What is a Standalone DJ controller?

There is an incredible amount of DJ controllers in the market. Some of them work with specific DJ softwares, others have an integrated audio interface and can mix external DJ gear with the software and there is a category for the ultimate DJ controllers, those that don’t require a laptop to work. Today we are reviewing them from the most expensive to the most affordable one, including some discontinued controllers, so you can choose which fits your preferences the best.

Pioneer XDJ-XZ

Pioneer XDJ-XZ

The flagship standalone DJ controller from Pioneer is an incredible piece of equipment. A professional DJ controller oriented to clubs and festivals not only because of its specs but also because of the price. It features a 7 inch display touch screen in the top center of the controller with all the information you need, a complete mixer section with 4 channels that have 3 band EQ, full size jog wheels with display, 14 beat FX, 6 color FX and 2 Mic inputs with full EQ and Feedback reducer. It also works in midi mode with Serato DJ Pro and Rekordbox, unlocking its full potential.

The only downside of this top-of-the-line DJ controller is that, in standalone mode, you can only control decks 1 and 2, leaving decks 3 and 4 only usable with line or phono inputs or using a laptop with Serato or Rekordbox DJ software.

Specs

  • Deck control channels in standalone mode: 2
  • Deck control channels with DJ software: 4
  • Standalone mixer channels: 4
  • Inputs: 2 RCA (Line/Phono) 2 RCA Stereo (Line) 2 Mic In (XLR & 1/4 Inch) 1 AUX (RCA)
  • Outputs: 2 Master (RCA/XLR) 1 Booth (TRS) 1 Send (TRS) 1 Headphone Monitor (1/4 Inch & 1/8 Inch)
  • Weight: 28,7 lbs. (13 kg)
  • Size (Width/Height/Depth): 878mm – 118mm – 491mm (34.57″ – 4.66″ – 19.35″)
  • Price (May 2021):  £ 1,899.00 // € 2.199,00 // $ 2,299.00

Denon Prime 4

Denon Prime 4

This flagship standalone DJ controller was a revolution when it came out in 2019 and it is still one of the best, if not the best standalone DJ controller in the market competing face-to-face with the Pioneer XDJ-XZ. The features that it offers are: A large 10.1 inch touch screen, full standalone controls in the 4 channels (meaning that it is capable of playing 4 tracks with 2 decks as each deck has two layers), 3 band EQ, big jog wheels with display, 14 FXs, 2 Mic inputs with EQ and echo, WiFi and even a bay for a hard drive or a SSD. It also works as a midi controller with Serato DJ Pro and Virtual DJ.

A very complete DJ controller specially designed for mobile DJ’s and clubs with not many downsides. It is true that some of the features are a bit hidden in the menu and the learning curve is a little bit bigger than some of the competing products, but it offers unique features that are worth the investment.

Specs

  • Deck control channels in standalone mode: 4
  • Deck control channels with DJ software: 4
  • Standalone mixer channels: 4
  • Inputs: 4 RCA (Line/Phono) 2 Mic (1/4 Inch/XLR) Stage Link Input
  • Outputs: 2 Master (1 x RCA 1 x XLR) 1 Booth (XLR) 1 Zone (XLR) 1 Headphone Monitor (1/4 Inch & 1/8 Inch)
  • Weight: 13.22 lbs. (9.6 kg)
  • Size (Width/Height/Depth): 728mm – 103mm – 497mm (28.68″ – 4.07″ – 19.56″)
  • Price (May 2021):  £1,299 // € 1.799,00 // $ 1,899.00

Pioneer XDJ-RX2

Pioneer XDJ RX2

After the success of the XDJ-RX, in 2017 Pioneer launched an improved model, the XDJ-RX2, which is their top of the line 2 channel standalone DJ controller.

This controller features the same screen as the Pioneer XDJ-XZ but it doesn’t have the on jog wheel displays, keeping RGB pads (as the previous ones) for Hot Cues, Beat Jump, Slip Loop and Beat Loop, an incredible mixer similar to the NXS2 with 4 color FX and 8 Beat FX, 2 Mic inputs with controls and 2 USB ports for playing and recording sets.

