Last updated on August 3rd, 2022 at 01:48 pm
Saturday nights are always well spent partying to good music. Have you ever wondered how cool the DJ looked? And wanted to try being one yourself but your budget held you back?
Well that’s not the case anymore! Because we have reviewed the top 8 best cheap DJ controller that works for you. Get ready cause it’s time to party!
Buyers guide for choosing the best cheap DJ controller
Buying a DJ controller that perfectly fits all your requirements is not a walk in the park. You need to know about a lot of things before concluding. The following are the things that you should consider before buying a DJ controller.
Types of DJ controllers
DJ controllers are mainly divided into two types. Both types of DJ controllers are meant to achieve the same thing. The difference comes when we are setting them up.
- Modular DJ rigs
Modular DJ rigs are a combination of various sound sources. Analog mixer, CD player, and a computer that is capable of running DJing software combine to form modular DJ rigs.
This type of DJ controller is quite old fashioned. In the modern DJing world, it has gone obsolete as it takes a lot of space and requires you to carry a lot of equipment with you.
But there are some benefits to this as well. These are one of the simplest and easiest controllers to put your hands on. The controllers are best suited to beginners that don’t have the resources to spend on a modern controller.
- All-in-one DJ controllers
When all the sound sources are combined into one machine, the result is an all-in-one DJ controller. The controller comes with tactile buttons. The interface of DJing software appearing on the screen is controlled through these buttons.
It is not required to connect with a computer all the time. It comes with a standalone feature that gives you more of an analog feel. It offers flexibility to switch between CDs or flash drives.
It is easy to set up and you don’t have to carry different sound sources separately. You just need to carry one machine with you.
Features of a DJ controller
To operate the on-screen interface, the controllers usually use buttons, knobs, and faders. They assist in achieving various DJing software functionalities. An interface in itself is another important feature to look for. Look for the controller that has an easy to use interface.
Another feature that is particularly new but very helpful is the ability to control various DJing software, directly from the mobile phone. Look for the controller that provides you with this one.
Incorporating keyboard controllers
If you want to have a fun time DJing, add a MIDI keyboard to your controller. The keyboard will provide you with a lot of additional functionalities. It would enhance your DJing experience. The audience will feel as if they are attending a live performance.
In the modern DJing world, the role of DJing software is crucial. DJing software allows you to tweak around with your audio files. It can fine-tune your files with the help of trigger samples, virtual controls, etc.
Most all-in-one DJing controllers come with popular DJing software. The software that comes with the controller is usually the LITE version, which works fine for the beginners. But, if you are a professional, the lite version will not fulfill your needs. Buy a full version of a good DJing software in order to maximize your on-stage performance.
When we look for cheap DJ controllers, we can find a controller even for less than 100$ but they are very basic. You will require at least 250$ to buy an actual DJ controller.
List of the top 8 best cheap Dj controllers
1. Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk3 – best cheap DJ controller
- Weight: 4 pounds
- No of decks: 2
This highly rated Numark product is an excellent option for both, the beginners and the professionals. It offers a lite version of Serato DJ software. If you are a beginner, the lite version will be good for you. But a professional would require buying the full version in order to enjoy all the perks of it.
Once used with other gears, the performance offered by this controller is maximized. It offers large jog wheels, up to about 6-inches. It also comes with a high-resolution display that shows stuff like time remaining, pitch adjustment, BPM, platter position, etc.
The product also provides you with personalization options. You can set your DJ sets according to your likings. It offers audio input, audio output, and RCA output which offers connectivity with microphones, headphones, and DJ speakers respectively. It comes with a 3-band EQ mixer, channel fader, crossfader, and filter knobs.
The product has compatibility issues with an external audio interface. Some customers reviewed that it doesn’t work well with any DJing software other than Serato.
- Plug and play USB connectivity
- It offers large jog wheels, up to about 6-inches
- High-resolution display
- For advanced mixes, the product offers deck layering
- Incompatible with external audio interface
- Fewer connection options
- It doesn’t work well with DJing software other than Serato
2. Numark Mixtrack Platinum – best budget dj controller
- Weight: 29 pounds
- No of decks: 4
This affordable 2-channel DJ controller is made for complete beginners. The package includes a lite version of the Serato DJ; a DJing software. The product provides you a complete partying atmosphere through its LED light arrays that auto-sync with your music and add great flavor into the performance.
