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Pioneer XDJ XZ Review

If you are a modern DJ worth your salt, Pioneer is a brand that sparks emotion deep in your soul. And, if not, I have to question if you have a soul to start with. 

Joking aside…

When it comes to innovative and market-leading digital DJ decks, Pioneer is in a league of its own. They are what Technics used to be in the days of vinyl decks. Compliments don’t get any bigger than that.

I have written this in-depth Pioneer XDJ XZ review because I want you to get the lowdown on this impressive all-in-one digital DJ controller system. Many of Pioneer’s state-of-the-art integrated DJ controllers are too expensive unless you are a working professional DJ. 

But this product attempts to make it affordable for beginners, novices, and pros alike. Does it live up to all the hype? Let’s find out.

Pioneer XDJ XZ
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Taking It Back To Basics

This all-in-one 4-channel DJ controller from Pioneer is a club standard setup that hits the spot. The reality is that this is what DJs have been anticipating for a while. There are a few small flaws because, at this price, you will never get perfection, but it’s close enough. 

The professional layout, the lightweight design, and a bunch of features that will suit both novice and pro DJs are what makes this deal so great. It’s not cheap, but it’s also not unobtainable for those on a working budget. 

When you buy Pioneer DJ controllers, you have to expect some financial outlay. However, if you are a working DJ or looking to find jobs, this setup can simplify and standardize your gigs, no matter the venue. It’s also ideal for bar/club owners looking for a reliable DJ station. 

What’s in The Box?

Before I go any further, I wanted to give you my experience of receiving the product in the post. When my Pioneer XDJ-XZ was delivered, it was quite a sturdy package. Once I opened up the box, here is what I found inside:

  • XDJ-XZ DJ controller.
  • Power cable.
  • Manufacturer’s instruction manual.
  • USB cable.
  • Software license details.
  • Rekordbox DJ license card key.

What Are the Pioneer XDJ-XZ Key Features?

Right off the bat, this integrated DJ controller with two decks with jog wheels, 4-channels, a mixer, performance pads, and a bunch of other features is pretty impressive. 

Let’s take a look at the key features of this Pioneer XDJ-XZ to see how it works, performs, and how it can simplify your DJ jobs going forward.

Key Features:

  • Two pro mic channels.
  • 4-channel mixer.
  • DJM effects unit.
  • 3-band EQ options.
  • LCD touchscreen control panel.
  • Solid jog wheels.
  • 16 performance pads.
  • Rekordbox DJ software.

The Mixer

The Mixer

I wanted to start with the most conflicting feature first. The mixer section of this system is located in the central panel between the two decks, as always. Although it purports to have 4-channels, this is not necessarily so. In essence, it only has two channels when used in the standalone mode. 

To be honest…

I was underwhelmed by this realization. In the bigger picture, it doesn’t matter that much, although it is a minor drawback. But remember that there are still four channels available if you are using Rekordbox or Serato DJ hooked up to your PC or laptop.

The positives are the mixer has a 3-band EQ function with level controls and trim features so you can easily monitor the output. This full DJ-size mixer comes equipped with an X-pad and a standalone effects unit. 

There are five line inputs, line-level inputs, two solutions for DJ software, and one USB-B slot. This mixer has everything a pro DJ could need for any bar or club environment.

The Jog wheels

The solid and oversize jog wheels make this the perfect DJ controller for scratching. These large and mechanical jog wheels have some serious give and are the same as you will find on the Pioneer DDJ-1000. 

They are super-accurate and have adjustable tension, so you can tailor them to your exact touch preference. You can further customize them by utilizing the Extra Vinyl speed option.

And, that’s not all…

Take advantage of the jog wheel screens with waveform data details, slip and reverse functions, and other features that make track identification quite simple. Ask any DJ, and they will tell you those features are a godsend. 

You can even use individual artwork to make it even easier to identify tracks. These large scratch wheels make controlling the tracks an enjoyable experience.

Using the Pitch Faders

The long and accurate pitch faders were a breath of fresh air to me. But, with a DJ controller of this size and price, that’s pretty much a given. 

If you love beat-matching by ear in the club, you get a bunch of Tempo Range, Tempo Reset, and Master Tempo buttons so you can keep tight control of all your mixes. With these functions, mixing tracks with differing BPMs is not difficult. 

The super-smooth fader action with its LED indicators means that you will very rarely experience any issues. If you are a DJ who prefers to let your software do the mixing for you, no worries. The Sync function was specifically made to do the hard lifting for you.

Take Advantage of Performance Pads

Before performance pads on DJ mixers and controllers were even a thing, they were used to great effect on beatbox samplers like the Akai MPC controllers. 

They were used to trigger samples, and the feature was so effective that all high-end DJ controllers today use them. The Pioneer XDJ-XZ has 16 performance pads spit up evenly, eight for each deck. 

What can those pads do?

The four primary pads that are most commonly used are Beat Loop, Best Jump, Slip Loop, and Hot Cue. There are a bunch of other modes, but they are only on the software, so you won’t be able to physically see them on the unit. 

