DDJ-1000 vs. XDJ-RX2 – Comparison & Why I Kept DDJ


ddj1000 vs xdj-rx2
One year ago, I was tossing up between Pioneer DDJ-1000 and XDJ-RX2.

On the one hand, I really wanted to move away from the laptop, and the CDJ style layout was ideal for getting club-ready. But on the other, the DDJ-1000 appealed to me in many ways, from the larger jog wheels, four channels, and general size and layout.

I decided to purchase both of them and then give my little cousin the one I didn’t want to keep.

Eventually, I gave him my XDJ-RX2 as he upgraded from DDJ-400, and he says there’s a small learning trajectory in terms of little differences with it. He mixes house music and doesn’t need two extra channels.

And me… I am super happy with DDJ-1000! I find connecting a laptop a bit of a hassle sometimes, but having my whole library ready without doing a (sometimes tedious) export is a pretty good trade-off.

Are you okay with setting up your laptop to play live? Do you fancy playing like a CDJ setup off a USB? Are there any particular features you want? Those are the main questions you want to ask yourself.

In this article, I will list all the things I learned about these two controllers and hopefully help you decide what’s a better choice for you.

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Comparison Chart

Now, where do we start? Of course, we must analyze and compare the features offered by each of them. The two most important questions are: Do I need 2 or 4 channels, do I want to play with or without a computer?

Next, we will compare the features of each of the models. It’s not a comparison to know which controller is better. It’s for you to know which one best meets your needs.

DDJ-1000

XDJ-RX2

Standalone No Yes
Channels 4 2
DVS Yes No
Software Rekordbox Rekordbox
Material Plastic Brushed metal
Jog wheels Mechanical Capacitative
Effects 14 8
Soundcards 2 1
Links Amazon Not available

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Why a Standalone Controller Can Make a Huge Difference

The XDJ-RX2 is a standalone controller, which means that we can play and record our mixes without using the computer and simply load the tracks from a USB device.

On the other hand, we do need a computer to use the DDJ-1000. The only way that would work without using the computer would be connecting, for example, a CDJ-2000 Nexus, with which the DDJ-1000 would fulfill the function of a mixer.

The XDJ-RX2 is super-convenient because it rids you from relying on a laptop to mix. Before I decided to keep DDJ-1000, I loved the concept of being able to take it anywhere with some speakers and just hit play.

I also liked the idea of getting away from a laptop and getting cozy with the decks ahead of me and not my laptop screen. I’m also always paranoid that my will bug out, Windows will have a problem, or Rekordbox will crash for some reason – the RX2 eliminated that fear for me.

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And the odd thing is that being liberated from a laptop made me a much better DJ. I tend to get absorbed into the screen and spin with visual clues of upcoming breakdowns etc., too much. It also made me more serious about playlist curation, as having it all on hand on a laptop sometimes goes against being creative, and the USB is a limiting factor in that.

No matter what the standalone function of XDJ-RX2 did for me, I generally think where most get hung up is the “image” of being a laptop DJ is way less cool than a USB DJ.

This has a tangible effect on the audience because from a non-DJ’s view, a laptop isn’t a musical device, and your interaction with one is a ‘distraction’ from the performance they’re used to when watching a musician perform. The more you appear like you’re using an instrument, the more they’ll vibe with your sound.

Both of the Controllers Are Built Strong

We can find a considerable difference between the size of the two controllers. The XDJ-RX2 is slightly larger and weighs around 9kg, while the DDJ-1000 is much lighter, weighing only 6kg.

If we compare the size and weight, it’s much more comfortable to carry the DDJ-1000, but remember that you’ll also have to carry the computer, not only a standalone controller.

DDJ-1000 vs XDJ-RX2

Even though the outer shell on DDJ-1000 is made of plastic rather than that brushed metal on the XDJ-RX2, I don’t get the toy feeling of the DDJ-1000. It’s a pretty sturdy device and just as worthy as any competitor.

There’s a notable difference compared to the XZ, for example, but that thing’s a tank.

Also, all the buttons have a very nice feel to them. The knobs on the mixer are fairly hard to turn, however, this just might be my personal feeling.

The layout of DDJ is pretty close to a club setup too.

Pads and tempo slider

Pads and Play & Cue buttons are slightly larger and better illuminated on the DDJ-1000, which at first glance does not seem very important, but if we are playing in a room with low light, it will be more comfortable visually.

As for the modes you can select to control the pads, the DDJ-1000 offers one more option, the Sampler. This will allow you to save different sounds through the computer, such as a hi-hat, a clap, a kick, etc.

DDJ-1000 vs. XDJ-RX2

The tempo slider on DDJ-1000 feels a bit wonky (particularly the cap). However, it has a sweet mechanical feel to it and works precisely. It has a nice little click when you touch the middle position.

The DDJ-1000 Jog Wheels Are Larger and Feel Better

The size of the jog wheels is another plus point of the DDJ-1000. They are considerably larger than those of the XDJ-RX2 and are inspired by the CDJ-2000 Nexus.

In addition to a better feel and response, it also prevents errors due to accidental touches, thanks to a pressure-sensitive design.

