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 Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- 2 Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- 3 Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 4 LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Griffin's PowerMate is the Surface Dial dead-ringer that's trapped in Mac land
- Sony's Android-powered Xperia projector turns any flat surface into a touch screen
- IBM's hub for wearables could have you out of the hospital faster
- HoloLens Spectator View makes it easier to show off AR creations
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTInfrastructure DesignerVIC
- CCTechnical ConsutlantACT
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerQLD
- FTSecurity Engineer (IPS & Firewall exp essential) - Perm - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTLevel 3 Application Support AnalystVIC
- CCSOE Business AnalystACT
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTHRIS Systems Support Analyst (Kronos)NSW
- TPTesting SpecialistQLD
- CCIT End to End UX Designer.VIC
- FTGeospatial Data AnalystVIC
- TPSOE EngineerACT
- CCProcess Improvement SpecialistVIC
- TPProduct ManagerVIC
- CCEngineer/Developer - Comptel - TelcoVIC
- CCAutomation DeveloperNSW
- FTChief Security OfficerNSW
- TPBusiness Project Manager - DigitalNSW
- CCProject Manager - Knowledge Management Project - TelcoVIC
- FTProject Manager- RiskSA
- TPIT Service ManagerNSW
- CCApplication Developer - Datastage & SQL ServerVIC
- CCSAP ISU Functional ConsultantVIC
- FTSolution Architect - SecurityVIC
- FTDigital Business Analyst | Online BookingQLD