DJ Controllers & Gear: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide 2016

magmaThis year's guide is brought to you with Magma Bags, makers of bags, trolleys, stands and cases for DJ & production gear.
XDJ-RX Rekordbox

Pioneer's XDJ-RX is one of the innovative new models launched since our last guide.

This is the web's biggest, longest-running and best guide to DJ controllers with hundreds of the best DJ/producer controllers and gear reviewed and rated, brought to you by Digital DJ Tips and Magma Bags.

Whether you're looking for your first DJ controller, an upgrade, modular DJ gear, club equipment that can work with your laptop and DJ software, or even to build a mini set-up around your iPad or iPhone - if it's out there and worth telling you about, it's here in our 2016 DJ gear guide.

About this guide

We've rounded up every major DJ controller currently on the market (or announced and imminent as of December 2015). That means all-in-one controllers, plus modular controllers including Midi-enabled mixers, and deck / pad controllers, plus a host of production gear too. Basically, if it can control some aspect of your software, and we think it's worth telling you about, we've included it. We've also listed several (but not all) discontinued models that are still available / reasonably popular. All of the controllers are in alphabetical order, by manufacturer and then model, and they range in price from pocket money to thousands. Here's what you need to know about the guide:

  • We've focused on DJ gear for "mainstream" DJ software. For the first time this year we've included a number of Ableton and general Midi controllers for producers, but it's still overwhelmingly a DJ-focused selection.
  • Our ratings are reached after careful consideration, but are only a guide. We reach out to all companies, and only include gear from those who work with us so we can review their gear to give a fair assessment. When we run our tests, we assess the gear from the point of view of the beginner to semi-pro digital DJ. Be aware that ratings in our individual reviews may differ from those here, especially for older controllers, as we constantly reassess as the market changes.
  • We've reviewed a lot of these controllers. At the end of each listing you'll find a link to our review and talkthrough video where we have one
  • We've included good places to buy from. As well as rating all of the DJ controllers, we've shown you where to get them from in the USA, UK and Europe. Where we've carried a full review and/or demo video of the controller, we link to that too
  • Prices change all the time - so always check current prices by clicking the price links or the "buy from" links.

Please check all specifications, dimensions, compatibilities and so on for yourself before buying. We try our hardest, but we're only human and just because we say something may be suitable for you, doesn't mean it is. Do your homework - it's part of the fun! If you find errors, or have any suggestions, do tell us via our contact form. Finally, if you find this completely free resource useful, please help the community by liking it below, so more people can choose their gear wisely, save money and get the best possible start in digital DJing. Thanks!

Need more help?

Numark NV

Built-in screens are the flavour of 2016, but do you really need them? Read the reviews of the Numark NV and Traktor Kontrol S5 (linked in this guide) to find out."

Free book ensures you make the right choice

Choosing your first DJ controller can be highly confusing, especially for beginners, as that's the point when you're likely most ill-equipped to make the important decisions that are going to cost you a lot of money if you get them wrong.

This book is yours FREE when you join Digital DJ Tips.

This book is yours FREE when you join Digital DJ Tips.

That's why every year we produce an authoritative and respected free downloadable guide to choosing a DJ set-up, with chapters on software, hardware, laptops, other gear you need, and lots of recommendations about exactly what to buy.

Our Digital DJ Gear & Software Buyer's Guide has helped tens of thousands of DJs to choose smartly over the years. The latest edition is packed with a lot more information than we have on this webpage, as well as solid recommendations, and is completely free to every Digital DJ Tips member.

(Not a member? Don't worry, the guide is our gift to you as soon as you join our community, and you can join now here. Do it now and we'll email you the link to grab your copy of the guide instantly. (If you're a member and you get our emails already and haven't got your guide yet, drop us a line and we'll send you a download link straight away). Happy controller hunting, and if you find this guide useful, please "Like" it below and pass the goodness on.

What about software?

We actually think the DJ software you choose is more important than the controller. We like to say "software is for life, a controller is just for Christmas!" meaning, you will probably upgrade your controller several times over the years, but the chances are you'll stick with your software forever (it's difficult to change DJ software once you're used to one type). To help you choose, in the DJ Controller & Software Buyer's Guide, we spend lots of time talking you through all the options. Make sure you grab your copy by joining Digital DJ Tips today!

Take the course and get off to a flying start

Our 12,000-selling How To Digital DJ Fast video course is specially for beginners, and starts from where you are right now - trying to choose a controller! Of course, it then teaches you all you need to know to get a flying start in DJing once you've bought your gear. Again, over 12,000 of our readers have taken their first steps in DJing with this course to date. Click here for more info.