Best DJ Mixers – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide 2020

It would not be an exaggeration to say DJ mixing played a key role in the development of modern hip hop music. The act of record manipulation, known as “Turntablism”, was seen and used in the music industry as far back as 1983. However, it was not until 2010 that modern DJ mixing really took off, and since then, it has only gotten more and more popular.

The audio mixing console used by DJs is called a DJ mixer, and contrary to popular belief, its sources are not limited to record turntables. They also include cassettes and CDs, along with much simpler DJ software on a computer.

Top DJ Mixers 2020

best dj mixer

DJ MixerChannelsWeight 
Allen & Heath AH-GS2-R24M2486 lbs
Yamaha 02R96VCM5675 lbs
Allen & Heath GS2-R242482 lbs
Yorkville PowerMAX16-21652 lbs
Yamaha TF53244 lbs
Focusrite Control 28023240 lbs
Peavey S-323280 lbs
Pioneer DDJ-RZXCPU32 lbs
Yamaha TF32437.5 lbs
Allen & Heath QU-32C3252 lbs

Depending on the price, a DJ mixer can accommodate anywhere from 2 to 4 different turntables or CD players. Also, due to the skyrocketing popularity of DJ mixers in recent years, there are a LOT of different companies releasing various kinds of mixers from both ends of the spectrum.

So, in this article, we covered 10 different mixers and detailed their features, pros, and cons. By the end, we hopefully will have helped you decide which is best-suited to fulfill your needs. Each and every mixer mentioned below has its pros and cons, which will be different for every person. More than anything else, it depends upon personal taste and the kind of console you are used to. In the end, the only thing that will truly satisfy you is the actual experience of using it for yourself. So, consider all the options. None of them are bad in any obvious way. So find something you like, and give it a go.

DJ Mixers

1. Allen & Heath AH-GS2-R24M Studio Recording Mixer

Allen & Heath AH-GS2 dj mixerWe are going to start off with the Allen & Heath AH-GS2-R24M 24-Channel Studio Recording Mixer and DAW Control with Motorized Faders. Try saying that five times fast! Allen and Heath specialize in making professional audio mixing consoles for a variety of different contractors, and with more than 10 different products in the series, anything with their name on it is not to be taken lightly.

The GS-R24M is a hybrid console, with both analog and digital mixing capabilities, incorporation of DAW fader, and transport control, and because of its removable interface card, it can easily be future-proofed for this day and age when there are new innovations in technology every few months.

Product Features:

  • 24 flawless preamps, with both XLR and TRS inputs, an insert point, motorized faders, and a direct out
  • 24 channels of 4 band EQ with fully parametric mids, for controlled band-pass equalization at bass frequencies, the low mid sweep can be extended to a very low 18hz, with continuously variable Q from 0.8 to 6.
  • Two additional Class A tube preamps for mics, instruments, or for adding color to DAW tracks
  • PFL, AFL plus Solo in place
  • Four subgroups, six aux sends, main stereo plus Mono bus
  • For smooth and dependable operation, a low noise multi voltage outboard power supply is present.

Using it as a DAW controller used to be a bit of a letdown, as it required the purchase of a third-party utility called Bome’s MIDI Translator, of which A&H provided mapping templates for, but with a free firmware update to the console, its need was eliminated. Therefore, with its extremely flexible handling, hybrid analog and digital capabilities, and an extraordinary analogue design in itself, the GS-R24M is an industry favorite and an excellent mixing console.

Pros

  • 24 mic/line input pre-amps and motorized faders
  • 24 channels of 4 band EQ with fully parametric mids
  • 2 dual stereo inputs with EQ, 2 additional valve inputs
  • 6 auxes, 4 subgroups, main stereo plus Mono bus
  • PFL, AFL plus Solo in Place

Cons

  • Higher price range
  • Bulky, large size

2. Yamaha 02R96VCM Digital Mixing Console

Yamaha 02R96VCM mixerNext up for your consideration is the Yamaha 02R96. I remember when the original 02R first came out; it caught everyone by surprise and soon became the industry standard due to its exceptional functionality and at that point, very affordable price. Let’s see whether or not the new 02R model can continue the legacy of its predecessor.

