Best DJ Controller for Beginners | Best Budget / Cheap DJ Controllers Under $100
If you are hoping to DJ on a budget, or money is tight so you’re just looking for the best budget DJ controller under $100, this can be a difficult task.
And the difficult thing is finding a cheap DJ controller that will keep you on budget while maintaining some quality, because like most things, you get what you pay for.
Usually it's a good idea to buy a cheaper product if you're just a beginner as well, so that way you can get a better idea of what you like and don't like before you purchase a more expensive version. So we've done our best to find the best dj controller for beginners as well.
We’ve done the research and we’ve included a wide range of different brands and styles to choose from, so these are the best DJ controllers we recommend if you’re on budget or if you're a beginner.
Keep in Mind: If you're looking for something that has a little more features, getting a DJ controller under $100 is generally for beginners and may not be for you. Take a look at our overall best DJ controller reviews for more options.
Top 5 Best DJ Controllers for Beginners / Cheap DJ Controllers Under $100 – Editor’s Choice
Best DJ Controller for Beginners under $100
Is Buying a Cheap DJ Controller under $100 OK?
It really depends on what your goals are. These budget DJ controllers are perfect for someone who is just starting out. Buying a cheap DJ controller really is best for beginners. But over time, you may want one that has better quality and has more features.
When looking for the best DJ controller on a $100 budget there are a few things you want to look out for.
You may have to compromise on the looks of the DJ controller if you’re only going to spend $100. If you’re going to give something up because of your budget, give up on the appearance.
You most likely won’t find something that feels extremely durable under $100, but it should still feel solid and sturdy. This is important because these budget DJ controllers will still likely be used as portable equipment that you’ll take everywhere. Durability is probably the most important attribute in a cheap DJ controller.
Operation and Feel
Even though you may be getting a cheap DJ controller, it should still feel nice and smooth and be quick and responsive. Take the time and try out a few DJ controllers that feel right for you.
Best Cheap / Budget DJ Controller Under $100 Reviews
Numark Party Mix – Best Budget DJ Controller Overall
What is great about the Numark Party Mix is that it is designed with portability in mind. It’s a smaller DJ controller, which definitely makes it easy to haul around.
It also comes with a lot of features that are usually found in higher priced DJ controllers.
- 3 LED arrays that sync to your mix
- Plug and play
- Built-in Audio Outputs
- Built-in Headphone Output
- Industry standard VIrtual DJ LE software
- Compact chassis with dual scratch platters and slider controls
- 8 multifunction pads
Yet even despite its small size, it comes with a host of features that are often associated with options in much higher price brackets. It has been built with as simple layout utilizing a dual deck design. Each deck has a smooth jog wheel, gain control, a 2-band equalizer, a pitch slider, and multiple color-coded pads.
While this will indeed give you a multitude of options to mix with, I do admit that the addition of a 3-band equalizer to this machine would have taken it to the next level.
Despite this, the Numark Party Mix offers some decent construction quality and a high level of aesthetic appeal at a very good price point. Combine this with a solid array of features and an easy to maneuver interface, the DJ Party Mix is a great option for those looking for a compact and portable DJ controller that won’t break the bank.
- Easy To Use
- Lots of Features
- 2 band equalizer (3 band preferred)
Hercules DJControl Compact Mobile – Best Portable DJ Controller Under $100
This DJ controller is super mobile. Its compact design is built with traveling in mind, weighing in at just 1.2 pounds.
What’s nice is that even though it’s so small it, the design doesn’t feel cluttered, even with the amount of features it has.
- 3-band equalizer
- Easy loop mechanics
- Dual pitch faders
- Multiple effect options
- 2 jog wheels
- 4 Modes (loop, fx, samples, cue) per deck
Due to its size, this Hercules DJ controller is entirely USB powered. Because of this, it can only be run from a computer. You’ll need to use your computer to audio out on this as well, and there’s no way to preview music with your headphones unless you have another sound card, which can be inconvenient for some.
One thing to point out here is that the Hercules software isn’t compatible with all computer operating systems, so you will definitely want to check for compatibility before purchasing.
