The XDJ-RR is a two-channel standalone all-in-one system that’s compatible with Rekordbox. It’s basically a pared down XDJ-RX2, and despite the cut in performance controls (eg four performance pads, no touchscreen) this is still a capable standalone device, and is more than enough for its intended market of bedroom DJs looking to practice spinning on a standalone set-up that mirrors the layout of CDJ/DJM club gear. A great (if pricey) option for beginners who want the best of both CDJ / XDJ standalone operation and laptop / Rekordbox DJ-compatibility.
First Impressions / Setting up
Vinyl, USB sticks, DVS, CDs, controllers… increasingly, DJs can use whatever they want in the booth. This is the “post-format” landscape that Pioneer DJ is releasing its latest XDJ-RR standalone Rekordbox system into. It’s basically a pared down XDJ-RX2: it’s got jogwheels that don’t have centre ring lights, and fewer performance pads and onboard effects. It’s got a seven-inch display, twin USB sockets and rear USB jack, so this still is a capable standalone device.
There are 1/4” and 1/8” headphone jacks in front of the unit, and the rear has a pair of XLR and RCA master outputs, an RCA aux input and a 1/4” mic input, and a USB jack for plugging in your laptop should you wish to spin with Rekordbox DJ.
The face of the unit has a seven-inch screen similar to the one found on the XDJ-RX2, but it isn’t touchscreen. The Browse knob and controls for it also make it to the XDJ-RR, undoubtedly to help ease the new DJ into using the “scroll and click” system of Pioneer DJ’s CDJ2000NXS2 players.
It’s got a two-channel mixer onboard with three-band EQs and a Sound Color FX knob, and there are four Sound Color FX onboard: Filter, Noise, Dub Echo, Pitch. It’s also got three Beat FX onboard (Echo, Reverb, Flanger) that are accessible via the Beat FX section beside the mixer.
Each of the two channels has a jogwheel, four performance pad buttons, and looping controls similar to those found on the XDJ-RX2.
I exported some music onto a thumb drive with Rekordbox, plugged my speakers and headphones to the XDJ-RR and got to work.
Jogwheels and mixer
The jogwheels on the XDJ-RR are solid and responsive as you would expect on a modern Pioneer DJ controller. It lacks the LED lights of the XDJ-RX2, but that’s not such a dealbreaker especially since you’ve got a high-resolution screen sitting atop the unit anyway.
The performance pads are backlit (but they only have one colour: blue) and are small click buttons instead of rubberised pads – the response is not as lighting fast as the pads on the XDJ-RX2 because of the “button travel”, but they’re still good for pad drumming and cue juggling.
The mixer’s controls work as you expect, and the knobs and faders feel solid. You can adjust the crossfader curve in Rekordbox DJ (if you’re spinning with a laptop) or in the settings menu of the XDJ-RR. It also comes with a microphone section on the upper left of the unit which has level, high and low EQ controls.
The XDJ-RR has a high-resolution seven-inch screen that will be familiar to those who have used CDJs or XDJ media players as well as the XDJ-RX2 and XDJ-RX systems, albeit without touch capability. That’s both good and bad: good because you’re using more or less the same interface found on just about every other DJ booth in the world, and bad because apart from it not being touch-sensitive, it’s just a bit behind in terms of refresh rate, frame rate, and resolution.
This means you’ve got to use the Browse knob and load buttons to put tracks into the decks, which can be a bit cumbersome if you’ve got a large library or you haven’t organised your music into playlists.
The XDJ-RR comes with two USB-A slots on the face of the unit. You can load two USB drives and play music off of them (great for DJ switchovers or B2B sets) or you can set one USB to record music coming out of the master outputs. This is a blessing for newer DJs who want to be able to easily record their mixes so they can listen back to their sets for feedback, as well as for seasoned veterans who want a simple solution for creating mixtapes that they can then upload to services like Mixcloud.
The biggest draw of the XDJ-RR is its ability to be used standalone without a computer, but it’s also capable of being used with a laptop running Rekordbox DJ. That makes it a versatile playback solution that beginner DJs can use to familiarise themselves with both spinning with and without a computer, exposing them to the best of both digital DJ worlds. If phono inputs were added to the two mixer channels and DVS was implemented, this would be a killer set-up for all kinds of DJs who want to be able to experiment DJing on different mediums to find which one suits them best.
While the touchscreen and some performance controls didn’t make the cut from the XDJ-RX2, there’s certainly more than enough on the XDJ-RR for its intended market of bedroom DJs looking to practice spinning on a standalone set-up that mirrors the layout of CDJ/DJM club gear. A great (if pricey) option for beginners who want the best of both CDJ / XDJ standalone operation and laptop / Rekordbox DJ-compatibility.