DJ Controller without a Laptop: 3 Options for DJs

DJ Controller without a Laptop: 3 Options for DJs

Access to a laptop to DJ with is not always a viable option for you budding DJs out there. Fortunately, DJ equipment is available in a variety of different setups and DJ controllers are compatible with other devices that aren’t laptops.

Here are the 3 options to mix with a DJ controller WITHOUT a Laptop.

  1. DJ Controller + Phone
  2. DJ Controller + Tablet
  3. All-In-One DJ controller (standalone)

Let’s quickly run through the alternative solutions to DJing with a DJ controller without a laptop. Some of these options are well within a low budget, so not necessarily pricey at all. Nice and affordable options.

1. DJ Controller + Phone

ddj-200 and smartphone

Recently I wrote about how to DJ with a Smartphone, so that might be a good read if you’ve got a phone and keen to DJ off your phone.

There are DJ controllers out there that are easy to DJ with that connect to a smartphone. The phone requires you to download and install DJ software that’s compatible with the phone and DJ controller.

Here are some different brands that offer this DJ equipment setup:


The price for this type of DJ controller that’s compatible with a smartphone is around $150 – $280.

I’d say this is a very decent price considering the value that something this functional vs a more “pro” type DJ controller provides.

Quick Tips for setting up DJ Controller to Smartphone

Bluetooth – connection to a mobile device is quick by selecting connect on the DJ software that’s been installed onto your smartphone.

Splitter cable – usually the brand selling you this DJ product provides a splitter cable. The splitter cable enables you to connect to the smart phone output, which then connects to your headphones and speakers also.

Smartphone Adaptor – remember to get the appropriate output adaptor for you phone to mini-jack. For example, lightning bolt to mini-jack if you currently use an Apple iPhone.

2. DJ Controller + Tablet

dj controller and tablet



Price range can vary, depending on overall functionality and connectivity to different devices. In this instance the two examples above highlight Hercules DJControl Mix which retails for around $100, whereas the Mixon 4 is nearer $850.

Quick Tips for setting up DJ Controller to Tablet

DJAY App by Algoriddim – it’s a really good DJ software to use, so look out for DJ controllers compatible with it.

Compatibility – some DJ controllers are bluetooth based, and are likely to connect to both tablets and smartphones. In some cases can connect to a laptop given the right DJ software is installed. This gives greater flexibility as a DJ as you may end up deciding to use a smartphone to DJ after all.

DJ Software music streaming services – Do you use a music streaming service already? When considering buying a DJ controller always keep in mind the compatibility of the DJ software and music streaming platform. If you use SoundCloud GO+ for example, then you’re in luck, a fair few different DJ softwares are compatible with it. Easy and quick access to your existing playlists to start DJing with.

App NameOS CompatibilityStreaming Service
Algoriddim DJAYiOS / AndroidTIDAL, SoundCloud GO+
WEDJiOS / AndroidBeatport LINK, SoundCloud Go+
Cross DJiOS / AndroidSoundCloud GO+
Serato DJ LiteiOS / AndroidBeatsource, Beatport, TIDAL & SoundCloud

3. All-In-One DJ controller (standalone)

pioneer all in one dj controller



Price ranges quite dramatically depending on the brand name. For example, Pioneer we all know that they’re going to provide a top notch DJ controller but usually at a price. Whereas Gemini are less well known, less visible in the club scene and therefore not as “industry standard” as Pioneer.

Pioneer All-In-One (standalone) DJ controllers are around $1,300 where was Gemini are a fraction of the price at around $300.

There are of course other brands such as Numark that are similar to Pioneer that have similar functionality e.g. touch screen displays, these are less expensive at around $600.

Quick Tips for purchasing an All-In-One DJ Controller

Touch screen – some all-in-one DJ controllers offer touch screen displays which usually make them more expensive for this very reason. However if you have the budget, then I’d highly recommend getting this feature on a DJ controller, much easier to use and navigate your music.

Music access – usually all-in-one DJ Controllers require you to connect a USB stick with music on to gain access too music.

Click here for Beatmatch Guru’s tried & tested DJ Controllers.

Helpful & Related Articles:

Related Questions

Why do you need a laptop to DJ?

It’s required to DJ with a laptop as devices such as DJ controllers rely on connecting to the DJ software in order to control the music loaded onto the DJ software itself. Otherwise no access to music is possible, due to the equipment simply being a controller device only.

Can I DJ from my phone?

It’s possible to DJ off your phone. There are multiple Apps out there available to use on iOS and Android. Read this article for more information, DJing off a Smartphone: Everything You Need to Know

What app do most DJs use?

DJAY by Algoriddim appears to be a popular option amongst DJs trying to mix music on their phones.

How do I connect my DJ controller to my phone?

Bluetooth is usually the method of connection when linking a phone to a DJ controller.

Dan Dracott

I'm Dan Dracott from Beatmatch Guru. I love DJing and have done since I was 15 years old. I want to share my knowledge and love of DJing to help you guys get better at DJing.

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