Best Standalone DJ Controllers In 2024

Do you want to unshackle yourself from the DJ controller and laptop combination?

Standalone controllers give you that freedom, and our Editor’s Choice is the superb Denon Prime 4 Plus due to its extensive features and gorgeous full-color screen.

We review an extensive range of music gear and have helped DJs, studio professionals, and live performers for years. This comparison guide details the best standalone DJ controllers based on our extensive research and testing.

We spent hundreds of hours testing and reviewing every standalone option available. Our research process is thorough; we don’t recommend products we wouldn’t use ourselves, and due to our stringent testing criteria, we go over every controller with a fine-toothed comb to select only the best for this detailed guide.

Quick Summary

  • Editor’s Choice: Denon Prime 4 Plus
    An outstanding standalone DJ controller with full 4-channel support, extensive connection options, a large screen, and extensive performance features.
  • Best 2-Channel: Pioneer XDJ-RX3
    The familiar layout and features of the RX3 make it an ideal choice for Pioneer DJ fans who want a standalone 2-channel DJ controller with a large screen.
  • Best Budget: Numark Mixstream Pro+
    This compact and portable DJ controller gives you access to standalone capability without the big ticket price tag. A fun to use and approachable choice for those on a budget.
  • Best Screens: Pioneer OPUS-QUAD
    A premium quality standalone DJ controller with an eye-catching design. Full 4-channel capability, extensive connection options, and multiple bright and clear screens.
  • Best Wireless: AlphaTheta OMNIS-DUO
    The standout choice if you want to ditch cables. Rechargeable battery, a familiar layout within an attractive shell, and ultra-low latency Bluetooth for a fully wireless DJing experience.

Product Reviews

Let’s dive into the details and take a look at the best DJ decks if you want to say goodbye to the laptop when DJing.

Denon Prime 4 Plus

Editor’s Choice

Top view of the Denon Prime 4 Plus DJ controller.

Overall Rating (9/10)

How Do We Rate?

Mixer
Jogwheels
Build
Software
Tempo
Pads
FX
Looping
Connections
Screens
Stems
Value
Mixer
Jogwheels
Build
Software
Tempo
Pads
FX
Looping
Connections
Screens
Stems
Value

What We Liked

Large Multi-Touch Display
Comprehensive 4-Channel Mixer
Extensive Connections
Built-In Drive Bay

What Could Be Better

Engine DJ Platform

The Denon Prime 4 Plus is the ideal example of what a standalone DJ controller can offer. Its extensive features make it one of the most comprehensive options on the market.

The central mixer offers full 4-channel capability with excellent EQ controls, smooth faders, and rapid access to Sweep FX and navigation controls. You can also access a range of streaming platforms, including Amazon Music Unlimited.

The 10.1-inch screen is among the best in the business. It offers a bright display with ample room to showcase all the critical information you need. It supports multi-touch and can lay flat or at an angle.

Denon Prime 4+ Showcase.

Extensive FX controls above each deck also expand your creative options, as do the eight performance pads per deck. Looping controls are also superb, with a dedicated encoder on each deck and traditional In/Out buttons.

The unit is compatible with Virtual DJ and Serato DJ Pro, but you must connect a laptop to use those platforms. For standalone functionality, you’ll rely on the Engine DJ platform, which, while ever-evolving and capable, isn’t as refined as leading DJ software choices.

The long list of Inputs and Outputs also ensures you can tackle any setup configuration, including a dedicated Zone Output for added flexibility. Add to this a built-in SATA drive bay, and there is no denying that the Denon Prime 4 Plus is the standout choice in the standalone category.

Read our full Denon Prime 4 Plus review for more detailed information.

Watch the official video below or visit the manufacturer’s website for more information.

Pioneer XDJ-RX3

Best 2-Channel

Top view of the Pioneer XDJ-RX3.

Overall Rating (9/10)

How Do We Rate?

