The Best Pioneer DJ Controller

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Pioneer is one of the best DJ controller brands in the world. Among the many different manufacturers that DJs speak highly of, Pioneer is consistently remarked as one of the top brands for the best DJ controllers.

This is why it can be difficult to choose the best Pioneer DJ controller. There are simply too many great options. On this page, we will help you consider many different options so that you can find a high-quality Pioneer controller within your budget. 

In order to help you find the best Pioneer DJ controller, you need to know what features to expect. For example, some DJs simply cannot work with a controller with only two channels.

On this page, we will review each of the top Pioneer controllers to help you shop around. When selecting the best Pioneer DJ controller, we included affordability into concern just as much as we did features and versatility. 

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Comparison Chart

1. Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2

2. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2

3. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3

4. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2

5. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3

6. Pioneer DJ DDJSR

7. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2

8. Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000

9. Pioneer DJ DDJ-RB

10. Pioneer DJ XDJAERO

Best Pioneer DJ Controller

There are so many different models of DJ controllers that have been made by Pioneer. After searching through and testing all of the best DJ controllers, we have chosen our favorites from Pioneer. As you browse through our choices, make sure to keep your feature expectations and budget limitations in mind. These products are presented in no particular order

1. Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2

Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 Review

The Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 is not just an ordinary controller. If you want the best DJ controller on the market, this should be one of your top options. As a disclaimer, not everybody will be able to afford this product. Regardless, it is our choice for the overall best Pioneer DJ controller.

The XDJ-RX2 controller gives its users a professional experience, and it is regarded as an all-in-one DJ controller. This DJ controller doesn't require you to use a laptop separately, and it also has a touch screen which allows for viewing of the mixing process.

Other features of this controller include multi-colored performance pads, double mic input, and USB ports for loading tunes. This controller allows both saving and exportation of your recordings to the Rekordbox. This is the best Pioneer DJ controller in terms of the total number of features. Most noteworthy, a touchscreen to make standalone mixing easy. 

What's to like about the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2

When we look among the many different best DJ controllers on the market, most of the options we come across don't have the ability to be used like a classic CDJ and mixer set up like this one. With Rekordbox, you can easily prepare your mixes in advance and take this bad boy on the go without a laptop. 

What's not to like about the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2

Despite all the wonderful things that can be said about this controller, there are some things that we hope to see improved upon with later models. Most noteworthy, having the ability to work with four or more channels straight from the controller. 

PROS
  • Color touch mixing screen
  • Standalone-ready MIDI controller
  • Includes Rekordbox DJ license
CONS
  • Not the most affordable controller

2. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Review

This is the best advanced DJ controller we have come across for this price. The SB series from Pioneer have been upgraded throughout time, gradually becoming better and better. This controller has two decks which come alongside dedicated buttons which can be used for controlling decks 3 and 4 in the DJ software. 

This product is superb for those that want to have a quick understanding of how to DJ effortlessly one simple level. As a starter DJ controller or a portable controller to have in your equipment for less-demanding gigs, this is a great choice. 

What's to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2

This is a great all-in-one solution that you can use to instantly connect to your laptop and start mixing tracks today. If you have been searching for a great starter DJ controller for a reasonable price, this is a great option. 

What's not to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2

Those who want to find the best advanced DJ controller which comes along with durable parts and a full version of Serato should decide to purchase a different Pioneer DJ controller. This is a great choice if you want an affordable controller which comes with most of the desirable features in a top-quality controller. 

PROS
  • Portable controller for Serato
  • Affordable price
  • Ability to use 4 decks
CONS
  • Only comes with Serato DJ Intro free
  • Not all parts are very durable

3. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 Review

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 controller is a great option for anybody who wants one of the most jam-packed portable controllers that Pioneer has to offer for a reasonable price. The SB3 is the offspring of the immensely popular (yet arguably better) SB2 controller.

One thing which is clearly better with this model, though, is that it comes with a slightly better version of Serato (Serato DJ Lite) than the SB2. The controller is one of the most affordable portable Pioneer controllers out there considering how many features it comes equipped with 

For example, it has the ability to play 4 decks, and has 8 sampler drum pads on both sides of the controller. There are also tempo faders, buttons to help you easily create loops, and a complete mixer with EQs and separate volume faders. This controller contains many different features that you should expect if you wish to find the best Pioneer DJ controller

What's to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3

When it comes to the portable controllers that Pioneer has to offer, this one has a reasonable price and an impressive set of features. It can be easily hooked up to your favorite DJ software. It also comes with Serato DJ Lite, making it capable of being used right out of the box if you have a laptop ready. 

