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If you’ve recently decided to take up DJing as a hobby, or you’ve got your sights set on being the next biggest DJ, one of the most fundamental pieces of equipment that you’ll need to get your hands on is a DJ mixer.
Even though there’s a rise of DJ’s that simply opt to use a laptop and software or a DJ controller to get started, a DJ mixer will prove to be an essential part of your DJ setup and will allow you to control, adjust and manipulate a variety of audio signals in order to make for a truly original sound that will set you apart from other DJs.
But, with so many options on the market, it can be hard to determine the best from the rest, and that runs the risk of purchasing a mixer that isn’t right for you. Don’t worry, though, because this is where we come in to lend you a helping hand!
If you’re currently in the market for a beginner-friendly DJ mixer - you’ve come to the right place.
Below, not only are we going to be talking you through the top DJ mixers for beginners, but we’re also going to be providing you with a helpful buying guide to ensure you make the best choice for you.
So, without further ado, ready to discover your new beginner-friendly DJ mixer? Just read on!
Best DJ Mixer For Beginners
OUR TOP PICK
When you’re cutting your teeth as a DJ, a mixer with an intuitive, user-friendly layout is essential, otherwise, it’s easy to lose your flow while navigating the controls.
That’s why the Pioneer DJ DJM-250MK2, with its crystal clear interface, is our number one pick. But don’t let this beginner-kind simplicity fool you… the 250MK2 is one deep device!
The Magvel crossfader is buttery smooth and insanely responsive, perfect for articulate scratching and fluid volume fades, ensuring all your transitions are utterly seamless, something you’ll be thankful for when you start booking shows.
And when you do get a gig, you’ll want to take full advantage of the integrated sound color FX that let you blend in tasteful audio modulations as you go, a fantastic way to put your own personal stamp on a mix rather than simply playing track after track.
The 3-band isolator EQs are nothing to scoff at, either. They give you incredibly nuanced tonal control, so you can set your DJ rig up to suit the sonic requirements of different environments.
Again, that’s going to be huge when you break out of the bedroom and get involved in your local scene!
Fitted with top-of-the-line dithering technology, all quantization errors that occur during bit-resolution reduction are sufficiently masked, amounting to warm, flawless audio.
And as if that wasn’t good enough, it arrives with an integrated sound card and Rekordbox DJ software, meaning it’s ready to link up with your laptop and fill some dance floors right out the box.
I still have the 250MK1 as my back up mixer, and it's a awesome little unit!
- Intuitive interface — Easy to understand and use.
- Magvel crossfader — Pro-grade fader, smooths out transitions.
- Built-in effects — Sound color FX filter is all you need to add some personal flavor to a mix.
- Integrated sound card — Ready for use with laptop or other peripherals.
- Rekordbox — Arrives with some of the best DJ software around.
- Software versatility — You’ll have to use Rekordbox to really get the most out of this mixer.
- I/O — Quite a limited port array, but, as a beginner, you shouldn’t worry too much about this.
We’ve categorized the Gemini MM1 as the best budget pick because, as a beginner, you’ll need something that’s easy on the old wallet, but it could just well have been given the titles, “Most Portable”, “Best Rotary Mixer for Beginners”, or “Most Intuitive”.
By rotary, we mean that most audio is controlled with knobs rather than faders. Some may see this as a negative, but there are plenty of benefits to the rotary design, including enhanced durability and less risk of accidentally knocking the mix out of whack during a set.
Besides, this rotary mixer actually does arrive with a crossfader, and it’s not half bad either. Sitting at the bottom of the interface, this robust fader allows you to mix channels like the pros and beat-match with the best of ‘em!
And speaking of mixing, the 2-band EQ makes it as easy as possible, as you don’t need any in-depth knowledge of discrete mid controls, thereby reducing the learning curve, and getting you slinging some sick beats in record time.
When you’re starting out, it’s a good idea to find your feet at a few house parties before trying to sweet talk a club set out of a promoter, and this, my friend, is the ultimate party mixer.
The all-metal enclosure is solid as a rock, it fits nicely in a backpack, and it has a decent I/O array, ensuring that you’ll be able to link it to the various sound systems you’ll encounter from house to house.
- Full-metal enclosure — House party-proof.
- 2-band EQ — Much easier tone sculpting for beginners.
- Portable — Won’t slow you down when heading to your set.
- Crossfader — Fader helps you nail your transitions.
- Intuitive interface — It won’t overwhelm you.
- EQ — Lack of mids limits tone sculpting options.
- No on/off switch — Not a big deal, but it can be a little irritating.
If you simply can’t decide between the way of the analog or digital DJ, then don’t! Hook yourself up with this 4-channel beast, and you can control traditional turntables alongside your CDJs.
4 tracks may sound like a lot to take on for a beginner, but you don’t have to use the additional two right away.
