Pioneer DJ’s parent company steps into the limelight with the follow-up to last year’s ultra-modern OPUS-QUAD.
To introduce the AlphaTheta brand, we say hello to their new evolutionary two-channel all-in-one with built-in battery power and world-exclusive Bluetooth streaming technology.
Enter the AlphaTheta OMNIS-DUO!
In this article, we take an in-depth look at this exciting device to explore its ambitious features to find out which type of DJ it’s best for and what sets it apart from other wireless consoles.
Check out our full video review and watch Jamie put OMNIS-DUO to the test!
What is OMNIS-DUO?
Continuing with the Latin-inspired name scheme, kicked off by OPUS-QUAD, OMNIS has a similar vibe: A unique look teamed with a typical Pioneer build and sound quality.
It’s a device that can play music directly from local or streamed sources without a computer, as with a controller.
It comprises two deck sections alongside a two-channel mixer with built-in effects controls in the middle.
Above the mixer is what separates all-in-ones from controllers: the all-important multi-functional, high-resolution touch screen, which displays everything from music libraries and waveforms to effect parameters and comprehensive system settings.
Everything needed to get in the mix is included in the device; just add music, headphones and speakers!
OMNIS-DUO is the world’s first fully wireless all-in-one DJ system that can play music straight from a smartphone without needing cables to attach to speakers or power.
With its versatile, stripped-back appearance, this compact all-in-one is feature-rich and introduces a revolutionary new concept: The ability to mix with Bluetooth-streamed music as if it were played from a USB stick!
Also dropping at the same time as OMNIS is AlphaTheta’s other wireless wonder, the low-latency, battery-powered loudspeaker WAVE-EIGHT. When paired with OMNIS, DJs can perform for hours, anywhere, with no power or connection cables!
OMINIS-DUO Key Features:
- Built-in 5-hour battery means there’s no need for mains power when DJing out and about. The device also has an Eco-mode to squeeze out more battery life when needed.
- Built-in Wi-Fi to play music from remote sources like your Rekordbox music library via CloudSync or for DJing with the Rekordbox iOS app. Support for streaming directly from Soundcloud Go+ and Beatport are also coming soon.
- Bluetooth audio input allows DJs to receive music from any smartphone or Bluetooth device so you can mix the audio as if it were being played from a USB stick.
- Weighing just 4.6 kg, it is lightweight and compact, perfect for travel
- Sleek new indigo colour and minimalist design keeps a sharp focus on mixing with no distracting features.
- High-resolution touchscreen gives fluid control of performance features and parameters.
- Intuitive Operating System means switching between tasks like adjusting the deck preferences to jumping back into the performance screen is quick and easy.
- 8 Beat FX and 6 Sound Color FX are all fully customisable via the touchscreen
- $1499 pre-tax / €1599 includes tax / £1,369 includes VAT
What makes OMNIS-DUO unique?
OMNIS-DUO appears to be AphaTheta’s answer to the Denon DJ PRIME GO. It is also a compact, battery-powered, all-in-one unit designed for DJing on the go.
However, unlike the PRIME GO, OMNIS boasts the world-exclusive ability to function fully wirelessly, as it doesn’t need any cables to connect to speakers.
Whilst the PRIME GO targets DJs on the move, OMNIS is a bit more versatile.
Even though portability is a key selling point, it is also a great-looking piece of kit with no alternatives on the market with regard to its striking looks.
Like OPUS-QUAD, it has a one-off design, unlike the uniform look that Pioneer DJ gear is known for.
Its 5-hour battery also means it can perform in locations that don’t have mains power, making it a truly portable device.
Thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity, this midnight-toned console also has a party trick; DJs can take their audiences’ requests directly from their phones. Something not possible until now.
For DJs on the go, OMNIS can ride in the smallest of backpacks. Its lightweight frame tucks plenty of club-style functionality into a battery-powered unit spanning just 50 by 30cm.
