In this Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Controller Review 2020, we have always seen the Pioneer DDJ-SB2 as one of the very best entry-level controllers for Serato DJ ever. It included features such as browse knobs and filters and looked and felt incredibly professional.
Well, the goalposts moved a little with this version – the DDJ-SB2 is even BETTER! It is compatible with both Serato DJ and Rekordbox and includes brand new features including four-deck controls and is proving to be immensely popular among all professional and amateur DJs!
This is certainly tough to beat in the under $250 market.
Key features of the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Controller
- Portable, easy to carry
- Compatibility with all major DJ software
- Only one USB cord required for connection
- Built-in soundcard
- Two channels
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Controller comes with just a USB cable and this eliminates the need for a power brick. It also comes with a USB port at the rear, RCA jacks for the Master output, a 1/4″ mic-in jack, and 1/4″ and 1/8″ jacks for headphones.
The lights are still very bright and the headphone volumes and RCA main outputs are easily good enough for live performance.
Only Serato DJ Intro is included, which undoubtedly helped with Pioneer’s SB2 pricing, but it is easily upgraded to Serato DJ. There is also a two-week free trial period for you to see if you would prefer to buy the full version. You more than likely will!
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Controller is compatible with Pioneer DJ’s Rekordbox DJ software. Rekordbox DJ has become incredibly stable, improved and impressive in recent times so has become a force to be reckoned with.
Alternatively, if you combine Virtual DJ 8 and a mapped in Traktor Pro 2 you will have created an affordable DJ controller that will allow you to run any major DJ software! You can find many different mappings types online with a simple google search.
You will also be able to move from DJ App to DJ App smoothly giving you flexibility.
For this review, we ran the controller with Serato DJ.
Using the controller
The DDJ-SB2, even though it does feel a little thinner and is made out of plastic, still feels and looks the part. It is certainly designed as a serious portable controller and is far more transport-friendly than the likes of a bulky Traktor Kontrol S8 or similar!
All the quality and the features form the DDJ-SB are still there for sure.
- Responsive Aluminum top Jog Wheels
- Dedicated filter knobs
- Auto & Manual loops
- Serato Sp-6 Sampler
- Hot cues
- Everything is where it should be!
Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Controller introduction video
The Pioneer DDJ-SB2 now adds these new features
The DDJ-SB2 comes with trim pots that let you manually adjust the gain levels of both channels.
Apps like Serato DJ automatically compensate for the difference in level between tracks in your library, but it doesn’t always get it spot on. That’s why trim pots are so handy.
The Jog wheels are very well made. They have the standard aluminum top that gives them that quality feel and finite touch.
The jog wheel weights and tension are perfect for backspins, cueing, and scratching. They don’t really shake or wobble and they react well to the touch.
The top is touch-sensitive aluminum whilst the silver sides are for nudging up and slowing down for beat matching adjustment.
There’s a pair of channel level meters on the DDJ-SB2, so it’s easy to see whether or not you’re “in the red” on either channel.
Level metering was not available on the original DDJ-SB. That’s has now changed and the DDJ-SB2 has a pair of highly visible five-segment channel level LED meters.
Switchable control for decks three and four Decks
It’s now possible to control up to four decks with the Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Controller. To assign deck three, you simply press the “3 Deck” button in the left deck, and to control deck four, you press “4 Deck” on the right. Yep, it really is that simple.
Tactile performance pads
Use the top 4 rubber pads to trigger Hot Cue, Auto Loop, Manual Loop and Sampler – and the bottom 4 for immediate access to Play, Cue, Shift and Sync.
Quantized pad trans effect
Use the performance pads to cut the volume in time with the music.
If you have had experience with other larger controllers then the Pioner DJ DDJ-SB2 Controller is a serious alternative that will appeal to you. One of the best entry-level controllers has just become a lot better with the new features.
It is compatible with all the major DJ software and the price has been kept fairly low by Pioneer which is a big plus. Nothing really beats this under the $250 price range.
The Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2 Controller is perfect for club DJs already using CDJs for larger events, and it is also ideal for a first controller for those stepping into the ‘controller-space.’