Top 3 Best Pioneer DJ Controllers for Beginners (2022)

If you’re a beginner DJ, you need to start out with the right DJ equipment. A Pioneer DJ Controller is always a great way to go if you’re looking for good quality. They’ve produced a lot of DJ gear over the years, so you might be looking for some guidance to make a good decision when buying a Pioneer DJ controller as a beginner DJ. You’ve come to the right place.

Short disclaimer

By no means is my opinion the only one and you don’t have to stick to the recommendation on this page if different options look better to you, by all means, go for it. By providing you with the information in this post I only try to guide you in the right direction, hoping it will be helpful to you.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s get started.

A short introduction to Pioneer DJ

Pioneer DJ launched their first-ever CD player in 1994, the CDJ-500. Since then they’ve been developing and improving their products and strive to deliver to professional DJs but also hobby DJs or bedroom DJs as we like to call them.

The official company name of Pioneer has been changed since the 1st of January 2020 to AlphaTheta. However, brands and brand names like Pioneer DJ have stayed the same.

Alpha Teta specializes in DJ equipment, music production equipment, audio equipment, and related services like KUVO, a club culture entertainment service for DJs, clubs, and clubbers.

Here is a list of all types of Pioneer products for DJs:

  • DJ Players
  • DJ Mixers
  • DJ Controllers
  • Turntables
  • All-in-One DJ Systems
  • Remix Stations
  • DJ Samplers
  • Music Production
  • Headphones
  • Monitor Speakers
  • PA Speakers
  • DJ Software & Interfaces
  • Accessories

In this article, we’re only going to take a look at the Pioneer DJ controllers, specifically the ones that are well suited for beginner DJs.

What to Look for in a Beginner DJ Controller

In my opinion, having gone through the complete beginner phase myself, a DJ controller should:

  • Have a simple layout
  • Have supporting tutorials available
  • Be compatible with Serato

Let’s go over these conditions

Simple layout

DJ Controllers are famous for their complicated buttons and knobs, and deservedly so. There are so many features on a DJ controller and new features are added continuously with the development of new DJ Controllers.

For a beginner DJ, this can be very distracting and potentially leave you overwhelmed. Something that makes a lot of DJs quit with their tails between their legs, early in their DJ journey.

For a beginner DJ, it is very important to master the very basics of DJing. Learning new features, techniques and effects can hinder your development.

By focussing on just the basics of DJing, not only will you master the basics of DJing much quicker, but you’ll also master new features, tricks, and transitions much quicker and better.

When the main ingredient of an apple pie is not the best, the whole pie will not taste good.

Supporting tutorials

A big and impressive DJ controller is complicated, but believe me, as a beginner DJ a small DJ controller will also be overwhelming in the first stages.

A supporting tutorial about your fresh new Pioneer DJ controller is a must. You can find a lot of good information on YouTube about certain DJ controllers, but in my experience, the supplied tutorials by the manufacturer are simpler and easier to follow.

Compatible with Serato

If you’ve been reading my articles for a while you know that I am a huge fan of Serato. It’s not that other DJ software is not good, but other DJ software could never compare to the easy-to-use, uncomplicated DJ software of Serato.

Serato’s Lite version is amazing free DJ software that is the most efficient DJ software out there to teach you the basics of DJing.

Summary

Beginner DJ controllers should have a simple layout, small to medium size controllers will work best. This prevents an overload of features, buttons, and knobs on your DJ controller.

Stick to a budget DJ Controller aimed at beginner DJs. These will have supporting tutorials or training videos supplied with your DJ controller.

Check the compatibility of the DJ controller before you buy one. If you’re a beginner, I highly recommend you buy a DJ controller that is compatible with Serato.

Pioneer DJ’s Best Options for Beginner DJs

Having shared my opinion on all the features and conditions that are required for a beginner DJ controller, I can provide you with my list of best DJ controllers for beginners for Pioneer DJ.

