If you want to be a DJ or if you are the person people go to about music, then chances are you may have a talent for making it as a DJ.
I’m not talking about someone who just emcees but more someone who has the gift of being able to mix two records seamlessly or to perform scratching.
Mixing and matching music may look easy and you may think you are the next superstar DJ but there is quite a lot of skill and talent involved.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you also have the best DJ kit to help you.
That’s why in this article I have taken a look at the best DJ controller under $300.
These are designed for the aspiring DJ who is also on a budget but doesn’t want to compromise too much on their journey to become the ultimate DJ.
Having a DJ controller is great for those who don’t have an instrument.
And whether you are brand new to the world of DJ-ing or if you can cut, mix and scratch with the best, having the best DJ controller is a must.
With the internet being the way it is, if you are in the market for a DJ controller then you have probably already done a lot of research on this.
You may know all that you think you need to know about DJ controllers and chances are the budget has put you off and you are waiting for the right time to spend your hard-earned cash on the latest and greatest DJ controller.
That is why my list here was written just for you.
10 Best DJ Controllers Under $300 of 2021
In a rush? Here is a quick rundown for you:
Now, let's jump to the list!
Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
This is a two-deck DJ controller that is far more portable than you think it might be when you see it.
It is feature-packed and comes with a Serato DJ Intro, which is included, and works on PC and Mac.
It has high-resolution 5-inch wheels and emphasizes connectivity.
With two headphone outputs and a seamless connection method for connecting this DJ controller to other mixers or PA systems.
In our quest for the best DJ controller under $300 you most likely would think that all the DJ controllers on my list are aimed at beginners, because of the price range.
But Numark has decided to change the game.
This DJ controller, available for under $300 is full of features that are meant for skilled and advanced DJs.
You can connect this DJ controller to other units and systems, because it focuses on connectivity, meaning you can plug it into headphones, mics and PA.
If you are already a skilled DJ and you want a DJ controller that won’t break the bank, then this controller fits the bill.
But it also caters to beginner DJs too, thanks to features that allow you to seamlessly mix tracks.
You also get a copy of Prime Loops Remix Toolkit to use it with and Serato DJ Intro.
Numark also includes their software to help you get the most out of this controller, the Numark Expansions Remix Toolkit.
In all these positives there are some negatives.
To start with it is quite complicated to set up and there is a steep learning curve if you want to get the most out of it and its features.
And even though it does have useful jog wheels they can be something of a fingerprint magnet.
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 DJ Controller
To start with Pioneer are well known in the world of DJ-ing.
When you look at this controller you will immediately see that it has a rather intuitive layout.
That means that you have easy access to all the features you need as you need them.
Pioneer know what they are doing when it comes to giving you the best hardware for DJ-ing.
It also comes with something called Pad Scratch.
This nifty feature lets you add scratching to cued and currently playing songs without an additional turntable.
If you are new to DJ-ing you most likely won’t know how useful this little feature is to have.
But trust in Pioneer.
This DJ controller, although aimed more at entry-level DJs, packs in more features than you would expect from others that are aimed at beginners.
It gives you all the sliders, buttons, and effects options you would expect, and you can easily add scratching to cued or playing songs at the touch of a button.
You also have FX Fade, which is a feature mapped to a slider, upon sliding will let you smoothly blend songs.
This even works when songs are two hugely different genres.
Sure, the more seasoned DJs may scoff at such beginner-friendly features, but they are still nice to have.
This DJ controller even comes with its soundcard, a Serato, which means you can connect this controller easily to a PC or Mac via USB, without the need for an extra soundcard.
It also has mic input circuitry that outputs crystal clear audio.
Its design is very robust, but while does make it any less portable.
That’s because it is lightweight, and you can carry it around easily thanks to its easy grab handles.
Numark Mixtrack Platinum
This is a feature-packed DJ controller aimed at the next generation.
You get LCDs, 4 decks, capacitive 5” jog wheels, a multi-function touch strip, and 24-bit audio I/O with Serato DJ Intro software also included.
This is another DJ controller aimed at beginners and those who just want a controller to practice and improve their skills.
This is one of the newer additions to Numark’s DJ controller line-up.
It is very robust, giving you’re a total of four decks and it doesn’t overcomplicate things because it is all wrapped around an interface that is friendly and easy to use and designed for beginners.
With its built-in LCD screen and jog wheels, this is a well-designed and intuitive DJ controller.
You also get 4-channel mixing capabilities, with filter and gain controls on each control.
This DJ controller is like other ones from Numark in the sense that this comes with a multi-function touch strip and a 24-bit audio output.
This is one of the rarer DJ controllers on my list that targets both novice and pro DJs.