For anyone that likes to alternate between several different projects simultaneously, they will greatly benefit from some of the features such as scene memory and full automation, and all these in a very affordable package. The 02R96 was marketed to be about nine times as powerful as the original 02r, and from what I have seen so far, they did not disappoint. There has been a huge improvement and almost all the changes are to die for. Let’s see what makes the 02R96 so great.

Product Features:

  • Precise 24-bit/96-kHz Audio and High-performance Head Amps; Frequency response from 20Hz to 40kHz, 32-bit internal processing, 16 quality mic preamps with individual phantom power switches, 24-bit A/D and D/A converters for an outstanding 110-dB dynamic range.
  • 56-input 18-bus Mix Capacity at 96 kHz; up to 56 simultaneous inputs with four-band parametric EQ per channel. 8 group buses, 8 auxiliary buses and a stereo bus, of these 8, 1 through 6 can be used as surround effect sends, and there’s a “Unity” function that sets the auxiliary buses to nominal level, allowing them to be used as additional group buses.
  • Powerful Channel Functions with Flexible Control and Patching; Easy-access dedicated controllers are included as well for routing, auxiliary send, dynamics, stereo and surround panning, and EQ. Control data is graphically displayed via the LCD screen, and can be saved in “libraries” for easy recall whenever needed.
  • Four Advanced Multi-Effect Processors Include Surround Effects; console’s processing capabilities are augmented by some of the recently released softwares like multi-band compression and surround-compatible 5.1 reverb and 5.1 modulatio, and can be used in a send/return loop or as inserts effects.
  • Versatile Connectivity for a Wide Range of Applications
  • About 4 I/O expansion slots are also available for quick and easy expansion in a number of different formats.
  • Comprehensive interface with touch-sensitive 100-mm motor faders; 25 top-quality 100-millimeter motor faders with high 8-bit/256-step resolution.
  • Scene Memory and Automix Functions for efficient workflow
  • 02R96 Editor software supplied; advanced editor for Windows/Mac.
  • Enhanced surround monitoring environment includes bass management; monitor section provides some extra features like individual bus muting, centralized level control of all monitor outputs, stem mix monitoring, etc.

It’s worth repeating myself: the main reason the 02R96 is so good is due to its multitude of hugely varied functions, and for its price, it returns several times more. You simply cannot go wrong with this machine.

Pros

  • 56-input 18-bus Mix Capacity at 96 kHz
  • Four Advanced Multi-effect Processors Include Surround Effects
  • Four I/O Expansion Slot for Easy Expansion in a Variety of Formats
  • Sophisticated DAW or Digital Recorder Integration
  • 02R96 Editor Software Supplied

Cons

  • Price on the higher end of the spectrum
  • Heavy, bulky setup

3. Allen & Heath GS2-R24 DJ Mixer

Allen & Heath GS2-R24 dj mixerA much cheaper version of the previously mentioned AH-GS2-R24M, the GS2-R24, focuses more on offering multi‑function professional features and build quality, all for an extremely affordable price.

The new consoles from A&H are quite similar to improved versions of the original ZED R16s, in that they offer a combined analogue console with an audio interface and comprehensive DAW controller.

Basically, the GS2-R24 is a 24‑channel analogue recording console, with the additional option of installing interface cards, bringing integrated MIDI and DAW control facilities, along with comprehensive interfacing and routing.

It offers many of the same features as its bigger brother, the R24M:

 

  • 24 low-noise wide bandwidth microphone pre-amplifiers offering local feedback on each phase.
  • 4-band mono channel EQ with full parametric EQ over the mids, a continuously variable Q from 0.8 to 6, and low mid sweep all the way down to 18 Hz
  • Includes about six auxiliary buses which can be utilized for monitoring and effects sends. Zero-latency monitoring can be achieved if sends feed is used directly from pre-amplifiers.
  • With the ability to be used as additional microphone pre-amps, with line-level signals, or direct from an instrument pickup, it has 2 valve channels. Or if you want to add some heat to your mix, digital tracks can be re-recorded from your DAW through the valve channels.
  • The six auxiliary buses can be used to make artist cue mixes, and you can monitor in 5.1 surround, along with input channels pre-fader, post fader in stereo, or solo in place.
  • If you want to decide if the DAW send and DAW return is pre or post EQ, switches can be set on each channel.
  • Channel faders along with switches, jogwheel, rotatory knobs, and the like can be MIDI mapped to control your Digital Audio Workstation.

