DJ Tech MX-120 USB
- Sturdy build quality; can mix CD players, turntables, USB sticks and iPod Nano or Shuffle players
- Tracks from USB sticks don't start instantaneously when the play button is pressed, so it's not good for beat-mixing; no way to go back to the start of a track on a USB stick
A portable size and plentiful input options make this mixer a decent choice for a mobile DJ as well as a function room, but bedroom DJs wishing to mix tunes of USB sticks will be disappointed with its execution.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
If you want to get creative with your music, rather than use audio software to tediously cut and paste wave files into custom mixes, a hardware-based DJ mixer can be a lot more fun. Imagine being able to pack tunes onto USB sticks, then plugging them into a mixer, adjusting your levels and crossing the fader in time with the music – no mouse involved.
That's what the DJ-Tech MX-120 USB mixer allows you to do. You can either plug in two USB sticks, or more conventionally, use it to mix audio from two CD players or turntables. It's a well-built unit, with some decent features for its $199 price tag, but it's by no means faultless.
In theory, mixing MP3s from USB sticks is convenient and economical (no need to swap CDs, for example), but in practise, the MX-120 USB is awkward to use. For starters, there's no visual indicator to identify the number and length of the tracks, so you need to fill the USB sticks only with the tracks you want to mix (in the order you want to mix them) and you need to know them inside out. Even when you plug in an iPod Nano, you'll still have to rely on the mixer's play controls.
Physically, the play/pause pads for playing tracks off USB sticks are very rubbery, not very tactile at all and there is a slight delay before a track will play when the pad is pressed. This isn't ideal for beat-mixing at all. There also isn't a way to quickly return to the start of a track, nor does it support forwarding and rewinding.
Apart from the play/pause pads for the USB sticks, the mixer is solidly built and its fader, volume levels and knobs are easy to move. The fader, in particular, is very loose and responsive – don't slam it too hard though, or it could bounce back to the middle.
To mix from different sources, it's just a matter of flicking a switch; you can mix from USB sticks, CD players and turntables while they're all connected simultaneously and the output can be sent to a PC or amplifier. The sound can be tuned through treble, mid-range and bass knobs, which affects the mixed output of both channels, but each channel does have its own volume control.
For cueing tracks, the mixer allows you to listen in to either or both channels simultaneously, which is an advantage when beat-mixing. A talk-over switch is present, which drops the volume of the music to emphasise the microphone, and the tone of the microphone can also be adjusted.
For visual volume guidance, the stereo peak meter is made up of very bright blue, orange and red LEDs, which can be blinding in a dark environment, but at least you'll know immediately when your output starts to distort.
Overall, this mixer has many uses, but users who are serious about mixing music from USB sticks will be let down. For wedding DJs, or anyone who wants a mixer for a function room, the MX-120 USB is almost perfect and quite portable, too; the fact that music can be played off USB sticks and iPods (Nano and Shuffle) means that CD players and turntables can be left behind. It's also a useful product for users who want to connect multiple audio sources to their PCs and switch between them effortlessly.
The mixer's audio output quality isn't excellent, it's a little heavy on the mid-range so we had to fiddle with the frequency knobs to get a likeable sound, but for the most part, it's more than acceptable.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P9 review: lifting photography to another level... sometimes.
- 2 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 3 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Tech expectations for 2036: pizza delivery drones and avatar dating
- Is VR ready for business use? Six industries getting to grips with virtual reality
- Apple TV takes away some friction with tvOS 2
- Razer's new open-source VR headset mirrors the Oculus Rift, but costs US$200 less
- Iron Man meets Aquaman as Navy turns to augmented reality
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCLead Solution Analyst - BMC Remedy softwareVIC
- CCAEM Backend DeveloperVIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle) 160704/AP/601Asia
- FTSystems Analyst - ERPNSW
- CCTibco DeveloperWA
- CCSolution DesignerNSW
- CCSr Business Analyst FI/CO, ERP, Procurement, Payroll, HR, SAPNSW
- CCHybrid Mobile App DeveloperNSW
- FTFront End .Net Developer (.Net / Angular / Bootstrap)NSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst- BPMN, Testing backgroundNSW
- CCAnalyst Programmer (J2EE/ SQL*PLUS/PL/SQL/PRO*C) 160617/AP/983Asia
- CCProject/ Program AnalystVIC
- CCProgram DirectorNSW
- CCTechnologyOne System Administration and DevelopmentACT
- FTAutomation Test Engineer | C#/.Net focusNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectVIC
- CCContract Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160628/P/133Asia
- CCIT Helpdesk Support- Remedy ticketing systemNSW
- FTOPEN_ASAP_Configuration ManagerACT
- CCInfrastructure ArchitectACT
- CCSAP Portal DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior Media AnalystVIC
- CCProject Scheduler - IT Security ProgramNSW
- FTSolution Architect - Data/ InformationVIC
- CCSales Specialist - DigitalNSW