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The Pioneer XDJ-700 is a DJ media player that plays music from a USB thumb drive and a laptop running Rekordbox DJ software. The player is cheaper, lighter, and shallower than Pioneer’s flagship CDJs which makes it a more portable solution for mobile and bedroom DJs. The player ditches most of its function buttons for a 7-inch touchscreen which house most of the XDJ-700’s features.
An Upgrade From the CDJ-350
The XDJ-700 can be seen as a stripped-down, compact version of its bigger brother, the XDJ-1000. Both media players have support for digital music formats. However, there is no room to play CDs on these players.
The XDJ-700 inherited most of its flagship features from the XDJ-1000. The best feature being that excellent touch screen display. However, it doesn’t look or feel much like a flagship pioneer CDJ, but more like a CDJ-350.
The Pioneer CDJ-350 is a simple yet robust CDJ that features USB playback. It is an entry-level CDJ that many up and coming DJs saved up to use in a home or mobile setup. The CDJ-350 was also used in many budget club setups and was a DJ favorite even though its design was drastically different from a regular CDJ.
The CDJ-350 was very basic, yet pricey and was suited more towards purists or laptop DJs making a switch over to CDJs. It lacked many modern features which made it more of a step backward than an upgrade from a DJ controller. The CDJ-700 tackles this issue with modern features that are packed into a simple and compact design.
The XDJ-700 ditches the CDs for a digital-only solution provided via a USB thumb drive or a laptop with Pioneers free Rekordbox software. The player supports MP3/AAC/WAV/AIFF. Support for high-resolution formats such as FLAC files with have been a welcomed addition.
You can also use the Rekordbox app on your smartphone to wirelessly feed tracks into the player. If the XDJ-700 makes it into your home setup, and you have a smartphone with plenty of storage for your beats, then you could possibly DJ endlessly from a single source, your phone.
You could set up playlists and cue points on your smartphone or laptop when you are away from your gear, then get right into the mix once you are home. However, most DJs prefer to stick to a USB thumb drive as their primary source of music.
Sticking to USB drives isn’t an issue with the XDJ-700, which has a large touch screen interface and browse knob. Browsing large music libraries is made easier with the screens adequately lit display that’s great in both dark or bright environments. You can search for music by using a touch keyboard. This is so much better than endlessly browsing music on a CDJ-350 when the current track that is playing is about to end.
Hardware and Design
The XDJ-700 is made up of a mostly plastic build and isn’t as sturdy as its flagship CDJ brothers. However, it doesn’t feel cheap, and its plastic build means that it is much lighter than a flagship CDJ.
The build quality is reminiscent of a mid-range DJ controller such as the Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3, which is all plastic and light, yet it still maintains a premium feel to it. If you do own a mid-range DJ controller like the S2 and you want to make the jump over to a CDJ setup, then you may feel right at home with the XDJ-700.
The XDJ-700 not only compromises on build quality but also size. It is much smaller than a flagship CDJ, leaving less room for you to take control of your sets. Because of this loss in real estate, Pioneer was only able to cram the necessities regarding buttons, knobs, and a smaller mechanical jog wheel without the platter display in the center.
The units build quality, and the smaller size isn’t a total waste as its compact size and lightweight makes it easier for you to take it with you on gigs. 2 XDJ-700s and a DJM-450 are ideal for small bedroom setups.
A mechanical jog wheel means that DJs will have to press down on it to scratch, a feature similar to other jog wheels found on CDJs and XDJs. If you are coming into the XDJ-700 from a DJ controller with touch-sensitive jog wheels, then scratching on this unit will take some getting used to.
Feature Rich Touchscreen
The minimal design and loss of physical features are made up for through the 7-inch touch screen. Apart from the excellent search features and track information and waveforms, you can use the screen for additional performance functions such as beat loops and hot cues.
Beatmashing, looping, and track search on the screen may seem foreign to DJs at first, but Pioneer managed to keep the user interface friendly and straightforward. The most important aspect of the screen is that it is very responsive. With practice, you will be able to expertly control your sets through the features that are packed into the touch screen.
To get the most out of the music you load into the XDJ-700, its best to prepare your tracks with Pioneer DJ’s Rekordbox software on a laptop. The software will analyze your music’s waveform and beat grids, while also allowing you to add hot cues to the metadata of your tracks.
You can then transfer your tracks along with its metadata to a USB thumb drive which can be used on the XDJ-700. Then the unit will be able to read your track and its metadata and will load the track quickly along with any edits you may have made on it.
You can also use the XDJ-700 along with a laptop, almost like a DJ controller. Instead of transferring your beats to a USB drive, you can skip the process and play directly of your computer. Using a laptop with the unit can be part of your track preparation process before you decide on ditching the laptop for a USB drive.
Where Does the XDJ-700 Belong?
The XDJ-1000MK2 is meant to be an affordable option over the flagship CDJ-2000NXS. The XDJ-1000MK2 has most of the features and design of an ultimate CDJ but at a reduced price. However, with its lower price, the unit still remains an expensive choice for Beginner DJs and small club owners.
The XDJ-700 could be the answer to a price-conscious DJ who is still earning his way up the DJ ladder or a club owner not willing to invest in expensive gear.
The unit is compact enough to allow you to fit two players and a mixer easily onto most desks in a bedroom setup. Because of its smaller size, the unit is also ideal as an additional player to your current setup, like a DJ controller with audio input capability.
If you play at a club which has old and worn-out gear and you prefer taking your gear, then you will appreciate the compact size of the XDJ-700. There’s no real issue with transporting two units along with you, and their smaller size makes installing them into a cramped DJ booth setup easier.
The XDJ-700 is an excellent choice for club owners looking for a computer free DJ option while eliminating the risk of spending too much on expensive gear. No CD player means that they will also eliminate the hassles of maintaining a damaged CD player.
The downside of the XDJ-700 comes when looking at the product from the bottom up. If you are a DJ that uses DJ controllers or a low-end CDJ, then upgrading to the XDJ-700 might be a difficult choice. The XDJ-700 might be a budget Pioneer media player, but it still is an expensive upgrade from a DJ controller setup.
The price of two XDJ-700s and a DJM-450 mixer is almost double that of a high-end fully featured DJ Controller (even a controller from Pioneer). If you are a mobile DJ that uses controllers because of its portable all-in-one setup, then its more likely that you should upgrade to a better controller if need be. However, if you are a DJ that is beginning to play out at more clubs and festivals, then ditching your controller for a couple of XDJ-700s is the way to go.
Light and Compact Design. The XDJ-700 fits easily into any bedroom or lounge and has a minimal and clean look that allows it to blend into your home or club setting.
Amazing Screen. The player’s massive list of features is hidden beneath the multifunction touch screen. The player might be missing many familiar buttons on top, but those features are probably within the screens interface.
Still an Expensive Choice. The XDJ-700 is meant to be an entry-level Pioneer media player for beginner DJs and smaller club owners. However, purchasing two units and a mixer is still an expensive affair. This makes the player somewhat of a niche product.
The Pioneer XDJ-700 is a great DJ media player that is ideal for beginner DJs to practice on if they wish to ditch their controllers for playing on CDJs. It may not have as a robust build as its bigger brother, the XDJ-1000MK2, but it still maintains the feel and experience of a CDJ. Don’t let the lack of functional buttons fool you. The screen is the star of the show here because of all those features wrapped into a fully functional touch screen.
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