Numark iDJ2 review
Vinyl or digital? Ask any serious DJ which they prefer and the answer they’ll give will almost certainly be the former. But with so much music available exclusively online – and a lot of it for free – if you stick to vinyl you’ll be missing out on a lot of tracks. Numark’s iDJ2 thinks it has the answer.
Equipped with an iPod dock and two USB ports for connecting hard disks or thumb drives full of tunes, it’s certainly a flexible beast. You can plug your devices straight into the iDJ2 if you like, but to make the most of it you need to download Numark’s Librarian software and run your music collection through it.
This allows the iDJ2 to order tracks by beats per minute, search by keyword and display a volume-based profile for each track, viewed on the colour LCD screen. Beware, though, that large music collections will take many hours to process, and there’s no support for WMA files.
Once you’re mixing, there’s a plethora of options to play with: you can use the jog-wheels to scratch, nudge one track forwards and backwards to keep it in sync with the other, or switch to search mode to navigate quickly through your tunes.
You get pitch sliders for each virtual deck, which can be key-locked independently. There are individual volume controls for each channel; bass, mid, treble and gain controls; and there are loop controls as well.
Connections are as comprehensive as you need, with 3.5mm and 1/8in headphone sockets, balanced XLR and stereo RCA master outputs, plus a pair of stereo RCA inputs so vinyl fans can still connect their precious decks.
It isn’t without its quirks, though. It took some time for us to get used to the iDJ2’s cue system, and the rubber jog-wheels don’t offer as much weight, resistance or responsiveness while scratching as we’d like. The knobs and sliders feel a little plasticky, and the headphone fader is awkwardly placed on the front edge of the device.
But all in all, we like the iDJ2. The price may look high, but compared with investing in a serious vinyl or CD mixing setup it’s actually at the lower end of things. Professional DJs will turn their noses up at its lightweight construction and slightly imprecise controls, but for more occasional and hobbyist use, it rocks.