Looking for a DJ controller that works seamlessly without a computer/laptop? Great, you came to the right place then!
Nowadays, the Djing world is dominated by and completely dependent on computers and laptops. However, it doesn’t mean that a laptop is mandatory when it comes to Djing. With technology advancements, thankfully today we have few of the best controllers available in the market that totally revolutionized the world of Djing. It’s absolutely great for beginner DJs since they don’t need to bear the extra cost of buying a laptop, got a controller? You’re good to go. However, it’s important to know if you really need a set-up without a laptop. Don’t worry we’ll let you know. We’ll also look at the various controller options available without a laptop.
Djing without a laptop: Is it for you?
The cost of buying a laptop along with a DJ controller and other gears might hold you back from starting your Djing career. And for all such people, controllers that come without the burden of using a laptop or computer is a great option. Many of you might already have a laptop back at home, but you don’t want to haul it to gigs because the party animals could spill their drinks on it while dancing to your tunes :). Or maybe you just don’t want to keep lugging it everywhere. Some of you might not feel comfortable using a particular software with computers, or we’ve also heard stories where few reputed clubs won’t allow you to carry a laptop in the DJ booth. Whatever the reason is, if any of this cases makes you feel familiar then you should definitely look at the options below and choose according to your needs.
Best Standalone DJ controllers:
Numark MixDeck Express
The Numark MixDeck Express is a versatile DJ controller in terms of performance, quality and portability. This 9.74 pounds of controller packs a powerful punch as it already has everything built-in that you might need to a sound system. It features a three-channel mixer (fully integrated), XLR and RCA outputs, Auxiliary and mic inputs, headphone outs and two USB ports. Plus, it comes with an introductory version of Serato DJ software. The Mixdeck Express controller is equipped with touch-sensitive platters, multi-functional jog wheels, high-end decks, and a replaceable crossfader. This DJ gear is sure to win hearts- all thanks to the seamless experience it provides while looping, mixing and scratching. In addition, Numark is a reputed brand when it comes to DJ controllers, so the build quality is exceptional for obvious reasons.
- Excellent performance
- Great for parties and weddings
- Great Serato functionality
- Value for money
- No effect controls
Denon DJ MCX8000
The Denon MCX8000 DJ controller is one of the best-selling controllers in the market today, and we’re not surprised. It rightfully deserves all the attention- all thanks to its revolutionary standalone technology. It features a four-channel mixer, two microphone inputs, two USB inputs, dual XLR outputs, and touch-sensitive performance pads. This DJ controller lets you perform without the need for a computer/ laptop and comes with a Serato DVS upgrade. However, some of you might find the MCX8000 a bit costlier but with all the features that this controller possess, its worth the buy. It weighs 18.39 pounds and has an extremely sturdy build quality. All around, this is one of our favorite picks, and you can ask any professional DJ out there, they’ll swear by this fantastic DJ controller.
- Great sound output
- Beautiful design
- Fantastic standalone capabilities
- Loose jog wheels
- Pitch fader could have been more solid
If you’re looking for a cheap standalone DJ Controller, then, check out the NDX500 DJ by Numark if you’re looking for some amazing sound and functionality for your gigs. Numark is indeed one brand which packs a powerful punch when it comes to DJ gears. This controller weighs 7 pounds and features a built-in audio interface, auto BPM, touch-sensitive jog wheels, and adjustable start and stop time. It provides an outstanding standalone functionality, and you get to play seamlessly without turning on your laptop. The NDX500 is a unique integration of hardware and software that is equipped with USB-MIDI and so many other attributes that are considered “industry standards.” We don’t think any other brand could have done a better job than Numark, be it performance, quality, or affordability, the NDX500 ticks all boxes.
- Seamless scratching, looping and cueing
- Easy set-up
- Reputed brand
- Reasonable price
- No flaws to note
Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2
If you are looking for an all-in-one DJ controller that gives you a seamless Djing experience without a laptop, the XDJ-RX2 by Pioneer is the one to look at. Popular among professionals and beginner DJs alike, this controller weighs 24.9 pounds and features a colored touch screen that gives you a digital feel while mixing and mashing up the music, two channels, shortcut keys, for quick browsing, multi-colored performance pads, channel faders and EQs for a flawless performance. You can easily import your tunes to the rekordbox with the Link Export feature. It is also equipped with two mic inputs, so you have the option of choosing between the TRS/XLR connection, two line inputs, and a MIDI connection. The best part about this truly PIONEER controller is that you get to see your entire track as a waveform while dropping in loops, hot cue, and other effects.
- Amazing functionality
- Easy set-up
- Resistant faders
- Solid build quality
- Complex quantize and sync feature
The Bottom Line
We hope by now you probably have a precise idea of the best DJ controllers that are available in the market. A lot also depends on your individual requirements, whether you want to use it for a house party, or a live performance or just for scratching and sampling. The controllers mentioned above might appear a bit too expensive for beginner DJs but since these controllers let you perform without a laptop or computer, its worth the price and a good DJ gear is an investment for many years to come.