Hercules Inpulse 200 Review: Make Your Best Choice!

           Hercules is well-known for having budget-friendly and quirky controllers. However, they started to break away from their traditional designs with the Control Inpulse series. In this review, we will dive into the Inpulse 200—a two-channel controller which is both compact and affordable. Prepare to be surprised, as this controller will redefine your expectations for entry-level DJ gear.

Design and Portability

           The Inpulse 200 radiates a professional aesthetic that can be on the same level as Pioneer DJ units. It boasts a sleek all-black design with white and red accents on faders, jog wheels, and knobs. Its dimensions are 32.5cm in width and 19.6cm in height. This makes it portable and backpack-friendly for DJs. Moreover, it is lightweight as it is made entirely from plastic. This guarantees that despite being on a budget, DJs can purchase controllers to bring on the go.

Build Quality and Features

           Robust plastic construction is what the Inpulse 200 offers. Despite its low price point, it has an excellent build quality. It is ideal for starters who want to improve their skills. This is because of its built-in beatmatching guides.

           However, one disadvantage we observed is its permanently attached braided USB cable. Users must observe extra caution because of its non-replaceable nature. Considering its price, it may be an excellent addition, but it could render the controller unusable once it is damaged. Another minor inconvenience is that a dongle for connectivity is required for iPad Pro and recent MacBook users. Aside from these, overall, it is a well-crafted product.

The Turntable Experience

           A balanced designed with symmetrical features is what the Inpluse 200 houses. Even if it is compact, DJs have enough room to showcase their skills with its 9.5cm jog wheels. With a diameter measuring 8cm, these wheels are touch-sensitive, facilitating scratching. Furthermore, it comes with a dedicated vinyl button placed on the left. This allows easy activation and deactivation.

           Two LED arrows labeled beat align are positioned at the base of the jog wheels; because of these, more apparent visual cues are given to DJs that can adjust the song’s time precisely. You must locate the IN and OUT buttons below the vinyl button to access the loop controls. A manual loop setting or a convenient 4-bar loop setup can be activated when you hold the IN button.

           When you check the DJUCED software, the loop buttons can react accurately to the beat automatically. This can be achieved even if the Quantize is turned off. The reason behind this is a setting called SNAP. It can adjust between 1, 1/2, and 1/4 beats or completely turned off.

Elevating Performance with Pads

           Once you activate the four firm plastic performance pads, a satisfying click will welcome you. Hot cues and toll modes are included on the primary layer. Meanwhile, FX and Sampler are on the second layer. With these, expect to be provided with versatile controls. It is also worth noting that the secondary pad mode is available without a Shift key. You need to press and hold your desired method for smooth transitions.

Navigating Controls

           The cue, shift, play, and sync buttons are positioned on the left of the performance pads. They are made from the same durable plastic as the performance pads. Although the cue and play buttons are highly functional, there is a slight concern about the sync button’s proximity. As a result, it is often thought of as the cue button because of its close alignment and similar size. It would have been better to have a small sync button to improve the usability.

Tempo Faders and BPM Precision

           On the other hand, the tempo faders are located on the right side of the performance pads. Aside from being petite, they also lack a recessed click at zero. A discreet green LED is shown to confirm if the fader is centrally aligned.

Moreover, two small red arrows are placed adjacent to the said LED. Its function is to sync with the beat align tool. Furthermore, it helps DJs to check if a track’s BPM is faster or slower than the master deck. It is also worth noting that the small size of the tempo faders may be a challenge for some users. However, it still promotes manual beatmatching, an excellent user advantage.

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The Mixer Unveiled

           The Inpulse 200 made sacrifices to accommodate its petite frame. It is worth noting that a complete three-band EQ is not available. This allows a high/low pass filter instead of mid-EQ control. This may seem like a huge sacrifice, but it benefits beginners. It has enough bass and high EQ controls, perfect for mastering their craft. Moreover, the filter knobs inclusion complements the mixer controls. This is already considered important even for beginners.

           A dedicated trim control rounds off the mixer section. It is essential to note that even without isolation options, these controls can still function as EQ. This means that some sound bleed continues even when it is turned down. The only ones capable of silencing the sound are the faders. Despite the brief fader length, they still provide a pleasant tactile feel.

Furthermore, turning off the crossfader in the software is a function that users can do. They can also toggle between mix and scratch mode. However, if you are looking for a scratching experience, the crossfader’s cut-in and the jog wheels’ tightness may not be optimal for you.

Exploring the Outputs

           For the output department, the Inpulse 200 boasts an essential unbalanced RCA connection for the master out. It is not uncommon to know its price. Moreover, the control uses a 3.5mm jack connection on the headphone front. No issues were noticed on regular headphones. However, irregularities in sound quality were observed with headphones with attached microphones. Aside from this, the connectivity still meets the expectations for its price. Lastly, it can be placed together with controllers three times its price.

DJUCED Software Unveiled

           At the heart of the controller’s functionality is the bundled DJUCED software. Hercules did an excellent job in choosing to develop proprietary software with a third-party license. Aside from enhancing functionality, it also lowered its costs.

           Their key features are software-dependent. These include the virtual assistant, and the beat align guide. This means that they make them inactive on other platforms. If you lean towards alternative software, mappings for Virtual DJ, Algoriddim DJay, and Traktor Pro 2 are offered on Hercules’ website.

DJ Assistant in Focus

           Tutorials for mastering the basics are available on the DJ Assistant tab within DJUCED. The learning experience can be enhanced when minimized into a smaller window. This is because users have the freedom to play along with tutorials. However, the overall look of the DJUCED mirrors the older versions of Virtual DJ. Yet, the pop-out interface of the DJ Assistant is a slick addition.

A Suggested Path

           It is not a secret that the DJUCED has its flaws. As it is designed exclusively for Hercules controllers, it does not have versatility. It may cater to starters, but providing support for pricier equipment like Serato, Rekordbox, or Virtual DJ is necessary as users advance their skills.


           The Inpulse 200 is an excellent and affordable controller that is ideal for starters. If you are learning the basics of beatmatching, then this is perfect for you. This is due to its beat align function and its budget-friendly price. In compact controllers, the Inpulse 200 provides unmatched functionality at its price point. This makes it a top choice for beginners who are looking for a cost-effective yet feature-rich entry into the world of DJing.

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