The Numark DJ2GO2 is a decent and affordable controller for beginners and pros who need a backup for gigs. Its tiny footprint means you can stash this in rucksack for DJing on the go – it’s even small enough to sit on top of your laptop. Lack of EQs and a jogwheel “scratch” feature rub half a star from its rating, but at this size and price, we really can’t complain. If you spin or want to spin with Serato DJ or Virtual DJ, go get it. This one’s going to be popular, for sure.
First Impressions / Setting up
The Numark DJ2GO2 is the successor to the DJ2GO, one of Numark’s best-selling controllers. Gone are the garish finish and toy-like buttons – in their place is a sleek new design and layout that looks more serious, though you won’t be confusing it with a professional controller by any means.
It’s a tiny two-channel controller – small enough to sit on top of your laptop’s trackpad / wrist pad area. Each channel has a small jogwheel, sync, cue and play/pause buttons, a volume knob, a pitch fader for beatmatching, and four performance buttons with four selectable modes: Cues, Auto Loop, Manual Loop and Sampler.
Other controls include a crossfader that sits in the middle of the unit, master and cue volume knobs, and a big browse knob with deck load buttons.
It comes with its own sound card onboard: the sides have a 1/8″ master output jack, a 1/8″ headphone jack and a mini-USB jack. All leads come in the box. The Numark DJ2GO2 also ships with a copy of Serato DJ Intro, which is the “lite” version of Serato DJ. As of this writing, it also works with Virtual DJ 8.
I plugged the DJ2GO2, fired up Serato DJ Intro and got to work.
The DJ2GO2’s jogwheels are used for scrubbing through a track and for pitch bends during manual beatmatching. You may think you can scratch on it, but you can’t: It doesn’t have a “vinyl” or “scratch” mode, so that means that whenever you spin the jogs while a track is playing, you’re only able to speed up or slow down the track. Bit of a bummer for scratch DJs looking to get this for their set-up.
That said, the jogs are responsive and useful when doing manual beatmixing, and you get used to their size quickly.
There are four performance pad buttons per deck, and they have four pad modes: Cues let you set hot cues in Serato DJ, Auto and Manual loop let you set loop in and loop out points, and Sampler lets you trigger sounds from Serato DJ’s sample banks.
They’re clicky buttons and not the soft rubber pads that tend to show up on DJ controllers these days. They’re fairly usable, just don’t expect to do any lighting-fast quick cue juggles or finger drumming here.
There are short-throw pitch faders on the DJ2GO2, and that means you can perform beatmixes without reaching for the sync button. This is great news for DJs who would rather perform manual beatmatching, especially for beginners who would like to learn how to do so (which we always recommend). If you’re coming from full-size media players like CDJs or bigger controllers, the tiny jogs take some getting used to and you may find yourself overshooting your pitch bends, but you get used to it quickly.
Without a doubt this is the strongest suit of the DJ2GO2. Its tiny footprint means you can take this anywhere with you, and I’ve done just that in my past Europe trip. I always travel with a laptop and headphones for work anyway, so I threw this in my DJ bag along with a Minirig Mini speaker. This combo let me spin in hotel balconies with awesome views (makes for great social media content) and even in airport departure gates for layovers that are the travelling DJ’s equivalent of watching paint dry.
It’s for this reason that I think all DJs should have this – in my nine-day trip I was able to film, live stream, and record a month’s worth of DJ sets and performances. Not bad for a controller that probably costs less than a weekend out.
The Numark DJ2GO2 is the best portable controller you can buy at this price range. It’s small, it works with Serato DJ, and is dirt cheap. If you’re a beginner who wants to try DJing but you don’t have a lot of cash to spend, this is a solid starting point.
If you’ve already got a DJ controller or you spin at clubs with media players but you’re looking for a backup device, this one fits the bill as well. The only downsides are the lack of EQs and jogwheel scratch mode, but again you’re getting so much for a small spend. Highly recommended.