Best DJ Gear 2023: 9 of the best DJ Controllers under $400

From brands such as Pioneer DJ, Numark and Native Instruments, here’s an up to date list of the most robust DJ controllers available for less than $400

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DJ using controller from Getty Images

DJ using controller. Image: Getty Images

The biggest obstacle to kick starting your DJ career can often be the rising costs of the essential tech you need to get going. However, not all DJ gear has to be overly fancy or expensive. There are some fantastic affordable options out there that give you all the key features, leaving out any unnecessary advanced options.

MusicTech has sifted through the best entry-level DJ controller options available for under $400, so you don’t have to. Our guide highlights the key features and the top picks in the DJ controller market, striking a balance between affordability and quality. We’ve thought about factors like price, functionality, and compatibility with popular DJ software, resulting in a list of the best on the market from brands such as Pioneer DJ, Numark, Native Instruments and more.

Unlock your mixing potential without breaking the bank, as we help you find a controller that will have you rocking the party in no time – and at no ridiculous cost.

Our pick of the best DJ controllers under $400:

  • Native Instruments Traktor S2 MK3
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX4
  • Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX
  • Hercules DJ Control Inpulse 500
  • Roland DJ-202
  • Reloop Ready
  • The Next Beat Tiesto DJ Controller
  • Hercules DJ Control Inpulse 300 MK2
  • Numark Party Mix MKII

Native Instruments Traktor S2 MK3


The Native Instruments Traktor S2 MK3 DJ controller is an excellent choice for beginners. Its intuitive controls allow for quick and seamless mixing, making it easy for novices to dive into DJing. The controller features large jog wheels that are perfect for beatmatching, scratching, and scrolling. It also offers cue points and loop functionality, enhancing timing precision and creative mixing.

Mixer FX, a collection of club-grade effects and filters, adds a professional touch to your transitions. Plus, it comes with TRAKTOR PRO 3, the flagship DJ software used on global stages, and TRAKTOR DJ 2 for iPad and desktop, catering to different skill levels. With everything you need at your fingertips and powerful features, the Traktor S2 MK3 is an ideal tool to kickstart your DJing journey.

Key Features:

  • Intuitive controls for quick mixing
  • Large jog wheels for tactile control
  • Cue points and loops for creative mixing
  • Mixer FX for professional transitions
  • Includes TRAKTOR PRO 3 and TRAKTOR DJ 2 software

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Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX4


The Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX4 is an excellent choice for beginner DJs looking to dive into the world of DJing. With compatibility for popular DJ software like rekordbox, Serato DJ Lite, and djay, this controller offers a seamless and accessible DJing experience. Its multi-device support ensures that you can connect it to various platforms, including PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.

The user-friendly design inherits professional layout features from Pioneer DJ products, making it easy for newcomers to learn and practice. Smart Mixing features like Smart Fader and Smart CFX assist in transitioning between tracks and adding dynamic effects, even for those new to DJing. Additionally, seamless integration with selected streaming services, USB audio output for microphone sound, and other features like USB bus power and a built-in sound card make the DDJ-FLX4 a versatile and convenient tool for beginners.

Key Features:

  • DJ Software Compatibility: rekordbox, Serato DJ Lite, djay
  • Multi-Device Support: PC, Mac, iOS, Android
  • Smart Mixing Features: Smart Fader, Smart CFX
  • Streaming Service Integration: TIDAL, Beatport Streaming, Beatsource Streaming, SoundCloud Go+
  • USB Audio Output: Mix microphone sound and live-stream from one device
  • Additional Features: USB bus powered, built-in sound card, Performance Pads, class-compliant, firmware updates

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Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX


The Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX is a feature-packed DJ controller that stands out for its versatility. Priced affordably under $300, it offers an integrated 4-deck mixing experience with large, capacitive jog wheels that provide precision control.

What sets the Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX apart is the extensive performance pads with 16 multi-function modes, allowing DJs to unleash their creativity with loops, samples, and effects. The dedicated FX section, in combination with a built-in audio interface and Serato DJ Lite software, makes it an excellent choice for DJs looking to enhance their mixes with dynamic effects and seamless transitions.

Key Features:

  • 4-deck control with large jog wheels
  • 16 multi-function performance pads
  • Dedicated FX section for creative effects
  • Built-in audio interface
  • Serato DJ Lite software included

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Hercules DJ Control Inpulse 500


The Hercules DJControl Inpulse 500 is an exceptional DJ controller designed to help aspiring DJs achieve their goals. It is compatible with Serato DJ Lite and DJUCED, making it an excellent choice for both beginners and those looking to refine their DJing skills.