But despite its small size, this device easily brings the fire of a couple of CDJs and a DJM club mixer!
DJ with Bluetooth streamed music
OMNIS’ biggest USP is its ability to manipulate music streamed from smartphones.
Despite having minimal hardware controls, OMNIS does have dedicated buttons for playing Bluetooth-streamed music, indicating that the feature is a priority for AlphaTheta.
DJs can now pair with a Bluetooth source and record up to 10 minutes of audio from that source.
For example, an iPhone running Spotify can link with OMNIS, giving it control to play music from the Spotify app and record it to a temporary memory bank.
Once the audio is recorded, it can be assigned to a deck to be cued, played and manipulated with a full waveform and tempo adjustment, as if it were being played from a USB stick.
Bluetooth only shares in real-time
Although having the ability to DJ with Bluetooth streamed music is a first, there is a major limitation as a shared song needs to play in full in real-time before it is ready to mix.
This means waiting by the decks for a song to finish, which may be practical in a house party environment but not in professional settings.
Latency-free DJing with Bluetooth speakers
OMNIS can also send its master audio to Bluetooth speakers. A practice yet to take off in the DJ world as Bluetooth presents a noticeable delay from decks to speaker, known as latency.
Unfortunately, OMNIS is not immune from this. It has a lag when sending audio to speakers via Bluetooth, making mixing out loud difficult without full monitoring through headphones.
Designed for use with the WAVE-EIGHT speaker
Alpha Theta’s answer to the latency problem is their launch partner product, the WAVE-EIGHT speaker.
OMNIS-DUO is the perfect pairing with this low-latency wireless speaker.
WAVE-EIGHT includes a SonicLink ultra-low latency transmitter that plugs into the back of an audio source, such as the OMNIS-DUO, and allows it to transmit audio to the speaker with no noticeable lag!
The speaker is also battery-powered, so combining the two means hours of DJing without the need for mains power.
Although AlphaTheta’s new devices look set to be an ideal pairing, Crossfader has previously explored other low-latency wireless speaker options on the market offering the same benefits.
HD Multi-Touch Screen and new OS
As with any modern all-in-one DJ unit, the touchscreen plays an integral part in the overall operation and functionality of the device.
OMNIS has a beautiful 7” display with a slick new operating system, which makes multi-tasking simple.
When mixing, jumping back to the performance screen from a task is quick and intuitive.
Everything on the device is tweakable within the software.
From the BEAT FX parameters to the crossfader curve and jog wheel stop and start times, right through to setting the battery to ECO mode for a little extra power or for putting the screen into ‘light’ mode for daytime use.
In fact, a lot of functionality that is found on the faceplate of previous Pioneer DJ hardware has now been moved into software, making way for a minimal industrial design that takes the DJ experience up a level.
Any DJ comfortable with recent Pioneer DJ club equipment will be right at home here!
The screen is flat rather than sitting at an angle, as with all Pioneer XDJs and OPUS-QUAD, making the viewing angle a bit harsher and needing to be leaned into a little more than with the others.
The advantage of the flat screen, however, is that the device is small and is by far the most compact Rekordbox all-in-one, which makes sense for a unit designed to get up and go!
Support for Rekordbox and Serato
The all-in-one OS is based on Rekordbox and may indicate what we can expect from Pioneer and AphaTheta’s standalone units, like CDJs and XDJs, going forward.
In terms of using the device in HID mode, Rekordbox is supported natively, with support for Serato DJ Lite coming soon. There’s no official word on support for any of the other major software players like Traktor and VirtualDJ just yet.
Sleek Minimal Design
OMNIS-DUO looks clean but not bare.
The design has taken its cue from OPUS-QUAD, the first Pioneer DJ console to do away with most faceplate markings found on Pioneer kit.
The function buttons have been streamlined to allow for more physical space.
The performance pads no longer have mode select buttons as they only have one mode, Hot Cues. This is more in line with a CDJ workflow.
