Best of 2014: DJ Hardware Gear

So you're done mixing your tracks in the studio. Want to DJ them? Here's our favorite 7 hardware-based gear recommendations of 2014 for DJs (in alphabetical order).  

From mixers to digital controllers, hybrid turntables to step sequencers, DJs have never had it so good. But with goodness comes choice... and with choice comes decisions. To help you choose the right gear for your next DJ set we've highlighted 7 of our DJ gear reviews from 2014 below (in alphabetical order).

1 - DJ TechTools Midi Fighter Twister

Don't settle on another boring DJ MIDI controller, check out what DJTech Tools' Midi Fighter is capable of. Sara Simms finds its step sequencer for Traktor and other creative features very appealing.

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Price: $219.00 USD 

Pros: Highly portable. Minimal Design. Can be Used as a Traktor Sequencer and for a wide variety of creative purposes.

Cons: What's not to like about the Twister?

Web: http://djtechtools.com

2 - Numark NS7 II

How could Numark improve upon the original NS7? The NS7 II builds on great craftsmanship, intuitive design features and good audio quality, but do Numark have a hit on their hands? We find out.

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Pros: Amazing craftsmanship, design, Serato DJ, and wonderful audio quality. 

Cons: Seriously huge and heavy (though actually weighs less than the traditional 2 turntables and a mixer setup). 

Price: $1499

Web: http://www.numark.com/microsites/ns7ii

3 - Pioneer DDJ-SR

Pioneer's DDJ-SR doesn't only look the part, as Sara Simms discovered, it also happens to be well designed and roadworthy, all while giving you complete creative control in your DJing exploits.

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Pros: Portable and sturdy. Aluminum jog wheels. Sixteen pads and Pad Plus Effects make this controller unique & fun to use. Pre-mapped for Serato and a mapping for Traktor is available. Can be used as a MIDI controller.

Cons: None. All in all, this is a pretty cool controller at an affordable price. There's not really much that's not so good about it! It features the high-quality components and design that Pioneer has built their reputation on, and is a good investment for DJs of all levels.

Price: $699 USD, $750 CAD

Web: http://pioneerdj.com/english/products/controller/ddj-sr.html

4 - Reloop RP-8000 Hybrid DJ Turntables

Combining modern DJ tech and the classic design of turntables, the Reloop RP-8000 has plenty of features that are likely to turn the head of many DJs. Sara Simms investigates in this in-depth review.

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Price: $799 USD

Pros: Good quality build. Able to communicate with any MIDI compatible DJ software. Turntable link mode.

Cons: S-Curved arm is ideal for mix DJs, not turntablists. Traktor mapping needs an update. Time will tell how well the RP-8000 performs with heavy usage.

Webhttp://www.reloop.com/reloop-rp-8000

5 - Traktor Kontrol X1 MK2

NI's Trakor Kontrol X1 MK2 is here and includes some novel additions, a simplified layout to its predecessor and can be used as a MIDI controller for other software. Sara Simms checks it out.

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Pros: Portable Traktor controller, Multi-use Touch Strip, Minimal design

Cons: Less text, more manual reading ;)

Price: $199.00

Web: http://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/traktor/dj-controllers/traktor-kontrol-x1/

6 - Traktor Kontrol S4 MK2

Looking to the future is something Native Instruments Traktor series of DJ controllers (and software) have been doing for a number of years. Find out if the Kontrol S4 MK2 brings the future closer.

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Pros: Aluminum jog wheels. Compatible with the Traktor DJ App. Backlit RGB Buttons

Cons: I personally wish there was less text on the controller and the S4 MK2 had adapted the minimalist design of the X1 MK2.

Price: $799

Web: http://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/traktor/dj-controllers/traktor-kontrol-s4/


7 - NI Traktor Kontrol S8 DJ Controller

Hollin Jones got hands on with NI's flagship DJ controller, Traktor Kontrol S8, and gave it a thorough workout. In our in-depth review we focus on how the S8 feels and works in the real world.

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Price: £999 GBP / $1,199 USD

Pros: Very well laid out. Seamless integration between hardware and software. Plenty of I/O. Use as a standalone mixer or audio/MIDI interface. New tactile controls are great. Excellent visual feedback. Easier to use than you might think. 

Cons: Not exactly an impulse buy—but it represents an investment in your serious DJ setup. 

Webhttp://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/traktor/dj-controllers/traktor-kontrol-s8/

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More

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