player that has almost the exact same features and functionality, but with a smaller footprint: the XDJ-700. It looks like a shrunken XDJ-1000, but with the same big touchscreen.

It's been out for quite some time now and there are reviews online, but it's worth chipping in our two cents because we think it fills a very specific niche audience of digital DJs. Read on to find out if you're one of them...

First impressions and setting up

Rear

The XDJ-700 has the bare minimum of connections for a DJ multi player: power receptacle, RCA outputs, Ethernet Link port, and a USB jack.

The XDJ-700 is a standalone media player with a USB socket on its face for connecting a thumb drive that has music on it exported from Rekordbox, as well as at the back for hooking up to your laptop running Rekordbox DJ. It also works with the Rekordbox app on your smartphone or tablet for wireless performance.

The unit is made of plastic all around, and is light. It doesn't feel as sturdy as the flagship CDJs, of course, but it doesn't feel cheap either. I would definitely store this in a bag or have a Decksaver on when in transport. Nothing to write home about, build-wise.

The rear of the unit only has a pair of RCA outputs, a socket for a power brick (I don't like power bricks because when they get lost, they're so tough to replace compared to a standard three-prong lead such as those on a CDJ), an Ethernet Link port for hooking up another XDJ-700, and the aforementioned USB jack.

On the face, it's got the usual CDJ/XDJ buttons like loop control, track search, search, cue and play/pause, as well as the vinyl mode and tempo / master tempo buttons, but that's about it. You don't get the platter start/stop time on the XDJ-1000, or the tension adjust of the CDJ-2000. You also get a smaller jogwheel here, but it is mechanical: that means you've got to press down on it to scratch, just like the jogs on a CDJ/XDJ. Pioneer DJ controller users will have to get used to this as the jogs on these media players aren't "touch activated".

What's retained is the large, high-resolution touchscreen. It looks great and is similar to the one found on the XDJ-1000, so that means features like the Qwerty keypad are here, along with Perform functions that include hot cues and beat loops (similar to Loop Rolls in Serato DJ).

In use

To test it, I set it up a pair in my bedroom along with a DJM-250MK2 mixer - the compact size makes it ideal for cramped bedroom desks, and also perfect for areas for entertaining guests when space is at a premium. The XDJ-700 looks impressive without being obtrusive or intimidating, and can easily blend into any contemporary living room set-up.

I also took a pair of XDJ-700s with me to a DJ gig. It's in this tiny dive bar that gets really rowdy on weekends. I normally take my DDJ-RZ, and that makes switchovers a hassle because the desk in the DJ box can hardly fit it without shuffling other gear around, so the XDJ-700's smaller form factor was a huge plus. The bar has an older DJM-350 two-channel mixer, so I just hooked up the XDJ-700s to the line inputs and spun from a thumb drive for an hour and a half.

Here are the highlights:

Jogwheel

XDJ Jog

The main reason I switched up to a big controller like the DDJ-RZ is for the large jogwheels that are the same size as a standard CDJ. The jogs on the DDJ-RZ are the best in its class, and so immediately responsive that I haven't looked back since. However, they are not mechanical jogwheels like what you'd find on a normal CDJ, which has ball bearings to help them glide (and also gives them that distinct "whirring" sound when you spin them). That means the DDJ-RZ still doesn't feel like an actual CDJ jog, where you have to apply a decent amount of pressure in order to scratch with it.

The XDJ-700's jogwheel is mechanical, just like a normal CDJ, albeit much smaller. I prefer bigger jogwheels, but the one on the XDJ-700 isn't bad at all. It works as intended, though I do miss the heft and travel of a full-size platter.

Touchscreen

Touchscreen

Easily the best thing about the XDJ-700 is its full-colour, high-resolution touchscreen. It's clear, and crisp, I had no problem using it. Even in a dark, sweaty / humid place like the bar I gigged at, the touchscreen was still responsive. I like the Qwerty keyboard simply because it's much easier for me to search for songs instead of having to rely solely on the Browse knob.

RekordboxRekordbox-Main-Image-1204x640

The XDJ-700 works best with music files on a thumb drive prepared with Pioneer DJ's own Rekordbox software. You basically export playlists from the Rekordbox app onto a thumb drive, which also transfers stuff like hot cues and track metadata.

