Hercules DJ Console review: Hercules DJ Console

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 6.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Includes full versions of DJ software; wide selection of inputs and outputs; no external power required; controls can be assigned to other audio programs using MIDI.

The Bad Joystick is unreliable; digital scratching doesn't sound like vinyl.

The Bottom Line Budding laptop DJs will appreciate the way this compact portable device turns any laptop into a DJ rig, but for pros, it doesn't come close to the sound quality and tactile nature of vinyl.

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Spin digital tracks with the Hercules DJ Console

DJ software is a boon to the recreational or working DJ because the programs can hold a vanload of records on a laptop, making it considerably easier to work parties, shows, and weddings. Even better, DJ software has evolved to the point that it's on a par with physical setups, aside from obvious omissions such as the ability to scratch vinyl with your hand. There's just one problem: it's hard to mix and beat-match using a mouse and keyboard. The Hercules DJ Console external USB audio interface aims to solve that problem.

Measuring about 9 by 8 by 2.5 inches, the Hercules DJ Console is likely smaller than your laptop, although its size isn't much of a constraint; Hercules managed to fit 28 sliders, buttons, and dials onto the device without too much cramming. For mixing, you get a volume fader for each track and a smooth cross-fader to move between them, which slides about as lightly and smoothly as the cross-faders on pro mixers. A joystick in the center controls effects and acts as a mouse substitute for picking songs onscreen. We really appreciated the two Autobeat buttons; press one of them, and the song on that deck will fade in, automatically beat-matched (sweet). Pitch-bend buttons (0.1bpm per click), EQ, and fast-forward/rewind round out the equation.

On the front of the Hercules DJ Console, you'll find a dual RCA input for your backup CD player; a 1/4-inch stereo input for your microphone, with volume knob; and a headphone jack, also with volume knob. The headphone allows you to preview the next track so that you can use this thing without a mixer. Click the microphone knob in, and your music gets quieter so that people can hear you talking--a great feature for wedding DJs looking to amp up the crowd.

Each track also has bass, midrange, and treble EQ knobs that work fine, but we'd also like to see dropout buttons that remove the frequency range entirely so that you can cut the bass for four beats, then drop it back in. As things stand, this requires a superfast rotation to the left and back again.

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Where to Buy

Hercules DJ Console (PC)

Part Number: DJCONSOLE
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Sound Output Mode 5.1 channel surround
  • Interface Type USB
  • OS Required Microsoft Windows 98SE/2000/ME/XP