DJ Gear Predictions: Pioneer DJ Could Release a XDJ-RZ + XDJ-RB in 2020

Just two months left in this decade, and one thing is clear in our industry: Pioneer DJ has absolutely dominated DJ gear sales. It begs some speculation: what will the company release in the coming year to keep competitors at bay?

For today’s article, we speculate on two pieces of standalone, all-in-one hardware that we think could firmly cement Pioneer DJ as the ecosystem of choice for another ten years. They’re both laptop-free, and both focus on fulfilling the essential needs of most DJs: giving them an easy way to practice for club-level gear without buying a full player and mixer setup.

Editor’s Note: Both pieces of hardware in this article are completely speculative – we have no insider information and any actual gear released may differ dramatically from these.

XDJ-RB: A Highly-Portable All-In-One

A quick mockup of the XDJ-RB concept – with a banana to show the key purpose of this model: hyper-portability standalone. Some of the proportions still could use some industrial design touchups (like the too-tall screen) to make it feel like a release-ready concept.

Think of the hypothetical XDJ-RB as a completely standalone version of DDJ-400/200 with an integrated Rekordbox display. It’s designed to be backpack-friendly, it delivers many of the essential functions of the rekordbox-ecosystem, it has an attractive price, and it is a no-brainer for most DJs looking to learn.

Just look at DJ Ravine playing a set on the DDJ-200, streaming tracks from Spotify via djay Pro on an iPhone and outputting it all to a Bluetooth speaker and imagine how Pioneer DJ could make this a complete system:

Pioneer DJ successfully made a consistently sales chart-topping model when they built the beginner-oriented and super-portable DDJ-SB. In my mind, there’s little reason why they couldn’t take those same learnings and apply them to their standalone lineup – and price it at a powerful $400-600 mark (as a point of comparison, the XDJ-RR is $999).

A feature set of the XDJ-RB could include:

  • Internal/external 5v battery power
  • Basic two deck mixing section
  • Bluetooth speaker compatibility
  • Basic jogwheels and filter Color FX
  • Highly portable size

One important note here is that Pioneer DJ will probably not want to cannibalize sales of the XDJ-RX2 and XDJ-RR (or a future XDJ-RX3, should one be released) – so they’ll hold back on adding too many features so that DJs who want those features will be compelled to upgrade. Here’s what we expect they would not include on this model:

  • RGB pads
  • Mic/Aux Inputs
  • Standalone Mixer functionality
  • non-filter Color FX
  • Pro Link functionality

XDJ-RZ: A Four Channel XDJ-RX With Advanced Features

The XDJ-RZ – combine the best of the XDJ-RX with the DDJ-100, and you’ve got a powerhouse four channel standalone.

This is the piece of hardware that so many DJs around the web heavily suspected would be released “next” in the XDJ lineup last year – but instead Pioneer DJ delivered the XDJ-RR, a slightly slimmed down all-in-one unit. Features over the XDJ-RX2 might include:

  • DDJ-1000 style jog displays
  • Advanced 4-deck display (borrowed from the TOUR1 line)
  • Dual USB ports with recording options for both/either
  • great VU meters and a higher-quality soundcard / DAC
  • DVS support
  • Linkable with CDJs or other XDJ-units for network drive use
  • Pattern sequencing / basic DJS-1000 style playback
  • toneplay performance pad more

We made our most recent guess at the XDJ-RZ appearing back in December 2018 in an article called “The Race Is On: Who Will Make The 4-Channel Standalone Unit DJs Crave?” Denon DJ won that race, but seemingly not the war – sales of the Prime 4 have stayed relatively secondary compared to Pioneer DJs standalone units.

The secret sauce here is switching costs: most DJs who are going to buy an all-in-one four channel controller probably don’t want to move to a non-standard platform. Denon DJ continues to face an uphill battle on that front. A popular industry-only report revealed earlier this year that a majority of DJs looking to buy new gear want to buy Pioneer DJ products (~65% of respondents – Denon DJ was closer to 5%) – and that’s a big hurdle for any competitors to take on.

“a majority of DJs looking to buy new gear want to buy Pioneer DJ products”

There’s quite a good business reason why Pioneer DJ is putting off releasing a unit in this category: sales cannibalization of their players/mixers. A DJ looking for a complete new-condition four deck solution might also seriously consider shelling out for four Pioneer DJ players and a four channel mixer, which ends up costing >$4,000 depending on the models chosen. That’s a lot more profit to be had than what we’d probably see the XDJ-RZ priced (probably closer to $2,500 – $3,000).

What do you think Pioneer DJ will release to continue to rule the industry? Or will they fall victim to a new challenger? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

future dj gearpioneer DJxdj-rbXDJ-RX2
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