Investing in a DJ set can be a bit overwhelming. There are quite a few different components required, and each can vary pretty widely in price.
A DJ set that includes all of the gear you’ll need to be a DJ can cost anywhere from $250 to $1,400. To get started, a DJ must be prepared to purchase turntables, mixers, controllers, speakers, software, headphones, a laptop, and more.
The rest of this article will cover the main factors that impact the cost of DJ sets. To learn about how much you’ll need to pay to obtain all of the gear you’ll need to DJ professionally, read on.
Are You Renting or Buying?
The first thing you’ll need to ask yourself is if you’re planning to rent or buy your DJ equipment.
While you may be quick to rush out and buy everything you need, there are advantages to renting your equipment as well.
If you rent, you have the opportunity to try out a variety of different brands and styles. You can test out and find the perfect combination of equipment that works for you and your business. You can spare yourself the wasted money on a brand new system that you don’t like or doesn’t work for your style of music.
When you buy, you have two options. You can buy brand new or buy used equipment. If you decide to purchase brand new, there is less chance of having issues caused by wear and tear, which you risk seeing in a rented product.
When buying brand new, you’ll be able to customize it to your exact needs, and you will also be able to purchase the warranties.
You can also purchase used equipment to help save on costs. However, this can run into its own list of potential issues with damages and general wear. Not to mention, you could lose out on the warranties if you buy used, depending on the model of your options.
Essential DJing Equipment: What You’ll Need
In order to set up your DJ booth, you’re going to need a few things. The amount of equipment you buy is going to vary depending on your specific needs, and this will, of course, determine the overall cost you will spend.
One of the key pieces a DJ should look into renting or purchasing is a turntable. These can be found in a wide variety of styles, and they’ll also range in price.
Turntables can be around $60 to $500, with the average being around $300. You can start out with just one turntable, though many DJs do suggest having two for better sound quality.
The growing advances in technology mean purchasing a turntable that has features utilizing both vinyl and digital sounds would be beneficial. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean the price of the turntable will increase with this feature.
An excellent example is the Gemini TT-1100. This turntable uses the manual belt-drive, but it also has a USB port to support hookups to your MacBook or PC. The price of the Gemini TT-1100 is $160 before warranties.
If you are looking to purchase two of these, you’re going to spend around $300. Keep in mind that if you are purchasing brand new to consider buying the warranty as well in case anything were to happen. On Amazon, a four-year protection plan for this turntable is an additional $30.
A mixer is often considered one of the most important items of a DJ set. This device is used to bring all of your sounds together. Mixers can range from cheap to very expensive, depending on the features you want. Prices can range from $50 to $2500.
A mixer can come with several different features, depending on brand and style. You’ll be able to use the mixer to transition smoothly between songs, add effects or tricks, and much more.
If you are just starting out, the Pyle PMX7BU is easy to learn for beginners. This mixer is a 3-channel mixer with a built-in Bluetooth, making it simple to connect all of your devices for the best possible sound.
On Amazon, the Pyle PMX7BU is $50, with an additional $9 four year protection plan option. You would only need to purchase one of these, so you’re looking at about $60 for your mixer.
Good speaker setup is important for a DJ who is performing public shows or special events. Whether it’s at a club or a wedding, you’re going to want a nice set of speakers.
On average, speakers can cost between $50 to $500. The differences in price will be found in the sound quality as well as the size of the speakers.
As more DJs become mobile, brands have been making smaller speakers with more powerful audio quality. As a DJ, your first concern when deciding on a speaker set is the quality of the sound.
When you are choosing your speakers, you have a few things to consider before buying. These questions will help you decide what size speakers you will need, which will help determine the cost:
- Are you planning to start gigging? – If you aren’t planning on gigging and you’re just looking to practice your DJ skills, you likely won’t need to purchase any speakers right away.
- Will you be doing weddings or outdoor events? – If you plan to book any either of these types of events, it’s important to know that you’ll need to purchase or rent larger speakers to provide event guests with the appropriate sound quality. Smaller speakers will be harder to hear over the noise of the party or in a large space.
- Will you be doing small or large indoor events? – The size of the speaker will also depend on the size of the indoor event. Smaller events won’t require large speakers. In addition, if you are planning on doing small house parties, a large speaker may not be the kind you need.
