Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hands on Review: Pioneer DJM-400 2 channel Mixer

The Pioneer made DJM-400 Mixer was designed as an entry-intermediate level 2 channel mixer complete with an effects processor for under $600. I know what you’re thinking, $600 isn’t something to sneeze and you’re right, there are other quality mixers out there for much less. A little more on that later…
In the Box:-Pioneer DJM-400 Mixer
-Power Cord
-Manual & Warranty Info

-2 channels
-4 Line inputs
-2 Turntable inputs
-2 Switchable phono/line inputs
-2 Fader start connections
-3-band EQ per channel (-infinity dB to +6dB)
-2 mic inputs (1/4")
-Mic EQ
-3-Position adjustable crossfader curve
-Headphone EQ w/ Split Cue
-2 RCA master outputs

First Look:
Using the DJM-400 for 8 months, I can say the build quality is very high. All the faders are extremely smooth with little resistance and the knobs and buttons are made of plastic but do not feel cheap at all. It has a good weight of 9lbs being made from stainless steel. The layout of the mixer is well designed having the 2 channels placed in their traditional method in the center with headphone & microphone settings to the left with the effects processor to the right.

The mixer is a very straight forward mixer with the only frills being the integrated effects. Although effects aren’t recommended for beginner DJ’s they are fun to throw into a mix and give that flare you might be looking for. Effects include Delay, Echo, Filter, Flanger, Phaser, Robot, Roll and the In-Loop Sampler which has a beat effects sections giving you the option of how long or short you want your effects to last. I’ll use the Filter and Flanger effects sometimes but I still learn to focus on my mixing. The mixer would be just as good without effects. The microphone feature does its job but one of the key features of this mixer is the split cue. It allows you to hear both channels in your headphones (each channel per ear). It comes in handy when you’re mixing in the bedroom at anytime day or night without having to plug in a monitor so there’s no excuse for not practicing at 3am while everyone’s sleeping.

-Straight forward and simple mixer
-Excellent build quality
-Split Cue feature
-Aesthetically pleasing to the eye
-Switchable Line/Phono inputs for anyone using CD Players or Turntables


-$600 price tag
-Only has unbalanced RCA outputs (No XLR outputs)

Conclusion: If you’re a beginner with the money, I’d recommend it if you don’t mind RCA outputs. Very good quality and great to learn on. The sound quality on the DJM-400 is more than adequate for any beginner but it will leave you wanting to upgrade after the comfort level has passed.

Other 2 Channel Mixers:
Allen & Heath Xone:22


  1. Interesting review, I've always thought of Pioneer equipment as something you pay a premium for even if it isn't better than the equivalent which is cheaper. The Xone-42 is also an interesting mixer.

  2. I actually looked at the Xone:42 before buying my DDM4000. Cost played a factor as the Xone:42 was around 800 vs 300. Pioneer is like everything you'd imagine, a household reliable name with a hefty price tag just to say its a pioneer. As a beginner DJ I'd try to stick to my budget and buy the best equipment I can afford that suits what I'm going to use it for. If I knew any better I would've chosen a DJ controller in the beginning.