The Best DJ Controllers Under $250

There are plenty of inexpensive DJ controllers in the market to jump-start your career as a DJ. But so many options can make choosing just one a daunting process. If you see yourself in such a situation then this guide is exactly for you. 

We’ve done some research, scoured the internet for every bit of information we could find and talked to many professional and hobbyist DJs to make a list of 4 best DJ controllers under $250. If you don’t have the time to read through the whole article then you can check out the Pioneer DJ DJ Controller (DDJ-400). It’s got a clean interface and plenty of features that make it the perfect DJ controller for beginners and casual DJs. But we recommend you read through the whole article before settling on one.

Do you need a DJ controller?

GUy plaYING DJ CONTROLLER UNDER 250

Before we begin let’s make sure you have a good idea of what a DJ controller is and do you need one? A lot of you are beginners. So, we thought this part was necessary. 

A DJ controller is a device that is used to control DJ software. It can also be looked at as a combination of various other DJ devices such as mixers, turntables, etc. So, if you buy a DJ controller you pretty much have everything you need to start DJing. 

Sometimes people new to DJing get confused between mixers and controllers. But mixers act more like a central hub for music sources like turntables, CDJs, etc. They take in the signals from these through different channels and then mix them up to create new tracks.

DJ controller usually comes with two Jog wheels on each side which mixers don’t have. So, it is pretty easy to differentiate them.

5 Best DJ Controller Under 250$

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Specifications 

  • Power: USB powered 
  • Sound Card: 24-bit
  • Outputs: 2 (Stereo RCA, Headphone Mini-Jack)
  • Dimensions: 10.71 x 18.98 x 2.28 inches
  • Weight: 4.63 lbs.

For beginners looking for a relatively inexpensive DJ controller to start off their DJ career, the Pioneer DJ DJ Controller DDJSB3 is probably one of the bests. Bringing over the intuitive design from the DDJ-S series controllers this DJ controller has a clean and efficient interface that is easy to use. 

It is also loaded with tons of useful effects and features like the pad scratch, two large jog wheels, total support for the Serato DJ and much more. The two large jog wheels are especially great as they make scratching very easy. 

We also love that this DJ controller has full support for the Serato DJ Pro which is a great DJ software for newcomers.

Features 

Large jog wheels: Scratch with ease and style with the large jog wheels that come with this DJ controller. They are really comfortable to use and easy to scratch with unlike the smaller one. 

Full Support for Serato DJ: Serato DJ is probably one of the most popular DJ software out there. And if you use Serato DJ then the DDJSB3 would be the perfect DJ controller for you as it has full Serato DJ support.

24-bit Sound Card: With a 24-bit Serato sound card you can expect crisp and clear sounds. For a device designed to make music that should definitely matter.

Pros

  • Clean interface 
  • Many features 
  • Many controls and effects
  • Full Serato DJ support
  • 24-bit sound card
  • Large jog wheels
 

Cons

  •  1/8″ audio jack instead of the standard 1/4″

Specifications 

  • Power: USB powered 
  • Sound Card: 24-bit
  • Outputs: 3 (Stereo RCA, 1/8″ and 1/4″ Headphone Jacks)
  • Dimensions: 10 x 22 x 2 inches
  • Weight: 4.89 lbs.

Numark is one of the best when it comes to DJ equipment. So, you can expect nothing but quality from the Numark Mistrack Platinum. It is a 4 channel DJ controller with all sorts of Pro features. These include 5-inch jog wheels, 4 channel mixing, all sorts of filter and gain controllers for every channel, etc. 

It has a nice LCD display at the center of each jog wheel which comes in really useful for monitoring bpm, pitch adjustment, platter position, etc. This is really nice to have as you don’t have to keep switching your eyes to your laptop and can focus on the DJ controller. 

The Numark Platinum also has full support for Serato DJ. As we’ve said before if you are just starting out with DJing then Serato DJ is pretty useful for learning the basics.