A slimline RPS15 power supply will be required to provide necessary DC voltage to operate the mixer and it also includes some extra features such as full protection, thermal sensing, and fan cooling.

Pros

  • Studio recording mixer with 24 mic/line input pre-amps
  • 24 channels of 4 band EQ with fully parametric mids
  • 2 dual stereo inputs with EQ, 2 additional valve inputs
  • 6 auxes, 4 subgroups, main stereo plus Mono bus
  • PFL, AFL plus Solo in Place

Cons

  • Slimline power supply required
  • Heavy, bulky setup size

4. Yorkville PowerMAX 16-2

Yorkville PowerMAX16-2The PowerMAX16 is a console-style board, which means it is a slightly toned down version of some of its larger siblings. Yorkville is a Canada based company which is famous for making value-oriented sound equipment. The PowerMAX16-2 is packed with features with a solid amp section. The PowerMAX16-2 is a very affordable piece of equipment, especially considering the amount of features it provides.

With a beastly 3200 watts delivered through its four amps, it is sure to run most medium and large clubs or venues. And with the use of the integrated patch bay located on the top panel, it’s four 800-watt amplifiers can be set-up in a number of different configurations.

Product features:

 

  • 4 x 800 watt integrated amplifiers
  • Includes two 24-bit internal stereo multi-effect processors
  • Two pre-fade auxiliary sends (monitors)
  • 3 x post-fade auxiliary sends (effects and aux)
  • Stereo 9-band graphic EQ (mains)
  • Includes two 9-band mono graphic EQs (monitors)
  • Three-band channel EQs with mid sweep (mic channels)
  • Four-band EQs (stereo channels)
  • Solo AFL/PFL & mutes on all input channels
  • Switchable 80Hz hi-pass filter on all mic input channels
  • Insuperable channel overload protection (C.O.P.)
  • Selectable speaker processor output (50/80Hz boost)
  • Top-mounted output patch bay
  • Global 48V phantom power
  • Integrated carrying handle

 

The PowerMAX 16-2 seems to fulfill all the needs a mixer in its price range should, as it is a very comprehensive piece of equipment. Due its many varied features, it’s suitable for both amateurs, as well as professionals that desire an all-in-one package.

Although it does provide a lot of features in a seemingly small package, the lack of XLR outputs and subgroups is a bit of a letdown. Depending on how much you are getting it for, opting for a mixer without built-in amps and then buying them separately might be better.

Pros

  • 3 x Post-fade Auxiliary Sends (Effects and Aux)
  • 2 x 9-band Mono Graphic EQ’s (Monitors)
  • 3-band Channel EQ’s with Mid Sweep (Mic Channels)
  • Switchable 80Hz Hi-pass Filter on All Mic Input Channels
  • Top Mounted Output Patch Bay

Cons

  • XLR outputs and subgroups

5. Yamaha TF5 32 Channel Mixer

Yamaha TF5 32 mixerWith Yamaha, you can always expect quality. Whether it’s bikes, keyboards, or mixers, they seem to have it all figured out, and the TF5 is proof of that. TF5’s fluid TouchFlow operation can be used in some very creative ways, which in turn will allow you to respond to the music onstage with effortless speed and freedom. Whether you’re new to the mixing scene or are an experienced engineer, with the TF5 it is remarkably easy to achieve a great mix, as they say. And after looking at D-Pre mic preamps, you can easily see the amount of work Yamaha has put into this compact digital mixer that is not only comfortable and easy to use, but operates smoothly and without any hiccups as well.

