Last week saw a faux pas on Pioneer DJ’s part turn into a veritable deluge of leakage. But the Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ has broken cover, and while it’s an absolute beast, it’s not the response to the Prime 4 that you might think from the first look.
As ever, we post their words so that ours have context — read them both. So here goes:
The Powerhouse: The XDJ-XZ is here
Professional all-in-one DJ system for rekordbox and Serato DJ Pro
November 12, 2019: Looking for a professional setup for events, a bar or club, or your private studio? The XDJ-XZ is perfect for every scenario. With flexible media support and a layout inherited directly from our club-standard gear, playing on our new all-in-one DJ system feels exactly like you’re using the CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2. A host of advanced features are right at your fingertips in this robust unit which produces high-quality sound.
Choose whether you want to play rekordbox-analyzed tracks from USB drives via channels 1 and 2 on the XDJ-XZ or connect your laptop and use rekordbox dj or even Link Export mode. With two extra channels, you can mix in audio from external sources like turntables, while Pro DJ Link enables you to browse tracks from CDJs via the 7-inch touch screen on the XDJ-XZ and sync them with your mix. Soon, you’ll even be able to perform with Serato DJ Pro, when compatibility for the software becomes available via a firmware update in early 2020. Want to play back-to-back? Three USB inputs (type A x 2, type B x 1) make this, and DJ changeovers, a breeze.
Using the 3-band EQ on the master output, you can easily tune your sound so it’s optimized for each environment you perform in. If you’re playing gigs with MCs, two separate mic inputs with independent 3-band EQs give you total flexibility and, when you switch on the Feedback Reducer feature, it’ll automatically reduce any “howling” sounds accidentally caused by the mic.
Get creative and animate your sets with 14 professional Beat FX and 6 Sound Color FX taken straight from the DJM-900NXS2 mixer, and trigger software-specific features using the 16 multicolored Performance Pads (8 per deck).
To use the XDJ-XZ with rekordbox dj, update to the latest version of the software and activate the included license key. The all-in-one DJ system also supports rekordbox dvs (license available separately). From early 2020, you’ll be able to unlock Serato DJ Pro by plugging the XDJ-XZ into a PC/Mac running the software and, from then, the unit will support Serato DVS (license available separately).
KEY FEATURES OF THE XDJ-XZ
- Advanced features and user experience from NXS2 setup for pro performances
Full-size jog wheels make mixing and scratching feel just like you’re using the CDJ-2000NXS2. And, thanks to On Jog Display, you can keep an eye on important track information via the color screen in the center of each one. All the knobs and controls on the XDJ-XZ are arranged in the same way as those on the NXS2 setup too. Mix with four channels and add texture to your performances with all 14 Beat FX, plus the 6 Sound Color FX, from the DJM-900NXS2.
- Support for various media and different performance styles
The XDJ-XZ gives you the freedom to play the way you want. Plug in USB drives loaded with rekordbox-analyzed tracks or connect your PC/Mac to use our professional performance application, rekordbox dj. You can even play tracks directly from your rekordbox library via Link Export mode, so you don’t need to export playlists from your laptop to USB drives. Want to introduce audio from external sources? Connect turntables, samplers, smartphones, and more, to channels 3 and 4. And if you want to perform with Serato DJ Pro, you’ll be able to do this following a firmware update, coming early 2020.
- High-quality sound and multiple EQs
Rock your crowd with crystal-clear audio. You can fine-tune your whole mix using the 3-band EQ on the master output and, with 3-band EQs on each of the mic inputs, it’s easy to adjust the sound of either MC. Worried about feedback? Switch on the Feedback Reducer feature and it’ll automatically lessen the “howling” frequency if it occurs.
- Pro DJ Link seamlessly syncs external equipment for expanded creative options
The XDJ-XZ is the first all-in-one DJ system to support Pro DJ Link. This means you can connect external equipment such as CDJs to channels 3 and 4 and sync audio to your mix. Use the screen on the XDJ-XZ or the one on the CDJ to browse tracks on USB drives connected to either unit.
- Touch screen and color On Jog Display
Use the 7-inch LCD touch screen and the color On Jog Display in the center of each jog wheel to keep an eye on waveforms, Hot Cues, BPM, and more. With so much visual information available, you can focus on your performance and keep your eyes off your laptop when you’re performing with rekordbox dj or Serato DJ Pro (coming early 2020).
