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The 5 Best DJ Controllers under $100: 2017 Reviews and Top Picks

By djadmin | controllers

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Technology continues to advance at an incredibly rapid rate – and one area that this is demonstrated clearly is within the wonderful world of DJ equipment. The old school analog products of the DJ industry that the many of us were introduced to at a young age are nearly gone, replaced by digital products that are not only more accessible – but are often cheaper to make as well.

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While some people are very resistant to this change, it has come with a host of positives that I believe should be embraced – mostly because they have made it so much easier (and more affordable) to make quality tunes in the comfort of your own home (and at gigs for the matter).

And DJ Controllers epitomize this perfectly.

DJ controllers are an external device that emulate a traditional DJ setup, which are then plugged directly into your computer – reducing the need for traditional DJ turntables and mixers. With this you can scratch and mix your own music library in a digital capacity, allowing you to make your own tunes in an easy and efficient manner.

While DJ controllers do come in all shapes and sizes, your best bet is an all-in-one DJ controller that allows you to do literally everything you need to do to mix your own music. With this in mind, when looking within this budget price range you do run the risk of getting pieces of equipment that aren’t built to last, or maybe don’t perform as well as they should.

Which is why we have gone to great lengths to find the best DJ controllers for under 100 dollars available on the market today, making your job easy (just click and buy).

Product Summary

Numark Party Mix DJ Controller

The Behringer CMD 2A is often described as ‘ultra-portable’ because of its size and transportability. Within this, it is a powerful and versatile DJ controller that has a heap of features, making it both incredibly functional and very easy to use. This is a great option for those looking to get into the market without blowing their budget.

Numark are a brand that have become well known for their consistent production of affordable, yet high quality DJ equipment. The Party Mix demonstrates this extremely well, in which Numark have produced a compact DJ controller that has all the controls and features of a much more expensive option.

The Hercules DJ Control Mobile DJ Controller is an extremely lightweight and portable option that makes it ideal for the travelling DJ. With this, this particular machine has a host of high level features and has been built with some decent quality materials. And as a bonus, it looks fantastic too.

The Korg KAOSS DJ Controller is another excellent option for those shopping on a budget. Built using some higher quality materials and with some excellent construction methods, this option is built to last. Combine that with some excellent features and a high degree of portability and you have yourself a fantastic option.

Hands down the most unique looking option appearing on this list, the Casio TrackFormer is an excellent machine that has taken a slightly different design approach to your standard DJ controller. Equipped with a large 7 inch disc, and a heap of interesting features, this monster will keep you scratching happily for a very long time.

Comparison Table​

Reviews Of The 5 Best DJ Controllers (Under $100)

Behringer CMD Studio 2A DJ Controller

The Behringer CMD Studio 2A DJ controller is a dual-deck DJ controller that comes with an in built audio interface. This has been combined with some highly touch sensitive jog wheels that make scratching and pitch bending an absolute breeze.

This has been combined with a comprehensive mixer section that comes with a crossfader, 2 channel faders, 3 separate band equalizers, and easy library navigation – the combination of which ensures you can make a sound that is both unique and recognizable to you as an individual – and within this, you can literally alter it ANY way you want.

I should add that even despite its variety of features, the interface is quite straight forward and easy to use – with each variation and effect being clearly labelled. This makes it a perfect DJ controller for the beginner.

As a bonus this controller also comes with Deckadance LE Software, further increasing its accessibility and ease of use. We should note that this DJ controller is not nearly as durable as some higher end options on the market (an issue that does tend to be consistent across many budget options), so treat it well.

What we liked:

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    Simple to use
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    Easy to navigate interface
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    Heap of features
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    Comes with excellent software

What we didn't like:

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    Durability has been questioned

Numark Party Mix DJ Controller

The first thing you notice after taking the Numark Party Mix out of the box is this thing is small – and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Designed with portability in mind, the Numark Party Mix DJ controller is small and compact.

Yet even despite its small size, it comes with a host of features that are often associated with options in much higher price brackets. It has been built with as simple layout utilizing a dual deck design. Each deck has a smooth jog wheel, gain control, a 2-band equalizer, a pitch slider, and multiple color-coded pads.

While this will indeed give you a multitude of options to mix with, I do admit that the addition of a 3-band equalizer to this machine would have taken it to the next level.

Despite this, the Numark Party Mix offers some decent construction quality and a high level of aesthetic appeal at a very good price point. Combine this with a solid array of features and an easy to maneuver interface, the DJ Party Mix is a great option for those looking for a compact and portable DJ controller that won't break the bank.

What we liked:

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    Compact size
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    Easy to use
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    Heap of features

What we didn't like:

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    Only has a 2 band equalizer

Hercules DJControl Compact Mobile DJ Controller

There is a primary reason that Hercules have opted to use the word 'mobile' in the title of this DJ controller – cause this thing is compact. Weighing a mere 1.2 pounds, the Hercules DJControl has been built with the travelling DJ in mind. As an added bonus, due to its size the DJControl is actually entirely USB powered, and as such can run off nothing but your computer.