Product Features:

 

  • The TouchFlow Operation, its UI gives easy, direct accessibility, along with a layout that promotes natural, efficient mixing.
  • 1-knob compression and EQ; simplified operation lets you adjust compressor and EQ settings with ease, and the finely tuned EQ gives great results very quickly and with barely any effort.
  • GainFinder supports precision gain setup
  • Instant access to professional sound setups with QuickPro presets
  • Setup and use previous settings easily with the 2 scene memory banks
  • Exceptional sound with the 32 D-Pre mic preamps
  • Onboard effects based on SPX processor
  • TF StageMix iPad application allows wireless control
  • Wirelessly monitor with the TF MonitorMix iOS application
  • 34 x 34 digital record/playback channels via USB 2.0 + 2 x 2 via a USB storage device
  • Single expansion slot for NY64-D audio interface card
  • Expandable to 48 mixing channels

Just a few years ago, these features would have cost more than $20,000, so you can see how amazing it to see a console such as this, with this many amazing features sitting in a price range below $5,000. It is extremely easy to use, the 1-knob feature simplifying the basic tasks and even more, letting you focus on the complex ones, along with a level of control that should not even be possible in a console of this price. It is an exceptional piece of equipment and you won’t be disappointed once you get your hands on it.

Pros

  • Expandable to 48 channels
  • Expansion slot for audio card

Cons

  • The product is slightly costly compared to its competitors

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6. Focusrite Control 2802

Focusrite Control 2802

The Focusrite Control 2802 is a combination of an analog recording console and DAW control surface in one. Along with its well-integrated workstation control, the combination of short and clean analog signals, and the numerous configuration and routing possibilities, it lowers the difficulty level a few notches.

This machine comes in a steel case with a built-in power supply and a rear panel covered with XLR, TRS, and DB-25 sockets. Weighing only about 40 pounds, it doesn’t take up much space and can easily be placed on your desktop. Also, due to its wedge-shaped body, it rakes the control panel elegantly when placed on a flat surface.

Product Features:

 

  • Class-A microphone preamplifiers; Fully automatable in both analogue and digital layers. Gives ultimate routing flexibility due to the low noise/high bandwidth transistor preamps, along with channel inserts and direct outputs from anywhere in the signal path.
  • Stereo mix bus compressor provides forceful dynamic control with in-built parallel compression.
  • Can be patched across channels or extended with the help of external compressor connections.
  • 8 analogue channels that can be switched between mic, line, and DAW, along with 8 alternate inputs with gain and pan control.
  • Comes with 8 summing inputs in 4 stereo pairs, stereo FX and auxiliary returns, and main and DAW mix stereo returns.
  • With dual layer technology, you can easily navigate round your DAW from the console because of the comprehensive ethernet-based DAW control layer. Plug-ins, auxiliaries, automation and project navigation have integrated control.
  • With the peerless routing options and six auxiliaries complementing the stereo mix bus, you have a lot of different possibilities for your studio workflow.
  • Extremely smooth and receptive motorized Alps faders allow you to have very tight and accurate mix control whenever you so desire.
  • Comes with a dedicated stereo cue bus. You can choose to select the alternative inputs to add 8 channels to your mix, or go post or pre fader, whatever you want.
  • The Switchable 48V Phantom power allows you to use any mic in any channel. With Individual 6 to 60 dB gain, and phase reverse and high pass buttons on each channel.
  • With High-resolution OLED displays, you can get direct feedback from the DAW and allows you to properly manage your channels without the need to leave your console.

Pros

  • Transparent Class A microphone preamplifiers
  • Stereo mix bus compressor with parallel compression
  • High-end analog summing mixer
  • 32 inputs to mix within a natural analog workflow
  • Comprehensive Ethernet-based DAW control layer

Cons

  • Can be a difficult setup

7. Peavey S-32 DJ Mixer

Peavey S-32 dj mixerThe Peavey S-32 was designed to make professional quality audio easy and comparatively cost effective, because it can do most of the work on its own. For example, when the mic is not in use, its Automix function will automatically turn down the music or switch from lapel to pulpit microphones on its own. This, along with features such as the Feedback ferret and Special Mid-Morph Equalization that find and stop high pitched ear-piercing feedback, and adjust, while eliminating “boominess”, to give more clarity to voices respectively, shows that it was made to be used by laymen in the house of worship.

Due to its extreme ease of use and many other features that help reduce complications, it will give quality audio without any interruptions or a need for third party intervention, for any worship service.

