Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3 Launched With Huge Touchscreen & Serato Support

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 3 mins
Last updated 15 November, 2021

Pioneer DJ has today announced the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3, a direct replacement for the popular XDJ-RX2 standalone DJ system, featuring a bigger, faster-updating 10.1″ touchscreen, functions inherited from the company’s flagship CDJ-3000 and DJM-900NXS2 products, some new features all of its own – and Serato DJ Pro compatibility.

Aimed at DJs who want a portable system to use at parties and events, or who want something that feels close to using a “full” Pioneer DJ set-up for practising on at home, the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3 is also likely to appeal to small bars and lounges who for whatever reason can’t, or don’t want to, install a full “pro” system.

Go here next: Our FULL Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3 review & video

Like the XDJ-RX2 before it, the XDJ-RX3 can play Rekordbox-analysed tracks from USB drives, or via a connected laptop. It works with Rekordbox DJ software at launch (the unit unlocks the Core version of Rekordbox), with Serato DJ Pro support promised for “early 2022”.

From the flagship Pioneer DJ CDJ-3000 media players, the XDJ-RX3 gets the physical library browse section, three-colour waveforms showing different musical frequencies, and the welcome addition of illumination behind the transport controls. There are also in-jog displays, and jogwheel feeling adjust knobs.

From the DJM-900NXS2 mixer, the XDJ-RX3 gets all six Sound Color FX and all 14 Beat FX – a substantial leap over the XDJ-RX2. With the Beat FX, you can now not only store four of your favourites in a quick-access “Beat FX Bank”, but also manipulate them further with an on-screen “X pad”.

Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3 top
The larger touchscreen, and CDJ-3000 library controls stand out on the new unit, which also gets in-jog displays.

Other features getting a first outing on the XDJ-RX3 include:

  • A new Playlist Bank, that lets you switch rapidly between four favourite playlists
  • Touch Preview, that lets you quickly listen to a track without loading it
  • Eight pad-located Release FX that give new options for quick DJ transitions
  • A new on-screen Remain Timer, designed to help DJs time their sets more easily without having to constantly whip their phones out!
  • An X-Pad on screen for manipulating FX – a first for a standalone unit
  • An on-screen pad mode display – a simple but useful usability fix that should mean fewer performance pad “errors” when DJing

From the original XDJ-RX2, on which it is heavily based, the XDJ-RX3 inherits the two mic inputs, two line/phono inputs, master and booth outputs, balanced XLR outputs, and the same overall sound quality (although Pioneer DJ says the latter has been tuned to give the unit a slightly less “harsh” music fingerprint).

• The Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3 is available now, priced at £1699/€1999/$1999.

First thoughts

The outgoing XDJ-RX2 is a hugely popular system. The XDJ-RX3 will be seen by many as a welcome update to the XDJ-RX2’s spec as far as touchscreen/library, vastly improved speed of loading tracks/cue points, and “trickle down” features from the flagship devices are concerned.

It inherits what DJs loved about the previous system, retaining both the practical size and the proven build quality and reliability, and the addition of Serato DJ Pro compatibility is smart – people do value having as many ways to use hardware as possible nowadays.

However the lack of key sync is a curious omission on a 2021 standalone unit, and possibly points to limitations of processor power – something that may also hinder further improvements with firmware down the line – a possibility that particularly excites us with the flagship CDJ-3000 players.

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Ultimately, this is an XDJ-RX “three”, an upgrade to an existing, popular design, that brings many improvements and a handful of new features too, but which is built to serve the same market niche that the XDJ-RX2 did – Pioneer DJ tells us that the feature set here is what it believes will be most important to that audience, while keeping the unit in the sub-$2000 price bracket.

But the market has moved on a lot since the XDJ-RX2 was launched. With standalone DJ systems from $600 that have more power on-board than this, and so can offer things like in-built music streaming services and indeed the aforementioned key lock/sync, we suspect that for many, the XDJ-RX3 won’t be quite the standalone next-gen DJ system from Pioneer DJ they will have been hoping for. Nonetheless when viewed against the XDJ-RX2, it is a clear improvement.

• Want our honest thoughts about this unit? Go to our full Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3 review and video.

Digital DJ Lab