Features

4-channel mixing: With 4 channels mixing you get more versatility to make you a mixtape. The DJ controllers deck selection function allows you to switch between a deck with ease. 

1.75-inch LCD: Keep your focus on your DJ controller with the 1.75-inch LCDs of each of the two 5″ jog wheels. Monitor things like bpm, pitch adjustment, platter position, etc. 

Crisp Audio: The Numark Mixtrack Platinum has a 24-bit sound card that is sure to produce a crisp and clear sound. 

Many functions: With 16 multifunction performance pads and many FX options you have everything necessary to cook up your next hit mixtape.

Pros

  • Easy interface 
  • Two 1.75-inch LCDs
  • 24-bit audio processing
  • 16 multifunction performance pads
  • Many FX options

Cons

  • Some features might not be supported by DJ software

Specifications 

  • Power: USB powered 
  • Sound Card: 24-bit
  • Outputs: 3 (Stereo RCA, 1/8″ and 1/4″ Headphone Jacks)
  • Dimensions: 21.5 x 3.4 x 12.2 inches
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs.

The Hercules DJ Control Jogvision is a pretty unique little DJ controller. First, let us go through the more conventional features. It’s a 2 channel DJ controller with two 5.9 inch large jog wheels. Each of the jog wheels has an LCD display at their center. These displays are useful for monitoring bpm, track position, etc. without diverting focus from the DJ controller. 

What’s unique about this DJ controller is the air control sensors. These sensors can measure the distance between the DJ’s hand and the sensor itself to control the low pass filter. This adds a new dynamic to your DJing and also looks cool while performing in front of an audience.

Features

Air control sensors: The air control sensors make manipulating your low pass filter easy and intuitive. Also, it looks pretty cool doing it. 

Large Jog wheels: Large jog wheels make scratching easy and accessible. We’ve also found latency to be almost non-existent. 

LCD Display: The LCD displays show everything you need while DJing. So, no more switching your focus between your PC and DJ controller.

Pros

  • Nice interface 
  • Plenty of features
  • RGB backlit drum pads
  • Large jog wheels
  • LCD display 
  • Air control sensors

Cons

  •  Kind of heavy

Specifications 

  • Power: USB powered 
  • Sound Card: 24-bit
  • Outputs: 3 (Stereo RCA, 1/4″ Headphone Jacks, USB-B)
  • Dimensions: 18.8 x 11.7 x 2.4 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs.

The Roland DJ – 202 is a great 2 channel DJ controller that is filled with all sorts of features. This device is fully compatible with Serato DJ. We’ve talked before how great Serato DJ is for beginner level DJ software. 

Each of its TR kits contains eight sounds. Snare drum, bass drum, tom, rim, open hat, closed hat, ride and clap. Besides these, it has tons of other sound FX to help you spice up your mixtape. It is pretty light compared to the other devices on this list. So, if you move around a lot then this DJ controller should be quite useful.

Features

Full Serato DJ support: This is a device for beginners. So, being fully compatible with the Serato DJ really makes sense. 

Lightweight: At only 4 pounds this is quite lightweight. A great choice for DJ on the move. 

Easy Scratching: Having two large Jog wheels scratching on this device is pretty easy. 

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Many FX options
  • Full Serato DJ support
  • Large Jog wheels
  • Easy mixing
  • Compact
  • 24-bit sound card
  • Well built

Cons

  • Pads are a bit stiff
 

Specifications 

  • Power: USB powered 
  • Sound Card: 24-bit
  • Outputs: 2 (Stereo RCA, 1/8″ Headphone Jacks)
  • Dimensions: 10.7 x 19 x 2.3 inches
  • Weight: 4.6 lbs.

At first glance, the Pioneer DJ DJ Controller (DDJ-400) may seem a bit similar to the DDJ-SB3. But there are a few differences between them that give the DDJ 400 an upper hand. 

First, of all the DDJ 400 is a bit newer than the DDJ-SB3. The pitch faders are a bit longer allowing you more control. 

