6 Budget DJ Sound Cards

A DJ Review of 6 Budget Sound Cards

dj sound cards
One of the most perplexing things that new DJs often have trouble with is finding the right sound card. What are sounds cards and why do we need them? Can’t I just use the sound card on my computer? And even, how come I don’t need a sound card for all my DJ controllers?

Once these questions are answered, it will be much easier to decide on the right sound card. After that decision has been made, it’s time to decide on the sound card that fits your needs as well as your bank account.

Learn more about these budget DJ sounds cards when you keep reading…

Sound Cards 101

The first thing you should know is that your computer or laptop already has a built-in sound card, but YES you still need an additional one. Why?

First, the quality of the sound card that comes with your basic laptop is not really up to par for DJing. The other, bigger problem is that traditional sound cards have just 1 output and to be a good DJ you need at least two outputs: one for your speakers and one for your headphones.

Typically you use one of the outputs so you can listen to the next track and make sure it’s good to go. So you need 2 outputs to make sure you can do your job properly, which means laptop sound cards simply can not get the job done.

Some DJ equipment comes with a built-in sound card so you may not need to buy one. The best way to tell is to check out what’s included in your DJ kit, but sometimes the equipment is called a “DJ interface” instead of a DJ controller. Do your homework before you buy and you might just get what you need and save yourself a few dollars.

Native Instruments Audio 2 – $99

I’ll let Native Instruments give you the big sell on their Audio 2 sound card and I’ll just give you the facts. This is little plastic box with a USB socket and 2 jacks that include volume controls and a few LEDs. It is easy to use; simply plug it into your speakers and headphones and you’re ready to commence with the business of DJing.

This Native Instruments Audio 2 sound card is easy to use, compact and produces great sound: everything a DJ needs to be successful. It would be absolutely perfect if only it had a mic input.

Numark DJ iO – $74

The Numark brand sound card is portable and compact, which is important if you need a reliable sound card that travels easily. The DJ iO is slightly bigger than the Audio 2 DJ and it comes with a mic input. It has RCA outputs rather than the quarter-inch jacks, so it is more convenient than the Native Instruments sound card.

If you use a microphone then you’ll find the Numark DJ iO a bit more usable than the Audio 2 DJ. If you don’t use a mic often then the functionality and features are quite similar to the Native Instruments sound card.

ESI Maya44 USB – $108

dj sound cards
Although this sound card isn’t initially meant for DJing, it is a good idea depending on your needs. The Maya44 USB has 4 analog input and output channels that come with RCA connectors. It’s ideal for recording and even mobile live applications, so you’ll find it useful for multiple purposes.

The biggest problem with the Maya44 USB is that the headphone socket is just 1/8”, but that can easily be solved with convertible headphones. The price is right, particularly with 4 input and 4 outputs, and excellent sound quality. If you need more options at a good cost then you’ll like this soundcard.

ESI Gigaport HD$118

The ESI Gigaport HD is a sleek looking sound card that will appeal to your basic DJ on the road. If you do most of your DJing from a laptop or notebook, then you’ll love this budget sound card. It works with your favorite software and has 8 outputs and as many as 4 channels. This will allow you to add effects, mix and cue at the same time.

The ESI Gigaport HD doesn’t require drivers for Mac users, so you don’t have to worry about additional set up. This bargain sound card is great for pre-listening to signals and most digital DJs will find the 2 headphone outputs useful. The Gigaport HD would be perfect it had a mic input, but it gets the job done!

Mixvibes U-MIX44 – $85

If you’re looking for a compact sound card then you’ll love the small stature of the U-MIX44. It has two analog input and two analog output channels with RCA connectors. If you have a MIDI controller that is without a built-in sound card then this is a perfect DJ tool for you.

The Mixvibes U-MIX44 has the best combination of features for DJs and it’s priced for any budget. You get professional monitoring, hardware volume and switchable inputs all at a great price. And the body of this sound card is sturdy and meant to travel.

Save money by clicking HERE to get your Mixvibes sound card!

Reloop Play – $85

If you’re looking for a sound card that’s convenient to transport then you may want to take a closer look at the specs for the Reloop Play. Billed as one of the smallest sound cards on the market for DJs, it is as powerful as it is tiny. Despite its small stature it has signal LEDs let you see everything that happens in the dark of a dance club.

The option of having RCA outputs and headphones is ideal, as are the independent volume controls. The only drawback is that the Reloop Play doesn’t come with mic inputs. Even still, this sound card is ideal for a DJ looking for a basic sound card with good sound.

Get a good price on your Reloop Play HERE!


These are six budget sound cards to fit your DJ needs, but it is up to you to decide exactly what you need. If your goal is a simple to use sound card then you should take a closer look at the Audio 2 DJ or Reloop Play. If you need more inputs and outputs then consider the Gigaport HD.

If you want an all-around sound card that gives you what you need, you should take a good hard look at the U-MIX44.

Most important of all, make sure the card you want fits your needs as a DJ as well as your equipment budget.

I hope I helped you find the right DJ sound card for your DJ needs. 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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