The battle of the standalone DJ units
The stand alone DJ units or all in ones as they are otherwise known have rapidly grown in the market place over the last few years. With the phenomenal success of the XDJ RX2 from Pioneer, Denon DJ recently brought their technically impressive Prime range into the market with the release of the Prime 4. With the RX2 being a dated unit now with just 2 channels and Denon’s new range of players still being relatively unknown, we are always asked which one would we recommend. We are fully aware how ever that every DJ’s situation is different, with that in mind we have broken down five key scenarios.
I’m a club DJ looking for something to practice on at home…
Professional decks and mixers are expensive, as such most DJ’s won’t want to spend their hard earn cash on such an elaborate set up at home. Both the RX2 and the Prime 4 are much more competitively priced at over half the price of a CDJ set up, however which one would be best for someones home set up. The Prime 4 benefits from having more performance features and channels, allowing the DJ more creative outlets.
However the professional market is currently dominated by Pioneer DJ and the RX2 inherits the layout and features of the flagship Nexus 2 range of CDJ’s. The draw back of the RX2 is the limited performance features but realistically how many people will need all 4 channels offered by the Denon? We believe the layout of the RX2 gives it a slight edge over the Denon, allowing DJ’s to practice routines with the same feel to that of the club standard equipment.
Verdit: RX2 Win
I’m looking to future proof my purchase….
Even at half the price of a club standard set up, this is still a lot of money. As such we are sure you want to be buying something that will last and still be relevant in years to come. Now the good news with both these products is that they are built very well, with sturdy solid construction throughout.
The Denon does benefit from a user replaceable Crossfader but over all we have found no issue with the build quality on either device. As such the longevity of these units boils down the technology within, an area where the Denon has the Pioneer thoroughly trumped. Being just over a year younger than the RX2, you’d be forgiven for thinking the two units feature similar levels of technology. However this couldn’t be further from the truth with the Prime 4 embarrassing the rather humble Pioneer RX2 when it comes to power under the hood.
Denon DJ first showcased their multi core processor technology with the SC5000 players and it’s made its way into the all in one Prime 4. This means the Prime 4 can handle numerous input sources, analyse whole record collections on the fly, support numerous high resolution displays and even connect to external software packages with ease. It’s the first all in one device that really doesn’t rely on a computer for anything, even being able to connect to the internet and stream songs directly. Add to that the whole host of features that have come in firmware updates even after launch, it’s clear Denon DJ aren’t done developing the Prime 4 just yet, where are the RX2 almost looks ready for replacement. For these reasons, it’s a clear victory to the Prime 4.
Verdict: Prime 4
I’m a venue owner who wants something cheaper than CDJ’s to put in my venue…
As we have already mentioned, individual players and mixers are expensive! Therefor we can see more and more venues wanting to save money and install these all in one players instead. As previously highlighted, for the professional DJ’s who are used to a club set up the RX2 would probably be preferred. How ever the Denon Prime 4 is the more logical choice, being way more powerful and offering more value for the price. Venue owners will probably see the Denon as a better investment but DJ’s and will most likely perform better on a familiar set up. This one will boil down to individual preference, we’d advise speaking with your DJ’s and making the choice together!
I’m a mobile DJ needing a portable all in one solution…
Being slightly smaller and lighter, the Pioneer RX2 is a great solution for mobile DJ’s with professional connections and solid reliability. However it’s the input sources that will be most important in this scenario. Renowned for their sound quality, the Denon features two great microphone inputs, each with their own dedicated EQ and echo effect. The RX2 also features two microphone channels, but they share the same EQ and feature no effects. The Denon also features a 2.5″ SATA hard drive bay, allowing DJ’s to permanently instal a hard drive of any size. Being able to carry an entire record collection inside the unit its self is a game changer, but what about fresh requests from your varied crowds during the night?
The Denon’s streaming options should have you covered, launching in late 2019 you will be able to chose from four streaming partners, using the inbuilt Wi-Fi or connected via Ethernet. In addition, the Denon Prime 4 can connect to Resolume, Soundswitch and Timecode. Allowing mobile DJ’s to have a professional light show controlled by the music its self, a brilliant feature for mobile DJ’s to set them apart from the rest. It’s for this reason that it’s a solid win for the Denon, it’s a more versatile package for mobile DJ’s with the RX2 falling way short in comparison.
Verdict: Prime 4
I’m a new DJ wanting to buy a product to last me…
So you’re a new DJ with cash on the hip, wanting to buy something now that will follow you through your DJ journey. As you’ve already read, the Denon Prime 4 is the smarter choice for the money. Pioneer DJ hardware is found in almost ever professional DJ booth around the world dominating the professional market. If you are wanting to learn your craft and take it to the professional booth, you will be best starting off with the RX2, learning the lay out and preparing your USB’s with the industry leader. However, if you value creative opportunities more, you may want to invest in the Prime 4.
We’d recommend looking at what you want to achieve, look at DJ’s you aspire to be like and what equipment they use. The RX2 is limited in it’s tech but you will gain knowledge of the Pioneer eco system and that can make the transition from bedroom to club that bit easier! Denon DJ are creating amazing products at the moment and are aiming to change clubs over to Prime series players but until that day, it’s a Pioneer victory. If you do decide to go with the Pioneer unit you can check out our dedicated XDJ RX2 courses in the links below!
The Full Specs
|Denon Prime 4||Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2|
|Dedicated Auxiliary Inputs||0||1|
|Performance Features||Hot Cue
|Outputs||2x Master (XLR & RCA)
1x Booth (XLR)
1x Zone (XLR)
2x Headphone (1/4 and 1/8 inch)
|2x Master (XLR & RCA)
1x Booth (1/4 inch TRS Jack)
2x Headphone (1/4 and 1/8 inch)
|Audio Inputs||4x RCA Line Inputs (2 switchable to phono)
2x TRS Combi Mic
|2x RCA Line Inputs
2x RCA Phono
1x RCA Line Aux
2x TRS Combi Mic
4x USB A(One dedicated high voltage phone charger)
1x USB B
1x 2.5″ SATA Hard drive bay
|2x USB A
1x USB B
|Displays||1 x 10” High Resolution Multi Touch
2 x 2″ High Resolution Jog Displays
8x OLED Effects Displays
|1x 7″ Touch Screen|
|External Software Support||Serato HID (Coming Fall 2019)
|Rekordbox Performance Mode|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||728.47 x 496.82 x 103.63 mm||728.2 x 443.8 x 108.4 mm|
|Weight||9.7 kg||9.1 kg|