Numark X5 Mixer Review: 2 Channels of Digital Bliss?

Last updated 5 March, 2019

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The Numark X5 – a 2-channel digital mixer, designed clearly to be bought by people interested in its V7 Midi controllers for Serato ITCH – is now shipping. Combined with a pair of V7s – which are aimed fair and square at the CDJ market and at waverers who really can’t understand the need for physical CDs any more – the X5 provides a high-end control surface for “real” DJing with a digital kit.

First impressions/setting up

The mixer is gorgeously made, with high-quality components and a sleek, simple design that would suit any battle DJ or old skool jock moving from a simple 2-decks/CDJs-and-a-traditional-mixer setup to digital, but who wishes to retain the look and feel of their old setup.

(Of course, many people will say “but CDJs are the club standard!”, and to you – fair enough. Enjoy your slowly sinking ship. But meanwhile, for the many DJs don’t play clubs and still want a great setup whether for home or mobile use and also for forward-thinking smaller or more specialised venues with a limited number of Serato ITCH-enabled resident DJs, welcome to the future…)

Numark X5 review - Rear
Digital, booth and balanced master outputs indicate the level of quality provided by the X5.

How Numark got to here

A bit of history – Numark’s NS7 all-in-one DJ controller for Serato ITCH changed the game when launched last year, and still wows people daily. But many baulks at the very fact that it is all-in-one when clearly it contains two full-sized control surfaces and a mixer.

With the V7s and now the X5, Numark has split the units apart, returning some of the controls to where they would have been anyway had it been separate units from the start, and bringing back modularity and flexibility.

In use

The X5 mixer screams quality, with replaceable crossfader, crossfader reverse, line & crossfader slopes, balanced outputs plus booth output, 2 x digital outputs (for recording to hard disk or input to digital PAs), a microphone input with EQ, and two extra switchable phono/CD inputs plus an AUX input (for an iPod, for instance, as a backup).

There are old-school line/phono switches that can be used for cuts, balanced outputs, and “look-ahead limiters on the master, booth, and headphone outputs eliminate clipping”. The headphone tone control is a nice touch too. Overall, it does everything you’d expect a high-end 2-channel mixer to do flawlessly, and the fact that it’s 24-bit digital means that quality is pristine too, the clipping elimination circuitry being one advantage of this digital architecture.

Numark X5 review - with 2 x V7s
Combined with 2 V7s (and a Serato ITCH-enabled laptop), the X5 delivers a classic yet thoroughly modern DJ setup.

Conclusion

As we say, you’ll buy this if you fell in love with the V7s and want to pair two of those up with a matching mixer. Taken as a whole, this would provide a digital setup that beats the pants off DVS systems, not least because the combination of hardware and software means you do nearly all your controlling from the units, and you’re not constantly staring at your laptop like DVS DJs, with a trance-like look on your face like a dog having a poo.

For DJs wanting to complement their V7s to with the perfect mixer, or just DJs wanting a 2-channel battle mixer thoroughly updated for the 2010s, Numark’s new modular digital DJing system, this mixer has great appeal.

Is this the mixer you’ve been dreaming of? Are you going to buy this with two V7s instead of the NS7? Or are you not impressed with the whole Serato ITCH thing? Let us know…

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