2023 DJ products roundup

We take a look back at the biggest product releases of 2023 in the DJ gear world.

Pioneer DJ DJM-A9

 

Okay the first juicy bit of new kit I got my hands in 2023 was the Pioneer DJ DJM-A9. This new 4 channel club mixer replaced the old flagship DJM-900NXS2, and although not a million miles away from the old club standard, it was was a really welcomed upgrade with some awesome new features.

 

Highlights for me on the mixer: 

  • The connections have improved! There are now dedicated USB & bluetooth options on each channel as well as the ins and outs that we expect.
  • The 6 colour FX are actually laid out in a new 2 - 4 - 6 kind of way rather than the 3 on top of 3 that we saw in the past, and now there is a centre lock option that you can turn on and off. What this does is lock the colour FX knob at 12 o clock if you’re hammering it too aggressively. Kind of like a seatbelt in a car crash. Car crash being a good metaphor for your aggressive mixing..
  • Taken from the V10, the A9 accommodates 2 different headphones, Headphone A and Headphone B. The headphones have seperate dedicated mix and level controls for both including Link Cue & mono split. Great for B2B, but it’s more than that. The independent cue buttons for each headphones on the channels mean two DJs can be mixing at the same time and not listening to what the other person is doing.
  • There’s been some pretty big microphone improvements on this mixer, with a whole dedicated microphone section added on the left hand side. Plus Mic one has phantom power option so you can use it with condenser mics.
  • Also you have dedicated mic FX with it’s own parameter knob. The A9 has gone pretty mic crazy to be fair.
  • A nice addition is the 2 band booth EQ. Very welcomed if the monitors in the booth are high or bass heavy. Saves your ears taking too much of a beating!
  • The DJM-A9 has also added improvements over on the FX Section as well!
  • The FX Channel select are now buttons rather than a click knob, which is a much better and faster work flow.
  • Also there’s a new and improved screen & XPad. The screen is bigger, and in colour rather than the black & white screen that was on the 900, and it’s laid out better to show the FX parameters. Plus it works better with the XPad visually. 
  • The A9 has more options on the Send & Return. Dedicated knob rather than having it down in the FX section.
  • Stop the press, this mixer has WIFI, but not for streaming purposes, it’s to use with Stagehand, which is a front of house app.
  • Finally sound wise, this new DJM-A9 now shares the same sound as the V10, which we all know is top notch!

Opus Quad

 

I don’t think any of us were expecting a 4 channel standalone controller from Pioneer DJ that wasn’t an upgrade to the XDJ-XZ, but then bosh! Along came the ol retro spaceship Opus Quad!

 

Although I didn’t get much time to play on the beast, there highlights for me are:

 

  • WIFI built in to access music from The Cloud, but the question still stands - When are the standalone streaming options coming!?
  • It is a 4 channel channel controller, and unlike the XZ you can play all 4 channels in standalone mode, but you can also use the Opus Quad with rekordbox and Serato.
  • 10.1” full colour touch screen. It’s absolutely brilliant. Really responsive, especially when it comes to the XY pad for the Beat FX.
  • Just to say about the overall design of the Opus Quad, it’s very minimal in terms of physical buttons, and that’s because most of the stuff is going on within the screen. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to dive too deep into this, it’s something I need to revisit for sure.
  • If you don’t want to use the touch screen by the way, there’s a joy stick to navigate in a lovely rose gold colour, the same rose gold trim is used around the dedicated beat loop knobs as well! Ooh, very posh indeed!!
  • That’s not all! There’s also 2 smaller screens per channel above the jogs that show info like artwork, waveform etc. The same kind of info you would normally see on the in jog displays, but it’s larger, and better laid out on these dedicated screens.
  • The Opus Quad has CDJ-3000 style hot cues rather than XDJ or DDJ controller performance pads underneath the jogs. This puts it up there with the high end, flagship Pioneer DJ equipment, and to be fair, the price point backs that up..! 
  • Little touches as well, it’s got Smooth Echo with dedicated parameter knob, and 6 colour FX that are laid out in a 2-4-6 like the DJM-A9 mixer. Also the jogs are a new design and have a jog adjust.
  • Finally, the controller has an XLR Zone output, the same as the Prime 4 all those years ago. This allows you to have a completely different audio feed going out to the Master. Great for playing different music to another room or whatever!

