The Best DJ Mixers for Vinyl

The Best DJ Mixers for Vinyl

Whether you are a beginner DJ or a seasoned professional, choosing the right equipment for your needs can be a struggle.

Especially when it comes to mixers, since the choice can simply be a matter of personal preferences over anything else.

There’s lots of great DJ mixers on the market, and you’d probably do well with many of the selections out there. But that doesn’t help you with your analysis paralysis, though.

So, in this article, we will try to do our best to help you identify the best DJ mixers for vinyl and choose the most suited one for you.

Top 10 Best DJ Mixers for Vinyl

  1. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2
  2. Numark Scratch
  3. Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2
  4. Pioneer DJ DJM-S9
  5. Pioneer DJ DJM-250MK2
  6. Behringer Pro Mixer DX2000USB
  7. PLAYdifferently Model 1
  8. Allen & Heath Xone:23C
  9. Allen & Heath Xone:DB4
  10. Reloop Elite 2-channel DVS Mixer

DJ Mixers for Vinyl Buying Guide

It is always a rather good idea to dig a bit deeper before making any important, or in this particular case expensive, decision.

A bit of history

DJ mixers became very popular within the adepts of underground urban hip-hop back in the 70’s and 80’s. Those mixers were significantly more portable than conventional mixing consoles of that era and had much fewer inputs and outputs. With the release of Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” in 1983, DJing became a very prominent part of a popular culture outside hip-hop.

Scratching

So-called “scratching” is arguably the most recognized and regarded feature of classic DJing. Although these days this is more of an oddity and live DJing evolved and established new ways of entertaining, scratching is still very popular, especially within the modern hip-hop community. In the 2010’s, DJs used CD players and various digital record emulations in order to “scratch,” but some, if not the most, DJs to this day prefer vinyl.

Crossfaders

What really distinguishes a DJ mixer is the ability to crossfade between two or more different signals. Crossfaders use the same basic principle as regular faders do, but instead of changing the volume of one signal, crossfaders transition seamlessly between two different signal sources. Crossfaders usually help DJs to go between tracks without a pause and, obviously, to “scratch”. Amongst other distinguishable features, DJ mixers can send separate output to the headphones, which lets the DJ bring up to speed the next track.

Important features

Amongst more obvious features, there are a few ambiguous ones that we should keep in mind.

Firstly, since we are dealing with vinyl specifically, we need our mixer to have proper inputs of high quality. Every bold and brilliant artistic endeavor could be easily lessened by an uninspiring and dull sound. So, obviously, the quality of sound should be a priority when it comes to choosing the right DJ mixer. The good news is that this shouldn’t be a problem since even the most budget-friendly mixers available on the market offer a superior sound quality.

Functionality

Secondly, although you obviously want to “scratch” the holes out in your new mixer, it’s rather a good idea to have as many options as possible.  There is nothing more disappointing than to be limited by your own gear, especially when your creativity directly depends on its functionality. So even if you are a beginner and didn’t figure out the artistic language yet, having a powerful mixer with a lot of features could easily help you with that.

Size and weight

And finally, no matter what you’ve heard, size does matter. If you prefer smaller venues or travel a lot, a heavy and bulky mixer is obviously not an option for you. What you are looking for is a very light and portable device that would not give you any trouble while you commute. Also, you should remember that in order to achieve greater mobility, you should not, in any case, sacrifice durability. Your mixer should be light, but at the same time, built like a tank.

So we suggest that you pay attention to those things while choosing the best DJ mixers for vinyl.

Best DJ Mixers for Vinyl Reviews

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2

Pros
  • 4 channels total
  • Durable aluminum chassis
Cons
  • A bit pricey
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 has two separate audio channels and a built-in interface with high-quality 24-bit audio. It also has two Remix channels and dedicated Native Instruments software that lets you control the mixer. Macro FX could be controlled with one knob, which is a nice touch.

User impressions

Users like Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 as it is a perfect, easy-to-use mixer to choose as a beginner DJ. It has an excellent build and sound quality, it is easily integrated with analog gear and can be used separately. Users like the variety of settings that this mixer provides, especially fader is liked by the majority as it is light in feel and the cut works well for scratching.

What we think

The most impressive thing about this mixer is its built quality. NI claims that it is made from the same materials that planes are built from. Whether it’s true or not, it seems extremely durable, but at the same time shockingly light.

