Best Pioneer DJ Gear 2023

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 5 mins
Photo by Pioneer DJ / Yotto

Get your free download: The Digital DJ Gear Buyer’s Guide

When you think streaming, you think Spotify. When you think cameras, you think Canon. When you think multi-room audio, you think Sonos. And so it is with Pioneer DJ and, well, DJing. There are other great brands, but Pioneer is the undisputed industry leader. In fact, according to our Global DJ Census 2023, the brand has around 70% of the total market!

Pioneer DJ’s ascendence began with it establishing its CDJs in pro DJ booths, just as DJs were moving away from vinyl. Nowadays, the standard pro DJ booth gear set up is two (or four) Pioneer CDJ players and – usually – an accompanying Pioneer DJ mixer, too.

When it came to DJ controllers, Pioneer DJ was actually late to the game, releasing controllers for Traktor (the DDJ-T1) and Serato (the DDJ-S1) before it even had its own Rekordbox DJ software. But it soon caught up and now dominates that market too, with a whole range of products, as we’ll see.

Who does Pioneer DJ aim its products at?

All DJs! The company definitely has an “every step of your journey” approach to the DJ market, with models for complete beginners and super-casual DJs, right up to the most expensive pro kit. It caters to laptop DJs, DJs who’d rather DJ on “standalone gear” – even DJs who simply want to mess around on their phones with their music. As just mentioned, nowadays Pioneer DJ has its own full DJ software platform too, Rekordbox, for both music preparation and performance.

(Note that Pioneer DJ has a range of monitor speakers, PA speakers, and headphones, but in this piece, we’re sticking to the actual DJ gear. You’ll find reviews of many Pioneer DJ headphones and speakers in our reviews section, though!)

How to use this article

In this article, we’ll look at the majority of Pioneer DJ’s product range, to help you choose what set-up may be right for you. We cover pretty much everything current, and also give advice on buying discontinued products or superseded products – what’s good to go for and what may be best avoided. All we’ve left out are certain products that wouldn’t really be of interest to hobby and semi-pro/pro DJs (such as venue management software).

We’ve linked to our full reviews of most of what’s featured here, too, which usually also have an accompanying video review, so you can get really deep into comparing the kits and researching your options, should you wish.

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Why should I trust you?

We are not affiliated with Pioneer DJ, or any other company we cover on this website: We are a DJ school, 100% funded by our students. This info is offered with impartiality, based upon our actual experiences and those of our students with this gear, so you can trust it to be unbiased and based upon the real experiences of DJs using this kit.

Current Pioneer DJ Gear

As mentioned, Pioneer DJ really does try to be one brand with gear to appeal to all types of DJs, from casual to pro, with controllers, all-in-one (ie non-laptop) DJ gear, and separates (decks and all types of mixers), at all price points. But we’ll start by looking at the kit that most users opt for: DJ controllers.

Pioneer DJ controllers

Controllers are DJ units that work plugged into a laptop running DJ software. Pioneer DJ makes controllers that work with both its own software, Rekordbox, and with the hugely popular Serato platform. The FLX controllers (working primarily with Rekordbox, but also with Serato) have layouts similar to Pioneer DJ’s pro club gear, while the REV controllers (Serato only) copy the standard scratch mixer/turntable layout. Here’s a rundown of the full range.

  • DDJ-FLX10

    This is Pioneer DJ’s flagship controller, the single replacement unit for both the hugely popular DDJ-1000 (Rekordbox software) and the equally popular DDJ-1000SRT (Serato software).


    GOOD IF: You want a future-proof pro-standard DJ controller that feels close to playing on Pioneer DJ’s club gear, with full-sized jogwheels and all the latest features

    BAD IF: You want to use it with Serato DJ software – even though the integration is pretty good, certain features aren’t available with Serato, and the labelling can be confusing


    Price: $1599 / £1469 / €1649
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX10 Controller Review
    Buy now: Official website


    A four-channel controller for Rekordbox (and at a push, Serato DJ software), with all the basics and great jogs, but strictly aimed at home users, not for regular use by pros.


    GOOD IF: You want four channels and full-sized jogwheels on a budget

    BAD IF: You want pro inputs and outputs, which you might expect at this price – it doesn’t have anything more than you find on the much cheaper FLX4


    Price: $649 / £569 / €639
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6-GT: 7 Things To Know Before Buying
    Buy now: Amazon

  • DDJ-FLX4

    Pioneer DJ’s entry-level laptop controller. Like the other FLX units, it works with Rekordbox and Serato.