It’s something you can grow into as your skills develop, and once you’re ready to work it into your set, you’ll be able to DJ far more creatively.
As you’re dealing with 2 extra channels, the layout can be a bit daunting at first, but once you understand that you’ll only be using half of it for 2-channel mixing, it all feels a lot more intuitive.
Each channel has a dedicated 3-band EQ for precise sonic sculpting, and a channel-level fader for the ultimate tactile DJing experience.
The primary crossfader can bleed a little after a while, but it’s a pretty solid component overall, and the general build quality of the unit is second to none.
The I/O interface is fantastic too. Boasting multiple Line, Phono, and Mic inputs, as well as Headphone, Record Booth, and master RCA outputs, you can connect this mixer to any other DJ tech you could possibly imagine, so you’ll never face compatibility issues when you arrive at a venue to play a set.
- 4 channels — 4 channels allows you to use analog turntables alongside CDJs.
- 3-band EQ — Each channel has an independent 3-band EQ so you can fine-tune your sound.
- I/O Interface — Plenty of connectivity options.
- Build-quality — This thing is built like a tank!
- Price — Great bang for your buck.
- Fader Bleed — Audio leakage is an issue after a while, so you may need to replace the crossfader sooner than you’d like.
You can kind of think of the Numark M2 as half the M4. It has near enough all the same functionality such as dedicated 3-band EQs and a robust I/O panel, but this time, it’s all split across 2 channels rather than 4, amounting to a much more compact device, perfect for ferrying across town in a snap on those double gig nights.
But to say it’s simply a carbon copy of half the M4 would be disingenuous, as this little mixing masterpiece has plenty of features that are uniquely its own. This, my friend, is what we call a scratch mixer.
In other words, it’s the weapon you’ll use to battle and take down other DJs when you face them in competition.
Now, you may be wondering if thinking about battling is jumping the gun a bit; you’re only just starting out, after all. However, in many ways, scratch mixers are the perfect beginner devices.
The M2 has a super simple interface, designed to guide the hand in split-second, rhythmic situations.
In fact, the bottom half of the M2 is entirely dedicated to three controls: your channel-faders and your crossfader, a clean, elegant format helps you to perform with clarity and flow when you’re finding your feet.
- Must-have I/Os — Compatible with most peripherals.
- Simple interface — Layout is nice and clear, keeping you on track during a set.
- Dedicated 3-band EQs — Ultimate control over your mix.
- Replaceable crossfader — When you’ve scratched the integrated fader to death, you can easily switch it out and scratch on!
- Price — Beginner-friendly price tag.
- Knob sensitivity — They take a light touch, but you’ll get used to them.
If you’re looking for a DJ mixer that’s intuitive and welcoming for beginners yet wouldn’t hold a fully-fledged pro back one bit, then the Allen & Heath XONE:23 is absolutely the unit for you.
As a four-channel mixer, once you’ve mastered your 2-channel techniques, you can add another two jogs or platters to the equation, opening up a whole new sonic realm of opportunities.
It features true sound kill 3-band EQs for supreme audio sculpting, so you can optimize your sound in rooms with different acoustics, guaranteeing you’ll re-book the gig.
Then there’s the classic Xone resonance filter to consider, a legendary effect capable of adding tons of unique flavor to your set.
However, if the Xone filter isn’t enough to sate your experimental side, simply use the dedicated Send and Return ports to link up any external effects to your setup.
Oh, and did I mention that it has a built-in sound card, so you can spin tracks straight from your DJ software?
Granted, it’s a little pricey for a beginner, but it’s such a deep mixer, that it’s impossible to outgrow, so you won’t be forking out for a replacement after a few years as you would with some other more simplistic beginner DJ mixers.
- Simple interface — proves deep functionality doesn’t have to be confusing to the hand or eye.
- Send/return ports — Work in your own external effects to build your sonic signature.
- Xone filter — Truly expressive and multifaceted resonance controls.
- 4 channels — Combine both digital and analog sound sources for the truly magnificent and original performances.
- Built-in sound card — Usable with your DJ software and laptop right out of the box.
- EQ sensitivity — Go easy on those faders and knobs!
- Sound card channels — You have to open this unit to switch sound card channels.
Best DJ Mixer For Beginners: Buying Guide
So, now that you’ve taken the time to read through our top picks above, we’re hoping that you’ve now selected the perfect new mixer for your journey into the colorful and exciting world of DJing!
However, before you go ahead and make that purchase, we’re first going to be taking a moment to talk you through some of the most important factors that you should take into consideration when selecting the best DJ mixer for you and your needs.
Read on for a breakdown of the key points to remember when making your mixer choice:
We’re sure that you probably are already well aware of this, but we still think that it’s a super important topic to cover before you make your purchase.
