Pioneer DJ Opus Quad in review

The Pioneer DJ Opus Quad is a modern, standalone, four-channel all-in-one DJ system that we've been waiting for for years, even since Denon DJ launched the Prime 4. With appealing screens, a powerful CPU, built-in track analysis, streaming services, and some innovative DJ features you won't find anywhere else, it will appeal to mobile DJs and event DJs in particular - especially with its original, almost furniture-like design.

It clearly marks the beginning of a new product line for Pioneer DJ that breaks away from the features and aesthetics of club units.

First impressions & setup

Opus quad on tableWhen unpacking, there was a real surprise. The unit looks completely different from all previous Pioneer DJ units (although these things are subjective, of course). It makes a pretty stylish impression at first glance. Normally, you don't associate such a design with this kind of equipment - it has only curves and angles. With its brown side edges (which in reality are not as "wooden" as they look in the pictures - they are brown plastic) and the brass effects on some of the knobs, as well as the overall orange-dark gray look, everything seems more like a piece of furniture than a DJ machine.

The device is "wedge-shaped", which means that although it is quite heavy, it looks less bulky than it is: think of the way Apple's iMacs conceal their bulk. It has a fixed 10.1-inch touchscreen in the center, tilted up a bit more, and two additional screens, one above each of the jogwheels. The jogwheels are taken directly from the CDJ-3000s, albeit somewhat redesigned. You'll also find the CDJ-3000 hotcues in a single row of eight above each jogwheel.

While many of the other controls will look familiar to anyone who has used Pioneer DJ equipment before, you can tell that Pioneer DJ's designers had a lot more freedom to innovate than they did with the CDJ/XDJ/DDJ club units. Things like the rubberized knobs, rotary encoder beat-looping, and a new joystick-style library control suggest that this is the beginning of a new product line aimed less at the club and more at the mobile DJ - or at smaller, non-club venues like bars, lounges, and so on.

We're testing a very early version of the device here: at the time of writing, on-board track analysis, streaming services, and other things are only just becoming available. However, the most important point is that the device has a CPU, so adding these things is as easy as a firmware upgrade.

To test the device, we first exported music from our rekordbox library and transferred it to a USB stick. Plugged into one of the 3 USB ports and off we go...

In real use

opus quad displayOne of the first things you notice about this device is the screens. The main screen is a 10.1-inch touchscreen with a proper glass panel, just like an iPad. It's high resolution, very responsive, and a joy to use. Finally Pioneer DJ is shipping decent displays in their units too!

The display offers a wealth of information that we'll cover in more detail later in this review, but suffice it to say that the scrolling is smooth and we really appreciate it compared to the jerky, low-resolution screens of some previous all-in-ones. It's on par with the Denon DJ Prime 4.

But this isn't the only display.

opus-quad-additional-displaysThere's also a pair of additional screens, one above each of the jog wheels. These are rather old-fashioned, slightly less high-resolution, and feature the usual Pioneer DJ plastic overlays (plus they're not touchscreens), but they still look good: Here you can find things like elapsed/remaining time, artwork, BPM and key info, look info, and so on. In other words, the things that often appear on the in-jog displays of DJ equipment.

Pioneer DJ believes that such information is better displayed on rectangular displays, so the jog wheels look very minimalist and elegant, and the in-jog displays are free for transport information. So there are a total of five screens with the on-jog displays. Very nice!

Next generation CPU

Of course, all of this is possible because the unit is powered by "next gen" CPU technology. A built-in processor similar to the Engine DJ-powered Denon DJ Prime 4, 2, SC6000, SC Live 4 and SC Live 2, and the Numark Mixstreams, basically. This is a really big leap for Pioneer DJ.

Not only does this finally put Pioneer DJ on par with the competition's Engine DJ-powered units, but Pioneer DJ says it surpasses them with the most powerful CPU ever built into a standalone DJ console.

Inputs and outputs

As you would expect from a DJ system aimed primarily at professional mobile DJs, it has a wide range of inputs and outputs. There are two microphone channels (each with three-band EQ, feedback suppression and extensive routing), line/phono inputs (on channels 3 and 4 only), XLR and RCA master outputs, TRS booth output and a zone output that can be used to play completely different music on channel 3 or 4 than in the main room - good for providing sound to a neighboring bar while the DJ is spinning on the dance floor.


Adding Bluetooth as an input option is particularly useful and also provides an easy backup option, usually then via a smartphone.

There are multiple USB ports for music input (three USB-A ports, one of which is USB3 standard, so it's good for an SSD), and also a USB-C port for connecting to a computer. Yes, this unit also works as a DJ controller, and we assume it will work with rekordbox Link, wired and unwired - because it also has an intregrated WiFi receiver.

Thanks to WiFi, the device can also access the music library via Dropbox if you have a subscription to Rekordbox Creative or Pro.

Use with streaming services and DJ software

Pioneer DJ states that streaming services will be available for this device, so we expect Beatport, Beatsource, TIDAL and Soundcloud to be integrated as music sources soon.

Of course, these services can also be used right now by connecting the device to the computer - at launch, this controller will work with rekordbox, followed by Serato in the summer of 2023, both of which already have streaming services integrated.

Please note that Serato, even if unlocked, does not include the (in our opinion indispensable) Pitch 'n Time Key Shift/Sync Expansion Pack. There is an extra cost to use this feature!

Loading and playing music

Opus quad in useThe way playlists and folders/files work is similar to any rekordbox system, and looks the same - although we haven't seen the Track Filter. (We may have missed it, because this is really a rushed review of an early version of the whole system, and when all the features are fully implemented, we'll come back to it.) We hope it's included somewhere, because it's a great feature of the CDJ-3000.

