The cost of a top DJ mixer can rapidly escalate into thousands of dollars. But there are ways to get started without having to fork over a whole bunch of cash. This guide showcases the leading budget-friendly choices.
Our Editor’s Choice is the high-quality Allen & Heath Xone 23. A superb budget mixer from a brand with an impeccable reputation for high build and sound quality.
Fifteen years of experience in the music industry has given us detailed insight into music gear. And as DJs ourselves, we are always looking for the best gear to showcase on our site.
After narrowing the list of potential candidates from our comprehensive research process, we already had an excellent selection of options. But we like to take things further. We tested the products and gathered testing results from our network of professional DJs to ensure only the crème de la crème made the list.
Allen & Heath Xone 23
A high-quality 2 channel DJ mixer that offers excellent build quality and amazing sound.
Pioneer DJM 250MK2
A DVS ready 2-channel mixer from the most popular DJ gear brand in the world today.
There are several major brands in the DJ space that produce high-quality DJ mixers. These brands have a long and established reputation among DJ professionals for the quality of their gear.
While there are even cheaper alternatives out there the below list contains nothing but the best. Read on for our detailed reviews of the best DJ mixers for those on a low budget.
Allen & Heath Xone 23 Review
- Exceptional Sound Quality – The Xone 23 continues the tradition of high-quality audio output that is synonymous with Allen & Heath. There is a reason why many DJs praise and prefer the Allen & Heath sound profile. It’s clear, loud, and full of life.
- Rock Solid Construction – Another hallmark of Allen & Heath gear is the high level of quality. The Xone 23 is no exception. Fantastic component quality and a rugged and industrial presence. Solid steel along with clean and precise internal execution. This is a mixer that will go the distance and serve you for years to come.
- Effective Filter – The filter on the Xone 23 offers a unique and different implementation than other mixers. Instead of a dedicated Hi/Low pass filter knob per channel, there is a solitary Wet/Dry knob and a Frequency knob. From there you can select either a High or Low Pass filter and assign it to either channel. It takes some getting used to but once you wrap your head around it the workflow is more in line with how most DJs mix.
- Good Selection of I/O – For a budget mixer the Allen & Heath Xone 23 comes with a comprehensive selection of inputs and outputs. XLR Master outs along with an assortment of RCA connections for various applications. And XLR microphone input is also available on the top face. A slightly awkward spot but I’m still happy that it is present in a mixer at this price point.
- Awkward Faceplate – The faceplate is an unusual choice. One that I don’t think was necessary. It extends beyond a basic rectangular shape with additional “wings”. These feature holes for anyone that may want to secure the mixer. To be honest I don’t know many DJs that would do this in this day and age. I’d have preferred a clean edge so that media players or turntables could comfortably sit beside it.
Allen & Heath continue to cement their presence in the DJ scene. Their selection of mixers are exceptionally durable and popular. High attention to detail and that sublime sound quality instantly draw you in. The Xone 23 gives you access to that without the huge price tag associated with their higher-end mixers.
This is a no-compromise 2 + 2 channel mixer. The ability to connect 4 devices on a 2 channel mixer is a handy inclusion. You can have a set of turntables and media players all connected. Plenty of flexibility. The Xone 23 also features a send/return FX loop for external FX controllers. Headphone output options include both 1/4-Inch and 1/8-Inch.
The VU meters are bright and clear. The knobs feel fantastic and offer full kill on the EQs. A two-band EQ on the microphone is also a welcome addition.
Faders are also good quality but you will only have access to two crossfader curve choices. Speaking of the crossfader it is replaceable. But with a catch. If you did want to put an Innofader in you’ll need to source a custom one from Allen & Heath. It isn’t a big deal but worth pointing out.
The unit itself is also quite petite in size. It makes it easy to transport but still offers enough heft to not make it feel cheap. The layout is generous but potentially a little too spaced apart for some DJs. Especially so for scratch-focused DJs that would prefer EQs and faders to be closer together.
One other drawback is the inclusion of an external power supply. It is not a dealbreaker by any means but it is another component that you need to lug to and from gigs.
I’m so happy to see Allen & Heath offer an affordable mixer like this. The level of quality in both build and sound is exceptional. While it does feature some questionable design decisions it is still one of the very best budget DJ mixers available today. Solid, dependable, and offers excellent sound quality. All at a very reasonable price.