Bottomline

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 is a perfect choice for someone who is looking for a very durable mixer with a lot of additional features and extended functionality. Although the price might make you want to reassess, we believe it’s totally worth it.

Numark Scratch

Numark Scratch

Pros
  • 2 channels of 24-bit audio
  • 6 built-in effects
Cons
  • No separate AUX
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Numark Scratch is a very budget-friendly DJ mixer, but you couldn’t honestly tell where they’ve cut the cost. It feels very durable and offers superior DJ software alongside two channels of high-quality audio.

User impressions

Users are quite impressed with Numark Scratch as it is very versatile and it has outstanding sound and build quality. It has a very stylish and futuristic design with a lot of buttons and knobs. The variety of features that this mixer has includes Innofader crossfader that allows reverse and slope control. This mixer is easy to use, and it gives you room for being creative and feeling the vibe. Some users point out that this mixer has only four pads on each side which isn’t that convenient.

What we think

 We were most impressed with the customization that this mixer’s software offers you. It feels like you can reconfigure layouts almost endlessly.

Bottomline

Although this is a perfect mixer for beginner DJs, we believe it would feel right at home in the arsenal of even more experienced performers.

Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2

Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2

Pros
  • 4 separate channels of 64-bit audio
  • Adjustable crossfader curve
Cons
  • A bit expensive
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Although it was clearly designed for more seasoned DJs, Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2 seems to be a perfect investment for a beginner too. It will accommodate almost any imaginable need without any regard to your particular style and preferences.

User impressions

Users say that Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2 is the industry standard, it has a lot of effects and improved sound quality of 64-bit 96 kHz audio. With convenience in mind, it has Color FX knobs that are located under each set of EQs. Having two USB ports provides an opportunity for two DJs to work simultaneously plugging in their laptops, and therefore it’s much easier for making a switch between DJs during the set. Some users note that if you are a novice in the DJing world, you might be a bit overwhelmed by the number of features included.

What we think

Pioneer truly impresses with its shockingly vast commutation. You can hook up to it almost every imaginable piece of equipment, starting from laptops and phones to any analog gear.

Bottomline

Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2 is a perfect choice for any DJ with any background, but considering the price, you might reevaluate your needs and budget before purchasing one.

Pioneer DJ DJM-S9

Pioneer DJ DJM-S9

Pros
  • Two separate USB interfaces
Cons
  • A bit complicated UI
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Pioneer DJ DJM-S9 is a slightly stripped-down version of the previous entry on this list. Which in any case doesn’t mean that it is even remotely inferior.

User impressions

Users like that Pioneer DJ DJM-S9 has a pretty straightforward design and is easy to use on many various occasions, including DJs’ battles and club performances. This standalone mixer has a lot to offer aside from scratching, including Filter and Beat FX, mighty EQ filtering, Magvel Pro crossfader. Some users note that the price tag for this mixer is too high as it’s not that mind-blowing and a few things need to be improved.

What we think

This would be a perfect DJ mixer if not for the LED lights that it is equipped with. At times it feels a bit overwhelming and slightly confusing.

Bottomline

This mixer is a perfect choice if you are overwhelmed with functionality and the price of the DJM-900 but still want to experience the same built quality and sound.

Pioneer DJ DJM-250MK2

Pioneer DJ DJM-250MK2

Pros
Cons
  • A bit simple
See price  @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Pioneer DJ DJM-250MK2 is a very straightforward DJ mixer with two audio channels and a USB interface. It offers the same quality of sound and durability as the two previous entries on this list but without overwhelming functionality.

User impressions

Users agree that Pioneer DJ DJM-250MK2 is a nice mixer that has a solid build and great sound. It has a Magvel crossfader that is just what you need for mixing and scratching. Some users note that if you plan on playing at big parties, you’d better look elsewhere, but if you are all about small venues, this one is just for you.

What we think

We believe that some things don’t need to be complicated to be really good. When you know precisely what you need, you tend to leave superfluous things behind.

Bottomline

This mixer is a perfect choice for someone who knows exactly what they are looking for in DJ mixers. Although the functionality is very limited, the price tag compensates for it a great deal.