Mixer
Jogwheels
Build
Software
Tempo
Pads
FX
Looping
Connections
Screens
Value
Mixer
Jogwheels
Build
Software
Tempo
Pads
FX
Looping
Connections
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Value

What We Liked

Large Central Screen
Professional Layout
Superb Pioneer FX
Robust Build Quality

What Could Be Better

2-Channel Limitation

If you don’t require 4-channel mixing capabilities and want to remain within the industry-leading Pioneer ecosystem, the XDJ-RX3 is an ideal standalone controller.

The Pioneer XDJ-RX3 features a giant 10.1-inch touchscreen, but unlike the Denon Prime 4 Plus, it doesn’t support multi-touch gestures. Despite this, it is a joy to use and offers a logical and engaging layout and workflow.

The central mixer offers all the essentials with full 3-band EQ for both channels and an extensive range of color FX to instantly add dynamic mixing potential to your transitions.

Pioneer XDL-RX3 Showcase.

The XDJ-RX3 also features a comprehensive range of Pioneer DJ FX. These are among the best-sounding and useful FX in the business and are a direct inheritance from Pioneer’s pro-level club gear.

The jog wheels offer a pleasant experience and feature onboard screens. They might not provide as much information as other Pioneer DJ jog wheel screens. However, they are still an excellent addition and feature jog adjust to customize the feel.

A full suite of performance pads for each deck also adds to the creative potential, with eight pad modes available at your fingertips. Set cues, activate loops, and beat jump at the press of a button.

Extensive connection options and a rock-solid frame add to the appeal. Look no further if you want a feature-rich 2-channel standalone Pioneer DJ controller.

Read our full Pioneer XDJ RX3 review for more detailed information.

Watch the official video below or visit the manufacturer’s website for more information.

Numark Mixstream Pro+

Best Budget

Top view of the Numark Mixstream Pro+.

Overall Rating (6/10)

How Do We Rate?

Mixer
Jogwheels
Build
Software
Tempo
Pads
FX
Looping
Connections
Screens
Value
Mixer
Jogwheels
Build
Software
Tempo
Pads
FX
Looping
Connections
Screens
Value

What We Liked

Vibrant Screen
Impressive Connection Options
Approachable Price Point
Fun Paddle FX

What Could Be Better

Gimmicky Speakers

Many options in the standalone DJ controller market boast a high price tag. But in true Numark fashion, the Mixstream Pro+ offers a more approachable entry point while still offering solid features.

The central 7-inch touchscreen offers enough space to display vital information without feeling overly cramped or hard to read. The response is quick, and navigation is straightforward.

On the other hand, the central mixer section is a little cramped, with the EQ controls off to either side, as opposed to the classic central position. It’s not a dealbreaker but certainly not as free-flowing as other DJ controllers offer.

Numark Mixstream Pro+ Showcase.

The central section also features FX paddles for quick and simple activation of the four available FX. It’s a fun way to incorporate FX into your sets. I like their proximity compared to the FX layouts on other controllers.

The connection options are excellent, with USB and SD card support and the choice between Balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA Master Out connections. The unit also features built-in speakers, but they are a bit gimmicky and don’t offer much thump.

While far from a perfect unit, it’s hard to be overly critical when considering the approachable price point. For on-the-go standalone mixing on a budget, the Mixstream Pro+ is a fantastic choice.

Read our full Numark Mixstream Pro+ review for more detailed information.

Watch the official video below or visit the manufacturer’s website for more information.

Pioneer OPUS-QUAD

Best Screens

Top view of the Pioneer DJ OPUS-QUAD DJ controller.

Overall Rating (8/10)

How Do We Rate?

Mixer
Jogwheels
Build
Software
Tempo
Pads
FX
Looping
Connections
Screens
Value
Mixer
Jogwheels
Build
Software
Tempo
Pads
FX
Looping
Connections
Screens
Value

What We Liked

Full 4-Channel Capability
Innovative Design
Multiple Screens
Excellent FX Options

What Could Be Better

Expensive

Pioneer DJ tends to be reluctant to offer 4-channel standalone capability in its DJ controllers, but that all changed with the release of the OPUS-QUAD.