The Mixtrack Platinum has got the number of features exactly right so that seasoned DJs will feel at home whilst newcomers to DJing won’t feel overwhelmed.
It’s this balance that makes this DJ controller a rarity and why I had to put it on my list.
You also get a good set of effects and mixing features to play with, and it is super easy to set up and get started with – just plug it into your computer.
In terms of downsides of this DJ controller, they are all related to the software, which can crash on occasions and this also leads to the desktop freezing at times as well.
Pioneer DDJ-RB Portable 2-Channel Controller
This is another DJ controller that comes with its soundcard.
It’s also compatible with both Windows and Macs.
This DJ controller, as we continue in our quest for the best DJ controller under $300, focuses on being portable.
This is lightweight and easy to carry so you can carry it anywhere you need to spin some discs.
You also get an adjustable laptop stand to use with it.
This allows you to easily connect it to your computer using USB.
If you just want a DJ controller you can take on the road with you that covers the basics only then this DJ controller comes highly recommended for that task.
The DDJ-RB is a DJ controller that is designed for novices mostly.
It’s a 2-channel DJ controller that also includes rekordbox DJ software.
This helps beginners get to grips with the controller and how-to DJ.
You can also create music sequences on the DJ controller itself using Sequence Call buttons.
Because this is aimed at beginners you even get a set of headphones to use.
So, everything is included for the aspiring DJ who is starting their journey to becoming the next big DJ.
This is lightweight and portable and has internal speakers.
But you can also connect it to wireless speakers or desktop speakers.
As a negative, the sound quality from the headphones and master input could be better.
But as this is aimed at beginner’s chances are, they will not notice.
Pioneer Pro DDJ-WeGO4-K
If you are paying attention to this article you will have already noticed that Pioneer has a fair amount of DJ controllers for you to choose from here.
The Pro DJ Black gives you a DJ controller that is easy to connect to a PC or Mac or smartphone, just plug it in with the respective cable and off you go.
You can even use this DJ controller with an iPad thanks to Pioneer’s specialist iPad DJ software, WeDJ.
The main aim of this DJ controller is to break down the barrier of entry for DJ newcomers.
Gone from this DJ controller are all the sliders, buttons, and trackpads you might expect.
Pioneer has gone for a much cleaner and ultimately friendlier look to entice beginners or those who are new to the world of DJing.
It has simplified its design and layout but don’t mistake yourself into thinking that this DJ controller is lacking features just because it doesn’t have the same number of buttons as other DJ controllers on my list.
As with other DJ controllers from Pioneers you get a copy of rekordbox DJ software to use with this DJ controller.
Whilst you may think that this is aimed squarely at beginners, it does also have some advanced features that the more seasoned DJs will enjoy.
These features include Hot Cues, Pad FX, ampler, and loops.
These features are all inside a body that is lightweight and compact.
Something that other DJ controllers fail to do.
This is another DJ controller from Pioneer that works with their specialist DJ software for iPad called WeDJ.
This DJ controller is great for beginners, thanks to its paired down interface, it also makes a great DJ controller for those who want one to practice with.
It’s lightweight and portable so you can enjoy its professional features on your next road trip.
The one downside I noticed from this DJ controller was the materials used to construct it.
If I am being honest these could be improved, and this would only serve to boost what is already an incredibly good DJ controller that you can get for under $300.
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Portable 2-Channel Controller
This DJ controller from Pioneer has some cool features to help you.
Press any of the four rubber pads at the top of the unit to add cues or loops at the touch of a button – literally.
It uses large low-latency jog wheels which makes mixing a joy thanks to their great scratch response and accuracy.
This DJ controller, being from Pioneer, as you would expect, gives you some advanced features and a few extras that go even beyond that.
You get a 4-deck control and dedicated buttons to switch between those channels with no fuss.
A trim knob and level meters allow users to master the input volume with ease.
What I liked most about this DJ controller, as I said at the start of this section, is the top and bottom rubber pads that help with Hot Cue, Auto Loop, Manual Loop, and Sampler at the top whilst Play, Sync, Cue, and Shift are located on the bottom pads.
Because of the way that these rubber pads are placed you don’t need to keep looking for the buttons you need.
This means that you easily get to grips with this DJ controller.
That’s what attracted me to put this DJ controller on my list and one of the best DJ controllers to buy for under $300.
This DJ controller is super easy to get started with and doesn’t have such a steep learning curve as other DJ controllers on my list.
As a downside, you don’t get the full version of the included Serato DJ software so getting the full version will also be at an additional cost so bear that in mind if you have your mind set on this DJ controller.
Gemini GV Series G2V Professional
When it comes to DJing the Gemini brand has been around for several decades.
They are known for creating some of the most innovative DJ technology in the world.
The G2V is on the same list.
