What is Essential DJ Equipment?

Grand Synthesizer

When we are sitting quarantined at home, we all might as well become DJs. Some people though can decide to really change the direction of their lives and dive into music. And for that - the time is now! But where do you start?

There are some very important truths about the start of DJing career or hobby:

  • Understand what your goal is
  • Decide not be a Laptop DJ
  • Equipment you choose should be simple and not outdated
  • Gear should serve you and not the other way around
  • Gear should be easily sold if you see that DJing is not all that you though it was

The market today is saturated with multiple options for novice DJs and you can easily spend a few hundred or well above $7,000 for a couple of turntables and a mixer. There is also one thing clear - you really have no need for $7,000 equipment when you just venture into this wonderful thing called DJing. On the other hand if you have the means and a serious club playing dream, there is nobody stopping you from buying Pioneer CDJ-200NXS2 and DJM-900.

Let's take a look at the most important equipment pieces needed for every beginner to follow their heart:

1. Pioneer DJ DDJ-200 Controller and Streaming ($199)

Pioneer DJ

This device costs just $200, but lets you test your capabilities with access to DJ software and library. It can be used with battery power, connected to Bluetooth speakers, and play music directly from Spotify via djay pro link. And the best thing - if you choose to be serious about DJing, it will be to your benefit to stay with Pioneer equipment and learn it right away, because every reputable club will have Pioneer setup.

2. Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3 ($339)

Traktor provides software and hardware for DJs of various degrees of experience. This Kontrol S2 MK3 and an iPad duo will take you pretty deep into music and will let you flex your DJ muscle with minimal investment and complexity.

3. DDJ-SB3 ($249)

This controller is among the top selling equipment for Serato beginners and numbers don't lie. You definitely wouldn't be the first DJ to start with this. This affordable pad even works for learning scratching tricks.

4. Numark PT-01 ($129)

If you hear scratching calling your name, the best thing you can do for yourself is buy this. Not every DJ does scratching, but ability to master it is not only fun, but a major plus to your name. You'll also need some scratch records and a PT-01 with audio in jack. With the help of these devices it won't be long before you will take it away over every song.

5. Pioneer DJ XDJ-RR ($999) or XDJ-RX

These ones carry hefty price tag, but they come as close to the real club equipment as possible. Many fresh DJs want to learn and practice on something that will take them from the house to the club in seconds. They also hold value quite steadily, so resale is always possible. The last point guarantees that you can also find them used, but still perfect for your purposes.

6. ATH-M30x Headphones ($70)

No need to spend hundreds, but there is definitely a need for quality and loud headphones. DJs love ATH-M30x and regular music lovers enjoy the quality-value ratio of these headphones. They are perfect to start with and also great for playing for the first years. Many other brands make great headphones too, but your main requirement should always be the possibility of getting LOUD.


At the end of the day it's worth noting that learning on real turntables and mixers is 100 times more beneficial than relying solely on your laptop. So many people make this mistake of never mastering the real thing only to step in front of a crowd and have something go wrong with their computer and no other means to fall back onto. If something can go wrong, you can be certain that it will go wrong at one time or another. This is why good old fashion vinyl mixing is not always practical, but is still encouraged.


USB sticks are a better alternative to laptop simply because you will plug then in, mix your set, and unplug them when you leave. There is no set up and no computer crashing. Plus you will be mixing with your ears, not your eyes, leaving time to interact with your crowd.

The best DJ equipment can be found at www.musiciansfriend.com and guitarcenter.com They both have sale events and students dicounts. Download latest flyer with 20% off coupon here.

You can also try craigslist.org or freecycle.org Many DJs donate their old equipment.