I confess that the word “awesome” does makes my teeth grind somewhat but I needed a suitable superlative to sum up these 10 great gifts that the DJ in your life.
DJing and music production can be an expensive hobby or career but all of these practical gifts and gadgets come in at less than $100 bucks so there’s no need to break the bank when you’re looking to treat someone special.
1. Ortofon Record Brush – Anti-static Record Brush with Sheath
When the time comes to indulge in a spot of careful vinyl cleaning your DJ friend will be pleased to reach for the Ortofon Record Brush. This anti-static record brush can safely remove dust and dirt from records without making a mark.
Edison himself would no doubt be impressed with the design which includes an injection-molded section with conductive plastic to prevent static discharges, and a shield that cleans and protects the brush itself.
It costs just shy of $35 so why not buy one for yourself while you’re at it?
Also consider: The Ortofon Stylus Brush. Ortofon recommends cleaning of the stylus before and after each playback to maintain optimal sound reproduction and to minimize wear on the record and luckily they’ve gone a made a special brush just for that purpose. If your DJ friend is a bit OCD this could be just the ticket! (From $9.00.)
2. Reloop Covers for Reloop
More dust busting tools this time courtesy of the Reloop cover. If your DJ friend is using a Reloop turntable then they’ll be thrilled with this big lump of transparent plastic cleverly marketed as a Reloop Cover for Reloop.
There’s not a lot to say about this really except it does it’s job of protecting a Reloop turntable from dust and minor impacts and it doesn’t require batteries, USB cables or app updates.
Do be aware that Reloop covers come in different sizes to fit different Reloop turntable models (RP-7000, RP-8000, RP-2000 and RP-4000) so be sure to get the correct one.
Also consider: Should your DJ friend favors Technics or Pioneer turntables then check out the well regarded Decksaver turntable cover range instead which come in at similar sub-$100 prices.
3.Reloop Cartridge King Turntable Cartridge Case
More Reloop goodies, this time in the form of the The Reloop Cartridge King Turntable Cartridge Case (that’s quite a mouthful!). This case will enable your DJ buddy to transport up to four turntable cartridges safely thanks to the rugged exterior which is made from an ABS with scratch-resistant finish.
Inside the case your DJ friend will be pleased to find adjustable, high-density interior foam inserts (designed for both Concorde-style and headshell-mounted cartridges) which help ensure cartridges and spare needles are protected even if your DJ friend is partial to pogoing their way to gigs.
4. Serato 12 inch Control Vinyl Pair – Limited-edition Neon Blue
Serato Performance Series’s 12-inch Control Vinyl is a must have for any Serato DJ Pro and Scratch Live user. This limited edition Neon Blue will help your DJ pal stand out from the crowd even if his or her set is nothing to write home about!
Beyond the funky neon color these feel great to use and there’s the usual Serato Control Vinyl features DJ’s have come to expect including Serato’s ultra-high-resolution NoiseMap Control Tone plus they track better than ever too.
5. Audio Technica ATH-PRO5X DJ Monitor Headphones
Two things we all know about DJs: DJs just love their heaphones and DJs just love calling their headphones “cans”.
When it comes to quality cans the long established Japanese manufacturer Audio-Technica have really made a name for themselves in recent years thanks to music producers and audiophiles adopting the likes of the Audio-Technica M50xs in their droves.
With the ATH-PRO5X DJ monitor headphones Audio-Technica are clearly seeking to take on the likes of Pioneer, Sony and Seinhesser in the DJ booth and while I wouldn’t rate these headphones as best in class they certainly make for a pair of highly respectable DJ headphones with a mid-price range that represents excellent bang for your buck.
The PRO5x ‘phones are lightweight, closed-back dynamic headphones boasting Audio-Technica’s latest 40 mm driver technology so you get extremely accurate, distortion free sound reproduction across a greater frequency range even at higher volumes.
As with other Audio-Technica gear you can rest assured you’re not being palmed off with the lowest quality materials and shoddy builds here just to keep prices low – these headphones aren’t cheap junk destined for landfill within days of being taken out of the box.
The PRO5x has a 5 to 35,000 Hz frequency range and come in black or white styles supplied with both coiled and straight cables.
As a bonus, you can impress your DJ friend by casually telling them that the PRO5x boast 34 ohms impedance.
