• Price: $3199 / £2899 / €3299
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Pioneer DJ Opus Quad Review

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 9 mins
Last updated 26 July, 2023

The Lowdown

The Pioneer DJ Opus Quad is the four-channel, modern standalone all-in-one DJ system we’ve been waiting for Pioneer DJ to release for years – ever since Denon DJ launched the Prime 4, in fact. With decent screens, a powerful CPU, on-board track analysis, streaming services, and some innovative DJ features not found elsewhere, it will appeal particularly to mobile and event DJs – especially with its original design, that is almost furniture-esque. It clearly marks the start of a new product line for Pioneer DJ, breaking from the club gear feature set and aesthetic. It’s bloody expensive, though…

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Video Review

First Impressions / Setting up

This was a real surprise to unbox. It looks totally different to any previous Pioneer DJ gear, and (while of course these things are subjective), it is stylish in a way not normally associated with this type of kit – it’s all curves and angles. With brown edges (they aren’t as “wooden” in real life, as they look in pictures – they’re brown plastic) and brass-effect edging to some of its knobs, plus an orange/dark grey overall look, it has the vibe of a bit of furniture as much as a DJ unit.

The unit is “wedge” shaped, so although it is heavy, it looks less bulky than it is: Think the way Apple iMacs disguise their bulk. It has a fixed 10.1″ touchscreen in the middle, angled up a little more, and two auxiliary screens, one above each of the jogwheels. The jogwheels are borrowed directly from the CDJ-3000s, albeit with a bit of a re-style, and you’ll also find the CDJ-3000 hotcues in a single row of eight, above each jogwheel.

With its curves and “wedge” shape, the unit is very different to other DJ gear, and feels a bit like DJing from a cockpit!

While many of the rest of the controls will seem familiar to anyone who’s used Pioneer (or indeed, any) DJ gear before, you can tell that Pioneer DJ’s designers have been freed to innovate much more than on the CDJ/XDJ/DDJ club-focused equipment. Things like the rubberised knobs, rotary encoder beat looping, and a new joystick-style library control all point to this being the start of a new product line, aimed not so much at the club as at the mobile DJ – or at smaller, non-club venues such as bars, lounges, and so on.

Mix YOUR music the modern way at mobile gigs: Mixing For Mobile & Wedding DJs

We are reviewing a very early version of this here: At the time of writing, the on-board track analysis, streaming services and other things are due imminently but not quite here yet, so take this as our “first” review. The main point though, is that as this has a CPU in it (ie it’s basically a computer), adding those things is as simple as a firmware upgrade.

So to set up, in time-honoured fashion, we exported some music from Rekordbox to USB; we didn’t even have time to install the beta Rekordbox to use the playlist functions, but nonetheless we got enough of a feel for the unit to give you all you need to know to decide if it’s for you, including looking at some really nice new features. Just bear in mind that you’ll have to prep your music in Rekordbox to use waveforms, sync etc, as the on-board analysis isn’t quite ready.

Right: Music inserted into one of the three USB slots, let’s see what we’ve got here.

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In Use

The screens

One of the first things you notice about this unit is the screens. The main screen is a 10.1″ touchscreen, proper glass top, just like an iPad, basically. It’s about time – Pioneer DJ has told us their screens are the best for DJing for years, but they weren’t, until now – this, though, is. This is high-res, very responsive, and a joy to use.

The screen carries a wealth of information, as you can see in the accompanying video, and as we’ll describe in a bit more detail as this review continues, but suffice to say it is smooth scrolling, and we love it when seen against the jerky, low-res screens on some previous all-in-one standalones. It’s right up there with the Denon DJ Prime 4.

Read this next: Pioneer DJ Opus Quad Vs Denon DJ Prime 4 – The Key Differences

Here’s a first peek at how Serato will use the Opus Quad’s screens – Serato compatibility is coming in summer 2023.

But it’s not only about that one screen. There is also a pair of auxiliary screens, one above each of the jogwheels. These are more old school, slightly less high res and with the more usual Pioneer DJ plastic tops (also they’re not touchscreens), but nonetheless, they also look good: These are where you’ll find things like time elapsed/remaining, artwork, BPM and key info, loop info and so on. In other words, the stuff that often appears on the in-jog displays on DJ gear.

Pioneer DJ tells us that it thinks such info is better suited to rectangular displays, and so this decision frees up the in-jog displays for transport info, making the jogwheels appear pretty minimal and elegant. Five screens overall!

Next-gen CPU tech

Of course, all of this is possible because the unit is powered by “next-gen” CPU tech. A built-in computer, in other words – just like the Engine DJ-powered Denon DJ Prime 4, Prime 2, SC6000, SC Live 4 and 2, and the Numark Mixstreams, basically. That is the really big leap here for Pioneer DJ.