Allen & Heath Xone 23
Pioneer DJM 250MK2 Review
- Logical Layout – One of the biggest reasons to select a Pioneer mixer is the layout it offers. Pioneer has a firm grip over the pro DJ scene. Becoming familiar with Pioneer mixers is ideal if you want to play professionally. The DJM 250MK2 offers a simple and approachable layout for new DJs. Excellent use of space and instantly recognizable.
- High Build Quality – Pioneer produces high-quality DJ gear. The DJM 250MK2 retains all the qualities you’d expect from a DJ mixer from Pioneer. Solid steel construction throughout gives it plenty of reliability. Component quality is also high from the faders to the knobs and everything in between.
- DVS Ready – Another appealing aspect is the DVS-ready capability of the DJM 250MK2. For a mixer, at this price point, it makes it an exceptionally value-packed offering. All you’ll need is some Rekordbox control vinyl and turntables and you have a digital turntable setup ready to go. For scratch DJs on a budget it is hard to pass up how simple, easy, and cheap this is.
- Capable Connectivity – The DJM 250MK2 doesn’t skimp on connection options either. Two Master output options add plenty of flexibility. Line and Phono options give you access to both media players and turntables. Microphone and AUX are also included. Rounding out a solid selection of options is the choice between a 1/4-inch headphone jack or a 1/8-inch headphone jack.
- No Pioneer FX – The unit does include filters per channel so technically you do have access to an effect. But when you compare it to the range available on more expensive Pioneer mixers you’ll realize how bare this one is. No Sound Color or Beat FX does hamper your creative options. If you like playing with effects I’d suggest spending more and moving up to the DJM 450.
The words industry-standard get thrown around a lot when it comes to Pioneer DJ. But whether you want to admit it or not they do have a dominant presence in the DJ scene. So they do earn the term industry-standard.
Often this has meant that Pioneer gear tends to come at a slight premium over other brands. But the DJM 250Mk2 bucks this trend. It is very affordable for an 2 channel mixer.
The included audio interface is high-quality and delivers fantastic sound quality. This unit will deliver great sound on any sound system. But beyond that, it also gives new DJs a perfect way into the Pioneer ecosystem.
The mixer section is familiar and refined. A 3-band EQ along with trim controls form the basis. Level meters per channel and also for master output provide instant feedback on your levels.
The faders are high-quality and it also features a Magvel fader. Buttery-smooth is the best way to describe it.
The uncluttered space also makes it a great choice for scratch DJs. And that is where this DJ mixer shines. Access to DVS via Rekordbox is a big selling point. DVS-capable mixers tend to be more expensive than the DJM 250MK2.
It’s a smart move on the part of Pioneer to bring new DJs straight into their ecosystem. But likewise, it’s a boon for new DJs on a budget.
Comprehensive connection options are also present. More than you’d expect from a mixer at this price point. The only thing missing is a booth output. For some DJs, this might be a dealbreaker.
But by far the most restrictive element of the DJM 250Mk2 is the lack of any of the Pioneer FX. You’ll have access to a basic high and low pass filter and that is it. If you are used to Pioneer’s other mixers you’ll instantly miss having access to them. But at this price, it is hard to be too critical, especially with everything else you get.
If you want to play in clubs there is no looking past the industry-standard Pioneer lineup. And there is no better or cheaper way to get into the Pioneer pro-gear ecosystem than the DJM 250MK2.
Pioneer DJM 250MK2
Numark M6 Review
- Straightforward Layout – The Numark M6 takes simplicity to the next level. And not in a bad way. DJ mixers can be daunting pieces of equipment. And for most new and even some established DJs they can be loaded with features they will never use. The M6 takes a straightforward approach. It encourages a simple workflow that feels natural but is also effective to handle the needs of most DJs.
- Sturdy Construction – The quality of the chassis and faceplate is sturdy and reliable. Harking back to mixers of yesteryear it is a workhorse mixer that is built to last. Despite the solid build, it isn’t overly heavy but still offers that satisfying heft that some mixers don’t provide.
