The DJ scene was put on pause in 2020—but with the world seemingly about to re-open it seems likely that the world’s dance floors are coming back stronger than ever very soon.

Knowing this—you might be wondering about getting into DJing yourself, or perhaps you want to pick up a new mixer to level up your setup before clubs get busy again.

Every DJ setup requires a specialized DJ mixer with some combination of channels, EQs, quality faders, a crossfader, performance pads, a talkback mixer and cues.

No matter your price or needs, there’s a DJ mixer out there for you.

In this article, we’ll break down DJ mixers at all budgets and look at what they offer.

We’ll also help you sort out what your needs are to help pick out the mixer that works best.

What is a DJ mixer?

A DJ mixer is a specialized mixer that allows DJs to mix and fade between at least two separate audio sources into a stereo output. Traditionally a DJ mixer was used to control the mix of audio between two turntables, but today a DJ mixer can also be used to mix other sources of audio, such as a DAW, DJ software, sends and returns, or hardware like samplers and synths.

What to look for in a DJ mixer

Every DJ mixer comes with different features and use cases. So, the right DJ mixer for you depends on your needs.

If you’re on a budget, you’ll most likely be looking at a two-channel mixer with very simple EQ and filtering features.

The right DJ mixer for you depends on your needs.

But if you have more complex needs you’ll be looking at DJ mixers with more channel inputs, robust software integrations, built-in sampling and higher quality channel EQs, knobs and faders.

To help you find the DJ mixer that matches your needs here’s the 10 best DJ mixers to consider in 2021.

Numark’s M series is a budget mixer from a well-loved name in DJ hardware.

The M series comprises the M2, M4 and M6 with each having two, three and four audio channels respectively.

Each M series mixer comes with basic EQ, gain and master channel controls as well as a crossfader.

It also has very basic cue monitoring functions to help you get started with the basics of mixing.

At its low price point you get a good mixer to learn the basics of DJing—but not a whole lot more than that.

Behringer is probably ruffling some feathers in the industry with this one—but fortunately you the consumer can benefit from products like the DJX900USB.

It’s a full-fledged, four-channel DJ mixer at a fraction of the price of top-tier products from other brands.

Sure, you might not get the brand name prestige and Behringer’s components aren’t necessarily as well developed as the name brands in the industry.

But, that doesn’t mean this mixer is any less as capable.

You get a great channel strip EQ, filtering, channel cues, effects options, and beat sync and beat assist.

You get a great channel strip EQ, filtering, channel cues, effects options, and beat sync and beat assist.

This is a capable, near-professional quality mixer at a very low price.

Numark Scratch is Numark’s modern take on the battle mixer.

The battle mixer comes from the tradition of turntablism, when DJs of the late 80s and 90s pioneered the practice of scratching and remixing on vinyl.

Battle mixers like the affordably priced Numark Scratch are oriented towards DJs who want to use techniques like scratching in their performance.

In the Numark Scratch you get a robust VCA crossfader, performance pads, effects control paddles and standard filter and channel EQs.

For the budding turntablist or hip-hop DJ, Numark Scratch is an affordable, quality option.

Pioneer is the top brand in DJ hardware. It’s what you find in most nightclubs and at any festival.

These mixers are club standard for a reason.

These mixers are club standard for a reason—they’re packed with functionality and come with absolutely everything you need to perform and mix in a live environment.

I could have included any of Pioneer’s DJM series on this list, but I went with the 900NX-S2 because it combines many of the features Pioneer’s mixers are known for.

It comes with four channels with meticulously designed EQ strips plus faders with customizable curves that make it possible to maximize control over your mix.

The 900NX-S2 also comes with variable effects built-in, options to route effects sends, a beat matching and quantize module, channel-specific effects controls and so much more.

There’s a lot going on here—but if you’re a professional looking for the best on the market, you need to check this one out.

