the best Standalone DJ Controllers Picks for Today

If you’re a DJ and looking for something to invest in, you may want to consider standalone controllers. They’re fit to carry your needs all while helping you enhance your DJing skills to high levels. Without the aid of a laptop, standalone DJ controllers can guarantee you that you’ll always be ready to play your sets anytime, anywhere.

They say that DJ systems that still require any computer device to function are now becoming out of style. In this case, controllers that are all-in-one and can stand alone are steadily rising in popularity. One good reason why they’re more famous now is that they are starting to become so powerful. Most standalone controllers feel like they have a computer inside of them. With that in mind, let’s dive into this year’s (2023) greatest picks for standalone controllers. Let’s take a look.

1. Pioneer DJ Opus Quad

When everyone expected Pioneer DJ to update the XDJ-XZ, a powerful controller of theirs, they instead released a completely new flagship product, the Opus Quad. The Opus Quad from Pioneer DJ offers a new take on standalone DJing with its striking design, big screen, and advanced internals. It’s powerful (this is the company’s first true four-channel standalone), intimidating, and expensive, but you’re getting a DJ system that has the potential to compete with the best because, unlike the company’s previous standalone, the Opus Quad has computer-based embedded tech that’s easy to add features to. It already has CloudPlayDirect, which lets you stream your music to it through Dropbox. As new features are added to the CDJ-3000 club players, we expect them to show up here as well.

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Still, because it’s a new take on how Pioneer DJ usually does things, the XDJ-XZ2 isn’t something that many DJs were hoping for. Instead, it’s more likely the start of a whole new line of products. It’s slightly less expensive as well when compared to Denon.

2. Denon DJ Prime 4+

Denon DJ Prime 4+ may not look like the classic industrial standard of most DJ controllers out there, but it nevertheless impresses us with its power and smooth features. Arguably, it is the most technologically advanced controller in the market. It can be connected through Wi-Fi and ethernet for easy music streaming, which allows you to access millions of songs with just a mere click.

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The controller, albeit slightly expensive because of its flagship status, is truly worth your money. Serato support if you want to use it with a DJ software package. It’ll be a natural choice for many, especially those who don’t care about club-standard gear. Denon has long been rivals with Pioneer, so this tool is perfect to compare its capabilities with the latter’s product. Denon also upgraded Prime 4+ looks, which now has a sleek, lovely black with popping LED lights. And it seems like Denon isn’t stopping its upgrades anytime soon, so let’s hope for any updates soon.

3. Numark Mixstream Pro Go

Another Engine DJ-powered unit, this two-channel DJ system is a great deal and has the same software as the Prime 4+, so it has almost all the same features except for some. For starters, it has a built-in battery and speakers, which is quite surprising. You won’t be rocking out the speakers during events, but they’re pretty good for their size, and their battery makes it easier to practice anywhere. Truly, what makes the Numark Mixstream Pro Go fantastic is its great-quality standalone controller that you can get all for a budget-friendly price. In this article, most controllers available here will set you back well over $1000, and some will set you back even more. Luckily, 3. Numark Mixstream Pro Go has a perfectly capable standalone system with features such as booth and balanced master outputs, mic input, USB/SD card source options, and some on-board effects all for less than a thousand dollars! Talk about getting a good deal.

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The controller, albeit designed primarily for commercial use, is still among the kit lists of a few mobile DJs, sometimes even their top choice.

4. Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3

This isn’t the most powerful or innovative unit here. However, the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3 has proven to be extremely popular, presumably because it has everything a DJ will ever need and comes from unquestionably the leading brand in the DJ.

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The XDJ-RX3 is the third iteration of the Pioneer XDJ-RX series, with a 10” screen that outperforms the previous models. Other than that, it is also noticeably faster, using a Pioneer DJ gear, It is Rekordbox-powered, which means you must first prepare all of your music on your laptop using the free Rekordbox software. This might take some time but once you get all the necessary tools needed, you’re good to go.

5. Denon DJ SC Live 4

Denon released their SC Live 4 breaking barriers from the stereotypical flagship façade they have. For this equipment, Denon made sure that this is strictly software-controlled with no external inputs except for the microphone. Apart from that, it also lacks several other pro features, such as an Ethernet port, thus accessible to Wi-Fi only. It also has a 7-inch screen, which is quite small. However, if you look at the Prime 4+ and its price, and compare it to Live 4, Live 4 would be a better choice if you’re more focused on saving more money. Take note that Live 4 gives you the full four-channel Engine DJ experience at a much lower price. Those who DJ as a hobby will find this rather appealing.

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In today’s fast-paced world, it’s great if you can adapt to new beginnings if it means it can enhance your skills and your abilities as a DJ, pro, or newbie. Standalone DJ controllers are a fantastic piece to complete your setup if you’re performing at events or even an at-home music producer. It’s important to know that you don’t have to immediately succumb to what’s the newest or the “trendiest” for today; just as long as you can provide high-quality work, then you’ll do fine. After all, skills are developed through practice, not through buying what’s expensive.

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7 months ago

Never been a fan of denon, my go to would be the opus quad sine i need all 4 channels and the EQs, sound quality are the closest to an xone mixer out of all of those mentioned, hopefully the price would drop a bit though since it’s a bit more than it should be, and oh yeah, if you’re lucky enough to find them in stock lol

7 months ago

If you are a beginner like me, go for the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3. I got mine a few weeks back and have really been enjoying it. I have wanted to get into the hobby for a few years now but needed to wait until I moved. I lived with others and didn’t have the space for mixing or making music where it would not annoy anyone. Anyways, I love it and highly recommend it! Nothing fancy but so much fun!

Micheal White
Micheal White
7 months ago

Thanks for this list. I have been looking at so many different options for weeks, I just can’t decide. I have been saving up for a new set for a while now. I am playing on a very old mixer from Lineartech and really need something more modern. I think I am leaning toward the Mixstream Pro Go.