    GOOD IF: You want a proven beginner controller – it’s based on the previous, popular DDJ-400, but improves on it

    BAD IF: You don’t like the new look – some think it looks cheap compared to the previous DDJ-400


    Price: $299 / £279 / €319
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX4 Controller Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • DDJ-REV7

    One of two scratch-oriented controllers aimed at Serato software users, the DDJ-REV7 has innovative motorised jogwheels with built-in displays, and a (slightly controversial) scratch deck layout.


    GOOD IF: You want a fully featured motorised all-in-one scratch controller, with a scratch-mixer-and-turntable layout

    BAD IF: You want something portable – it’s big and heavy!


    Price: $1999 / £1849 / €2042
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7 Serato Controller Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • DDJ-REV1

    This is a Serato-specific, scratch-oriented entry level unit, with performance pads on the mixer section and larger jogwheels than usual on this size of controller (and that same turntable-style deck layout as the REV7).


    GOOD IF: You want to learn on a controller that is laid out just like a DJM-S series mixer with pro turntables

    BAD IF: You’ve got fat fingers – the mixer section is very cramped


    Price: $279 / £279 / €309
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV1 Serato Controller Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • DDJ-200

    This is an old, grossly under-powered DJ controller that – while it works with Rekordbox on a laptop – is really designed to work with your phone or tablet and Pioneer DJ’s WeDJ app.


    GOOD IF: You really don’t want to spend any more, you’re buying for a kid, you’re super casual about this

    BAD IF: You are serious about learning to DJ – you’ll outgrow it fast, as over the years it’s looked more and more limited


    Price: $159 / £139 / €159
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DDJ-200 Controller & WeDJ Phone App + Beatport Streaming
    Buy now: Amazon

  • DDJ-XP2

    Different to the other units here, this is an accessory controller designed to be used with Rekordbox or Serato DJ software alongside, typically, a DVS (digital vinyl) set-up.


    GOOD IF: You use DVS but want to unlock most of the performance features of your DJ software via an additional controller

    BAD IF: You don’t need 16 pads per deck, which do make it rather large


    Price: $319 / £329 / €369
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ Launches DDJ-XP2 Pad Controller For Serato DJ & Rekordbox DJ
    Buy now: Amazon

Get your free download: The Digital DJ Gear Buyer’s Guide

About Rekordbox software

Rekordbox is Pioneer DJ’s own brand of DJ software. It has two main components: Export and Performance mode. Export mode is used for preparing your music to export to USB, to then play on Pioneer DJ standalone/all-in-one gear. It’s always free. On the other hand, Performance mode is the “DJ software” part of it, that is more akin to Serato, VirtualDJ and Traktor, for instance.

Most of Pioneer DJ’s controllers work with Rekordbox DJ, and the “free” version is very good – but for pros wanting extra features, especially wanting to take advantage of Pioneer DJ’s relatively new cloud library features, there are paid for “Creative” and “Pro” levels, too, available for a subscription.

Read this next: Rekordbox Professional Plan Review

They’ve also released a V4.0 Rekordbox mobile app, that combines the former WeDJ and Rekordbox V3.6 apps, and improves upon them greatly. Overall, Rekordbox is capable and popular – if not quite as popular as Serato – probably why Pioneer DJ continues to make kit for that platform, too.

Pioneer DJ all-in-one systems

Before it even released any controllers or software, Pioneer DJ launched CDJs and mixers, where DJs played from CDs, and later USB drives. So it’s not surprising, as we fast-forward to now, that it has a good range of all-in-one systems.

These combine decks and a mixer in one unit, which you can DJ on without a laptop, typically from a USB drive containing your music – although all of these units work with DJ software too (always Rekordbox, usually VirtualDJ, sometimes Serato and others).

  • Opus Quad

    New in 2023, this unit contains flagship, next-gen standalone tech, and is Pioneer DJs first real reply to the Engine DJ-powered systems from rival brand Denon DJ. It’s big, gorgeous, powerful… and pricey.