They are software-dependent and are compatible with Rekordbox and Serato DJ. The setup is different for each software, so you’ll have to figure that out yourself.

FX & Looping Controls

FX & Looping Controls

One of the best things about using Pioneer DJ hardware is their immense choice of effects. You get 14 FX options that have presets and customization features. 

There’s an output switch that can even be used to add effects to your microphone channels. You’ll notice that the effects are located in the same position as the Pioneer DJM 900NXS2 mixer, just like any standardized club setup.

Familiarity is the hallmark of this controller…

That is evident regarding the looping controls. There are In/Out and Reloop/Exit buttons, alongside Doubling, Halving, Memory, and Delete options like all the Pioneer DJ controllers of the recent past. You will also be able to control the loops via the performance pads if you need more options.

Touchscreen Central Panel

The 7-inch touchscreen panel is standard on Pioneer XDJ models, and I love it. It’s color and touch-responsive, but in my opinion, it’s a bit dated. That’s because it’s quite small and not compatible with some of the newer technology out there, like on a Denon DJ Prime 4

However, it is easy to navigate and quite simple to use when switching between settings and crates using the browse/control button. 

I shouldn’t be too critical, really, because the screen is still very good in the grand scheme of things. It’s especially great if you are not using a laptop or PC. So, there are still lots of good things to say about this touchscreen panel. 

Mic Controls

One of the Pioneer XDJ-XZ controller’s biggest advantages is the vastly upgraded mic control options. Pioneer has really hit the spot with this addition. There are dedicated mic channels for two microphones just above the left deck. 

The 3-band EQ channels give you access to the sound of both mics. And, if you want to instantly lower the volume of the Master Output, you can press the talkover button to great effect. You can also switch directly between Heavy and Light modes by using the recently added Feedback Reducer. 

Pioneer XCD-XZ Specifications

This highly- recommended DJ controller is sturdy and built to last. Anyone who has purchased these branded products swears by their quality and performance. Let’s take a look at the specifications, the design and build quality, and what connections it’s compatible with. 


Anyone with eyes will quickly inform you how this DJ controller unit is large, solid, and sturdy. That could be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. To be fair, with two large jog wheel decks, a massive 4-channel mixer, and a central control panel, it’s not that easy to move about. 

It weighs 28.6 lbs (13kg), so it’s pretty hefty by anyone’s standards. It’s 34.5” wide, 4.66” deep, and 19.35” tall. It might not be the best option for mobile DJs, but it would be a perfect DJ controller for clubs and bars because it’s large, reliable, and rugged.

Design and Build Quality

As you probably realize from my depiction of its sturdiness, this is a well-constructed DJ controller that can take some serious lumps. The components are all high-quality, from the knobs and buttons to the faders and jog wheels. It’s robust and durable, so you know it will last the test of time and use.


The comprehensive range of connection options is another major reason to buy this controller. XLR and RCA are both available for the master outputs. 

The flexibility is personified by the unbalanced TRS Send option and the balanced TRS Booth connections, ensuring you have the options for almost any sound system. 

Channels 3 and 4 also have RCA connections, alongside Line and Phono. You can use TRS/XLR combo jacks for the two mic outputs, and that should be enough for the vast majority of microphones you want to connect. 

At the rear of the unit…

There are loads of connection options, so you can easily add any turntables or extra CDJs. You’ll find the headphones ports at the front of the unit, compatible with both 1/4-inch and 1/8-inch headphone connection options. And, if you need to connect with any other devices, there are two USB ports. 

Pioneer XDJ XZ Review – Pros & Cons 


  • A multitude of features.
  • Professional club DJ layout.
  • Solid mechanical jog wheels.
  • Lots of connection options.
  • Great value for money.
  • Super durable design.
  • Ideal for club and bar owners.


  • Restriction on channels. 
  • Old-style touchscreen. 
  • Heavy and not so mobile.

Looking for More Incredible DJ Equipment?

If so, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best DJ Mixers, the Best Hardware Sequencers, the Best DJ Controllers, the Best DJ Headphones, the Best Electronic Drum Pads, the Best Beat Machines for Hip Hop, and the Best Keyboard Synthesizer you can buy in 2023.

And don’t miss our comprehensive Pioneer DDJ 400 Review, our Denon DJ Prime Go Review, our Pioneer PLX-500-K Review, our Denon DJ SC5000 Prime Review, and our Roland Aira TR-8 Rhythm Performer Review for more great products currently on the market.

Pioneer XDJ XZ Review – Final Thoughts

If you are a DJ or a club/bar owner looking for a reliable DJ controller that has lots of features for an affordable price, you cannot beat this Pioneer XDJ-XR. It’s an absolute beast that you can trust to last a long time, even with frequent use.

Pioneer XDJ XZ Review

The jog wheels are ideal for scratch DJs, and the number of effects, performance pads, connection options, and software compatibility make this immense value for money. 

Pioneer has been making the best DJ controllers for the past couple of decades, so it only makes sense to buy this durable model. I loved it, and you will too, so what are you waiting for?

Until next time, let the music play.

5/5 - (46 votes)

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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