10 Best DJ Controllers for Beginners

DEEP IN THE MIX may earn a commission on affiliate links. Learn more.

If you’re just starting your new DJ hobby or career you might feel a bit lost with all the DJ equipment and controllers out there.

For this reason, we compiled a list of the 10 best DJ controllers for beginners so that you can get started mixing your favorite electronic dance music sets.

If you’re in a hurry we recommend researching the Pioneer DJ DDJ-400 first because in our opinion it’s the best overall controller for beginners.

10 Best DJ Controllers for Beginners

In a hurry? Here’s the Overview Table:

Best Overall

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2

Pioneer DDJ-FLX4

Sale

Pioneer DJ DDJ-200

Sale

Pioneer DDJ-Rev 1

NUMARK MIXSTREAM PRO

Sale

Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX

NUMARK DJ2GO2

Hercules Inpulse 500

Roland DJ-202

10 Best DJ Controllers for Beginners

After a few years of practicing your mixing skills and you have the DJ fundamentals down you will eventually need to upgrade your gear.

This is especially true if you are someone who wants to take DJing more seriously and beyond just DJing as a hobby.

Until that time comes though you will be perfectly fine on a DJ controller suited for beginners.

First let’s look at the DJ controller we think is the best overall controller for beginners, the Pioneer DJ DDJ-400.

Best Overall DJ Controllers for Beginners

1. Pioneer DJ DDJ-400

Best Overall DJ Controllers for Beginners - Pioneer DJ DDJ-400

DJ Controller Features:

  • Rekordbox DJ Software Included
  • Mirrors NXS2 for Club Standard Layout
  • Large Aluminum-Plated Jog Wheels
  • Eight Performance Pads per Deck

Adjustable pitch and tempo, as well as compatibility with Native Instruments’ Rekordbox DJ software, make the Pioneer DDJ-400 DJ Controller an excellent option for novices.

You only need a computer and this controller to get started; the latter connects to the former through USB. The DDJ-400 is so well-designed that a stand is included to keep it stable during use.

The Pioneer DDJ-400 is equipped with a crossfader, an effects loop, and a master volume control in addition to its two decks, each of which has four buttons.

In addition, it contains a USB connector enabling a simple connection to a computer for instant use without the need for additional hardware or software.

There’s also a built-in microphone for playing music from your phone or another device.

My Pros With This DJ Controller:

  • Built-in sound card and USB port
  • Top-notch jog wheels
  • Designed for ease

My Cons With This DJ Controller:

  • The blue effect button is extremely bright
  • There is no master tempo button
  • Problems with streaming playback

Also, checkout it’s price on Walmart.

→ Jump Back to Table

2. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2

DJ Controller Features:

  • Large Precision Jog Wheels
  • Beatgrid Adjust Mode and Jog Mode
  • 16 Color-Coded RGB Indicator Pads
  • Works with TRAKTOR DJ iPad/iPhone App

If you’re just getting started in DJing, I highly recommend the Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2.

It’s cheap, doesn’t require any training, and has a straightforward interface that’s a breeze to operate.

It has eight effects, including two filter effects and a looping function, and two decks.

There are two jacks for plugging in headphones or speakers.

Whether you’re using Traktor Pro 2, Traktor Pro 6, Serato Scratch Live, or another VST (virtual instrument) like Virtual DJ or Virtual Bass Station, the Traktor Kontrol S2 DJ Controller was built to work with your software of choice.

My Pros With This DJ Controller:

  • The most intuitive design
  • Great value controller
  • Excellent build quality with cool features
  • Built-in sound card
  • Compatible with a lot of software

My Cons With This DJ Controller:

  • Doesn’t feature built-in speakers 
  • Does not come with the software needed to get started. Software purchased separately
  • Less customizable

Also, checkout it’s price on Walmart.

→ Jump Back to Table

3.  Pioneer DDJ-FLX4

Pioneer DDJ-FLX4

DJ Controller Features:

  • Eight Performance Pads per Deck
  • Hot Cue, Beat Loop, Beat Jump, Sampler
  • Sound Color and Beat FX
  • Intuitive Smart Mixing for Beginners

You can’t go wrong with the Pioneer DDJ-FLX4 if you’re shopping for a DJ controller for a newcomer.

With just the right number of bells and whistles, it’s perfect for the novice DJ without being overly complicated.

Users can mix in their own tunes or use the controller’s preloaded ones thanks to the controller’s four decks and two effects.

