The hottest DJ gear for 2021

Rane One
(Image credit: Rane)

GEAR EXPO 2021: We’re predicting a roaring return to clubbing and playing music out live later in 2021 and innovations in DJ kit just keep on coming. 

From putting performance first, to simply making mixing and syncing easier than ever, 2021’s latest gear put the power today’s DJs need right at their fingertips. Here’s our selection of all you’ll need to get this year’s party started.

Rane One

Rane says that its new One DJ controller is unique in the market in that it offers motorised 7-inch turntable platters that are designed to give you the true feeling of vinyl. As such, it promises “authentic, tactile control” over your music and performance.

There’s also a turntable-style start/stop button, along with multi-function performance pads that enable you to access hot cues, loops and other features in Serato DJ, which comes included. 

Plus, the all-important crossfader is Rane’s Mag Four, billed as the company’s lightest and smoothest yet.

The Rane One will be available in the first quarter of 2021 at $1,499/£1,300/€1,500. Find out more on the Rane website.

Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8

Native Instruments S8

(Image credit: Native Instruments)

Still the top of Native Instrument's Traktor controllers, it shifts away from the conventional ‘two platters and a mixer’ layout of most DJ gear, in favour of a design focused around Traktor’s Stems and Remix Deck capabilities.

NI claims that the new touchstrips can be used in place of jog wheels so with a track stopped, these can be used to 'scratch' the current track. Meanwhile holding down Shift puts them into Seek mode, allowing the user to jump to any part of the track. 

And with the track playing, these become Pitchbend controls, which can be used for basic, 'nudge'-style beat-matching. 

Find out more at Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S8

Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3

Best beginner DJ controllers: Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3

(Image credit: Pioneer DJ)

Pioneer's DDJ-SB3 is a 2-channel DJ controller that’s designed specifically for use with the Serato DJ Lite software and represents a great entry point for those looking to get semi-serious about DJing. 

Its layout is similar to that of the more expensive DDJ-S devices and includes jog wheels, performance pads, play and cue buttons and independent auto loop buttons. 

Updated from the DDJ-SB2, the SB3 offers a feature called Pad Scratch, which was created in collaboration with DJ Jazzy Jeff. This enables you to initiate eight of his trademark scratch techniques - the scratch is automatically matched to the track’s BPM – which can be used in isolation or in combination with your own scratching.

Find out more at Pioneer.