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Best Dj Controller Under 500 - April 2022 - Best Reviews

After hours of research we have come up with the Top 10 Best dj controller under 500 which we think will be worth your reference. You also don't need to worry about their quality because they all are in ownership of famous brands that could be mentioned as: Roland, Pioneer dj, Native instruments, Numark, Pioneer, Hercules dj, Adj products, Novation.

We all know that DJ controllers are expensive. Under $500, we can really get our dreams into the upper mid-range products from respected brands like Roland, or Pioneer. DJ controllers under $500 can be used for both beginners and professionals in small concerts or parties, or being carried around. In this article, we will talk about the best DJ controllers under $500, and what to look for online. So, buckle up!

Chris Becker By, Chris Becker
  • 1.6 GB MASCHINE Factory Selection with samples, one-shots, loops, sample instruments, presets, patterns, drum kits, and songs
  • Four ways to input sound using the 16 pads – drum in pad mode, play melodies in Keyboard mode, create chord progressions in Chord mode, and program in a classic step-sequencer style from Step mode
  • Personalize your DJ Set – Six Fun, quick-launch FX with dual paddle triggers; dedicated instant loop controls; eight performance pads per deck to access cues, loops, fader cuts and samples
  • Visualize Your DJ Mix – Large 6-inch capacitive-touch jog wheels with high-resolution color displays that show beats per minute (BPM), platter position, time remaining and pitch adjustment / key
  • Clear audio through mic input, even at high input levels
  • On-board Serato sound card
  • Built-in hardware input mixer: you can even add a filter effect onto an external audio source (smartphone, media player.), and connect your microphone.
  • 2-deck USB DJ controller with built-in audio interface and hardware input mixer for audio inputs.
  • EASILY INTEGRATED: This compact, lightweight interface is easily mounted with the included O-Clamp brackets that attach to truss. Connect up to two lighting universes with a standard 3-pin XLR and USB power for quick integration into any lighting system
  • Note: For smoother functioning of the device the key thing is that the app is running on a device that has its operating system up to date
  • Pro Software Included - Pre-mapped with Serato DJ Intro for Mac & PC (included) and is upgrade-ready to the full version of Serato
  • Enhance Your Performance – ±6, 12, 25, 100% pitch ranges, brake, reverse, scratch effects and seamless looping capability; plus, ultra-smooth, rapid slot-loading drives with large touch sensitive platters
  • Our Deepest Ableton Live Integration — Launch clips and scenes, access mixer, device and transport controls, and quantize, duplicate and double, all without touching your mouse
  • 64 Super-sensitive RGB Pads — Large RGB velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads give you a perfect reflection of your Ableton Live session, making it easier than ever to see your clips and play your instruments dynamically and expressively
Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buying Guides

1. Mixers - Faders and Crossfaders

There are two things that are the most important parts in a DJ setup, which are the player and the mixer.

  • The player is the part that actually plays music. The player is usually controlled by the jog wheels, or traditionally, the DJ turntables
  • The mixer has two main things: The faders, or sometimes called vertical faders, and the crossfaders, or sometimes called the horizontal crossfaders.

In this section, we will talk about what faders and crossfaders are, what they do, and why they are important to DJs:

  • Faders: Vertical faders are simply the balance for two tracks. Faders can be made into many forms, sometimes just disguised as simple volume knobs. Faders allow you to control the volume of each track. In other words, it makes tracks fade or appear individually. There is no need to explain why the faders are important, because without faders, DJs would never be called DJs when they don’t mix anything.
  • Crossfaders: Unlike faders, horizontal faders don’t work with tracks. They work with channels. Horizontal faders allow blending two different channels, allowing DJs to control the impact the music makes on the speakers. Crossfaders, though not as useful as faders, are the next important part of a mixer. In some rare DJ controllers, you might see the crossfaders hidden in order to make things easier, but in most cases, you’ll see it right away.

In conclusion, the mixer’s features are the DJ controllers’ features; therefore, you need to take a close look at the mixer to make sure that the controller you buy fits your needs perfectly.

2. Compatible Software

Computer software is an important component of current disc-less jogging wheels. The kind of software that runs on computers to make the DJ controller operate is referred to as DJ software. The jog wheels would be worthless without DJ software, so the DJ controller would be worthless as well.

The majority of DJ computer software runs on Windows, though some works on MacOS, Linux, or even Android. However, for DJ controllers, it is suggested that you utilize Windows. The reason for this is that Windows appears to be the operating system on which all software developers concentrate their efforts. Furthermore, some mobile operating systems, such as Android or iOS, aren't fully capable of delivering high-resolution music.

