The best DJ controllers for Serato can be big or small, simple or complex, affordable or expensive – it is all a matter of preference. While you can easily pick out something that suits your requirements, it is also important to know if a particular piece of DJ equipment is worth your investment. Whether you are looking for entry-level controllers or those that are made for professionals, you can easily find one that’s within your preferred price range.
Serato DJ is arguably the most popular DJ software of today. If you look through forums and reviews, you will always find questions and posts about how important Serato compatibility is. For many DJ’s, it is a matter of loyalty. For others, they have a sense of pride when they can say that they use the Serato DJ. The software is simple, easy to understand and practically has every feature a DJ would need. Just so these features and functions can be maximized, and for easier operation, the best DJ controllers for Serato is needed.
- 1 Top 10 of the Best DJ Controllers for Serato
- 2 Akai Professional AFX Controller for Advanced Serato DJ Performance
- 3 Akai Professional AMX Mixing Surface with Audio Interface for Serato DJ
- 4 Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 All-In-One DJ Controller for Serato DJ
- 5 Numark NS6 Professional 4-Channel DJ Controller with Serato
- 6 Pioneer DDJSR Pro DJ Controller
- 7 Pioneer DDJ Series DDJ-SX Digital Performance DJ Controller
- 8 Novation Dicer Cue Point and Looping Control
- 9 Numark NV DJ Controller
- 10 Native Instruments Z1
- 11 Reloop Neon USB Modular Pad Controller for Serato DJ
How to Choose the Best DJ Controllers for Serato
When you are shopping for the best DJ controllers for Serato, there are certain factors that you should consider. Advertisers and manufacturers will always have great things to say about their product. There are even some reviews you will find online that are paid or biased. In order to spot the hot from the not and to help you narrow down your choices for DJ controllers, here are the qualities and characteristics you can look for.
- The Type of Controller
There are different types of DJ controllers for Serato and if you look at the Serato DJ website, you will see a list of controllers that are compatible with the software. However, not all controllers that are compatible with Serato are listed down there. You might be looking for something else or that list may not include something that’s suitable to your requirements or budget. You first have to determine whether you want an all-in-one DJ controller or if you prefer to purchase parts of it piece by piece. By parts, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll build the controller by yourself; but you can set up your controller from scratch. You can purchase a single turntable first, mixers next, control pads then FX controllers, etc. Of course, getting an all-in-one best DJ controllers for Serato is more ideal as this will save you money in the long run and you won’t have to worry about setting up different pieces of equipment on your own, not to mention the fact that having an all-in-one controller will save a lot of space on your work desk.
- Size and Portability
Most DJ’s travel for work or go from venue to venue for gigs. Size and portability is highly important because unless you have an entourage willing to carry your things for you, then you will probably have a difficult time bringing all your DJ equipment in. There are also club owners and those in the music mobile business who look for the best DJ controllers for Serato and in their case, size and portability shouldn’t be an issue. Pioneer DDJ Series controllers are somewhat hefty which isn’t ideal if you wish to work while in transit. The Native Instruments Z1, Reloop Neon Controller and other similar controllers are small enough to fit in your laptop bag. Smaller controllers are usually not all-in-ones though. You don’t get the jog wheels, enough assignable knobs and buttons, etc.
- Features and Functions
Some DJ’s require controllers that already include jog wheels for mixing and scratching. Others can live without this and can go with just the dedicated FX controls, cue, looping, samplers, faders, performance pads and more. Again, this is a matter of preference and purely dependent on your requirements. Note that if there are fewer features, most likely the controller will be less expensive.
Durability also falls under this category. It is important for your controller to be durable enough to withstand extensive use. Especially for travelling DJ’s, you can’t have the best DJ controllers for Serato that’s too delicate you can’t place it in a bag.
- Value for Money
Just like any purchase you may have, it is just right to look into the value for your money. Are you getting your money’s worth? Is the DJ controller suitable for your budget? You might be purchasing a controller with very few features for the same price of a decent all-in-one. However, for some, price is not an issue. You will also come to realize that being a DJ requires financial investment. You have to spend on your computer, software, equipment, etc. Controllers do not go cheap. You need to spend at least a few hundred or thousand dollars for a decent all-in-one. While it is just right for you to think about saving money, remember though that quality is always more important especially if you’re serious about investing on your DJ career.
