DJ Equipment Review: Akai Pro AFX

Do you have the modular control the AFX gives?

Akai Pro AFX Dj review

If you’re a dedicated Serato DJ and you’ve been looking for…a little more control then you just might be in the market for the Akai Pro AFX. This is a modular controller that’s meant to be integrated into your pre-existing setup. The point of this DJ controller is to, well, give you more control over certain parts of your DJ software. You will be able to more precisely control samples, cue points, effects and more.

This is the perfect DJ equipment for DJs looking to go minimalist in their set up or those looking to add more features to a basic setup. So let’s see what the Akai Pro AFX has to offer.

Out The Box

When you first see the AFX you’ll notice that its quite small, which comes in handy for those looking for a quicker set up. This controller is pretty much all plastic so those of you worried about not having the sleek metal design of other DJ equipment won’t be satisfied. But those of you looking for a lightweight machine that won’t cause you to throw your back out while hauling equipment to and from the DJ booth, you will be pleased.

Your first look at the details will reveal 8 mini pads, four rubber feet to prevent it from skidding all over the place when you DJ a little too…vigorously and a double set of touch sensitive knobs straight down the middle. The plastic buttons are backlit for those darker than necessary clubs and DJ booths and there’s a LED readout.

Then there’s the simple setup procedure. Plug it in and you’ll find that Serato DJ will respond instantly. If you don’t have Serato DJ software, then don’t expect the Akai Pro AFX to work out.

AFX Performance

Despite the plastic body and knobs and the rubber feet this DJ controller actually performs. The performance pads are backlit and velocity sensitive which you may or may not care about, but they do control everything you would expect from loop rolls and samplers to cues. But there are little thought about functions that include desk transport and manual looping.

Although the color coded feature isn’t really new, it is always something appreciated by DJs working in mostly dark clubs. The layout is easy to learn so combined with the colors even newbies will be able to navigate their way in the dark.

The FX sections aren’t anything new, well aside from the touch sensitive controls that can be turned on and off to trigger. It’s easy to switch back and forth between single and multiple effects.

DJ equipment review

If you’re looking for a high performing piece of DJ equipment then look no further than the Akai Pro AFX. The touch strip works incredibly and you’ll find the S-FX function controls the effects perfectly.


The AFX is practically the perfect modular DJ controller…if that’s what you’re looking for. This is especially true for those of you using Serato brand DJ software or if you’re thinking of making the switch to Serato.

The AMX has pitch controls and is a perfect partner for the AFX but not an essential one. It’s small and lightweight, DVS ready and perfectly laid out. The only real problem is that it lacks the scratch type function. If you’re going for basic, that’s fine. Just don’t expect it to work as perfectly as it should…or could.

Without the AMX and simply paired with the Serato DVS sound card and turntables, the Akai Pro AFX can be paired with just about any mixer around. It offers a minimal setup, which will appeal to mobile DJs, but the controls aren’t ideal without AMX. You won’t have pitch controls or vinyl touch simulation.

So…should you get the Akai Pro AFX? Well it’s pretty cheap at just about $200 so if you’re on a budget and in need of new DJ hardware this is right up your alley. But even if you have money to burn the AFX performs well and offers modular control, so you still get plenty of benefits.

The AFX allows you to unlock the advanced features Serato offers. It works for a minimalist set up with the AMX or with DVS control using vinyl or CDJs it is pretty close to perfect.

New DJs might find the AFX a little overwhelming with overlap of some controls but you will eventually have to get used to dealing with knobs and buttons you don’t need since many of the DJ controllers have this problem.

Only you will be able to determine if this is the right DJ controller for you, but I hope this DJ equipment review has helped you decide. If not, you should get an up close and personal look at the Akai Pro AFX before you decide.

I hope I helped find the perfect DJ hardware for your needs now. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a disk jockey!

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