If you’re a bedroom DJ just starting out and have Bluetooth speakers at home, you’re probably wondering can you connect them to your DJ controller.
There’s a lot of talking about latency, delay, and just buying regular speakers, but if you’re eager to practice, why wait?
Yes, you can connect a DJ controller to Bluetooth speakers. There are two ways to do it – with or without cable. With cable, latency (sound delay) will be unnoticeable, and without cable you might need to mix in your headphones (depending on the speakers).
Beginners may run into problems in the process of connecting the controller (like DDJ-400)/laptop to the audio interface, so in this article we’ll try to go over everything you need to know.
Connecting With Cable
- Get an RCA to Aux 3.5mm cable and make sure Bluetooth is not connected.
- Run from the decks to the speaker. Not from the laptop.
- If you don’t want to headphones cue, then plugging straight into the laptop is fine.
Most Bluetooth speakers have a 3.5 mm aux input, so if you get an RCA to aux cable (like this one on Amazon), you can get away with using a Bluetooth speaker.
If your speaker has a direct aux port and you have that cable, you can plug it directly into your decks if you want to cue in headphones.
For those of you who are using Rekordbox (pretty sure you can’t do this on Serato), you can use the Bluetooth connection. You can also apply your cue on your controller’s DAC interface and master on the computer’s audio devices simultaneously.
The trick I didn’t know when I first got my controller is that you can route all your computer’s audio through your controller, so the master on your controller becomes your volume nob. That way, you can listen to YouTube without having to change cords around.
If you have the DDJ-SB3 and have it paired to a Bluetooth speaker, you might find that sound keeps coming in and out even if connected with RCA to Aux.
If all the settings in the software are right, that just sounds like possibly a bad wire. Try and see if you have another one around your place and try again.
Purchase another cord and see if you’ll have the same issue. It may have something to do with the digital DJ software you’re using. Try to make sure you can use Bluetooth before purchasing a license for the pro version.
I (sometimes) mix with my JBL Xtreme 2 (which is awesome btw) that I use with my portable scratch deck when I take it out to parks and stuff, and it works fine using a 1/8″ to RCA cable.
It lasts for 24hrs without charge, has two options to adjust the sound for indoor or outdoor spaces. It is handy, and it’s crazy how great these speakers are for the money regarding sound and battery life.
While it does not have the bass for easy blend monitoring, it works great for starting out.
Some companies’ Bluetooth speakers can still have a delay even with a wired signal, but I can confirm that JBL doesn’t have it.
Pioneer DDJ-FLX4 /DDJ-400
If you have an issue hearing through headphones when using DDJ-FLX4 or DDJ-400:
- Check the Audio settings and make sure the “Audio Output” is set to “Master Out” or “controller.” Set audio to the speaker.
- Check if you have the audio pushing to the Bluetooth speaker set up there or through your laptop’s audio preferences. If it’s from the laptop, change that back to normal, and change it up in your Rekordbox settings!
- Set the knob on the left-hand side to ‘cue.’ If it’s set to ‘master’, you’ll hear what’s being played via the speakers through the headphones but won’t hear anything when the volume slider is down (such as when DJing.) You can set it to 40/60 cue/master, 50/50, or whatever, but you have to have some ‘cue’ in there if you want to beatmatch.
Suppose you have a Bluetooth audio output device selected in sound preferences (amp OR headphones), and then select ‘PC Audio Out.’ It will sometimes un-select itself and go back to outputting from the DDJ-FLX4 or DDJ-400 itself (though you have no speakers plugged in).
Go to the “Output audio from the computer’s built-in speakers and your DJ equipment” option under Audio Preferences in Rekordbox, and select ‘output over Bluetooth.’ If you scroll down a bit in the audio settings, you can try and choose in which output the cue goes.
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Connecting Without Cable
- If you try to connect without cables (only Bluetooth and transmitter), you need to do it with your laptop (works better with a Mac).
- You will have to mix through headphones exclusively. Good practice for extreme cases, I guess.
On one occasion I played at a restaurant whose speaker system is wireless via Bluetooth. I knew beforehand that there would be a problem with a delay, so I brought cables to connect to two speakers since they had Aux-connections. So I used my master output for one speaker and booth for another.
To my disappointment, the speakers had about a half-second delay even through Aux. This resulted in that I had to mix entirely in headphones. This worked okay, but then I realized that there’s no point in using cables since there’s a delay anyway.
So the next time I connected them via this Avantree Audikast Plus Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter (Amazon link) for which I read it’s one of the best, and it worked just fine.
What it does is that it transmits the audio signal wirelessly, and then you can connect your wireless speakers or headphones to it.
It connects to a laptop using a 3.5mm jack (or RCA jack if that’s what you need) and makes it Bluetooth-compatible. The nice thing about it is that it can connect by default with two devices – both speakers and headphones. It can easily be charged with a USB cable and works up to 10 hours on one full charge (but also works while charging).
Your DJ software needs to handle multiple sound cards if you want to pre-listen to tracks from your controller simultaneously. When you listen through the headphones, the speaker’s sound is delayed, but there is no way around that. Speakers add latency.
Consider Bedroom DJ Speakers
Can you connect Bluetooth speakers to the DJ controller? Yes. Do they work flawlessly? No.
There will be a noticeable latency between what is in your headphones and what is coming out of the speakers. It won’t be easy to beatmatch by ear. If you are not concerned with beatmatching by ear and are just going to hit a sync button, then you can make it work, but you won’t progress as you could.
If you’re a college student or simply can’t have massive speakers in your room, your options for speakers are very limited.
There are a few “best bang for the buck” speakers that I usually recommend, are Logitech Z623.
Although I’m sure the ones that many recommend – Pioneer DM-40 are fine, they are more expensive than the Z623 and have no subwoofer. I do not think they are that better – too much increase in price for significantly less bass with no subwoofer.
I think those speakers are pretty much for beginner DJs that haven’t done their research. Like a beginner kit for a Christmas present and think, “Oh, I need DJ speakers.”
You don’t need DJ speakers. You are better off paying less for a 2.1 PC speaker system for DJing or paying more for proper studio monitors for producing if you plan on producing in the future.
How to DJ with Headphones Only – This works well for practicing DJing quietly, but also it will prepare you for gigs where you need to use Bluetooth speakers.