Top 6 Portable DJ Controllers: All Below $400

Why a portable rather than a full-size DJ controller?

In my experience, I have found Dj controllers that are more on the compact and portable side, if used creatively, can be just as effective as a much larger and more expensive controller. It’s not always the quality of the instrument with more buttons, but the player who can make the most out with what they got.

Another reason, many DJ’s prefer a portable controller as a backup in case of technical emergencies directly before the gig. I know you don’t want to think about a last-minute technical difficulty. However, It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Lastly, smaller DJ controllers can be better used at smaller events such as weddings, parties, etc. I don’t see the use of a large DJ controller for most smaller events outside of a club. Keep in mind; a more compact controller will be much less headache to travel with.

After extensive research, personal experience, and help with some DJ friends; We formulated a list of the top 6 portable DJ controllers that are the very best for the cheap price!

1. Reloop AMS-MIXTOUR

The Reloop AMS-MIXTOUR is an incredible DJ controller that is portable, low-budget, and compact. It’s a sound interface for boosted quality with multiple controls for mixing. Basically, every need is met for having full control over your mix with the Reloop AMS-MIXTOUR. Better yet, it comes at a much lower price that’s easy to travel with!

Although the control is compact and portable, it carries many essential features such as loop, sync, cue, and play. On the sides are some mixer controls that work surprisingly well, such as the gain, highs, mids, lows, filter, and volume.

The Reloop AMS-MIXTOUR is compatible with Mac, Android, and IOS. For Mac, it uses DJ Pro while iOS and Android use DJay 2. It has a 12V DC power supply so it will never run out of battery on you while performing.

One thing that surprised me the most was its high-quality effects for the low-price. In most cases, DJ controllers don’t produce rich-sounding effects unless the controller is at a higher price. However, I would say the Reloop AMS-MIXTOUR produces much better effects than most controllers in this price range. I highly recommend it!

Audio Controls

  • Master Volume
  • Gain
  • Highs
  • Mids
  • Lows
  • Filter
  • Volume

Center Controls

  • Loop
  • Sync
  • Cue
  • Play

Pros

  • Incredible Controller for the price
  • Great filter
  • Sound interface for boosted audio quality
  • Portable
  • Great FX
  • DJay app with
  • Able to connect
  • Easy to use
  • 9 cue markers

Cons

  • No microphone input
  • No pitch control
  • Comes with a short cable (best to purchase an additional longer cable)
  • Does not have a tempo control

Tech Specs

Controller Style: DJ Controller with Master out
Software: DJay 2 for iOS and Android. DJ pro on Mac
Compatibility: DJay Pro
Channels:2 channel mixer, 4 channel interface by USB
Weight:1.8 pounds
Deck MOUNT: 2-deck
Crossfader:Standard
OS Requirements – PC: Windows 8 or later, Android 5.0 or later
OS Requirements – Mac: iPhone 5 or later, iOS 7 or later, iPad Air or later, OS X 10.9 or later
Pads:8
Faders:2 X Volume
Power Supply: 12V DC power supply, USB bus-powered. iOS requires AC adapter

2. Numark DJ2GO2

The Numark DJ2GO2 is way too good for its incredibly cheap price. Honestly, it’s quite ridiculous how low of a price it is compared to its value. It has a built-in audio interface can connect to Mac or PC via USB. With this controller, you can either replicate turntables or digital.

It’s one of the most compact and portable DJ controls on the market weighing less than a pound. My friend actually keeps this in his back-pack wherever he goes just in case he runs into a situation where he may need it at a party or for backup.

The Numark DJ2GO2 has a pretty good soundcard and exceptional abilities to set auto or manual loops. In terms of sound quality, it can stand toe to toe with With four cue points and headphone cueing skills; it provides plenty of features for creativity to flow. While most would think blending songs would be a trainwreck with a DJ controller at such a low price, I’ve found that not to be the case at all the DJ2GO2.

A downside I noticed about the Numark DJ2GO2 was its needed software upgrade. Although it “comes with Serato DJ Lite software,” unfortunately you are forced to pay a bit of money to upgrade to keep it after 15 days. In my personal opinion, they should’ve increased the price by $15 and have Serato DJ with the purchase.

Overall, the Numark DJ2GO2 a great and affordable back-up portable controller. I highly recommend it if you’re in need of a secondary controller, DJing parties, or fun on a budget!