Here are the most popular DJ softwares, most of which were created by DJ controller manufacturers:

  • Mixxx: For any controllers, it's free, open-source, and a third-party app.
  • Ableton Live: For the most common controllers, it is available as a third-party program. Designed to be used as a production tool at first.
  • Pioneer DJ rekordbox DJ: Designed specifically for Pioneer DJ Controllers.
  • Native Instruments Traktor Pro: Written for Native Instruments DJ controllers, it was first published in 2011. It can also be utilized with third-party controllers.
  • Native Instruments Traktor DJ: Alternative lite version of the Pro.
  • Serato DJ Pro: Released during the vinyl DJ era. One of the most well-known now.
  • DJ Player Pro: Provides real pro feel to the users. However, it costs money.

Before trying different software, it is recommended that you get used to one type of program and master all of the motions. As a result, a professional DJ program or the ones that come with your device should be used.

3. Cables

A port is required to output the signal to speaker systems (for example, the PA - Public Address system). Analog signal and digital signal connections are two different types of connections.

The sole difference between the two is that an analog signal hides behind an electrical signal, whereas a digital signal is a binary signal of 0 and 1. As a result, if a digital transmission is disrupted, it may be recognized and recovered, but analog signal defects are impossible to identify and recover. The disadvantage of digital signals is that they require the destination device to be able to read and decode binary signals back into analog signals.

The following are some of the most common analog connectors on the market:

  • RCA (Radio Corporation of America): Unbalanced port, which is now the most popular port in the world.
  • TRS cable: TRS is categorized in the same category as TS cable. TRS is balanced and looks like a 3.5mm headphone jack
  • TS cable: TS cables are unbalanced, which means it doesn’t have the ground ring to eliminate the noise. Long TS cables in noisy areas are thus not a good choice, in terms of electric and magnetic fields.
  • XLR cables: Popular for professional audio production. XLR cables are balanced all the time, because they always feature 3 pins. However, unlike 3.5mm headphone jacks and other audio ports, XLR cables have male and female connectors. It would be inconvenient, but it would be beneficial.
  • SpeakOn cable: SpeakOn connectors are intended for large-scale events such as concerts, festivals, and sporting events. SpeakOn doesn’t work with most DJ controllers, so you'll need an external amplifier.

4. Additional features 

DJ controllers are constantly improved with additional add-ons and features. Here are some of the most anticipated features in a DJ controller:

  • Filters: Filters can alter the way your music is perceived by the listeners. Filters are mainly programs that run on computers or the controller itself to alter the sound of the music. It should be remembered that applying filters to music, like applying them to photographs, does not ensure that they will be better.
  • Novation LaunchPad: The Launchpad, created by Novation, has earned international acclaim for its simplicity, utility, and coolness. You may use Launchpad to activate loops, sounds, effects, and other MIDI functions. To be honest, launchpads appear to be a lot of fun.
  • Microphone: Although few DJs sing in front of their crowds, you never know when you might need to. DJs may require a microphone if they wish to speak or cheer up to the music.

Top 5 DJ controllers under $500

1. Hercules DJ Control Impulse 500

As a more advanced version of the Impulse 200 and Impulse 300, the Hercules DJControl Impulse 500 is the DJ controller designed for professionals. It features two traditional-looking jog wheels from Hercules. These jog wheels are manufactured with high resolutions, along with great touch sensitivity for smooth  and responsive scratching.

The controls are aligned well and arranged into three sections: the left section with the left wheel and 8 control pads, the middle section with EQ, faders and crossfaders, and finally the right section with the right jog wheel and another 8 pads. This design allows DJs to perform without mistakenly touching or enabling features they don’t want. 

In the pack, you’ll be given a Hercules Impulse 500 controller, a pair of monitoring headphones, cables, and Serato DJ Lite System.

  • More advanced than the Impulse 200 and 300 versions.
  • Serato and DJUCED compatible.
  • 16 mixing pads.

2. ADJ VMS5 Controller

ADJ VMS5 Controller is a 6-channel stand-alone MIDI controller. It offers you a feature-rich setup with two phono inputs, four line inputs, four USB inputs, and two microphone inputs. At the first look, we should notice two modern and unique looks of the jog wheels and the illuminated lights.

All the controls are organized at the top of the device, while the faders and the hot cues triggers are made into the bottom of the user interface. The controls are divided into two groups: the plastic rubber knobs to control EQ, balance, and more, the plastic buttons to control effects, filters, while saving space. Finally, it features four USB inputs and four line inputs for you to pair your device with other products.

To conclude, this is the controller with modern looks, modern features but affordable price.