Since this is a Pioneer DJ standalone unit with four channels, there are layer buttons so you can load one of two decks on each "side" of the unit. The decks change color to show what you are focusing on. The default colors are orange and white, but these can be changed in the settings.

Opus Quad mixer sectionWith large, mechanical-looking jog wheels like those on the CDJ-3000s, eight brightly lit hotcues, modern (i.e., rotating) beat loop controls, and modern features like Beat Jump, Key Sync, Beat Sync/Quantise, large tempo faders, and "Slip Reverse," DJing with this unit is a breeze - albeit without slip controls.

The mixer section features a three-band EQ with optional isolator EQ and the exact same color effects as Pioneer's top-end mixers, and of course there are great VU meters (in fancy orange and white).

Revised Beat FX, with X/Y control

opus-quad-xy-controlWhile the Beat-FX (left side of the mixer) don't offer any surprises, the Color-FX have been reworked a bit.

First, there is an Infinity encoder for selecting effects, which is intentionally quite stiff: it opens an on-screen effects menu where you can select the effect you want.

Tapping the Beat FX button on the left side of the main screen gives you the next important new feature: an X/Y window on the screen that lets you control the effect with a single finger. Touching and moving left/right controls the main effect parameter, moving up and down adds a filter (as well as an additional filter, reverb or echo via additional on-screen buttons).

It borrows directly from Algoriddim's djay Pro AI iPad software and works great - a wonderful way to create even more expressive performances with Beat FX.

Additional on-screen controls

Such a large screen means that Pioneer DJ had the opportunity to put many functions on it, for example:

  • Input Matrix - Input selection for Decks 3 and 4 (Line, Phono, Bluetooth, Internal).
  • Crossfader assignment - All four channels can be assigned to A or B from the screen
  • Key shifting - Key sync is done via hardware, but key shifting is done via the screen, similar to the CDJ-3000s
  • Fader control - crossfader curve, upfader curve, etc.
  • Output assignment - assign booth, zone, etc., attenuation, etc., plus mic routing
  • Appearance controls - deck colors, waveform indicators, etc.
  • The Utility menu contains a comprehensive set of tweaks to make life easier

Important new function 1: Smooth Echo

"Echo Out" is an important effect for open format, mobile and wedding DJs these days, and Smooth Echo is an automatic echo out effect that comes with its own control and an on/off button to the left of the main screen.

Basically, the effect stays off until you stop or crossfade a track (or other selectable options), and when you do, a beatecho sounds on the outgoing track so you have a nice closure and can insert something else. The function can be set so that it doesn't trigger when you cut, but only when you actually finish playing a track.

Important new function 2: "Hot cue to temporary cue".

When you press a hot cue, the temporary cue point is moved to that hot cue (this is an option), so you can control the track with the temporary cue button (the big one next to the play/pause button). Conveniently, the color of the temporary cue point also changes to match the color of the selected hot cue point.

This can be useful and open up new possibilities as the cues behave differently: The temporary cue will only play when you hold it down (you have to tap the "Play" button when you hold it down to continue playing the track), while the hot cue buttons do the opposite - they will always play when you touch them, even if the track is paused.

This means DJs can now control their tracks from any cue point in two ways - a first for Pioneer DJ standalone units.

The sound quality

opus quad ess soundchipThis unit now features the ESS 32-bit audio chip also found in the DJM-V10 and DJM-A9 mixers, which is a big jump from previous standalone units. The sound was excellent: clear and powerful.

Especially compared to the previous NXS Mixer models, the new sound chip sounds absolutely flawless and is without fault.

Our first conclusion

Opus Quad Detail ViewAfter spending a day with the system, we can confirm that it is an impressive DJ system. It's powerful, works flawlessly, sounds great, feels great thanks to the professional controls and wonderful screens, and offers enough innovation to stand out from any other system on the market.

Two things are particularly interesting:

First, it is undoubtedly a new product line from Pioneer DJ, aimed mainly at mobile DJs, directly targeting Denon DJ and especially the Prime 4. Pioneer DJ's designers have freed themselves from the constraints of club equipment, and it shows. It's stylish (assuming you like the look) and visually a real break from previous devices.

Opus Quad Detail Rotary EncoderSecondly, Pioneer DJ has finally arrived in the world of integrated DJ software with a standalone device. Previous Pioneer DJ standalone devices did not have a suitable CPU architecture. All Engine DJ (Denon, Numark standalone) devices had this for years, so for a long time these devices were way ahead of even the most powerful Pioneer DJ standalones. But with the Opus Quad, Pioneer DJ has the beginning of a line of devices that can now deliver that.

Sure, the device doesn't have everything the Engine DJ line has to offer yet - especially no light control or sampler. But most of it is there. So the Opus Quad is finally a real competitor for the Prime 4 for mobile DJs.

However, Pioneer DJ also makes the device pay dearly. Well over €3000 is a lot of money, even if it is significantly cheaper than two CDJ-3000s and a DJM-A9. For that, though, you get more than with the Prime 4, for example. Also, it remains to be seen how fast Pioneer DJ will be with software development - something Engine DJ is very good at (the sampler I mentioned a second ago was only recently added, for example).

Is the Opus Quad the right device for you?

We assume that one look is enough to decide if the Opus Quad could be something for you. For those who can afford it and run a serious DJ system for their home, a highlight for their mobile DJ setup, or a trendy bar/lounge/event where DJ equipment is on display and needs to look good, it's at the top of the list.

It remains to be seen how quickly Pioneer DJ delivers on the software front.

But has Pioneer DJ finally launched a standalone unit that can compete in the modern world? Absolutely. Game on!

Articles adaptés
Pioneer DJ Opus-Quad
Pioneer DJ Opus-Quad
3 299,00 €
Disponible à court terme