Also consider: In a similar price bracket, (currently can be found for $99 online), the Pioneer DJ HDJ-X5 Professional DJ Headphones are closed-back, over-ear headphones boasting a more rugged build compared to the Audio-Technicas. The drivers deliver an excellent frequency range and you get swiveling earcups, coiled cable and carrying pouch thrown in for the money too. Truth be told, it’s a tough call between these and the ATH-PRO5X.
6. Native Instruments Traktor Scratch Control Vinyl MK2 – Red (Single Vinyl)
For use with Native Instruments Traktor Scratch version 2.1 or higher only, the Traktor Scratch Control Vinyl MK2 delivers the feel of analog coupled with the flexibility and precision of digital.
Traktor Scratch Control Vinyl MK2 provides the best track response yet and improved automatic error correction for solid tracking stability. If you’ve no idea what any of that means then fear not – your DJ buddy will be delighted.
Given that these come it at less than $15 they make for a great stocking filler but you’ll need to ensure your DJ pal is using Traktor Scratch version 2.1 or higher unless you want them to chuck it out the window Frisbee style.
Also consider: If you’re feeling generous – or you just like round things – you could also throw in a Traktor Butter Rug super-slim slipmat to help ensure your fave DJ can scratch without a hitch! (Approx. $19.00).
7. Numark DJ2GO2 Touch 2-channel Serato DJ Controller
The Numark DJ2GO2 Touch DJ Controller is a portable USB DJ software controller with built-in 16-bit audio interface.
It’s certainly not the most feature rich DJ controller on the market, and it’s mostly pitched at beginners, but this is still a capable piece of gear from Numark that’s great fun to use.
The Numark DJ2GO2 Touch features two platters and crossfader, pitch and level controls, as well as Deck A, Deck B, Master and headphone gain controls. iOS compatibility with popular DJ apps means your DJ friend can pull in tracks from a near-infinite number of songs on Spotify and Soundcloud in addition to the tracks on their computer.
There’s also a copy of Serato DJ Lite software thrown in too – at less than $90 it’s an absolute steal.
8. Akai Professional APC Mini – Performance Controller for Ableton Live
If the DJ in your life is as an avid Ableton Live user then they could be in the market for a suitable controller and this little gadget is one of the best selling Live controllers of all time for a reason.
Aimed at the mobile DJ/musician/desktop producer crowd, the USB powered APC Mini performance controller concentrates all the key features a DJ needs to work with loops in Abelton – including a clip-launching grid, channel faders and scene controls – into a compact, well constructed design that’s small and light enough to fit into a backpack.
As a bonus, the APC Mini ships with a couple of pieces of music software of which a full copy of Air’s Hybrid 3 synthesizer is the most noteworthy, plus a collection of AKAI sample packs too.
9. Odyssey KLP70BLG Vinyl LP Record Case
While MP3s might rule the DJ booth these days vinyl remains as popular as ever and chances are the DJ in your life has a record collection they love almost as much as they love you!
When it comes to protecting prized vinyl records the Odyssey Black Krom series of cases are a great choice.
The Odyssey KLP70BLG featured here is a well designed gray hardwood case with aluminum trim and fully foam-lined interior to help protect any beloved vinyl records both in storage and in transit between gigs.
Hexagon-shaped corners and rubber feet make it easy to stack multiple cases plus there’s a heavy-duty recessed handle and a front latch with padlock loop thrown in for good measure.
Overall it’s a quality case at a reasonable price and a case any viny obsessive would be pleased to own.
Dekoni Audio Headphone Savior Universal Carry Case
Many DJs and music producers know the pain of discovering their much loved and expensive headphones have been damaged beyond repair by being sat on, trodden on or thrown at the laptop in frustration when it’s finally time to admit that the last 5 hours spent fiddling with a multiband compressor plugin has only made their latest country music and techno banger mashup 64% worse!
The rugged Dekoni Audio Headphone Savior is designed to protect headphones of all sizes – even the mightiest set of cans – from damaging knocks, kicks and frustrated producers.
On the inside there’s thick, protective padding, an internal divider and a useful mesh pocket for adapters and cables while the outside boasts a water-resistant polyester exterior to protect the headphones from water damage.
When it comes to protecting those prized headphones, the Dekoni Audio Headphone Savior case is up there with the best of the best and at just under 50 bucks it makes for an affordable gift with a premium feel.
*All prices correct at time of writing (November 2021) & based on popular North American online music gear retailers.