Background Of The Standalone DJ Mixer Controller

If you are new to the exciting world of deejaying, you will want to learn as much as possible in the shortest possible time. And there’s so much to learn! When you first began, you probably started with some basic DJ controller models to learn the tricks of the trade. These models usually have built-in software, and the features are limited because the software provided is typically free.

However, after you become more acquainted with DJ controllers, you may need to progress further. When you do this, you will move to more sophisticated equipment with more features. The advanced, more professional model that you are likely to encounter would be a standalone DJ controller.

What Is A Standalone DJ Controller?

If your DJ controller is a standalone one, it means that you can connect it to external sources like a CD player, MP3 player or iPod. The benefit of having a standalone DJ controller is that you can have a secondary source, a backup for your primary source. That way, if your if you have technical issues with your primary source, you can seamlessly switch to your backup. Your controller will have separate input ports for this backup including the output line to speakers for DJ controller.

Why Do I Need A (Standalone) DJ Controller?

Any DJ who performs publicly on a professional level will always use a standalone mixer. The main advantage of a standalone mixer is that you don’t need to depend on a computer. If the software fails and you don’t have a backup, you will have to reboot it, which you don’t want. Before you buy your DJ controller, make sure that it is standalone, because all DJ mixer controllers do not have this feature.

Here’s a live example of what can go wrong even with the best of the best! Internationally renowned DJ David Guetta, who needs no introduction, had a nightmare moment at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. His computer crashed, so he was reduced to using random USB sticks to keep the show going. Having a standalone setup saved the day!

3 Best DJ Controller Mixers

We took time to research through numerous DJ mixer controllers in the market, to bring you two of the best standalone models and a simpler one, for comparison:

Pioneer XDJ-RX Standalone DJ System

Pioneer XDJ-RX Standalone DJ System

Here is a DJ controller Pioneer model that lets you do everything from a single unit. You don’t have to have the additional burden of lugging along your laptop to the show. Moreover, for the price you pay, you are getting a lot, as we will discuss further on. Although the library search feature is a bit lacking, other features make up for it, especially the built-in screen.

The most endearing feature about this DJ controller is the ability to literally “plug and play” into any DJ booth with ease. Which is, of course, the whole purpose of leaving your laptop at home and being able to make the party rock. Just plug in, connect the speakers for DJ controller and hit “play” and you’ve got them hooked!

This standalone DJ system uses Rekordbox software, but you can also plug in and iOS or Android device. The Rekordbox library is pretty cool, and you will find it a great help while on the job.

The mixer section has just two channels with an option to use digital or analog inputs. Color FX gives you some impressive special effects. You get a good experience on the screen which provides you with a clear picture of what’s happening to the sound without even having to listen to the speakers for DJ controller that you have. The unit has a couple of responsive jogwheels and excellent midi handling capacity. This DJ controller Pioneer model is a good option if you have set your sights on entering pro DJ booths.

Pioneer XDJ-RX Standalone DJ System

All-in-one, rekordbox compatible DJ system with large, dual-deck screen and club-standard layout. Is a next generation, all-in-one DJ solutions that inherits the DNA from our club standard set-up.


Pioneer XDJ-RX2 standalone DJ system

Pioneer XDJ-RX2 standalone DJ system

Another great DJ controller Pioneer model in the standalone series, is this DJ controller, a progression on the Pioneer XDJ-RX. The added features will add to your deejaying experience in an appropriate fashion, as you will see.

The first thing that you notice about the Pioneer XDJ-RX2 is the flashy performance pads. You now get eight instead of the four of its predecessor. And the buttons of this section are more responsive and feel much better to the touch.

Another great feature is the 7-inch touchscreen monitor which comes complete with a QWERTY search pad. You can play this unit directly from a USB stick, without the support of a laptop. The system supports MP3, WAV, WAV, and AIFF formatted files.

Although this DJ controller Pioneer model is a progression from the previous model, the XDJ-RX, this model doesn’t serve well as an upgrade. However, if you only have entry-level equipment and want to take the plunge into higher-end stuff, it would be a good move to take.

Pioneer XDJ-RX2 standalone DJ system

7-Inch large touch screen and other features from the CDJ-2000NXS2. Layout and performance features from the DJM-900NXS2. With multicolored performance pads.


Hercules DJ Control Air S series

Hercules DJ Control Air S series

To clear up things from the start, this controller isn’t a standalone unit. However, we have included the Hercules DJ Control Air-S series models to provide a viable alternative for comparison, if your requirements are simpler for the time being.

The Hercules DJ Control Air DJ controller uses unique “air pressure” technology on the controls. It means that you can adjust many of the controls by using your palms without making physical contact.

This mixer controller from Hercules may not be top end, but you will find enough features to be able to do a decent enough job deejaying. The central mixing controls linked to dual mixing decks and interchangeable platters are quite convenient. The dual-pressure jogwheels offer complete scope for scratching, and the eight velocity performance pads enable you to keep the crowd occupied with your looping, sampling and FX!

DJ Control Air S series

Dual-deck USB DJ Controller with touch and AIR control technologies, for PC and Mac. Offers an unrivalled features-to-price ratio and a modern, trendy design.


Final Thoughts

With so much available in the market in DJ equipment, it’s easy to get confused. However, now that we have provided you with details of these DJ controller Pioneer models and a few other brands, you may find it easier to decide what’s best for you.  We hope you have found this article helpful. Happy deejaying!

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Jacob Brown
Jacob is a devoted, passionate musician who has invested a big part of his life playing instruments and listening to different music styles. After time, Jacob would find that being a Disc Jockey is what he really wanted to do; the feeling of mixing rhythms, songs, and melodies in a unique, customizable way is what moves him.

Jacob acknowledged that even though he was an excellent musician, it wasn’t easy at all to try to be a Disc Jockey. It takes a lot of time and effort. That’s why he’s currently writing for He wants you to know the best DJ products to mix songs effectively and don’t give up in the process. Not having helpful tools/equipment at hand is the best way to want to drop out. All his products’ reviews are honest and he considers different budgets carefully.