Best Beginner DJ Controllers 2024

In recent years, the beginner DJ controller has replaced the starter DJ bundle as the best way to enjoy mixing. If you, or a loved one, has aspirations of rocking the dance floor then a smart device (iOS or Android) or home computer (Mac or PC) can be combined with a DJ controller, some headphones and monitors to create a very capable DJ set up.

With the explosion of entry level DJ technology over the last five years, you'd be forgiven for struggling to make a choice when it comes to the best beginner DJ controller. There are a number of factors which influence the choice of entry level controller, from budget through to streaming capabilities and so much more in between. Here at Westend DJ we believe that the choice doesn't need to be quite so complicated, with this in mind we'd recommend the following considerations before making your choice.

Before you dive into the hardware choices, you should consider the software options. There are three big players in the dj software world, Traktor from NI, Rekordbox from Pioneer DJ and Serato DJ from Serato. Each platform offers unique features tailored towards the needs of users – here’s a quick run-down of what’s on offer.


Pioneer DJ’s CDJ and DJM product lines have been the industry standard for digital djs for over 15 years. When the CDJ-2000 was introduced in 2009it was accompanied by Rekordbox – which at the time was a database management tool. Fast forward to 2015 and Pioneer DJ added the “DJ” plus pack – which included, for the first time, performance features for controller users. Over the past few years, the rate of development has been lightning fast - especially when compared to the other platforms mentioned here – with improvements and add-ons appearing every few months. Recent features include lighting control, cloud music management as well as streaming options. The beauty of using Rekordbox is that transitioning to industry standard kit is simple – all of the cue points and loops created while mixing can be exported for use with bothCDJ and XDJ products.



First up we’ll take a look at the Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX4. This is the best beginner DJ controller for those interested in the Rekordbox platform, but has the added bonus of being compatible with Serato DJ. It features a familiar club-style layout for all the key functions, with the play, cue, jog wheel and pitch controls just where you’d expect to find them. On the mixer front, the DJM effect button activates the software selected FX – it’s just like using one of the bigger DJM mixers! The DDJ-FLX4 is a Rekordbox 6 unlock product – once connected via USB you’ll have access to all the software functions you could need to get mixing.

✔ Club-style layout
✔ Rekordbox 6 hardware unlock
✔ Learn the Pioneer DJ way

Only available in black

Serato DJ

Serato DJ started life as a digital vinyl system (DVS). As controllers became popular Serato added Itch as an alternative to Traktor and Virtual DJ. As the boundaries between DVS control and controllerist DJs began to blur Serato merged the Scratch Live and Itch platforms to create Serato DJ – which is available in Lite and Pro variants. Rane's Seventy Two battle mixer is the only DVS mixer to be included in DMC's permitted kit list - which reinforces the strength of Serato DJ as the choice of many professional turntablists.

Beginner DJ controllers which ship with Serato software usually include Serato DJ Lite. This can be upgraded to the full version by purchasing a digital license code which unlocks Serato DJ Pro. Unlike Rekordbox, which can only be used with specific Pioneer DJ controllers, Serato DJ offers a wide choice of hardware upgrades. Numark, Denon DJ, Rane, Mixars, Reloop and Pioneer DJ all make Serato DJ compatible controllers.



This was a tough decision to reach. There are a number of controllers all competing for the top spot, with the Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV1, Hercules Inpulse500, Roland DJ-202 and Numark Mixtrack Pro FX all offering great features for beginners. In all honesty, the Hercules would have taken the crown thanks to the light guide, but it’s just out of our sub £250 price range. The Mixtrack Platinum FX has big jog wheels, large pitch faders for accurate mixing and an effects section lifted from the Numark Scratch mixer. Add to that, in-jog displays for BPM and the ability to control up to four channels and the Platinum FX is a clear winner for under £250!

✔ Big jog wheels
✔ Long pitch faders
✔ 4 channel control

Big jogs = wide controller


Arguably the platform that started it all, Traktor was originally the “brain” of Final Scratch from Stanton DJ. Native Instruments developed the software and created dedicated controllers which launched in 2010 with the entry level Kontrol S2 landing shortly after the flagship S4. Native’s platform offers some of the coolest features on board, such as the ability to use the EQ settings from the Allen & Heath Xone 92 mixer. There are also remix decks and STEMS to expand the creative possibilities.

To get the best from Traktor, you’ll need Native Instruments hardware. However, your upgrade options are greater than with any other software as Traktor Pro is essentially “open” – you can MIDI map any controller to the software. While this flexibility opens up a number of intermediate and pro-grade controllers to users of Traktor, not all of the functionality is available when MIDI mapping and some visual feedback prompts will be lost – so do consider this before diving in.



As we mentioned earlier, Traktor is open software so any MIDI controller could be mapped to use it. In reality, it’s very unlikely that a beginner is going to tackle this task, which reduces the potential candidates to just one – the Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3 from Native Instruments. This third generation S2 is the lowest priced controller to claim a top spot.  This doesn’t mean that NI have cut any corners with this unit, build quality is solid, and Native Instruments have been integrating hardware and software for some time now – it’s second nature to the Berlin based manufacturer and it really shows. The on-screen layout mirrors the controller perfectly – easing beginners into the world of Traktor and DJing.

✔ Attractive price
✔ Mature software platform
✔ Seamless software integration

Limited upgrade options

IOS | Android | Mac | PC

Algoriddim Djay

A relative newcomer, but no less powerful, Algoriddim's Djay platform is available for users of iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and PC desktop and laptop computers.

Exciting features such as Digital Vinyl Control using iOS and the impressive Neural Mix track separation technology put DJay right in the mix with the rest of the platforms already mentioned.

Support from hardware manufacturers has been strong with with Reloop leading the way - offering dedicated controllers at both the entry and professional levels. Not to be left behind, even Pioneer DJ support DJAY with the entry-level DDJ-200.



OK, slight curveball – if you’re in need of a controller but don’t have a Mac or PC that meets the minimum system requirements, but you have a smart device running iOS or Android then Pioneer DJ have the perfect beginner DJ controller – the DDJ-200! You might be wondering why the DDJ-200 didn’t win the Rekordbox top spot – well, as great as this pocket powerhouse is when used with an app – it lacks an onboard audio interface, and so requires your smart device to do the lifting here. It’s supplied with a cable which connects to a 3.5mm headphone jack (users of newer handsets may need to purchase a separate adapter) and can happily stream from a number of platforms (but not Spotify – the loophole previously exploited by Algoriddim’s Djay has been well and truly closed). The WEDJ app makes mixing a breeze and is great for beginners with an excellent tutorial mode to speed up the process.

✔ Sub £140 price point
✔ Wide range of app options
✔ Easy to use WEDJ app

No audio-interface

Need further advice?

Hopefully the information we've provided above will help you choose the right beginner DJ controller. If you still need further guidance please don't hesitate to get in touch, by phone, live chat or email - we'll do our best to answer any questions you may still have. If you've reached a decision on the beginner DJ controller don't forget to add headphones and speakers to create a complete beginner DJ package.