Product Features:

 

  • Comes with eight Automix channels, compressors included
  • Two stereo line channels with three input selections, for split-accompaniment tracks (Split-Track Mix), track selection, and Monitor Blend control
  • Variable low-cut filter on the microphone (mono) inputs
  • 28 XLR mic and 1/4″ line inputs
  • Comes with four-band EQ with low and high shelf, as well as sweepable mid-frequency and Mid-Morph
  • On the mono channels, you have pre-fader, post-EQ direct outputs
  • Compressor, auto-off (downward expander) and vocal enhancer, a total of three music subgroups.
  • One Automix subgroup with vocal enhancer
  • Also, four monitor sends and two post-fader auxiliary sends
  • About Eight programmable mute groups
  • Subgroup mutes automatically configure
  • Exclusive Auto Delay feature for setting delay speakers
  • For streaming audio for digital recording and playback you have a USB connection as well
  • Up to three effects can be combined and edited by the effects processor
  • Auto-level function on record and broadcast outputs optimizes dynamic range for easier listening
  • The record, broadcast and processed mono outputs get room ambience from the exclusive stereo ambience mic inputs

Because of its ease of use, great digital effects and some of the other features like the Automix controlling, it really is a superb console, suitable for most venues.

Pros

  • Eight Automix channels with compressors
  • Two stereo line channels with three input selections, track selection and Monitor Blend control for split-accompaniment tracks (Split-Track Mix)
  • Variable low-cut filter on the microphone (mono) inputs
  • Four-band EQ with low and high shelf, sweepable mid-frequency and Mid-Morph
  • Pre-fader, post-EQ direct outputs on the mono channels.

Cons

8. Pioneer DDJ-RZX + ATA Travel Case

Pioneer DDJ-RZXThe new DJ controller from Pioneer comes with some really nice new features, and due to its ease of use, what seems like an “indestructible” construction, and very innovative and intuitive layout, you simply can’t seem to go wrong.

It comes with THREE 7-inch displays, which are not just gimmicks that only provide some track information and the sort, but have some actual use as well. You can view titles, BPM, and key while using deck display mode among other things, and due to its ability to seamlessly integrate visual content and videos into your live performances, it becomes so much more than a simple mixer.

You also get access to about 3 great programs free of charge, called rekordbox dj, rekordbox dvs, and rekordbox video. Each one has its own cool features. For example, DVS gives you a highly responsive scratch control over the music, and rekordbox Video lets you load videos as well as image files straight to your decks for you to manipulate to your hearts desire.

Some of its Features include:

 

  • Layout familiar to CDJ and DJM series with the large jog wheels and multi-colored tactile Performance Pads
  • AC inlets for reduce cable contact resistance and a high-performance 96 KHz/32 bit D/A converter gives access to some of the best sounds your ears will ever hear, really bringing out the true quality of your tracks
  • Three 7-inch displays aren’t just for shows and are really useful to trigger Beat/Release FX and to preview and monitor video AND image files. All this without even a need to touch your laptop.
  • Even at comparatively loud volumes you get distortion free mic output because of its 2 XLR combo input jacks. You can also tune each voice individually through the dedicated 3-band EQ and Mic FX – Echo, Reverb, Pitch or V-Tune, just to add some icing on the cake.
  • Sub parameters like Space, Dub Echo, Crush, Jet, Pitch, Filter from the sound color FX. Or change the length of the loop with sampler repeat.
  • An extremely durable crossfader which, if the developers site is anything you can trust in, is good for over 10 million movements.
  • Also, has a very durable chassis, as it is brushed aluminum.

Pros

  • CPU: 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 or higher
  • Memory: 16GB or more of RAM
  • Hard Drive: 250MB or more of free space (not including space for storing music files, etc.)
  • Display resolution: Resolution of 1280×768 or greater
  • Soundcard:24 bit/96 kHz

Cons

9. Yamaha TF3 24Channel DJ Mixer

Yamaha TF3 24 dj mixerIn terms of features, the TF3 is located in the middle of all the currently available TF series mixers. It has some really nice features and is in a very affordable price range.

