Roundup: 4 Budget Mixers for Digital DJs

Mixers

Today, we round up our top four entry-level DJ mixers for you to consider.

Following last week's look at the top five DJ CD / media players, here we've listed our top five entry-level DJ mixers for you to consider (in no particular order).

Now, you might ask: "Why would a digital DJ want a standalone mixer? Why not just get a controller with everything you need built-in Standalone mixers are a flexible choice for DJs who have used CDs and vinyl in the past and they typically offer features you only find on the higher-end controllers (FX send/return, hardware filters, multiple line/phone inputs, record outs, for example).

Some standalone mixers also have built-in sound cards, giving you the best of both worlds, and we've favoured those here (and generally here, we've favoured mixers with digital-friendly innovations).

But even if you already have a larger mixer (or no mixer at all), it is always worth having a two-channel one knocking around for those times when you just need to, well, mix a couple of sources together.

So, let's take a look...

4 Budget DJ mixers

Allen & Heath Xone:23C

xone23c-digital-dj-tips

The Allen & Heath Xone:23C is a well-built, great sounding and versatile two-channel analogue/digital hybrid mixer. Each channel has full-kill three-band EQ and there are headphones level and cue/mix controls - but no split cue. The main draw of this mixer (aside from the sound card) is the Allen & Heath trademark VCF filter section. There is only one filter, this is an entry-level mixer after all, but one is better than none and we all know how good they sound. Overall, the Xone:23C is a great choice for the digital DJ who also has analogue sources to mix with.

Pros: Versatile and has the much-loved Allen & Heath filters (without the click detents), popular with the modding community (Joey reports seeing one modded into a rotary mixer!).

Cons: The most expensive mixer on the list, (the Xone:23 is US$100 cheaper but that doesn't have a built-in sound card). Only comes boxed with MixVibes Cross DJ LE software, not something more well-known.

Price: US$399

Buy it on Amazon: Allen & Heath Xone:23C

Read our full review: Review & Video: Allen & Heath Xone:23C Digital DJ Mixer


Pioneer DJM-250MK2

DJM-250MK2

The DJM-250MK2 is Pioneer DJ's latest entry-level two-channel mixer that's also Rekordbox DVS-enabled.

The two-channel DJM-250MK2 is built like a tank with metal construction all around. The original DJM-250 was an excellent mixer, and the MK2 comes with everything that you would expect with a few extras. A Magvel crossfader like the one used in the DJM-900NXS2 has been included alongside Sound Color FX filter and parameter knobs.

The addition of a sound card means you can use the DJM-250MK2 with Rekordbox DJ and it is also DVS-ready (the mixer comes bundled with licence keys for both Rekordbox DJ and Rekordbox DVS), although you will have to purchase the timecoded vinyl separately. You can switch between USB (for Rekordbox DJ use), line, or phono inputs for each of the two channels. This means once you're set up, you don't need to keep meddling with cables at the back.

Pros: It's a solid, DVS-enabled mixer that gets you on the Pioneer DJ "ladder".

Cons: On the expensive side for an entry-level mixer.

Price: US$349

Buy it on Amazon: Pioneer DJ DJM-250MK2 Mixer

Read our full review: Review & Video: Pioneer DJ DJM-250MK2 Two-Channel Mixer


DJ-Tech DIF-1S Scratch Mixer

dif1s-digtial-dj-tips

The DIF-1S is a solid entry-level scratch mixer. It does lack in the features department but comes in at an excellent price.

The DJ-Tech DIF-1S is a great value scratch mixer that comes with a mini Innofader as standard. It is well-built and has been made with DVS in mind. Overall, it is a standard two-channel mixer but it doesn't have full-kill EQs and its VU meters aren't the best.

It has some fancy internal circuitry that allows you to quickly switch into / from DVS mode (using your own sound card), saving you the aggro of manually changing your cables around whenever you want. Not having a master/cue mix knob will for some be a big oversight, but for the price, there isn't a lot else to moan about.

Pros: Fantastic value and perfect crossfader for scratching.

Cons: No balanced outputs and no full-kill EQ. The lack of master cue will disappoint some.

Price: US$179

Buy it on Amazon: DJ-Tech DIF-1S Scratch Mixer

 


Reloop RMX-22i

Reloop-RMX

The two-channel Reloop RMX22i mixer sports the ability to split an aux signal like your iPad's headphone output between its two inputs.

