Pioneer DJ’s latest is an all-in-one player, mixer and controller that brings the workflow of the company’s market-leading CDJs and mixers to a tight, simplified package for home DJs or small clubs, bars or events.
Effectively, the XDJ-RR is a simplified version of the company’s XDJ-RX2. As with that bigger device, here we get two jogwheel-centred track controllers, a two-channel mixer and a built-in OS running a version of Pioneer’s rekordbox application. Both take their cues from the company’s top-end Nexus mixers and players, but the RR offers a pared-back feature set, notably in the effect selection, the smaller, less-responsive performance pads and the lack of a touchscreen display.
Despite this, the XDJ-RR still offers a solid selection of core DJing tools. Each mixer channel has a three-band EQ with curves matching those on the Nexus mixers. There are two effect sections: Sound Color FX, which offers Filter, Noise, Dub Echo and Pitch modes; and Beat FX, which offers tempo-sync’d Reverb, Delay and Flanger. Each section can only engage one effect at a time, but these can be applied to either, or both, channels. It’s not the most extensive of effect setups, but there’s just about enough flexibility on offer to keep things interesting.
The jogwheels are sturdy and responsive, and maintain the feel of Pioneer DJ’s high-end players and controllers. They lack the visual feedback of those found on the RX2, but with an onboard screen at the top of the unit, it’s no real loss. The four performance pads aren’t the most responsive we’ve tried, and the backlighting is limited to a single colour, but they’re decent for cue point jumping and beat slicing.
The XDJ-RR is nicely flexible when it comes to loading in tracks. There’s a pair of USB ports along the top of the interface, which lets users load in AAC, MP3, WAV or AIF files from up to two USB drives. You can also connect the unit to a computer via a back panel USB connection, and either access music directly from your computer using rekordbox’s Link Export feature, or use the XDJ-RR as a controller for rekordbox DJ running on a laptop (a full license is included). The RR also lets users record their sets directly to a USB key. The non-touchscreen display does slow down browsing a little, but it’s not a major problem.
By offering all the core elements of Pioneer’s pro-level DJ workflow in a self-contained package, the XDJ-RR makes an excellent at-home system for beginners or DJs who want a simple setup to try out ideas away from the booth. At over £1,000, it’s hardly priced at ‘entry-level’ but compared to a full CDJ/mixer setup it offers decent value. The main drawback in that sense is the lack of expandability - while there is a basic aux input and mic in, there’s no way to add a third deck or vinyl turntable, which users might find irritating as they get more advanced.