Features and Details

  • Auto loops
  • Master volume
  • Browsing knob
  • Cue level knob for headphones
  • Even curve crossfader
  • 4 trigger pads on each side for Cues
  • Pitch bending with the jog wheels
  • Load buttons on both sides of the deck
  • 16-bit/44kHz audio interface

Pros

  • Extremely high value for the low price
  • Built-in audio interface
  • Very compact, easily able to fit in a back-pack
  • Built-in audio headphone cueing
  • weighs less than 1 pound
  • Using the levels and the crossfader makes it easy to blend songs
  • Simple layout and easy to use
  • Fits nicely on a computer (almost like a keyboard)

Cons

  • Many claims of receiving defective units. Make sure to purchase this from a place that has a warranty in the case this happens.
  • Need to purchase an additional license after the 15-day free trial for Serato premium
  • Not very durable build. Make sure not to drop it!

Tech Specs

Controller Style:DJ Controller
Software:Serato DJ Lite
Compatibility:Serato DJ Pro
Channels: 2
Weight:0.75 (less than a pound)
Jog Wheels: 2
Crossfader:Standard
OS Requirements – PC:Windows 7 SP1 or later
OS Requirements – Mac:OS X 10.11 or later
Pads:8
Faders:2 pitch faders
Power Supply: USB

3. Hercules DJControl Compact

The Hercules DJ Control Compact is yet another highly compact light-weight DJ controller that can either be used as a backup or smaller events. This controller is best for beginner Dj’s or those who want to have a bit of fun. The reason being is that the controls are more comfortable to use compared to most. It’s also very affordable.

Overall, I believe the Hercules DJ Control Compact is best for beginners. I don’t necessarily recommend it for live performance. However, the simple layout and easy controls are perfect to have fun for beginners.

Unlike many, I was lucky enough to get it running without any software issues. It did, however, take a bit of time with Virtual DJ.

Features and Details

  • 4 trigger pads per deck
  • 2 jog wheels
  • 2 deck controls
  • Extremely compact and portable

Pros

  • Able to fit in a backpack
  • Well responsive but quite buttons
  • Simple design
  • Easy to use (highly recommended for beginners)
  • Relatively durable for low-price
  • Zero-latency

Cons

  • Not compatible with Chromebooks
  • Unable to listen to songs for premixing via the headphone jack
  • Many claims of software issues
  • Not as many functions as most controllers (like mentioned early, best for beginners)
  • Claims of defective units

4. Monster GO DJ

If you’re looking for the perfect way to practice mixing or study songs for a live show while on a bus, beach, or couch; The portable Monster GO DJ is the best choice for you. It’s the smallest controller on this list able to fit in a pocket while built very durable. It’s a high-quality portable DJ controller that gives you crucial features to DJ smaller events. It can also be used as a reliable backup or higher quality practice mixing for the bigger gigs. Due to its wide range of features and compact design, I believe this controller is best for professional DJ’s to practice with.

There are 6 LCD screens total that each provides different features and tools. On each LCD screen, you can allocate music and mix it, loop it, Equalize it, add various effect, or even scratch. This is one of the best portable compact DJ controllers on this list that can also be used for live performances of roughly any application for that mainly requires only transitions.

If you’re a DJ who wants to use a full set-up for clubs but doesn’t need the entire set-up for weddings, smaller events, or scenarios where you’re primarily spinning; The reliable Monster GO DJ is a fantastic choice. I highly recommend it.

Features and Details

  • 6 different effects
  • Board sample-to-pad-assignment
  • Multiple Cue-point
  • Multi-looping
  • Pads
  • Sequencer
  • Scratch
  • Loop
  • Auto-sync for easy beat matching
  • Mixing with various effects

Pros

  • Comes with many features
  • Smallest on this list. Can easily fit in a backpack, small bag, in some cases even your pocket
  • Able to internally record your mix
  • Great for on-the-fly mixing once learned
  • Great for on-the-go DJ’s
  • Easily able to replace a full set-up in case of emergency
  • Great battery life
  • Very reliable
  • Durable, built to last
  • Auto-mix feature
  • Very well built

Cons

  • A few cases of defective units right out of the box
  • Needs software update instantly upon receiving it
  • Most expensive on this list

 5. Denon DJ MC6000MK2

Coming with Serato DJ Intro, the Denon DJ MC6000MK2 is the upgraded version of the original MC6000 by Denon. The reason why the MK2, rather than the original MC6000 made this list, is because this controller is much easier to navigate and use. While it may be bigger than the previous controllers, it’s still extremely compact and portable for on-the-go DJs. Better yet, it’s well built and designed for longevity with its all-metal construction. It is compatible with Virtual DJ Pro, Serato DJ, and Traktor Pro 2. With 4-channels and 4 decks, this controller also has a built-in stand-alone mixer making this a very versatile unit.

