Differences between the Pioneer XDJ-XZ, XDJ-RX2, DDJ-1000 and Denon Prime 4


Since the Denon Prime 4 was announced at the start of the year, many have been waiting for Pioneer DJ’s response for a 4 channel standalone DJ controller. Today, Pioneer have announced the XDJ-XZ.

The XDJ-XZ is, in effect a hybrid of the older 2 channel standalone controller XDJ-RX2 and the newer DDJ-1000. You can either use the XZ as a standalone controller, or running a laptop using either Pioneer’s rekordbox DJ software, or Serato DJ (Serato compatibility to follow in an update shortly).

Although the XDJ-XZ has a 4 channel mixer, you can only use 2 of the channels in standalone mode when using USBs on the actual unit itself. The other 2 channels on the mixer are to be used with external CDJs or turntables, or (and this is a game changer in our opinion) with rekordbox or Serato.

An important feature however is the pro link at the back of the unit, meaning when you have external CDJs connected, they will link with the XZ in standalone mode. So basically you can use one USB for all 4 channels.

Does this make the XDJ-XZ a 4 channel standalone DJ controller? Technically not, but the bigger question here is, why would Pioneer DJ release a 4 channel standalone controller with full sized jog wheels and a mixer that matches the club standard DJM-900NXS2? Surely that would squash any need for DJs to buy the top end NXS2 CDJ / DJM set up?

With the DJ industry torn between buying standalone DJ controllers, or using a laptop, once the update kicks in and the XZ is compatible with Serato, the XZ has pretty much covered all bases (sorry Traktor users!). The option to use a laptop, or have the unit in standalone mode acts a great failsafe for DJs who like to have a backup option just in case their USB / laptop dies during a performance.

The XDJ-XZ boasts a few new features that have never been seen on a Pioneer controller. 3 band EQ on both of the two microphones and 3 band EQ on the master is a huge a nod to the mobile DJ market, and 6 colour FX, 14 Beat FX and the X-Pad to control them, (mimicking the DJM-900NXS2) covers Club DJs who are used to the NXS2 set up.

The 7” touchscreen is the same you will find on the XDJ-RX2, with 2 waveform display and QWERTY search function, but the XZ has also got the in jog displays seen on the DDJ-1000, and there are 8 RGB performance pads for each deck.

The utilities menu on the XZ has been split in to 3, (Deck, Mixer and General) with fader curve, microphone talk over and sound limiter settings (to name a few) it is here where you can really customise and personalise the DJ controller to suit your needs.

To conclude, we put the Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ in it’s own category - the big Daddy of the DDJ-1000 and XDJ-RX2. So when it comes to comparing the new Pioneer XDJ-XZ to the Denon Prime 4, truth is, you can’t. They are different units that tick off points of the market.

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