The controller offers all the tools that are required for seamless mixing. The product comes with 2-decks that are equipped with jog wheels and crossfader. It assists you in enhancing your performance with the help of 4 pad modes. These modes give you total control of the manual/auto-looping, cue points, and sample playback.
The performance pad files of the controller take a lot of time to load. The deck is highly précised, but the pitch sliders lack precision. If you have epilepsy or any such condition, you should avoid this product.
- Offers all the tools that are required for seamless mixing
- The decks that are equipped with jog wheels and crossfader
- LED lights auto-sync with the music
- 4 pad modes
- Performance pad files of the controller take a lot of time to load
- Pitch sliders lack precision
- Not suitable for people with epilepsy or any such condition
3. Numark Party Mix – best dj controller for beginners
- Weight: 76 pounds
- No of decks: 2
The product is best suited to beginners who like to travel. The controller is quite compact so, its carry around. The controller offers a simple plug and play. May it be MAC, PC, tablet, or your mobile phone, the controller is compatible with all types of devices. You just need a USB cable to connect it.
Pioneer has its app for iPad, named as WeDJ, this controller is compatible with the app. The product provides free license key for rekordbox DJ; pioneer’s very own DJing software. The layout of the controller is simple, but it offers loads of professional features.
If you are an Android user, there is bad news for you. The product doesn’t offer connectivity with Android. Furthermore, setting up this controller is not easy for beginners; they can get confused while setting it up.
- Compact in size
- Easy to carry
- Compatible with rekordbox DJ and the WeDJ app
- Offers loads of professional features as well
- Setting up this controller is not easy for beginners
- Doesn’t allow Android connectivity
4. Pioneer DJ DDJ-WeGO4- the best pioneer dj controller for first timers
- Weight: 39 pounds
- No of decks: 2
This budget-friendly Native Instrument’s product is made for beginners that want to upgrade their basic level DJing setup. The product contains jog mode which offers spin-to-nudge function. It even allows you to scratch and scroll on the controller.
The product offers plenty of jog wheels. The beat grids of the track can be adjusted manually with the help of these jog wheels. This controller contains two decks that are the same. It contains a 2-channel mixer, which means you can provide it with various audio sources, adjust them, and combine them to get a lesser number of outputs.
The process of triggering samples, loops, and hot cues is achieved with the help of its 6 RGB pads. The company also offers its very own DJing software, named as Traktor Pro.
The product comes with only an RCA output, which is quite outdated. Some customers find it to be a bit unreliable. If you are DJing as a professional, you cannot rely on this one for your livelihood.
- Offers jog mode
- Comes with its own Traktor Pro DJing software
- Offers a lot of mixing effects
- Some customers find it to be a bit unreliable
- Comes with only an RCA output
5. Pioneer DJ DDJ-400 – cheapest dj controller
- Weight: 176 ounces
- No of decks: 2
The product is perfect for beginners who have just stepped into the DJing world. It offers plug and plays USB connectivity and a built-in sound card. It offers you tutorials along with the product so that you can learn a thing or two about DJing. As a beginner, these tutorials will be very helpful for developing your skills quickly.
The controller has a frequency response value ranging between 20-hertz to 20000-hertz. This 2-channel DJ controller comes with its very own DJing software, named as rekordbox. The product is highly durable, and you can take it with you on the road.
The not so good thing about the product is its incompatibility with other DJing software other than its own. Some customers claimed that it started producing buzzing sounds after a few months of use.
- Ideal for starters
- Highly durable
- The product comes with DJing tutorials that are very helpful in developing DJing skills quickly
- Offers its very own rekordbox DJing software
- It is not compatible with other DJing software other than its own
- Not suitable for professional
- Some customers experienced buzzing sounds after a few months use
6. Roland DJ-202 – best starter dj controller
- Weight: 6 pounds
- No of decks: 4
The product is an affordable option for beginners as well as professionals. The controllers offer 8 sounds in each TR kit and draw a current of 500 mA. The product is lightweight which makes it very easy to carry. The compactness of the product allows it to fit even in tight spaces.
