The RMX-44BT is a stripped-back four-channel club mixer, with all the basics, but nothing else except the addition of a Bluetooth input. It’ll likely appeal to analogue DJs not interested in digital set-ups, DVS DJs who already own a DVS interface, or very small venues on a budget, for whom the Bluetooth would be a useful addition. The bigger RMX-60 at only around £100 more would seem to be better value, though.
First Impressions / Setting up
In these days of super-powerful all-in-one DJ systems, controllers with more and more bells and whistles, and media players that have computers built into them, it’s not often we see new pieces of DJ gear released that are “back to basics”.
But that’s exactly what the Reloop RMX-44BT is – a simple four-channel club mixer with just the basics… albeit with one small twist.
Looks-wise, it’s Pioneer DJM-series all the way: A big, rectangular black metal box with four channels of audio. But features-wise, it really is stripped back to the basics.
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There is no audio interface on board, so this is strictly for analogue sources. For effects, there are none, apart from a filter on each channel. Also there’s only a single mic input (it’s at the top left, a combo XLR/TRS socket).
There’s not even a wired Aux input – the only “extra” input apart from four switchable phono/line inputs is the one that gives the unit the “BT” part of its name: A Bluetooth input, switchable on the fourth channel.
But while it’s a simple mixer, nonetheless all the pro basics are here:
- The mic input has two-band EQ, including a peak meter and talkover
- The headphones monitoring has cue mix, cue volume and a mono split button (although only a 1/4″ socket – don’t forget your headphones adaptor!)
- The crossfader is Innofader-compatible, there are crossfader assign switches for each channel, and there’s a crossfader curve adjust control – although it’s only a switch, not a knob
- And there is all the metering you need as a pro DJ, ie four individual channel meters and a stereo master meter. There’s even a master balance control, something even some more expensive mixers sometimes don’t have
- Finally, you get all the outputs you’d expect on a club mixer: Balanced (XLR) and unbalanced master out, booth out, and – again, not something you can take for granted – a record out
Setting up, then, is simply a case of plugging in your music sources, plugging in your speakers or PA, and powering up.
The unit is supplied with a transformer feeding a 12V DC input on the mixer, which I don’t like – I much prefer on-board transformers and IEC power sockets.
We tested the look and feel of the mixer, made an assessment of sound quality, and tested the Bluetooth feature. Then we considered whether the “stripped back” feature set is enough for today’s DJ.
To DJ with, it feels fine. The layout is classic and so presents no issues for DJs used to club-style mixers.
The knobs and faders are good; the up faders have resistance, and the crossfader is looser, although for scratching you may want to take them up on their suggestion to switch the fader out for a higher quality Innofader.
Audio quality is good, too: The signal/noise ratios as advertised are fine, and in practice, we were happy with the sound quality both via line inputs and RIAA phono for records.
The filters sound OK, although there is absolutely no adjustment so you’re stuck with the present character of the resonance.
Not having any further effects at all will be a dealbreaker for some, though frankly, most DJs use very few of them – the addition of a delay/echo would be nice, though.
The “unique” feature here is Bluetooth (it’s not actually unique, but not many mixers offer it). We are not sure what type of Bluetooth it is, but the unit is easy enough to put into pairing mode and it will remember devices, too, for easier pairing in the future.
It’s controlled via the blue “Bluetooth” button which is where the effects on/off button would be in, say, a similarly laid-out Pioneer DJ club mixer.
We did miss a separate Aux input, though. Using the fourth channel for the Bluetooth input seemed a bit too limiting, and not having a wired Aux also felt like an economy too far – a second mic channel that doubled up as an Aux input too with its own volume knob would have been nice.
As said at the start, there aren’t many releases of “back to basics” DJ gear nowadays. But Reloop does well selling turntables, so it makes sense for the company to have mixers that can be used with its turntables, in a classic set-up of the type everyone used 30 years ago.
Reloop also obviously feels that there is a use for a Bluetooth connection. For scratch DJs wanting to feed beats in from a phone to scratch over, for instance, it could work – but also it could equally work for people with speakers and a DJ set-up in their bedroom who just want to quickly play music from a phone when not DJing through the same system.
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Another use case we could see for this mixer would be in very small venues that just needed a simple mixer, that again could be used at a pinch to stream background music through via Bluetooth when no DJ was playing.
For what it does, the Reloop RMX44BT is fine, and Bluetooth will appeal to some. Just be sure you don’t want features like on-board effects and extra mic/aux input channels before you buy.
If you do, the bigger brother Reloop RMX60 gives you all of these things and is a much better featured non-digital mixer, for not much more money.