The most notable example of OMNIS being performance-focused is that the famous yellow glowing loop buttons on all Pioneer decks have turned into a single, more functional loop encoder.
Not an inch on OMNIS is wasted and it feels premium to mix on. The materials and build are reassuringly sturdy.
It is also distraction-free. All the essential functions needed to put together a solid set are present, with additional settings tucked away under the hood.
Connecting to OMNIS-DUO
There are a multitude of ways to play your music on OMNIS-DUO. You can go down the established route of USB sticks or SD cards loaded with Rekordbox-formatted music or connect directly to your computer’s Rekordbox music library via USB-C.
OMNIS also gives the option to cloud connect to a Rekordbox music library over Wi-Fi or stream music from a healthy selection of providers, including TIDAL, Beatport and Beatsource via The Rekordbox iOS app in HID mode, with more direct streaming partners coming soon.
OMNIS also has an impressive I/O for such a small device, offering plenty of ways to play your music out loud as well as plug your music sources in.
It can easily connect to a professional sound system by XLR or to a domestic one by RCA.
Plus, there’s the Bluetooth output and the ability to plug in two mics, one on a combination XLR/ TRS jack and the other on a single TRS.
Both mics have a dedicated attenuator on the back and gain control on the top plate. EQs, on the other hand, have been tucked into the screen’s settings.
How does OMNIS-DUO compare to similar devices?
OMNIS definitely fills a void in the Rekordbox equipment catalogue, and we think it’s a brilliant introduction to AlphaTheta as a brand.
We are seeing more battery-operated DJ units hitting the market, and OMNIS is clearly the most premium.
Pit against similar offerings from Denon DJ and Numark, it’s clear that OMNIS-DUO will likely have more of a niche following, costing nearly 50% more than the closest competition.
However, for the premium price, you can expect a unit with decent-sized jog wheels, proper tempo adjustment and the best of Pioneer’s famous effects.
But, despite being a launch partner of the robust WAVE-EIGHT and costing much more than its closest rival, owners will need to bear in mind that it is not protected against the elements like the new speaker is. It needs looking after, even against a little rain!
Who is OMNIS-DUO suitable for?
OMNIS-DUO hits the right balance of features, size and weight as a portable device.
It is best suited to travelling professionals who are used to working on CDJs rather than controllers, as its layout and features mirror a modern two-deck club rig, only smaller.
It’s premium cost may stop it from appealing to a broader audience, despite AlphaTheta’s press release targeting house party DJs and its name, OMNIS, meaning everyone in Latin.
But it’s a fantastic showcase of what AlphaTheta is capable of, and it’s a great introduction to the new brand.
We’ve enjoyed DJing on it; finding its minimal design helps you to focus on the features needed for standard mixing and putting together a solid set.
However, it does feel like some technology inside is simply being tested before rolling out to future gear, such as the world-exclusive feature of DJing with Bluetooth music.
The Bluetooth receiver has proven to be a ground-breaking concept, but its implementation is a little complicated and isn’t very practical. It could do with a bit of polish if the feature is to catch on and go mainstream.
All in all, OMNIS-DUO suits DJs who like to get in the mix the traditional way, as opposed to those who put together performance routines and prefer to utilise all kinds of effects, a sampler, and several layers of audio.
It has certainly caught our attention and has given us good reason to trust that AlphaTheta will not only carry the legacy inherited from Pioneer DJ, but will take it to the next level!
Watch our performance video and see OMNIS-DUO in action!
Take Your DJing To The Next Level
If you’re looking to pick up a battery-powered rig, whether it’s OMNIS-DUO or the Mixstream Pro Go we can help you deliver some killer sets and use your gear to its full potential.
Check out our dedicated Rekordbox and XDJ courses. Or, for all-in-ones not running Rekordbox check out our Denon DJ PRIME courses.
Or level up your DJ skills like never before and achieve real success as a DJ with our industry-certified Complete DJ Package!