DJ’ing is a skill that requires practice. Most clubs and venues that host DJ’s already have a basic DJ setup – the minimum being 2 decks and a mixer. This equipment is essential for a DJ to perform but at the same time quite expensive for an upcoming and learning DJ to own and practice with at home. That’s why we have made a list of some of the best value for money gear that you can use for your home DJ setup so that you can learn, practice and perfect the art of DJ’ing on gear that functions in similar ways as industry-standard decks and mixers. This means you can not only perform with them but use it as a means to practice the concepts of mixing and be able to apply that on any DJ setup you are given. The essential gear you would require for your home DJ setup would be a DJ controller, DJ headphones and Studio Monitors. We’ve listed down what exactly these things are and some of the best value for money products in the market.
What is a DJ Controller?
DJ controllers are devices used to help DJs mix music with DJ software using knobs, encoders, jog wheels, faders, backlit buttons, touch strips, and other components. Modern DJ controllers emulate two turntables/CDJs and a DJ mixer. However, DJ controllers are much cheaper than two turntables or CDJs plus a mixer. Unlike turntables, controllers can take advantage of the flexibility of computer software, for example, by allowing the DJ to store multiple cue points with music files. Also, DJ software allows users to remap the components of controllers to perform different functions than the controller manufacturer intended.
Here are our picks for some of the best DJ controllers to help you practice your skills.
Top 3 Value for Money DJ Controllers:
Learning to DJ has never been easier than with the DDJ-400 2-channel DJ controller for rekordbox dj. Packed with features to help you comfortably develop your skills, this controller’s layout mirrors that of a flagship NXS2 set-up, with shared elements like dedicated cue buttons, Beat FX, CDJ-style looping controls and more. As a result, their advanced DJ gear will feel natural to use when you’re ready to progress.
Bundled with their professional performance software, rekordbox dj, its compatible Tutorial feature will help you master this controller’s creative capabilities. Lightweight and portable, take the DDJ-400 with you to practice sessions or parties. You’ll soon feel at home while performing. At around ₹20,000 the DDJ-400 is a great value for money DJ controller that not only helps you to practice but gets you acquainted with the world of Pioneer DJ.
Hercules Inpulse 300
Hercules introduces the first-ever range of DJ controllers to really learn how to mix. With the DJControl Inpulse 300, you will love to practice your listening skills and learn to master beatmatching manually. Start DJing easily and improve quickly with the help of exclusive features from the DJControl Inpulse 300 and its DJUCED® software: light guides on the controller to learn the right moves, the Intelligent Music Assistant (IMA) to help you pick the best songs to play, the ENERGY feature to manage the party mood, and the DJ Academy with its onboard video tutorials. The DJControl Inpulse 300 also offers everything you need to perfect your mixing skills: 16 pads, 8 modes, large jog wheels, effects on par with pro controllers, and much more. At around ₹15,000, the newly launched Hercules Inpulse 300 DJ Controller is a great entry point for learning and upcoming DJ’s to hone their skills.
NI Kontrol S2
Craft sets on two decks and get creative with easy-to-use tools like looping, beat syncing, and club-grade effects. Turn the music you listen to into the sets you play, with a streamlined interface that makes blending tracks a breeze. Plugin, line up a few of your favorite tracks and get mixing wherever you are. You can leave the beatmatching to TRAKTOR, so you have more time to pick tunes that fit the vibe, experiment with FX, use looping and remix decks, and to define your own sound. If your style is very hands-on, they’ve given you a lot of jog wheel to play with. Use it to beatmatch tracks – nudge the deck forward or back with the jog wheels to get a track in sync, use the touch-sensitive top-plate to find your starting position, or even spin it back for high-energy rewinds. Because they’re bigger, nudging, scratching, and scrolling is even easier. Jump to different parts of a track with cue points, depending on what the crowd needs. Because each is assigned to one of eight pads on each deck, you can play them like an instrument to seriously chop things up. Choose from eight club-grade effects and three filters, and use up to four at a time with the dedicated Mixer FX control. Start spinning straight away on the full version of their flagship DJ software, TRAKTOR PRO 3, as used on the world’s largest stages. Find intuitive professional tools that quickly help you define your style. This controller is a little more expensive, priced at around ₹25,000, but the great build quality and assurance of the Native Instruments functionality makes it well worth the investment.
What are Studio Monitors?
When it comes to practicing DJ skills or mixing your weekly mixes, studio monitor speakers play an important part in providing the best representation of the sounds you are mixing. Studio monitors are loudspeakers in speaker enclosures specifically designed for professional audio production applications, such as recording studios, filmmaking, television studios, radio studios and project or home studios, where accurate audio reproduction is crucial. Having a good monitor setup will allow you to experiment with new techniques, hear more and perfect your mixing skills.
Here are some of the best value for money studio monitors that should suffice for your home DJ setup.
Top 3 Value for Money Studio Monitors for DJ’ing:
Hercules DJMonitor 32
Drawing on its extensive expertise, Hercules is proud to offer a pair of active monitor speakers that are perfect for users getting started in the world of DJing. Though small in size, they more than measure up to other bigger models in their category – most importantly in terms of their quality and output power.
The Hercules DJMonitor 32 active monitoring speakers have been designed with high-end components for optimal precision and sound reproduction, and exceptional listening quality. Input from specialists in the world of DJing and an in-depth study by audio professionals allowed for optimization of the speakers’ performance. At around ₹9,000, the Hercules DJ Monitor 32 is a great value for money pair of studio monitors that will be a welcome addition to your home DJ setup.