 

Now that we’ve seen the new AlphaTheta OMNIS-DUO in 2024, I do feel like the Opus Quad should have been released under the AlphaTheta brand, as it’s nothing like the Pioneer DJ controller range, but the minimal layout is more like what we’ve seen on that new OMNIS-DUO.

 

Rane Four

 

Although we’ve seen quite a lot of DJ controllers follow suit, the Rane FOUR was the first EVER DJ controller with dedicated stems features. 

It really threw some spanners out when it was released without motorised jogs as a lot of people expected it to follow in the footsteps of the Rane ONE. Still I think it’s fair to say that, this 4 channel Serato controller is one of the most technical, and creative controllers we’ve ever seen.

 

Highlights are mostly Stems related:

  • Dedicated Stems pad mode with all 4 stems elements spread over the top 4 performance pads, and the stems FX on the pads underneath. This was mad when it dropped as before all Stems features had to be mapped to existing pad modes, the same applies to the
  • Dedicated acapella & instrumental buttons. These buttons are the easiest way to jump in and out of stems, quicker than using the pad modes, perfect fr intros and outs whilst mixing!
  • A groundbreaking feature on the Rane Four is the Stems split. When activated, this puts the acapella on one channel, and instrumental on the other, meaning you can manipulate the separate parts of the tune, including EQ, FX, filters etc. Madness! (9.30 mins)
  • The controller has 22 built in Main FX with so much customisation per effect. Easy to see the parameters in the little screen in the middle, and the best part about the FX on the Rane FOUR is that that all 22 are built in to the controller, so you can use the FX when using the controller with external equipment plugged in. Just for comparison, all the FX on the Rane ONE were software based.
  • The 8.5” jog wheels feel great even though they don’t have a jog adjust. Happy medium between a turntable platter & CDJ jog wheel
  • OLED displays for pad modes. So nice to have this info for stuff like what size roll is on which pad etc. Something you never knew you needed until you have it in front of you!
  • Split pad modes - Means you can use two different pad modes at once on the same set of pads, which is perfect to use with hot cue and stems, and again, great to see which pads are doing what on the OLED screens!
  • Finally, the cross fader is a MAG FOUR, and you can change the tension, which is typically something that you only see on Battle mixers!

Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX10

 

As a replacement for the legendary DDJ-1000, Pioneer DJ dropped the DDJ-FLX10 alongside rekordbox’s version of Stems named ‘Part Separation’. 

Again, not much different to it’s predecessor, but some really welcome new features on the FLX10 that was very exciting for a rekordbox user such as myself, although of course it works with Serato as well!

 

Highlights:

  • 6 sound colour FX as opposed to 4 on the DDJ-1000, laid out in the 2, 4, 6 that we saw on the DJM-A9 & Opus Quad.
  • Hold down the page buttons and you can see the pad mode info in the jog display. Similar to the Rane FOUR’s OLED screens, it’s nice to have the info on the controller when you’re getting super creative
  • Change the view on the in jog displays. Stacked waveforms in a lovely touch.
  • 4 different ways to use the Part Separation. 
  • Active Part - Dedicated buttons for Drums - Vocal - Instrument - worth saying there are actually only these 3 elements in rekordbox, compared to the 4 elements in Serato Stems
  • Part ISO - Shift & cue button turns the EQ knobs into manipulating the song’s 3 different parts in rekordbox. Low =  drums, Mid = vocal, High = Instrument. This is excellent for not only cutting the full element out of the song, but allows you to EQ the parts as well, like if you want the vocal to be louder in the song, you can turn that up and perhaps turn the other parts down.
  • A super creative feature is Part Instant Doubles. This allows you to move the 3 different elements of the song across the different decks, and manipulate them on separate channels of the mixer. Being a 4 channel mixer on the FLX10 means you can cut between the separate parts on the faders or using the Part Isolation on top!
  • Finally the FX Part Select. This feature assigns any of the 14 Beat or Sound Colour FX to effect a specific element of the song, like if you only want to put an echo on the vocal. The same can be applied with the colour FX!
  • Another new feature dropped on the FLX10 is the Mixpoint Link. It creates points in the track where it triggers another track to start from that at point. Not as confusing as it sounds!
  • Finally, the FLX10 has a direct DMX out for rekordbox lighting which means you don’t need an RB-DMX1 anymore!

