The Ultimate CDJ Buyer’s Guide

CDJs are considered to be the ultimate piece of gear for DJs. They are the main attraction at festivals, clubs, and even your favorite pub. Top-level DJs still prefer using CDJs, even with so many great new alternatives around.So what is this alluring characteristic that CDJs have over controllers and vinyl turntables?

How were CDJs able to overcome turntables in the past and still be a favorite over modern controllers today?

In this guide, we will go through the best CDJs that are available right now, then dissect their features to find out which CDJ is the right one for you.

But first, let’s take a quick look at the history of the CDJ.

The Ultimate CDJ Buyer's Guide

Chapter 1: The History of CDJs

Party Like it’s 1994

In 1994, Pioneer introduced the CDJ-500. A compact disc player with additional DJ control features like a jog wheel and tempo slider. The CDJ-500 was meant to disrupt the vinyl DJ world by allowing DJs to perform with CDs at their gigs.

Pioneer kept on improving their CDJs in the late ’90s and slowly started finding success with their players. However, most mainstream DJs still preferred the tactile feel of playing on vinyl.

Pioneer still persevered because they knew that with a digital CDJ, they could revolutionize DJing. This was because of the endless possibilities of features that can be designed to work on a CDJ.

These are features that are impossible to implement on regular turntables.

Pioneer also knew that many DJs found it easier to acquire music on CDs. There were a lot of DJs that also preferred to carry a bag full of CDs to a gig as opposed to a few crates of vinyl.

The History of CJDs

The King Has Arrived

In the early 2000s, Pioneer realized that sticking to a compact design for their CDJs made their devices look almost like toys in the DJ booth.

Yes, DJs love toys, but you wouldn’t want to DJ on a toy to large crowds now. So, in 2001, Pioneer introduced the big boy, the CDJ-1000, the CDJ that will change history.

Now, the big-name DJs that stuck to turntables, never wanting to leave, were finally allured by this large, fully-featured DJ CD player.

The CDJ-1000 was a hit. Its large size was the flagship format that Pioneer would stick with for decades. Pioneer did, however, still design and produce smaller CDJs like the CDJ-200, which was ideal for mobile DJs.

In the 2000s, the CDJ-1000 evolved into the CDJ-1000MK3, which had a better waveform display and the ability to play MP3 files from a CD-R.

This meant DJs could quickly burn music to CDs, then head over to a gig and play—ultimate portability and convenience.

The CDJ-1000MK3 still lives on today in the form of the fully-featured flagship, the CDJ-2000NXS.

We will take a look at the CDJ-2000NXS and other media players in this guide and determine which is the right one for you.

Why CDJs?

We all love good things. We want the best (if we can afford it!) like the best smartphone, or the best car. CDJs are at the top of the DJ gear list, along with high-end mixers.

DJs, in general, have the need to play on gear that will bring the most out of them and potentially unlock new skills.

DJ controllers are amazing nowadays. However, there are too many functions that can be automated, which arguably takes away from the experience.

Turntables are fantastic if you wish to really hone your DJ skills. Yet, turntables are limiting.

CDJs are situated in that ideal spot between classic turntables and modern DJ controllers.

In addition, CDJs offer less headaches for promoters and club owners. Change-overs between sets or technical issues setting up controllers are common problems at events. CDJs can be set up at the beginning of the night and every DJ can use them without any issues between sets.

Which DJs Should Use CDJs?

As stated above, CDJs are the ultimate in DJ gear, and it has been so for decades now. DJs looking to play their sets on the best flagship gear will feel at home with CDJs.

CDJs are still considered standard gear at festivals and most clubs. Up and coming controller DJs will, for the most part, have to practice at home on a controller, then rock out in the club on higher-end gear.

Because the feel of playing on a CDJ and DJ controller is different, DJs might find difficulty adjusting to a club setup.

If this is you, then it might be an excellent idea to invest in some CDJs to practice with at home, especially if you plan on taking your DJ career further.

Having CDJs at home to practice with can help you transition from a DJ controller to CDJs easier. You will also be able to unlock your full potential at the club, as opposed to try and figure out club setups during a gig.

Flagship CDJs are expensive. However, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives available. Even the low-end CDJs are now feature-packed.