- Brand Reputation
Not everyone will consider this factor but it is worthy to mention. For some, brand reputation is also very important. You can be a loyal Pioneer user, you prefer the Numark across all your DJ equipment or you can even love Akai or Technics. If you’re unsure about this yet, then just do a bit of background check on the brand and how customers are rating their products. Of course, if the brand is trusted and known as reliable, then you can feel confident about your purchase.
Top 10 of the Best DJ Controllers for Serato
When it comes to DJ controllers, Akai is a trusted brand that easily comes to mind. It is affordable enough for beginners and entry-level DJ’s to invest in yet powerful enough for the professionals to appreciate. The Akai Professional AFX Controller for Advanced Serato DJ Performance is probably one of the most highly rated best DJ controllers for Serato based on customer and critic reviews. In fact, it now has an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars from ratings. You’ll be hard-pressed to find something that comes close to the value that the Akai AFX can offer.
The main function of the Akai AFX is to map all functions in Serato DJ. For such a small device of 9.9 x 5.2 x 1.9 inches and weighing just a pound and a half, you won’t have problems taking this along with you should you be performing live in any venue. While the specifications and features are too many to list down, it is important to mention that this basically allows you to manage loops, set cue points, trigger samples, tweak effects and a whole lot more. The Akai AFX is also Serato Flip-capable where you can extend music, create custom edits and more. The Akai AFX uses only one USB connection but already provides 4 decks of Serato DJ control.
Fairly new in the market for less than a couple of years, the Akai AFX has already proven to become the DJ’s favorite. This is also enough time to say for sure that this controller is actually very sturdy and durable. If value for money and superior performance combined are what you’re looking for, then the Akai AFX is your best choice.
Latest customer reviews and prices of Akai Professional AFX Controller for Advanced Serato DJ Performance
Another Akai rightfully falls on the second spot of this list, the slightly pricier Akai Professional AMX Mixing Surface with Audio Interface for Serato DJ. You can already enjoy easy portability as it is only slightly bigger by about an inch compared to the Akai AFX. It weighs less than 2 pounds too so you won’t mind taking it along with you outside of the studio. Impressively rated with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars by customers, not to mention positive reviews from critics, the Akai AMX requires no upgrade purchases for Serato. It is a plug and play device with Serato DJ which offers extensive hands-on mixing as well as Serato Noise Map capability.
Whatever your DJ setup is, you can easily expand control options with the Akai AMX. It features 2 line faders with tri-color LED metering and gain controls. For Serato DJ Control Signal, the Akai AMX also includes 2 phono/line inputs. Aside from its impressive features, what stands out for many of its users is that the crossfader of the Akai AMX is very sharp. Its audio quality is also remarkable at 24bit/96kHz.
Though the Akai AMX may not be the cheapest thing you can choose, you are guaranteed that you will be picking out one of the sharpest tools in the shed. In fact, the value for your money is truly worth it for this purchase as it has features such as DVS compatibility that are usually found on more expensive best DJ controllers for Serato. If you should spend a bit for a controller, it better be with the Akai AMX so you won’t have any regrets.
Latest customer reviews and prices of Akai Professional AMX Mixing Surface with Audio Interface for Serato DJ
There’s no doubt you’re getting every penny’s worth with the NumarkMixtrack Pro 3 All-In-One DJ Controller. This is more than just a simple DJ controller. By looking at it alone, you already know how much you’re getting from the NumarkMixtrack Pro 3 All-In-One DJ Controller. So much power and many features that you will most definitely enjoy, if you choose this controller, you probably won’t need more DJ equipment other than your laptop.
Since it’s an all-in-one DJ controller, you are getting more than just the usual knobs and sliders. It comes with dedicated filter knobs that you can use for each channel. The NumarkMixtrack Pro 3 All-In-One DJ Controller also has a track search feature and a multi-function touch strip for dynamic FX control. What stands out though are its dual 5-inch hyper-responsive metal platters which makes mixing and scratching possible in all setups. It has high resolution metal jog wheels and in addition, there are 16 multi-function performance pads. For easy browsing of tracks on your library, you get dedicated controls as well. Multiple FX manipulation comes in quite easy too. It has an audio interface that’s integrated class compliant and most importantly, unlike other best DJ controllers for Serato, it already comes with 14″ and 1/8 headphone connections.
As a bonus, the package already comes with a Prime Loops remix tool kit and Serato DJ intro which is upgrade-ready for the full Serato DJ. With all those features combined with excellent reviews from satisfied customers, you can’t go wrong with the NumarkMixtrack Pro 3.