Numark Mixstream Pro Go

 

We already knew about the Mixstream Pro and the Pro + with its WIFI and built in speakers, but when the Mixstream Pro GO dropped with it’s rechargeable battery, it took the crown as the first ever, fully standalone DJ controller. Yes, we know the Denon DJ Prime GO is battery powered, but it doesn’t have the built in speakers, now did it!?

 

Highlights:

  • Everything you get on the Mixstream Pro +, including the ability to stream on Amazon Music
  • Different colour way and rechargeable battery on the GO, worth saying you can of course use it plugged in to mains as well!
  • The built in battery can provide around 5-6 hours of playtime on a full charge, that's a pretty long DJ set with no cables or speakers needed!
  • Powered by Engine DJ so you get the same brain featured on the high end Denon DJ controllers and media players, but for an affordable Numark price point
  • When Engine DJ dropped the 3.2 update, it came with the Touch FX etc, but also the Day Mode  which was essential for this controller in my opinion as it goes hand in hand with the portability, using it outside in the sun etc.
  • Now Engine DJ have dropped 3.4 update the Mixstream controllers have that awesome Bluetooth in and out capability! 
  • Also it’s now compatible with Serato and Virtual DJ if you want to use it with software rather than in standalone mode

Reloop Flux

 

Since the Rane SL boxes stopped being compatible back in September 2022, many DVS DJs were either stuck on an older version of Serato, or having to look at buying a new mixer with built in audio interface. Enter Reloop with their ‘solution for DJs’ - The Flux Interface!

 

Highlights:

  • Never have to buy a mixer again! Plug in any mixer and turntables with timecode vinyl in to the Flux, and you can spin digital tunes through DJ software as if they were on the vinyl
  • Not only vinyl but there’s also a source switch on the front so you can use the Flux with old CDJs using timecode CDs. Again, no need to update your equipment to use the latest DJ software!
  • 3 channel inputs - you can go 3 decks if you have enough channels on your mixer, but if not you can use the third channel for the sampler, or an aux in / out
  • Easy to switch from DVS mode - real vinyl using the buttons on top of the box
  • There’s 2 USB inputs on the back so the Flux will act as a USB hub for your laptop, which is touch considering the minimal amount of inputs you get on laptops these days
  • The Flux actually core compliant, which means it works with every DJ software in DVS mode. However, it is primarily labelled Serato, and it does unlock Serato DJ Pro, and the Serato DVS expansion pack when you plug it in.

Denon DJ Prime 4+

 

The release of the Denon DJ Prime 4+ was a bit of a strange one to me if I’m honest, as there wasn’t much of a difference between the original Prime 4. So we don’t really class it as like, the next generation of Prime 4, but more of an upgraded version of the original, if that makes sense.

 

Highlights:

  • The Prime 4+ has got the chip in it to stream Amazon music as well as the other streaming options. InMusic did the same thing with the Numark Mixstream Pro +
  • The Prime 4 + has standalone Stems capability, which is absolutely mad, and shows how powerful the operating system is in this controller. Having said that, we’re still not sure if standalone stems are coming to the other Engine DJ controllers as well
  • The Prime 4 + looks smarter as it’s more stripped back. There’s less colours, so it seems more minimal in the way that it looks
  • The play and the cue buttons are more rubbery rather than a plastic click button
  • The jogs on the plus are the same size as the original P4, but the outside is less slanted so you get a bigger surface area on the top of the Prime 4 +, and although there is no jog adjust, they do feel better
  • Now in 2024, the Prime 4+ has been updated to include Bluetooth input and will soon have Bluetooth output as well. 