A cheap speaker with quality sound is the Rockville RSG12. This speaker is sold as a single unit, so if you are looking for a set, you’ll need to purchase two of these. The 12-inch speaker costs about $85 with a $15 four year protection plan option. This speaker option works best in small to medium-sized venues.
A pair of headphones has a variety of uses to a DJ. The importance of the headphones is mainly due to the cue of your playlist.
Oftentimes, you will see a DJ with one side of their headphones off their ear. This is because in the uncovered ear, they are listening to the music the audience is hearing, and in the headphones, they are listening to the next song they intend to cut into the current one. The DJ will use the headphones and mixer to decide when and how the new music starts.
Headphones also allow DJs to practice at home without disrupting other members of the house. It makes it easier to practice in virtually any location without passersby hearing it.
You will want to consider sound quality, ease of use, comfort level, and cost when choosing a pair of headphones that are right for you.
Price ranges on headphones can range from $30 to $200. Much like speakers, their prices vary based on size and audio quality.
The Behringer HPX2000 is a higher rated headphone that offers decent audio quality for the price. There are a few options when purchasing this headphone on Amazon, with each option changing the price. This headphone can range from $19 to $50, depending on the type you decide to buy. The four-year protection plan is an additional $9.
An example of how expensive a pair of headphones can be is the Sennheiser HD 8. These DJ headphones are priced at $250 on Amazon with an additional $45 four year protection plan option.
If you are just starting out, a microphone may not be something you need. However, if you start gigging or live-streaming your set, you will want to consider making the purchase. If you are working in a club, it’s less likely that you’ll use a microphone.
For live-streaming DJs, most laptops come with a microphone built-in. However, these don’t always offer good audio quality, so investing in a decent microphone is recommended.
You want to make sure your voice comes through your speakers clear and easily understandable.
A top favorite microphone is the Shure Beta 58A. This microphone runs at $160 on Amazon with an additional $30 four year protection option.
Digital DJing Costs
If you aren’t planning to use a vinyl collection and only have a digital setup, you’re going to need more specific equipment that is tailored to your needs. A digital DJ doesn’t necessarily need a turntable.
As a digital DJ, you’re going to need a reliable laptop as the hub of your setup. You’ll want to look for a laptop with plenty of Random-access memory (RAM) and a decent processor.
It is suggested that you purchase a laptop with a minimum of 8GB of RAM and an i5 processor. This gives you plenty of space to get started, with the ability to upgrade for RAM later on if needed.
A popular debate on DJing laptops is whether you should go with a PC or an Apple. A lot of it comes down to personal preference and the recommendations of your DJ software.
A laptop can cost you anywhere from $300 to $2,000. If you already have a laptop, there is no reason to rush out and buy a brand new one just to DJ.
An Apple MacBook can range in price from $1,000 to $2400. The MacBook 13 inch starts at $1300 and can go up depending on the features you purchase with it.
The Acer Aspire 5 is a cheaper alternative to the MacBook. It has 8GM of RAM and an i5 processor and costs $740 on Amazon with an additional $130 four year protection plan option.
Ultimately, go with your personal preferences when choosing the laptop you need.
With the growing use of digital formats for music, a controller is going to be vital for your career. This is especially true if you primarily use digital formats to create your sound. A controller can cost anywhere from $100 to $4,000.
If you want to use a combination of vinyl and digital, there are controllers that support that feature. You can find controllers that have jog wheels that give a digital DJ the look and feel of a traditional turntable.
Controllers eliminate the need to carry around a large number of CDs or vinyl. They connect to a software on your laptop that has everything you need to create your music.
These controllers also make good alternatives if you are just starting out and don’t have a wide collection of vinyl or CDs.
The Hercules DJControl Inpulse 200 is a controller recommended for beginners. It has all of the basics to learn how to DJ, and its compact size makes it easy to carry.
The Hercules DJControl Inpulse 200 costs $118 with a four-year protection plan option for an additional $30.
A DJ software is something you can use for all digital setups or if you plan on using a combination of digital and vinyl/ CDs.
While traditional analog DJs may not need it, a DJ software is vital to the digital DJ. This software works with your mixer and brings all of your digital sounds together.
