6 Best Standalone DJ Systems For 2023

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 7 mins
Last updated 30 July, 2023

While most DJs use controllers with laptops, a growing number of them – from hobbyists to mobile to “pro” DJs wanting a second system to use at home – are nowadays using “standalone” DJ systems instead.

What we’re talking about here is the kind of “all in one” DJ units that look like DJ controllers (indeed, some such units also are), but that don’t require you to plug in a laptop to use them.

The advantages of standalone

Standalone DJ systems are hugely appealing to DJs who just don’t want to rely on a laptop controlling everything when they’re DJing. Maybe you think it looks a bit naff to be DJing using a laptop. Or maybe you want to also use standalone club gear when you’re DJing out and about, and want to have a similar type of set-up at home.

Read this next: Playing Your First Gig On A Standalone DJ Console

One reason standalone systems are getting more popular is that they’re getting really powerful. Indeed, they’re starting to feel as if they’ve basically got a computer embedded in them – which is because really, they have!

Touchscreens, great graphics, smooth animation, powerful DJ features like stems and samplers, built-in music streaming and cloud services… the best of the current crop of standalone, all-in-one DJ systems can give you all of this – and not a laptop in sight.

In this roundup, we list our favourites for 2023.

Why should I trust you?

If you’ve got here via Google, you should know that here at Digital DJ Tips, we are the world’s leading DJ school. We know and use this gear, both for ourselves and our students.

Each of the pieces of gear below has a link to a full written review and also a review video. And if you have any questions, please ask in the comments – we would be happy to help you. You’re in the right place for genuine, knowledgeable help and advice in choosing.

6 Best Standalone DJ Systems 2023

1. Denon DJ Prime 4+

What you lose in “industry standard” layout and looks, you gain in power and cutting-edge features with Denon DJ’s flagship all-in-one – this is undoubtedly the most technologically advanced unit here. Powered by Engine DJ software for preparing your music and making playlists, this unit is true four-channel standalone, and has built-in WiFi/Ethernet for over-the-air access to streaming services, giving you millions of tunes at your fingertips.

It can be expanded into a true four-deck set-up with the addition of two of Denon DJ’s LC6000 deck controllers. Its embedded software is very powerful with a sampler and even stems, and you can control home smart lights directly from it, and DJ lighting too via SoundSwitch, a next-gen lighting control system that’s built-in. Cheekily it will even read and play from Pioneer DJ’s Rekordbox-analysed collections on USB!

With Serato support – should you want to use it with a DJ software package – the Prime 4+ offers great “bang for your buck”. It will be a natural choice for many, not least those who don’t care about “club standard” gear or who want an alternative to the all-dominating Pioneer DJ brand.

All of that said, apart from a cosmetic update over the Prime 4 that came before it, all it offers extra is Amazon music streaming and – for now – that stems feature we mentioned, although we expect stems to come to most Engine DJ-powered gear soon enough.

Price: $2199 / £2299 / €2599
Our review: Denon DJ Prime 4+
Buy now: Amazon

2. Pioneer DJ Opus Quad

When everyone thought Pioneer DJ would update the XDJ-XZ (see the end of this roundup for that unit), which is powerful in some ways but lagging nowadays in others, they instead launched a completely new product, the Opus Quad.

With its striking design (think stylish furniture piece meets Atari console), huge screen (think Tesla car) and next-gen internals (think CDJ-3000), the Opus Quad offers a new take on standalone DJing from Pioneer DJ.

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It’s powerful (this is the company’s first true four-channel standalone), imposing, and undeniably pricey – but you’re getting a DJ system that has the potential to compete with the best here, because unlike with previous standalones from this brand, the Opus Quad has computer-based embedded tech which is easy for the company to add features to. It already has CloudPlayDirect added since launch (so you can stream your own music to it over Dropbox), and as the CDJ-3000 club players get new features, we expect them to appear here too.

That said, its refreshing take on the way Pioneer DJ does things traditionally, does mean it certainly isn’t the XDJ-XZ2 many DJs were hoping for – instead it’s probably best seen as the start of a whole new product range. And as it stands, it is still less able than the Denon DJ Prime 4+.

Price: $3199 / £2899 / €3299
Our review: Pioneer DJ Opus Quad
Buy now: Official website

3. Numark Mixstream Pro Go

Another Engine DJ-powered unit, this great value two-channel DJ system has the same software inside as the Prime 4+, giving all the same benefits (minus stems currently, but we predict that is coming). A surprising pair of tricks it has up its sleeve are a built-in battery and a pair of built-in speakers. You’re not going to rock any parties with the speakers, but they’re actually pretty good for the size, and along with the battery make it that bit easier to get practising anywhere.

What’s really special about the Numark Mixstream Pro Go is that it brings high quality standalone DJing down to a price point unheard of until now. All of the systems here will cost you well north of $1000, some a LOT more, yet here we have a perfectly capable standalone system (mic input, USB/SD card source choices, booth and balanced master outputs, some on-board effects) for well under that price.

Read this next: What DJ Gear Is Worth Spending Extra Money On?

This unit is really meant for consumer use, but we can see it sneaking into a few mobile DJ’s kit lists, and not always as a second, back-up device either. I recently saw it in use in the club on a Mediterranean ferry for instance, so pros are loving this too.