It’s a very compact, 24-input digital console that you can use in some very creative ways. As mentioned before, the very fluid TouchFlow Operation allows you to effortlessly and very efficiently respond to the music onstage. Because of its simple and straightforward screen design and practical presets and scenes, the TF3 is a very innovative console, or rather 24-input digital console, to do it justice.

Most of its features are the same as the TF5, so you will see me repeat most of them, but nonetheless, here are its Features:

 

  • Efficiency is maximized because of the TouchFlow Operation
  • Really “dial-in” the sound with the 1-knob compression and EQ
  • Precision gain setup is also supported by GainFinder
  • Instant access to the pro sound setups through its QuickPro presets
  • 2 scene memory banks let you set up and instantly recall your settings
  • Exceptional sound through the 24 D-Pre mic preamps
  • Onboard effects are based on the SPX processor
  • You have wireless control through the TF MonitorMix iOS application
  • The TF MonitorMix iOS application allows for easy wireless personal monitoring
  • Through the USB 2.0 + 2 x 2 via a USB storage device you have 34 x 34 digital record/playback channels
  • Comes with a single expansion slot for NY64-D audio interface card
  • Expandable to 48 mixing channels

The Yamaha TF3 is a reliable, customizable, and easy-to-use console. Although is marketed as an entry-level digital console, it has enough features that most professionals will be satisfied with its performance.

Pros

  • Expandable to 48 channels
  • Expansion slot for audio card

10. Allen & Heath QU-32C

Allen & Heath QU-32C dj mixerAnd last, but certainly not least, we have another mixer from A&H. If you know anything about mixers, you know Allen and Heath is a name that is associated with quality, who always deliver. Their products are reliable and most of all, practical. Everything just seems to…work. There is no other way to put it. And that is true for the QU-32 as well.

It is functional, straightforward, and sort of unexciting, how tools should be. It comes with 33 fully automated faders, and has a fader for every input channel, with a preamp. So, you can see where each fader is relative to the mix without having to go through switch layers or menus, etc.

Some of its product features include:

 

  • For optimum transparency and gain accuracy, 32 AnalogiQ total-recall preamps integrated with DSP
  • Workflow is very comfortable, fluid, and intuitive with an ergonomic layout
  • Quick and easy access to all settings via the touchscreen and dedicated data encoder
  • With 1 function per physical control, all the key processing tools are presented clearly on the SuperStrip
  • Your mixing is efficient and enhanced several folds via the 33 automated, motorized ALPS faders (32 arranged over two layers)
  • You have quite a bit of subgrouping flexibility to LR for level masters and/or processing with the four groups
  • Through instant recall you can save and recall scenes (snapshots) at the press of a button
  • Onboard studio-grade dynamics and FX algorithms derived A&H’s iLive pro touring series
  • You can multitrack audio to/from your Mac (OSX class-compliant as well) with built-in interface streams
  • You can simply plug-and-play with any DAW supporting Core Audio, including Logic, Cubase, Reaper, and Pro Tools
  • 18 channels of 24-bit/48kHz recording/playback either to or from your USB hard drive is delivered by Qu-Drive
  • ARM processing, with 5 dedicated cores of high efficiency, provide unbelievable and futuristic processing
  • With optional Qu-Pad app you are free to tweak monitors and PA from your iPad, onstage or around the venue.
  • Fully compatible with A&H’s ME Personal Mixing System
  • With the dSNAKE port you can connect to a remote AR2412 or AR84 Stagebox via Cat 5e digital snake with ease
  • Equipped with full processing, 2 further stereo outputs are added by Matrix to the console’s extensive I/O layout
  • You get a very durable, strong, and rigid look because of the 18-gauge, cold-rolled Zintec steel.

Pros

  • 32 AnalogiQ total recall preamps with zero crossing detection
  • Advanced padless 1dB step gain stage
  • High contrast metallic finish controls
  • 800 x 480, sixteen million color 5-inch touchscreen and dedicated data encoder
  • 33 motorized ALPS faders
  • Dedicated master fader
  • iLive FX, 100-scene recall, USB audio streaming, automatic mic mixer, Qu-Pad Mixing App