The CDJ-900NXS and the XDJ-1000MK2 are two similarly priced pro DJ players from Pioneer.
These media players look the part and have expert features that are inherited from Pioneer’s flagship CDJ-2000NXS2.
Both players have a lot to offer and are appealing to a similar audience.
However, some crucial differences between them will make you think carefully when considering which one to buy.
|Pioneer CDJ-900NXS||Pioneer XDJ-1000MK2|
|Compatible Media||CD/-R, DVD, USB flash||USB flash, iOS, Android, Mac, Windows PC|
|Compatible Files||MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF||WAV, AIFF, MP3, AAC, ALAC, FLAC, iOS Rekordbox (MP3, AAC)|
|Analog Outputs||1 x Dual RCA Stereo||1 x Dual RCA Stereo|
|Digital Outputs||1 x Coax (S/PDIF)||1 x Coax (S/PDIF)|
|USB||1 x Type B||1 x Type A, 1 x Type B|
|Other I/O||1 x RJ-45 Lan (Pro DJ link)||1 x RJ-45 LAN|
|Weight||9.48 lbs.||8.16 lbs.|
- No support for high-res audio (FLAC/ALAC)
- CD Playback
- Full-color LCD screen
- Nexus conectivity
- Support for high-res audio (FLAC/ALAC)
- No CD Playback
- Full-color LCD screen
- Pro DJ link
Pioneer has managed to produce another excellent flagship-grade CDJ with its CDJ-900NXS. Unlike the ultimate (and expensive) CDJ-2000NXS2 flagship media player that’s used at major music festivals, the CDJ-900NXS is meant to target a broader audience. An audience that includes clubs, bars, mobile DJs, and DJs looking for a high-quality player for home use.
The CDJ-900NXS is a cheaper alternative to the CDJ-2000NXS2 that still manages to maintain most high-end features and build quality. This is one of the main reasons why DJs and club owners find the CDJ-900NSX more appealing for personal use.
However, the CDJ-900NXS is still an expensive piece of gear. Especially when you pair two of them together with Pioneer mixer, this can make for a rather costly affair for beginner or aspiring DJs that are still building their name. Smaller and cheaper players like the XDJ-700 will be a better option for home setups.
All that being said, you will not be disappointed by the CDJ-900NXS features and its pro-grade build quality. The player has a full-color LCD screen, large jog wheel, and Nexus connectivity. You can even stream music to the player directly from your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. This makes it easier for DJs to practice on the player as opposed to having to transfer music to a USB drive.
Best of Both Worlds
Compact Disc might be a dying format, but CDJ-900NXS still remains a modern masterpiece. Apart from using CDs, you can play digital music straight off a USB drive, or you could stream music directly to the player via Pioneer’s Rekordbox app.
The CDJ-900NXS maintains Pioneers classic features while also allowing DJs to work with modern features straight out of a DJ controller. These features include:
- Slip mode – Keeps playing the track muted when you scratch. The track continues at the right place when you release the jog wheel
- Quantize – Snaps your tracks to a beat grid
- Beat sync – Allows you to sync quantized tracks easily
- Beat divide – Slice and loop your music. An impressive performance feature that works flawlessly along with Slip Mode
These features assist DJs that are transitioning from a DJ controller setup to a pro DJ setup. Next-gen DJs who started off on DJ controllers will feel at home with the CDJ-900NXS. This is the type of audience that Pioneer is trying to attract. DJs that have already mastered Pioneer DJ controllers who want to take their game to the next level.
Pro-Grade DJ media player. The CDJ-900NXS is a full-sized pro DJ media player with all the qualities you would expect from a high-end flagship piece of DJ gear.
DJ controller features. The CDJ-900NXS embraces features that we are accustomed to seeing in digital DJ controllers. You can quantize tracks in Rekordbox, then use features like Beat Sync, Loop, and Slip, to flawlessly mix your music.
The XDJ-1000MK2 comes in at a similar price to the CDJ-900NXS. It lacks a CD player and Nexus capabilities. However, it does adopt the same 7-inch touch screen that you will find on Pioneers flagship CDJ-2000NXS2 media player.
The XDJ-1000MK2 is an ideal player for digital DJs who have finally laid their CDs to rest. It supports multiple digital audio files along with high-quality FLAC and ALAC files. If you are a sound purist that DJs at venues with large, powerful sound systems, then you and your audience will be able to fully appreciate the high-resolution audio that comes out of the XDJ-1000MK2.
The XDJ-1000MK2 is an ideal player to practice with at home. Most DJs prefer to skip the CD burning process and would instead transfer their music to a USB drive. Faster browsing also helps to improve track selection workflow. This means less time worrying about what to play and more time on mixing tunes.
The XDJ-1000MK2 is still expensive. It’s great for pro DJs who want a great player to practice with at home. Beginner DJs will undoubtedly feel the pinch when having to buy two of these and a mixer.
All that being said, the XDJ-1000MK2 will be right at home in a club or bar. The player looks fantastic and is full-sized. It will blend in perfectly at any venue. The lack of a CD player also means that club owners will not have to fork out cash later to service the CD player.
A Touch of Class
A welcomed update to this player is its faster track browsing feature. This is an update on the older MK1 model where you could only browse tracks with the browse knob. Now, you have a search option with the XDJ-1000MK2 that lets you use an on-screen keyboard to type in artist or track names.
The XDJ-1000MK2 may seem like a minimal player against the CDJ-900NXS because of its lack of as many physical buttons. However, Pioneer has built-in many software features into the screen, which is the main highlight of the XDJ-1000MK2.
Apart from displaying waveforms or searching for artists and tracks, you lookup tracks according to BPM, Key, Rating, and color. If you just want to ‘wing it’ then you can simply cue up tracks that are in the same BPM without having to spend too much time looking for the right track.
You can also use the touch screen to trigger hot cues. This adds a great level of performance to the player. Finger drummers will be delighted with this, even if the touch screen isn’t as tactile as real buttons. However, DJs have adjusted significantly to using touch screens so that most DJs won’t have a problem with this.
High-quality audio. The XDJ-1000MK2 supports high-resolution audio. This might not make a huge difference in small setups, but you will enjoy listening to high-quality FLAC files on larger systems.
Great touch interface. The 7-inch touch screen packs plenty of powerful features that improving browsing and track selection.
The CDJ-900NXS and XDJ-1000MK2 are similar in many ways. They are priced the same, have similar screens, jog wheels, and excellent build quality. However, it’s not easy to recommend both players to the same crowd.
The CDJ-900NXS can be seen as a great player for pro-level DJ’s to practice on at home. These are the DJs that regularly use Pioneer’s CDJ-2000NXS2 out at gigs but don’t want to pay an absolute premium for them.
Bedroom DJs that don’t really play on CDJ-2000NXS2 at gigs, but just want a grand setup for home use would prefer the XDJ-1000MK2. There really isn’t much need for a CD player at home and even at a bar or club environment. Especially if you are a club owner that hosts multiple DJs a week. They can simply come to your gigs with a USB drive.