• Top 10 Best DJ Controllers in the UK 2021 1
  • Top 10 Best DJ Controllers in the UK 2021 2
  • Top 10 Best DJ Controllers in the UK 2021 3
  • Top 10 Best DJ Controllers in the UK 2021 4
  • Top 10 Best DJ Controllers in the UK 2021 5

Top 10 Best DJ Controllers in the UK 2021

Whether you're a mixing and scratching beginner or professional, comparing DJ controllers is exhausting! Our soundscape is ever-evolving, and keeping up with the latest advances in equipment can feel impossible. Should you buy a modular or all-in-one? Is it compatible with Serato DJ or Ableton software, and laptops, iPads or specific apps? And are Native Instruments controllers worth the money?


In this article, we attempt to answer these questions and more. We've uncovered some of the best DJ controllers available on Amazon, eBay and John Lewis from top-rated brands, including those under £200, £500, and even £100! Check out our 10 ranked favourites too, which include handy tables to cross-compare which key functions and features each have to offer. 

  • Last updated: 13-01-2021
  • 349 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose a DJ Controller in the UK ― Buying Guide

Choosing DJ equipment can feel pretty intimidating, but it doesn't have to be! Understanding the fundamentals of what should be, and what you want to be, included in a DJ controller will help you narrow down the options online.

Should You Pick a Modular or an All-In-One DJ Controller?

DJ controllers are available as all-in-one or modular rigs. Which one you should opt for depends on personal preference and how you plan on using it. Here's what you need to know about both before you pick.

Modular Controllers Allow for More Flexibility

Modular DJ controllers allow you to piece together separate controllers and sound sources into a custom rig. Many of these have a specific focus and functionality, such as midi or analogue mixers, although some combine various functions into one unit.


Modular controllers are generally better suited to more experienced DJs, digital vinyl enthusiasts and those of you who play clubs, as they allow for more flexibility than an all-in-one set up.

All-In-One Controllers Are Easier to Use and Set Up

All-In-One Controllers Are Easier to Use and Set Up

All-in-one DJ controllers combine pretty much everything you need to start mixing in one controller unit. This includes (but is not limited to) media players, mixers and a software interface. 


All-in-one controllers are better suited for those just starting out, although they have plenty of benefits for DJs of all experience levels. They are nice and portable too, and generally quick to set up with a good deal of plug-and-play options on the market. 

Compare the Functions and Features to Find a Controller That Suits Your Personal Preferences

When it comes down to it, you’re mainly going to want to be able to control the pitch, tempo and gain. However, there are plenty more functions and features you should look for to improve your DJing experience.

Get the Right Combination of Core and Creative Features

Get the Right Combination of Core and Creative Features

When choosing your DJ controller, carefully consider the hardware it comes with regarding what you plan on using it for. Think about the basics you require, as well as keeping an eye out for cool features to enhance your set. 


Core features you should expect your controller to include are a play/pause button, a cue button, and a sync button. Tempo, EQ, volume faders and cross faders are also fairly standard on most controllers. These let you alter the speed, switch between channels and allow for more fluid beat matching. 


Extras-wise, velocity-sensitive drum pads are great for live performances, and if you like to use sound FX, look for loops or samples. But more on that later, so stay tuned! 

Check If Your Chosen Controller Comes With a Sound Card

Check If Your Chosen Controller Comes With a Sound Card

A sound card is required for the audio conversion of digital music files from your computer to an output source, such as your headphones or speakers. 


If you plan on buying an all-in-one controller, it’ll almost definitely come with an inbuilt sound card. However, if you’ve chosen to go for a modular controller, there’s a high likelihood you’ll need to buy one separately – whichever you decide upon, checking beforehand will save a lot of hassle. 

See What Functions It Can Perform Alongside Your Software

See What Functions It Can Perform Alongside Your Software

Once you've figured out exactly what your controller comes with, you now need to find out what can it do. By this, we mean the optional modes and ways in which the controller can be used alongside your DJ software.


First, let's circle back to the topic of FX buttons and drum pads (no, we didn't forget!). Straight out the box, these often come pre-programmed with MiDi mapping and FX programming functions, which let you re-allocate sounds and customise what happens when each button is pressed. 


If your controller has a platter, or jog wheel, you'll have the option to use 'slip' and 'vinyl' modes. Slip mode is a tactile way to regulate tempo using the platter, while vinyl mode allows it to function the same way as a vinyl turntable. This is ideal for those interested in scratching, for the record! 

Don't Overlook the Software Compatability!

Don't Overlook the Software Compatability!