Low-end models like the XDJ-700 might seem smaller and more basic when compared with top-end models. However, it still is a superb media player that has a fully functional screen.

You can analyze and sync your music on software that is recognized on both low and high-end players. This means that the data from the tracks you prepare at home will be recognized on a high-end player at your gigs.

Chapter 2: Things to Know Before Choosing CDJs

Not all CDJs are created equal. Each CDJ model is separated by its features.

These are the type of features that provide DJs with additional functionality and options for their sets.

Modern CDJs can now seamlessly connect to a laptop and play music via a companion software. This allows DJs to practice their sets with newly acquired music first before transferring files to a USB drive to take to the club.

Some CDJs have basic displays with track info, while others have fully-featured high-res touch screens.

It’s important to remember that every DJ has different playing styles. So, it’s best to select a CDJ based on the functions that you find the most useful.

For example, if your music collection is made up of only digital MP3 files and you have no intention of burning CDs, then you should consider an XDJ player.

XDJ media players are similar to CDJs in size and build, but do not have a slot to play CDs. These are ideal for controller DJs wanting to transition over to CDJs.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the essential features of a CDJ. Try to determine which features you prefer (and the ones you don’t) before deciding on the right CDJ for you.

Things to Know Before Choosing CDJs

Slip Mode

With Slip Mode, you can perform scratches, loops, and other performance tricks without interrupting the song’s timeline.

While scratching, the song will mute and will only play the audio from the scratch. The song will unmute once you are done.

This is ideal for keeping two tracks in sync while you pull off big performance moves.

USB Playback

Most (if not all) modern CDJs have the ability to playback music from a USB drive. Simply insert a USB drive into the USB slot on the player, then access your music library located on the drive.

This is an excellent feature for storing massive libraries of music on a single drive. This means endless hours of DJing without having to scan through CDs or look at a laptop.

Pioneer CDJs that support Rekordbox will be able to recognize any edits that you have made to a track within the Rekordbox software.


Rekordbox is Pioneer’s own DJ software designed for DJs who wish to prepare their music before playing on CDJs.

You can analyze and tag your music within Rekordbox, and a compatible CDJ will be able to read the data when the tracks are loaded. This makes for faster accessibility of your music.

You can also edit hot cues and more in Rekordbox software. Not only will this save you time in manually setting cues on the CDJ itself, but it is much easier to edit large libraries on a computer.

HID Mode

Human Interface Device (HID) Mode is a USB connection that allows you to use your CDJs as a DJ controller.

You can hook up a compatible CDJ to DJ software like Serato or Traktor and mix tunes the way you do so with a DJ controller.

This is a great feature for DJs looking to transition from a controller to a CDJ. You can treat your CDJs like controllers until you get a proper feel for them.

Pro DJ Link

Pioneer’s Pro DJ Link allows you to connect two (or more) compatible CDJs with an ethernet cable so data can be shared with each other.

With a Pro DJ Link, you can share your music library from one USB stick (or SD card) among multiple CDJs. No need to carry two or more USB drives.

You can also share BPM information between players and interact wirelessly with a smartphone or third-party apps.


Sync allows you to keep separate tracks in sync at the push of a button. No need to beat-match, DJs connected via a Pro DJ Link can easily keep multiple tracks playing in sync.

This is a somewhat controversial feature that is best known for being on DJ controllers and software. Some DJs prefer this feature as it allows them to focus on other performance aspects instead of beat matching.

High-Resolution Audio

Some CDJs feature support for high-res audio formats like FLAC and ALAC files. Unlike MP3s, FLAC and ALAC files feature lossless audio playback.

This means that you will get the purest quality audio from your files.

Such high-res audio won’t make much of a difference on home sound systems and most small venues. However, you and your crowd will notice the difference on large sound systems.

If you plan on playing high-quality sounding DJ sets at large venues, then you should look into using FLAC files in your next DJ set.

USB Playback

Most (if not all) modern CDJs have the ability to playback music from a USB drive. Simply insert a USB drive into the USB slot on the player, then access your music library located on the drive.

This is an excellent feature for storing massive libraries of music on a single drive. This means endless hours of DJing without having to scan through CDs or look at a laptop.

