Pros: The Allen & Heath Xone 4D is an uncompromising piece of DJ gear that combines a high-end analog DJ mixer with a full-featured MIDI controller. It can be used with software or as a standalone analog DJ mixer.
Cons: Insanely expensive. Plus, you'll still need to invest in software.
Pros: Native Instruments' Traktor software offers more features than its main competitor, Serato. The company's Traktor Scratch Pro bundle includes software, virtual records, and a high-end audio interface for transforming your analog turntables into digital software controllers.
Cons: You'll need turntables or MIDI controllers to get the most from the software, and the software's deep features can feel overwhelming to beginners.
Pros: Rane's Serato Scratch Live 3 software/hardware bundle is currently the hottest system around for professional DJs who want to use existing analog turntables to control Serato's Scratch Live DJ software. The system is prized for its stability and the realistic resolution of its analog-to-digital control.
Cons: It's not cheap, and just like Native Instrument's Traktor Scratch Pro, you'll need turntables or MIDI controllers to really take advantage of the system.
Pros: The Stanton SCS.1d is a virtual vinyl system similar to the Numark NS7, and includes a single 10-inch direct drive platter and tons of assignable buttons and knobs for controlling whatever DJ software you choose.
Cons: The SCS.1d lacks an audio card (you'll need the SCS.1m for that), works only over Firewire, feels a little flimsy, and isn't bundled with DJ software.
Pros: The Numark iDJ2 provides a professional, one-stop solution for DJing with an iPod MP3 player or USB drive. Features such as XLR output, video output, a built-in color screen, and multiple pitch-control modes can't be found in comparable products at this price.
Cons: The Numark iDJ2's plastic construction doesn't inspire confidence, there's no support for protected-AAC files, and there are no built-in effects.
Pros: For DJs who are less about scratching and more about creatively triggering, layering, and remixing audio with a program like Ableton Live, the Akai APC40 offers a tightly integrated hardware interface with spacious controls.
Cons: Doesn't offer as much club credibility as spinning records and still requires an investment in Ableton Live software.