I’ve included the Pioneer DJM S7 as the second Pioneer entry on this list because it has some important distinctions from its other DJM counterparts.

Most notably it’s a battle mixer with 16 performance buttons and deep integration with Serato Scratch.

It also comes with all of the trappings of a Pioneer battle mixer, including high caliber channel strip EQs, paddle effects sends and six effects options.

The S7 is the two-channel version with the DJM S series, but upgrading to the S9 and S11 versions will get you more audio channels and more features.

This is a fairly priced professional-tier mixer that specializes in battle mixing with Serato Scratch.

Behringer’s NOX101 competes with the low-budget tier of DJ mixers.

It’s a very simple two-channel mixer with basic EQ controls, a VCA controlled crossfader and simple cue and master channel functions.

Behringer isn’t a long-standing name in the DJ mixer world, but the company has a knack for disrupting the market with competitive products and low prices.

If you’re on a budget, this mixer should be on your list.

Rane is another top-tier brand in the DJ hardware industry.

Its Seventy series is a well-respected line of battle DJ mixers that specialize in live performance mechanics and turntablism-friendly mixing.

Seventy mixers come with performance pads, paddle effects sends, built-in effects and meticulously crafted channel EQ and filters.

The MK2 version even comes with an upgraded digital display to help with visualizing what’s happening on the mixer beyond each deck.

For a solid battle mixer from a respected brand, the Rane Seventy series is worth your attention.

Play Differently has a unique take on the DJ mixer with its Model 1 and 1.4 mixers.

Both mixers come in a robust build and include all the cue, channel EQs, effects and beat-matching features you’d expect from a professional DJ mixer.

Where it stands out is with the high degree of sound shaping and control it offers DJs.

Its dedicated high pass, low pass and resonance knobs, per-channel overdrive, dual send and return channels and dual cue system give it a level of sound control not seen on many other mixers.

It even has a dedicated mix section for its master channel, to give a greater degree of control over master bus EQ.

I appreciate its dedication to detailed analog sound control at every level.

This DJ mixer is my personal favorite on this list, mostly because I appreciate its dedication to detailed analog sound control at every level.

This is the only DJ controller on this list because we’ve covered DJ controllers in greater depth in other articles.

Traktor Kontrol Z2 makes this list because it’s a dedicated DJ mixer that doubles as a controller.

Traktor Kontrol is integrated deeply with Native Instrument’s Traktor DJ software—making it the perfect companion for any DJ that uses Traktor.

Don’t be fooled, this is much more than a DJ controller—it’s very much a fully functioning DJ mixer that can compete with any of the mid-tier options on this list.

It excels when used with Traktor but it still functions great in any turntable or CDJ setup.

If you’re a Native Instruments user looking to get into DJing, this could be the DJ mixer for you!

DJ gear is constantly hitting the used market, so before you buy new take a look at your local market and see if you can snap up a good deal!

Keep an eye out for any of the mixers on this list and don’t be afraid to do your own research and get hands-on if you see something used that interests you.

If you’re apprehensive about buying used, check out our used market buyers guide!

Give it up for the DJ

The DJ mixer is literally the centerpiece of any DJ set.

Whether you’re on a budget or if you have specific pro-level needs—there’s something out there for you.

Here’s our top picks from the list.

Best on a budget: Behringer Behringer DJX900USB

Yes, you could go with a cheaper model from Numark or Behringer—but shelling out the extra $100 or so for this mixer gets you fairly close to club standard—and I think that’s worth it!

Best battle mixer: Pioneer DJM S7

It’s a bit more expensive than other Battle Mixers here, but its deep integration with Serato and leading brand name make it a no-regrets choice that’ll hold its value.

Best for the professional DJ: Pioneer DJM 900NX-S2

Pioneer is the industry standard right now. If you play a club or festival this is what you can expect when you show up to sound check. If you want to work and practice on a professional setup The DJM 900NX-S2—or any Pioneer mixer—is right for you.