Many people have been DJ’ing from home and streaming themselves on platforms like Facebook and Twitch during lockdown. It’s a great way to get yourself noticed, but it’s also a challenging skill to master. As such, buying home DJ equipment for the first time can seem complicated – but it doesn’t need to be. Here’s our simple lowdown of the best home DJ equipment, covering everything from turntables to software.
Headphones are an essential piece of kit – the better your headphones, the better your sound. They’re vital for you to listen to the track you’re bringing in and making sure it’s beat matched properly.
When buying DJ headphones, you want a long cable length so you can move around. You also want headphones with a closed-back design so you can isolate your music, and you want them to be comfortable and durable.
The Sennheiser HD25 headphones are industry-standard headphones used by DJs worldwide – and our very own esteemed DJ at Ripe Music, @dimensionmcr.
He said: “Not only do these headphones provide excellent sound quality and noise cancellation, pretty much all of their elements are replaceable, from the wires to the ear. This means the same pair can last you years.”
Aside from boasting great sound quality and durability, the Sennheiser HD25s are lightweight, perfect for single-ear listening, and for any monitoring application. They’re comfortable with soft, velour style earpads, and the straight cable is more than long enough for having a mix at home. We think they’re a bargain considering they’re such an esteemed product.
From beatmatching to scratching, you can master all kinds of techniques on a turntable.
If you’re looking for professional equipment at an affordable price (approx. £355), the AT-LP140 XP won’t let you down. It’s Audio-Technica’s top DJ turntable.
It’s a high-quality, direct-drive, manual turntable – perfect for home and professional use.
What do we love about it? It features a high torque, direct-drive motor which allows for mixing and scratching. It features an upgraded, S-shaped tonearm with height adjustment, and provides impressive speed stabilisation. Plus it comes with a detachable dual RCA output cable, so you can connect the turntable to any component with a dedicated phono input.
Pioneer DJ is the most esteemed brand for professional DJ gear. Its equipment, such as the DJM-900NXS2, is used in clubs and festivals across the world. However, the DJM-250MK2 mixer is the best option if you’re DJ’ing at home or just starting out because it has a clear layout and easy controls. It’s a 2-channel mixer that comes at an affordable price, but it has the appearance and quality of the DJM-900NXS2.
It’s DVS-ready and Rekordbox-compatible, giving you the best of both worlds. You can opt for the small two turntable and mixer setup or dabble in some digital DJ’ing. Plus, it has a built-in Sound Card, meaning you can connect straight to your computer using USB.
Once you have your DJ equipment and tracks, you need some DJ monitor speakers. Good quality speakers produce a sharp sound with minimal distortion.
For a home setup, the all-rounder KRK Rokit G4 is a great choice. It’s used in many home setups because they’re versatile and reproduce perfect sound at an affordable price. It also looks cool, thanks to its yellow dome. The Rokit G4 speaker is available in 5", 7", 8" (Bi-amp), and 10" (Tri-amp), and features matching Woofer and Tweeter for a unified sound. Plus, it contains 25 visual Graphic EQ settings for different environments. Not bad at all.
The Presonus Eris E4.5 is another great monitor speaker for home DJ’ing. It’s compact, which means it can be used in a small space, it produces a refined sound, and its front-panel stereo headphone amplifier means you can play without annoying others. Small and available at a great price (approx. £173), it’s a great speaker for home DJs.
An all-in-one DJ controller includes turntables and mixers together, allowing you to mix music with one piece of equipment. This is a better option for those who want to avoid forking out loads of money for their equipment and are just DJ’ing as a hobby. DJ controllers come in varying sizes, prices, and quality, but most will work with any DJ software and operating system.
The Pioneer DDJ-1000 can set you back over £1,000, but you get what you pay for. This 4-channel controller is compact and portable but doesn’t skimp on quality. It features high-resolution screens in the jog wheels, which provide informative visual feedback while you’re DJ’ing. Then there’s the dual USB, which allows you to perform with others and facilitates easy changeovers, and the 16 performance pads. The DDJ-1000 is an important addition to Pioneer’s product range, as it’s the first controller to be designed specifically with Rekordbox DJ performance mode in mind.
The 2-channel Traktor Kontrol S2 is a good DJ controller if you’re starting out. It has easy-to-use tools like looping, beat syncing, club-grade effects, and large jog wheels. Another of its features is the award-winning Traktor DJ software, which we’ll come on to talk about soon.
The Reloop Mixon 4 hybrid controller is compatible with both Serato DJ and Algoriddim DJay. It has 4 channels, 2 physical decks, 8 hot cue buttons, and 8 sample knobs per deck. Check out this video to see it in action and find out more about it.
Cables are not the most exciting pieces of equipment, but they’re essential if you want your DJ equipment to work. Although, for DJ’ing at home, it’s likely you’ll just use the USB connection to connect straight to your laptop. If not, for DJ mixers you’ll need RCA plugs - Stagg is a reliable brand, as is Amazon Basics if you want to go for a cheaper option.
If you venture to a party and want to get the crowd going, you’ll need some XLR cables for your mic. The most reliable is also made by Stagg, and the 3-metre cable will make sure that nothing comes unplugged. It’s essential for large controllers, too.
There are many different types of DJ’ing software out there, and it all comes down to preference. Make sure you try out the free trial versions before you invest so you can get a feel for each piece of software and find out which one works for you.
Rekordbox is the flagship software from industry leaders Pioneer, and it’s great for organising your music. There’s also the paid-for core (£9.99/month) and creative (£14.99/month) versions which have amazing functions and provide a great DJ experience.
Ableton’s sequencing software is world-renowned, and the Live 11 is coming very soon. Here’s what to expect:
Traktor DJ allows you to play your tracks on your desktop and iPad with the free app.
Virtual DJ is a software that’s easy to use, so you can start mixing with just your laptop. It’s free if you’re not using it for professional use and perfect for having fun at home.
It goes without saying, you need a laptop to download software. A laptop with enough processing power to smoothly run your DJ software is essential, and a large screen size, multiple USB ports, and a long battery life are ideal.
DJ @dimensionMCR adds:
“Now, it’s not DJ equipment, but one of the most exciting things that’s coming out for bedroom DJs especially is a service called Beatport Link. Beatport is where many DJs, myself included, go to buy their music, and this service allows you to stream their entire library straight to your DJ software for a monthly fee. It’s really exciting, and it’s on the lips of a lot of people in the industry at the moment.”
Once you’ve invested in your home DJ equipment, you need Equipment Cover to protect it should the worst happen.
Ripe Music provides Equipment Cover for DJs, which protects your equipment against loss, theft, and damage, both at home and when you’re out and about. Plus, you can get cover for Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, and even Loss of Earnings cover.
Get an online quote within minutes and start creating those tunes.