When it comes to beginner DJ mixers, buying a sturdy, affordable and model packed with enough features for not only the present but long-term will key to keep in mind while you sift through the various picks out there. As our best beginner DJ equipment guide explained, there are nowadays many “laptop only” DJ’s who merely grab a DJ controller and DJ software to get going. However, others (including us) still want the staple-point of what a DJ rig has always consisted of — a mixer paired up with one or two DJ turntables to get going on scratching and mashing up tunes real-time. Today we found some picks for the best DJ turntables for beginners, with not only our favorite model but a few others to give you options as well.
Finding the best beginners DJ mixer
Before we dive into our main pick, let’s talk money. If you already have your beginner DJ turntable(s) and have some extra cash to spend, we always recommend saving up to make sure you’re good to go not only for a “starter” mixer but one that will give you a learning curve so you don’t have to throw it out and upgrade it within a year or so.
DJ equipment in general can get a bit tricky when it comes to “features” and “specs”. A lot of it is going to come down to personal preference; however, in our article today, we’re aware you’re just starting out, so we’ll make sure to explain what these “fancy” (at times) or “technical” words mean and if they’re even worth having when you’re just starting out your DJ endeavors. For DJ mixers for beginners in particular, here are some of our recommended “musts” when it comes to features:
- Have at least 2 channels (in case you want two turntables)
- Pay attention to the fader — ensure its of decent quality so you can learn how to fade in and out of tracks as well scratch
- What’s the sound card resolution? No lower than 96 kHz 24 bit
- Keep in mind what type of “controls” you want — EQ, standard gain\volume, or more?
- What type of inputs do you want? Just enough for headphones and two turntables, or perhaps some microphones, MIDI controllers and more as well?
The best DJ mixer for beginners
Our pick: The Allen & Heath XONE:23
As our number one pick as the best beginners DJ mixer, we have the Allen & Heath XONE:23, which is a 2-channel/4-deck DJ mixer with not only an amazing and sleek build but great features that will serve their purpose in the now as well down the road as well. Allen & Heath is very popular at this point when it comes to higher-end DJ gear, and although usually priced “a bit more” than others out there, we feel they give us a great blend of quality and affordability with this particular model.
Now let’s get into the details. Most notably, the crossfader is beautiful for scratching. It’s compatible with “INNOfader” (an add-on, higher quality fader) if you want to replace it, however the stock fader is fine on its own for the time being while you learn. Next, the onboard 4-channel 96kHz 24bit internal sound card give us extremely clear audio quality and also allows you to replay and record from any DJ software of your choice – the mixer also comes with a copy Mixvibe’s Cross LE software if you haven’t already purchased software. The XONE:23 also comes with a highly raved about analog “Voltage Control Filter” (VCF) system which gives you a great feel of your lowpass and highpass filters, frequency sweeps, and ‘mild to wild’ resonance control. There is also a high-end effects loop to connect your effects to route back in through the filter system – you don’t normally see these features on a mixer at this price.
Even better for those beginning DJ’s wanting to incorporate some microphones in their DJ setup, the mixer has two balanced XLR inputs as well as a dedicated record output. Alongside this are monitoring facilities with a booth output (volume control too), cue mix control, and some signal levels to make sure your audio doesn’t distort.On each channel, the mixer comes with a “total kill” EQ to help with better frequency control. It also has the necessary I/O’s for mixing: dual XLR outputs, phono and line inputs, monitor outs, and 1/4 to 1/8th” headphone outputs. The overall controls are soft touch, give us a back light for remembering where is where (also for a cool look, of course), and meters attached to the steel face plate.
All in all when it came down to it, this particular DJ mixer in our opinion offers not only the best bang for your buck, but amazing build quality to act as a long-term investment for our DJ adventures. Grab the Allen & Heath XONE:23 mixer if you’re in the market for a solid beginner’s digital mixer.
