What is the average price of a DJ controller? What is the price of a 4 channel controller? What does the DVS option cost? Read our complete guide with infographics.
The average DJ controller cost is $761. Popular beginner controllers are around $250. The most sold layout with 4 channels + 8 PADs + a standalone mixer is $1,237 on average. An autonomous controller that does not require a computer to work will be more expensive with prices going up to $2,299.
In order to help you the best I could, I gathered the price + options of 47 DJ controllers available in the market. I have created the list based on the most sold and most popular DJ controllers. I have then created some statistics and summed it up into useful infographics. It will help you to know the price of DJ controllers that fits your need.
All the DJ controller prices by brand
In the image above, you can see there are many controllers in the lower price range and much less in the higher price range. Hercules DJ and Numark are clearly brands focusing on budget DJ controllers with all their controllers under $800 and even under $400 for Hercules DJ.
Native Instruments is focusing on the mid-range with controllers mainly between $400 to $1,200, their average being around $800. Roland has controllers in every price range below $1,600.
Pioneer and Denon, while having controllers in every price range, are the only brands to propose high-end DJ controllers above $1,600. That makes sense considering Pioneer and Denon are the club references (especially Pioneer).
In this infographic, I have split the controllers into several categories:
- The number of channels: in short the number of songs or audio source you can play at the same time.
- The controller type:
- Computer needed: The controller cannot work at all without being plugged to a computer.
- Standalone mixer: The mixer section can have audio sources coming from something else than a computer. In other words, you can plug anything to it with audio cables (most of the time RCAs). Can be useful if you want to update your setup with vinyl decks or simply plug the phone of someone for a request.
- All-in-one: An all-in-one DJ controller is a controller with a standalone mixer + standalone players. It means that you can control songs without a computer if you want to. You do that by plugging an USB flash drive to the unit. The songs will therefore be played from the USB key instead of the computer. You can still play from your computer or even mix the two methods if you want to. Hence the name “all-in-one”. This is the type of controller that is the closest to the DJ players you will find in clubs. As such they are a bit more expensive.
- Software: Software the controller is build for.
- If the controller has the “8 pads” layout : These pads are used to play samples, trigger effects, set cue points, etc. They are versatile buttons which allow the DJ to have multiple additional possibilities and therefore express himself more. This is a key feature asked by DJs today.
- DVS : Stands for digital vinyl system. A controller with DVS has the possibility to analyse DVS signals from vinyls. It is mainly used by people who wants to have the real vinyl touch but still wants to play any song from the computer. Imagine it as a vinyl emulation. Doing so you can scratch with the real vinyl size and touch but with songs from your computer. You can also scratch with the jog/platter of the controller itself, but many DJs prefer the vinyl feeling. If you do not have any vinyl turntables, then this option is not necessary for you.
What is the price of a beginner DJ controller ?
The average price for a beginner DJ controller is $276. The best controller for beginners is clearly the DDJ-400, which cost only $249. For beginners I recommend a controller with 2 channels, 8 pads but without standalone functions. The standalone functions are not necessary because they will be only needed if you want to plug something else than your computer. You probably won’t do that as a beginner.
The pads however, are really fun to use and will enhance your possibilities by a lot. You will find the complete list of controllers meeting these criteria below. Personally I will avoid the cheapest DDJ-200 because many useful functions are not there. You will need to use the mouse of your computer for many things, which impacts badly your DJ flow. For instance you cannot trigger effects or simply load a track from the controller.
What is the best cheapest DJ controller ?
The cheapest DJ controller is the Numark DJ2GO2 and costs $79. It is a basic midi based DJ controller, meaning it needs a computer to run. It has 2 channels and 4 programmable “pads” (more big buttons than pads really). Probably cool to start on a budget, but keep it mind that it will not last longer. Other options are the Hercules DJControl Compact and the Numark Partymix. Among these three, the Numark Partymix is probably the best one. It has a more classic layout and bigger platters.
