The Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ is a full-sized, professionally biased all-in-one DJ system. It boasts a full range of inputs and outputs, and all the modern features todays DJ's demand, multiple inputs and outputs and great mic channels. The fact that it will work with Serato and Rekordbox on a laptop is great, for DJ's who are still weary of the big switch, (Serato ↔ Rekordbox) and the unit is priced competitively for system in Pioneer DJ's High end tier.
However the XDJ-XZ is somewhat let down by only offering two channel standalone use with USB, which my put some potential punters off!
The XDJ-XZ is truly a behemoth of a controller and in the flesh looks like a modern day take on the Citronic CL12D Disco DJ decks (Ok thats a slight exgaggeration). Just place two CDJ-2000s and a DJM-900 mixer really close together and you generally get a similar footprint to the XDJ-XZ. While this heft makes the controller easy to present as a legit bona fide piece of Pioneer DJ's professional arsenal, the 13Kg weight and the general size of the item may scare some DJ's away.
The unit mimics a club set-up unitil you notice the two sets of eight performance pads under the full-sized jogwheels, and realise the CDJ's don’t have CD slots or their own screens. Meanwhile, 14 Beat FX and 6 Sound Color FX come straight from the iconic DJM-900NXS2 mixer. Beyond that, consolidating three units into one with grab-handles eliminates wires and drastically reduces the price compared to the NXS2 setup. Full Serato DJ functionality is expected early next year, doubling its appeal to both Rekordbox & Serato users. The XDJ-XZ is astonishingly reminiscent of the CDJ-2000NXS2 + DJM-900NXS2 setup.
Three USB inputs, external RCA connections and robust software support make DJ changeovers and Back2Back mixing a breeze.
The XDJ-XZ is the first standalone unit to feature Pro DJ Link support. This allows Pioneer DJ hardware to share music, track data, and sync information over a standard network cable. This means that you can link any Pro DJ Link device (e.g. CDJ-2000NXS2, XDJ-1000 MK2, Toraiz SP-16, etc.) and browse track data from those players, sync BPM across all linked devices and more from the XDJ-XZ. Existing Pro DJ Link users will also appreciate that the XZ acts as a LAN hub, eliminating the need for a separate one to link your devices together.
If you’re a turntable devotee, you can still connect to inputs 3 and 4 for your analog fix, Timecode users get a choice between Rekordbox DVS and support Serato DVS.
The XDJ-XZ has a 4-channel mixer. It is also a standalone DJ system. However, it can't play 4 channels from USB. Like 2 CDJ-2000s & a DJM-900, it allows 2 channels of standalone mixing with 2 more for other sources.
Though this limitation has been frowned on by some, if you are currently happy playing on standard 2x CDJ setups, you’ll be happy playing on this setup for less than half the price. The unit can also be used as a controller for Rekordbox DJ or Serato DJ on your computer with all four channels available for digital mixing.
While the XDJ-XZ does not have 2 interfaces for simultaneous control of DJ software on 2 computers it does support multiple simultaneous USB memory sources, importing libraries via Pro DJ Link and external audio sources. This gives you far more flexibility when transitioning between DJs.
As expected the XDJ-XZ is equipped with a professional audio interface for high-quality output from its Main Outs:
In regards to shaping your final mix. Not only do you have typical 3-band EQ for each channel, you also get 3-band Master EQ and 3-band Mic EQ for 2 microphones with feedback reducer which solves one of the most annoying live-event problems. This is ideal for mobile DJs who set up sound in venues of varied size and acoustic quality. The unit features a 7-inch LCD touchscreen, accompanied by in-jog displays.
The round, in-jog displays (as seen on the DDJ-1000) shows track position, BPM, hot cues, and other track specific information which frees up the LCD touch screen for track browsing and waveform display.
The 8 high-quality performance pads allow you to set cues, loops, and other software-specific features.
There is an obvious temptation to compare the XDJ-XZ with Pioneers other standalone DJ system the Pioneer DJ’s XDJ-RX2 and Denon DJ’s Prime 4.
The XDJ-RX2 is a great choice if you want a Rekordbox standalone experience, you do sacrifice the NXS2 feel and feature set. The XDJ-RX2 is missing 2 channels, full-sized jog wheels and Pro DJ Link amongst other features.
The Denon DJ’s Prime 4, feature-for-feature, is extreme value. It fully encapsulates the premise of the XDJ-XZ with it's ability to play 4 decks standalone from USB with dual-layer functionality. The Prime 4 is also a Serato DJ enabled device so you don’t have to buy an additional license. However there have been complaints regarding platter quality and with Engine Prime being Denons Propriatary software you will be outside of the Rekordbox ecosystem.
Pioneer DJ’s NXS2 is still the industry standard and there is the brand appeal as well as the desire to mix on industry standard professional equipment.