The 7 Best Top-Tier DJ Controllers in 2024 (pro range with laptop)

photo of professional DJ controllers

📅 Last updated: 20th Feb 2024 | 🕒 Est. reading time: 20 mins

Overview

In this buyer’s guide, with everything you need to make a decision, we’ll provide a simple overview of the 7 best top-tier DJ controllers in 2024 (pro range with a laptop).

As the leading contenders in this category, these are the 7 best professional DJ controllers on the market right now. They’re all priced between $900 and $1,900 US.

Note: All of the DJ controllers on this list have been used and/or tested directly by our team! If you’re looking for a DJ system that doesn’t require a laptop, check out this post instead.

Want to become a club DJ?

Check out this FREE DJ mini-course from our friends at Club Ready DJ School. When you sign up you’ll get immediate access to 16 high-quality HD video lessons!

Who are these professional DJ controllers for?

Assuming that you’re currently in the market for a DJ controller, these controllers will be most applicable if you fall into one of these 3 categories:

  1. You’re an experienced DJ looking for a high-end DJ controller for your home or studio setup.
  2. You’re a mobile DJ looking for a high-end controller for their gigs.
  3. You’re a passionate bedroom or hobbyist DJ that means business.

How to choose?

The seven units on this list are all high-end DJ controllers, all with more functionality than most DJs would ever realistically use in a typical DJ set or at a gig. Specs and connections-wise, they’re all designed for professional use.

Now we know that, and once you have an idea of which DJ software you’ll be using, what’s MOST important is that you consider their unique selling points and what that means to YOU and your situation. If you need more help before we get started, check out these two posts:

Post #1: A quick introduction to DJ controllers (this post is mostly for beginners)

Post #2: Best DJ software programs (this post breaks down the 5 main players in DJ software)

So then, here are the 7 best top-tier DJ controllers in 2024!


1: Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX10

Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX10 (snip)

Overview:

Released in March 2023, the DDJ-FLX10 is a high-end (or top-tier) DJ controller from Pioneer DJ – their current flagship ‘laptop required’ DJ controller that replaced the older DDJ-1000 and DDJ-1000SRT.

It’s designed to be used with their proprietary music management and DJ software, Rekordbox, although it also works out-of-the-box with Serato DJ Pro.

What is Stems?? Also described as ‘track separation technology’, Stems allows you to remove or isolate components of a track in real-time, giving the ability to create unique mash-ups on the fly and execute more creative transitions, whilst also adding FX to the individual stem. Within Rekordbox (the default operation for the DDJ-FLX10), you can use three different audio stems: vocals, drums and ‘other instruments’. Within Serato, you can use four: drums, melody, bass and vocals.

Best suited to:

Performance/laptop DJs looking to explore Stems and mobile DJs that use Rekordbox.

Approximate price:

$1,700 US | £1,650 GBP | €1,900 Euro | $3,400 AU (see buy links below).

Product slideshow:

Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX10 - main view

Birds-eye view

Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX10 - side angle

Top angle #1

Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX10 - front angle

Top angle #2

Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX10 - rear view

Rear view

Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX10 - front view

Front view

Key features/specs
4-channel, 4-deck DJ controller compatible with Rekordbox and Serato DJ Pro (comes with Serato Pitch’n Time)
Onboard Stems controls for track Separation (isolate and add FX to the vocals, drums and ‘other instruments’)
Full-sized mechanical jog wheels, Multi-color Jog Ring, 4 x Display Modes
‘Jog adjust’ knob to customize the jog wheel resistance, for preference and optimized scratching
High-definition LCD screens built into centre of jog wheels (on-jog displays)
4-sensor Magvel Crossfader
DMX light control output round the back for Rekordbox lighting mode
8 multi-colour rubber performance pads for each channel
Beat FX: Low Cut Echo, Multi Tap Delay, Reverb, Flanger, Phaser, Slip Roll, Mobius Saw/Triangle
6 x Sound Color FX / filter knobs on each channel
Mix Point Link auto-mix feature
External output to connect turntables or CDJs with standalone mode for use as a standalone mixer
Two USB ports for seamless laptop changeovers, plus 2 Mic inputs
rekordbox DVS, upgrade-ready
High-quality sound with all professional inputs & outputs (view tech specs via the product page)
Size: Width 716mm x Depth 400.3mm x Height 73.4mm
Weight: 6.7kg

Key takeaways/conclusion:

With dedicated Stems controls built-in to the hardware, it’s worth noting that the DDJ-FLX10 directly competes with the Rane Four which is next on this list. Whilst both units are priced at around USD 1,700, the primary software operation on the Rane is Serato.