  • Modern look
  • Cool arrangements of buttons and knobs
  • Affordable price

3. Numark Mixdeck Express

Numark Mixdeck Express is the next-generation feature-packed controller from Numark. It offers two multi-function jog wheels with high resolution for searching and scratching, as well as long-throw pitch controls for precise blending, mixing, and beat matching. Above each jog wheel, we notice two glowing LCD screens to provide information about the tracks you’re using.

As the name suggests, the DJ controller is designed for fast and simple but powerful performances, with a three-channel mixer with replaceable crossfaders, and EQ/Rotary Kills. The device comes with Serato DJ system, pre-mapped with Serato DJ Intro for Mac and PC, allowing fastest ever getting started with Djing.

  • Serato DJ Software
  • LCD screens to provide information
  • Express experience

4. Pioneer DDJ-SB3 Controller

Pioneer has proven themselves to be one of the best DJ controller manufacturers in the world. In the $500 range, we can afford the Pioneer DDJ-SB3 Controller. All of the functions were designed to be there where you need them, when you need them, with an intuitive layout.

The product offers a traditional set of two jog wheels made of aluminum. The Pad Scratch technology allows you to add scratch effects to cued and currently playing tracks without the use of a turntable. The FX Fade feature, along with the low-latency response of the jog wheels allows DJs to mix tracks seamlessly without any effort.

  • Aluminum low-latency jog wheels
  • FX Fade feature
  • Pioneer technology

5. Numark Mixtrack Pro 3

Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 is the old ‘but’ gold in the DJ controller market. Although there have been newer versions of this DJ controller, this is still favored and used by many DJs around the world. Firstly, the controller is designed to work with Serato DJ System, both for professionals and beginners. Users would need to spend no time learning how to use or switch from another controller to this one.

We notice two capacitive-touch jog wheels with necessary functions for filters, equalizers, and faders on the set. As for the output, it supports 2 outputs for 2 pairs of headphones, along with the main output for the PA systems. Finally, 16 multifunction pads give you full control of cues, loops, beat jumper, and more.

  • Capacitive-touch jog wheels
  • Built-in pro audio interface
  • Legendary

FAQs

1. Should I use my Bluetooth headphones with my DJ controllers?

The answer is, you should not. Bluetooth headphones are subjected to latency, which is the enemy of music production. Modern flagship Bluetooth headphones and codecs are trying hard to fix the problem; however, the latency is still undeniable. Therefore, it is advised not to use Bluetooth in Djing, at least until the problems are completely fixed.

2. What are the jog wheels?

Jog wheels are the modern version of the traditional turntables in traditional DJ sets. Here is some information about them:

  • Traditional vinyl turntables: They resemble standard vinyl or CD players, allowing you to manually pick and replace records.
  • Modern no-disc jog wheel: A unique software program installed on your laptop or phone selects the tracks and transfers them to the controller. You'd also lose access to what's known as "the classic DJ experience." However, the benefits have outweighed the drawbacks, and most DJs now favor newer DJ controllers.

All of the equipment we talked about today feature jog wheels, which are a modernized version of conventional vinyl turntables. The reason for this is because jog wheels have reintroduced a slew of benefits, particularly for new DJs.

3. Why do we need a sound card for a DJ setup?

Every device that wants to create sounds needs a sound card. Sound cards are in charge of encoding and decoding music, as well as converting digital signals to analog signals when a separate DAC is not available.

4. Is my device compatible with PA systems?

Mostly, yes. Your controller’s built-in sound card should have an output for PA systems. However, in case it doesn’t have one, you can purchase a sound card separately and plug it into one of the USB ports.

5. Am I getting the warranty for my products?

Yes, you should. Getting warranted for DJ controllers via Amazon might be a little harder than when purchasing in a real store. Make sure you have called the service center before making your purchases.

Final Thoughts

The greatest DJ controllers under $500 have already been discussed. We covered everything from DJ controllers to mixers to sound cards and everything in between. Here's our final list of the finest DJ controllers under $500 for today's topic:

Our post on the best DJ controllers under $500 came to an end there. Buying a DJ controller is a ideal option if you want to pursue a professional DJ career or simply want to give something new a try. Please leave any comments you may have in the box below. We would be delighted to read it and respond to your questions. Thank you for taking the time to read our article, and we hope to see you again in the future!

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2 ratings
Chris Becker By, Chris Becker
Chris Becker is the President of A & B Music Incorporated in South America. She played music as a child and gravitated to the electric bass. Her father taught her guitar repair. She grew up replacing strings and adjusting necks on guitar. In 2010, She received her Certifications and Degrees in Music, Musical Instrument Repair and expanded the services of her business to include appraising musical instruments. She was the first person certified as an “Accredited Senior Appraiser – Musical Instruments” by American Society of Appraisers in 2017. Throughout her career she sought to peruse all that she did with integrity and professionalism, which will no doubt benefit our industry for decades to come.