There is a particular element of simplicity when it comes to two-channel DJ mixers. But selecting the right one that still allows you creative freedom can be a challenge.
In this guide, we take a closer look at the options so you can pick the best 2 channel mixer for your needs.
Pioneer DJM S11
Comprehensive two-channel DJ mixer with a battle-style layout and a fantastic selection of FX and performance features.
Rane Seventy-Two MKII
Super solid and dependable two-channel mixer with excellent sound quality, professional faders, and FX.
In-Depth Review Of The Equipment
Whether you are a scratch DJ or a DJ who likes to focus on just 2 channels there are some excellent choices out there. Let’s take a closer look at the best options available today.
Pioneer DJM S11 Review
Best 2 Channel DJ Mixer With Effects
- Professional Layout – The Pioneer DJ DJM S11 is the most comprehensive DJ mixer available with a battle-style layout. This type of layout is ideal for scratch DJs. It has all the features at your fingertips to provide a smooth workflow.
- Extensive FX – The fantastic range of FX options also sets the S11 apart from other battle-style mixers. Six Pioneer Beat FX options along with the capacity for Serato DJ Pro FX. when you combine this with the easy-to-use FX paddles it becomes an effortless and engaging experience to add FX to your sets.
- Clear Screen – Focusing on your set is a challenge when you have to constantly refer to your laptop. The Pioneer DJ DJM S11 keeps you engaged thanks to the large, clear, and bright central screen. Instantly assess where you are within a track with vertical waveforms. Plus other important information like time remaining.
- Excellent Build Quality – The Pioneer DJ DJM S11 is a robust and durable DJ mixer with high-quality components throughout. From the chassis to the knobs and faders this is a top-of-the-line unit. A must-have feature for aggressive scratch DJs.
- High Price Point – The innovation and high level of build quality results in a painful hit to your wallet. It is an excellent DJ mixer but the price may be beyond what some will be willing to pay.
Pioneer DJ is sometimes criticized for playing it safe when it comes to their gear. But the Pioneer DJ DJM S11 bucks this trend. Pioneer DJ has developed one of the most comprehensive battle-style mixers.
This DJ mixer takes advantage of all the modern developments in the DJ mixer space. And taken it further with additional features to give DJs maximum creative control over their sets.
The battle-style layout will appeal to scratch DJs but there is no reason why non-scratch DJs won’t also enjoy this DJ mixer.
The extensive range of FX options is superb. Fantastic performance pads with plenty of modes. Plus that gorgeous central screen to keep you locked in the zone.
The Magvel Fader Pro is another top-tier inclusion and an excellent crossfader for scratch routines. It is often regarded as one of the best faders available today.
It also offers extensive Input and Output options along with smooth integration with software. As expected from a high-quality DJ mixer you’ll also have access to dual USB connections.
Combined with all the other features you have a world-class DJ mixer that can be the heart and soul of your DJ setup.
If you have the money to spend and want the absolute best 2 channel battle-style DJ mixer, the Pioneer DJ DJM S11 is the number one choice.
Rane Seventy-Two MKII Review
Best 2 Channel Analog DJ Mixer
- Battle Ready – The Rane Seventy-Two MKII is another battle-style focused DJ mixer. The layout is ideally suited for scratch DJs. Plenty of space around the faders and easy access to performance pads and additional features.
- Mag Four Faders – The fantastic Mag Four faders from Rane occupy not just the crossfader but also the channel faders. The crossfader is excellent for precise cuts. Plus full flexibility to adjust the tension to your preference. External and Internal. Perfect for DJs that know exactly the feel they want from their faders.
- Steel Construction – Battle-style mixers can take quite the punishment. As a result, you need a mixer that is durable enough to handle the rigors of frequent use. With solid steel construction, you can be confident that this mixer will last the distance. Plus the quality of the faders, knobs, pads, and buttons are also top-notch.
- FX Paddles – FX paddles have become a staple of battle-style mixers and the Seventy-Two MKII is no exception. These die-cast paddles are a joy to use. Instant activation and comfortably within reach. Good integration with Serato DJ Pro gives you access to plenty of FX choices.
- Wide EQ Placement – The spacing between the two sets of EQs is a little wider than I like. Not the most ergonomic workflow if you tend to adjust both sets of EQs in tandem. But every DJ is different so this may not be an issue for you.
Keeping with the battle-style DJ mixers theme, the Rane Seventy-Two MKII is another great choice. Much like our number one pick, it features everything a modern scratch DJ would want in a DJ mixer.
The professional layout is very good with access to everything at your fingertips. The inclusion of microphone control on the top plate will also be appealing to microphone-heavy DJs.
Tight integration with Serato DJ software is another excellent feature. Extensive access to Serato DJ Pro FX and a wide selection of creative performance pad options.