It also works with a laptop running Rekordbox DJ, in which case the XDJ-700 works as a really expensive controller and sound card. The benefit of using it this way is you get to use your laptop for track browsing and for viewing waveforms as you mix, but I think this is superfluous - if you plan on using a laptop and Rekordbox DJ, get a controller like the DDJ-RX instead, which comes out much cheaper than a pair of XDJ-700s.

Using thumb drives with Rekordbox-prepared music is the way to go if you're using an XDJ-700 set-up: the higher cost of an XDJ-700, compared to a DJ controller, comes from the fact that it works standalone without a computer. Again, if you really want to use a laptop running Rekordbox DJ when you gig out, go get a DJ controller that you can use at home like the DDJ-RX or DDJ-RB. You can then just plug in your laptop to the club's CDJ/DJM kit when you're at the gig, or you can take along your controller too if the venue doesn't have a set-up.

Conclusion

XDJ DJM

The XDJ-700 is at its best when used standalone without a laptop, and paired with a similarly-sized Pioneer DJ mixer like the DJM-450 or the DJM-250MK2. This gives you that "club DJ" experience at home in a smaller footprint and much lower price tag.

A pair of XDJ-700s on Amazon come at just under US$1300, and that's without a DJ mixer (the obvious companion would be the DJM-450 or DJM-250MK2), so why spend close to US$2000 when you can get a full-featured Pioneer DJ controller like the DDJ-RZ, DDJ-SZ2, or DDJ-SX2? The answer has to do with wanting to transition to a club set-up taking nothing but a pair of thumb drives.

No matter how much you mix on a DJ controller with your laptop, there is going to be some physical and mental disconnect between that and mixing on a CDJ/DJM combo with USB sticks. For one, there are no waveforms to ride when you're mixing off of CDJs, so if you're used to staring at your screen while you mix to make sure the beats line up, you may suddenly feel a bit nervous because you can't lean on that crutch to help you blend tunes.

Second, if you like to use your controller's pads for hot cues, you'll obviously miss those thick chunky pads when using a CDJ - even the most recent CDJ-2000NXS2 has tiny hot cues compared to what you'd find on an entry-level Rekordbox DJ controller like the DDJ-RB.

Who's it for?

That said, there is a very real opportunity here for the controller DJ who wants to jump to using CDJs at clubs and bars as opposed to taking along a controller and laptop wherever. I'm more of a mobile DJ than a club DJ, so I tend to take my controller along with me because the venue I play at doesn't have CDJs. As such, I'm perfectly happy with my DDJ-RZ controller.

However, if I were to switch career paths and focus on spinning at clubs and festivals, I'd sell my DDJ-RZ in an instant and get an XDJ-700/DJM-450 set-up. I'd then focus all my time on creating playlists in Rekordbox and transferring them to a USB stick, and getting used to mixing again without a laptop on hand, just like the old days.

The jogwheels may be smaller, but at least I'm re-familiarising myself with the workflow, controls, navigation, and music library needed when spinning on a pair of CDJs, which are going to be very similar. Despite its smaller size, it still looks quite impressive.

Of course, if you're a club or pro DJ who spins on CDJs regularly, and you'd want some kit that you can use at home while retaining the Rekordbox workflow, the XDJ-700 are a cost-effective option, as far as Pioneer DJ gear goes.

Is DJing without a laptop a step back? Maybe, but it's a step that you must be willing to take if you want to spin with nothing but thumb drives. I would say it's a different experience, not necessarily worse or better.

I don't see the XDJ-700 around much in small venues and bars but I do have some friends who use it as a "third deck" for their CDJ/DJM set-up. It's more of an "extra" bit of gear, a nice to have but hardly a necessity - it's positioned quite oddly in the Pioneer DJ lineup of multi players, especially since it isn't cheap.

As such, the XDJ-700 is a niche product. However, there is a small audience of controller DJs there who would like to try spinning without a laptop present. They are looking for hardware that would let them cut their teeth on and, at the same time, retain essential functionality, library management, and controls found on DJ booths the world over without spending the equivalent price of a used car (or dipping into their kid's college fund). For these folk, the XDJ-700 should be on their shortlist, along with the XDJ-1000MK2.

