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Best Beginner DJ Controllers – 2023

Buying a new DJ controller is fun but also a little bit overwhelming. There are so many choices out there lately. For beginner DJs, it’s even harder because you don’t have the experience to compare or really know what you want.

You have to start somewhere though and that’s why I’m going to share with you my favorite DJ controllers for beginners and I’m going to explain why they’re my favorite. Hopefully, it will help you to make a decision about buying your first DJ controller.

The DJ controllers that I share on this page are by no means the only good ones out there, but I am very pleased with these DJ controllers. Hopefully, it will get you one step closer to finding the right DJ controller for you.

A little disclaimer before you continue: the following recommended DJ controllers are recommended to beginner DJs, who have about 0 to 2 years of experience.

1. Hercules DJcontrol Inpulse 500

My number one DJ controller is the Hercules DJcontrol Inpulse 500

The value that you get for your money is one of the best I have ever seen. It’s an easy-to-use and simple layout DJ controller, which is perfect for beginner DJs.

What I love about this DJ controller is that it has all the features that a beginner needs, and a little bit more. Hercules DJ took that extra step to make this DJ controller affordable and yet of high quality. 100% satisfied with this DJ controller with a price tag of $299.

Another great reason to buy the Hercules DJcontrol Inpulse 500 is that it’s compatible with Serato DJ.

2. Pioneer DDJ SB3

The second best DJ controller for beginners in my opinion is the Pioneer DDJ SB3.

I have used this DJ controller for more than a year and I enjoyed it very much.

What I especially enjoyed was the professional feel and look of the DJ controller. I feel like it’s a great DJ controller for beginners that learn quickly and really aspire to become professional DJs.

The Pioneer DDJ SB3 is not a very new controller but it is a very stable and reliable choice.

3. Numark Party Mix II

My third choice for a beginner DJ controller is the Numark Party Mix II.

A simple controller, created for the bedroom DJ that has all the tools that you’ll need as a beginner.

A huge benefit of this DJ controller is that is perfectly suited to work with Serato DJ Lite. A DJ software that is also great for beginners to learn all the basics of Djing.

My favorite thing about this DJ controller is that it has a very simple and clear layout. The Numark Party Mix is a great DJ controller for DJs with zero experience, who just want to play around at home.

Why the Hercules DJcontrol Inpulse 500 is My Number One


Part of why I love the Hercules DJinpulse 500 is that it’s a very good size DJ controller for a beginner. It’s not too big, and not too small. Something that is a slight downside to the Numark Party Mix.

As a beginner, you can easily get overwhelmed by this view of buttons and knobs on a DJ controller. Equally important, you can get very distracted.

One of my downfalls when I was just starting out, was that I moved on too fast. I tried to learn every technique and transition before I even mastered the basics. This slowed down my development as a DJ.

The Hercules DJControl Inpulse 500 will allow you to focus on the more important things, mastering your basic skills first.


The first thing that I noticed was that the buttons on the Hercules Djcontrol Inpulse 500 have a very professional feel to them. They’re not like the plastic buttons that just feel cheap and make annoying sounds when you press them.

The buttons on the Hercules DJcontrol Inpulse 500 are easy to press, feel comfortable, and don’t make any noise when you press them.


Practicing the basics of DJing is a lot of fun and it does take a lot of practice to master these basic Djing skills. There comes a time though that you’ll want to advance a little bit more, try out new techniques, and develop your skills further.

The Hercules Djcontrol Inpulse 500 has got your back on both of those stages of your DJing development. This is what makes this DJ controller an absolute bang for your buck.

Beatmatch guide

For the beginning stages, there is a built-in beatmatch guide, which will assist you in learning to beatmatch. You’ll have to do the beatmatching yourself but it will guide you on what way to turn the jog wheel and on increasing or decreasing the tempo fader.

Personally, this guide has pretty much taught me how to beatmatch the right way. It has helped me a great deal and it really improved my beatmatching skills quickly.

EQ mixing and other features

When you’re ready to mix more professionally, the Hercules 500 DJcontrol Inpulse 500 has a 3-band EQ. In simple terms, you can adjust the low, mid, and high range sounds.

You can also use features like loop, slicer, and sampler for more dynamics and variety in your transitions.

What to Look for In a DJ Controller for Beginners

If you’re going to look around a little bit more, here are some tips for you to help you find a good DJ controller.

  • Make sure the features on the DJ controller are enough to keep you going for a minimum of 2 years. A lot of beginner DJ controllers contain the bare minimum of features. Before you know it you’ll need a new DJ controller because you’ve outgrown this one.
    • For a beginner D controller you should at least have these functions:
      • At least 2 channels
      • At least 2 EQ knobs per channel
      • At least 4 Hot Cues
      • Loop Mode
      • Sampler Mode
      • Scratch Mode
  • Every available feature besides these is an added bonus. However, too many features will not help you in your first years of DJing.
    • Signs that your DJ controller is too advanced
      • It has 4 channels
      • It has 4 EQ knobs per channel
      • Too many buttons (chaotic and overwhelming layout)
  • Your DJ controller should always have a tutorial available. You should find these tutorials on the website of the manufacturer.
  • Never forget to check if your DJ controller works with your favorite DJ software. I highly recommend Serato DJ Lite, to start your DJing journey.
  • Sometimes these tutorials or DJ lessons will be included in the package. Most of the time in the form of a webpage where you can sign-up.


It can be very overwhelming for beginner DJs to buy their first DJ controller. Especially since there are so many choices. To help you out in choosing a DJ controller for beginners, these are my recommendations:

  1. Hercules DJcontrol Inpulse 500
  2. Pioneer DDJ-SB3
  3. Numark Party Mix II

Recommended: Learn How to DJ – 6 Step Tutorial to Your First DJ mix

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