Last week Pioneer DJ announced the release of a long-anticipated update of its CDJ series the CDJ 3000 and it seems to be causing a bit of a stir amongst DJs.
The last time Pioneer released a CDJ was back in 2016 with the CDJ 2000NXS2 which was almost half a decade ago now, So as you can imagine it has been a long-awaited update for Pioneer fans. But the latest offering from Pioneer has been greeted with very mixed reviews.
Firstly, DJs and Pioneer fans were a little baffled that a company that is known to be industry-standard in the club scene chose to launch a new upgrade in the middle of a pandemic that has crippled DJs and nightclubs all over the world. With nightclubs having been closed for months, in the UK at least it is unlikely that clubs will be rushing to update the DJ gear especially with the price tag of £2,169 per deck.
The second point is one that has DJs scratching their heads over the latest CDJ. There is no physical CD drive present on the CDJ 3000. While CDs are a dying media form, some DJ's still do rock up to gigs with CDs, believe it or not. So you would think a CDJ would contain a CD drive, wouldn't you? Why label a device that uses USBs and SD cards as a physical media form a CDJ?! Why not stick with calling it an XDJ like the XDJ 1000 MK2 for example. As essentially this is an upgraded version of the XDJ series.
While the CDJ 3000 is cosmetically pleasing it is not packed full of features that DJs wanted to see in this latest update. It doesn't have built-in Wi-Fi but rumor has it that this might be built-in but would be activated with the next firmware update, but we will see as this is so far just speculation. You are still unable to analyze songs on the fly, this still needs to be done in Rekordbox before loading to a USB for playback and you are still unable to layer tracks.
Unfortunately, this has been a bit of a faux pas for Pioneer. And even long-standing Pioneer fans have been left very disappointed by the lack of innovation from the company. Something that other DJ gear manufacturers such as Denon DJ have seemed to nail with a much lesser price tag.
What are your thoughts on the latest Pioneer product? What features would you like to see? What do you think is lacking? What products would you like to see updated by Pioneer? And do you think that Pioneer is still the number 1 DJ hardware manufacturer or have they fallen behind with the times?