Pioneer CDJs that support Rekordbox will be able to recognize any edits that you have made to a track within the Rekordbox software.

Track Information Displays

All CDJs have a section (usually at the top of the unit) to display track info. These digital displays have information such as track name, BPM, key, and waveforms.

When browsing through music, your tracks will appear on the display as well.

Most modern CDJs now have larger color LCD screens that allow you to see detailed waveforms, and color-coded cue points and track tags.

The introduction of touch screens brings additional functionality to a CDJ. You can now swipe through your music collection and tap on a track to load it.

Touch screens also allow you to easily scrub through tracks. Searching for a track in large music libraries is much easier now with an on-screen keyboard.

Chapter 3: How to Choose the Right CDJs

In the past, the decision was simple. Get the same CDJ that you see in the club. “Everyone has it!”

That might have been true then. However, CDJs have drastically evolved in features and price.

Flagship CDJs are no longer something that bedroom DJs can afford. Even many promoters and club owners will pass on a flagship setup and would instead opt for a more reasonable mid-range setup.

So which type of CDJ is right for you?

Things to Know Before Choosing CDJs

The Ultimate Professional

If you are at the top of your game and you consistently play gigs that feature high-end gear, then you should consider getting yourself flagship CDJs like the CDJ-2000NXS2.

With the 2000NXS2, you can use the player to record sets at home, which can be used to promote yourself.

It will also be ideal for practicing with because whatever routine you come up with at home, you will be able to easily replay that routine at your gig on the same hardware.

The CDJ-900NXS is also a good alternative if you wish to avoid the risk of having such expensive gear at your home. However, there are substantial differences between the 900NXS and the 2000NXS2.

So, if you play regularly on a 2000NXS2, you will be limited when practicing on a 900NXS. However, it really isn’t such a bad thing to use a slightly lower-end model at home.

Serious Club Owners and Promoters

By ‘serious,’ we mean the hottest club in town that hosts the most prominent international DJs, big festivals, and major parties. If you are hosting those events, then you will need flagship gear for your high-profile DJs to perform on.

The CDJ-2000NXS2 is the ideal CDJ for this scenario. However, if you do own such a setup, you will have to implement strict rules for DJs if you wish to see longevity in your investment.

A CDJ-900NXS will do too. It has many qualities of a flagship, and it comes in at a much more reasonable price point.

If your club is small, yet a popular destination for international DJs, they probably won’t mind playing sets on a 900NXS.

Keep in mind that many big DJs require CDJ-2000NXS2’s on their riders and CDJ-900NXS’s may be an unacceptable substitution.

Small Promoters and Clubs

Smaller promoters and clubs may opt for CDJ-900NXS if possible. It has most of the benefits of the CDJ-2000NXS2’s at about half the price.

If you’re booking local and regional DJs, most of them will be okay playing on CDJ-900NXSs.

Another ideal media player for a small club is the XDJ-1000MK2. This player does not have CD playback, but it’s still suitable for most modern DJs that play off USB drives.

Not having a CD player to maintain is great if you are looking to keep service costs down on your gear.

It’s also a full-size player that looks professional in a DJ booth. Club patrons won’t know the difference between the XDJ-1000MK2 and some other flagship CDJ.

Make sure that any DJ’s coming to play your parties know the set up ahead of time if you opt for CDJs that don’t have a CD player, as some DJs may still want to use CDs.

The Bedroom DJ

If you are a serious bedroom DJ, or just a DJ trying to transition from a DJ controller to CDJs, then you should consider the XDJ line of Pioneer CDJs.

There’s no CD playback, which is fine for home use. The XDJ-700, in particular, is perfect for a small home setup. It also has a great touch screen similar to flagship Pioneer CDJs.

If you practice enough on an XDJ-700, you will become accustomed to using Pioneer’s touchscreen interface and will have no issues when playing at a gig on a CDJ-2000NXS2.

If you are an old school CDJ enthusiast or just trying to transition from a DJ controller to a pure CDJ experience, then you can look at the CDJ-850.

The CDJ-850 has a classic Pioneer DJ feel and comes in at a decent price point.

In this scenario, an XDJ-1000MK2 might make more sense, as you can hook up that player to your laptop. However, if you are looking to ditch your laptop entirely, then a CDJ-850 might just be right for you.