Not only does this finally bring Pioneer DJ into line with the Engine DJ-powered rival gear, but Pioneer DJ says it actually surpasses that gear, with the most powerful CPU ever built into a standalone DJ console.

Inputs and outputs

As you’d expect from a DJ system aimed at pro mobile DJs primarily, it has a wealth of inputs and outputs. You get two mic channels (each with three-band EQ, feedback cancelling, comprehensive routing), line/phono inputs (only on channels 3 and 4, mind), XLR & RCA master outs, TRS booth out, and a Zone output to play completely different music through channel 3 or 4 than the main room – good for providing music in an adjacent bar while DJing a dancefloor, for instance.

Good to see that the unit has an IEC power input, a pro feature that we expect to see at this price point, but that Pioneer DJ has not always done in the past.

The addition of Bluetooth as an input option makes this especially useful, and also offers an easy backup option, typically via a phone.

There are multiple USBs for music input (three USB-As, one of which is USB 3 and so well suited to an SSD), and also a USB-C for plugging in a computer. Yes, this unit also works as a DJ controller, and we’re going to presume will work with Rekordbox Link, wired and unwired – because it also has WiFi.

This WiFi means that it can access your music library via Dropbox, too, if you subscribe to the Rekordbox Creative or Pro plans.

Using with streaming services and DJ software

While not enabled at launch, Pioneer DJ says streaming services are coming to this unit, so we’ll guess Beatport, Beatsource, TIDAL and Soundcloud will all be incorporated as music sources soon enough.

Of course, you could use those services right now by plugging in your laptop – it works with Rekordbox at launch, with Serato following in summer 2023, both of which already have streaming services built in. Note that Serato, while unlocked, doesn’t contain the (to our mind, essential) Pitch ‘n Time key shift/sync Expansion Pack – it will cost you several hundred extra dollars to add this. Sort it out please, Serato – in 2023, key shifting is not an optional feature in pro DJ software!

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Loading and playing music

The way playlists and folders/files work is similar to any Rekordbox system, and looks the same, too – although we didn’t see Track Filter. (We may have missed it, this really is a rushed review of an early version of the whole system, and when all the features are fully implemented, we will be returning to this). We hope it’s included somewhere, as it’s a great feature of the CDJ-3000s.

As this is a four-channel (yay!) Pioneer DJ standalone, there are layer buttons so you can choose to load to one of two decks on each “side” of the unit. The decks change colour to show you what you’re focused on, and the colours out-of-the-box are orange and white, although you can choose different ones in the settings.

The screen is smooth scrolling, full of detail, and makes this a joy to DJ on.

Actually DJing is a breeze on this, with the big, mechanical-feel jogs as per the CDJ-3000s, the eight brightly-lit hotcues, the modern-style (ie rotary) beat loop controls, and modern features such as beat jump, key sync, beat sync/quantise, big tempo faders, and “slip reverse” (ie censor) – no slip control, though.

The mixer has three-band EQ with isolator EQ as an option, plus exactly the same Color FX as per the top-end Pioneer mixers, and of course there are great VU meters (in natty orange and white colours).

Revised Beat FX, with X/Y control

While the Beat FX (left-hand side of the mixer) hold no surprises, the Color FX have had a bit of a rerub.

To start with, there’s an infinity encoder to select them, that is intentionally quite stiff: It brings up an effects menu on the screen to choose the effect you want. Tap the Beat FX buton to the left of the main screen, and you get the next major new feature: An X/Y on-screen window that you can control the effect with, with your finger. Touch and move left/right to control the main effect parameter, move up and down to add filter (plus an additional filter, reverb, or echo, via extra onscreen buttons).

It’s a straight borrow from Algoriddim’s djay Pro AI iPad software, and works great – a wonderful way to be more expressive with the Beat FX.

The X/Y screen “pad” is such a cool way of combining your effect with filter – and then some. We loved it.

Additional screen controls

Such a big screen means that Pioneer DJ has had to opportunity to push a lot of functions onto it, for instance:

  • Input matrix – Selecting the inputs for decks 3 and 4 (line, phono, Bluetooth, internal)
  • Crossfader assign – All four channels can be assigned from the screen to A or B
  • Key shifting – Key sync is on hardware, but key shift is via the screen, similar to the CDJ-3000s
  • Fader controls – Crossfader curve, upfader curve etc
  • Output assign – Booth, zone etc assign, attenuation etc, plus mic routing
  • Unit appearance controls – Deck colours, waveform displays etc
  • A Utility menu contains a comprehensive set of tweaks – We go through it in the accompanying video

Major new feature 1: Smooth Echo

“Echo Out” is such a big effect nowadays for open format, mobile, and wedding DJs, and Smooth Echo is auto echo out, promoted to its own prominent knob and on/off button just to the left of the main screen.

