Questions this article will answer:
What are DJ mixing boards?
DJ mixing boards, commonly referred to as DJ controllers, are what most people think of nowadays when they think of DJs. Gone are the days where being a DJ consisted of having two vinyl turntables and a mixer. DJ controllers take the functionality of both of those things and combine them into one device. This article will dive into the best DJ mixing boards for beginners based on what’s most important to you – price and ease of use.
What are the best DJ mixing boards for beginners?
We broke out our picks of the best DJ boards for beginners based on price. After all, price is something that everyone has to take into consideration and you probably already have a number in your head in terms of what you’d be willing to spend on your first mixing board.
We stopped at the $300 price level for two reasons:
- Anything above $300 likely comes with features you don’t really need as a beginner. You may start to look above this price range as your skills advance and you get comfortable with the art of mixing music.
- We think the best beginner DJ controller (DJ mixing board) is the Pioneer DDJ-SB2. This mixing board has all of the functionality you’ll need as a beginner. The Pioneer DDJ-SB2 can typically be bought for well under $300. You can read our full review of the DDJ-SB2 here.
The Best DJ Mixing Board for Beginners under $100
Our pick: Numark Party Mix
Let’s be honest, like most musical instruments and equipment there aren’t a ton of options for DJ boards under $100. With that being said, Numark actually does a great job with this beginner DJ board. It definitely doesn’t have all of the functionality as the other DJ boards on this list, but it likely has enough to get the job done.
Besides, if you’re looking to spend less than $100 you probably just want a DJ mixing board that will get you started, not something you’re looking to stick with for years.
One thing we did want to call out on the Numark Party Mix DJ board is the light show. While you shouldn’t expect any crazy visuals timed with the beat of the music, it’s a fun addition, especially for a DJ just looking to have fun and entertain friends.
- Compatibility with Virtual DJ software
- Built-in soundcard allowing you to plug headphones and speakers directly into the mixing board
- 2 jog wheels for beat matching and scratching
- 8 touchpads for control over loop, cues, and samples
- Light show capability adding a fun element to your sets
The Best DJ Mixing Board for Beginners under $200
Our pick: Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
Numark takes our top spot for the best DJ board under $200. The Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 is a great DJ board for those just starting out. Beginner DJs all over the world love the simplicity and power of Numark Mixtrack Pro 3. The layout is easy to navigate and buttons clearly labeled.
This controller looks a lot like the Pioneer DDJ-SB2 and functions almost exactly the same way. The biggest difference is the size. The Pioneer DDJ-SB2 is a good bit bigger than the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 (still compact and portable), which is why we prefer it.
- Easy to set up and only has one cord that connects directly to your computer’s USB port. No need to plug it into the wall.
- Built-In sound card allowing you to connect to whatever speakers or headphones you have at home.
- A copy of Serato DJ Intro comes free with this controller after you register it through their website
- All of the standard controls you’d expect on a beginner’s DJ board – knobs for EQ and FX control, sliders for the crossfader and volume control, along with a slider for pitch control.
- Other features you’ll love, like jog wheels and 16 touchpads giving you control over cue points, loops, and samples.
The Best DJ Mixing Board for Beginners under $300
Our pick: Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2
As we mentioned before, we think the Pioneer DDJ-SB2 is the best beginner DJ board you can buy. The full review is here, but here are some highlights:
- Easy to set up and operate – I was able to get mine set up in less than 10 minutes.
- EQ control for each of the decks
- 2 FX knobs that can be mapped to specific effects in your DJ software
- Compatible with most DJ software – not just Serato (though Pioneer works really well with Serato)
- The ability to use 4 channels – there are only two physical decks on this DJ board but each deck can operate two channels
- Lightweight and portable – easy to carry around and doesn’t take up a lot of space. It’s still durable, which is something you’ll need in a DJ board.