Build quality is also impressive with high attention to detail. The 24-bit/48kHz audio interface is also excellent and produces fantastic sound quality.
Multiple inputs allow you to utilize this as part of a comprehensive DJ setup. The dual USB ports also allow for quick and seamless handover to the next DJ.
The central screen is also an ideal feature for DJs that want to minimize the amount of time looking at the laptop. This full-color touchscreen presents all the information you need to keep an eye on your mix. Though the refresh rate is a little choppy when zoomed in on waveforms.
While the layout is concise and well structured the spacing for EQs could be an issue for some DJs. It takes a little getting used to if you are already comfortable with more centrally located EQs.
Besides a few small nitpicks there is no doubt that Rane Seventy-Two MKII is among the best 2 channel DJ mixers available today.
Rane Seventy-Two MKII
Pioneer DJM 450 Review
- Familiar Layout – The Pioneer DJ DJM 450 offers a familiar and professional layout. It borrows heavily from Pioneer’s more expensive mixers. It’s an excellent stepping stone into the world of Pioneer DJ mixers that dominate clubs.
- Pioneer FX – Continuing the theme of Pioneer’s more expensive mixers the DJM 450 includes an assortment of Pioneer FX. Four Sound Color FX along with eight Beat FX. These are simple to activate and manipulate.
- High Audio Quality – The sound quality from the onboard 24-bit audio interface delivers excellent audio quality. A fantastic sounding digital DJ mixer whether you are spinning digital files or using turntables.
- Approachable Price – As the mid-tier option from the Pioneer lineup the DJM 450 sports an attractive price. Good balance between features while maintaining a price tag that won’t make your wallet cry.
- Lacks Booth Output – While it does offer an extensive selection of inputs and outputs the lack of Booth Output is disappointing. This makes it not the best option for smaller clubs that may want a cheaper mixer for their venue.
The Pioneer DJ DJM 450 2 channel DJ mixer is an excellent choice for DJs that want an authentic Pioneer experience.
A full professional level DJM DJ setup costs a lot of money. This more approachable option is perfect for DJs that want to practice at home for club gigs.
There is plenty of depth and flexibility to incorporate FX into your sets. Pioneer FX is among the best sounding FX available on mixers today. Many have become staples in professional DJ workflows.
Build quality is also what you’d expect from the industry leader. Solid construction and good component quality. A big step up if you are coming from a DJ controller.
The choice between a 1/4-inch and 1/8 headphone output is also a welcome sight. USB connectivity, clean integration with DJ software, and mic input. Plenty to like about this reasonably priced 2 channel DJ mixer
Connecting to a home music system is easy thanks to a solid selection of inputs and outputs. And that is where the DJM 450 is most appropriate. In a home studio environment.
Whether you are a professional DJ already or have ambitions to be. You can have a scaled-back version of the gear you’d encounter at clubs and festivals.
As a middle ground between entry-level and pro-level DJ mixers, the Pioneer DJ DJM 450 is one of the best 2 channel DJ mixers available today.
Pioneer DJM 450
Reloop Elite Review
Best 2 Channel Mixer For Serato Pro
- Responsive Pads – The performance pads on the Reloop Elite are high-quality and offer good responsiveness. There are an extensive amount of pad modes available giving you access to plenty of features to create unique sets.
- Excellent Serato DJ Support – Serato DJ Pro along with the DVS expansion pack included. This gives you instant access to the world’s most popular DJ software platform. Integration is also precise making it easy to plug and play.
- Good Price Point – Most mixers that include this amount of features go for a lot more money. The Reloop Elite offers a more conservative price point while still giving you a tonne of value. A well-priced two-channel mixer.
- High-Quality Faders – Mini Innofader Pros for both the crossfader and channel faders. These are buttery smooth and effective. Perfect for precise scratching.
- No Screen – With the lower price tag some features are missing. Unlike the Rane and Pioneer options, the Reloop Elite doesn’t feature a central screen.
- Lacks Paddles – FX control isn’t as intuitive as you’ll experience with FX paddles. There is still plenty of options available but the lack of paddles may put some scratch DJs off.
The Reloop Elite is a great option for DJs that want to use Serato DJ with DVS capability. This alone already makes it an exceptional value buy as these two components are expensive on their own.
But Reloop doesn’t skimp on the features either. You’ll have access to a battle-style layout with a generous amount of space to work with.
The central section does introduce a bit of clutter and isn’t as refined as more expensive options. But it does deliver in the features department with plenty of creative flexibility.
The pads are fantastic, the faders are high-quality, and all the knobs feel great. The chassis is also super tough and able to withstand regular use.
A full suite of connection options is also present. Phono and Line along with AUX and Recording options. Balanced and unbalanced Master Out, plus Booth output. The added two USB ports are also a welcome sight.