I demo it in the video: Basically, it stays out of the way until you stop a track or crossfade away from it (or other, selectable options), and when you do, a beat echo sounds on the outgoing track, giving you a nice finish so you can drop something else in. It can be set not to trigger when cutting, only when you actually finish playing a track for real, too.

Pioneer DJ has done a really nice job implementing the Smooth Echo feature, and we think open format, wedding, and mobile DJs will find it especially useful.

It’s great to see Pioneer DJ realising this is of use to more DJs than just scratch DJs, which is the scene this was developed originally for, only appearing up until now on the DJM-S11 scratch mixer.

Major new feature 2: “Hot cue to temporary cue”

This one is cool, too. Basically, when you press a hot cue, the temporary cue point is moved to that hot cue if you wish (it’s an option), meaning you can then control the track with the temporary cue button (the big one by the play/pause button). Neatly, the temporary cue changes colour to match the selected hot cue colour, too.

This could be useful as the cues behave differently: The temporary cue always plays only when held (you need to tap the “play” button with it held to continue track play), while the hot cue buttons are the opposite – they always play when touched, even if the track is paused.

So this means DJs can now control their tracks from any chosen cue point in one of two ways – a first for Pioneer DJ standalone gear. If you don’t really use the temparary cue button, this feature may well get you using it.

Sound quality

Pioneer DJ says this unit now has the ESS 32-bit audio chip in it that is found in the DJM-V10 and DJM-A9 mixers, which is a big leap ahead of previous standalone kit. Audio sounded sweet to us: Crisp and full.

Again, we haven’t lived with this unit – we had a single working day to prep our written and video review, so this is very much a first “hands on” review – we’ll revisit with our considered thoughts when we’ve lived with the unit for a few months.


Having played with this for merely a day, we can tell you for sure that it is an impressive DJ system. It is powerful, smooth, sounds great, feels good to DJ on thanks to the pro controls and wonderful screens, and has enough innovation to make it feel different to anything else out there.

Two things are particularly interesting. One, it is without doubt a new product line for Pioneer DJ, aimed primarily at mobile DJs, and so gunning directly for Denon DJ and the Prime 4 in particular. Pioneer DJ’s designers have been cut loose from the constraints of its club gear lines, and it shows. This is stylish (assuming you like the look) and visually a real break from previous gear.

Mix YOUR music the modern way at mobile gigs: Mixing For Mobile & Wedding DJs

The unit is gunning for the mobile DJ market, in a way Pioneer DJ has not specifically done – at least like this – before.

Two, Pioneer DJ has finally arrived in the embedded DJ software world with a standalone unit. Previous Pioneer DJ standalone gear did not have proper CPU architecture. All Engine DJ (Denon, Numark standalone) gear has had for years, which is why that range of gear has been streets ahead of even the most powerful Pioneer DJ standalones for a long time. But with the Opus Quad, Pioneer DJ has the (presumed) start of a line of gear that does, too.

Sure, this doesn’t yet have everything the Engine DJ line has got – no lighting control or sampler, notably. But it does have most of it (at least, promised as imminent – forgivable as long as it arrives soon enough). The Opus Quad is therefore finally a real competitor for the Prime 4 for mobile DJs.

But boy, is it pricey! Around three grand is a lot of money to pay, even if it is considerably cheaper than two CDJ-3000s and a DJM-A9. It’s plenty more than a Prime 4, for instance. Also, it remains to be seen how nimble and fast Pioneer DJ will be with software development – something Engine DJ has been very good at (that sampler I mentioned a second ago was added just recently, for instance).

Get your FREE Pioneer DJ Opus Quad Feature Comparison Chart.

See how this innovative unit stacks up against the competition in its class with this handy chart comparing all the key features. Click here to get your chart now.

The closest competitor for this is Denon DJ’s Prime 4. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Opus Quad comes in a lot more expensive than the Prime 4 though, and the Prime 4 can currently do a bit more. Therefore it remains to be seen how well the Opus Quad will compete.

Is it for you?

I predict that one look will tell you if you want the Opus Quad. If you can afford it, and you want a serious home DJ system, a statement centrepiece for your mobile DJ set-up, or you run a trendy bar/lounge/venue where the DJ gear is on show and needs to look good, this will be right up there on your list.

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What remains to be seen is how quickly Pioneer DJ delivers on the software front – and whether (if we’re right, and this is the start of a new product line), there will be more affordable units down the line.

But has Pioneer DJ finally launched a standalone unit that can compete in the modern world? Absolutely. Game on.

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