Pioneer is a company with incredible flexibility and versatility to offer for music makers. It doesn’t matter what kind of DJ you are; you can find a Pioneer tool that’s right for you. Today, we’re looking at the XDJ-1000mk2, an update from the famous XDJ-1000 CD-less media player.
This tech has a similar high-resolution 7-inch touch screen to its predecessor. However, the XDJ-1000mk2 also comes with improved track browsing capabilities and support for ALAC and FLAC files for higher quality file mixing. The XDJ-1000mk2 is a great little tool for home setup and regular practice.
With all the must-have features of a modern CDJ from Pioneer, the XDJ-1000mk2 is excellent to play with, with more navigation buttons and extra functionality. Unfortunately, this device won’t play CDs, and there’s no SD card either.
Although it might seem odd for Pioneer to release a CDJ without a physical CD player, the company is investing more cash into becoming the go-to solution or digital DJs. There’s no need to maintain and manage your internal CD player. All you need is a USB thumb drive to access all your content. Let’s explore what the XDJ-1000mk2 can do.
Key Features of the Pioneer XDJ-1000mk2
Originally released back in 2016, the XDJ-1000mk2 is a fantastic update to the original XDJ-1000 media player. With this tool, you get the same powerful high-res touch screen of the CDJ-2000NXS2, along with access to extra files.
There are a few additional features to consider here too, such as track matching, track filtering, and a new navigation section too. All of these elements are geared towards making selecting your songs as fast and convenient as possible. Other features that you’ll find on the XDJ-1000mk2 include:
- Improved audio circuit taken from the CDJ-2000NXS
- Support for ALAC and FLAC files
- USB digital media support
- In-depth performance controls
- Pro DJ Link to connect multiple players
- Improved LED touchscreen
- 8 hot cues supported
- DDJ-SP1 direct link
Pioneer XDJ-1000mk2 Set Up
The XDJ-1000mk2 is a brilliant media player that comes with a dedicated slot for connecting your thumb drives. You’ll also find a USB port in the back where you can link a laptop running Rekordbox DJ. Similar to its predecessor, there’s no SD or CD card slot. There is, however, a full 7-inch touch screen display, with a Qwerty keyboard, pitch fader, jog wheel, and looping / transport controls.
The Pioneer DJ XDJ-1000mk2 looks very similar to the XDJ-1000 that came before it, aside from a few slight changes. There are more buttons on this device, as well as a more complete section for browsing and navigation. Some of the navigation buttons clearly come directly from the CDJ-2000NXS2, and this includes things like track filter and tag tracking.
DJs can also enjoy dedicated time mode, quantize, and auto-cue buttons, which you can toggle without having to switch to a specific view, like you did with the original XDJ-1000. Having a selection of physical buttons to work with means that your touchscreen is a lot more efficient and less cluttered.
Most of the functionality here is similar to the predecessor, but there are some significant updates. The presence of access to high-resolution ALAC and FLAC files is a nice touch, for instance. There’s also a new jog wheel design with a silver accent, similar to the tools you’d find on the CDJ-2000NXS2.
Perhaps one of the most attractive features on the XDJ-1000mk2 is the touchscreen, which looks very similar to the one you get on the CDJ-2000NXS2. The XDJ-1000mk2 also inherits other features from the NXS2, including 4 navigation buttons that surround the browsing knob.
Your screen is the main point of interaction for this player. Browsing through tracks is simple, and the filter button gives brilliant access to the filter options on Rekordbox, which allow you to manage your track by star rating, color, bpm, and key. There’s also a matching feature that suggests new tracks according to the music you’ve used before.
Browsing through your tracks is easy, and there’s even a qwerty keyboard for searching through your library. The filter button on the right-hand side gives excellent access to Rekordbox filtering functionality, so you can assess tracks by color, star rating, and bpm.
The screen here is a huge improvement on the original XDJ-1000, particularly thanks to the physical buttons.
The jog wheel on the Pioneer DJ XDJ-1000mk2 is similar to the one on the XDJ-1000, although there is a slightly different finish. The silver strip that wraps around the jog doesn’t add anything from a functionality perspective. The vinyl speed adjustment knob controls both the stop and start speeds on your record. This might be a bit of a confusing setup for some.
However, if you can get past the slight confusion here, then the XDJ-1000mk2 jog wheel is nice enough to use. It’s not as robust as you might expect from some larger, more expensive players, but it’s a great introduction.
Browsing and navigation
As mentioned above, the browsing functionality on the XDJ-1000mk2 is one of its biggest selling points. Searching through DJ libraries with this device is much easier than you might think. Tag tracking functionality means you can mark a tune for better access later. Track filter ensures you can filter through tracks using things like rating, tempo, and key.
Another browsing feature is the shortcut button, which allows you to quickly log into the Qwerty keyboard. The qwerty keyboard plays well with track filters, making it easier to find music. Having a touchscreen and the keyboard does make your life easier. The track-matching feature also means that your system can recommend which songs to play next.
High-Res File Playback
The Pioneer XDJ-1000mk2 supports ALAC and FLAC playback. These file types support lossless compression, which means you get a better sound quality than you would with typical MP3. High-res files are common in portable digital players popular with audiophiles. However, this file type isn’t quite as mainstream as it could be yet.