Behringer Pro Mixer DX2000USB

Behringer Pro Mixer DX2000USB

Pros
  • 7 channels of high-quality audio
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • None that we know of
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Behringer Pro Mixer DX2000USB is a durable DJ mixer with 2 separate analog and digital outputs and 7 channels of high-quality audio.

User impressions

Users say that Behringer Pro Mixer DX2000USB has an intuitive operation and has a range of digital effects that will help you to keep the audience in awe.

What we think

What is impressive about this mixer is its mic preamps. Although this might feel slightly irrelevant, preamps are extremely neglected compared to other mixers. On occasion, it is nice for your audience to be able to hear you clearly.

Bottomline

This mixer is a perfect choice for someone who values functionality and connectivity first and foremost. The price is also a nice touch.

PLAYdifferently Model 1

PLAYdifferently Model 1

Pros
  • 6 input channels
  • 2 AUX outputs
Cons
  • Pricey
See price @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

PLAYdifferently Model 1 is a power station of a DJ mixer. It has everything that you can dream of and even a bit more.

User impressions

Users say that PLAYdifferently Model 1 is built up for more professional playing, so if you’re a novice in DJing, you might find it a bit overwhelming at first glance. This mixer is not for scratching but for creating sonic performances as this mixer is fully analog.

What we think

Considering its price tag, this mixer should be out of the question, but to think of it, this might be a good idea to own one. Yes, it’s pricey, to say the least, but we guarantee that you would not need to buy another one ever again.

Bottomline

PLAYdifferently Model 1 is a perfect choice for someone who is looking for a serious and lasting investment in their gear.

Allen & Heath Xone:23C

Allen & Heath Xone:23C

Pros
  • 4 high-quality audio channels
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • A bit simple
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Allen & Heath Xone:23C is a pretty capable and budget-friendly DJ mixer with 4 separate audio channels and smooth VCA faders.

User impressions

Users like that Allen & Heath Xone:23C is nicely built, has a futuristic-like and user-friendly design. It has great sound quality and USB output for recording vinyl input.

What we think

We believe that this DJ mixer is a small but durable workhorse that will last you for ages. And that alone is good enough of a reason to own one.

Bottomline

This DJ mixer is a perfect choice for someone who is looking for extremely durable and minimalistic gear that will perform in all possible conditions.

Allen & Heath Xone:DB4

Allen & Heath Xone:DB4

Pros
  • 4 separate audio channels
  • 12 individual stereo inputs
Cons
  • A bit pricey
See price  @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Allen & Heath Xone:DB4 is a very advanced and beyond capable DJ mixing workstation that will accommodate even your boldest needs. Amongst other things, it offers you 12 individual stereo inputs and heavy-duty lightweight aluminum chassis.

User impressions

Users say that Allen & Heath Xone:DB4 might seem a bit overwhelming at first glance, but it offers you really good sound quality. It has a lot of blends, swells, drops, and transitions to choose from. Some users note that the resonance on this filter is a little weak and the split cue on the DB4 can’t be deactivated or re-activated on the fly without getting into settings.

What we think

It might feel a bit complicated and pricey, to say the least, but considering the value it can potentially provide, we believe that the price is right.

Bottomline

This mixer is a perfect choice for someone who is looking for a powerful DJ workstation with lots of inputs and extended functionality.

Reloop Elite 2-channel DVS Mixer

Reloop Elite 2-channel DVS Mixer

Pros
  • 12 performance modes
  • Dedicated FX controls for each channel
Cons
  • None that we know of
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater
Best features and specs

Reloop Elite 2-channel DVS Mixer is a pinnacle of professional digital mixers. It lets you switch easily between two computers and customize almost every individual parameter. It also offers you almost every possible connection option.

User impressions

Users are quite impressed with Reloop Elite 2-channel DVS Mixer because of the amazing sound and build quality. Pads are a joy to drum on and feel really cool. This mixer is packed with effects and features. What users really liked is that if you use analog vinyl, you can use Serato’s effects with it. Another cool thing is that a part of the mixer is modular and if it stops working, it can be easily fixed.

What we think

We believe that despite the price, this mixer might be just right for everyone. It seems that whatever you can think of it actually can do that. And it can do that with ease.

Bottomline

Reloop Elite 2-channel DVS Mixer is a perfect choice for a DJ who is looking for a very versatile and powerful digital mixer that will come at handy in almost every possible situation.

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