Traktor Kontrol S5: New Native Instruments DJ Controller

Native Instruments has announced the newest controller in their all-in-one DJ lineup: the Traktor Kontrol S5. This all-in-one DJ interface eliminates the jogs wheels from the Kontrol S4’s layout and adds in with the future looking screens of the S8. More compact and affordable than the S8, it will give DJs the screens they want at a more realistic price. Get all the details on the new Kontrol S5 inside.

The new Kontrol S5 is yet another indication of Native Instruments’ continued shift away from a jog-wheel centric work flow and towards screens instead. While the wheel has been a treasured, useful DJ tool since the beginning, they take up a lot of valuable real estate. The S5 provides similar controls to the S8 but without individual faders for Stems.


Key Details

  • The Kontrol S5 will be available in stores October 1 – preorder in the DJTT store here now
  • Priced at $799 / 799 € / ¥ 99,800 / £579 / $AU 1094
  • The S5 does have Stem Deck control
  • Roughly the same weight and size as the Kontrol S4
  • Power supply is likely required to power the onboard screens


The new controller from Native Instruments doesn’t break new ground on the surface, but does introduce a few small interface improvements. The best features from the Kontrol S8 and Kontrol S4 have been combined into one single interface, begging the question: Why did we even need the S8?

Some people that sprung for the more expensive flagship model might be a little miffed unless they really love those extra 8 faders and encoders. What’s different?

The S5 condenses and simplifies the browse/loop/deck controls significantly, which is a welcome improvement. On the S8, deck switching, browsing and loops are scattered around the controller in a haphazard way – but on the S5 they are logically grouped and laid out.

One minor loss are the 4 touch-sensitive encoders below the screen, which did triple duty for Remix Decks parameters, as well as being flexible controls depending on what was on-screen. The Kontrol S5 loses those, and instead uses the FX knobs (which are normal potentiometers) for similar functions. This could introduce some value-jumping problems if you use effects and remix decks/stems at the same time frequently – we’re guessing this will require soft-takeover (values don’t change until you move the knob to the current position in the software)


It’s somewhat unclear how to control Stem Decks on the S5, but NI indicates it is possible. Apparently you use the pads to both mute the parts and select each part for further modification with the Browse or Loop encoders. Hold the pad to select which Stem and then move the encoder to adjust volume.

Overall we welcome the new Traktor Kontrol S5 and feel like this is finally a reasonable replacement for the S4 at an affordable price. We look forward to getting one in the office and testing it extensively for you!

Want to place a preorder for a Kontrol S5? Do it in the DJTT store here.

kontrol s5midi controllerNative InstrumentsTraktor Tips
Comments (72)
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  • Alex Chan-Kai

    shame the s5 isn’t standalone nor compatable with iOS. im thinking getting an s8 is more portable and cheaper cuz u don’t need a laptop to mix.

  • Paul Andrew

    Native Instruments Flagship DJ Controller – New in BOX!
    Comes with 2 year Guitar Center warranty covering damages that may occur while playing in a club. (ie. Spilled drinks) It’s a $140 value. I have the Receipt for you too.
    Located in New York – $1000

  • Antstock

    Why does everyone want jog wheels on a Traktor controller? The touch strip works well for skipping through a track or finding a cue point. If you are beatmatching manually then why are you using Traktor? Use CDJs and a mixer with Rekordbox instead, or something like the XDJ-RX. Traktor gives you options to do loads more than just beatmatch one track into another…

    • Aytee Kane

      i so agree with you

    • leonffs

      Because CDJs and a Mixer with Rekordbox is like $7,000. Even the XDJ-RX is $1200.
      WTF do you do with this thing if you have a track that isn’t analyzed right and you need to beatmatch?

  • Andrew Nicoire

    why native ,dnt build up a big controller for once like Pioneer ddjz ,build up a controller that will impress us,plus the jog wheel n add up the D2 also build in

    • Aytee Kane

      kontrol s8 is biiiig, and jogwheels have no function anymore

  • Luca Toderini

    I tested the S8, is very interesting controller, but is to large for me. The S5 looking good until I realized is not possible connecting external devices. I love use 2 CDJ with time code in two channels, and the other two for drummers, vocals or remix decks

  • Scott Frost

    Is there still no way to search tracks other than scrolling through 100’s of tracks?

    Like Madonna — “M” -> “A” ->”D” then filter as you pick a letter ?

    Also if you filter on your laptop does the playlist update on the S8/S5?

    • Bordain

      That is the stupid part of putting screens on a controller, you still have to use your laptop.

