Pioneer CDJ-900NXS Review

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Pioneer CDJ-900NXS Review

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The Pioneer CDJ-900NXS is a robust media player that goes beyond the basic CDJ by dipping its toes into the realm of DJ controllers and software. Its stunning full-color screen and Nexus input will allow you to control more sources of music and not just the CDs in your DJ bag. The CDJ-900NXS is considered to be a stripped-down version of its older brother, the CDJ-2000NXS2, but it still maintains plenty of features that make it a complete and enticing package.

Best of Both Worlds

In the mid-2000s, the DJ community endlessly debated on which gear/format was the ultimate choice to DJ on. DJ’s were split into two camps, vinyl loving turntablists and CD hoarding CDJ owners. “CD’s are the future. You can just burn your latest tracks onto CD and slot them into your set.” “Nothing beats the tactile experience of beat matching on vinyl.”

Years went by with no clear winner. Instead, we saw the introduction, and the rise of a third format to take the DJ world by storm — the DJ controller. Being able to access and control an entire library of music through software and a dedicated Midi controller is the sort of future we have been waiting for.

However, history again repeated itself because of the reluctance to move to DJ controllers. If you had a massive collection of vinyl in the 2000s, transitioning over to digital meant recording your collection to CD or buying new CD versions of your records. Now with DJ controllers, there is no longer a need for CDs. All your tracks are on computers and hard drives.

The CDJ-900NXS is all about blending traditional and future DJ experiences. A beautiful media player that accepts all digital formats, including CDs, and it’s willing to communicate with other gear too. The CDJ-900NXS is a blast from the past with its iconic design, yet it is future proof as a DJ controller that can also stream your music over Wi-Fi.

If you are a DJ with an extensive collection of CDs and digital downloads on your laptop, then you will be pleased to know that the CDJ-900NXS has you covered. If your next gig has a CDJ-900, you will be able to break out your “old classics” CDs again. The CDJ-900NXS also manages to maintain the familiar Pioneer aesthetics while introducing many new powerful features.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you are a laptop DJ with love for everything Pioneer, then you will love hooking up your laptop or smartphone to the CDJ-900NXS. Pioneer’s Rekordbox software completes the integration by analyzing your music and creating beat grids. The info is pushed to the player, giving you even more control over your music.

Next-Gen DJ Hardware

The CDJ-900NXS was always ahead of its time. Many features such as smartphone integration, wireless connectivity, and to an extent, slip mode, seemed “gimmicky” upon the player’s release. Pioneer may have taken a chance with these features. However, the CDJ-900NXS has matured into such a valuable media player that suits almost any DJ’s style.

The CDJ-900NXS is a legit hybrid CDJ/DJ controller. It has a beat sync function, similar to what you see on DJ controllers. If you analyze your tunes in Pioneer’s Rekordbox software, the player will be able to read a track’s beat grid and keep your mix locked in time.

If you love dropping effects into your mixes, then the quantize feature will keep everything, including loops and cue points, on the beat. The looping section is similar to the CDJ-2000. Loop timings are perfectly on the beat when quantize is switched on.

The “Slip” function is similar to Traktor’s “Flux Mode“. A handy feature that allows you to scratch, loop, reverse, and pause a track without interfering with the actual position of the track. The track will continue playing muted until you are done with your live edits. This is ideal for scratching or beat mashing on the lead up to the drop.

Always Connected

The CDJ-900NXS has network capabilities that allow four players to access just a single USB music library. There’s no need to carry multiple USB drives for each player anymore. If you are looking to access your entire music library on a laptop, then you can connect multiple CDJ-900s to a Rekordbox library on a laptop.

For those who are heavily reliant on their smartphones, the CDJ-900NXS will allow you to communicate with it via your smartphone. You can sync your smartphone with the CDJ-900NXS through the Rekordbox app, which will enable you to create playlists and cue points. Modern smartphones have become very capable and reliable, with massive storage options available. Preparing a set with music on a smartphone should be second nature to most.

With so many connectivity options available (CD, laptop, smartphone, USB), music management can get a bit tiresome. The CDJ-900NXS does try its best to accommodate for its extensive list of features through its user interface, which is displayed on a gorgeous, high-quality screen.

Apart from the usual track info that you will find on any Pioneer CDJ, the 900NXS displays a full track waveform. You can simply adjust the Rekordbox beat grids within the player for even more control. The display isn’t as vibrant and colorful as modern displays in smartphones. However, it does an excellent job of displaying essential info, both in dark and brightly lit environments.


The CDJ-900NXS is a high quality, industry-leading DJ media player that is tried and tested by many pro DJs. This is pro grade DJ equipment for Djs looking to take their game to the next level.

If you are a digital DJ, you will be able to enjoy multiple formats such as CD, USB, Rekordbox on laptop, smartphones, and tablets. This will allow you and other DJs that you share the stage with to have the flexibility to use whichever formats that each person prefers.

The CDJ-900NXS also has essential DJ controller capabilities such as Slip, Beat Sync, and Loop. DJ playing styles can vary drastically between traditional CDJs and DJ controllers. However, the CDJ-900NXS adopts some DJ controller functionality to accomodate for different playing styles.

The CDJ-900NXS can be considered an ideal package for nightclub owners not looking to invest in the CDJ-900NXS. Some venues might be reluctant to invest in the top of the line CDJ-2000NXS2 due to budget, and wear and tear concerns. The CDJ-900NXS makes sense in this regard.


A near perfect device that is only slightly let down by its screen which has a low refresh rate and resolution. A better screen is expected at this price point.

We are spoiled by our high definition smartphone screens that look absolutely amazing. Going back to a low-res screen for important information can feel annoying.

The CDJ-900NXS is a budget version of the CDJ-2000NXS2, yet it is still an expensive buy for the average DJ. Up and coming DJs will have to work really hard to save up for the CDJ-900NXS. Hopefully they only need two!

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The CDJ-900NXS is a fantastic all-round DJ media player that can easily integrate into any club setup. Its impressive functionality and ability to play a wide range of formats will allow most DJs to adapt to the player quickly. Club owners will have less to worry about when introducing new DJs with different playing styles into their club setup. If you are someone that plays at venues with CDJ-2000NXS2s, you can still consider going for the more affordable CDJ-900NXS option to practice with at home.

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