Chapter 4: Best CDJs

We will try to provide you with a list of best CDJs on the market. As expected, most of them are Pioneer, but we’ve included some suitable alternatives to explore.

Best CDJs

Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2



  • Ultimate flagship CDJ of the highest quality.
  • The CDJ-2000NXS2 is as good as it gets with the best build quality and list of features.
  • Nexus connectivity allows you to seamlessly sync multiple CDJs to a single data source.


  • Very expensive.
  • Steep learning curve because of its array of features.

The CDJ-2000NXS2 is Pioneer’s current ultimate flagship CDJ. It is the CDJ that has been dominating the mainstage of arenas and festivals since its introduction back in 2016.

The CDJ-2000NXS2 is a worthy successor to the CDJ-2000 because of its modern updates that feature Nexus capabilities and improved sound quality.

With support for high-resolution audio and a 96kHz/24-bit sound card, your mixes will sound exceptionally good, especially on massive sound systems.

The inclusion of a 7-inch touch screen adds functionality and features to the CDJ-2000NXS2. You can quickly access a track by typing its name using the on-screen QWERTY keyboard.

This is a huge improvement on the older CDJ-2000 model that did not have a touch screen interface.

The addition of color-coded hot cues is a welcome addition for DJs looking for extra performance features.

The CDJ-2000NXS2 is Pioneer’s vision of the future of DJing. A vision that blends old school hardware with modern digital solutions.

It’s clear that Pioneer has received critical feedback from the best DJs in the business when designing the CDJ-2000NXS2. The player has everything and more than you would expect.

However, its price will keep it out of bedrooms and small venues. This makes the CDJ-2000NXS2 a choice for serious DJs that have already built a massive career for themselves.

Not to mention big international clubs and festivals. The CDJ-2000NXS2 is a must if you wish to host a major party that features an international headlining DJ.

The extensive features of the CDJ-2000NXS2 are something that will take time to get used to. This will be hard for DJs to learn on the fly if they only use the player at gigs.

It will probably be the case for most DJs as the 2000NXS2 is too expensive to buy just to practice with at home.

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Does the CDJ-2000NXS2 have a touch screen?

Yes it does. The previous model (CDJ-2000NXS) did not have a touch screen but had a similar sized screen.

Can I connect the CDJ-2000NXS2 to a computer?

Yes you can, with a USB cable or wireless router.

Pioneer CDJ-900NXS

Pioneer CDJ-900NXS


  • Full-sized flagship CDJ.
  • Excellent build quality and features.
  • Reasonably priced when compared to the CDJ-2000NXS2.


  • Features are beginning to show its age.
  • Still expensive for home use.

The CDJ-900NXS is another great flagship CDJ from Pioneer. It improves on its predecessor, the CDJ-900, with nexus connectivity, beat sync, beat roll effects, and slip mode.

It is a full-sized feature-rich CDJ that comes in at almost half the price of Pioneers top of the range CDJ-2000NXS2.

This makes the CDJ-900NXS a great alternative for DJs looking for a flagship player for home use.

The 900NXS has a full-color display and supports multiple music formats (MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC).

Nexus connectivity allows you to play music from other sources like your laptop or smartphone.

The CDJ-900NXS is a great alternative to the insanely priced 2000NXS2. Club owners and promoters will find this player even more attractive because of its price point.

DJs that play regularly on CDJ-2000NXS2 at their gigs might also find the 900NXS a great option to practice with.

The major downside to this player is its age. The CDJ-2000NXS2 touchscreen interface has proved to be a productive feature for track selection and other functionalities.

If you can live without Nexus and CD playback, then a more updated player like the XDJ-1000MK2 is recommended.

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Does the CDJ-900NXS have a touch screen?

No. Track search and other features must be accessed with physical buttons and a browse knob.

Is there a touch strip similar to the one on a CDJ-2000NXS?

No. The browse knob serves a similar purpose to the touch strip.

Can I connect the CDJ-900NXS to other CDJ-2000NXS2 players to share information?

Yes you can connect to other Nexus devices for additional Nexus features. You can also connect this player to other CDJs with the Pro DJ Link feature. However, you may have limited functionality.

