Pioneer DJ’s XDJ-RX2: First Impressions Review

It’s back! After two and a half years, Pioneer DJ has brought out the successor to their much loved XDJ-RX, the brand new XDJ-RX2. The new unit inherits a lot of the Nexus 2 features, much like the original did with the Nexus 1 generation. In today’s guest review, DJ Ravine shares his thoughts on what the new unit brings to the table, why you’d upgrade, and his own mix using this unit.

XDJ-RX2 Review In A TL;DR:

  • Product: XDJ-RX2
  • Manufacturer: Pioneer DJ
  • Availability: Rolling out right now – get one in DJTT’s store
  • Price: $1,699
  • Best Features: Inherits the touch screen and mixer from the NXS2 line. Includes a free license for Rekordbox DJ. Now has 8 pads instead of 4.
  • Still Needs Work: Nexus2 screen has no multi-touch. No Rekordbox DVS compatibility. Color FX were revamped with Crush being replaced by Sweep (I don’t know anyone who uses this effect)
  • Bottom Line: Basically 2 mini CDJ-2000NXS2 and a 2 channel DJM-750Mk2 in a single package for a fraction of the price.

Look, Ma! No Laptop!

The XDJ-RX was revolutionary as it was the first all in one Rekordbox unit to truly gain traction in the DJ market. Sure there was the XDJ-R1 before it and the XDJ-Aero before that but neither was as widely adopted as the RX1. What it meant for DJs was that they could have a compact setup at home without having the burden of connecting it to a laptop as well as being able to prepare themselves for the club with a Rekordbox capable unit at home.

XDJ-RX vs XDJ-RX2: What’s The Difference?

XDJ-RX2 vs XDJ-RX1 (click to zoom)

When I first got my hands on the XDJ-RX2, I could immediately tell the difference from the original. The obvious difference: the RX2 has 8 RGB pads per deck as opposed to the original which used 4 clicky, button style pads. The new ones feel more like conventional pads, bringing it in line with the rest of Pioneer DJs controller lineup.

the RX2 has the same effects, layout and knobs as the new Pioneer DJM-750MK2

Another thing you quickly notice while using it: Pioneer has changed the mixer button and knob layout to meet the standards set by the Nexus2 system. They’re noticeably thicker and more robust feeling. This also includes the Sound Color FX now being arranged in a square grid as opposed to vertically on the original RX. Interestingly, the RX2 has the same effects, layout and knobs as the new Pioneer DJM-750MK2. I love this decision – the unit feels a lot more premium and doesn’t suffer from what I like to call “budget controller syndrome”.

XDJ-RX2 vs DJM-750MK2: Seeing double, or a new standard?

They’ve also ripped the touchscreen and surrounding controls straight from the CDJ-2000NXS2. With the touch screen, DJs get the addition of needle search, QWERTY search, track filter and shortcut. The track filter and shortcut also are controlled via the navigation knob to the right of the screen instead of the awful middle of the mixer browse knob on the RX1. They’ve also revamped the source select and style buttons to the match those on the Nexus 2.

Glorious QWERTY search

Rekordbox DJ + Connectivity

Pioneer DJ is furiously pushing their Rekordbox DJ software. As such, the RX2 comes with a free license for the software. This means for those who still prefer using a laptop, you’ve got free access to the features offered by Rekordbox DJ. You can also directly link to the less resource-intensive Rekordbox export on your computer with USB so you can load music directly from your library onto the decks without the need to export tracks onto a USB first.

Another interesting feature is the addition of Rekordbox Video. If you’ve got the license (some units will come bundled with one), you can now mix video with the RX2. Sadly though, the RX2 does not have Rekordbox DVS compatibility. This means you’ll need an external soundcard to use turntables or external CD players with DVS.

Curiously, Pioneer DJ has opted for removing the Ethernet port at the back. This means no more Link for those planning on connecting this to a bigger setup – although you were never able on the original RX when connected to CDJs. I think it’s a omission – as most people would be using the unit as is.

Conclusion + Is It Worth Upgrading?

For those who own the RX1, the convenience features aren’t enough to sell the XDJ-RX2 on its own. You’ve really got to get stuck into the new performance pads and inclusion of the Rekordbox DJ software to truly get the most out of the product. You’d be doing yourself a great disservice not to take advantage of it. For those who were on the fence about buying the XDJ-RX1, there’s no reason not the jump on this new unit. You’re getting best parts of the Nexus2 system at a third of the price. It’s a solid choice.

Beyond the review, check out my mix below from when Pioneer DJ let me use the unit at their studios in Tokyo.