While keeping on a budget though, I will probably advice to go to the Pioneer DDJ-200 which is only a few bucks more. You will have the more classical pioneer layout that you will find in every clubs. Therefore, it is much more suitable to train on the latter as being the most widespread brand. So yeah, the best budget DJ controller is the Pioneer DDJ-200.
What is the “best for value” DJ controller ?
The best for value DJ controller is the Pioneer DDJ-SX3 at $999. At this price you will have a 4 channel standalone mixer + 8 pads to trigger cues and effects. To me that’s the 3 main features a “best for value” DJ controller should have. Find the complete list of controller meeting these criteria below. Please note that when you have the DVS compatibility by default when selecting these 3 criteria. That’s a nice bonus.
How much is an all-in-one DJ controller ?
The average price of an all-in-one DJ controller is $1,392. The cheapest one being the Numark MixDeck Express at $453 and the priciest the Pioneer XDJ-XZ at $2,299. As a reminder, all-in-one DJ controllers are DJ systems that allow you to directly connect USB keys to play songs from.
I would personally avoid the Numark MixDeck Express, its price is way too low to be a durable all-in-one DJ controller. I haven’t try it though, so maybe it’s only me being mean. But still, that price seems really strange to me… Please note that only the Denon Prime 4, MXC8000 and Pioneer XDJ-XZ do have 4 channels. It is an important point to notice since all-in-one controllers are pricey.
How much is a 4 channel DJ controller ?
The average price of a DJ controller with 4 channels is $1,194. The price range is between $649 and $2,299. Please note that controllers with 4 channels are mainly standalone mixers. That is the case 80% of the time in fact! On the contrary, 2 channel controllers are only 26% of the time standalone. It is almost a general rule: 2 channels = computer, 4 channels = standalone. Great info right? Again, the complete list of DJ controllers with 4 channels can be found in the infographic below.
How much is a DJ controller with DVS compatibility ?
The average price of a DJ controller with DVS compatibility is $1,202. The cheapest one being the Roland DJ-505 at $600. That is an impressively price considering the controller comes with a sequencer. Check out this really cool video showing both functionalities together. Definitely an option to consider.
How much is a DJ controller with a standalone mixer ?
The average price of a DJ controller with a standalone mixer is $1,102. The cheapest being again the Roland DJ-505 at $600 and the priciest the Pioneer DDJ-RZ at $1,999. Please note that all the standalone mixers propose the DVS option. Find the complete list of controllers in the infographic below:
What is the average price of a pioneer DJ controller ?
The average price of a pioneer DJ controller is $1,053. The cheapest one being the DDJ-200 at $149. At the $1,000 mark, pioneer propose the DDJ-SX3 and DDJ-1000. Both are 4 channels standalone mixers, DVS compatible and with the 8 pads layout. This is the standard price and layout that people go for today. The first runs on serato while the second runs on rekordbox.
What are the most sold DJ controllers ?
- Pioneer DDJ-SB3
- Pioneer DDJ-1000SRT
- Pioneer DDJ-SZ2
- Denon Prime 4
- Pioneer DDJ-400
- Pioneer DDJ-1000
- Pioneer XDJ-RX2
- Pioneer DDJ-SR2
- Pioneer DDJ-SX3
- Rolland DJ-202
Based on Guitar Center sales, the most sold DJ controller is the Pionner DDJ-SB3. Pioneer DJ is also the most sold brand for controllers in the top 10. It makes sense since Pioneer is already the first manufacturer when it comes to DJ players. Many people want to train on a similar layout for the time they will need to play in clubs. Moreover, Pioneer DJ products are robust and cover a wide range of prices.
My personal choice ?
If that is interesting to you, I would buy a DDJ-1000 if I want to upgrade my equipment one day. It has many functions such as the color FX, some standalone effects, a maglev fader and compact screens with all the useful information. The layout is exactly the CDJ standard you will find in clubs with a CDJ sized jog. It costs $1,199 which is amazing considering the options it embarks.
I have also made a similar post about the price of DJ mixers: Check it out!