Pioneer CDJ-850

The CDJ-850 is a classic Pioneer CDJ that has been in production for almost a decade now. It is based on the successful CDJ-800 line from the past and can be seen as a successor to the 800MK2.

The CDJ-850 maintains many of the classic features found on older CDJ players, while also including updated features like Rekordbox support.

The simple display on the 850 completes its old school look. Track selection is improved with a revised rotary knob.

The CDJ-850 is a real blast from the past with a few subtle modern features. This makes this player a great option for DJs looking for a full-size retro CDJ to practice on.

It does not have many assistive features that the high-end models have, like sync or slip mode. However, this is perfect for DJs looking to manually beatmatch on a full-size CDJ. For old times’ sake, right?

The price point makes the 850 a good choice for home use, especially for CDJ enthusiasts and DJ purists. However, it is difficult to recommend for club owners because of its lack of modern features.

Modern DJs that go to a club to play on a CDJ-850 will feel like they are taking a step backward.

The CDJ-850 might appeal to a small niche of club owners looking for a more affordable version of the CDJ-900NXS. Club owners who want a low-cost flagship CDJ with minimal features might just prefer the CDJ-850.


  • Full-sized CDJ for a great price.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Rekordbox compatible.
  • Classic design and features.


  • Outdated when compared to modern players.


Can I view track waveforms on the digital screen?

Yes you can view a basic, single color waveform of the track that is currently playing.

Can I use the CDJ-850 as a controller?

Serato DJ supports the CDJ-850. This means that you can use this CDJ as a controller without timecoded CDs.

Does the CDJ-850 only play CDs?

No. You can play music from a USB or through a computer with Rekordbox software. However, this CDJ will only play MP3, AAC, WAV, and AIFF files. No support for high-res audio.

Pioneer CDJ-TOUR1

Pioneer CDJ-TOUR1


  • Same flagship qualities (and more) as the CDJ-2000NXS2.
  • Massive 13-inch touchscreen along with a 7-inch touchscreen.
  • New Rekordbox based operating system.


  • If you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it.
  • It’s probably not meant for you.

As mentioned earlier, CDJ-2000NXS2 is the ultimate CDJ. Now, imagine further improving the sound quality of that CDJ and slapping on a fully functional 13-inch touch screen along with its own operating system.

That is what you get with a CDJ-TOUR1, a professional CDJ that is meant for use in large scale productions. It is also expected to complement the expensive production rigs that are used at festivals.

The sound quality is meant to be in its highest and purest form to match the insane sound systems at festivals ideally. Pioneer fitted the TOUR1 with a high-end D/A converter for low distortion at high volumes.

This is ideal for the type of sound systems at festivals because even the smallest amount of distortion is very noticeable in those types of rigs.

The CDJ-TOUR1 is more of a concept than an actual CDJ meant to be sold to DJs. Yes, it has upgraded audio capabilities along with that huge screen, but it is still a weird concept for a CDJ.

One of the main ideas of playing on CDJs is to keep yourself from continuously staring at your laptop screen. Now, Pioneer is giving you a massive screen on every CDJ to look at.

All that being said, the 13-inch screen’s interface is surprisingly good and clean. It would actually be nice if Pioneer would release the screen only as an add on for their products.

So, in other words, you don’t need a laptop: just Pioneer CDJs, a mixer, and that screen for additional track management and control.

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Do the larger screens only operate when connected to a laptop?

The 13-inch screens run on Pioneer’s own operating system. You will only require a music source.

Is the TOUR1 better than the CDJ-2000NXS2?

The TOUR1 is meant for professional production companies best known for organizing and hosting large festivals and concerts. The sound quality of the TOUR1 is better than the 2000NXS2. However, the difference is mostly noticed on large scale rigs. The CDJ-2000NXS2 is still a better (and safer) choice for large clubs and venues.

Pioneer XDJ-1000MK2

Pioneer XDJ-1000MK2


  • Full-sized flagship killer!
  • Some of the best qualities of the CDJ-2000NXS2 has been passed down to this player.
  • Excellent build and sound quality.


  • Still expensive.
  • No CD player

The XDJ-1000MK2 is a flagship CDJ without a CD player. Pioneer realized that most DJs today preferred to use digital music stored on a USB or computer over CDs.

