Numark NS7 review: Numark NS7

This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
  •  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.3
  • Design: 9.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Numark's NS7 affords laptop-based DJs the look, feel, and control of using professional, motorized turntables, without all the hassle and limitations of analog gear.

The Bad At around 35 pounds, the Numark NS7 is a beast of a system, and not nearly as portable or affordable as its competition.

The Bottom Line The Numark NS7 accomplishes what DJs have dreamed of for years--a seamless melding of reliable audio software and high-performance analog-style control.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

More and more DJs are trading in their turntables for laptops, lured by the advantages of digital audio (hard-drive music libraries, searchable music catalogs) and the appeal of carrying less equipment around. The digital transition can be bittersweet, though, as DJs come to miss the feeling of scratching, cueing, and matching tempos with tried-and-true analog turntables and mixers.

Manufacturers have struggled to bridge this gap between analog and digital DJing with a number of solutions, ranging from awkwardly retrofitted turntables, to flimsy USB-connected boxes . After reviewing our fair share of digital DJ tools over the past few years, we're happy to say that nothing approaches the sophisticated features and rock-solid design of the Numark NS7.

The Numark NS7 package also includes professional DJ software (Serato Itch), which offers seamless integration with the NS7 hardware, and a USB-connected mixing console that doubles as a four-channel computer audio card. It's also in a price class of its own, retailing for a whopping $1,600 ($1,300 street).


Dangling your laptop out over the dance floor may not seem like such a smart idea, but the NS7's tanklike stability and integrated steel laptop stand inspire trust.

Hardware
For DJs who are accustomed to managing a tabletop-size flotilla of analog DJ gear, the idea of stripping it all down to a laptop and a small DJ controller like the Vestax VCI-300 , might seem a little too drastic. The NS7 meets you halfway between the extremes, measuring 29.88 inches wide by 14.88 inches deep by 3.75 inches high and weighing around 35 pounds. You're definitely not going to fit the NS7 into a laptop bag (unlike the VCI-300). In fact, given its weight and awkward size, it takes about two people to carry it comfortably.

The upshot of the NS7's size and weight is a spacious design that begs for abuse. Typically, these USB DJ controllers feel a bit fragile and are constructed from lightweight plastic. The NS7, by comparison, is wrapped in metal from head to toe. The oversize, rubber buttons used for the main playback controls are similar to the ones we loved on the Numark iDJ2 , and respond well to aggressive use.

Another design feature that makes the NS7 stand out from the herd is a steel laptop stand connected to the back of the system. The stand can be quickly disconnected for easier transportation, or for peace of mind if you're uncomfortable suspending your laptop over the floor. The NS7's weight and stability was enough for us to trust that our laptop wouldn't tumble off during an enthusiastic DJ set.

The Numark NS7 offers all the standard features we like to see on a DJ controller, including high-grade audio outputs (gold-plated RCA or balanced XLR), line/mic input, serviceable faders, club-friendly illuminated controls, and full-size knobs that feel just like their analog counterparts. Some unique features, such as touch strips that control playhead position, and oversize reverse switches for each deck, came as pleasant surprises.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy

Numark NS7

Part Number: NS7 Released: Mar 24, 2009

MSRP: $1,599.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Mar 24, 2009
  • Line Channels 1 stereo
  • Mic Channels 1 mono
  • Meter Indicator 2x LED VU meters