They can range from free to a couple of hundred dollars. Many software that require a purchase will offer a free trial. You will be able to test it out before you invest the money.
While testing out multiple DJing software can be time-consuming, it is important that you find the best one for your needs. You’ll want to choose one that is comfortable to use and has the features you want.
When considering software, first take a look at the controller you buy. There are many that offer some kind of DJ software that works directly with the controller. This can be helpful, and you reduce the risk of running into any compatibility issues.
A DJ software often recommended by DJs is Serato DJ Pro. This software is $129 a year, or $9.99 per month on their website. They offer a free trial as well.
Some of the features of the Serato DJ Pro are the virtual decks, colored waveforms, recording + sampler keys, and multiple FX support. There are many more, and ultimately, the best software is going to be determined by your personal preferences.
Optional Equipment Purchases
There are a few additional purchases you can consider that help ease the life of a DJ. These are not upfront purchases, but rather things you might want to think about later on once you’ve established yourself.
Computer stands can keep your work surface free of clutter and maintain a professional look.
The Pyle Portable Adjustable Laptop Stand is an affordable option and can be used to hold your laptop or your controller. This costs $19 on Amazon.
If you are a traveling DJ or you play at a lot of gigs, a durable carrying case can ease the stress of hauling your equipment with you.
A recommended brand of case is the Gator Cases EVA Series. Prices will vary depending on the size case you need, but they are anywhere from $90 to $390 on Amazon.
For all of your equipment, you will require the correct cables to hook everything up. These cables can range from $5 to $70. The price will depend on the length of the cable. Some equipment may include the required cables.
Lighting is an important element to consider, and whether you are live-streaming your set or performing a gig, you will need your workspace to be properly lighted.
Lighting can cost you anywhere from $50 to $200 depending on the type of lighting you buy. Types of lighting can be light bars, lasers, or stage lights.
Other Costs to Consider
Vinyl vs. Digital Content
Whether you are using vinyl or digital content, you will need to make the purchases in order to use the songs. Vinyl is typically more costly than digital media.
In order to live-stream a DJ set, you’ll need a reliable internet connection. This isn’t necessary if you aren’t looking to live-stream.
The national average cost of the internet in the United States is $50 per month.
As with any piece of equipment, you’ll want to make sure you keep it clean. You can use the tips below or this cleaning spray made specifically for DJing equipment.
In the end, you’ll want to make purchases that fit your budget. Hopefully, this information has given you an idea of what the costs will be for a DJ set.
- Amazon: Gemini TT-1100USB
- Wikipedia: Turntable
- Amazon: Wireless DJ Audio Mixer Machine
- Wikipedia: DJ Mixer
- Wikipedia: DJ Controller
- Amazon: Rockville RSG12
- Amazon: BEHRINGER HPX2000
- Amazon: Sennheiser HD 8
- Wikipedia: Jog Dial
- Amazon: Hercules DJ Control Inpulse
- Wikipedia: Phonograph Record
- Serato: DJ Pro
- Wikipedia: Random-access Memory
- PCDJ: DJ Equipment for Digital DJs: A Beginner’s Guide
- Apple: Mac
- WireRealm: Best DJ Laptops
- Adorama: DJ Equipment Guide: How to Build a Beginner DJ Setup
- Amazon: Acer Aspire 5
- Amazon: Gator Cases EVA Series
- Professional Music and Technology: Essential DJ Equipment for Beginner’s: Beginner DJ Setup
- Wire Realm: Best Beginners DJ Gear and Equipment
- Amazon: Pyle Portable Adjustable Laptop Stand
- High Speed Internet: How Much Should I Be Paying for High-Speed Internet?
- DJ Tech Tools: Livestreaming DJ Sets in 2020: A Complete How-To Guide
- MSPOT: What is the Average Cost of DJ Equipment?
- Better DJing: Starting Out As A DJ: How Much Does It Cost?
- Instrumental Global: How Much Does it Cost to Become a DJ
- Amazon: Shure BETA 58A
- Amazon: Essential Values Pure Vinyl Record Cleaner Spray & Micro Fiber Cloth
- YouTube: How to Clean Your DJ Gear: The Post-Gig Wipedown
- YouTube: Mac or PC for DJing?
- YouTube: Which Mics are Best for DJ Use?