This is a no-frills DJ controller that you can get for under $300.
It’s a 2-channel system with two decks and four virtual software decks.
You get 16 multi-function performance pads which give you easy to use touch controls.
One of the best things about this DJ controller is its fantastic number of outputs.
These include balanced and unbalanced master and booth outputs.
It is lightweight and portable and perfect for the DJ who is always traveling.
When you mix and scratch you get the feel of real vinyl for added authenticity.
On the downside, unlike most other DJ controllers on my list, you don’t get any DJ software when buying this unit.
Numark Mixtrack Pro DJ Controller
This digital DJ controller gives you an integrated audio interface, combined with large, touch-sensitive control wheels.
You can also use your computer to connect to this DJ controller and use your computer thanks to its dual-deck interface.
This DJ controller from Numark is aimed squarely at novice DJs to start with.
This DJ controller is designed for novices to use it to turn pro and the controller will grow with you as you do that.
So, you don’t need to worry about purchasing a new DJ controller once your skills get better.
It’s a midi-over-USB controller so you can use it with any DJ software.
Easy to set up with no additional software drivers needed.
And great to use as a starter DJ controller and it will grow with you, but you have to remember that it doesn’t have a built-in sampler.
Roland Serato DJ Controller
Roland gives you a two-channel, four-deck controller with this DJ controller.
You also get Serato DJ Lite (which you can upgrade for free to the Pro version if you live in the USA).
This DJ controller is optimized for scratching thanks to its low latency large platters.
This is a DJ controller that isn’t afraid to show off its sliders, knobs, and rubber pads.
Whilst other DJ controllers on my list have tried to do away with having too many buttons and knobs and sliders, this one doesn’t.
That means it is great for beginning DJs who are not afraid to get stuck in and try more advanced techniques.
If you are an advanced DJ, then this DJ controller will suit you down to the ground because it has enough features and options to help you keep up your skills and hone them even further.
This is a two-channel, 4-deck controller, with low latency platters.
It is great for scratching and you also get built-in drum kits which are made with Roland technology.
Any DJ or electronic music fan will know that when it comes to drumkits it is hard to beat Roland.
So, having these easily accessible is a great feature.
You get eight sounds in each TR kit.
These are bass drum, snare drum, closed hat, open hat, tom, rip, clap and ride.
This DJ controller also gives you a 16-step sequencer.
This is something that I like about this DJ controller.
These are mapped to performance pads so you can easily sync, and program beats and live performances to the Senator library.
This gives you the freedom to create more unique remixes and transitions.
With this DJ controller, you get a wide array of features and it is made to the professional standards that you would expect from Roland.
But with it being from Roland this is not a DJ controller for beginners or novices.
Pioneer DDJ-WEGO3-K Compact DJ
This is another DJ controller on my list that I added simply because it gives you an intuitive layout.
It does this by arranging its buttons and dials around the jog wheels, which are backlit, for easy access.
It also has a unique visual element with the Pulse Control lights system.
You can use this to see when a track has been loaded or when visual effects and filters are in use.
This is another Pioneer DJ controller on my list.
This one focuses on being compact and portable.
You get an easy to carry and lightweight body so you can take it on the road easily.
This is also the only DJ controller on my list that you can carry in a backpack.
It works with both Spotify and iTunes so you can access your music collection easily.
You can also connect it to your computer.
This is another DJ controller that includes its soundcard.
To me at least when one does this that makes it a winner in my book.
That’s why I made sure that it was on my list of one of the best DJ controllers under $300.
Having one thing less to purchase is always good.
You also get a copy of Virtual DJ Limited Edition to use with this DJ controller.
But this is only designed for novice DJs and doesn’t have some of the more sophisticated features of other DJ controllers that pro DJs may be looking for.
You may be wondering just how do you make sure you pick the best DJ controller under $300? Each of these controllers may look quite intimidating if you are new to the world of DJ-ing.
But doing this is not as difficult as you may think.
You don’t need to understand everything about how a DJ controller works to get the most from it.
Just remember two things.
The layout and the list of effects on offer.
You need to make sure that whatever DJ controller you pick has an intuitive layout to help you get to grips with all the buttons and functions.
The controls on your unit should make sense to you and be easily accessible.
It’s better to pick a DJ controller that has all the features you need than to buy the most expensive with tons of features you won’t use or don’t know how to use.
So, which one do I pick as the best DJ controller under $300?
It wasn’t easy for me to compile this list, but I choose the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 as the best DJ controller for under $300 that you can buy right now.
It may not be as robust as some of the others on my list, but it lets you get to grip with pro features because it is easy to use.
You can also travel with it knowing that it is lightweight.
It’s a great DJ controller for all DJs, no matter their skill level.
Last update on 2021-01-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API