- 4 Channels – This budget mixer also gives you access to 4 channels. It is difficult to find mixers at this price point that offer this. If you like the idea of using multiple sources the M6 has you covered. Sound quality across all channels is also up to par. Not as amazing as other mixers but more than capable.
- Class Compliant – The USB connectivity offers a class-compliant connection. No specialized drivers are required. Whether you use Windows, Mac, or even Linux you’ll have no trouble connecting this mixer to your setup. Versatile and simple to use.
- Not The Best Knobs – While the chassis and faceplate are rugged and dependable the knobs don’t reach the same levels of quality. Don’t get me wrong they are not horrible. But they certainly don’t feel as nice as the knobs on other options in this list. They do what you need them to do but are not as durable as the rest of the mixer.
The Numark M6 is a fantastic little 4 channel mixer that gives new and established DJs all the fundamental features they need. For a budget mixer, it certainly punches above its weight with access to 4 channels.
Channels 1 and 2 offer both Phono and Line level options. Channel 3 presents Line and USB. While channel 4 provides access to Line and Mic 2. It’s versatile and capable to handle a range of devices. Plus the class-compliant USB connection is a breeze to connect to your laptop or computer.
The layout retains simplicity with 3-band EQs for all 4 channels. These are not full kill EQs and while effective don’t offer the best feel in use. Small meter levels per channel are a slight letdown but the overall master level meter is large and bright. Though I’m not a big fan of the predominance of red lights.
Microphone control is also available with a 3-band EQ and talkover functionality. This is a lot more than what some mixers at this price range offer.
The faders are okay but not amazing. Thankfully the crossfader is replaceable so if you do have a preferred crossfader it’s an easy swap out.
The layout is simple and intuitive. It’s clutter-free and allows you to get into a smooth and straightforward workflow. But some DJs may miss having access to extra features like FX control.
If you want a simple and sturdy mixer it is hard not to consider the Numark M6. With 4 channels and an intuitive workflow, it is among the best budget DJ mixers available today.
Behringer DDM4000 Review
Best Budget DJ Mixer With Effects
- Feature-Rich – The moment you gaze upon the vast array of buttons and knobs on this mixer you’ll be instantly floored. There are a staggering amount of features that Behringer has jammed into this unit. This is a highly capable unit with detailed control over nearly every aspect. The central screen opens up even more granular control.
- Detailed FX Section – The vast majority of DJ mixers at this price level offer sparse FX options. Most will slap a filter on and call it a day. The DDM4000 is uncompromising with the selection of FX on offer. Plus there are several parameters to play with to craft the exact sound you are looking for.
- Extensive Connectivity – The attention to detail continues in the connection department. A full breadth of inputs and outputs that is capable of handling a large number of potential gear configurations.
- Excellent Value – It is hard to not talk about this DJ mixer without mentioning how much value it offers. This is a 4 channel mixer with features you will never see at this price point. Behringer has thrown everything into this mixer while keeping the price low. For the money, it’s hard to look past this comprehensive DJ mixer.
- Complicated & Busy – While I appreciate the level of detail on offer it is also exceptionally overwhelming. The number of buttons and knobs can be confusing. For new DJs, it might be a bit too much. But you can still focus on the essentials and progressively explore the extra features when you are ready. It’s also quite busy. Every spare bit of space has a feature. Not a great mixer if you like some space around the crossfader and channel faders.
The Behringer DDM4000 is a beast of a mixer. And not in a bad way. This is by far the most comprehensive mixer available at this price point. The list of features is exceptionally long. While it has been around for a long time it still stands out as the best DJ mixer with effects at this price point.
Those FX options are also detailed and precise. You’ll have access to two FX engines that you can assign to any of the 4 channels. A total of nine FX options are available. Flanger, phaser, delay, echo, pitch shift, bitcrusher, reverb, pan, and filter. As you can see there are plenty of choices up your sleeve.
Large Dry/Wet knobs and a smaller parameter knob give you tactile control. But you can take this further and refine FX within the menu system within the onboard screen. If you like messing around with FX you’ll have plenty of granular control with this mixer.
But the options don’t end there. A detailed Sample bank gives you even more creative freedom. It is easy to use and allows you to play synced loops to create unique transitions and remixes on the fly.
The Behringer DDM4000 doesn’t skimp on the inputs and outputs. The back presents a veritable smorgasbord of options. Line and Phono across all 4 channels. Balanced and unbalanced outs, Digital out, and more.
