After a number of false-start “leaks” around the web on Monday, the official announcement of Pioneer DJ’s DDJ-800 has gone live. The DDJ-800 is the latest in a series of Rekordbox DJ controllers that all are total refreshes of the line from the DDJ-S/R families (see our reviews of the DDJ-400 and DDJ-1000).
The DDJ-800 aims to be a more compact, middle-of-the-road choice for DJs looking for a controller that works in lock-step with Rekordbox DJ. For many DJs who have been waiting for a DDJ-RR update, consider this Pioneer DJ’s entrant. It’s the two channel addition to the line that incorporates many of the pro features of the DDJ-1000, but with a decent price reduction (the DDJ-1000 is ~$1,200).
Here’s the feature set that makes this controller a unique offering:
Yes, the mixing section of the DDJ-800 will work perfectly as a standalone mixer. It has two line/phono inputs, and an additional AUX in as well. But there’s an interesting note about the mixer: the Color FX and Beat FX can only be used if you’re connected to Rekordbox DJ – so not very useful if you truly want to use it standalone without a laptop.
Interestingly, each channel is switchable between decks within Rekordbox DJ as well – so you can mix four decks with this controller, but you’ll have to switch the input of each channel anytime you want to use decks 3 + 4.
This is almost a sub-story within the product announcement, but the DDJ-800 marks the very first controller that Pioneer DJ is offering that automatically unlocks Rekordbox DJ just by plugging it in. This could be the beginning of a complete change for the hardware line – no longer would license keys be necessary, just a piece of Rekordbox-unlocking hardware.
This is the model that Serato has taken for years – and it might be a sign that Pioneer DJ is focusing less on making money on software licenses sales and more on increasing users. Here’s some great insight from DJTT contributor DJ Soo:
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