In form, the Reloop RMX22i is a traditional two-channel mixer with decent VU meters and full-kill EQs. It does come with a few twists in its tail though. Firstly, it has four onboard effects (filter, white noise, bit crush and gate) with two knobs per channel for easy tweaking. Secondly, it comes with a splitter cable that allows you to connect an iPad running DJ software in mono splitter mode, and control its audio output with the mixer.

There is no audio interface though, so this is a fully analogue affair.

Pros: Good build quality, comes onboard effects and a mono splitter cable for externally mixing with DJ software on an iPad. The addition of an Innofader will please scratch DJs.

Cons: No built-in sound card and no USB for charging said iPad.

Price: US$299

Buy it on Amazon: Reloop RMX-22i

Read our full review: Review & Video: Reloop RMX-22i Mixer

Finally...

As this list shows, there are several quality budget options out there for those beginner DJs and controller DJs who want a mixer for a modular set-up. Some of the mixers included have built-in sound cards, so you can get the best of both worlds. All of the mixers listed are good options for first-time buyers and the more experienced alike.

Finally, if you're really strapped for cash, you can't go wrong with the Numark M2 - a long-running, stripped down model that's an absolute bargain for US$85.

Which other DJ mixers do you think should be on this list? Which one are you using now? Which is the best you have used? Let us know in the comments below...

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Comments

  1. Guys

    Joey is right.
    There are great rotary mods of Xone23. The guy that makes them is called Marios Xatzikirlis
    and he can be found here:
    https://www.facebook.com/marios.xatzikirlis?fref=ts

    He's doing great work by the way!!!

  2. Josh Bishop says:

    Well I'm not sure what constitutes entry level but considering 4 decks as quite standard in the digital realm (for dance music at least) I would expect maybe one 4 channel mixer.

    I would strongly recommend the Behringer DDM4000 as it has a built in soundcard, 4 channels, 2 fully assignable FX units, adjustable eq curves, Kills, Sampler etc... In addition, almost every single button and knob sends MIDI if you want it to... Basically more features than you get on some mixers 6 or 7 times the price!!!

    To top it all off it's only 370€!! Like most Behringer products, it's not of the highest build quality - but for use at home, and if you keep it dust free - it's great! Mine's lasted at least 6 years so far... :)

    • Christian Yates (DDJT Team) says:

      I guess we were just looking at 2-channels in this one and stayed away from Behringer due to (sometimes) dubious build quality. That's a decent shout though, thanks for sharing, Josh :-)

      • in reality, Xone 23 can be a 4 channel mixer guys 😉
        It has superior sound and build quality to Behringer.
        The same goes for Reloop - much better sound and the build is on a different level then the cheap Behringer.

        Behringer is only good choice if you don't have any more money. Built in soundcards are not future proof (OS dependent) but if you really need one then get 23c.
        And features ? If you need features then look at X600 from Denon - it's just out of this world in these terms + sound quality is at highest levels.

        I also forgot to mention that Marios will make Reloop 22 rotary too (and not only Xone)

  3. DJ Maxy says:

    Very strange review as the writer seems to be at odds with the facts when it comes to his summation of the DJM-250MK2. There are "no onboard effects" well actually there is an onboard effect it's a low pass/high pass filter thats called a colour effect and is available on each channel. The writer then goes on to say: "The addition of a sound card means you can use the DJM-250MK2 with Rekordbox DJ and it is also DVS-ready, although you will have to purchase the software upgrade and timecode vinyl separately. " Well straight from the Pioneer website the facts state: REKORDBOX DVS BUNDLED You also get a free licence key for rekordbox dvs included in the box for low-latency scratching with CDJs and XDJs. Or play and scratch with tracks from your rekordbox library using analogue turntables and the Control Vinyl (sold separately). REKORDBOX DJ BUNDLED You get a free rekordbox dj licence key bundled with this mixer. Simply activate your licence key for our DJ software, connect to your computer via USB, and start DJing. So you get all the licence keys included and the only additional purchase would be for control vinyl if you had turntables. You can burn your own control CD's if you use CDJ's. My question is how come no one at Digital Dj tips management checked this article for accuracy? Very strange?

    • Christian Yates (DDJT Team) says:

      Thank you for bringing that to our attention, that's my mistake! I have corrected the article accordingly.

      • DJ Maxy says:

        Hi Christian, you should probably adjust that finishing statement on your review that states: "Cons: On the expensive side for an entry-level mixer." In fact with Rekordbox DVS licence and full version of Rekordbox DJ included along with XLR balanced outputs this mixer is a bargain.

  4. To bad one of the Mixars was not included

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