Have questions about the XDJ-RX2? Ask in the comments and we’ll answer them ASAP.
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  • 2017’s Top DJ Controllers ?? ????????! | God Is A DJ.gr

    […] it to the RX2, giving it features that no other standalone player (even CDJs/other XDJs) has. Read DJ Ravine’s review here if you want more details. We think this year sales will continue to grow – unless Pioneer DJ […]

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    […] it to the RX2, giving it features that no other standalone player (even CDJs/other XDJs) has. Read DJ Ravine’s review here if you want more details. We think this year sales will continue to grow – unless Pioneer DJ puts […]

  • Andrew

    NEW Pioneer XDJ-RX2 Share All-in-one DJ system

    Specifications

    Plays AAC MP3 WAV AIFF
    USB Storage Support FAT FAT32 HFS+
    MIDI Control
    Plug and Play
    Auto Standby
    Included DJ Software rekordbox dj
    Compatible DJ Software rekordbox video
    Width 728.2 mm Height 108.4 mm Depth 443.8 mm
    Weight 9.1 kg
    Frequency Range 20 – 20000 Hz
    Distortion < 0.003 % (USB)
    Channels 2
    Deck Control 2
    Sound Color FX Noise Filter Sweep Dub Echo
    Hot Cues 8 per deck
    Slip Mode
    Beat Sync
    Quantize
    WaveZoom
    Inputs 2 LINE (RCA) 2 PHONO (RCA) 2 MIC (XLR & 1/4 inch TRS Jack) 1 AUX (RCA) USB 2 USB A ports 1 USB B port
    Outputs 1 MASTER (XLR) 1 MASTER (RCA) 1 BOOTH (1/4 inch TRS Jack) 2 HEADPHONE MONITOR (1/4 inch Stereo Phone Jack, 3.5mm Stereo mini-jack)

    PRICES: – $ 1100.00USD

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  • Oscar Rodriguez

    Can you use the the cross fader instead of the pitch siders to blend songs from one deck to the other on the XDJ RX2? An event wants me to use this rig but I’ve always had an NS7

    • Spacecamp / Dan

      Not sure why the crossfader wouldn’t work to blend tracks…. that’s what it’s for!

  • Sanneau

    Hi, for me a totally different reason to change set-up. Now I’ve got 2 cdj 850 and a djm 850. I got tired of the display on the cdj and no direct recording facility. I don’t make much use of the effects. My question is, what is the difference in quality of the jogwheels and differnce in quality of fader and equalizer part of the mixer in comparison to the 850 set? Thanks a lot

  • blackavenger

    “Look ma, no Laptop”!!! Unless, of course I want to play FLAC files. Then it’s, “Look Ma, I still have to use my laptop w’ this HUGE controller”!!! Yay!

    Damn, Pioneer dropped the ball w’ this MKII unit!!!

  • Piero Di Tommaso

    talented guy..but music is terrible..ahahahah

  • Adam

    Any info about when traktor mappings might be avalible?

  • kegan

    Did they fix the looping functionality or is this just one shiny new disappointment with all the bells and whistles

    • Drew Long

      Google “quantize”. It is present on the MK1 unit

  • ?The Other Denzel?

    does this have “mechanical” jogs like a true CDJ, or capacitive jogs like a DDJ? The pics of the new joint look an awful lot like cdj jogs.

    • Mark Smith

      Capacitive. Pioneers capacitive jogs are way too sensitive. The mechanical jogs are the way to go. I love the jog wheels on my XDJ-700’s.

  • Joe Negrete Wiggins

    Gotta change up saying it’s like a 750mk2….it barely is. If anything, it’s a DJM-450 mixer

    • sfmzg

      Correct, especially when you see that redundant master cue button in the middle. Pioneer probably told them to compare it to 750 in a effort to seem more “premium”.
      Also, I wonder why the lack of FLAC support wasn’t added to the “cons” list?

    • Kraal Wiggins

      it IS the djm-450 dont be fooler 😉

  • Andreas Valanides

    Does it have fader start;

  • Jlad

    I’m in the market for a new rig and this is very close to checking off all my boxes, but I need 4 decks/channels.

    • Christopher Allen

      then get the denon…works great…cheaper…would check all boxes

      • JLaD

        I’ve been a Traktor and recordbox (on Pioneer CDJs in clubs) user for so long and dont really want to switch to Serato. I know there are some community mappings out there for Traktor on the Denon but would rather see an official one put out that is more stable with HID support.

        • Christopher Allen

          wait..if you’re still using software then get any 4 channel dj controller…no point in blowing the extra cash on an all-in-one if you still plan on connecting it to your laptop…unless you wanna spend the extra cash just to be more versatile

          • JLaD

            yeah I wasn’t very clear there. I’d actually like to get away from Traktor for the most part. I prefer playing from USB sticks on a typical CDJ and mixer setup, like found in most clubs. But don’t want to shell out the considerable cost for that kind of setup at home. This Pioneer sounded like a good substitute for that, except for the lack of 4 channels, which I use pretty heavily.

          • Christopher Allen

            yea so in that case your only all in one option is thedenon mcx5000…if you don’t care about performance pads there are quite a few single deck cd players with usb capabilities by both denon, pioneer, and gemini (if you’re into them)

      • Spacecamp / Dan

        Last I checked, the Denon doesn’t run in 4-deck standalone, just 2 deck.