When it comes to DJ equipment, Numark has truly made its mark. This is the second and not the last from this brand on this list. The Numark NS6 Professional 4-Channel DJ Controller with Serato is another highly reviewed DJ controller that’s made especially for the Serato DJ. Like the Numark Mixtrack Pro 3, it has more features than the usual small DJ controller we’ve covered on the first two numbers. This controller is probably one of the pricier ones you’ll find but owners of this agree that it is definitely giving you the bang for your buck considering its super impressive features.
The Numark NS6 is a premium 4-channel digital DJ controller. It is very durable as it is made with rugged metal chassis. It has all the inputs you need from a controller including USB audio, 2 selectable turntable inputs, 2 sets of stereo RCA inputs and 2 ¼-inch mic inputs. Instead of the usual 5-inch platters like the ones on the NumarkMixtrack Pro 3, this one has 6-inch platters that are illuminated with 3,600 ticks of resolution. It has a strip search song navigation feature so you can work quickly and efficiently. It has an integrated 4-channel 24-bit mixer feature and comes with dedicated hardware FX controls and 3-band EQ and gain for each mixer channel.
The Numark NS6 package already comes with the best DJ controllers for Serato, a USB cable, power supply, a guide and a Serato ITCH software CD that may be upgradeable to Serato DJ.
There are many amateurs and DJ’s who are more than willing to invest on a Pioneer DDJSR Pro DJ Controller. Aside from being an attractive looking piece of equipment, the DDJSR is one of the most in demand controllers of today because of its impressive features. First of all, if you are in doubt if you should spend that much money on a controller, the Pioneer brand alone seals the deal. Pioneer is one of the most respected and established brands when it comes to DJ equipment. In fact, many DJ’s from all over the world take pride in calling themselves Pioneer DJ’s. If these DJ’s put their trust in Pioneer over the years, then you probably have a great chance of making a great decision with this too.
The more important factor that makes the Pioneer DDJSR Pro DJ Controller a good choice is the set of features it offers. It comes with 16 performance pads with functions such as hot cue, roll, slicer and sampler. For the sampler alone, you already get an impressive 12 samples per side so that’s 24 samples you can use. The new Pad Plus feature also provides a sampler roll, combo FX, trans and hot cue roll. Slightly smaller than that of the DDJSX but still large enough, the jog wheels of the Pioneer DDJSR Pro DJ Controller definitely brings in precision when scratching and mixing.
If you will be spending on the best DJ controllers for Serato, it should be one that you can rely on for many years to come as these things do not go cheap. Check out the Pioneer DDJSR Pro DJ Controller as this could be the one you’re looking for.
If you’re a professional DJ or you’re a beginner but you’re serious about making DJing a career, then investing on a controller is a must. You can’t go wrong with a Pioneer. The Pioneer DDJ Series DDJ-SX Digital Performance DJ Controller is probably one of the best controllers that Pioneer can offer. If not for its hefty price tag, this could easily take the number one spot on this list of best DJ controllers for Serato. Just a quick look at the DDJ-SX will already make you swoon over its generous number of controls, knobs, oversized jog wheels, trigger pads and a whole lot more.
The Pioneer DDJ Series DDJ-SX Digital Performance DJ Controller is actually the first four-channel DJ controller for the Serato DJ software. Its construction is super sturdy, you’ll know with a single touch that you’re getting the value for your money. It looks like a thousand dollars and it feels expensive too. Is jog wheels feature CDJ-type on jog display. It has 8 soft-touch rubber controllers and trigger pads for each deck that you can use for loop and sample. This dual deck controller also has a Slip Mode feature and more effects thanks to the high quality FX powered by iZotope. Customize the controls as you please for more convenient operation.
As many of its owners say, the Pioneer DDJ Series DDJ-SX Digital Performance DJ Controller is definitely a topnotch controller that is comparable to even more expensive models double its price. Whether you’re a DJ or anywhere in the music business that needs a controller, this is your best bet for sure.
The Novation Dicer Cue Point and Looping Control is the best DJ controllers for Serato you can get when you already have all the necessary DJ gear. You can hook up the Novation Dicer Cue Point and Looping Control to any DJ deck such as the Technics SL 1200 series and similar ones. This USB bus-powered device is already set-up to work with Serato Scratch Live though it will also work with other major DJ software. A fully class compliant MIDI device, you don’t need to install any drivers as the Novation Dicer Cue Point and Looping Control works through plug and play.