It’s no secret that DJ mixers typically tend to come with a hefty price tag, so it’s safe to say that acquiring one is certainly more of an investment purchase rather than an impulse buy.
Nevertheless, while this might be the case, we still strongly recommend that you take the time to outline a clear budget prior to buying, as not only will you find the shortlisting/shopping process that much easier, but you’ll also find that you are able to make a much wiser spending decision than if you were to go in without a budget in the back of your mind.
In addition to setting out a budget prior to shopping around for a DJ mixer, you should also take the time to familiarize yourself with the type of software that you are confident using, in order to ensure that the DJ mixer that you end up purchasing is compatible with the software that you have chosen to primarily use.
Seeing as you’re just starting out, it will be no good purchasing a DJ mixer that isn’t designed to be used in combination with the software that you are currently practicing on, as other Softwares (as we’re sure you already know) can be confusing to even the most experienced of DJs.
Connectivity Ports, Inputs, Outputs, And More!
If you’re just getting started in the world of DJing, then rest assured that many prospective DJs often find themselves accidentally overlooking this important aspect of the mixer.
In the same way that functionality and cool features are an important part of a great mixer, so are its connectivity ports, inputs, and outputs - so it’s important to make sure that they aren’t being overlooked during your selection process.
Even though all of the DJ mixers we have recommended to you above come with all of the necessary inputs, outputs, and additional connectivity ports, we still think that it is important to talk you through them so that you have a better understanding of why they’re so important.
As a general rule of thumb, you’re going to want to make sure that the DJ mixer that you select (regardless of your ability) comes with an RCA output for any recording work you plan on doing, as well as an XLR output that will allow you to connect an external sound system, or close alternative.
In addition to the above, you’ll also want to make sure that the DJ mixer you decide to buy also comes with the added convenience of one or two USB ports, as this will mean that you will also be able to seamlessly connect your smartphone or laptop to the mixer.
Alongside this, a high-quality DJ mixer should also feature, at the very least, plenty of I/O ports and a microphone port so that you can easily connect a microphone to the mixer and the greater sound system.
Of course, more advanced DJ mixers will feature more ports than what we have mentioned, but as a beginner, you shouldn’t find yourself needing any more inputs, outputs, and connectivity ports than the ones that we have already mentioned above.
One of the biggest conveniences a DJ can experience from their mixer is the enjoyment that comes along with functionality. If you don’t have too much experience just yet in using mixers, then you might not be able to detect one mixer’s functionality from the next.
Nevertheless, this consideration is perhaps one of the most important that you’ll need to make, as a user-friendly DJ mixer will no doubt help you to take your ability to the next level.
When shopping around for the perfect mixer for your current level of ability, you should make sure to opt for a mixer that will offer you plenty of usability as opposed to a mixer that comes with plenty of different buttons and looks flashy.
The trick is to make sure that you opt for a mixer that features everything that you’ll need to play (such as level meters, channel EQs and gain controls), but not so much that you feel overwhelmed or confused.
As we have already touched upon at previous points in this article, DJ mixers aren’t the most affordable of equipment!
Due to this reason alone, it’s very important to make sure that the DJ mixer that you opt for will be able to offer you a long service life - and this is where durability comes into the mix.
Of course, all of the DJ mixers that we have recommended above will be able to offer you maximum durability, but we still think that it is important to note as you progress and develop as a DJ.
The best DJ mixers on the market will boast tough, sturdy designs that will ensure that, regardless of whether you plan on practicing in your bedroom or playing a few local gigs, your mixer will be able to offer you a high-quality, reliable performance - time and time again.
The strongest indications that a mixer is made of a high-quality standard are the models that come with a full warranty and are made of tough materials, such as metal.
If you’re ever in doubt about how durable a DJ mixer might be, you can always refer to the customer review section to gain a better understanding.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose a DJ mixer?
Great question! No matter whether you’re one of the most experienced DJs in the world or you’re just getting started on your DJing journey, choosing a DJ mixer can easily be one of the most difficult pieces of equipment to select, not to mention being one of the most expensive, too.
While selecting a DJ mixer, one of the most important things to do is to clearly set out a budget prior to shortlisting options. That way, you’ll be able to narrow down your options more seamlessly, while also ensuring that you don’t spend more money than you intended.
Alongside that, you should also ensure that you are opting for a DJ mixer that will be able to offer you plenty of playability in accordance with your personal style of DJing. Are you the type of DJ that likes to utilize mixer outputs, or do you like to use lots of sound sources?
Whatever your style is, you’ll need to make sure that your chosen mixer can accommodate your needs.
The key is to not fall for the trick of buying the mixer with the most switches and buttons, but instead to opt for the mixer that will offer you a user-friendly experience that will ensure plenty of playability.