The lack of a screen is a disappointment. But many DJs have lived without this for years so it may not be a big deal for some. Plus at this price point, you can’t expect all the bells and whistles.
And this is one area where the Reloop Elite shines. DJ gear can be expensive so I’m happy to see a more modestly priced alternative to the big names.
For DJs that want to experience digital DJing via DVS this two-channel mixer from Reloop is worth putting on your shortlist.
Pioneer DJM 250MK2 Review
Best Cheap 2 Channel DJ Mixer
- Simple Layout – The Pioneer DJ DJM 250MK2 is an excellent entry point for new DJs. A clean and refined layout that gives you access to all the basics. No additional clutter or features to distract you. Perfect choice for mastering the basics before exploring more advanced DJ mixers.
- Super Cheap – With the more refined approach also comes a super affordable price point. A full DJ setup can creep into the range of several thousands of dollars. It is great to have a cheap option from the industry-standard Pioneer DJ brand.
- Good Build Quality – Despite the low price point, the Pioneer DJ DJM 250MK2 maintains a high level of build quality. No plastic like you’d find on a DJ controller. Instead, you have a solid metal chassis along with high-quality knobs and a Magvel crossfader.
- DVS Ready – Full version rekordbox DJ software along with the DVS expansion gives you instant access. Just plug in your turntable and laptop and you are ready to experience digital DJing with control vinyl.
- No Beat or Color FX – The low price does mean you’ll be left without any of the hallmark Pioneer DJ FX. No Beat FX and just a basic Filter for sound color FX. DJs that like to incorporate FX would be better off with the next model up.
The Pioneer DJ DJM 250MK2 2 channel DJ mixer offers new DJs an easy entry point. Unlike other DJ mixers on this list, this one keeps things straightforward.
It also aims to provide an insight into the Pioneer layout. A layout that is synonymous with the pro-level gear you’ll find at clubs.
But just because it is a cheap entry-level option doesn’t mean it isn’t high-quality. The inclusion of a Magvel Fader will please scratch DJs.
All the knobs are secure and robust and not prone to easy damage. It is a solid choice for a DJ set up on a budget that won’t fall apart quickly.
Connectivity options are also good for a mixer at this price point. Phono and Line for both channels. Balanced and unbalanced Master output plus AUX.
An unbalanced mic input is also available with control on the faceplate. This is a good option for DJs that use a microphone regularly as it’s easy to make adjustments on the top of the mixer as opposed to the front panel.
The external power brick is a slight hassle. You need to make sure you don’t leave it behind when going to a gig. But at a total of just 6.6 lbs. (3kg) this mixer is easy to take to and from gigs.
The value offering here is also exceptional. Full software including DVS at this price point is a steal. If you want a cheap DJ mixer that can handle all the fundamentals the Pioneer DJ DJM250MK2 is a great 2 channel DJ mixer.
Pioneer DJM 250MK2
Allen & Heath Xone 23C Review
- Excellent USB Soundcard – Allen & Heath has an excellent reputation for high-quality audio. The Xone 23C is no exception. Digital DJing is a breeze with the high-quality 4 stereo channel USB soundcard.
- Good Selection Of I/O – Many DJ mixers at this price point skimp on the inputs and outputs. But the Allen & Heath Xone 23C includes a substantial selection. Up to 4 input channels along with Monitor and Record connection points.
- Full Kill EQ – This is another element that many DJ mixers don’t offer. Full kill across the channel EQs without a hint of residual bleed.
- Portable – The Allen & Heath Xone 23C maintains a compact footprint making it an appealing option for mobile DJs. It is also exceptionally lightweight.
- Faceplate Design – The top faceplate offers an irregular shape that may put some people off. You can’t comfortably sit your players or turntables tucked up against it.
No DJ mixer list would be complete without an option from Allen & Heath. Their industrial-strength DJ mixers are legendary and for good reason.
The sound quality from this 2 channel DJ mixer is superb. Allen & Heath are often touted as having the best-sounding DJ mixers available on the market. And this mixer is a perfect example of that.
Having access to an additional two input channels sets it apart from other options at this price range. Connect up to 4 inputs and easily switch between them. Great flexibility.
Speaking of flexibility the analog VCF Filter FX system is a unique and fun FX feature. Apply lowpass or highpass filters with excellent granular control over resonance. A bit unusual if you have never used it but once you get to grips with it there is plenty of fun to be had.
When it comes to DJ equipment Allen & Heath also have an excellent reputation for durable and dependable DJ gear. Build quality is fantastic.
The three-band EQ is a little spaced out. There are guiding lines to differentiate it but it is not uncommon to be reaching for the wrong knobs during a DJ set.
Despite a few small gripes Allen & Heath have taken the best from their analog mixers and delivered an affordable and portable option.
