XDJ RX3 Review - Is The Upgrade Worth it?
Welcome to our Synthetic monthly product blog this month we take a deep dive into the Pioneer dj xdj rx3 the latest follow-on dj system to the very popular rx2. This two-channel standalone dj system is built around both the Rekordbox and Serato DJ ecosystems. It's very similar to the rx2 but there are some subtle differences including that beautiful big screen that sits right in the middle of the DJ system. We will look into just how good that screen is a little later.


We will also be covering its mixer presence, sound quality, effects and loads more. So grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy the blog.

So whether you’re looking for a new DJ setup or a DJ tech enthusiast… Either way Pioneer DJ products are always the peak of interest. They have been for the past 15-20 years.

But why is the XDJ RX3 such a big draw card?

The XDJ RX series was first launched in February of 2015 while its features and processing power lacked that of the new RX3, its stand alone DJ system competition was mainly CDJ’s and the slowing life of Vinyl Turntables (and cue OG DJ comments “vinyl is not dead”) paired with a DJ mixer. Its biggest asset was that you could leave your laptop at home and for DJ controllers to finally be taken seriously as a stand alone DJ system, this was the start of a revolution.

Fast forward six years and the XDJ RX3 has only continued to build on its older siblings. Taking inspiration from the likes of the DJM900 nexus 2 mixer which is arguably Pioneer DJ’s best mixer yet. Add to that the screen which is a whopping 10.1 inches that now offers you both pinch and zoom mechanics. Allowing you to use two fingers to quickly scroll through your playlist or look at the tracks in detail and all while moving around your playlist with ease. Sprinkle in oh i don’t know 

It seems like technology continues to innovate so quickly that it's hard to keep up. 

Which begs the question.
Is upgrading worth upgrading from  the RX2 to the XDJ-RX3?

Yes, and no. 

Here are the reasons its worth upgrading.

Screen size and displays are very different. The RX2 had a 7 inch screen while the RX3 boasts that lovely 10.1 HD display similar in style to the display of the CDJ 3000. The RX3 also now shows 3 band waveforms on that new display with the pinch and zoom features we mentioned earlier. 

There are 6 Sound Color effects and 14 Beat FX available on the XDJ-RX3 vs. 4 Sound Color effects and 8 Beat FX on the XDJ-RX2. If you’re a hands on DJ and love options with the FX then thats a solid upgrade in its own right.

Jog wheels well to be honest they feel very similar both units have great touch and feel. The RX3 however supports the upgraded LCD display in the middle of the wheel, the XDJ-RX2 jog wheels feature only the same platter lights that are present on previous DDJ/XDJ series of Pioneer controllers – that is LED lights capable of displaying only a simple needle indicator. 

The RX3 can show information on the jog wheel such as sync and slip mode, vinyl mode and active wave loop markers and the usual cue marker we see. A nice addon is that the XDJ-RX3 now features the jog wheel feel/tension knobs on each of its decks allowing you to adjust each jog wheel’s tension separately.

Performance pads, well to be honest they feel very similar in touch the RX3 has four new pad selections to utilize Gate Cue, Beat Loop 2, Release Fx and Beat Jump 2. If you are a big live performer or remixer these can come in handy.

The XDJ RX3 mixer as we mentioned earlier is built around the DJM 900 NXS 2 which really is hard to beat. While the RX2 has a cut down version still a very, very solid mixer section for a DJ system.  

Both units do not support pro-link connection (no Ethernet ports) so you won’t be able to connect CDJ players to your XDJ setup in any other way than through the audio mixer. Also unfortunately both XDJ-RX2 and RX3 are not DVS compatible.

XDJ-RX3 offers an additional 3.5 mm jack portable audio input that you may use for connecting an audio device like a smartphone or a laptop as an additional audio source. Again great for mobile DJ’s who have those great “request moments”.

But when it comes down to it, its your decision on whether to upgrade or not. We would say 80% of DJ’s are more than happy with their current setup and get between 1-2 life cycles out of their controllers / DJ systems. 

However if you are an avid DJ tech head or pro DJ that has the budget the choice is easy. The new display, mixer section and additional FX + pad options make this a healthy upgrade.

We hope you enjoyed the deep dive into the RX3. Remember you can find out additional specs, prices and finance options on our product page for the XDJ Rx3 right here.

Don;t forget to follow our socials to stay up to date with stock levels and new product lines launching! Till next time this is Scott at Synthetic Pro Audio & DJ signing off!

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