It offers 4 decks and 2 mixers. If you are a fan of scratching, this controller is made for you as it offers optimized scratching. It also comes with a MIDI output that allows you to connect external MIDI devices with it. The product offers USB connectivity. It comes with an RCA output that lets you connect it directly to the amplifier or speakers.
Customers that just started DJing found it difficult to operate. Opposite to what was advertised, customers didn’t find any built-in software, not even the lite version.
- Lightweight but solid
- Offers optimized scratching
- Comes with a MIDI output that allows you to connect external MIDI devices
- 8 sounds in each TR kit
- Beginners found it difficult to operate
- False advertisement. Customers didn’t find any built-in software, not even the lite version
7. Hercules DJControl Jogvision – cheap dj setup in 2020
- Weight: 38 pounds
- No of decks: 2
The product comes with high tech features that make it an automatic choice for semi-professionals to professionals. It comes with a unique in-jog display that keeps you updated with your current track position.
The in-jog display makes the product ideal for scratching. Moreover, it consists of jog wheels that feel like platters which enhance your scratching experience. The controller comes with 2 large decks and a virtual mixer. The rugged black casing of the controller makes the product highly durable.
The controller comes with an innovative air control feature that allows the DJ to manipulate the low pass filter by keeping the hands in the air at approximately 30-cm. This allows the audience to see the hands movement of the DJ. It comes with a built-in Serato lite, that is upgradeable.
The drawback of the product is that it has a plastic construction instead of a metal one. Furthermore, the size of the controller is a bit smaller than the traditional ones.
- Unique in-jog display
- Jog wheels feel like platters
- the innovative air control feature
- Size of the controller is a bit smaller than the traditional ones
- Plastic construction
8. Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 – small dj controller
- Weight: 98 pounds
- No of decks: 2
This 2-channel, 2-deck DJing controller is suitable for both beginners and the ones that are still stuck in old fashioned DJing and need to step in the modern DJing world. The good thing about the product is its compatibility with various DJing software. It offers large metal jog wheels, up to about 5-inches.
The product offers all the tools that are required for seamless blending. The two decks are equipped with browsing controls, independent transport control, filter controls, and a crossfader. To ensure high-level performance, the product offers multiple pad modes through its 16 backlit pads.
It offers a lite version of Serato DJ software. If you are a beginner, the lite version will be good for you. But if you have been a DJ for a while and are just looking to upgrade yourself, you would have to buy the full version in order to enjoy all the perks of it.
In comparison to vinyl, the platters offered by this product does not move as smoothly. Moreover, the deck does not offer an individual to gain control.
- Realistic feeling platters
- The product offers all the tools that are required for seamless blending
- The product offers multiple pad modes through its 16 backlit pads
- In comparison to vinyl, the platters offered by this product doesn’t move as smoothly
- The deck doesn’t offer an individual gain control
We have come to the end of the article. We hope the article was informative and you found what you were looking for. If you are a beginner, you don’t have to invest in a more expensive DJing controller. An affordable DJ controller will provide you with all the basic functionalities that are required for DJing.
We have listed the best cheap DJ controllers. Now, it’s up to you to decide which one suits you the best.
1. Can you find a DJ controller at 100$?
Yes, we can find a controller even in less than 100$ but they are very basic. You will require at least 250$ to buy an actual DJ controller.
2. Do DJing controllers come with DJing software?
Yes, the software that comes with the controller is usually the LITE version, which works fine for the beginners. But the lite version doesn’t fulfill the needs of the professionals.
3. Should you invest in an expensive DJing controller as a beginner?
No, If you are a beginner, you don’t have to invest in a more expensive DJing controller. An affordable DJ controller will provide you with all the basic functionalities that are required for DJing.
4. What are different types of DJing controllers?
DJ controllers are mainly divided into two types.
- Modular rigs
- All-in-one DJing controller
Both types of DJ controllers are meant to achieve the same thing. The difference comes when we are setting them up.
5. What are the famous DJing software?
The famous DJing controllers are:
- Native Instruments Traktor Pro
- Serato DJ Software
- Ableton Live
6. What is the purpose of DJing software?
DJing software allows you to tweak around with your audio files. It helps you in fine-tuning your files with the help of trigger samples, virtual controls, etc.