- Other features
- Three USB inputs (two top-loading for USB devices and one laptop connection) for smooth back-to-back performances and DJ handovers
- 16 multicolored Performance Pads (8 per deck)
- Mic input circuit produces clear audio, even with high input level
- Robust, high-quality design
- Single unit with grab handles for easy carrying and setup
Software rekordbox dj
Serato DJ Pro (coming in early 2020)
Frequency Response 20 Hz to 20 kHz (USB, LINE, AUX, MIC) S/N Ratio
114 dB (USB)
103 dB (LINE)
90 dB (PHONO)
96 dB (AUX-LINE), 90 dB (AUX-PORTABLE)
81 dB (MIC)
Total Harmonic Distortion
Inputs LINE x 2 (RCA)
PHONO x 2 (RCA)
AUX x 1 (RCA)
MIC x 2 (XLR & 1/4-inch TRS jack)
Outputs MASTER x 2 (XLR x 1, RCA x 1)
BOOTH x 1 (1/4-inch TRS jack)
PHONES x 2 (1/4-inch stereo phone jack x 1,
3.5-mm stereo mini jack x 1)
SEND x 1 (1/4-inch TS jack)
USB USB (Type A, 5 V/1 A) x 2
USB (Type B) x 1
Others LINK x 3 (LAN 100Base-TX) Maximum Dimensions (W ｘ D ｘ H) 878.0 x 466.1 x 118.4 mm / 34.6 x 18.4 x 4.7 in. Weight 13.0 kg / 28.7 lb Accessories Power cord
Operating instructions (Quick Start Guide)
Software license notice
rekordbox dj license key card
rekordbox dj system requirements
Compatible OS Mac macOS Catalina 10.15 (updated to the latest version)
macOS Mojave 10.14 (updated to the latest version)
macOS High Sierra 10.13 (updated to the latest version)
macOS Sierra 10.12 (updated to the latest version)
Windows Windows® 10, 8.1, 7 (the latest service pack) CPU Intel® processor Core™ i7, i5, i3 Memory 4GB or more of RAM
BEFORE I START
Being someway down the PR list at Pioneer DJ HQ these days, and seeing my social channel groan under the sheer weight of similar coverage, I see little point in going into detail about what the XDJ-XZ does. Indeed, you should check Phil’s first look review over at Digital DJ Tips to get all the detail you need about the unit.
WHAT IT IS
When the leakage broke, the first thing that hit me was the name. The lack of R in the name indicated that Pioneer DJ and Serato were continuing their partnership. And despite my assertions to the contrary, it seems like this is a partnership that has some way to go.
Rekordbox is growing in popularity, but is not yet in the position to cut Serato off at the knees. Serato DJ Pro is still so widely used (it is number one after all), that for hardware to sell, it must still work with Serato DJ Pro. And right now that is mutually beneficial — Serato helps Pioneer DJ sell hardware, which at the same time introduces rekordbox to the buyer at the same time.
This symbiotic coexistence on the same platform makes money for both of them, but should rekordbox’s market share rise above Serato DJ Pro’s, we may well see an entirely different situation develop.
WHAT IT IS NOT
At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is the four channel standalone unit you’ve been looking for from Pioneer DJ. Sorry to rain on your parade, but it isn’t that at all. If you were hoping for this to be a Pioneer DJ logo’d answer to Denon DJ’s Prime 4, you’re going to have to keep hoping.
If I were to match it to a Denon DJ product (for this is what people need me to do), it’s an MCX8000 equivalent. It’s just two channels of standalone rekordbox, which in the context of the PR is similar to a pair of CDJs (or more accurately XDJs) sandwiching a DJM in one huge box. You can use it with a laptop and get four channels with rekordbox, and in a future update that will bring Serato DJ Pro to four channels as well. Here’s their PR:
Club control with Serato support for Pioneer DJ’s XDJ-XZ
Serato is excited to announce support in early 2020 for the latest Pioneer DJ all-in-one controller – the XDJ-XZ.
The XDJ-XZ is perfect for the professional events, bar or club environment. This powerhouse includes a layout inherited directly from Pioneer DJ’s club-standard gear. Playing on the XDJ-XZ feels as though you’re using a blend of the CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2.
“The XDJ-XZ will unlock the full potential of Serato DJ Pro,” says Chief Strategy Officer Nick Maclaren. “DJs won’t have to spend time worrying about licensing or activation when using this with Serato – simply download and install Serato DJ Pro, plug in the hardware, and you’re good to go. I can’t wait to see DJs reaching new heights on Serato DJ Pro with this controller.”
This unit is perfect for DJs that would like the closest thing to a full club experience, expect an announcement from Serato confirming the support date soon.
WHAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND
And by you, I’m talking to the GAS afflicted early adopters of everything that is shiny and new, is that we don’t always need huge boxes rammed to the gills with channels, effects, samples, touchscreens, and wifi. I’ve even read some “Pioneer is over” at the sight of the leak. Insert multiple facepalm GIFs here.
For some, DJing is a technology race, where more is better. But the vast majority of DJs only need two channels and some bells and whistles to do what they do. Wants and needs are however entirely different things worthy of an article in its own right. But just because a unit pushes into science fiction, it doesn’t mean it’ll sell. It’s actually more likely to put people off. Well… not you GAS afflicted early adopters of course. But you only make up a small percentage of the market, and you definitely don’t keep the lights on.
I have absolutely no doubt that should Pioneer DJ wish to muster their resources to create a true dick-out-on-the-table piece, it could definitely break the legs of it. But they don’t need to, because most of the market doesn’t demand such things. And the sales figures back that up. The NXS2 stuff is almost four years old now, and still sells like hot cakes on a cold day, and by some margin too.
The people at Pioneer DJ are not stupid. They will have done their homework, and come to the conclusion that this unit will sell enough to be viable. You only have to look at it to see that it ticks considerably more boxes most would ever need. The price is such that it’s not heavy with the usual Pioneer Tax, and will fulfil the needs of the majority of the DJ market.
It also strikes me as a product that has been on the cards for some time, and is filling a gap while we wait for the real games to begin. I get a sense that something is coming, and based on industry observations and activity, I suspect NAMM 2020 will be one to watch.
The Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ will cost $2299/€2199/£1899 and is available now. Expect Serato DJ Pro compatibility in the new year.