This premium tier DJ controller is a bold new step for Pioneer DJ with a unique design approach that sets it apart from the competition. Distinct angular edges, bronze accents, and high-end design make it a statement piece.

But it’s not all about aesthetics; this is a feature-rich DJ controller with a comprehensive central 4-channel mixer section, Sound Color controls, and access to Pioneer’s extensive range of FX. But the lack of performance pads might be a dealbreaker for some.

Pioneer OPUS-QUAD Showcase.

The selection of screens is also superb. The large dominant screen is vibrant and engaging, with easy-to-access navigation and touch controls. The supplementary deck screens provide even more information and complete the all-in-one feel.

Professional connection options and fantastic jog wheels are other highlights. So is the inclusion of a Beat Loop encoder, a first for a Pioneer DJ controller, and something I hope to see in future offerings from the industry-leading company.

However, all this glitz, glamour, and features come at a very high price point. If you have the cash to splurge, it’s hard to resist, but there are more affordable choices out there.

Read our full Pioneer OPUS-QUAD review for more detailed information.

Watch the official video below or visit the manufacturer’s website for more information.

AlphaTheta OMNIS-DUO

Best Wireless

Top view of the AlphaTheta OMNIS-DUO DJ controller.

Overall Rating (7/10)

How Do We Rate?

Mixer
Jogwheels
Build
Software
Tempo
Pads
FX
Looping
Connections
Screens
Value
Mixer
Jogwheels
Build
Software
Tempo
Pads
FX
Looping
Connections
Screens
Value

What We Liked

Rechargeable Battery
Full Wireless Capability
Familiar Layout
Dependable Build Quality

What Could Be Better

High Price Point

The OMNIS-DUO is the first offering from AlphaTheta, the new name for the company that owns and operates the Pioneer DJ brand; it’s an innovative offering that allows you to ditch a laptop and a power cable.

The built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery offers up to five hours of power. More than enough to handle most mixing sessions. Combine it with a battery-powered speaker, and you have an all-in-one wireless solution to mix anywhere and anytime.

The central screen offers both light and dark modes. It features a comfortable software platform that is reliable and feature-rich. The blue denim-esque color is also unique and gives the unit a distinct character.

AlphaTheta OMNIS-DUO Showcase.

The OMNIS-DUO also retains a logical and familiar layout with a central mixer section, solid jog wheels, and Hot Cue pads. Beat Loop encoder and Beat Jump buttons add to the logical design.

Full connectivity support, including USB and SD card slots, Bluetooth capability, balanced Master Out, and two microphone connection points. Add to this six sound color FX and eight Beat FX, and you have a comprehensive and portable package that is very impressive.

However, the part that is not as impressive is the price. Similar units, albeit not as refined, are substantially cheaper. But if you want a fully wireless standalone controller, the OMNIS-DUO is a worthwhile investment.

Watch the official video below or visit the manufacturer’s website for more information.

Buying Advice

A few key features will make a massive difference to your enjoyment of an all-in-one controller. Below, we take a closer look at these features and the impact they will make.

Screens

Screens are one of the most critical aspects of an all-in-one DJ controller. Large screens make it easier to discern essential information.

Remember, you’ll be forgoing that 15-inch laptop screen and replacing it with screens often less than half that size.

DJ using professional DJ equipment.

Many standalone controllers feature similar screens to pro DJ gear.

A vibrant and clear screen is essential, especially when you factor in the small form factor. Intelligent use of that screen real estate is also important.

A good all-in-one system will present information on the screens in a logical and easily legible way. You don’t want to be squinting and spend far too much time decoding the information on the screen.

The goal of an all-in-one system is to present that critical information at a glance, allowing you to go back to crafting your DJ set.