It also includes useful effects like echo and reverb that can be used right away to help beginners learn how to mix.

If you’re just starting out as a DJ, the Pioneer DDJ-FLX4 DJ Controller provides all the capabilities you’ll need without being so complicated that you can’t focus on mixing music rather than the equipment (which is where most beginner DJs go wrong).

Sale

My Pros With This DJ Controller:

  • 3-channel crossfader
  • 1/4″ audio gold-plated jacks on all channels
  • Built-in effects

My Cons With This DJ Controller:

  • Can connect to other Pioneer DJ gear

Also, checkout it’s price on Walmart.

→ Jump Back to Table

4. Pioneer DJ DDJ-200

Pioneer DJ DDJ-200

DJ Controller Features:

  • WeDJ and Rekordbox DJ Software Included
  • Two Jog Wheels
  • Eight Performance Pads per Deck
  • 3-Band EQ on Each Channel

If you’re just getting started with DJing, I highly recommend the Pioneer DDJ-200 DJ Controller.

Built-in chromatic tuner and sound effects channels complement the unit’s four-channel mixer.

The mixer’s two channels each have their own gain control, low cut filter, and crossfader.

It also has a chromatic tuner built right in, so you can quickly tune your instrument or voice without digging out your phone or notebook.

In addition, the unit’s controls may be accessed with the press of just four buttons, giving you rapid access to features like rhythm FX, loop, and sampler. Its USB port makes it simple to transfer music from a computer to the device so you can start listening right away.

Sale

My Pros With This DJ Controller:

  • Great for beginner DJs and enthusiasts alike
  • Intuitive, easy-to-use interface
  • Multicolor backlit LCD
  • Small enough to make it fairly easy to travel with

My Cons With This DJ Controller:

  • No longer supports Spotify and Apple Music
  • Subpar build quality

Also, checkout it’s price on Walmart.

→ Jump Back to Table

5. Pioneer DDJ-Rev 1

Pioneer DDJ-Rev 1

DJ Controller Features:

  • Serato DJ Lite Software Included
  • Eight Performance Pads per Deck
  • LPF/HPF Knobs on Each Deck

With its straightforward design, user-friendly controls, and helpful software, the Pioneer DDJ-Rev 1 is an excellent choice for novice DJs.

Each side of the DDJ-Rev 1 features 8 pads for a total of 32. The left and right faders adjust the volume, while the NumPad regulates the pitch and tempo.

Additionally, the unit’s rear features two buttons: one for playing and pausing, and another for selecting one of four distinct effects (Low Pass Filter, Slicer, Waveform, and Ring Modulator).

Serato DJ Plus is the name of the software that can be used with the DDJ-Rev 1. You can start playing right immediately with the aid of its many useful features, such as beat jump loops and hot cue recording.

My Pros With This DJ Controller:

  • High build quality
  • Excellent design
  • Jog wheels are a nice size and very responsive
  • Buttons and knobs are a decent size for big hands and feel very tactile and responsive
  • Excellent Performance control

My Cons With This DJ Controller:

  • Doesn’t offer microphone inputs
  • Lacks faders and only has RCA outputs

Also, checkout it’s price on Walmart.

→ Jump Back to Table

6. NUMARK MIXSTREAM PRO

NUMARK MIXSTREAM PRO

DJ Controller Features:

  • Built-In Wi-Fi for Streaming Services
  • TIDAL, Beatport LINK, Beatsource LINK
  • SoundCloud Go+ / USB Inputs + SD Card

Next up is a controller that offers everything you need to get started without any of the bloats that could slow you down in the long term.

The huge LCD screen and simple three-channel configuration of the controller make it simple to get started mixing.

The four inputs are straightforward, and you can easily customize the mix by assigning unique effects to each of the four channels.

Two reverbs and two delays are available as onboard effects, and they can be utilized together or separately.

As a result, newcomers who wish to give their writing more depth can do it with little effort and without needing to study the subject for hours.

Sale

My Pros With This DJ Controller:

  • Direct, tactile control of all DJ functions
  • Digital effects processor
  • High-quality audio

My Cons With This DJ Controller:

  • Limited tracks in the library
  • Looks and feels cheap
  • Denon Engine software is a little disappointing
  • Problems and issues are difficult to resolve with their customer service team

Also, checkout it’s price on Walmart.