Specs

  • Deck control channels in standalone mode: 2
  • Deck control channels with DJ software: 2
  • Standalone mixer channels: 2
  • Inputs: 2 RCA (Line) 2 RCA Stereo (Phono) 1 RCA (AUX) 2 Mic In (XLR & 1/4 Inch)
  • Outputs: 2 Master (RCA/XLR) 1 Booth (TRS) 1 Headphone Monitor (1/4 Inch & 1/8 Inch)
  • Weight: 20 lbs. (9.07 kg)
  • Size (Width/Height/Depth): 728mm – 108mm – 367mm (28.66″ – 4.26″ – 17.46″)
  • Price (May 2021):  £1,351 // € 1.575,00 // $ 1,699.00

Denon Prime 2

Denon Prime 2

Similar to the Denon Prime 4 but with 2 channels, the Denon Prime 2 offers a flagship mixer in a smaller format. The features that differ between the two are that the Prime 2 doesn’t support Serato yet. The pads are a bit smaller but it has a stop knob for controlling the fade out when stopping the track (the prime 4 has this function in the menu). This screen is 7 inches and it only has a Filter FX instead of the 4 that offers the Prime 4, it has less control over the FX parameters and doesn’t offer the possibility to mix with external turntables.

Specs

  • Deck control channels in standalone mode: 2
  • Deck control channels with DJ software: 2
  • Standalone mixer channels: 0
  • Inputs: 2 RCA (Line) 2 Mic In (XLR & 1/4 Inch) Stage Link Input
  • Outputs: 2 Master (RCA/XLR) 1 Booth (XLR) 1 Headphone Monitor (1/4 Inch & 1/8 Inch)
  • Weight: 15,87 lbs. (7,2 kg)
  • Size (Width/Height/Depth): 645mm – 120mm – 410mm (25″ – 4″ – 16″)
  • Price (May 2021):  £915 // € 1.290,00 // $ 1,401.00

Pioneer XDJ-RR

Pioneer xdj-RR

The cheapest standalone DJ controller from Pioneer is still a really nice piece of gear for those who are beginners or for those who want to play in small parties without a laptop.

It features a 7 inch display that is not a touchscreen, NXS2 style mixer with 3 FX and 4 color FX, 1 Mic Input with controls over the EQ, a line RCA input and 2 Outputs for the master (XLR/RCA). Also works as a DJ controller with a laptop but only with Rekordbox software.

It lacks some features like the booth output or the phono inputs and the build quality feels more entry level than its big brothers, so it is perfect for beginners who want to learn how to use the Pioneer mixers layout without spending the money that the XDJ-XZ or the XDJ-RX2 cost.

Specs

  • Deck control channels in standalone mode: 2
  • Deck control channels with DJ software: 2
  • Standalone mixer channels: 0
  • Inputs: 1 RCA (Line) 1 Mic In (XLR & 1/4 Inch)
  • Outputs: 2 Master (RCA/XLR) 1 Headphone Monitor (1/4 Inch & 1/8 Inch)
  • Weight: 11,5 lbs. (5,2 kg)
  • Size (Width/Height/Depth): 625mm – 74,2mm – 388,5mm (24,6″ – 2,9″ – 15,3″)
  • Price (May 2021):  £915 // € 1.066,60 // $ 999.00

Denon Prime Go

Denon Prime Go

The Denon Prime Go is the answer from Denon to those who want to mix in any place without the worries of needing a power supply, as it has a built in battery that lasts up to 4 hours.

It is a compact size DJ controller, full of features like a 7 inch multi-touch display, WiFi, sweep FX’s, assignable FX’s, 3 band EQ in horizontal format, 2 Mic inputs with level control, booth output (1/4″), USB/SD card ports and 4 performance pads in each deck.

