You might be inclined to think that when it comes to DJing, nothing is more important than the turntables in front of you. And while a good turntable is certainly important, you could argue that the audio mixer is the most crucial piece of DJ gear.
Sure a good turntable will ensure that your records don’t skip and that you can get that nice snappy sound when you scratch. But you can technically get away with plugging two iPods into a mixer and going to work. Without a good mixer, however, your whole set will go up in flames.
Mediocre frequency isolation will make your attempts to blend songs together sound like train wrecks when you try to kill the bass or treble. And forget about trying to do anything at all without the ability to hear the tracks in your headphones before you push them live.
This is why, if you want to create the next killer mix for SoundCloud or Mixcloud, you’re going to need one of the best audio mixers for DJs. Lucky for you, we have some great picks for budgets of every level. Keep scrolling and take a peek.
1. Allen and Heath XONE:23C 2-Channel DJ Mixer
BEST AUDIO MIXER OVERALL
Allen and Heath make some of the best audio mixers for DJs on the planet and the XONE:23C is no exception. This may be one of the brand’s entry-level models, but it packs quality which can put other similarly priced (or spec’d) mixers to shame. This two-channel mixer can switch between four different inputs, and each channel has total kill EQs. This means that you can completely filter out highs, mids or lows and take your mixing skills to new levels. But what makes the XONE:23C an incredible value is the fact that it has an integrated sound card and Ethernet port which can transmit MIDI. This means the mixer can not only link up with compatible controllers and FX units, but you can also easily record live mixes of your DJ sets straight to MP3.
2. Pioneer DJ DJM-S3 2-Channel Serato Mixer
If you’re a Serato-based DJ looking to kill two birds with one stone and have one less device laying around, the Pioneer DJ DJM-S3 mixer is right up your alley. This mixer has an integrated soundcard that is specifically designed to work with Serato so that you don’t need to buy or carry around the separate Serato control box. Additionally, this two-channel mixer comes complete with a Magvel crossfader, filter effects for each channel and dual headphone jacks for those B2B DJ sessions with a friend.
3. Numark M6 USB 4-Channel DJ Mixer
When it comes to the best audio mixers for DJs that can also simultaneously mix four channels, the price tags are normally not for the faint of heart. But the Numark M6 USB is a refreshing exception. Given that this is very much a budget option, it still offers solid features for what it is, including a three-band EQ for each channel, three sets of audio outputs and a microphone input. If you’re at a point where you’d like more than a bare-bones two-channel mixer but aren’t quite ready to really splurge, this is a great option.
4. Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 2-Channel DJ Mixer
BEST AUDIO MIXER FOR TRAKTOR
When it comes to integrating your laptop into your DJ setup, you typically have two main software platforms to choose from: Serato and Traktor. Traktor, while not quite as popular as Serato, is still an institution in its own right. So much so that it has audio mixers for DJs with features dedicated to Traktor integration. The Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 is among the best of these mixers, allowing you to connect your DJ rig to your computer without a special control box. Along with the ability to mix two audio channels at the same time, this mixer lets you map multiple Traktor effects to a single knob. It even comes bundled with the special vinyl and CDs that you need to sync the hardware movement with the software. If Traktor is your primary way of spinning, this is a great audio mixer to consider.
5. Numark M2 Black 2-Channel DJ Mixer
BEST BUDGET OPTION
If you’re really just getting started in the world of DJing, the first thing you might notice is that it can be an expensive hobby. This is why — to start — it’s best not to splurge on the craziest equipment as you learn the ins and outs. First, starting with decent entry-level gear will only minimize your financial loss if you decide to pursue another hobby. But if you get serious about it, you will have time (and practice) to decide which features matter most when it comes time to upgrade your gear. The Numark is as no-frills as it gets, but the audio company has been making DJ gear for decades and while this won’t be on the same level as an Allen and Heath mixer, you’ll at least know that it’s not cheap crap either.
6. Allen and Heath XONE:43 4-Channel DJ Mixer
If you’re the type who is less focused on digital mixing techniques and more interested in spinning house and techno vinyl in a truly analog fashion, the importance of a good mixer cannot be overstated enough. And if you’re looking for a worthy upgrade candidate, the Allen and Heath XONE:43 will not leave you disappointed. Equipped with a pro-grade EQ, along with dedicated effects filtering for each of its four channels, this is no lightweight mixer. Instead of being designed to activate all the tricks of digital DJ software, this mixer is built to make your vinyl mixes sound as good as possible.
7. Gemini MM1 2-Channel DJ Mixer
BEST CHEAP OPTION
We get it: You’re on a tight budget and you have two mismatched turntables you inherited. You just want to mess around with DJing in the least serious way possible. If that’s the case, the Gemini MM1 is one of the most pain-free ways to accomplish that. This little two-channel mixer comes equipped with a super-streamlined interface consisting of a crossfader 2-band EQs for each channel and gain knobs. You won’t find fancy bells and whistles here, but you’re also paying less than $50.
Rane MP2015 4-Channel Rotary Mixer
FOR SERIOUS DJS ONLY
When it comes to the best audio mixers for DJs, the Rane MP2015 is the choice of connoisseurs. This mixer employs a rotary knob design, which means there are no crossfaders. Everything is done through twisting and turning as opposed to flicking a fader from left to right. Opting for a rotary mixer is largely a stylistic choice, they do tend to have higher-grade components. The MP2015 is no exception, including inputs for SPDIF digital sources. This can lead to better-sounding mixes if your records and the rest of your gear are up to snuff. That said, one look at the price tag reveals this is not a pick for casuals. If you’re in the market for a rotary mixer, you should have a clear grasp of why you want it.