Something I really like about the Denon DJ MC6000MK2 is the two separate microphone inputs. One mic input is XLR and the other is a quarter-inch. Both microphone inputs each have a separate 3 band EQ on the front panel. This enables you to mix both microphones independently for different voice-types. The only downside to the Denon DJ MC6000MK2 is that it doesn’t have performance pads. However, every other quality in a professional controller that you can think of, the MC6000MK2 has it down packed. Overall, the Denon DJ MC6000MK2 is definitely one of the top DJ controllers below $1000. I highly recommend it if your not in need of performance pads.

Check Amazon reviews

Features and Details

  • Compatible with Virtual DJ Pro, Serato DJ, and Traktor Pro 2.
  • USB port
  • Made of metal
  • 4-channels
  • 4 decks
  • 2 microphone inputs (one XLR, one quarter-inch)
  • Metal Jog wheels
  • Stand-alone mixerNo performance pads

6. Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 is, in my opinion, the most performance worthy portable DJ controller on this list. While it may be the largest of the travel-friendly controllers, it’s still relatively compact and easily transportable. It definitely can’t fit in a pocket like some of the previous controllers. However, not only is it the most gig-worthy compact DJ controller, but it is also very well priced. I tend to think they underpriced this system by about $50.  

With its 24-bit/44.1kHz audio interface, the sound quality is outstanding. Not only do I think that, but the majority of users say the same. It was very well-built made out of high-quality audio circuitry for maximum durability and sound clarity.

The FX fade feature makes it very easy to mix. Although it’s a little on the bigger side than most on this list, it can even be a good starter for DJ enthusiasts. Beginners will like the fact that it’s relatively compact, cost-effective, easy to navigate and use, and it performs exceptionally well to the point it can be your full-time setup for years.

Overall, the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3 is the best on this list for live performance, in my opinion. However, it comes with a trade-off. It’s also the biggest DJ controller on this list that is unable to fit in most backpacks at 19 inches wide, 10.7 inches deep, and 2.3 inches tall. I highly recommend this controller for DJ’s that don’t mind the extra space that needs a high quality, yet, smaller gig performance-ready option. It is, however, very highly rated across the board! Be sure to check out the Amazon reviews on the link below.

Features and Details

  • 16 performance pads
  • Scratch
  • unnoticeable latency with jog wheels
  • 2 volume faders
  • 2 tempo faders
  • High pass filter
  • Low pass filter
  • Depth: 10.7 inches
  • Height: 2.3 inches
  • Width: 19 inches

Pros

  • Most live performance worthy of every portable DJ controller.
  • Great scratch response
  • Unnoticeable latency

Cons

  • Biggest DJ controller on this list

Tech Specs

Controller Style:DJ Controller with Master out
Software:Serato DJ Lite
Compatibility:Serato DJ Pro
Jog Wheels: 2 x 5″ Aluminum jog wheels
Channels:2
Weight:4.6 pounds
Deck Number:4
Crossfader:Standard
OS Requirements – PC:Windows 7 SP1 or later
OS Requirements – Mac:OS X 10.11 or later
Pads:16 performance pads
Faders:2 Tempo, 2 Volume
Power Supply:USB Bus powered

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A Quick Recap

Here is the list of the 6 best portable DJ controls at a low-price

  • Reloop AMS-MIXTOUR
  • Numark DJ2GO2
  • Hercules DJControl Compact
  • Monster GO DJ
  • Denon DJ MC6000MK2
  • Pioneer DJ 
Whether you’re planning on getting a portable DJ controller for smaller events, need a low-budget controller to start out with, or a secondary back-up controller; anyone of these is a great choice. Some may be better than others for your current situation. The rest is up to you. Always check the reviews before purchasing anything!