→ Jump Back to Table

7. Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX

Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX

DJ Controller Features:

  • Dual 6″ Jog Wheels with LCD Displays
  • All-In-One 4-Deck Serato Controller
  • Integrated Audio Interface

You may start DJing in style with the help of the Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX.

An integrated mixer, complete with a crossfader and a deck, is included in this controller.

It’s compatible with your favorite DAWs like Serato, Traktor Pro 2, Virtual DJ 8 Pro, and more, whether you’re using a Mac or PC!

If you’re looking for an accessible entry point into the world of DJing, go no further than the Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX.

It has everything a person needs to begin mixing music on a PC or mobile device.

My Pros With This DJ Controller:

  • Superior build and design by Numark
  • Jog wheels feel nice and heavy
  • A great entry-level deck with features that you can grow into and use for a long time

My Cons With This DJ Controller:

  • Limited without software upgrade

Also, checkout it’s price on Walmart.

→ Jump Back to Table

8. NUMARK DJ2GO2

NUMARK DJ2GO2

DJ Controller Features:

  • Compact Dual-Deck Controller for Serato
  • Touch-Sensitive Jog wheels
  • Built-In Soundcard

Up next is a flexible controller that may be utilized in a wide variety of settings, including professional and amateur DJ sets.

It’s made to let anyone get started making music, regardless of their skill level, in the best way possible.

The DJ2GO2 incorporates a sound card directly into the unit, so there’s no need to purchase an external device or install any additional software; simply plug it in and start mixing!

It also features a microphone input and headphone port so that you can practice without disturbing anyone around you.

This controller doesn’t require any cords, thanks to its USB and Bluetooth connectivity with your PC.

My Pros With This DJ Controller:

  • Compact, pocket controller
  • Great price for beginners and amateur DJs
  • Easily compatible with a lot of devices
  • Great mixer with great reactivity, good for practicing transitioning
  • High-quality control knobs

My Cons With This DJ Controller:

  • No EQ Knobs
  • The crossfader is not the smoothest

Also, checkout it’s price on Walmart.

→ Jump Back to Table

9. Hercules Inpulse 500

Hercules Inpulse 500

DJ Controller Features:

  • 2-Deck USB DJ Controller
  • Built-In High-Quality Audio Interface
  • 5.5″ Touch-Reactive Platters

If you are just getting started with DJing and want a controller with a lot of features without breaking the bank, the Hercules Inpulse 500 is an excellent alternative.

The Inpulse 500 features a software-controllable fader, an aux input, a mic input, two footswitches for pitch and cue, and three hot cues.

It also includes a soundcard that can be used with a computer through USB.

The Inpulse 500 is intended to be intuitive, so you can begin making music right away without first consulting an online manual or video guide.

My Pros With This DJ Controller:

  • Great DJ mixer for beginners
  • Large display
  • Easy UI
  • Built-in USB port

My Cons With This DJ Controller:

  • Only uses Serato

Also, checkout it’s price on Walmart.

→ Jump Back to Table

10. Roland DJ-202

Roland DJ-202

DJ Controller Features:

  • Built-In Roland Drum Kits
  • 16-Step Sequencer
  • Built-In 24-Bit / 48 kHz Audio Interface
  • 1/4″ Mic Input & RCA Outputs

Just because its last in the list does not make the Roland DJ-202 any less beginner-friendly. It is an excellent option if you want a stylish and straightforward DJ controller.

This gadget has all the essentials for a quick start, making it perfect for novices.

Thanks to the Roland DJ-202’s four decks (two per channel), you may seamlessly blend songs from a wide variety of sources.

In addition, it has a microphone and virtual studio technology (VST) effects integrated right in, so you can simply spruce up your performances.

It has a USB connector for hooking up to a computer and a remote control for making on-the-fly adjustments to the settings.

My Pros With This DJ Controller:

  • Has a lot of features and bonuses to offer
  • Connects to tons of devices
  • Stand-alone controller

My Cons With This DJ Controller:

  • Poor support and troubleshooting assistance
  • Have to pay for full software upgrade

Also, checkout it’s price on Walmart.

Final Remarks

So there you have it.

If you’re an EDM head looking to get started DJing we hope our list of the best DJ controllers for beginners helps you get started on your journey.

DJ controllers can be used for all types of music, but most likely you will be mixing your favorite genre of electronic dance music whether that is house, trance, dubstep, or hardstyle.

The best part is there are many entry-level options that will help get you started and won’t break the bank.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.