    GOOD IF: You want up-to-date standalone tech in a classy, head-turning all-in-one

    BAD IF: You don’t like the design – this is a radical departure for Pioneer DJ from all its other gear


    Price: $3199 / £2899 / €3299
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ Opus Quad Review
    Buy now: Official website

  • XDJ-XZ

    Aimed at pro club DJs who want an all-in-one, this unit looks and feels like using CDJs and a DJM mixer, and has full Pro Link (Pioneer DJ’s Ethernet-based system for hooking up further gear). It’s showing its age, though.


    GOOD IF: You want a “club standard” feel and size, but in an all-in-one unit

    BAD IF: You want up-to-date standalone tech – for DJing from USB, it is underpowered, not least because you can only use two of its four channels with the built-in USB DJing software


    Price: $2999 / £2049 / €2459
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ Standalone Serato/Rekordbox DJ System Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • XDJ-RX3

    A popular two-channel all-in-one unit, that for many strikes the right balance between size, feature and price.


    GOOD IF: You want a good all-rounder that does most of what you’d feasibly want, with the familiar Pioneer DJ look and feel

    BAD IF: You want key shifting for harmonic mixing – it’s the one big feature we wish they’d included in this unit


    Price: $2099 / £1699 / €2049
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3 Standalone DJ System Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • XDJ-RR

    Pioneer DJ’s entry-level standalone unit, delivering the basics without the hit to the bank balance of the XDJ-RX3.


    GOOD IF: You just want basic DJing functions and don’t need the performance bells and whistles of the pricier units

    BAD IF: You want something reasonably up to date – it’s been on the market a very long time now


    Price: $1490 / £1029 / €1199
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ XDJ-RR All-In-One Rekordbox DJ System Review
    Buy now: Amazon

Pioneer DJ decks & players

From club standard media players, to turntables, samplers and FX units, Pioneer DJ makes a whole range of modular decks and players designed to plug into its mixers (see later) in order to build a DJ set-up. Here’s the low-down on the current range.

  • CDJ-3000

    These are the media players you’ll find as standard in many clubs and festivals, and which touring DJs expect to find when they rock up to play. The CDJ-3000 is a replacement for the CDJ-2000, itself the standard for the previous half decade.


    GOOD IF: You want the very best – these are truly capable, next gen players

    BAD IF: You’re not rich – because these are very expensive units indeed


    Price: $3999 / £2169 / €2599
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ CDJ-3000 Media Player Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • XDJ-1000MK2

    Pretty old now, the XDJ-1000MK2 is best seen as a poor man’s version of Pioneer DJ’s pro club players (the CDJ-3000 and previous CDJ-2000NXS2), giving you many of the features and feel of those units at a lower price.


    GOOD IF: You really want the club look and feel but can’t afford the higher players

    BAD IF: You want modern features – these are decidedly last-gen tech nowadays


    Price: $2190 / £1159 / €1449
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ XDJ-1000MK2 Media Player Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • XDJ-700

    Even older than the XDJ-1000MK2, these are small, light standalone media players that nonetheless cover the basics.


    GOOD IF: You want a compact, basic Pioneer DJ modular system for use at home or to take with you, say to mobile shows

    BAD IF: You want full-sized jogwheels (the jogs here are shrunken, and more like those you find on smaller DJ controllers), or modern features


    Price: $769 / £649 / €799
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ XDJ-700 Media Player Review
    Buy now: Official website

  • PLX-1000

    Pioneer DJ’s “club standard” turntable, to be seen as its equivalent to the venerable Technics SL1200/1210.


    GOOD IF: You want a pro turntable, but also want the Pioneer DJ brand, maybe to match the rest of your set-up

    BAD IF: You’re looking for any kind of innovation – these don’t do anything that 40-year-old Technics can’t


    Price: $728 / £699 / €789
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ PLX-1000 Turntable Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • PLX-500

    Pioneer DJ’s more affordable turntable, for those who can’t justify the price of the PLX-1000s.


    GOOD IF: You want decks for home use

    BAD IF: You want to play on them in loud, public venues – they’re too lightweight and prone to bass feedback to be recommended for that


    Price: $369 / £349 / €399
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ PLX-500 Turntable Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • DJS-1000

    A specialised sampler that looks a bit like a CDJ deck, designed to integrate into a performance DJ set-up.