But this mixer doesn’t include an audio interface so you can’t directly use it with DJ software. Most media players do offer audio interfaces these days so this may not be a huge issue. It is also not surprising considering how old this unit is.
The fact that it has been around for so long is also a testament to how relevant this mixer still is. It’s got a fantastic price point and reasonable build quality. Behringer products can be a bit hit or miss but this is a relatively robust unit. If you are not particularly rough with it there is no reason it can’t last you a while.
If you are after an affordable but feature-packed mixer the Behringer DDM4000 is worth considering. It is starting to show its age in the digital DJing era. But despite this, it is still among the best mixers for DJs on a budget.
Reloop RMX 10BT Review
- Uncomplicated Design – The Reloop RMX 10BT offers DJs an uncomplicated design and layout. No distracting extra features. Just mixing at its most basic form. It is an effective DJ mixer that achieves its goal of providing an affordable option for both new and experienced DJs.
- Compact & Lightweight – The all-metal construction is surprisingly very robust. But this hasn’t resulted in a chunky and cumbersome mixer that is difficult to transport. At just 3.79 lbs. (1.7kg) it is among the lightest DJ mixers available. When you consider how much stuff DJs already need to take to a gig it’s great to have a DJ mixer option that is this nimble.
- Bluetooth Connectivity – Few DJ mixers incorporate Bluetooth. But as the demands of modern DJs evolve it’s a feature that is becoming increasingly useful. Especially for mobile DJs that need to handle requests regularly. Pairing is quick and simple giving you access to stream and mix from your smartphone or tablet.
- Replaceable Crossfader – Another great feature is the ability to easily replace the crossfader. While the included crossfader is pretty good, many DJs will want to add their preferred fader. Quick and simple to do. Plus it’s also an easy swap out if you happen to break the fader down the line.
- Tiny Cue Switch – The Reloop RMX 10BT offers Cue Mix and Cue Volume knobs. But the selection of either Channel 1 or 2 is via an ultra-tiny switch. I don’t have the biggest of hands and even I found this frustrating at times. If you have large hands I’d imagine it would be even more frustrating. I would have much preferred a larger switch or buttons.
The Reloop RMX 10BT offers something that few mixers do. Bluetooth. There are of course some inherent issues with streaming music. Lag is always a factor and can make it difficult to mix. But with enough practice it is possible.
Sound quality can also be an issue especially if the track is from a streaming service that doesn’t support high bitrates.
But where this feature shines is the flexibility it offers. Forgot to bring that track that you know would be perfect now? Easily stream it. Have a guest at a wedding that pulls out an obscure request? Just pull it up on your phone and send it to the mixer.
The mobile DJ game can be very competitive. Having the ability to fulfill all manner of requests can set you apart and lead to more bookings.
Beyond this functionality, the RMX 10BT provides you with a simple layout that is a joy to use. 3-band EQ per channel features good knobs that feel robust. Though I would have preferred if the gain knob was a different color.
The level meter for the main output is bright and clear allowing you to monitor output and stay out of the red.
Line and Phono inputs for both Channel 1 and 2 along with RCA for output. There is also a secondary RCA output for recording. The lack of a balanced output option is disappointing but not surprising for a mixer this cheap.
The Reloop RMX 10BT is an affordable mixer that doesn’t stray from the fundamentals. But the addition of Bluetooth will be a big selling point for certain DJs. If that is important to you it is the perfect DJ mixer to meet your needs.
Reloop RMX 10BT
Behringer NOX101 Review
- Clutter-Free Layout – The Behringer NOX101 offers a refined and simplistic battle mixer layout. More importantly, there is plenty of room around the crossfader and channel faders. This spacious design lends itself to DJs that like to scratch. Not having knobs or buttons in the way gives you the space and freedom to execute your scratch routines without encumbrance.
- Full Kill EQs – For many DJs full kill EQs are a must-have feature. This ensures that when an EQ is set all the way counter-clockwise there is no bleed in that frequency band. This is especially important for long blends where you are playing two tracks simultaneously for an extended time.