Size

Often, the goal of a standalone controller is to free up space. Having a large laptop plus a controller can result in some awkward setups. While standalone controllers can solve this issue, sometimes the controllers themselves are enormous.

If you are a working mobile DJ, you’ll need to consider whether transporting a smaller controller with a laptop is easier.

Close-up photo of a DJ using a DJ controller.

Standalone controllers are a compact alternative to a full DJ setup.

Consider how much the unit you’re looking at weighs and how you plan on transporting it to gigs. This can help you in choosing an appropriate controller for your needs.

The last thing you want is to regret your purchase because you dread carting your controller around between gigs.

Flexibility

All-in-one DJ decks should also offer you some flexibility. The standalone mode should supplement the ability also to use the controller with a laptop. I’ve always strongly supported not restricting how a DJ uses their equipment.

Tight and seamless integration with professional-level DJ software is an added benefit. While you may intend never to use your controller with a laptop, it’s still nice to have the choice.

Female DJ using professional DJ equipment.

Standalone controllers will often have similar features as pro DJ gear.

While standalone software has come a long way, it’s still playing catch up to the established DJ software powerhouses. Take some time to understand the limitations of the included standalone software. This will help inform you what features you’ll need to remove from your DJ arsenal.

A good standalone controller should give you the best of both worlds: solid and robust internal software and excellent integration with standard DJ software.

Mixing With No Laptop

If you are an existing DJ who uses a controller, transitioning to an all-in-one system has pros and cons.

The most significant benefit of a DJ mixer with screens is the ability to concentrate on your controller. DJ software offers many features that can often be a distraction.

Staring endlessly at the laptop disconnects you from the physical and engaging side of mixing. Focusing on the DJ gear will make you more aware of your controller’s various features, which will develop a more focused workflow.

Another benefit is that it can make the transition to club gear more seamless. Some establishments may have an existing setup that doesn’t support laptops.

DJ using a DJ controller with a connected laptop.

Eliminating the laptop is a great way to have more room in the booth.

Having that familiarity with using gear without a laptop will boost your confidence when tackling these types of setups.

One of the critical drawbacks is information. Modern all-in-one DJ mixers have screens that will provide you with essential information. But, it won’t be as thorough as the information available when using a laptop with DJ software.

It can also be trickier to alter specific settings on the fly with a controller compared to using a laptop. This will vary based on what type of DJ you are, but it is worth considering.

Small screen sizes can also make navigating through an extensive music collection difficult. Taking time to prepare for your sets can somewhat mitigate this issue.

It can be very liberating to move away from a laptop but also very daunting. Take time adjusting if you are a DJ who uses a laptop regularly. Before long, you’ll be as comfortable using an all-in-one DJ controller with no laptop as you are with one.

Our Verdict

The explosion in quality all-in-one DJ controllers over the last few years is a fantastic development. There are several excellent options available that can finally remove you from staring at the laptop.

The Denon Prime 4 Plus is our top pick for the best all-in-one DJ controller when considering functionality and build quality. After extensive testing and comparisons with other standalone options it rises to the top as a premium yet reasonably priced option. With an excellent screen and comprehensive features, it’s hard to beat.

Denon Prime 4 Plus

Editor’s Choice

Top view of the Denon Prime 4 Plus DJ controller.

Overall Rating (9/10)

How Do We Rate?

Mixer
Jogwheels
Build
Software
Tempo
Pads
FX
Looping
Connections
Screens
Stems
Value
Mixer
Jogwheels
Build
Software
Tempo
Pads
FX
Looping
Connections
Screens
Stems
Value

Why You Can Trust Our Advice

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Article by Patryk Biernacki
Article by Patryk Biernacki

Patryk has been immersed in the world of music since the early 90s. This coupled with his creative talents, drove his passion to become an expert writer in the music industry. He constantly researches and tests new products, and enjoys playing with all types of gear in his spare time. Electronic music runs through his veins and he absolutely loves DJing in his home studio.

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