With this size has come some serious consideration to ergonomic design. They have managed to squeeze a heap of features onto such a small space, which - in combination with its 3-band equalizer, easy loop mechanics, dual pitch faders, and multiple effect options – is by no means an easy feat.

Interestingly, even despite the small space and large amount of features this Hercules DJ controller never feels cluttered – ensuring that everything is easy to use and organized in a simple and organic manner.

We should add that the Hercules software is not compatible with all computer operating systems, so make sure you have a look on line at the compatibility information before purchasing. Other than that, the Hercules DJControl is an excellent and portable option that will let you mix until your hearts content.

What we liked:

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    Looks great
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    Super Compact
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    Heaps of features

What we didn't like:

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    Software may pose some issues

Korg KAOSSDJ USB DJ Controller

Korg are a brand that have been producing solid equipment for a number of years – and fortunately for as the purchasers – they have made the move into the budget price range with their new line of DJ controllers.

Now one of the biggest selling points of this machine is the infamous 'KAOSS PAD' - a DJ effect unit that contains over 120 different effects that you can apply to your mixes. With this pad comes some nice responsive platters, a host of features, and a simple to use interface – all of which ultimately makes playing tunes a dream.

As a bonus the KORG KAOSSDJ has also been built to last. While it is technically a lightweight model (designed to increase portability) and has been built using heavy duty plastic, it has a surprisingly solid feel to it – giving the impression that it will last a long time. This has been combined with some serious aesthetic appeal. Opting for a matte black finish and neon blue highlights, this is a great looking machine.

Taking all of this into consideration, we have a super mobile DJ controller that is perfect to take on the road – an excellent option.

What we liked:

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    Looks great
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    Heaps of effect options
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    Heaps of features

What we didn't like:

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    Included software is not as good as some

Casio XW-DJ1 Trackformer DJ Controller

If you opt for this Casio DJ controller I can guarantee one thing – it will undoubtedly turn a few heads. Utilizing some unique design and a single 7 inch scratch pad this thing looks like a scale replica of the Millennium Falcon (and if you don’t know what I am talking about then you need to sort your life out).

Yet despite its unique shape and feel, the xW-DJ1 TrackFormer has a great feel to it, which has been combine with some excellent construction, making it great for taking on the road.

One of the best features attached to this DJ controller is the ability to plug it into your phone and mix music directly from Spotify or your itunes library – which is done through the ‘Djay App’. This has been combined with filter controls, dual crossfaders, and heap of effect options – making it both extremely versatile and fun to use.

While we should add that you will need a very stable internet connection to mix tunes through Spotify, this machine is an extremely fun option that will last you a long time – and turn some heads in the process.

What we liked:

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    Unique design works and looks fantastic
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    Great feel to the platter
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    Durable

What we didn't like:

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    Less effect options than others on this list

Value Section

Korg KAOSSDJ USB DJ Controller Closeup

While I believe that this list provides a pretty clear outline of the best DJ controllers for under 100 dollars, I do realize that they may not suit everyone. And it is for this reason I have provided some tips to help you find the best DJ controller for you personally when shopping within this budget price range.

Find something durable

While it is uncommon to find something that is extremely heavy duty for under 100 dollars, it should still feel solid and sturdy. This is especially important when we consider that these are going to be used as portable machines that we can take with us everywhere.

Feel is important

I admit that it would be somewhat unreasonable to expect to find a machine that feels exactly the same as a vinyl turntable, but it should feel nice and smooth, yet quick and responsive. Take the time to try out a few and find a DJ controller that feels right for you.

Don't get sucked in by appearance

In this price range it is pretty unlikely that we get a great feeling, great sounding, and durable machine, which also looks good – when paying less than 100 dollars something has to give. And I would much rather it be appearance than anything else.

And there you have it. By abiding by these three key tips I can guarantee you find an excellent machine. Or buy one of the five on this list and save yourself the trouble…

Conclusion

Korg KAOSSDJ USB DJ Controller

While it was incredibly difficult to pick a winner, there was for me one clear standout - and that was the Korg KAOSSDJ DJ controller (*wild applause*).

Offering durability and a number of features that is rarely seen within this price range, this Korg DJ controller was too good to look past. Combine that with an absurd amount of effects and a really nice feeling platter, and you have yourself a winner. This is a great option for both the beginner, and the more advanced DJ who is looking for a durable – yet portable – option.

As an added bonus this machine also looks excellent and mixes extremely well.

So keeping all this in mind I can safely say that the Korg KAOSSDJ is the best DJ controller available on the market for under 100 dollars.

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