    GOOD IF: You play on Pioneer DJ standalone gear, but miss having a sampler (Pioneer DJ standalone systems don’t have a built-in sample player)

    BAD IF: You want to keep things simple – the workflow with the DJS-1000 is quite complex


    Price: $1299 / £1169 / €1329
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DJS-1000 Standalone DJ Sampler Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • RMX-1000

    Slightly different to the other “deck” units here, this is also a standalone sampler, but mainly it’s an effects unit, designed to plug in via the send/return functions of Pioneer DJ’s pro club mixers to add further effects to DJ performances.


    GOOD IF: You want extra cool, standalone effects with a Pioneer DJ pro mixer (or any mixer with a send/return)

    BAD IF: You’re happy with your mixer’s built in effects, because unless you see yourself using the sample function, your mixer can already do lots of this


    Price: $839 / £709 / €749
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer RMX-1000 Controller Review
    Buy now: Official website

Pioneer DJ club mixers

Because Pioneer DJ is a leader in decks and players, you’d expect the company to have a wide range of mixers too – and indeed it does. The first big family of mixers the company sells are its club-style mixers – units designed to pair up with most of the kit described in the previous section. Add a couple of media players (or more) to one of these mixers and you’ve got a full DJ system. Nearly all of these have great sound cards too (some even have Midi), so you can use with Rekordbox and other DJ software.

Read this next: 9 Features To Look Out For On A Typical Club Mixer

  • DJM-A9

    The current “club standard” four-channel mixer in Pioneer DJ’s roster, the DJM-A9 was new in 2023, and improves over the DJM-900NXS2 (the previous club leader) in many ways, not least sound quality. Physically a bit wider than the previous mixer, with controls for two sets of headphones, it has all the features pro DJs expect, and then some.


    GOOD IF: You want the same mixer that you’re going to see at the best clubs and festivals for the next half decade, at least…

    BAD IF: You are expecting a break from the past – this looks and feels just like any Pioneer DJ club mixer (ultimately it’s evolution, not revolution)


    Price: $2799 / £2469 / €2799
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DJM-A9 Mixer Review
    Buy now: Official website

  • DJM-V10/LF

    These two six-channel mixers are equally as “top-of-the-range” as the DJM-A9, but this time, they’re aimed at creative DJ/producer types (think Richie Hawtin et al). The LF variant ditches the crossfader entirely, in favour of even longer channel faders.


    GOOD IF: You want a cutting-edge DJing tool with lots of effects and routing options, particularly to use as part of a “hybrid” DJ/producer set-up

    BAD IF: You just want to mix records, as these would be overkill for that


    Price: $3499 / £2899 / €3379
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DJM-V10 Mixer Review / Pioneer DJ DJM-V10-LF Mixer Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • DJM-750MK2

    A “cut price” club mixer, this has most of the features you’d expect on a DJM-A9, for instance, but at under half the price.


    GOOD IF: You want a mixer that looks and feels like the top club models, but can’t justify spending those prices

    BAD IF: You want all the effects: This misses two Sound Color effects and five Beat FX when compared to the DJM-A9


    Price: $1299 / £1099 / €1349
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DJM-750MK2 Mixer Review
    Buy now: Official website

  • DJM-450

    A cut-down, cheaper two-channel take on the DJM-750MK2, that still has most of the basic features, including an audio interface.


    GOOD IF: You want a simpler, two-channel DJ set-up with the Pioneer club look and feel

    BAD IF: You want a full-sized casing – this is appreciably smaller than a “standard” club mixer


    Price: $769 / £649 / €769
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DJM-450 Mixer Review
    Buy now: Official website

  • DJM-250MK2

    Pioneer DJ’s most basic mixer, yet it still manages to include an audio interface and the familiar club layout of the pricier models.


    GOOD IF: You’re assembling a small DJ set-up that you still want to feel “professional”

    BAD IF: You want effects – all this has are channel filters


    Price: $389 / £349 / €399
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DJM-250MK2 Mixer Review
    Buy now: Official website

Pioneer DJ scratch mixers

A subset of DJ mixers, scratch mixers were originally simple, analogue two-channel mixers with very clean layouts on the bottom third, so scratch DJs could pull tricks using the crossfader without accidentally snagging other buttons.

While retaining that aesthetic, scratch mixers today have developed into a hybrid software controller/mixer format, and are invariably designed to work with Serato DJ, and generally intended to be used with a pair of turntables.

They have Midi controls, include performance pads, they usually have paddles for the effects, and always have a sound card to use with DVS. The now discontinued DJM-S9 was the OG of this modern style.