The XDJ-1000MK2 inherits most of the incredible features that are found on the flagship CDJ-2000NXS2. Features like a full-sized jog wheel and a 7-inch touchscreen.

The player also has support for high-res lossless audio and can play FLAC and ALAC files. This makes the XDJ-1000MK2 an ideal player for clubs with massive sound systems.

The high-res touchscreen also has a QWERTY keyboard for quick searches.

At first glance, you will notice that the player has been stripped of a lot of features to keep its price down. However, these are features that many DJs will be able to live without.

The XDJ-1000MK2 is easily recommendable for club owners or promoters looking for a solid full-sized CDJ that will look great in their DJ booth.

It maintains many pro features and looks that will satisfy any DJ. The big downside to this media player is its lack of a CD player.

However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Repairs and service costs to a CDJ CD player are high. So, being a club owner and not having to worry about a faulty CD player is a good thing.

The XDJ-1000MK2 is also ideal for home use. There isn’t always a need to burn CDs to play at home. Yet, the XDJ-1000MK2 is still costly for bedroom DJs.

An ideal alternative for bedroom DJs would be the XDJ-700.

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Is high-resolution audio a useful feature that can make or break my decision to purchase the XDJ-1000MK2?

High-resolution audio really stands out when played through large, high-quality speakers or club setups. If you DJ using high-res audio at a festival or club with a superior sound setup, you and your crowd will notice the difference.

If you intend to play high-res audio on budget passive or active speakers, then there might not be much of an audible difference. There’s also not much need to record mixes using high-res audio if those mixes are meant for radio or internet streaming services.

Can I use the XDJ-1000MK2 as a controller?

The XDJ-1000MK2 has a USB-MIDI function, as well as a USB Audio Interface function. This means that you can connect to computer software that supports MIDI connections and use the player as a MIDI controller.

You can also output sound from your computer into the XDJ-1000MK2.

Pioneer XDJ-700

Pioneer XDJ-700


  • Fully featured touch screen and Pro DJ Link.
  • Compact design is ideal for bedroom DJs.
  • Great build quality.


  • Lack of support for high-res audio formats.
  • It can feel a bit too basic for some DJs because of its lack of tactile buttons.

The XDJ-700 is Pioneer’s budget DJ media player. At first glance, the XDJ-700 seems basic, which makes its price tag feel a bit high.

However, the XDJ-700 has an excellent list of features that will impress both bedroom DJs and club owners.

The most outstanding feature being its fully functional 7-inch touchscreen. Just like the CDJ-2000NXS2 and XDJ-1000MK2, you can search tracks with an onscreen QWERTY keyboard.

The touchscreen also provides full-color waveforms and hot cues and loops that are touch activated. It was undoubtedly a great idea to pack a large, fully-featured touchscreen into a small and basic chassis.

Also, at first glance, the XDJ-700 seems like a toy. Again, don’t let its basic and compact looks deceive you. It’s made from premium materials, which makes it feel like real pro DJ hardware.

Its compact size also makes it easier to transport for mobile DJs. The XDJ-700 is ideal for cramped DJ booths and will be perfect on a small desk in your bedroom.

The XDJ-700 is our most recommended DJ media player for bedroom DJs looking to spend endless hours practicing their DJ skills.

It’s compact and has an impressive build quality. This is ideal for DJs who want to fit their gear into a small space.

It’s also worth the investment because of its build quality. The XDJ-700 feels like it can take years of wear and tear from home use.

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Will music stop playing if there is a problem with the USB drive or Wi-Fi?

The XDJ-700 has a high capacity audio buffer. This means that music will continue to play if there are any sudden interruptions with the source. A track can play normally if you remove the USB drive and insert it back again.

However, if you remove the drive completely, the track will go into loop playback mode because the buffer has been emptied.

Is the screen a multitouch screen?

The high-res screen may look similar to a smartphone or tablet. However, it does not have multi-touch capabilities.

Denon SC6000 Prime

Denon SC6000 Prime


  • A quick improved update on a player that was already (in some ways) better than other rival flagship DJ media players.
  • The large screen is packed with features that are unrivaled.
  • The full black look makes the player look sleek and elegant. Most DJs will be happy with this look over the SC5000’s loud chrome heavy looks.
  • Excellent price when compared to its competitors and last year’s SC5000.