 

Pioneer DJ PLX-CRSS12

 

The first ever turntable that’s got both DVS and analogue playback built in to it, I totally didn’t see this coming from Pioneer DJ in September last year!

 

Highlights:

  • Works with both Rekordbox and Serato - Being a rekordbox user myself, I always love to see it! And it’s so easy to switch softwares, you just have to press the application button.
  • Set up in battle mode - so that kind of shows the target market for this product, although there’s nothing stopping you from flipping it round the other way if you prefer!
  • High quality tonearm fresh off the PLX-1000
  • OLED display shows you info from the other deck, what software you’re using, and the utility menu, but this display is particularly useful because of the Tempo Range and Step Pitch features.
  • The Tempo Range button changes the range on the pitch fader, which is nothing new, but the OLED screen actually shows you what key and BPM you’re in when you’re mixing.
  • The Step Pitch is slightly different - when you move the pitch fader, the pitch jumps to whatever speed it needs to be at to hit a different key or pitch in the tune. Pretty mad.
  • The way the CRSS12 works makes it so easy to swap from digital to analogue, or software to traditional vinyl.
  • The DVS signal comes through the spindle on the CRSS 12, so you use the magvel clamp to lock on to the spindle and secure whatever vinyl you have on the platter. Then when you’re moving the vinyl on the platter, it’s actually moving the spindle, and controlling the software.
  • So if you want to switch from digital to analogue, all you need to do is press the Needle Mode button, and drop your needle on the record you have on the platter!
  • There’s 4 performance pads on the CRSS12, with hot cue, sampler, stems and scratch bank being the default modes, but these are customisable! Also there’s parameter buttons and the option to jump to pads 5 - 8 too.

Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV5

 

Finally a battle style controller that’s compatible with both Serato and Rekordbox! The Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV5 was announced in August last year, taking a very similar vibe as the DDJ-REV7, but slightly more mid range, with CDJ style jogs rather than the motorised vinyl.

 

Highlights:

  • Again, love the battle style layout with the pitch faders at the top of the controller, a very familiar layout for those who have their turntables in battle mode
  • Full sized 6.6” CDJ style jogwheels, the same mechanics that were on the CDJ-2000s. Great to have a jog adjust on there as well.
  • Dedicated stems, (or part separation if you’re using this with Rekordbox) buttons above the jogwheel but you can also use these buttons for Hot Cue, Scratch Bank, Saved Loop or Sampler if you’d prefer. 
  • Even more stems manipulation on the REV5, you can change the EQ knobs to control the stems as well, the same feature that we saw introduced on the DDJ-FLX10.
  • Mixer section is fresh out of the Pioneer DJ S range, with the same battle style layout
  • Software FX controlled by the paddles that can be locked or momentary for quick hits
  • There’s 8 performance pads per channel, all RGB in colour and there are multiple pad modes. Worth saying what’s written on the controller itself is for Serato, so the modes slightly differ when you’re using this with rekordbox.
  • A new pad mode called Piano Play - changes all 16 pads to emulate a piano, with white keys along the bottom pads, and black keys along the top, and you can play a hot cue in a tune along the keys of the piano!
  • Another feature perfect for open format DJs is the Auto Bpm transition. This speeds up or slows down the song you’re playing in one deck to match the other deck over a length in bars, and you can also trigger this to cut out certain stems whilst it’s transitioning at the same time!
  • You can also do a stems split on the Rev5, where you can move certain elements of a tune out of one deck and in to the other
  • This is even more powerful when you combine it with the deck move feature, that allows you to layer songs across the different decks, but on the same jog wheel. Sounds mad, I know. Watch the full video to see what I’m on about!

Hercules Inpulse 200mk2

 

The Hercules Inpulse 200 mk2 is the ideal update from the old Inpulse 200, and in fact one of the best entry level controllers on the market considering it actually teaches you how to mix, and it’s less than £100!