  • DJM-S11

    The flagship scratch mixer in this line-up, the DJM-S11 fixes all the minor flaws of the much-loved DJM-S9, and adds a wealth of new features, including four-deck control (sort of).


    GOOD IF: You loved the DJM-S9, but also love the idea of screens showing you Serato waveforms right on the mixer

    BAD IF: You don’t need the screens and extra features, in which case you’re spending more for nothing


    Price: $2699 / £1809 / €2149
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DJM-S11 Mixer Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • DJM-S7

    In many ways the natural successor to the DJM-S9, the DJM-S7 has improved pads and pad functions, and better FX control.


    GOOD IF: You loved the DJM-S9, and would just like the same form factor and layout, but with some of the limitations fixed

    BAD IF: You were looking for a bigger leap from the DJM-S9: If that’s you, then look at the DJM-S11 instead


    Price: $1449 / £1399 / €1599
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DJM-S7 Scratch Mixer Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • DJM-S5

    A simple, entry-level scratch mixer that covers all the basics for scratch DJs looking for a pro-feeling, but more affordable mixer.


    GOOD IF: You like the Pioneer basic layout from the DJM-S7 (including paddles), but can’t run to one of the more expensive mixers

    BAD IF: You want eight pads per channel – this only has four


    Price: $839 / £749 / €899
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DJM-S5 Scratch Mixer Review
    Buy now: Amazon

  • DJM-S3

    A bit of an anomaly in this line-up, this is a previous-generation scratch mixer that’s been around for over half a decade, and looks very different from the other scratch mixers here.


    GOOD IF: You want a more conventional-looking, basic mixer to use with turntables and Serato

    BAD IF: You like paddle FX – it doesn’t have either paddles or FX, just per-channel filters


    Price: $719 / £519 / €579
    Our rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    More info: Pioneer DJ DJM-S3 Mixer Review
    Buy now: Amazon

Legacy Pioneer DJ gear

There’s loads of Pioneer DJ gear out there from times gone by, some which only recently have been superseded by other kit. It is often possible to get a bargain, so read on for our tips.

OK to go for

  • DDJ-1000, DDJ-800, DDJ-400 – These are relatively recent Pioneer DJ controllers for Rekordbox that should still work fine, and you can probably find new or in great condition second-hand
  • DDJ-1000SRT, DDJ-SX3, DDJ-SB3 – Again, these are relatively recent controllers, this time for Serato, that you may find new or in good condition second-hand
  • CDJ-2000NXS/NXS2, DJM-900NXS2, DJM-S9 – These were flagship products until replaced relatively recently, and you’ll still find them out there to buy new, and in use in venues etc. Buy and use with confidence
  • XDJ-RX2 – Still a decent standalone that you may be able to get cheaper than the XDJ-RX3

Be cautious

  • Older controllers – The issue with older controllers is software support. While many more recent models are probably fine, just make sure they unlock and are still supported by your software of choice (there are too many models to list here, but the Digital DJ Tips reviews all have “launched” month/year listed so you can see how old they are)


  • Very old controllers – You’d be buying second-hand, they may have had multiple owners, and if you do buy, you must make sure you get a software licence for Rekordbox if appropriate with the unit (older gear didn’t “unlock” Rekordbox as newer gear does upon plugging in), which it is often not possible to get

DJ like a pro using ANY gear: The Complete DJ Course


Many DJs decide instinctively they want to go for Pioneer DJ – they see their DJ heroes playing on Pioneer kit, and really, they’ve made their minds up before they even start looking. That’s great, but just bear in mind that you may feel that way partly because Pioneer DJ has done a great job with its marketing!

There are other brands (a big competitor is Denon DJ) that may well offer you more for less, so take the time to look at competitor products and of course, use our reviews to compare.

Get your free download: The Digital DJ Gear Buyer’s Guide

Ultimately and very generally, people who want to play in clubs tend to go for Pioneer DJ gear as it is an easier progression, while mobile DJs or hobby DJs (who know they’ll always be using their own gear when playing) find they have a wider choice; some of this group of DJs decide to take advantage of the better value often offered by other brands.

Whichever way you go, hopefully our guide has helped you to understand Pioneer DJ’s approach to DJing and the DJ hardware/software world. But if you have any questions, feel free to ask them below – our team will be more than happy to help.

Last updated 3 April, 2023


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