XDJ-RX2 Review: Is Pioneer's Standalone DJ System Worth It?
The RX2 is the second iteration of the original XDJ-RX, which was kind of a big deal when it was released back in 2015. For DJs wanting to enter the Rekordbox ecosystem (but not wanting to buy more expensive, separate components), it makes for a logical choice.
Being a standalone system, the XDJ-RX2 plays directly from USB stick and no laptop is required. This setup simulates a full Nexus setup (though, it's more comparable to Pioneer's mid-grade hardware… for example, the mixer section resembles the DJM-450).
Pioneer has made a handful of improvements to this unit, which brings it to a level that feels more like a professional tool than a budget compromise. For the right DJ, the XDJ-RX2 is a great choice.
Advertised at: $1699 (Check Price)
Platform: Rekordbox, Rekordbox DJ
Channels: 2 + AUX input
Rating: 7.5/10 (see video for ratings by category)
Full Video Review
XDJ-RX2 vs. The Original XDJ-RX
This version makes several improvements over the original RX. The first thing you will probably notice is the addition of better performance pads. There are now 8 instead of four, and they feel more like “beat pads” as opposed to the clicky buttons in the previous version.
The RX2 also brings over some great features from the flagship CDJ-2000NXS2 players… including its high-quality touch screen (providing needle search, QWERTY search, track filter and shortcut functionality), and the surrounding browse controls. Instead of a shared middle “Browse” knob, everything functions like a CDJ in this regard (except for a small change in loading a track to a deck… see the video above).
The ethernet port (for Pro DJ Link) has been removed, which probably won't affect too many people who buy this unit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What music formats does the XDJ-RX2 support?
The RX2 supports MP3, WAV, WAV, and AIFF. It plays directly from USB key, will load tracks through USB from your laptop, or will “play directly” from your laptop with a Rekordbox DJ license.
Is it worth upgrading to the RX2 if I have the original XDJ-RX?
This will be up to you to determine, but probably not. It's a lot of money to shell out for 4 extra performance pads and an enhanced touch-screen. However, if you don't have either unit… this is the one to buy.
Should I get separate Pioneer components instead?
You could; for example, a DJM-450 and XDJ-700 combo. But this costs several hundred more dollars, you take a downgrade on jog wheels, and you introduce more setup time.
Is the XDJ-RX2 DVS compatible?
Surprisingly, Pioneer has omitted DVS support in this unit. It is not licensed for using timecode, not even with Rekordbox DJ.
Who's It For?
DJs who have club and festival aspirations will think that the XDJ-RX2 makes a lot of sense. The layout is familiar, and all but identical, to the “standard” setup a DJ will encounter as part of a larger scale show.
Since a full NXS2 setup costs something like 6 thousand dollars, it doesn't seem so bad to shell out $1699 for a functionally-similar system. It also functions as a controller (via Rekordbox DJ), if you choose to bring a laptop along for the ride. In this sense, it may not be the most budget-friendly option around (since the whole no-laptop thing is a big selling point, here).
The RX2 may be less ideal for some mobile DJs, speaking to its general size and weight. It also might be cumbersome for smaller-scale shows where you are sharing a booth with other DJs.
But for the DJ who wants a “home version” of the industry standard, or wants an all-in-one, non-laptop solution for DJing… the XDJ-RX2 fits the bill.