Whether you plan on using a computer, laptop or tablet, the software you use is incredibly important for both mixing and playback. Almost all controllers will come packaged with some form of software, so before you dive in, check to see what’s included.


Some of the leading software packages to look for are Traktor Pro, Ableton Live, Serato DJ, Rekordbox DJ and VirtualDJ. If you’re unsure which one to go for, many offer free trials so you can try them out in advance!

Don't Overlook the Software Compatability!

However, you'll often find the software included is the 'Lite' version, which is a stripped-back variation of the full or 'Pro' option. They'll generally have just about enough in them to get you started, though you'll likely want to upgrade eventually to access the full range of features, which may affect how much you're willing to spend. 

Top 10 Best DJ Controllers to Buy Online in the UK

It's the moment of truth: here, in ranking order, are the top 10 best DJ controllers to buy online in the UK. Whether you're planning on playing XOYO or just mixing in your bedroom, we've got you sorted!

10
Controller TypeAll-in-one
FeaturesLED lights, crossfader, jog-wheels, 1/8-inch headphone jack
Sound CardYes
FunctionsAuto-syncing light show, auto and manual looping, sample playback, included FX
Compatible SoftwareSerato DJ (Lite included)
9

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8

£979.00

Controller TypeAll-in-one
FeaturesHigh resolution colour displays, 4+4 channel performance faders, dedicated Stems faders, 16 performance pads
Sound CardYes
FunctionsLive capture, Traktor mode, standalone mode, Stems support 
Compatible SoftwareTraktor Pro
8
Controller TypeAll-in-one
FeaturesTrim knobs with 3 band EQ, filter fade crossfader, Independent low/high pass filter dials, gain, cue, sync, pad transform FX, 16 performance pads
Sound CardYes
FunctionsHot cues, auto loop, manual loop, sampler
Compatible SoftwareSerato DJ
7
Controller TypeModular
Features16 backlit MPC pads, 18 assignable 360-dgree potentiometers
Sound CardNo
FunctionsExpandable banks, MPC note repeat and full level, iOS compatibility (Camera Connection Kit required), DAW, virtual effect and virtual instrument parameters, 1 GB sound library
Compatible SoftwareAbleton Live (Lite included), Akai Pro MPC Essentials. Big Bang Cinematic Percussion, Big Bang Universal Drums
6
Controller TypeAll-in-one
Features16 performance pads, low-latency jog wheels, channel filters, cue, easy-grab handles
Sound CardYes
FunctionsTR-808, TR-909 and TR-606 drum kit, sampler, hot cue, loop, sequencer
Compatible SoftwareSerato DJ (Lite included)
5

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1

£134.00

Controller TypeModular
FeaturesCue, sync, loop, pitch bend, RGB backlit buttons
Sound CardNo
FunctionsBrowse, nudge, seek, control loops and FX
Compatible SoftwareTraktor Pro, Traktor Scratch
4
Controller TypeAll-in-one
FeaturesCrossfader, dedicated browsing controls, individual channel filter controls, touch capacitive jog-wheels, independent transport controls, 16 backlit pads, cue, 2 x headphone output, 100 mm pitch sliders, multifunction touch strip
Sound CardYes
Functions6 sample packs from Prime Loops, auto and manual looping, sample playback
Compatible SoftwareSerato DJ (Lite included)
3
Controller TypeAll-in-one
Features16 velocity-sensitive RGB drum pads, jog wheels, linefaders, crossfader, EQ, gain, docking station for iPad (models up to iPad PRO 12.9 '')
Sound CardYes
FunctionsVirtual needle and track elapse, Spotify integration, Macro FX mode, sampler, pad FX, slicer, looped slicer, cue, flip, hot loops, manual loop
Compatible SoftwareSerato DJ, Algoriddim Djay
2
Controller TypeModular
Features8 velocity-sensitive RGB performance drum pads
Sound CardNo
FunctionsSmart Link function, Serato DJ SP-6 samples, sampler, pad FX, slicer, looped slicer, flip, hot loop, manual loop
Compatible SoftwareSerato DJ
1

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2

£236.00

Controller TypeAll-in-one
Features4-channel mixer, faders, RGB drum pads, cue, 3-band EQs, filter control, 5 inputs, 4 outputs, 2 FX units
Sound CardYes
FunctionsFlux mode, loop recorder, customisable FX, Cirrus Logic AD/DA converters, MIDI I/O
Compatible SoftwareTraktor DJ

Compare the Best DJ Controllers

Image
1
Native Instruments  Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2  1