- Ultra Affordable – The Behringer NOX101 is among the absolute cheapest DJ mixers available today. The no-frills approach will appeal to mobile DJs that just need a basic unit. But it is an equally good choice for budget-conscious buyers that want a simple to use DJ mixer for their home setup.
- Reliable – Despite the exceptionally low price the NOX101 still offers a decent level of build quality. The chassis and faceplate are solid and the component quality is high for this price point. It also still keeps a light footprint both in size and weight. All while not compromising its durability.
- Cue/Mix Fader – The Behringer NOX101 opts for a fader for the cue/mix control. While it is effective the fader is exceptionally short. Most DJs will be familiar with using a knob for this functionality. It is a little unintuitive and takes a bit of time to get used to.
The Behringer NOX101 is the best 2 channel mixer if you don’t have much to spend. It is aggressively priced while still giving you access to all the basic features you need.
This 2 channel mixer offers both Line and Phono connections for each channel. Plus it also gives you the freedom to use unbalanced RCA master outputs or balanced TRS. The addition of a microphone TRS connection is also a good feature.
The simple layout will appeal to DJs that don’t need all the bells and whistles. 3-band full kill EQ along with a 2-band mic input EQ gives you access to the fundamentals.
Channel faders are decent quality as is the crossfader. The crossfader offers a curve adjustment via a knob. This allows you to fine-tune the curve to your preference. A nice alternative to the standard two-switch option on other DJ mixers.
Taking this flexibility further the NOX101 also offers curve adjust for the channel faders. Once again a feature that is often not present at this price point.
This combination does make it a good battle mixer starting option. DJs that scratch can adjust curves to their liking while working on a clean and clutter-free surface.
Level meters per channel are centrally located with volume control knobs above. I usually prefer gain knobs to be above a 3-band EQ but it doesn’t take long to adjust to their placement.
If you want an inexpensive DJ mixer this impressive unit from Behringer is a solid choice. It is simple but it gets the job done leaving you with more to spend on other gear.
Our Expert Buying Guide
When selecting a DJ mixer on a budget there are many considerations. Below we touch on some key topics worth exploring before you buy a DJ mixer.
DJ Mixer Vs DJ Controller
The most common question I come across from new DJs is what is the difference between a DJ mixer and a DJ controller. Let’s break it down.
A DJ mixer is just one component of a DJ setup. It is the central hub where you will manipulate the music and transition from one song to another.
This is where you’ll find elements like EQ controls to adjust frequencies. Line faders to adjust volume levels of tracks (You can also use trim controls for this). The crossfader for cutting or transitioning from one track to another. Plus a range of other controls depending on the features the mixer offers.
You then need to connect turntables or media players to the mixer. They will feed the audio signals into the mixer.
If you are using media players you’ll likely have access to jogwheels for scratching and nudging. This is also where you’ll have access to pitch faders, loops, and any other extra features specific to a media player or turntable.
A DJ controller emulates a traditional DJ setup in a compact all-in-one form.
Many modern mixers also integrate with DJ software to give you access to options like DVS, integrated lighting control, and more.
A DJ controller aims to replicate a full DJ setup in one package. It will have a central mixer section with many of the same features as pro mixers. It will also have jogwheels attached with further features.
The majority of DJ controllers require a connection to a laptop running DJ software. But there are some standalone options also available.
DJ controllers have become exceptionally popular for a few reasons. They can be quite cheap allowing anyone to get into DJing without needing a lot of money. They also offer many of the features a DJ would want from a full DJ setup.
But they are not without their faults. Many DJs prefer the flexibility that a dedicated DJ setup offers. They can replace each component as they see necessary.
Want the latest media player but love your mixer? No problems. Want to practice with the gear you’ll find at clubs? A proper DJ setup with mixer and media players is the way to go. Addicted to vinyl and that authentic feel? A DJ mixer is a must.
Both of these options allow you to connect to a sound system. But generally dedicated mixers will offer higher quality audio signals.
I’m a huge fan of all DJ gear. Whether that is controllers or a setup that features a mixer and media players/turntables. Knowing what you want out of DJing can lead you in the right direction as to which one is best for you.
Is Spending More Worth It?
When it comes to DJ gear you do get what you pay for. If you have more to spend it does open up more options.
But you’re here because you want to explore DJing within a budget. Gear can be exceptionally expensive. A full industry-standard club-style layout runs into the thousands. But the most important thing to remember is that you don’t need that setup.