Apart from these, the difference is really on the layout. The DDJ 400 ditches the traditional layout of Pioneer DJ’s beginner level DJ controllers and adapts the design of more advanced models and club equipment. This makes transitioning from this to a more advanced device much easier. 

Of course, it does lack the pad scratch feature of the DDJ-SB3. But we think you can scratch just fine with the jog wheels of the DDJ-400.

Features

Club-style layout: The DDJ-400 ditches Pioneer DJ’s old design for a more professional layout so that learning DJs can easily transition to more advanced devices in the future.

Longer pitch faders: Longer pitch faders provide more control. 

Rekordbox DJ: The DDJ-400 comes with a full license of Pioneer DJ’s in-house DJing software Rekordbox DJ. Being Pioneer DJ’s own software, you won’t need to worry about glitches or incompatibility issues with this one.

Pros

  • Pros

    • Club style interface
    • Many features
    • Many FX options
    • Large Jog wheels 
    • Comes with in-house software Rekordbox DJ
    • 24-bit sound processing
    • Plug and play device

Cons

  • No pad scratch feature
  • No 1/4″ headphone jack
 

Buying Guide of BEST DJ CONTROLLERS UNDER $250

First must understand what to look for in a DJ controller whether it’s a 250$ or 500$ dj controller. A lot of you guys reading this article are probably newbies. So, we went our way to include a buying guide. So, here are some things that you should keep in mind while looking for a brand-new DJ controller –

Preferred Software

One of the most important things to consider when buying a DJ controller is what type of software it comes with. Not all controllers come with their own software, some are designed for use only with specific programs like Serato or Traktor Pro. If you’re not sure which program you want then I recommend looking at reviews online and comparing features before making your decision on this factor alone.

Everyone has a favorite DJ software they are most comfortable with. Check whether the DJ controller of your choice comes bundled with it or at least supports it. This could eliminate the hassle of learning completely new software just so you can use your DJ controller. 

If you want to have more options in terms of how much control over loops, samples, effects, etc., then going for a unit that has it’s own built-in software might be the best option because they usually offer more intricate settings than other units can provide.

 

Features

One of the best features to look out for in a DJ controller is how many inputs it has. Most controllers have at least two or four but depending on what your needs are, you may want more than that. If you’re someone who likes using Traktor Pro then having eight inputs is an absolute must because of all the different channels and effects available only on this software!

As well as input numbers, check whether there are any other important features like audio outputs (to hook up external speakers) or headphone jacks so that DJs can practice without worrying about disturbing others around them!

If your DJ controller comes with a good number of useful and actually productive features then it is great. But sometimes the DJ controllers are filled with all sorts of useless gimmicks that over-complicate the user experience.

Price

Another important thing to consider is how much you have available as a budget. The higher the price tag, then not only will it come with better features but there are also more options for types of DJ controllers too! The controllers that are under 250$ are all the cheapest ones, but still offer a decent range of features, making them ideal for beginners.

In my opinion, a $500 budget would be the sweet spot for most people. It’s not too expensive to make it inaccessible and still gives you a good range of features to work with! A cheaper model won’t offer you enough customization options or a lifetime warranty, but everyone has their own preferences, so I recommend searching online to find out what works best for you!

If you have more money available then, like mentioned before, there are many different types of DJ controllers that will come in higher price brackets so if this is what interests you then go ahead and explore your options as they’re all worth looking into. A cheaper model won’t offer you enough customization options or a lifetime warranty, but everyone has their own preferences, so I recommend searching online to find out what works best for you!

Conclusion 

The right DJ controller can jump-start your DJ career and help you learn much quicker. So, choosing wisely is important. 

We’ve added all that you might need to find the right DJ controller for you. Furthermore, we have compiled a list of the best DJ controllers under $100 which you can check out as well.

The rest is up to you know. We wish you the best of luck. Thanks for stopping by. 

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