PreSonus Eris 3.5
PreSonus® Eris-series studio monitors are used worldwide by audio engineers who need to hear every detail of their recordings. Ideal for gaming and home video production, the Eris E3.5 employs the same technology as the larger Eris models to deliver studio-quality sound, with a smooth and accurate frequency response. Yet they’re compact enough to fit almost anywhere. Every Eris-series studio monitor utilizes a woven composite, low-frequency driver. The weave and nature of the Eris E3.5’s 3.5-inch woofer result in a more constant dispersion pattern throughout the frequency range, resulting in less time-smeared audio and cleaner overall sound.
The Eris E3.5 is equipped with a one-inch silk-dome tweeter that produces a smooth and refined sound, accurately reproducing transients and high frequencies. The tweeter is designed to radiate sound with a fairly wide dispersion pattern, creating a large optimal listening area or “sweet spot” so you can move around and still hear everything accurately. A speaker’s response is affected by where you place it and the acoustics of your space. That’s why Eris E3.5 active media reference monitors offer easy-to-adjust high- and low-frequency controls. A convenient front-panel volume knob sets both the speaker level and the integrated headphone amplifier level. Like all PreSonus monitor speakers, the Eris E3.5 offers consistent, accurate listening, with the smooth and even frequency response that has made Eris monitors popular around the world. Their compact and powerful design makes them an ideal solution for any small space. At around ₹12,000 the PreSonus Eris 3.5 is a tried and trusted choice for a good home studio monitor setup.
Designed for premium sound that won’t break the bank, CR Multimedia Monitors deliver the performance you expect from a Mackie studio monitor in designs ideal for home studios, multimedia creation, AV post-production, and broadcast. Plus, with user-friendly front panel features and two models featuring Bluetooth® for music streaming, they are great for any desktop in any situation. CR monitors deliver a combination of high-quality components and professional build quality typically only found on more expensive studio monitors. But, they are affordable and ultra-compact. Switch from video editing to music listening in no time flat. Edit a video, then watch a video. You are a multi-tasker who appreciates great sound. Whether you are looking for great studio speakers or want to upgrade your gaming audio, CR helps you in all aspects of your multimedia creation and enjoyment. At around ₹15,000, the Mackie CR4 is another good option for those looking for a home studio monitor setup.
What are DJ Headphones?
The broad requirements of headphones for DJs are commonly known – to be able to cue and beatmatch the next track, block out any external noise that might hinder this process and at the same time being of good build quality and easy to carry around.
We’ve listed down what we think are some of the most practical DJ headphones at the best prices.
Top 3 Value for Money DJ Headphones:
Hercules DJ HDP DJ-M40.1
Thanks to their effective sound isolation, trendy design, performance and pivoting ear-cups, the Hercules HDP DJ M 40.1 headphones have everything it takes to become as indispensable to you as your DJ controller, helping you perfect your favorite mixes. The Hercules HDP DJ M 40.1 headphones easily adapt to any type of use. Their sensitivity is combined with a strong audio output level, perfect for monitoring tracks in any environment. The drivers allow for accurate bass reproduction and low enough impedance to ensure high volume output when used with DJ gear, computers, and mobile audio players. The headband easily adjusts to any head size, while the pivoting, practical ear-cups featuring large, soft ear pads provide total comfort and shield you from ambient noise. Properly positioned over your ears, the ear-cups won’t let sound escape. Easily monitor tracks on the headphones while preparing your mixes: the full range of audible frequencies lets you hear exactly what will be played over the speakers for your audience. You’ll love the HDP DJ M 40.1’s trendy design, with large ear-cups, black fabric, and matte black housing. The earpieces can be folded in – perfect for taking the headphones with you wherever you go. At around ₹3,500, these are easily the strongest and most value for money DJ headphones you can buy.
Pioneer HDJ X5
Hear your tracks loud and clear in the booth and on the move with the HDJ-X5. By taking on board feedback from DJs and analyzing many different styles of monitoring, they’ve made sure our new DJ headphone range includes all the features needed for performing at every level. Thanks to the high-quality audio design inherited from our previous professional DJ headphones, you can enjoy distortion-free monitoring, even at high volumes, wherever you go.
The HDJ-X5 headphones are designed to be flexible. Their swivel mechanism allows you to wear them comfortably, whichever way you prefer, for long periods of time. No need to worry about bumps and knocks during transport as these DJ headphones can handle severe conditions and heavy use. They even cleared the US Military Standard Shock test. This is significantly more expensive than the Hercules headphones, but at ₹12,000 the Pioneer HDJ X5 is a great investment for DJs starting out as well as experienced DJs looking for a pair of headphones that are rugged and don’t break the wallet.
The elegant HD 205 are medium-sized, supraaural headphones that provide excellent sound quality and brilliant shielding of ambient noise.
Its rotatable earcups, as well as the single-sided cable, make them a professional companion even for DJs. These headphones come with a convenient protective pouch for easy storage and transportation. At around ₹4,000, these are the best value for money Sennheiser headphones you can buy.
Gear at our Workstations
We have a dedicated Hercules workstation that showcases the DJControl Inpulse 200 and DJControl Starlight as well. The DJ Control Starlight is priced at around ₹6000 and is a great starting point for those looking a super portable DJ controller that you can practice on.
Another one of our practice stations features the Pioneer DDJ 400 and the DDJ-XP1 – that’s priced at around ₹30,000 and is great as an add-on controller for Rekordbox DJ.
Our workstations are equipped with the Pioneer HDJ – X5 headphones that we feel are the best quality headphones for its price out there.
I’m an Ableton Certified Trainer and the co-founder of Beatworx, one of India’s most acclaimed electronic music schools. I’ve been producing music for over a decade. My tryst with computers began in 1994, when I was three years old, and I’ve been wonder-struck by technology ever since. A high school graduate on paper, I went on to prove that formal education isn’t everything. I’m here to help guide you on the fascinating and ever-evolving journey of making music using computers and hardware.