  • Denon hasn’t taken full advantage of the screen. The layout of their Engine software can do with some improvements.

The SC6000 Prime is an updated version of the popular SC5000 DJ media player. The SC6000 will replace the SC5000 (which will still be on sale at a reduced price) as the top of the range Denon DJ media player.

Denon has managed to keep all of those impressive features from the SC5000 while tweaking the player’s aesthetics.

That impressive high-quality 7-inch screen has now been increased to 10.1-inches. It’s almost like going from an iPad mini to a regular iPad.

The player looks much cleaner after having most of its chrome parts and buttons replaced with more distinguished black parts.

The larger screen allows you to view more songs in playlists and folders. If you tap and hold on a song in a playlist while the deck is not playing, you will be able to preview that song.

Denon certainly has done it again by producing an excellent DJ media player that has the DJ world all shook up once again.

You really get the feeling that Denon paid careful attention to its audience when designing the SC6000. The all-black finish and the massive screen are gorgeous.

The SC6000 is still an expensive device and it is not a Pioneer. This makes the player a difficult choice for DJs.

However, DJs are beginning to appreciate this hardware, which is quickly becoming ever so popular.

The SC6000 is also a well-built machine that rivals Pioneer CDJ build quality. If you are skeptical about the build quality of non-Pioneer players, you will be satisfied with a Denon SC6000 Prime.

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Does the SC6000 have internal storage for music files?

No. You will have to use a USB drive or SD card thats loaded with music. The SC6000 does have a small amount of internal memory that is used to buffer a song that it is currently playing. If you remove the music source, the song will continue playing momentarily. The same goes for removing the power cable. Music will still play for a short while until the unit powers down.

Does the SC6000 support high-resolution audio?

The SC6000 can play FLAC and ALAC lossless audio files.

Does the SC6000 only work with Denon mixers?

No. You can use the SC6000 with any brand of mixer. Even dual player mode can work with all mixers because there are individual audio outputs for each layer of audio. This allows you to create mixes with just one SC6000 on any 2-channel mixer.

Denon SC5000 Prime

Denon SC5000 Prime


  • A list of features that rival Pioneers CDJ-2000NXS2 and at a lower price point.
  • Impressive touch screen and operating system that features onboard music analysis and beat gridding.
  • Excellent ergonomics, from its USB drive and CD card placement at the front of the player to its raised screen.
  • Dual player mode allows you to use a single deck as two decks.


  • Denon’s Engine software can be glitchy at times.

The Denon SC5000 Prime is a flagship DJ media player. The SC5000 is a serious piece of DJ kit that rivals Pioneer’s top of the range CDJ-2000NXS2.

The SC5000 even has some impressive features that make it a worthy option over Pioneer hardware.

You can’t play CDs on the SC5000. However, you can use the unit as a dual player and a DJ controller for Serato.

Dual player functionality means that you can create DJ mixes with just one deck. The SC5000 even has dedicated outputs at the back for each layer of music.

The multi-touch full-color LED screen seems to be more crisp and clear when compared to Pioneer’s CDJs. Denon’s built-in ‘Engine’ operating system allows you to seamlessly manage your music library and analyze music.

Denon’s SC5000 is an exceptional DJ media player that has new and revolutionary features that don’t seem like gimmicks.

Being able to analyze your tracks without a computer means you get to skip a whole step in music preparation. The possibility of playing a 4-deck set with just two CDJs is simply insane!

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Can I connect multiple USB drives to the SC5000?

Yes. The SC5000 has three USB slots and an SD card slot. If you connect two players to each other, you will be able to access your music from a single (or multiple) drives on both players.

Does the SC5000 have a motorized spinning jogwheel?

No. The SC000M is the player with a motorized spinning jogwheel. This setup is meant for DJs that are looking for a modern CDJ that feels like a classic direct-drive turntable.

Do I need a laptop to use the SC5000?

No laptop is necessary, as you can analyze music within Denon’s built-in Engine operating system. However, you can still use a laptop to analyze music using Denon’s Engine software. The SC5000 can also be used as a DJ controller for DJ software such as Serato.