ℹ️ Want to become a Club DJ?? Sign up for this FREE DJ Mini-Course to get 16 high-quality HD videos plus other free bonus materials! It’s from our friends over at Club Ready DJ School.

In addition to the Stems controls, other new and improved features (based on the DDJ-1000 and DDJ-1000SRT) include: ‘Mix Point Link’ (basically an auto-mix feature), the DMX output round the back for Rekordbox lighting mode (to easily connect DMX-compatible lighting equipment with no additional box required), and an improved MAGVEL crossfader.

Of course, the DDJ-FLX10 also retains the key selling points from the DDJ-1000 and DDJ-1000SRT – those being the standalone 4-channel club mixer in the middle, Sound Color FX knobs/filters on each channel, full-sized ‘CDJ-like’ mechanical jog wheels, on-jog displays (showing essential track data, etc., these are also improved), on-board Beat FX, and the fact that they were the closest thing to a CDJ club set-up on a ‘laptop required’ DJ controller!

Who should buy it? Whilst the FLX10 would make perfect sense for bar & club DJs who use a laptop at home, it would also serve the needs of any DJ looking for a professional setup in their bedroom or studio and wishes to explore Stems, and indeed mobile DJs that use Rekordbox.

Unless you already use Serato (in which case, would you not prefer the Rane Four?), we’d suggest it’s better sticking with Rekordbox as all the buttons on the hardware will be labelled correctly, thus creating a more seamless workflow!

Also, as the DDJ-FLX10 is a hardware unlock device, unless you choose to upgrade your plan at some stage you won’t need to pay a monthly subscription for the software. For more resources, visit the product page or watch Pioneer’s complete overview video below.

Overall Rating:
★★★★★
★★★★★

Best places to buy:

Note: Commissions may be earned from the above links. See our affiliate declaration.


2: RANE FOUR

Overhead photo of the Rane Four DJ controller

Overview

Next up, the Rane Four is a 4-channel performance DJ controller that integrates tightly with Serato DJ Pro, designed to incorporate the latest 3.0 ‘Stems’ update within the software. Released in March 2023, it’s a high-end (top-tier) unit with everything a working DJ would need to play mobile gigs.

See our FAQ section at the end for Stems definition.

Best suited to:

Performance DJs that want to explore Stems, and/or mobile & event DJs that use Serato.

Approximate price:

$1,700 upon release (USD pricing, see buy links below).

Power supply:

The Rane Four is powered by an AC Adapter (mains) and connected via a USB connection to your laptop. With a built-in 24-bit soundcard, it’s ready to go out-of-the-box for PC or Mac (view full tech specs here).

Product slide show:

Birds-eye photo of the Rane Four DJ controller

Birds-eye view

Front angle photo of the Rane Four DJ controller

Front angle

Front view of the Rane Four DJ controller

Front view

Rear view of the Rane Four DJ controller

Rear view

Angled view of the Rane Four DJ controller

Angled view

Key features/specs
4-channel mixer, 4-deck DJ controller compatible with Serato DJ Pro (Serato’s Pitch ‘n Time included)
Full-size capacitive jog wheels (8.5-inch)
High-quality performance-friendly aluminium FX toggles on the mixer
On-jog colour displays showing essential data such as BPM, waveforms, time elapsed, etc
8 multi-colour back-lit performance pads for each channel to trigger Serato pad modes – Hot Cues, Roll, Sampler, Saved Loops STEMS, Slicer, Scratch Bank and Pitch Play
STEMS performance pad mode allows DJs to instantly isolate or remove vocals, melody, bass, and drums. The bottom row of pads adds STEM FX to the mix when removing elements
The dedicated instrumental/acapella buttons allow you to isolate or subtract the vocals or instruments of a track without leaving your currently selected Performance Pad mode
‘Stem-split’ function splits the acapella and instrumental of a track across two deck layers of the mixer section, allowing you to cut up vocal samples in real-time, add independent FX to each element, chop the track up with the performance pads, and more
22 x dedicated on-board FX including Reverb, Echo, Scale Down, Recycler, Riser, and more
Channel FX section includes classic Filter, Filter, Roll, Noise, and Flanger
Dedicated slip mode and vinyl mode buttons on each deck
Two USB ports for seamless laptop changeovers; plus 2 x Mic input with dedicated volume and EQ controls
High-quality sound with all professional inputs & outputs (view tech specs here)
Size: Width 782.32mm x Depth 403.8mm x Height 106.6mm
Weight: 8.27kg

Conclusion:

The release of the Rane Four was perfectly timed for the Serato 3.0 stems update back in December 2022, and it’s currently the best unit on the market if you want to fully utilize the new updates (within Serato). In short, the unit offers an excellent range of FX both on-board and in-software that would be best appreciated by performance DJs.

As with the Rane One (no.4 on this list), the build quality is excellent, with a mostly metal construction. A couple of notable features include the market-leading MAG-FOUR crossfader (this has plenty of adjustable settings), and also the high-quality aluminium FX toggles in the ”scratch style” mixer section.

Just bear in mind that the performance features, particularly the Stems, will require a decent laptop to work properly (view system requirements here) – and whilst the unit can be used as a standalone mixer it will only work with two channels.

In addition to performance DJs that use Serato the Rane Four is also suitable for mobile & event DJs, although it would depend on how likely you are to use Stems and all those other FX?! For more resources check out Rane’s official overview video below or visit the product page.

Overall Rating:
★★★★★
★★★★★

Best places to buy:

Note: Commissions may be earned from the above links. See our affiliate declaration.


3: Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7

Photo of the Pioneer DJ ddj-rev7

Overview:

Released in January 2022, the DDJ-REV7 is a 2-channel motorized DJ Controller from Pioneer DJ. It works with Serato DJ Pro using a connected laptop via a USB connection.

With its motorized direct-drive platters, it’s Pioneer’s first-ever DJ controller designed to simulate an authentic turntable experience.

Best suited to:

Any Serato user who loves the authentic feel of mixing vinyl and only needs two channels. Also scratch/battle DJs.

Approximate price:

$1,899 US when it came out (see buy links below).

Power supply:

The DDJ-REV7 has an AC adaptor for an external power supply (power brick). The built-in 24-bit soundcard then allows you to directly plug in headphones, microphones, and speakers. In other words, it’s ready to go out-of-the-box for PC or Mac.

Product slideshow:

ddj-rev7 main view

Main view

ddj-rev7 birdseye view angled

Top angle

ddj-rev7 front angle

Front angle

ddj-rev7 front view

Front view

ddj-rev7 rear view

Rear view

Key features/specs
2-channel mixer; works with Serato DJ Pro which it comes with
7-inch direct drive motorized platters, perfect for scratching/beat juggling (has two resistance settings)
3.5-inch colour screens on each jog wheel with 4 different modes
Each deck mirrors a turntable turned 90 degrees with tempo adjust and other controls at the top
Full-sized battle mixer in the middle similar to Pioneer’s DJM-S11 pro mixer (with paddle FX controls, etc.)
EQ & gain control + low/high pass filter controls
8 x hot cue buttons for each deck (on the mixer section); modes include Hot Cue, Roll, Saved Loop, Sampler, Pitch Play, Slicer Loop, Saved Flip and Scratch Bank
22 x Beat FX and 5 x Color FX (built into the unit)
4 x ‘instant scratch’ modes on the unit
Start/stop button on each deck as you’d get on a turntable (cue button in software only)
Dedicated reverse switches and slip mode on each deck (also has sync buttons)
Magvel crossfader as found on the DJM-S11 – with ‘feeling adjust’ knob to control resistance, and curve adjust
Pitch bend buttons on each deck (an alternative to nudging the platters)
All pro connections that you’d expect in this price bracket; has 2 x Mic inputs with dedicated low/high EQs and 2 x USB ports for DJ changeovers
Unit operates as a basic standalone mixer and supports DVS within Serato DJ Pro
Size: Width 732mm x Depth 382mm x Height 82mm
Weight: 10.7kg

Key takeaways/conclusion:

Clearly in direct competition with the Rane One that we’re about to cover — with its fantastic motorized platters — the DDJ-REV7 also brings that authentic vinyl feel in a DJ controller.

