DJ Controller vs CDJs: What is The Difference?

Owning a DJ controller is considered as one of the best will make you stand out in the world of music. Today, DJ controllers can already create different sounds that clubs and music festivals will search for all over the world. DJ controllers are devices that make the DJ’s life easier by mixing their selected music with software using knows, faders, encoders, and jog wheels. On the other hand, CDJs are usually more extensive and expensive. CDJs come with a platter that looks like a vinyl turntable. They do not have mixers connected to them. Be sure to check out the best DJ Controllers right here on

There is a significant difference between a DJ Controller vs CDJs. CDJs do not connect to any mixer, and likewise, the capacity of a MIDI recognized. 

At first, they are produced to play music from CDs. Many CDJs enable to play audio files that can be seen on USB flash drives or SD card. Some DJs use both mixer and CDJs; however, CDJs are used more. DJ controllers use laptops because it is easier for them to play music from the files stored there. Laptops are connected to the controller by requiring DJ software to use. 

In this article, breaking down the pros and cons of a CDJ and Controller will enlighten you on what to use in your DJ career. Keep on reading!

Benefits and Drawbacks of CDJ and Controller

By just using your DJ software, mp3 files, and a laptop, you can now create a pretty amazing mobile setup as a DJ. In reality, you can set this up even with a few hundred bucks. But, if you are a beginner in this career, controllers are a significant investment. They are easier to use, and you can download any kind of software like Serato or Virtual DJ. 

DJ controllers are portable and can be carried from gig to clubs or festivals with ease. With all those DJ skills you possess, this is a great choice. Also, remember that professional DJ you saw on a club with just a small DJ controller? They often opt for mobile like this rather than fancy Pioneer 4-channel mixer. Today, controllers include features wherein you can layer tracks, position effects, and cut samples for artistic impact. 

DJing on your laptop typically looks boring from the audience on the dance floor. Using a controller can command an audience for the DJ. If you are a first time DJ controller, expect to have a lower response and cheap buttons from the audience. But, you can choose a high-end design like Numark that can compete against prestigious CDJ brands. 

What Are the Benefits?

DJ controllers are cheaper than CDJ. The reason why people, why most cannot decide which to choose is because of its price difference. Also, DJ controllers are easy to carry with one piece. Being a DJ means that you know to produce a high-quality sound on either CDJ or controller. Controllers are lightweight type and portable. Even when you own a huge controller, it is still effortless to travel with. Aside from that, the MIDI buttons can be personalized. You do not need USBs, CDs, and Mp3 players. Also, affordable and portable. 

When you purchase a controller, it commonly includes DJ software like Serato and Traktor. It depends on what kind of controller you will buy. Sometimes they include premium DJ software. They include unique digital features like cue points and loop that enables a DJ to explore their music taste and effects. Sync buttons in controllers are essential as it allows you to accurately synchronize music without traditionally using ould techniques. 

What Are the Drawbacks?

Each controller needs a laptop to use because it is a significant source of audio. Most platters may not be big like turntables. CDJ platters are sometimes hard to execute using different methods of scratching. Also, controllers do not use motor platters and are not easy to master, especially if you are a user of vinyl turntables. When you perform, it can cause a delay in scratch and be audible. Another drawback is that it can affect the laptop and audio interface. 


Choosing between a CDJ and DJ controller has no definite answer. They both have unique characteristics that make them stand out. You need to focus on their advantages and disadvantages that were stated above and decide what is best for you. When it comes to becoming a popular and great DJ, your skills and styles in mixing music matters. 

Choose what fits best for you and your preference as a DJ on the making. You should not be tempted because this famous DJ uses a CDJ or controller. It all depends on you. After all, it is your career, and choosing the right and high-quality equipment is just one step to your dream of becoming an expert and popular DJ.