Review Summary:

The XDJ-700 is a niche product. If it were more affordable, we would see it in more pubs and bedrooms. However, there is a small audience of controller DJs out there who would like to get started DJing without a laptop present. It will also appeal to club and pro DJs looking for a more compact, less expensive player for home use.

XDJ-700

  • XDJ-700
  • Rating: 3.5
  • From: Pioneer DJ
  • Price: US$620
  • Reviewed by:
  • On June 15, 2017
  • Last modified:June 20, 2017

Talkthrough Video

Do you think the XDJ-700 is a good purchase for controller DJs wanting to switch to club gear, but can't afford a full-on CDJ/DJM set-up? Would you rather prefer to DJ with a controller and a laptop? Do you think Pioneer DJ made a mistake selling it at this price point? Share your thoughts below.

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Comments

  1. RetailRod says:

    Great review, IMHO the real issue with the price point is the fact that a used XDJ-1000' with a few more features is selling for a similar price making this unit alot less desireable.

  2. Mark Smith says:

    Joey excellent job on the video brotha. It is very thorough and the filming and editing is on point. It is also very informative. I just picked up a pair of these myself. I bought them to be able to acclimate myself to more club standard gear just as you stated. Thank you so much.

  3. DJ boo-lee says:

    Thanks for the review, Joey, good job! Do you think future versions of Serato will support the XDJ-700 as an accessory? I know it's expensive as a controller but it would be nice to have a pair of these to practice at home and have a similar experience as when I plug my laptop into a CDJ-2000 combo in a club.

    It's strange that the XDJ-1000 Mk1 works with Serato and the XDJ-700 doesn't, while they're almost identical from a software point of view.

  4. Phat Beat 4U says:

    Nice review Joey... I'm interested in these, but I'm curios if they would work with my S8?

  5. James Connor says:

    I use 2 x xdj 700's with my traktor S8

    I like to flick between using them as timecode with traktor and using them with thumb drives with my S8 set to external mixer mode - they are really cool

    One thing you didnt mention in your review is they are advanced hid compatible with djay pro, you can browse and get waveform views on the display and use them as soundcards - with the added bonus of djing from spotify - I do this when I have a potential wish list of tunes to road test before I buy them

  6. Alix Kast says:

    You mention these can be good for people seeking to practice at home to get used to the feel and flow of club gigs. How does the XDJ-700 compare against the XDJ-RX for that purpose? What would you say the pros & Cons of the XDJ-700 vs the XDJ-RX in general are?

    • The XDJ-700 has mechanical jogs, the XDJ-RX has touch sensitive jogs. The XDJ-700 jog feels more like a CDJ platter :) The screen on an XDJ-700 is touchscreen while the XDJ-RX isn't, so the XDJ-700 has most of the touch capabilities of an XDJ-1000 or even a CDJ-2000XNS2. The advantage of the XDJ-RX is that it's an all-in-one system which includes a mixer built-in. However, for just a little over the XDJ-RX's retail price (around US$1500), you can get two XDJ-700s plus a two-channel mixer like the DJM-250MK2, which gives you Rekordbox DVS.

      If you are choosing between the XDJ-RX and a set of XDJ-700/DJM-250MK2, I suggest going for the XDJs because this gives you more flexibility later on - you can add a pair of turntables if you want to go DVS, you can sell the XDJs and go for CDJs, you can trade up for a larger mixer, etc. The modular nature of the XDJ-700/DJM-250MK2 combo means that you can upgrade as you gain proficiency, whereas you're basically stuck with the XDJ-RX as is :)

  7. Hi peeps,
    Any comments on its sonic ability? I am concerned it will not have such a good internal DAC and a poor power supply compared to the more complicated pro models with dedicated internal supplies.
    Any comparison to the new Denon units?

    D.

  8. Spark972 says:

    Hey Joey, there are a few typos :
    - the DJM450 is not (yet) a mk2
    - the DJM 240 doesn't exist
    DJM 450 and DJM 250mk2 are the actual entry level at PioneerDJ's. Sorry to be that guy... 😉

  9. neurotix says:

    Nice review, you pointed out exactly the same reasons why I bought them, based on ur review I bought Numark NVII which I was practicing with for a while but once I started to be taking it more seriously and club standard here is cdjs only I had to buy something similar, these guys will provide similar feeling to nexus players so I will be prepared. Combined with Reloop 33i so I may connect one extra player or my console 😛

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