What equipment do you need to be a DJ?

What equipment do you need to be a  DJ?


The thought of what equipment a beginner DJ needs is quite daunting, whether you are looking for yourself or for someone else. As this is a very open ended question, we’re going to try and simplify it for you based on the more common cases we see.

Generally the equipment used by a DJ will be some of the following:

  • 2 CDJ’s (media players) or turntables with a mixer
  • Or a digital DJ controller with a laptop or even phone / tablet
  • Speakers
  • Headphones

To try and work out what you need, the first question is: where is your music?

This can be broken down to three answers;

Physical media like CDs or vinyl

Stored digital media like downloaded, purchased songs as well as ones ripped from CD Streaming from a service, which presents its own limitations, and in all cases require a paid for subscription from the services that are supported.

So let’s go through these options.

You want to DJ with physical media like CDs or Vinyl.

This is reasonably straight forward, you’ll require 2 CD Decks / Media Players (referred to as CDJs) or 2 turntables. To mix these together, you’ll need a mixer. These vary depending on the style of mixing you want to do, for example scratch DJ’s use high quality, durable mixers designed to take abuse. House or techno DJ’s may use 4 channel mixers with effects.

To hear anything out of either of these setups, you will need some active speakers (ones with built in amplifiers) and some headphones.

Equipment to djTurntables and Mixer setup


Media Players

DJ Mixers


Active Speakers

DJ Headphones

You have digital media stored on your computer.

This option is the best as it gives you the most flexibility. You can choose from any of the above listed options, most beginner DJ’s will opt for a simple DJ controller that will include software and plugs in to the computer via USB. Typically, the more advanced the DJ, the more features they want on a controller.

There is now a huge range of controllers for varying levels, needs and for different software packages.

You can still use turntables and mixers with the aid of DVS, this uses special timecode vinyl and an interface to play tracks from your computer as if they are on the vinyl.

There is also the option to export your tracks on to USB sticks and play them on popular players either at home, a friends house, a bar or club.

You can even use a mobile device like a phone or tablet with a compatible controller and the right app.

To clarify, ‘downloaded’ tracks does not include tracks that are downloaded from a streaming service to play ‘offline’. These are tracks that have been purchased, ripped from CD or any other regular audio file.

Again, you’ll still need some active speakers (ones with built in amplifiers) and some headphones to hear what you’re doing.


Laptop DJ ControllerStandalone DJ Controller


DJ Controllers

Standalone players

Active Speakers

DJ Headphones


You get your music from a streaming service.

Firstly, find out which software works with your streaming service. At the time of writing, Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music are not supported by any DJ software.


Spotify DJ

Beatport DJ

Tidal DJ

Soundcloud DJ

Software / service



BeatPort Link


SoundCloud Go

Algoriddim DJay / Pro

Serato DJ Pro

RekordBox DJ


WeDJ (iOS)

If you haven’t already signed up to a service, or want to switch, most of the above offer a free trial period so you can test them out and see if they suit your musical taste.

Once you’ve worked out which software you can use, this will narrow down your hardware options.

In most cases though, you will still need a DJ controller (compatible with your choice of software and device), speakers and headphones.



Beatport Link

DJ Controllers


DJ Controllers


DJ Controllers

We hope this is enough to at least get you started and as always, you can contact us for any advice you need. 

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