Expensive gear doesn’t instantly make you a better DJ.
DJing is an art form. The gear is just the tools. You can place a novice DJ in front of expensive gear and it won’t make them a better DJ. Likewise I’ve seen professional DJs execute amazing sets on basic gear.
Much like most creative endeavors, your skill and desire to improve will determine your success. Not how much you spent on your gear.
Luckily DJing is more accessible than ever. As highlighted in this list there is a range of quality DJ mixers at an affordable price point.
Yes, they may not have all the bells and whistles. But they give you all the fundamental tools to learn and grow. Just remember that the origins of DJing were a lot more straightforward. Many professional DJs to this day stick to tried and proven mixing techniques.
If you do have more to spend then go for it. There are some fantastic mixers out there. But if you are on a budget don’t feel that getting one of the DJ mixers on this list will hold you back.
Stick To High-Quality Brands
There is a lot of options out there. Many brands claim they are as good as the top dogs in the industry. But in reality, there is a reason why some brands dominate the space. These brands have a long history in the DJ scene. Countless years of experience make a difference.
Selecting a good DJ mixer is a critical choice. It is after all the centerpiece of your setup. While there are cheaper options out there sticking to a well-known brand is advisable.
It is best to stick to established brands when buying a DJ mixer.
Below is a quick rundown of the biggest brands in the industry. Selecting a DJ mixer from any of these brands is a big step in the right direction to ensure you don’t experience buyer’s remorse.
Pioneer – Often considered the industry standard. Their high-quality products dominate the club and festival scene. Excellent DJ software integration along with a good audio interface in the vast majority of their gear.
Allen & Heath – Another highly respected brand that has a reputation for supreme audio quality. Not as common to find these in a DJ booth. But many leading DJs love the excellent mixers that they produce.
Native Instruments – This German-based company also develops excellent gear. From software to controllers and everything in between. Though they have been on the decline in recent years their gear is still among the top-rated options available.
Numark – Leading the charge in the budget space. Numark has a long history of providing DJs with affordable alternatives to the dominant brands. They tend to be well-built but lack the finesse that the more expensive options offer.
Behringer – Another German-based company that focuses on producing affordable gear. Their products are generally good but there are some duds out there. More than any other brand it is worth checking reviews for their various products. But there are some gems within their lineup.
Rane – This American company has a solid reputation. Especially among DJs that scratch. Their lineup of mixers is filled with high-quality options but they are expensive. They also produce arguably the best battle mixer available today.
Reloop – If you are looking for an alternative to the big names Reloop is a good choice. While rarely at the top of everyone’s recommendations lists they still develop some decent gear. Plus they are often more affordable than comparable options.
What Does A Good DJ Mixer Cost?
A good DJ mixer can start at $100 and be as expensive as $2,000. The number of features, channels, connectivity, build quality, and sound quality all impact how much a mixer will cost.
Does DJ Mixer Affect Sound Quality?
A good DJ mixer will sound better than an average mixer with lower-quality audio components. But other factors also impact the sound quality. Source material, EQ control, and external speakers can all make a difference.
Are Behringer DJ Mixers Any Good?
Behringer produces a broad range of DJ mixers. They are an established brand with years of experience in the industry. Some of their mixers are very high-quality while others can be below average. But they are still among the top manufacturers of DJ mixers in the world today.
Which One Should You Buy?
Selecting a quality DJ mixer that doesn’t leave your wallet bare is challenging. A DJ setup can be expensive but there are high-quality budget options available. Some may not have all the bells and whistles but they still do what they need to do.
All the mixers in this guide have something to offer. And even within this list, there is quite a bit of price variation. There are even cheaper mixers out there. But the level of features and build quality means you would be better off avoiding them.
If I had to choose a winner the Allen & Heath Xone 23 is the best DJ mixer for DJs on a budget. It has plenty to offer. The exceptional sound quality coupled with high-quality components sets it apart. Good connection choices and an excellent layout.
But if you want to move into the club space the Pioneer DJM 250Mk2 is an excellent stepping stone into the world of Pioneer gear.
No matter which one you end up choosing from the list you’ll be well on your way to a quality budget DJ setup.
Allen & Heath Xone 23