- Looks great
- Super compact and lightweight
- Under $100
- No way to preview music with headphones without additional sound card
- Software compatibility limitations
Casio XW DJ1 Trackformer – Best budget DJ controller under 100 for your iPhone
This budget DJ controller definitely looks different than your standard DJ controller, but that’s the point. This new style, equipped with a 7-inch disc and built in speaker, lets you enjoy remixing and playing music anytime and anywhere.
The design is supposed to reproduce the feel of a vinyl record on a slip mat. The controller produces a wide range of analog-like sounds, such as the scratching techniques cut in/out, and vibrato.
Some other features found in the XW DJ1 Trackformer:
- 4 hours of battery life
- Can be used as a USB MIDI controller
- Djay App – Can plug into your phone and mix directly from Spotify or other music platforms
- Dual crossfaders
- Multiple effect options
- Filter controls
The XW DJ1 Trackformer has a great feel to it and the symmetric design allows for either left-handed or right-handed operation just by changing controller orientation.
It’s built well and pretty sturdy, which makes it great for portability as well.
It’s best feature is its compatibility with popular DJ and VJ apps. It’s fully compatible with djay2 for iOS (iPad, iPod touch, iPhone) and djay Pro for Mac, apps that seamlessly integrate with iTunes and Spotify.
Keep in mind that you will need a good and stable internet connection if you want to mix tunes using Spotify, but other than that, it’s an extremely fun option that will last you a long time.
- Unique new design
- Authentic feeling
- Not as many effect options
Behringer CMD Studio 2A – Best DJ controller for beginners under $100
The Behringer CMD Studio 2a is a complete DJ setup with a dual deck and built-in audio interface and a voucher Deckadance LE DJ software.
This has been combined with two highly touch sensitive jog wheels that make for a versatile natural scratching and pitch bending experience.
Some other features include:
- Built-in library navigation
- Track load buttons
- 2 channel faders
- 3 band equalizer
- 4 channel USB audio interface
- Back-lit buttons for easy use in the dark
A great thing about the CMD Studio 2a is that the comprehensive mixer section really allows you can alter sounds any way you want to make a sound that is unique and recognizable.
Despite its variety of features, the interface is straightforward and easy to use – with each variation and effect being clearly labelled. This makes it a perfect budget DJ controller for beginners.
Something important to keep in mind here is that this DJ controller isn’t as durable as the other budget DJ controllers here, so treat it with care.
- Easy to use and navigate
- Lots of features
- Great software
Hercules Instinct S – Best jog wheels in a cheap DJ controller under $100
We’ve got another budget Hercules DJ controller here. The Instinct S is super compact and mobile.
It’s very lightweight (a little over 2 pounds) and still has a ton of features including:
- 2 decks
- 2 Pressure sensitive jog wheels
- Built-in audio outputs for mix and preview
- DJUCED 18°DJ software
- 3-watt USB rotary RGB LED light
- 2 jacks for speakers and headphones
The design is great with the mixer controls in the center, and the individual deck controls on the left and the right.
The pressure-detecting jog wheel allows you to scratch as naturally as you would with a vinyl record by pressing on the jog wheels. The jog wheels also control the Pitch Bend function, and browsing through tracks.
There is also a controller midi mappable for additional Traktor software and virtual DJ software.
The only issue to note is that the buttons don’t line up while playing or mixing, making it a little more challenging till you get used to it.
- Great software
- Attached USB cable means never losing your cable
- 2 jacks for speakers and headphones
- Pressure sensitive jogs
- Buttons don’t line up
- Not compatible with any other software
And the Winner for best DJ controller for beginners under $100 is…
Since cost combined with durability is one of the main factors when looking for the best DJ controller for beginners, the Numark Party Mix beats out the rest if you’re on a budget of under $100.
Combined with all of its extra features and amount of effects it offers, the Numark Party Mix was the obvious choice here. And to top it off, it looks great too.
Hopefully we’ve narrowed down your search in finding the best DJ controller for beginners under $100. Good luck!