The DJ controllers in the list below meet all the requirements that I mentioned above. These DJ controllers are all approved and each one of them will be a good choice for you. Now you just have to decide which one is your personal favorite.

I’ve added links to the names of the DJ Controller. When you click on them they will lead you to the product page on Amazon. If you buy one of these DJ controllers through that link, you will support this website with a small referral commission. If you don’t want that, just simply copy the link and open it in a new browser window.

  1. Pioneer DDJ SB3
pioneer ddi sb3

General Info

Price: $249.00 at GuitarCenter

Compatibility: Plug and Play DJ controller designed for Serato DJ Lite, but can also be used with Serato DJ Pro.

Why I chose this DJ Controller

My number one Pioneer DJ beginner DJ controller is the DDJ SB3. This DJ controller is in my opinion the perfect size, with the perfect amount of features for you as a beginner DJ to start the right way.

This controller lets you focus on the most important and fundamental DJ skills but will also help you to grow a little bit further. This will make your transition to the intermediate-level DJ smaller and smoother.

You can use this controller with Serto DJ Lite and Serato DJ Pro which makes this controller the perfect beginner DJ controller.

The Pioneer DDJ SB3 controller looks and feels professional and comfortable.

The performance pads feel firm and durable, and don’t have that cheap plastic feel to them like some other beginner DJ controllers.

In my opinion, this DJ controller gives you the best bang for your buck if you’re a beginner DJ, aspiring to smoothly grow from beginner to intermediate level.

2. Pioneer DDJ FLX 6

General Info

Price: $599 on Amazon

Other available colors: white ($649)

Compatibility: Rekordbox and Serato DJ Pro

Why I chose this DJ Controller

The Pioneer DDJ FLX 6 looks amazing. In my opinion one of the best-looking beginner DJ controllers out there.

This controller deserves second place in this list because it’s quite big for a beginner DJ controller but it’s still pretty well structured and organized. It’s also a very reasonable price for a 4-channel DJ controller.

A DJ controller with 4 channels is not the perfect controller for a beginner but I must admit it looks pretty darn good.

The combination of its size, capabilities and well-organized layout makes this a perfect controller if you want a beginner DJ controller that will last you a couple of years in your DJing journey.

When you buy this DJ controller makes sure you buy a good DJ course to go along with it. This will keep your focus on fundamental DJing skills until you move on to all the other features of this beautiful piece of DJ equipment.

3. Pioneer DDJ SR2

General Info

Price: $849.99 on Amazon

Other colors available: n/a

Compatibility: Serato DJ Pro

Why I chose this DJ Controller

The Pioneer DDJ SR2 is also a very good-looking piece of DJ equipment. It’s very colorful and just looks really decent.

Like the FLX-6 the layout is very well organized and structured so you’ll get to learn how to use this DJ controller pretty quickly.

The reason it came in 3rd is because of the price. It’s an expensive DJ controller for a DJ controller with 2 channels. In my opinion, it’s too expensive for a beginner DJ controller.

Of course, when you buy this DJ controller you’ll get a lot of features and the material is very solid.

If you’re willing to spend more than $800 on a DJ controller, this Pioneer DJ controller is perfect for you as a beginner.

It’s not too complicated and only has 2 channels what make this DJ controller easier to use for you as a beginner.

Like the FLX 6, I do recommend buying a DJ course to go along with this DJ controller so you’ll learn the fundamentals first and then move on to the more advanced features of this piece of DJ equipment.

Conclusion

Whichever one you choose, whether it’s one of these DJ controllers or maybe even a different brand; a beginner DJ needs a solid DJ controller that makes learning how to DJ easier and will make the transition to an intermediate-level DJ controller smooth.

Master the fundamentals with these DJ controllers and you’ll have a lot of fun in the upcoming years of your DJ journey.

If you have any questions after reading this article, feel free to contact me.

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