Although you can still play MP3 files through your thumb drives, Pioneer pushes incredible quality audio too so that you can take your performances to the next level. FLAC style files particularly appeal to DJs using high-end setups.
The performance mode functionality on XDJ-1000mk2 offers access to hot loops, hot cues, beat loop and beat jump functions. The XDJ-1000Mk2 saves your loop and cue edits to your USB stick, so you can sync them back to your library whenever you like.
The XDJ-1000mk2 screen is very responsive, but it’s not the same as using a real set of performance pads. Fortunately, Pioneer has considered this problem. The company made it possible to attach a DDJ-SP1 controller to your system and use it to control all of your performance features. A single SP1 can control as many as four XDJ-1000mk2 devices.
Taking advantage of this connection means that you’ll have to spend more money on your complete setup. However, the easy connectivity means that it’s simpler to mix and match the functionality you want for your portable kit.
The Pioneer DJ XDJ-1000mk2 comes with a variety of output options to explore. You might not have a CD slot, but you do have other access options. For instance, there’s the traditional RCA out option available. However, you can also unlock the benefits of a digital output if you prefer.
If you own a mixer with digital input options, you should be able to connect your player to your mixer digitally. This removes one digital to analog conversion requirement from your audio setup.
Another connection option available with the XDJ-1000mk2 is the Pro D-link connection (ethernet cable). This allows DJs to hook various players together to play off a single USB stick. There’s also a USB port to connect external gear and laptops to your device. You can use this same connection point to link the DDJ-SP1 too.
The HID mode
Another feature worth considering if you’re thinking of investing in the XDJ-1000mk2 is the HID mode. It’s possible to use the Rekordbox library directly with the XDJ-1000Mk2. This is a handy function, as it doesn’t put as much demand on your laptop. Basically, the system acts like a huge hard-drive, where you can access your playlists and libraries without having to export anything. You can use your XDJ-1000mk2 as a midi-controller for your Rekordbox DJ software too. When you access this functionality, you’ll run your system in HID mode, which causes the XDJ-1000mk2 screen to mimic everything on your laptop screen. This provides complete access to the various performance options of Rekordbox DJ.
Pioneer XDJ-1000mk2 Pros and Cons
Like most Pioneer technology, the XDJ-1000mk2 is a device that doesn’t disappoint. This product might not introduce the most innovative range of new features in the Pioneer collection – but it still has a lot to offer. If you’re searching for a full-sized media solution that delivers amazing performance, but you can’t afford to pay for a full flagship machine, this could be the product for you.
The XDJ-1000mk2 is an excellent piece of tech, with an updated browsing and navigation section that makes it easier to find the music you need. It takes no time to get used to the track selection workflow with the XDJ-1000mk2. Plus, the skills you develop practicing at home will easily translate when you’re working with more expensive Nexus machines at professional clubs and in other settings.
Remember, much of the functionality of the XDJ-1000mk2 comes straight from the CDJ-2000NXS2, so the performance is quite similar. There’s also a higher number of hot cues with the XDJ-1000mk2 than you got with the previous design. This means that it’s much easier to search through options with a few taps. Of course, if you already own the XDJ-1000, and you’re not interested in spinning any high-definition audio files, then you probably won’t need the upgrade.
Finishing Thoughts on the Pioneer XDJ-1000mk2
Ultimately, the Pioneer DJ XDJ-1000mk2 is a fantastic addition to the already impressive range of Pioneer XDJ tools. This device does a brilliant job at offering some top-of-the-line functionality for today’s digital DJs. If you want some high-quality media functions that you’d expect from the Nexus lineup, but you don’t want to pay the hefty price tag, the XDJ-1000mk2 could be ideal for you.
Although the XDJ-1000mk2 certainly isn’t cheap, it’s a lot more affordable than the CDJ-2000NXS2 and similar devices. You’ll even save money if you decide to add extra pad controls. Combined with support for high-resolution files, the simplicity and accessibility of the XDJ-1000mk2 make it an appealing piece of tech.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see other manufacturers coming out with their own competitive tools, similar to the XDJ-1000mk2.
If you’re wondering what kind of DJ or music design would be suitable for the XDJ-1000mk2, we’d probably recommend this solution as the ideal tool for someone who wants to practice their sets at home. If you’re going to experiment with different sounds and keep things simple, then the XDJ-1000mk2 is a great option. Club owners hoping to avoid massive investments in flagship technology could also turn to the XDJ-1000mk2.
Of course, there are limitations to this machine. An inability to actually play physical CDs could mean that you can’t cater to other DJs that want to play on the same device. There’s unlikely to be much of a problem if your regular DJs tend to work with digital technology and files anyway.
If you’re a DJ that wans to prepare for the future of digital mixing and playing, then the XDJ-1000mk2 could set you on the right track. Although it might not be the most complete CDJ solution around, it’s a great insight into what’s possible when you get rid of clunky hardware.
CD players can suffer from a lot of wear and tear, as can your CD collection too. This means that if you switch to digital functionality, you won’t have to worry about regular maintenance as much.