The key differences? Well, for a start, the DDJ-REV7 has a full-sized battle mixer in the middle, similar to Pioneer’s DJM-S11 pro mixer. You’ll also notice that all the deck controls (pitch fader, etc.) are located at the top as if you’d turned an actual turntable on its side – a feature that would further appeal to scratch/battle DJs.

Also, there’s no ‘spindle’ in the middle of the platters on the DDJ-REV7. Instead, it has colour screens in the centre of each jog wheel, which again, cleverly adds more value compared to the Rane One.

In summary, the DDJ-REV7 would make a great investment for any scratch, battle, or open-format DJ that either currently uses, or wants to use Serato — or just any DJ that wants a more authentic vinyl experience in a DJ controller!

Coming in at $1,900 US, it’s the most expensive in this price bracket ($400 more than the Rane One), but we think it’s worth it. For more help deciding, check out Pioneer’s official overview video below or visit the product page.

Overall Rating:
★★★★★
★★★★★

Best places to buy:

Note: Commissions may be earned from the above links. See our affiliate declaration.


4: Rane One

Photo of the Rane One (professional DJ controller)

Overview:

Released in January 2021, the Rane One is a two-channel motorized DJ controller from Rane that’s primarily designed to work with Serato. Whilst it comes bundled with Serato DJ Pro, the unit also offers ‘plug-and-play’ compatibility with Virtual DJ and djay PRO.

With its motorized platters, it simulates an authentic turntable experience in a DJ controller – similar to the DDJ-REV7 which we’ve just covered.

Best suited to:

Scratch/battle DJs that use Serato and want a cheaper alternative to Pioneer’s REV7, and just any DJ who loves the authentic feel of mixing vinyl.

Approximate price:

$1,500 US when it came out (see buy links below).

Power supply:

The Rane One is powered by an AC Adapter (mains) and connected via a USB connection to your laptop. With a built-in 24-bit soundcard, it’s ready to go out-of-the-box for PC or Mac.

Slide show:

Rane One (birds-eye view)

Birds-eye view

Rane One (front angle)

Front angle

Rane One (front view)

Front view

Rane One (rear view)

Rear view

Rane One (side view)

Side view

Key features/specs
2-channel mixer; unit works with Serato DJ Pro (which it comes with), Virtual DJ, and djay PRO
Rugged metal construction/excellent build quality
7-inch motorized platters provide an authentic turntable experience; the direct-drive motors have plenty of torque for scratching/beat juggling (includes low/high mode)
Battle-style mixer with ‘paddle’ FX switches in the centre – includes 3-band total-kill EQ & gain control + low/high pass filter controls
Removable/replaceable vinyl on the top of platters with a slip matt underneath
Start/stop button for each deck just like you’d get on a turntable. Also has a ‘cue’ button if you’d prefer
Dedicated reverse switches and slip mode on each deck
Flagship MAG FOUR tension adjustable crossfader w/contour controls
‘Pitch bend’ buttons on each deck (an alternative to nudging the platters to sync the incoming track)
8 x RGB performance pads on each deck with modes including hot cue, pitch play, saved loop, loop roll, sampler and slicer – with dedicated loop controls next to the performance pads
Track search bar at the top of each deck with LED markers
All pro connections you’d expect in this price bracket: 2 x Mic inputs with dedicated low/high EQs, 3 stereo outputs, and 2 x USB ports for seamless DJ changeovers
External output to connect turntables or CDJs; unit also operates as a basic standalone mixer without a connected laptop
Feet on the bottom to raise the unit – similar to a classic turntable
Supports DVS within Serato DJ Pro
Size: Width 674mm x Depth 345mm x Height 124.3mm
Weight: 10.68kg

Key takeaways/conclusion:

As well as any budding scratch/battle DJ out there, the Rane One is also a great option for anyone who loves the authentic feel of mixing vinyl (it isn’t just for scratch DJs)! The build quality is excellent and the layout will be familiar for any Serato DJ planning on switching or upgrading from another Serato controller.