  • QCube

    The Price of 800€ is pretty high. I think for this Price you absolutely could manufacture a fully standallone option. Now you have the screens and still need a laptop. I mean, if you pay 300 more for your Gear but dont have to worry about your Laptop getting slow or being fast enougth i would be totaly ok with that. It would just eliminate error sources(less cables, 1 bigger device less -> less weight and stress…)
    And am i the only one who dont like the Layout without Jogwheels? I would rather have better Jogwheels, some that realy feel like vinyl, that are motorized just like on the Numark ns7… Its just too expensive again if you take in equation that you still need a laptop…

  • TuneToned

    If only this came with a jog wheel it would be mint

  • Clayton Chaney

    How do you control stems with out another controller…. aka you cant without the f1 its a marketing plea for people to buy their other product… Kinda sad in my opinion

    • Aytee Kane

      not true at all! even better control of stems than the s8!

  • Zenocide

    I think I’ll stick with my S4 🙂

  • Clayton Chaney

    There’s no control over the stems??? guys notice the lack of faders and filter knobs!!! It’s just a fancy looking 4 deck mixer not worth the payout!!!

    • Fayek Helmi

      there IS control over the stems, for both volume and filter. it’s just not as direct as the s8. you have to push a button and turn a knob rather than just turn a knob

      • Aytee Kane

        and for 4decks the s5 has a better contrrol over stems than s8!

  • Dre Morningstar

    I’m gonna get one of these and run Traktor on a Mac mini. Also, quit bitching about no jogwheels and get with the touch strip.

    • Bordain

      Nobody likes touch strip. That feature was always a dud. It is collecting dust on most controllers.

      • Aytee Kane

        if you learn to work with it , it is pretty impressive… jogweels have no function anymore

  • Mr. Meoff

    4 deck Novation Twitch.

    • Fayek Helmi


      I actually saw a random photo on facebook of someone using something that looked a lot like the twitch but with 4 deck mixer in the middle… trying to find it online but i can’t…. it’s pretty much the only other controllers with out jog wheels. i for one think jogwheels suck.

  • Von Royale

    this is a bit of a slap in the face to S8 owners. “Hey guys we know you used all your money to buy this premium controller, but we want more money so we are gonna release pretty much the same thing for the poor people too…” wtf?

  • Fee

    I hope the s5 support for Traktor DJ!

  • couic

    seriously…. ditch the laptop. make a stand alone solution !!!!

    until then these are still gadgets.

    • couic

      same for D2 controllers btw.

      a standalone version of the D2 would be a very interesting CDJ alternative.

    • Fayek Helmi

      YEEESSS ever since the s8 came out, ive been crying out for a standalone version! I’m sure it wont need that much of computing resources, and everything important is already inside the machine itself. you just need a USB for song input and route the audio internally to the analog 4 channels.

      Just realized i just described the standalone pioneer all in one setups.

    • Bordain

      I agree what is the sense of having screens if you have have to hook up a laptop? We should just be able to bring a thumb drive and the controller if you want to put screens on the controller. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

  • Unreallystic

    Stem controls and screens at a better price…great…
    No jog wheel…pass…
    Need a MIDI Fighter Jog Wheel haha…

    • Russ

      yeah. no jog… no purchase. Work on s4 mk3 with slide out panels and ditches the laptop.

  • Lu Ynoji

    they should make the transition to firmware.. no more might be going in that area..

    And give users the ability to recycle ( hand over there old controller+ update fee= new controller)

  • Eduardo

    That 808 sounds too distorted.

  • BeeDunc

    Does not appear to have a lot of inputs though (from pictures on, hence, no standalone mixer, like the S8. This to me seems like it’s a good ‘travel’ deck to work on some ideas, but in no way replaces big-iron S8.

    • Matías J. Padilla

      It’s not meant to replace a S8, rather be an improvement over the S4 (minus the limited inputs and lack of DVS support)

  • Arturo Toledo

    Anyone has the actual dimension and weight specs? That’s the only thing I care about, if it’s portable or another humongous monstrosity like the S8…

    • BeeDunc

      It’s said to be S4-sized, but to me, looks even like S2. I would like to know myself, as I need a travel deck.

      • Prof_Strangeman

        See my comment to Arturo

        • Angelo Robledo

          According to NI, you can use the S4 Flight Case with the S5, telling me they are extremely close in dimensions.

    • Prof_Strangeman

      22″ x 15″ x 5″

  • jay

    NI done lost they fucking marbles

    • Tony Mitchell


  • Dee

    This is alright, but I just want them to release the kontrol x3 already.

    • Jon

      Exactly what are you expecting from an X3? I mean we have the perfectly decent X1 mk 2 for standard deck control. The F1 for Remix decks/Stems and the D2 that combines them both. What does an X3 bring to the table?