More beginner DJ mixer picks
Here we’ll take a glimpse at one of the more price-friendly models in case our number one pick as a bit too expensive, the Numark M2BLACK. The M2 is a 2-channel scratch mixer that has all of the essentials to be one of the best beginner’s DJ mixers. The Numark has switchable phono/line inputs for turntables, audio players, speakers, and other line sources which make the M2 a pretty good choice for any DJ setting from weddings to house parties to clubs, and anywhere in between. It also has a mic input with a dedicated EQ and gain, along with a headphone output with crossfader-style cueing which is the modern DJ package/setup for most professionals. Each channel has their own 3-band EQ plus crossfader-reverse and slope controls which gives you all the necessary tools to drive the crowd from behind the booth. With these type of features, the M2 is an ideal mixer for scratching DJs (while it can also get the job done for other types of spinning of course). The Numark M2 packages good features for a great price for our shoppers with a budget.
Pioneer DJ DJM-250MK2
Now we will take a look at Pioneer’s DJM-250MK2, one of the best DJ mixers for beginners for users who want something that is a touch more high-end. The brand Pioneer sells itself as they are supported by some of the top DJs in the world. The DJ DJM-250MK2 is a 2-channel mixer that offers simple controls and a clear layout – both of which are two important factors for the common beginner. The DJM also comes with dedicated 3-band isolators to make scratching and mixing easier. The clear layout of the DJM gives the user freedom to perform scratching techniques, while the “Magvel” faders offer smoother control and long-term durability. To help you create your own mood to your mixes, each channel comes with their own additional (but not necessarily required) “Sound Color FX Filter” to add more texture and layers to your music. The Pioneer also comes with a built-in sound card – simply connect the mixer to your Mac/PC and you’re ready to record your mixes. As said above, the Pioneer DJ DJM-250MK2 is a little more high-end, and because of this it’s somewhat more expensive than other mixers in this guide. It’s well worth it however if you have the cash handy.
Here’s the Gemini MM1, a super cheap 2-channel audio mixer that combines practical features with a compact design at a very affordable price – our most affordable beginner DJ mixer in this guide. The MM1 provides you with all the necessary connections for mixers, as it has two-line RCA inputs and a master RCA output. This mixer also helps you come with your own sound with the 2-band rotary EQ on each channel, helping you skillfully blend the lows and highs of your tunes. The Gemini also has individual gain control which gives you greater command during your mixes. For hook ups, it features a 1/4” mic input with a dedicated volume control, and headphone volume control to adjust the levels heard through the mic input without having to change the overall mix. The MM1 is designed with a smooth cross fader for better transitions and clean mixing from one source to another. Using these features to preview your songs will give your mixes a smoother and more uniform performance for your audience. The simple features of the Gemini MM1 mixer make this a viable option for beginning DJs looking to keep their setup simple, along with users looking for easy-to-use features.
Last but not least, we will finish up with the Pyle PMX7BU, which is a pretty basic mixer that is relatively easy to learn on, which is why it is one of the best starter DJ mixers. The Pyle is a 3-channel DJ MP3 mixer featuring built-in Bluetooth technology for wireless music streaming – allowing you to stream from your device directly to the source. The PMX7BU has independent channel controls and a crossfade which helps you make better transitions and cleaner mixing between the 3 channels. The PMX7BU also features 2 AUX inputs that can be easily combined or mixed with Bluetooth and MP3 devices. The inputs let you plug any audio source (mic, phone, MP3 player, etc.) and combine it with your Bluetooth audio, USB flash MP3’s or any audio channel in your unit – the AUX inputs are also switchable between line level and phono input. The Pyle has an embedded USB flash reader which lets you load your USB device with songs and play them through the mixer – simply just plug it in and have access to your entire music library. The Pyle PMX7BU combines a very friendly price with a simplistic design to make for one of the best DJ mixers for beginners. It has some pretty fancy controls and features here, however will serve more as a short-term buy to start learning on. You’ll eventually have to upgrade.