With a professional design featuring a sturdy metal backing plate and extendable/retractable non-slip feet, this controller elevates your mixing experience. It includes a dedicated Filter/FX area with impressive effects, large jog wheels with touch detection for scratching, and 16 backlit rubber RGB pads. The light guides enhance mixing confidence, making it easier to perform in front of audiences.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with Serato DJ Lite and DJUCED
  • Filter/FX Area for Customizable Effects
  • Large Jog Wheels with Touch Detection
  • 16 Backlit Rubber RGB Pads
  • Mix with Music Streaming Services (TIDAL, SoundCloud GO+, Beatport LINK, Beatsource LINK, Qobuz)

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Roland DJ-202


The Roland DJ-202 Serato controller offers a unique blend of classic and modern features. Priced competitively under $300, it’s designed for both beginners and experienced DJs. What sets it apart is its integration with Roland’s iconic TR drum machine, providing access to classic drum sounds and patterns. This feature adds a distinct rhythm element to your mixes.

Additionally, the DJ-202 includes dedicated sequencer controls and a built-in TR-S drum sampler. With its robust build quality and versatile performance options, it’s an excellent choice for DJs looking to infuse their sets with a retro touch.

Key Features:

  • Integration with Roland TR drum machine
  • Dedicated sequencer controls
  • Built-in TR-S drum sampler
  • Affordable pricing
  • Versatile and durable design

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The Next Beat Tiesto DJ Controller


Tiesto has launched a DJ controller. You read that right! The Next Beat by Tiësto is an all-in-one DJ controller designed to inspire and educate the next generation of DJs. Co-developed by the world-renowned DJ, this high-quality controller aims to make DJing accessible and engaging for beginners while encouraging skill improvement. The package includes online DJ lessons, software, and a trial subscription for Beatport, ensuring you have all the tools you need to kickstart your DJ journey.

This versatile controller supports plug-and-play functionality on PC, Mac, or iOS smartphones and offers a 30-day trial period with access to over six million tracks and mixes via Beatport LINK and Beatsource LINK. Additionally, it boasts compatibility with Algoriddim’s djay app on iOS and Mac, as well as an in-browser Beatport DJ app.

Key Features:

  • Comes with mixing lessons from Tiësto
  • Robust jog wheels, 16 color trigger pads, and a central audio mixer
  • Professional 4-channel soundcard for headphones and speakers
  • Bluetooth connectivity for mobile devices and DJ app access
  • Multiple effects controls, including FX buttons, hot cues, and looping options

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Hercules DJControl Inpulse 300 MK2


The Hercules DJControl Inpulse 300 MK2 is designed to help beginners kickstart their DJing journey with ease. This updated version is now compatible with Serato, offering a modern and user-friendly design that enhances comfort and readability. It comes equipped with 16 pads and 8 modes, allowing for quick learning and skill improvement. The jog wheels are now slimmer and more responsive, ideal for effortless scratching.

Priced at $199.99, the DJControl Inpulse 300 MK2 includes Serato DJ Lite software, granting access to various features. A notable feature is the Beatmatch Guide, supported by DJUCED and Serato DJ Lite, which aids beginners in manually cueing up tracks. As users progress, they can disable this feature. Additionally, the controller’s improved rubber pads with brighter illumination provide better visibility, and DJ tutorials from professionals are available through the DJ Academy.

Key Features:

  • Upgraded DJ controller with Serato compatibility
  • User-friendly design for easy learning
  • Slimmer, more responsive jog wheels
  • Beatmatch Guide for effortless track cueing
  • Includes Serato DJ Lite software and access to DJ Academy tutorials

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Numark Party Mix MKII

Under $114

The Numark Party Mix MKII is a budget-friendly DJ controller that excels in portability and simplicity. Priced attractively below $100, it’s perfect for beginners and those on a tight budget. What distinguishes it are the built-in LED lights that sync with your music, adding a fun visual element to your performances.

With a compact design and included DJ software, it’s easy to take your DJ skills on the go. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end controllers, its affordability and ease of use make it a standout choice for casual DJs and parties.

Key Features:

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Built-in LED lights for visual effects
  • Affordable price point
  • Included DJ software
  • Beginner-friendly layout

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