What's not to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3

To be clear, this is a very high-quality DJ controller. Especially if you are searching for a budget starter DJ controller to get your business rolling. However, this controller doesn't come with the full version of Serato and has parts which could be constructed with more durable materials. 

PROS
  • Very affordable & portable
  • Works with most popular DJ software
  • Ability to control four decks
CONS
  • Not extremely durable
  • Not the full version of Serato
  • The included sound card could be better

4. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2 Review

This Pioneer DJ controller is a great option for anybody who simply cannot live without more than two channels on their mixer. Since this is one of the biggest drawbacks for DJs who are accustomed to using CDJs and standalone mixers, a controller like the DDJ-SX2 is a great starter DJ controller for those ready to finally make the switch over to digital controllers. 

Another great aspect of this controller is that it is a premium controller. In other words, it comes with the benefit of receiving the full version of Serato software. Unlike many other Pioneer DJ controllers which come with the intro version, this one will allow you to activate the full potential of Serato right out of the box.

If you would rather use different software than Serato, this controller already has MIDI maps available for just about any of the best DJ software. One of the great perks of getting a Pioneer controller is that they are typically supported by any of the best DJ software.

What's to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2

Many people consider this to be the best advanced DJ controller since it comes with a vast array of features and versatility. It also comes at a reasonable price which even includes the full version of Serato.

This will also end up being one of the best DJ controllers for scratching due to the large platters and ability to throw in samples on one of the extra channels much more easily than you could with a basic 2-channel controller. 

What's not to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2

This is a really high-quality controller which can last you several years. There is a cache, though. Just like many other controllers that you can find, they are prone to breaking. For this reason, you should not purchase a premium controller like this one without getting a nice Pioneer DJ controller case. For this product, we recommend the Pro-X Flight Case. Designed specifically for the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2, this is the only way you can truly protect your investment. 

PROS
  • 4-deck mixer control
  • The full version of Serato is included
  • Price is reasonable considering the vast capabilities of the device.
CONS
  • Pioneer DJ controller case is recommended
  • Parts aren't as durable as they could be

5. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3 Review

This is another high-quality Pioneer controller which can give you professional look and experience found in a set up worth several thousand dollars for a much more reasonable price. The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3 is a great starter DJ controller if you are finding your way into nightclubs, bars, and other events which would never be trusted to a beginner DJ. 

Some other features of the controller which gives it superiority are that it has an FX plus mic, dual USB ports, 4 channels on the mixer, and 8 sampler drum pads on each of the decks of the controller.

The crossfader can be adjusted to various different settings, making it one of the best DJ controllers for scratching if you know what you're doing. Best of all, this controller comes with Serato Pro DJ software. 

What's to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3

There are many great things to be said about this product, and very few bad things. For starters, the dual USB ports allow you to quickly transfer over between two different computers.

This means you can have two DJs working on the same controller with their own laptops. The product includes plenty of customizable buttons, making the potential for creativity endless. All the basic necessities such as sound FX, looping, scratching, and so on, are included. 

What's not to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3

This is another premium quality controller. This means that it may be one of the absolute best options as a professional DJ starting out in the nightclub circuit. however, it also means that breaking it could be a deadly loss to your business.

As a result, you should not purchase a controller without getting a high-quality Pioneer DJ controller case like the Pro-X Flight. Since this product has similar dimensions to the SX2, it can fit in the same cases. 

PROS
  • 4-decks mixer control
  • 16 customizable drum pads
  • Included with full Serato software 
CONS
  • Not in everybody's budget
  • A case is recommended

6. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR Review

The Pioneer brand has some of the absolute best starter DJ controllers for those who are ready to make the switch over digital controllers and software such as Serato. The DJ DDJ-SR stands out from some of the other models from Pioneer in that it comes with all the basic necessities such as looping, sound FX, and even the ability to control 3 and 4 decks with the touch of a button. 

When we compare this model to some of the more expensive Pioneer DJ controllers, one of the most immediate things that stand out is that the mixer only has two channels. This means that controlling the sound for channels 3 and 4 will be a little more complicated.

Of course, this can also be done manually by using a mouse and dragging the volume knob manually on your favorite DJ software. If you want one of the most advanced mid-grade controllers Pioneer has to offer, this is a great choice. 

What's to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR

One of the most attractive features of this product is that it comes equipped with just about all of the features that we can find in Pioneer controllers which are twice the price of this one and up. However, one of the major aspects be aware of is that this product is a little outdated than some of the recent Pioneer models. 