DDJ-1000 has mechanical jogs (like the CDJs), and the XDJ-RX2 has capacitative jogs. I’ve played both and am usually pretty indifferent on which one is better when doing gigs. However, as I normally do gigs on the CDJ/DJM combos, I prefer the DDJ-1000. Also, I really like beat matching on the mechanical jogs.

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DDJ-1000 also offers a jog display in the center of each jog wheel where you can view all the information you need, whether it’s BPM, waveform, playback position, or Hot Cue and Loop points.

It also incorporates the jog adjust that allows you to adjust the rigidity of the turntable (light or heavy). It should be noted that this function is not available on the XDJ RX2.

DDJ-1000 vs. XDJ-RX2

Display Makes XDJ-RX2 More Similar to Pioneer Nexus Club Line

Here we see one of the main advantages of the XDJ RX2, its 7-inch touch screen that matches the CDJ-2000 Nexus2. It also incorporates the QWERTY keyboard, rotary selector, track filter, Sounds Colour FX, Beat FX effects, etc.

On the other hand, the DDJ-1000 only has its jog display with which you will be able to visualize only the most basic information and let’s not forget that you will need your computer to be able to play.

Personally, I like that I don’t need to look at the laptop with RX2, but I also must say that the jog screens on DDJ-1000 completely minimize the need for looking at the Rekordbox screen. You have your waveforms, BPM, cue points, and other data right there.

Do you need 4 channels or 2 are enough?

This is the second most important point that differentiates these two controllers, the number of channels each has. The DDJ-1000 has 4 channels, while the XDJ RX2 only has 2 channels. 

This may be one of the differentiating factors for which you decide between choosing one or the other. An important question to ask yourself is: Are you sure you need to play with 4 channels?

Because a 4-channel mixer makes a huge difference when playing live. For me, the best thing is that I can, for example, monitor my tablet for oddball requests on channel 4, keep my NYE countdown track on channel 3, and still keep on mixing on channels 1 and 2.

When I played on my RX2, sometimes I missed the flexibility of having 4 channels. I play house and techno, and sometimes I like to keep a couple of loops on behind the main track.

On RX2, to overcome that is, I would keep the one track playing on a loop (sometimes I cut the volume and bring it back later to ride with the main track) until the main track is about to finish (2;30-1:30 left). This way, you can still fill the gap of some boring breaks or put some flavor in the mix.

I know some people might say you don’t need four channels if it’s home playing most of the time. I guess it also depends on how you want to approach your playing style. If you want to have 4 channels, get the 4 channels because you can still play 2 on 4, but you can never play 4 on 2.

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DDJ-1000 Has More Effects

Regarding the Sound Color FX, we see that the XDJ-RX2 has the Parameter option, which will allow you to adjust any of the 4 parameters to your liking.

Talking about the effects, the DDJ-1000 has almost twice as many (14): Echo, Multi-Tap Delay, Spiral, Reverb, Trans, Flanger, Phaser, Pitch, Slip Roll, Roll, ENIGMA JET, MOBIUS (SAW), MOBIUS (TRIANGLE), LOW CUT ECHO, compared to the 8 of the XDJ-RX2. 

On the other hand, the XDJ-RX2 has a parameter called “Time,” which allows you to adjust some of the effects much more.

Connectivity – Inputs and outputs

In terms of inputs and outputs, they are practically the same. The difference is that the DDJ-1000 has 2 sound cards so that you can connect 2 computers. In the XDJ-RX2, we only have 1, with which we could connect a computer and use it as a controller.

In both, we can connect two microphones, the DDJ-1000 through an XLR and Jack input, and in the XDJ-RX2 through two XLR inputs.

DDJ-1000 vs XDJ-RX2

Prices in 2023

If we talk about price, the DDJ-1000 is the most economical option. As of June 2022, the prices we can find in the main DJ stores online are:

Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000 – around $1250 on Amazon (if in stock)

Pioneer XDJ-RX2 – not available (instead, buy the XD-RX3)

As we can see, there is a difference of a little more than $400. But we have to take something very important into account. The DDJ-1000 controller needs a computer, so we would have to add that additional cost.

Conclusion

In summary, the DDJ-1000 is cheaper, has larger jogs, and has the security of having four channels if you need them in the future. There is more variety of effects, but be aware that you will always need the computer wherever you go.

The attractiveness of the RX2 is more for if you’re:

  • Going to be taking your gear to the venue (or throwing your own parties) and don’t want to mess with/worry about also bringing a laptop
  • Throwing your own parties with multiple DJs and want a setup where all of them can just bring their own USBs and play on the same controller (rather than everyone having to bring their own laptop).

I’d really only recommend buying XDJ-RX2 if you are on a budget doing house parties or other gigs (with multiple DJs) but don’t want to commit to buying a full CDJ + DJM setup.

It’s also worth noting that despite not needing a laptop, the RX2 isn’t much more portable than the DDJ-1000 (the RX2 is significantly heavier and bulkier).

There is also the possibility of combining the best of the two controllers and going for the Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ, the 4-channel all-in-one.

If you still have doubts about which model to choose, I’ll be happy to help you. Just write me an email at info@startingtodj.com.

Tray Fiddy

Tray has come to terms with the fact he will probably never be a famous DJ.... but that hasn't stopped him from mixing and researching audio equipment. Tray has over 12 years of experience DJing at home and events.

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