The result is a capable and robust DJ mixer that features everything that most DJs need. It is among the best DJ mixers available today.
Allen & Heath Xone 23C
Our Expert Buying Guide
A two-channel mixer is a critical piece of DJ equipment. Selecting the right one for your needs can be daunting. Below we cover some things worth considering when shopping around for a 2 channel DJ mixer.
There are two main layout options when it comes to 2 channel DJ mixers.
The most common layout is the battle-style layout. This layout is ideal for DJs who scratch using either real vinyl or timecode vinyl. Most scratch DJs don’t need additional channels hence why many 2 channel DJ mixers focus on this layout.
The key hallmarks are a spacious area around the crossfader and channel faders. This gives scratch DJs plenty of room to execute scratches without knobs or buttons getting in the way.
Other notable features will include performance pads and FX paddles. These allow scratch DJs to quickly and easily apply performance features or FX to their sets.
Most professional mixers will have one of two main layouts. Battle style or Club style.
But just because these have a scratch DJ in mind it doesn’t mean that they are bad for other DJs. However, keep in mind that battle-style mixers are not as common in club environments.
The other type of mixer setup tends to favor a Pioneer-style layout. Pioneer mixers are the most common DJ mixer you’ll find at clubs and festivals. These also tend to have extensive FX options.
Both options will offer channel faders, crossfader, and a three-band EQ. But they will differ in extras and placement of features.
Most DJ manufacturers have embraced one or the other when it comes to their mixers. As a result, there are a lot of similarities between them. But if you do have ambitions of playing the big stages it is ideal to become familiar with the Pioneer style layout.
DJ Software Compatibility
Another thing to consider when selecting a DJ mixer is if it is compatible with DJ software. Most mixers in the modern era do offer support. But there is still plenty of demand for standalone analog mixers.
The two main software platforms are rekordbox DJ and Serato DJ software. Music technology has grown in leaps and bounds over the years and DJ gear is no different.
DJ software has become an important part of a DJs workflow.
Serato is the original innovator but Pioneer has caught up. Both are fantastic pieces of software. And more importantly both support DVS.
If you have a preferred platform you should select a DJ mixer that is compatible with it. A good quality digital mixer will last you a long time. And it can be an inconvenience to have to learn a new software platform.
Scratch DJs in particular will want to focus on the crossfader options on a DJ mixer. The best mixers will feature high-quality faders with excellent responsiveness. This allows for accurate and precise execution of scratch routines. Cuts are instant and satisfying.
The ability to adjust the crossfader curve is also important. Different types of scratch routines call for different types of curves.
A high-quality crossfader is a critical component for scratch DJs.
The ability to adjust tension is also important. Finding your rhythm with a mixer can be challenging. Having the ability to adjust to your style will result in a better and more fluid mixing experience.
Another element worth mentioning is if the mixer allows for easy removal of the fader. Thousands upon thousands of cuts will lead to wear and tear. Buying a new fader is cheaper than having to buy a brand-new mixer.
Plus as you experience other faders you may come to have a preference. A mixer with crossfader removal available can ensure you always have your preferred fader no matter what the base mixer is.
This is an extension of the software compatibility. The best mixers will allow you to connect a wide variety of devices.
Support for media players and turnatables is fairly standard. But extra master outputs and good mic inputs are worth keeping an eye out for.
A good selection of connection options allows you to plug in all types of gear.
Headphone outputs are also worth checking. Having access to both a 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch headphone output removes the need to always carry an adapter with you.
Finally, it is worth checking the power supply. Some DJ mixers will have an external power brick. Others will have an internal power supply.
Internal power supply reduces the amount of gear you’ll need to bring. Plus it is often easy to find another power cable if you happen to leave it at home.
What Is A 2 Channel Mixer?
A 2 channel DJ mixer allows you to play music from two separate sources. This could be media players or turntables. The mixer section allows you to blend between the two channels.
Is It Hard To Become A DJ?
Learning to DJ can be a challenging and rewarding experience. As with many musical professions, it can be easy to learn but hard to master. But the biggest challenge is making the jump from hobby DJ to paid professional DJ.
Which One Should You Buy?
Selecting the best DJ mixer that offers two channels isn’t as straightforward as it seems. DJs have different needs. But there is a standout choice that does rise to the surface.
The Pioneer DJ DJM S11 is one of the most comprehensive DJ mixers available today. Its extensive suite of features is superb. Excellent DJ software integration and all the connection options you’ll ever need including USB ports. The battle-style layout is also perfect for dedicated scratch DJs.
There is a reason why Pioneer DJ mixers are popular. And it’s not just because they have a stranglehold on the club scene. They are well-built and highly capable pieces of DJ gear. If you want the very best 2 channel DJ mixer you can’t look past the Pioneer DJM S11.
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