In other words, bugs and part problems that were noticed in this model have since been fixed and replaced in more recent models. For the consumer, this means that you can get a really great deal by locking in the more affordable price of a model like this one. 

What's not to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR

All in all, many people consider this to be one of the best Pioneer DJ controllers for various reasons. For starters, it is usually a little more affordable than the SR2 model. However, this also means that some of the features that come equipped on the SR2 model such as back-lit jog wheels, multicolored drum pads, and so on.

In the end, if you are willing to sacrifice some aesthetic differences and having a standalone mixer (as we see in the SR2) then this is a great choice. 

PROS
  • All necessary basic features included
  • More affordable than many options
  • Compatible with most DJ software
CONS
  • Only 2 channels on the mixer
  • Not all parts are durable

7. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2

Our Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2 Review

This Serato DJ pro. This controller is easy to transport as it is a little more lightweight than its predecessors. It has multicolored performance pads and back-lit jog wheels. Despite these two aesthetic differences, there isn't much different between this model and the original DDJ-SR model featured above.

It is also worth noting that the newer DDJ-SR2 version is typically a little more expensive than the original DDJ-SR. This means that you get many of the same features for an extra price. One feature that may make the extra investment worth it is the fact that this product features a standalone mixer.

What's to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2

The back-lit jog wheels and multicolored sampler drum pads are really what stand out the most with this product. Although most DJs may not need to take advantage of the standalone functionality, the mixer can be used alongside turntables or CDJs for those wishing to add an additional element to their setup. If you prefer software, though, this may not be necessary. 

What's not to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2

As we mentioned, the DDJ-SR contains many of the same features as the DDJ-SR2. This is why many people may choose to save some money and stick with the original model. The original SR model will typically be a lot easier to find for a more affordable price. 

PROS
  • Back-lit platters and drum pads
  • Standalone mixer
  • FX, looping, and many customizable buttons
CONS
  • Very similar to the DDJ-SR model

8. Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000

Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000

This controller is a superb DJ controller which has one of the most portable designs of a high-quality DJ controller. This DJ controller gives a lightweight and compact solution to all those who want to have an awesome mix in parties and events and have a superb professional-like set up experience. The DJ controller features Rekordbox DJ compatibility, which has recently become an industry standard DJ software. 

It also features a jog display, four-channel mixer, club-style layout, and all the basic necessary features. This controller is of high quality and an easy-to-use controller for all skill levels. The only reason this isn't the best Pioneer DJ controller is that it isn't as affordable as some of the other options. 

Don't be fooled, though. If you want one of the best Pioneer DJ controllers or one of the best DJ controllers for scratching, this should be placed high on your list. The jog displays, touch-sensitive platters, and 4-channel support, and high-quality crossfader technology make it a great option for club DJs ready to scratch during their live sets. 

What's to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000

Realistically, this product is one of the absolute best Pioneer DJ controllers and features all the functionality that you should expect. This is why many people consider it to be the best advanced DJ controller on the market.

One feature which is unique to this model is the jog wheel displays. This really helps scratching DJs move their eyes a lot less. This way they can keep their eyes on the artificial needle while scratching. 

What's not to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000

Clearly, this is one of the best advanced DJ controller products on the market. Products like this are why Pioneer products have started to become one of the most popular brands for club DJs. Really, the only setback of this product is that DJs on a tight budget simply won't be able to afford it.  

PROS
  • Superb quality and features
  • Great option for use at high-end gigs such as nightclubs. 
  • 4 channels on the mixer
  • An LCD display on each platter
CONS
  • Not entirely affordable

9. Pioneer DJ DDJ-RB

Pioneer DJ DDJ-RB Review

Beginners looking for a great starter DJ controller should consider a bundle product like this one, which includes various items necessary to begin playing out of the box. Products found in this bundle option are as follows; the controller, an adjustable laptop stand, headphones, and a polishing cloth. Simply plug in your laptop, and install your favorite DJ software to start playing

The DDJ-RB controller features Rekordbox DJ support, a classic 2-channel layout, and a very reasonable price. This controller is easy to transport, and it also allows for the proper, and it also has customizable sampler drum pads on each channel. If you would rather take advantage of the bundle option, there are various other Pioneer products to consider. For example, the DDJ-SX3 can also be purchased with this bundle deal. 

What's to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-RB Bundle

If you want a product which many consider being the best starter DJ controller, this should be one of your top picks. Equipped with all of the basic features that you should have in your first DJ controller, the affordable price of this bundle will make it a wonderful option. Mobile DJs especially will be able to use a product like this successfully at entry to mid-level gigs. 