Native Instruments

2
Reloop  Neon 1

Reloop

3
Reloop  Mixon 4 1

Reloop

4
Numark  Mixtrack Pro III 1

Numark

5
Native Instruments  Traktor Kontrol X1 1

Native Instruments

6
Roland  DJ-202 1

Roland

7
AKAI Professional MPD218 1

AKAI Professional

8
Pioneer  DDJ-SB2 1

Pioneer

9
Native Instruments  Traktor Kontrol S8 1

Native Instruments

10
Numark  Party Mix 1

Numark

Name

Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2

Neon

Mixon 4

Mixtrack Pro III

Traktor Kontrol X1

DJ-202

MPD218

DDJ-SB2

Traktor Kontrol S8

Party Mix

Features

The Best – and Most Reliable – All-In-One DJ Controller

User-Friendly Pick for a First Modular Controller

Dual-Software Hybrid With Spotify Integration

Best Pro All-In-One Controller for All Levels of Experience

A Professional Touch Strip Controller for Easy Software Navigation

A Legacy DJ Controller With In-Built TR-808 Drum Kit

A Compact MPC Pad DAW Controller

An Affordable All-In-One With High-End Features

Best All-In-One Controller for Stems

Basic Yet High-Quality, Ideal for At-Home DJs and House Parties

Price£236.00£99.00£547.00£209.00£134.00£250.00£68.00£530.00£979.00£72.00
Controller TypeAll-in-oneModularAll-in-oneAll-in-oneModularAll-in-oneModularAll-in-oneAll-in-oneAll-in-one
Features4-channel mixer, faders, RGB drum pads, cue, 3-band EQs, filter control, 5 inputs, 4 outputs, 2 FX units 8 velocity-sensitive RGB performance drum pads 16 velocity-sensitive RGB drum pads, jog wheels, linefaders, crossfader, EQ, gain, docking station for iPad (models up to iPad PRO 12.9 '') Crossfader, dedicated browsing controls, individual channel filter controls, touch capacitive jog-wheels, independent transport controls, 16 backlit pads, cue, 2 x headphone output, 100 mm pitch sliders, multifunction touch strip Cue, sync, loop, pitch bend, RGB backlit buttons 16 performance pads, low-latency jog wheels, channel filters, cue, easy-grab handles 16 backlit MPC pads, 18 assignable 360-dgree potentiometers Trim knobs with 3 band EQ, filter fade crossfader, Independent low/high pass filter dials, gain, cue, sync, pad transform FX, 16 performance pads High resolution colour displays, 4+4 channel performance faders, dedicated Stems faders, 16 performance pads LED lights, crossfader, jog-wheels, 1/8-inch headphone jack
Sound CardYesNoYesYesNoYesNoYesYesYes
FunctionsFlux mode, loop recorder, customisable FX, Cirrus Logic AD/DA converters, MIDI I/O Smart Link function, Serato DJ SP-6 samples, sampler, pad FX, slicer, looped slicer, flip, hot loop, manual loop Virtual needle and track elapse, Spotify integration, Macro FX mode, sampler, pad FX, slicer, looped slicer, cue, flip, hot loops, manual loop6 sample packs from Prime Loops, auto and manual looping, sample playbackBrowse, nudge, seek, control loops and FXTR-808, TR-909 and TR-606 drum kit, sampler, hot cue, loop, sequencer Expandable banks, MPC note repeat and full level, iOS compatibility (Camera Connection Kit required), DAW, virtual effect and virtual instrument parameters, 1 GB sound library Hot cues, auto loop, manual loop, sampler Live capture, Traktor mode, standalone mode, Stems support  Auto-syncing light show, auto and manual looping, sample playback, included FX
Compatible SoftwareTraktor DJSerato DJSerato DJ, Algoriddim DjaySerato DJ (Lite included)Traktor Pro, Traktor ScratchSerato DJ (Lite included)Ableton Live (Lite included), Akai Pro MPC Essentials. Big Bang Cinematic Percussion, Big Bang Universal DrumsSerato DJTraktor ProSerato DJ (Lite included)
Link

More Recommendations for Music Fans

More Recommendations for Music Fans

You're here because you live and breathe music, right? We thought so! In that case, we've queued up a few other product guides you may be interested in checking out, so you can keep the tunes going in every room of the house. 

Summary

Every DJ controller has something unique to offer, and most modern pieces of kit are so jam-packed with features we couldn't possibly cover them all here. That being said, we hope we've piqued your interest in some of the phenomenal hardware featured in this article and helped to get your musical creativity flowing! 

Author: Wren Mann

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