Priced at approximately $1,500 US, it’s $400 less than its direct competitor, the DDJ-REV7. If you’re not necessarily a scratch DJ, just bear in mind it only has two channels. For more resources, check out Rane’s official overview video below or visit the product page.

Overall Rating:
★★★★★
★★★★★

Best places to buy:

Note: Commissions may be earned from the above links. See our affiliate declaration.


5: Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3

Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 (Professional DJ controller)

Overview:

The Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 is the flagship 4-channel professional DJ controller from Native Instruments. Released in late 2018, it’s designed for intermediate-level and professional DJ/producers, integrating tightly with Traktor Pro DJ software that it comes with.

Best suited to:

Traktor Pro users looking for their flagship unit (typically electronic music DJ/producers).

Approximate price:

Between $900 & 1,100 US (see buy links below.).

Power supply:

The S4 is powered through an AC Adaptor and connected by a USB connection to your laptop. Like the others on this list, with its built-in 24-bit soundcard it’s ready to go out-of-the-box for PC or Mac.

Slide show:

Traktor Kontrol S4 (birds-eye view)

Birds-eye view

Traktor Kontrol S4 (angle #1))

Angle #1

Traktor Kontrol S4 (angle #2)

Angle #2

Traktor Kontrol S4 (angle #3)

Angle #3

Traktor Kontrol S4 (angle #4)

Angle #4

Traktor Kontrol S4 (front view)

Front view

Traktor Kontrol S4 (rear view)

Rear view

Key features/specs
4-channel mixer, 4-deck controller within Traktor Pro
Compatible with Traktor Pro; software can be used offline once installed
High-res silicone-damped, motorized Haptic Drive jog wheels with rubber-coated outer rim
RGB light rings around each jog wheel deliver quick, responsive tempo and nudging visualization on each deck
3 x jog wheel modes including Vinyl Mode, Jog Mode and Beatgrid Mode
Two high-resolution colour displays showing track, key, tempo, looping, hot cue, and waveform information
Simplified FX selectors; includes intuitive Deck FX and Mixer FX, with eight club-grade effects, three filters and more
8 multi-function performance pads on each channel for Hot Cues, Loops, Samples, Sequencing and Stems
Key Lock (‘master’ button) is conveniently placed above the tempo fader to automatically lock the key, making mixing harmonically easier than ever
External output to easily connect turntables, CDJs, drum machines, synths and other instruments
Size: Width 542mm x Depth 339mm x Height 60.5mm
Weight: 4.3kg

Conclusion:

Due to their live-remixing and performance capabilities when integrated with the software, Traktor controllers are still a widely popular choice amongst DJ/producers of electronic music; popular for their remix decks, stems functionality, and high-quality range of FX.

Same as the S2 in the beginner range, the S4 MK3 has a nice solid build quality about it, and it’s also a very user-friendly unit for Traktor. On the unit itself, the motorized jog wheels have haptic feedback technology which gives the user a reactive ‘jolt’ when they pass a loop or a cue point – a unique feature we haven’t seen on other controllers.

The S4 is certainly the pick for the more serious DJ/producer who either currently uses or is considering using Traktor Pro. And it’s also a good bit cheaper than Pioneer’s leading 4-channel contenders in this category!

For more resources, check out Traktor’s overview video below or visit the product page.

Overall Rating:
★★★★★
★★★★★

Best places to buy:

Note: Commissions may be earned from the above links. See our affiliate declaration.


6: Roland DJ-808

Photo of the Roland DJ-808

Overview:

Released in 2016, the DJ-808 is Roland’s flagship professional DJ controller targeted at electronic music DJ producers and musicians. It works with Serato DJ Pro, which it comes with.

Best suited to:

Electronic music DJ producers and musicians that currently use (or want to use) Serato.