What's not to like about the Pioneer DJ DDJ-RB Bundle

This is really just a great starter controller option for DJs just getting into the hobby. Since this product comes with a laptop stand and headphones, many DJs might consider the bundle to be unnecessary. 

PROS
  • Very reasonable price
  • Great for a mobile DJ business
  • Built-in sound card
  • Included laptop stand & headphones
CONS
  • Not quality enough for high-end club gigs
  • Certain parts are prone to easy breaks

10. Pioneer DJ XDJ-AERO

Pioneer DJ XDJ-AERO

The DJ controller is a new technological development DJ controller which does not require the need to use a laptop as it is powered with the use of wi-fi. This makes it easy to connect to mobile phones and other small devices from which songs can be played directly on the DJ controller.

The use of Rekordbox technology has made it more easy to use any mobile to serve as a source of music to the users of this DJ controller. It also has small platters, USB connectivity, tempo control, and sound effects. 

What's to like about the Pioneer DJ XDJ-AERO

As a mobile DJ, this controller is one of the absolute best Pioneer DJ controllers for you to consider. Never worry about not having another guest request again. Since you can wirelessly stream requests from your guests' phone or tablet, you simply need to hand over your wi-fi password to play tracks not in your library. This controller can also be used as a standalone device, making it easy to hook up to CDJs, vinyl, and so on.

What's not to like about the Pioneer DJ XDJ-Aero

This is a great controller for a mobile DJ who is constantly on the road. At a club, however, the extra wi-fi capability and portability won't be much of an advantage for you. As a result, this is really only a great controller for those who do mobile gigs such as weddings, private parties, school dances, and so on. 

PROS
  • Play requests tirelessly from any smartphone, tablet, or computer
  • Standalone functionality
  • First Wi-Fi DJ system, allowing mobile DJs to take requests with ease
  • Very affordable price
  • Compact and lightweight
CONS
  • Not very effective as a professional nightclub controller

Buyers Guide & FAQs

Now that we have explored many of the best Pioneer DJ controllers, let's go ahead and break down some of the top FAQs and variables to be aware of before you make a final decision. 

What DJ Controllers Work with Serato?

Pioneer DJ controllers usually come equipped with the ability to use Serato. However, it's important to keep in mind that any sort of MIDI controller which is mapped correctly can be used with Serato. In a nutshell, you will also need a premium license and a controller which is either mapped or can be mapped on Serato. Most controllers on the market fall into this category. 

What is the Best Controller for Virtual DJ?

As a general rule of thumb, you should make sure that any controller you consider purchasing already has a MIDI map available. Otherwise, you will have to spend hours trying to map each of the MIDI buttons manually. This isn't very easy to do. It is usually done by experts with years of experience mapping MIDI controllers. A couple of controllers which can activate the full potential of Virtual DJ include the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 and the Pioneer DDJ-SX3.

What's the Best DJ Controller for Scratching?

Pioneer controllers tend to be very great for mimicking the look and feel of a classic vinyl record. In many cases, the best DJ controllers for scratching also come equipped with motorized platters. If you consider the fact that MIDI controllers don't always mimic vinyl records, then a product such as this should be suitable. In the end, though, there isn't a controller on the market which can fully re-create the classic vinyl sound. 

How Much is a Pioneer DJ Controller?

Pioneer DJ controllers are not always the most affordable option that you will get to consider. Especially if you want to get one of the best Pioneer DJ controllers. On the low end, a couple hundred bucks may be able to get you a suitable controller. However, remember that the top models can be priced over a thousand. When preparing your budget, keep in mind that the more you pay with Pioneer products, the more you will usually receive. 

Which Pioneer DJ Controller is the Best?

In all reality, choosing the best Pioneer DJ controller is a subjective matter. In other words, it depends on what features you need and what type of budget you are working with. If you want to go with one of the best options, check out the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2.

What is the Best DJ Controller for Beginner?

If you want to get the best DJ controller for beginners, you need to consider what type of DJ you want to be first. If you wish to be a DJ in your bedroom who solely makes DJing a hobby, then you might not consider getting an expensive brand or model. One of the best options for you to check out is the Numark DJ2GO2 since it is both reasonably priced and portable. 

Final Verdict

At the end of the day, choosing the best Pioneer DJ controller isn't entirely easy. Since there are so many great options to consider, you need to consider what features matter the most, and how much you are willing to pay. One great option is the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2. If you are tighter on your budget, check out the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3. If you find a controller that works best for your set up and have all the features you expected, then the exact Pioneer controller you chose doesn't matter as much. 

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