Look at the Mixstream Pro+ too if you don’t need the battery – it’s otherwise exactly the same unit.

Price: $839 / £780 / €900
Our review: Numark Mixstream Pro Go
Buy now: Amazon

4. Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3

This isn’t the most powerful unit here, and it’s not the most innovative. But the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3 has turned out to be hugely popular, presumably because for many DJs, it has all they will ever need, and comes from undoubtedly the leading brand in the DJ booth.

The XDJ-RX3 is the third iteration of the XDJ-RX range, and sports a 10″ screen, much improved on the previous models (and, indeed, on the otherwise more “pro” XDJ-XZ). It is also appreciably faster. As with all Pioneer’s DJ gear, it is Rekordbox-powered, meaning you prep all your music using Rekordbox software (free) on your laptop first.

Doing so gets you on-screen waveforms, musical key info and BPM info, lets you use sync and beatmatched effects, and also gives you the chance to add cues and loops and build playlists before your sets.

The XDJ-RX3 looks and feels like “club gear” (albeit with smaller jogwheels than pro gear), and for a relatively simple two-channel DJ system, it does the basics very well. All that’s sadly missing from a performance point of view for us is key shift/key sync.

With booth and master outputs including balanced, two mic inputs, and the ability to act as a standalone mixer for record decks or CDJs, it would be just as at home in the club as in the bedroom – and it even works as a controller with Serato, Rekordbox and VirtualDJ software too. All of this explains why it is so popular – indeed in many smaller venues in the UK at least, nowadays this seems to be the de facto DJ console provided.

Price: $2099 / £1699 / €2049
Our review: Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3
Buy now: Amazon

5. Denon DJ SC Live 4

Bit of a strange one this, because until now Denon DJ has been known for pro-quality gear that favours mobile DJs, yet the SC Live 4 comes in both price and features-wise below that bar.

It sits somewhere above Numark (a sister brand – see the Mixstream Pro Go above), though, because it has most of the controls of the Prime 4+ to which it appears superficially similar – yet it also has built-in speakers and a plastic build like the Mixstream Pro Go.

Also, unlike Denon DJ’s other Prime gear, this is strictly software control (there are no external inputs except mic), and it lacks many of the other pro features, including an Ethernet port, making it WiFi only. It also has a disappointingly small 7″ screen.

But if you look at the Prime 4+ and decide you can’t afford it (yet want more control than that offered by Numark’s Mixstream Pro units), this gives you pretty much the full four-channel Engine DJ experience at a far lower price. We think livestreamers, serious hobby DJs and people who play out occasionally may well find the SC Live 4 (and its two-channel little sister the SC Live 2) hits their sweet spot.

Price: $1299 / £1129 / €1299
Our review: Denon DJ SC Live 4
Buy now: Amazon

6. Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ

Out of all the units here, the four-channel Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ is the one that looks and feels most like a “pro” Pioneer club set-up. That means it is large, almost too large. You get full-sized jogwheels just like on Pioneer DJ’s CDJ-3000, a full-sized mixer similar at first glance like the Pioneer DJ DJM-A9, and a whole raft of pro inputs and outputs.

It also has Pro DJ Link, meaning you can integrate extra decks properly. They’d have to be full-priced CDJ decks though (not cheaper “controller” decks like with the Prime 4+), as otherwise this is a two-channel standalone unit, despite having four physical channels.

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All that said, it actually is slower and has a worse screen than the other Pioneer DJ units in this roundup, the newer XDJ-RX3 and the next-gen Opus Quad. So unless you’re looking for that Pro DJ Link integration, or really want the bulky, full-sized look in an all-in-one, for most DJs the XDJ-RX3 or the Opus Quad are probably better bets.

That said, the XDJ-XZ also works well as a four-channel software controller with Serato, Rekordbox and VirtualDJ, which does make it super-flexible.

Price: $2999 / £2049 / €2459
Our review: Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ
Buy now: Amazon

Rekordbox vs Engine DJ

Engine DJ powers not only the original Denon DJ Prime 4 (pictured), but the revamped Prime 4+, Numark Mixstream Pro and the Denon DJ SC Live 4 in our list.

So you’ve hopefully figured out that you do still need software to prepare your music. You 100% need it on the Pioneer units, and while the Numark and Denon DJ units can cope with you just adding music files unprepared, they still work better if you do the preparation beforehand.

Rekordbox, the software you need to prep music for Pioneer DJ’s gear, is also fully fledged “laptop” DJ software, whereas the newer Engine DJ software (for prepping for Denon DJ and Numark standalones) is just for that – no laptop DJ element at all. Even so, Rekordbox is the better of the two packages, although Engine DJ is improving reasonably rapidly.

Therefore if you want to DJ with both a DJ controller/laptop and have a standalone option too, Rekordbox is probably the better bet, as the same software does both. That said, Engine DJ plays much more nicely with Serato and Rekordbox, happily working with libraries from both of those systems – something that can’t be said about Rekordbox.


Standalone DJing is certainly coming of age. Ironically, this is the way it’s usually done in clubs, and has been for decades, albeit with club “separates” – but club gear has also always felt woefully underpowered against software and controllers, something that is now changing.

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

As the worlds of standalone gear and laptop DJing move closer in feature sets, we can only see standalone gear becoming more and more popular. Hopefully our guide has helped you to decide if now might be the time to leap – and if so, what to leap to! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.

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