Despite being a very small device, the Novation Dicer Cue Point and Looping Control is fully integrated with the Serato Scratch Live. The default set-up includes loop functions such as Hot Cues, Auto Roll and Loop Roll. It also works with other major DJ software and is MIDI assignable. You can assign up to 60 MIDI controllers with every pair of Dicers.
The Novation Dicer Cue Point and Looping Control has been available for many years now and you can even watch out for occasional sales when they sell it for further discounted prices. For most of its satisfied customers who rated the Dicers an impressive 4.6 out of 5 stars, aside from the attractive look of this multi-colored device, it is so simple to use and it works as advertised – definitely worth the money! While it’s great for entry-level DJ’s, pros will also love the Dicer.
The third and final Numark on this list is the Numark NV DJ Controller. This is definitely another attractive and super powerful device. Despite its price, many DJ’s still choose to invest on this Numark because it easily puts other controllers to shame because of its generous number of features. If you’re so used to other controller brands such as the usual Technics or Pioneer and you’re still doubtful about the competitiveness of a Numark, then this model is something you should try as it is definitely comparable even to the thousand-dollar worth controllers you can find in the market today.
The Serato DJ software is already included in each purchase of the Numark NV. What makes it perfect though is that it already has four decks of cutting-edge best DJ controllers for Serato. You get an integrated software display so you can focus on the music you’re playing and not the controls on your computer. You also get EQ Kills that are touch-activated, effects knobs and filter sweeps. It backlit trigger pads, all 16 of them, are velocity-sensitive for a much better DJing experience. You also have 10 pad modes that you can use to trigger samples, loops, cues and slicing. There’s pretty much nothing more to ask for with the Numark NV as it already has everything you need in one device. Though its size is somehow bulky and it is quite heavy too, its power makes all these worth it. Users of this DJ controller agree that it really is one of the best, if not the best, within its price range.
The Native Instruments TraktorKontrol Z1 will definitely exceed your expectations. Though this is designed for the Traktor software and the package actually includes the Traktor LE 2 software, it can also be configured for Serato. Instructions on configuration are widely available online. Simply explained, the Z1 is a portable audio interface and two-channel mixer meant for the professional DJ who needs something that’s small and light yet powerful.
It comes with a premium 24-bit soundcard with high-output stereo master output and low-latency headphone cue. The Native Instruments Z1 is a dedicated mixer that features a pre-listen control for each cue channel, 3-band EQ, gain and filter. Its built is topnotch. Though lightweight, you can still feel its professional and superior quality as soon as you hold the Z1 in your hands. It has backlit buttons and meters, faders and precision knobs as well.
What’s most impressive and unique about the Native Instruments Z1 is that can be hooked up to your iPhone or iPad. Since it if iOS ready and you can attach it to your mobile Apple device, you can even work on mixes while in transit. There are some owners of this the Z1 who mentioned that it’s perfect for use even on the airplane – it is just slightly longer than an iPad. The construction of these best DJ controllers for Serato is just topnotch. Rubberized knobs are soft to touch, the line faders glide very well and so on.
With great reviews to back up the Native Instruments Z1, you will surely be satisfied if you purchase this. Again, it is not a full-sized controller. It is portable but it has all the features you need to mix on the go!
The Reloop Neon USB Modular Pad Controller for Serato DJ is average-sized. Not exactly handy but definitely not hefty, it is about the size of your Macbook Pro’s keyboard. Such an attractive controller, it features multi-colored pads that light up when used. It is the best accessory should you wish to build your own full-size DJ controller from scratch. If you already have all the necessary software in your computer, then you probably only need this and nothing more. In fact, many satisfied customers of the Reloop Neon USB Modular Pad Controller for Serato DJ said that they bought this as an additional “upgrade” for their existing DJ controller that they purchased for cheap. If your existing controller lacks several features, then adding a device such as this will be very helpful.
The Reloop Neon USB Modular Pad Controller for Serato DJ is a powerful piece of DJ equipment that you can use with your Serato DJ. In fact, it is the most extensive sample best DJ controllers for Serato that you’ll find in the market today. Just one Neon already includes up to 4 decks with 8 power modes. It also has a Flip mode function that allows you to playback and record easily. Very lightweight at just 12.3 ounces, the Reloop Neon USB Modular Pad Controller for Serato DJ is very portable. The construction, built and design is superior quality too. For such a small piece of equipment, the Neon definitely delivers enough features and power that you will ever need.