Approximate price:

Between $1,100 & 1,300 US (see buy links below).

Power supply:

Powered by an AC Adaptor and connected via a USB connection to your laptop, it has a built-in 24-bit soundcard so you can directly plug in headphones, microphones, and speakers. It’s ready to go out-of-the-box for PC or Mac.

Product slide show:

Roland DJ-808 (birds-eye view)

Birds-eye view

Roland DJ-808 (top angle #1)

Top angle #1

Roland DJ-808 (top angle #2)

Top angle #2

Roland DJ-808 (top angle #3)

Top angle #3

Roland DJ-808 (front view)

Front view

Roland DJ-808 (rear view)

Rear view

Key features/specs
4-channel mixer, 4-deck controller with Serato DJ Pro
Includes Serato Pitch ‘N Time; unlocks key shift and key sync
Large ultra-low-latency jog wheels with integrated displays, optimized for scratching
Built-in drum machine, includes samples from Roland’s classic TR-606, TR707, TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines models as popularized in the 80s with acid house
Classic 16-step sequencer that can trigger either TR drum sounds or the Serato Sampler; includes nudge (TR-S), step-roll, and instrument/sample mute
4 x high-quality integrated Channel FX conveniently above each jog wheel
8 x multi-function RGB colour performance pads for each channel with Hot Cue, Roll, Slicer, TR, Pitch Play and Sampler modes
Built-in VT Voice Transformer with Pitch, Formant, Ducking and Serato key matching
External output to connect turntables, CDJs, or other instruments; can be used as a standalone m
Serato DJ DVS, upgrade-ready
Size: Width 668mm x Depth 427mm x Height 84mm
Weight: 6.8kg

Key takeaways/conclusion:

It comes with a professional onboard sequencer and voice transformer; plus the inclusion of the classic drum machine samples from the acid house era is another great selling point! The 808 has a fully kitted-out Serato workflow and is perhaps best suited to a music producer or musician who wants to get into DJing.

This is much more than just another ”performance-friendly” DJ controller, rather, it’s a complete instrument for the right DJ/producer with a passion for electronic music!

For more help deciding, check out the in-depth overview video below or visit the manufacturer’s product page.

Overall Rating:
★★★★★
★★★★★

Where to buy?

Note: Commissions may be earned from the above links. See our affiliate declaration.


7. Roland DJ-707M

Roland DJ-707M (Professional DJ controller)

Whilst it may have less mainstream appeal than the other 6 on this list, there’s no doubt the Roland DJ-707M would be another great choice for mobile & event DJs!

Coming in at less than a grand (US), it’s a 4-channel DJ controller that works with Serato DJ Pro.

If you’re interested in learning more you can visit the website.


What are the best top-tier DJ controllers in 2024?

In summary, these are our favourite top-tier DJ controllers in the market right now:

  1. Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX10
  2. RANE FOUR
  3. Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7
  4. RANE ONE
  5. Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3
  6. Roland DJ-808
  7. Roland DJ-707M

More buyer’s guides:


FAQs

What is the best DJ controller?

The best DJ controller (by definition: a unit that requires a laptop to operate it) would arguably be the DDJ-FLX10 from Pioneer DJ, or perhaps the DDJ-REV7 that came out in January 2022. Other DJ controllers that would challenge this include the Rane Four and Roland’s DJ-808 to name a few.

What is the best Pioneer DJ controller?

In our opinion, the best DJ controller from Pioneer DJ (a unit that requires a laptop to operate it) is either the DDJ-FLX10 or the DDJ-REV7 that came out in January 2022. The DDJ-FLX10 works with Rekordbox and is targeted at performance and club DJs, whereas the REV7 is more for scratch DJs and turntable enthusiasts.

What is 'Stems' in DJing?

Also described as ‘track separation technology’, Stems allows you to remove or isolate components of a track in real-time—such as the drums, melody, bass or vocals—giving DJs the ability to create unique mash-ups in real-time, execute more creative transitions, whilst also adding FX to the individual stem.

Affiliate Disclosure: To help fund the website, some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you choose to make a purchase we’ll make a small commission from it. This comes at NO extra cost to you!

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