Highlights:

  • Works with Serato & Djuced, which is great as the original Impulse 200 was only compatible with Djuced, and speaking of Djuced, this controller dropped at the same time as Djuced announced their own version of Stems. 
  • Like Serato you have 4 Stems options in DJuced; vocal, melody, bass and drums
  • There’s only 2 band EQ on this 200 mk2, high and low, with no mid range. Some people might find this a bit of a put off, however, if you look at the other controllers at this size and price point, that’s not uncommon.
  • Everything else is where you’d expect it to be on the mixer section including a filter knob which is pretty essential these days!
  • The 3.5” jogs are touch capacitive which means you can scratch on them, great fun for entry level DJs, but you can also turn vinyl mode off to have them on more of a pitch bend mode if you prefer to mix that way instead!
  • There’s 4 performance pads per channel with 4 pad modes hot cue, stems, Pad FX and Sampler
  • Stems is a feature that has changed the way people DJ, so it’s amazing that you can use it on a controller at this price point, let alone having it’s own dedicated pad mode!
  • The Beatmatch Guide is a fantastic feature on all the Hercules DJ controllers, in a nutshell, it uses little green and red lights on the controller that indicate whether you need to nudge the jog, or move tempo slider to get the tune in time. Ideal for entry level DJs, but if you don’t want to use it, you can just turn it off!

Hercules Inpulse T7

 

This might come as a bit of a shock to some of you but I would say the Hercules DJ Control Inpulse T7 was arguably the best bit of DJ equipment to be released in 2023. Although it’s more of a plastic build rather than the metal faceplates of the other motorised plattered controllers on the market, it still baffs me how they managed to put a this one out with spinning platters for under £600!

 

Hightights:

  • Compatible with Serato DJ Lite & Pro. Obviously Lite is free, but you need to pay for a the Pro license as this controller isn’t a hardware unlock unfortunately
  • Also compatible with DJuced, which is free as well, and as I mentioned before, now DJuced has Stems capability, and this T7 has dedicated Stems buttons etc, it’s a great!
  • The spinning platters are 7 inches in size, and as the tech comes from the spindle rather than the vinyl itself, it means that you can use any 7” / 45 record on this controller!
  • The same applies to 7” slipmats, you can us your own if you don’t like the ones that are included
  • Now I say this quite a few times in the few videos that I did on this T7 controller, but the platters aren’t technically motorised, they’re belt drive. But I honestly didn’t notice the difference. The platters feel great to mix on, the only spanner is they’re not ideal for backspinning.
  • The controller has a full length pitch fader with a 0% click
  • But it also has dedicated pitch bend buttons which I think is really important if you prefer to use them to get your tune in time rather than touching the side of the spinning platter
  • You have 8 rubber RGB performance pads per channel with 8 different pad modes, although the pad modes depend on what software you’re using
  • Great to have a dedicated stems pad mode on this T7 rather than having to map it to another pad mode, with the 4 different pads doing what you expect them to do within Serato Stems
  • However, if you want the simple cut from instrumental to acapella, there are dedicated buttons for that to the right of the pads too. Really handy for quick mixing / getting yourself out of the possible confusion of the 4 part separation!
  • Mixer wise, it’s a 2 channel controller set up in a battle kind of style as you activate the FX using the paddles
  • No built in FX on this controller by the way, everything is software based
  • What’s great about this T7 is it has the beat match guide that I mentioned on the Inpulse 200mk2, so that could be really helpful for someone learning to mix on this controller with a vinyl feel, but as I said, if you don’t like it, you can turn it off!
  • The faders on this controller aren’t the best if you’re a hardcore scratch DJ, but definitely do the job for light scratching or standard mixing, however Hercules are aware that spinning platters attract scratch DJs, so there is actually a Premium edition of the T7 with upgraded faders, or you can mod the original with an Innofader mini.
New RANE PERFORMER - motorised RANE FOUR - leaked

Add £50.00 to your order to qualify for Free Delivery.

Add £250.00 to your order to qualify for A Free Photo Booth Expo Ticket.

×

Sign me up for emails

We'll send you updates on the latest offers and promotional events, inspiration and advice. As well as invites to events.

We treat your personal data with care, view our privacy notice here.

×