Pioneer led the charge in the 2000s towards DJ booths without vinyl records with their superb CDJs. Pioneer created a masterpiece in the form of the CDJ-1000, a large, professional DJ media player that could flawlessly replicate a DJ turntable. This caused a revolution in the DJ world that made becoming a DJ more accessible to the masses.
The CDJ-1000 was the king of DJ gear right through to its retirement year when it was known as the CDJ-1000MK3. The flagship product was succeeded by the CDJ-2000, which is now in its latest iteration known as the CDJ-2000NXS2. This latest flagship beauty builds upon everything that made the CDJ-1000 great by adding features that peek into the future of DJing.
It was clear that Pioneer had their sites on a less premium market when they released a more affordable version of their flagship DJ media player called the CDJ-900NXS. On paper, the CDJ-900NXS might seem like a budget flagship DJ media player, but it still maintains that classic Pioneer CDJ appeal and love that DJs had for the CDJ-1000.
|Pioneer CDJ-900NXS||Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2|
|Compatible Media||CD/-R, DVD, USB flash||USB flash, SD Card, Optical drive (CD, CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW/R-DL), iOS, Android|
|Compatible Files||MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF||ALAC, AAC, AIFF, FLAC, MP3, WAV|
|Analog Outputs||1 x Dual RCA Stereo||1 x Dual RCA Stereo|
|Digital Outputs||1 x Coax (S/PDIF)||1 x Coaxial (S/PDIF)|
|USB||1 x Type B||USB Type A, USB Type B|
|Other I/O||1 x RJ-45 Lan (Pro DJ link)||1 x RJ-45 Lan (Pro DJ link)|
|Weight||9.48 lbs.||12.57 lbs.|
The CDJ-900NXS is a stripped-down version of its iconic big brother, the CDJ-2000NXS2. When in use, the CDJ-900NXS still feels amazing and useful. It doesn’t feel like much is missing from this player. Pioneers goal is clear, create a cheaper, yet solid product of their flagship that will appeal to the masses.
Pioneer has managed to accomplish something great with the CDJ-900NXS. If you didn’t know that the CDJ-2000NXS2 existed, you would think that the CDJ-900NXS is the granddaddy of them all as the player retains Pioneer’s excellent flagship build quality, looks, and feel. You will think you are on the headlining stage at Tomorrowland when playing on a set of CDJ-900NXS.
Getting the masses to feel like they are using the best of the best when they actually aren’t is what Pioneer managed to achieve. However, the CDJ-900NXS isn’t cheap, and won’t be finding its way into every beginner to moderate DJs home that quickly.
Because the CDJ-900NXS is still a flagship media player, it maintains its massive size, which makes it difficult to transport to gigs and to set up at home. Smaller players, such as the XDJ-700 will make more sense for mobile and bedroom DJs.
This leaves the relatively pricey and large CDJ-900NXS in a niche market. For pro DJs, it’s a setup to ‘practice’ with and for club owners, its an ultimate premium looking setup that comes at a smaller investment when compared to buying a set of flagship CDJ-2000NXS2 players.
The CDJ-900NXS is an all-purpose DJ media player that shares some features with modern DJ controllers. Features such as ‘slip’ allow you to scratch, loop, reverse, and pause tracks without losing the actual position of the track.
If you prepare your tracks in Pioneer’s CDJ companion software Rekordbox before playback on the CDJ-900NXS, you will be able to quantize your music. This will allow you to hit the ‘beat-sync’ button for quick beatmatching, just like a DJ controller.
This kind of Hybrid CDJ/DJ controller approach signals Pioneer’s intentions for the future. Instead of remaining isolated in CDJ territory, the CDJ-900NXS embraces DJ controller hardware and software features. These are the sort of features that our newer generation of DJs has come from in the past decade. Every new guy has probably started out on a DJ controller, right?
High-quality DJ media player. The CDJ-900NXS is a full-sized flagship that is capable of replicating the excitement a DJ feels when crushing mixes on a flagship player.
DJ controller capabilities. The CDJ-900NXS has some serious DJ controller features that include Slip, Loop, and Beat Sync. All available on tracks that are quantized in Rekordbox. These features will make controller DJs feel right at home and can smoothen the transition from a DJ controller to flagship Pioneer DJ gear.
The CDJ-2000NXS2 is the ultimate industry standard Pioneer DJ media player. Playing on a CDJ-2000NXS2 is on every living DJs bucket list, which is why it is the home to all the leading DJs around the world. This modern flagship is an update to the success CDJ-2000 player that featured nexus connectivity, which allows you to sync up and communicate with multiple CDJs seamlessly.
The CDJ-2000NXS2 has the same appeal as CDJs from the past, like the CDJ-1000MK3, which is why it currently holds an iconic status in the modern DJ world.
The latest iteration of the CDJ-2000 now has an even larger seven-inch touch screen and performance pads that allow you to trigger cues, sounds, and loops. The updated UI allows DJs to easily control their set with improved track selection features by filtering and tagging music within large libraries.
The colored ‘hot cue’ section on the left side of the player is a welcome addition. You can set cue points, and loops in Rekordbox and color code them for maximum effect and organization. There is potential here, but the pads themselves are rather cramped, making it difficult to perform.
A Bright Future for DJs
The CDJ-2000NXS2 is as versatile is it gets. You can hook up four decks to sync seamlessly from a single audio source, like a USB thumb drive or Rekordbox on a laptop. You can take things further and use your CDJ-2000NXS2 to control other popular DJ software like Traktor.
Traktor software can recognize the CDJ-2000NXS2 as a DJ controller and soundcard. The incredible part is that your tracks waveforms and info will be displayed on the CDJ-2000NXS2’s touch screen.
Pioneer has also crammed tons of features and support for multiple audio formats that include high res audio FLAC files. You will be able to playback CDs and DVDs as well. Storing large files will be easier on DVDs if you want to take a more traditional audio purist approach to your mixes.
The ultimate DJ gear out on the market right now. It’s impressive that Pioneer has still managed to create a superb product that maintains the same appeal as the CDJ-1000. Especially in an overly saturated DJ gear market.
Large touch screen user interface. The added touch screen capability opens up a world of new features and possibilities that were once reserved only to tactile buttons.
In this comparison, we looked at the two best DJ media players that Pioneer has to offer. Both the CDJ-900NXS and the CDJ-2000NXS2 are meant to be absolute all-in-one players that are meant to satisfy any DJ’s needs. Yet, these products still feel so far apart from each other.
Any DJ will feel right at home with either product, which is why it’s easy to recommend both to club owners looking to level up their DJ booths. However, what is that separates these two units so drastically? Well, its the price, of course.
The CDJ-900NXS is almost half the price of its big brother the CDJ-2000NXS2. And the CDJ-900NXS isn’t cheap either, which is why these players are mostly used professionally at large clubs and festivals. It’s difficult to recommend these CDJs for personal use at home or even for mobile use. That being said, if money is no object for you, then waking up every morning to see these in your bedroom will be a pretty sweet deal!