DDJ-400 review, A Great PIONEER DJ Controller

Are you looking for a DJ controller to mix those songs with your touch? Then getting the pioneer DDJ 400 can be a great way to start your journey. It's a great entry-level controller for all the beginners out there.

As an audiophile myself, I had to check out the quality of this one. I have been working with audio gears for years, and this one was pretty enticing. So, I dug deep and did my research on this one. Then, I had my experiences with this as well.

What you get here is a combination of my experience and research on the controller. Now, without wasting further time, let's get started with it.


Pioneer DDJ 400 specifications 

Let's check out the technical requirements of the product before we dive into it.

 PIONEER DJ DJ Controller

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  • Compatible software: Rekordbox
  • Channels: 2
  • Jog Wheel: 132mm
  • Hot cues: 8
  • Inputs: TS mic
  • Outputs: RCA, 3.5mm
  • Weight: 4.63lbs
  • Dimensions: 18.98x2.3x10.72

The benefits and drawbacks of Pioneer DDJ 400 

Well, why would you buy anything without knowing the pros and cons of that, right? So, here I have summed up the benefits and drawbacks you get from the Pioneer DDJ 400.

Benefits of Pioneer DDJ 400

  • The layout on the controller is as professional as you can expect
  • It comes with great versatility with different possibilities
  • There is a tutorial mode for beginners to access the functions easily
  • You get some excellent FX options that you can expand on when you wish to
  • The pitch fader is long enough for accurate beatmatching

Drawbacks of the Pioneer DDJ 400 

  • The mixer section is all squished up
  • Beginners may get overwhelmed by the looping section a bit

The drawbacks aren't that big of a deal after you spend some time using the controller. Also, with the tutorial mode, you can figure everything out very quickly.

Related: Denon Prime 4 Review

Pioneer DDJ 400 Overviews

I know just knowing about the benefits can't cut the deal for many of you out there. That's why I will be diving deep into the details about this one. Here I talk about all the different aspects of the controller, in fact. Let's get on with it.

What is the controller like physically?

Right of the bat, my first impression of this thing was a mix of emotions. While the controller is built quite well, it's made of plastic. So, if you are not a fan of plastic constructions, then this isn't the pick for you.

Now that that's out of the way let's focus on the good here. Because of the plastic build, it weighs a lot less than other DJ controllers. As a result, you can take your tool to almost anywhere you go without any issues of carrying it.

Coming to the design and looks aspect of it, I have no issues with that whatsoever. It comes with the classic design and layout for any Pioneer DJ controller you can find in the market. Something that makes it unique though is the compact size.

Overall, the physical quality of the controller is pretty impressive. And considering all its build quality, this is very much suitable for portability. As a DJ who has to go through a lot of shows or just starting, this can be a great pick.

Related: Home DJ setup

How is the controller used? 

There are lots of functionalities going on with the Pioneer DDJ 400. The usability depends on what level you are working at. If you are an expert or a professional, you can find a lot of use out of this one.

Essentially, you will need a particular DJ software which is called Rekordbox, to use the controller. It's a very convenient software for DJs. You can get a lot of functionality and control over your music library using this software.

Now, if you are a beginner, you can always benefit from the built-in tutorial part of this controller. You almost get all the resources to operate the DJ controller and start working on mixing your songs right away. Just going through the tutorials is enough to get you started. However, don't expect a whole DJ course or guideline from the tutorials.

Related: Songs for DJs

Features and rate performance 

It's time to dive into the features this one offers. I will also rate them based on how I found them performing in my usage. So, if you are a rating kind of person, you will love to go through this next section. Here are the features to look out for –

Mixer section 

If I am honest with you, I found the controller's mixer section a bit cramped up. You will have a hard time using it properly if you have large hands.

However, the separated space for the knobs redeems that flaw a little bit. You can use the cueing knob and level knob with good comfort in the mixing.

Aside from the spacing, the rest of the mixer is as good as you would expect. You get a 3-band equalizer to tune up those songs.

And there are dedicated low and high pass filters as well. With LED indicators, you can understand when the amplitude is getting too much so you can work on that. Altogether there is nothing wrong with the functionality of the mixer.

Rating: 3/5

Effects control 

How unique of a DJ you can depend on the quality of the effects you can produce on your tracks. There is a button on the controller that sets up all the effects on your tracks. And the FX you select is displayed on the software on your computer or laptop.

Something I would add here is an FX knob. This would have made it easier for you to know what FX is currently on.

Aside from that, there are two beat buttons you get in the effects control section. These allow you to sync your FX with the tempo of the song automatically. You can also manually shorten or lengthen the whole thing. It's a pretty handy feature for doing some creative mixing.

Rating: 4/5

Looping section 

Right of the bat, any beginner will be overwhelmed when they first take a look at the looping section. While it comes with some complicated functionalities, it also allows great control over the looping.

Once you figure out the whole thing, you can easily get a lot out of the looping section. So, it surely has potential when you know how to use it.

Rating: 3.5/5

Related: Best DJ Controller


As for the software, you have endless possibilities with it. The software you get with this one is called Rekordbox, which has a lot of functionality. It also gives you excellent flexibility in working with the software.

You can use this with any Pioneer DJ equipment, and it supports some other brands as well. And if you are planning to put out some lights or lyrics in your show, you get that option in the software with some visual FX.

Rating: 4/5

Value for money 

In terms of performance, this doesn't lack too much. You almost get a professional-grade DJ experience after you learn to use this one correctly. Considering all that and the quality, I would say this is a steal for the money.

You get great value out of the DJ controller without any questions at all. That's what makes it a great DJ controller for beginners.

Related: How to organize music library

Rating: 4.5/5 

Pioneer DDJ 400 Alternatives 

Are you still feeling a bit skeptical about this? Then you might want to check out some other options. Here are some alternatives to Pioneer DDJ 400 that you might like.

  • Pioneer DDJ-200 

Well, this one is pretty similar to the DDJ 400. It has a compact body as well as an affordable price. You get to use your phone and different streaming services to play your music using this DJ controller.

Now, something that it lacks is the advanced features or FX settings. It's a fundamental DJ controller to have a fun party or hang out. Not something that gives you a lot of possibilities with your creativity.

  • Roland DJ 202 

Not concerned about budget? Then going for this one might be your wisest choice. It comes with better possibilities than the DDJ 400. It's a professional-grade DJ controller that you can use for a lot of different kinds of mixing and effects scenarios.

It's also pretty compact and durable in the built. However, it's not the most affordable choice out there. Also, there is a learning curve to this DJ controller.


All in all, getting the Pioneer DDJ 400 can be a great resource for any beginner DJ. You can use this one even after completing your beginner phase as a DJ. This one comes with some professional features that allow you to go beyond the beginner stages.

Along with the features and quality, this also comes at an affordable price. This makes it suitable for beginners as someone starting on DJing won't be making money out of it that soon. And considering the quality of the DJ controller, it's a great choice.

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