The downsides are more of a compromise than a lack, as its size doesn’t allow to include too many other features that the Prime 2 or the Prime 4 have.

Specs

  • Deck control channels in standalone mode: 2
  • Deck control channels with DJ software: 2
  • Standalone mixer channels: 0
  • Inputs: 1 RCA (Line) 2 Mic In (XLR & 1/4 Inch) Stage Link Input
  • Outputs: 2 Master (RCA/XLR) 1 Booth (1/4″) 1 Headphone Monitor (1/4 Inch & 1/8 Inch)
  • Weight: 8,1 lbs. (3,68 kg)
  • Size (Width/Height/Depth): 411mm – 53mm – 275mm (16,2″ – 2,1″ – 10,8″)
  • Price (May 2021):  £711 // € 990,00 // $ 999.00

Gemini SDJ-4000

Gemini SDJ-4000

Gemini offers more affordable standalone DJ controllers, the SDJ-4000 being their top of the line alternative.

It features 4 channels with 3 band EQ but only 2 are completely standalone, meaning that in those 2 channels you can play tracks from your USB drive. The mixer is standalone too as it has 4 line inputs (2 of them can be phono) and built in FX, the jog wheels are illuminated but not really big, it has 16 performance pads, a 7 inch color display, 2 USB ports, an ethernet connection to add 2 more proprietary controllers and works as a 4 channel DJ controller with Virtual DJ.

Overall, a good alternative for the price but not as popular as their competitors. We will keep an eye on their future models.

Specs

  • Deck control channels in standalone mode: 2
  • Deck control channels with DJ software: 4
  • Standalone mixer channels: 4
  • Inputs: 2 RCA (Line) 2 RCA (Line/Phono) 2 Mic In ( 1 x XLR / 1 x 1/4 Inch)
  • Outputs: 2 Master (RCA/XLR) 1 Booth (RCA) 1 Headphone Monitor (1/4 Inch & 1/8 Inch)
  • Weight: 13,23 lbs. (6 kg)
  • Size (Width/Height/Depth): 796mm – 230mm – 554mm (31,34″ – 9,05″ – 21,8″)
  • Price (May 2021):  £856 // € 999,00 // $ 999.95

Denon MCX8000

Denon-MCX8000

The Denon DJ MCX8000 was the first standalone DJ controller from Pioneer prior to the Prime series.

The main purpose of this DJ controller is as a 4 channel control surface for Serato DJ Pro, but it is also capable of playing as a 2 deck standalone controller via USB ports. It has 2 screens at the top of each deck that show all the information you need, 16 performance pads, 3 band EQ, 3 FX, a Filter per channel and 2 Mic inputs with controls. It supports Serato DVS for playing with turntables.

The cons of this controller are: the decks are mirrored, meaning that the crossfader and some buttons are next to the mixer section instead of being in identical position on each deck and due to the new release of the Prime series, it is discontinued in many shops.

Specs

  • Deck control channels in standalone mode: 2
  • Deck control channels with DJ software: 4
  • Standalone mixer channels: 4
  • Inputs: 2 RCA (Line) 2 RCA (Line/Phono) 2 Mic In ( 1 x XLR / 1 x 1/4 Inch)
  • Outputs: 2 Master (RCA/XLR) 1 Booth (XLR) 1 Headphone Monitor (1/4 Inch & 1/8 Inch)
  • Weight: 23,61 lbs. (10.71 kg)
  • Size (Width/Height/Depth): 865,63mm – 131,06mm – 536,45mm (28,68″ – 5,16″ – 21,12″)
  • Price (May 2021):  £648 // € 911,00 // $ 1499.00

Other standalone DJ controllers

There are more standalone DJ controllers in the market right now but for 2021 they have features that are a little bit outdated. If you want to check them out we leave the list here:

Gemini CDMP-7000

Gemini CDMP-7000

Check out Pioneer DJ: Web
Check out Denon DJ: Web
Check out Gemini Sound: Web
Check out Numark: Web

wootmag tech
"You can't fake passion"