Pioneer DJ has announced its newest controller, the DDJ-200. It’s built for beginners that are curious about DJing and puts ease of use at the forefront with an ultra-competitive price of $149. Not only does it come with built-in tutorials, it’s compatible with several music streaming services, and can pair with your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
Easy and frictionless setup is at the heart of the DDJ-200. It can connect to any number of devices to stream music, is iOS- and Android-compatible, supports Bluetooth, works with your iTunes library, and can access Spotify Premium, Deezer, Beatport LINK, and SoundCloud Go+ through DJ-specific apps like djay, edjing Mix, rekordbox, and WeDJ.
WeDJ is Pioneer DJ’s app for mobile DJing, and so naturally the DDJ-200 incentivizes using this over other options. If you use WeDJ for iPhone with the DDJ-200, any feature that normally incurs in-app billing — like extra effects — can be used for free. The tutorial feature is also only offered within WeDJ for iPhone, which explains basics like how to connect the controller to different devices, how to use effects, DJ terms, and tips on performance techniques. Using WeDJ also unlocks a bank of transition effects for switching between songs seamlessly, will automatically detect the best points to mix in and out of songs, and has a Pop-Hint feature that explains what different buttons do without switching screens. Although WeDJ is also available for Android, it appears these extra benefits only apply if you use the iPhone version.
It’s worth mentioning that some of these features are also offered in other apps supported by the DDJ-200, like djay. Pioneer DJ nudges people to stay within its ecosystem, but apps like djay are more robust for adventurous users, offering additional features like video mixing and reactive visualizers.
Android and iOS DJ controllers have been around for some time now, but continue to increase in popularity. There are several reasons for this, but one of the biggest is that it’s easier than ever to mix tracks using streaming apps like Algoriddim’s djay and Pioneer’s WeDJ. The DDJ-200 leans on this heavily. It not only supports a wide array of DJ apps, it makes it easy to use them. A lot of other DJ controllers require physically connecting smartphones or tablets, and that often requires weird dongles, like Lightning to 30-pin, which can be annoying and come with problems (I once couldn’t get a controller to read an iPad because the dongle firmware wasn’t updated). But the DDJ-200 connects smartphones via Bluetooth — so while you might have to deal with some latency, there aren’t any extra cables required. You may still need a dongle for other types of connections, though, like connecting your iPhone to speakers.
This is not a setup that’s for pro DJs, and Pioneer DJ itself says the DDJ-200 is designed with “beginners and hobbyists in mind.” Aside from the minimal interface and hand-holding in the WeDJ app, you’ll need stable Wi-Fi in order to stream music without worry of any drop outs. All of that means it’s definitely meant more for house parties than, well, any professional event. And that’s fine — the DDJ-200 is a fun, easy introduction to DJing that’s incredibly affordable.
Pioneer DJ’s DDJ-200 will be available in mid-May for a price of $149.