  • Bisjon Celestine

    Do you think they’ll release a new controller with wheels? I’m pretty set on the S4 and I’d be bummed if I got it right before something new.

    • Tony Mitchell

      You will never see another controller from NI with jog wheels. The S4 has been out for a while. There are plenty of controllers available today that are better than it.

      • Bisjon Celestine

        Wow, I haven’t realized how long it’s been around. Do you have any suggestions and reasons as to why they’re better?

        • Tony Mitchell

          On board screens, touch sensitive controls, available to work out of the box with all the popular current DJ software.

  • Manoo Bahar

    just saw s8 on sale for 699…this for almosy 600??? and what sound card it uses same as s8?or a cheaper one? and 2 usb should be the standard this days if you wannt this controllers being taken more seriously… if you are windows user just stay away from s8 and probley this …full of problems there… work good on mac terrible on windows on their hardware….

  • RogueDJ

    Here’s to hoping they’ll release a jogwheel version with screens for us old-school cats.

    • synapticflow

      Amen. Seriously. I don’t like the new focus on having even less actual stuff to do.

    • Dan White

      Gonna be hard to fit in jogwheels and those screens – what would you eliminate?

      • Unreallystic

        Don’t eliminate, especially for more of a ‘flagship’ level hybrid. Add an angle on the screen to keep the size, but shrink the foot print. Take the remix buttons and cut them in half vertically (but keeping width…similar to what AKAI did with the APC series). Touchstrip would be redundant – so it would go away, that along with some slight adjustment in button location would free up significant room. You might need another inch which might have to be added to the total depth, for something like the S8, that would be too much, but the S5 which has a smaller frame, would be fine gaining one more inch in depth. Call it an S6.

      • Bordain

        Just make the controller bigger. Some Djs don’t mind using a bigger controller that has all the knobs and options.

  • LongTimeLurker1stTimePoster

    Looks like a great candidate for adding two (2) USB thumb-drive ports and some software support then it could really be an All-In-One controller.

  • J-Mo

    My S2 finally croaked after 3.5 years and with the price drops opted for the s8 as a (expensive) replacement. Although the size is not ideal I am getting used to lugging it around. One thing that this article doesn’t mention is that this does not support DVS with the ability to attach external inputs. Although I don’t bring my turntables around the option/ability to run 4 extra external devices with the S8’s standalone mixer section is awesome. I would say along with the missing faders this is a big difference that may sway people to stick with the s8 or not get pissed that they just bought it and now this gets introduced…. I know I am not… 🙂

    • BeeDunc

      Agreed. I would have liked at least 2 stereo inputs for TT or other outboard soundmakers.

  • Ywe

    I am just about to shop around for a new controller, my first all in one after a few CDJ setups. I will wait till you guys test the new Pioneer stuff and the NI goodies before I make my move. All though I can get my hands on an S8 for €850,-…. tempting, since this one is just a little bit cheaper. Don’t know what i’ll do with STEMS and Remix decks though. If Pioneers software is on point, I might even jump the Traktor ship! The only reason to stay with it now is the DVS setup I have…. Pioneer is planning that one too. Future is exiting people!

    • Corjan Rodenburg

      it sure is exciting! i got all hyped up and bought myself an s8 a few weeks ago(it was a nice birthday gift to myself) usually i feel totally gutted when i get something and then 2 weeks later(no lie) new stuff comes out. But this time around im not even a bit gutted! that to me says how awesome the s8 is 😀

      • Fayek Helmi

        kinda hard to feel gutted a couple of weeks after buying the flagship product. hehe

  • hrmmm

    no faders for stems tho?

    • $gameOver

      I know right… it’s not Stems ready at all… the main selling point for Stems was being able to cut out parts of the track, for this, it’s all about the faders. I’m reading the product page and it looks like it’s possible to change the volume but it’s not obvious how.

      I got half excited when I seen 4 channels, this would have been great if we could add some turntables but no, its limited to an F1 or D2.. honestly, If i was going to add any of those i’d just fork out for a full-sized S8.

      Seems like they have missed the mark with this one?

      • Ywe

        I guess you can use the pads to change the volume… Guess we’ll have to wait for some more video’s!

        • Dennis Olivieira

          It all there in the articule. Hold the pad down and adjust the encoder to adjust the volume.

          • $gameOver

            Oh well, it’s still awful…designed for boring DJs who slowly introduce a tune.. Faders are needed for quick cutting and slamming in stems.

          • Fayek Helmi

            you can also just hit the pad and toggle the volume between 0 and full. so that’s actually faster than a fader