The term disc-jockey is thought to have first been coined in the mid-1930s to introduce a radio show host who played recorded (rather than live) music. Although 12-inch platters of grooved black goodness remain popular with Club and Party DJs, it's rare to find a radio professional who hasn't abandoned the format in favor of digital music. Mix-masters who have gone digital can also groove on the move thanks to powerful apps for smartphones and tablets like IK Multimedia's DJ Rig, but physical connectivity is still needed when adding device-based audio tracks to the set. Pioneer's Professional Sound and Visual Division has rallied to the cause with what's claimed to be the industry's first Wi-Fi DJ system capable of wireless playback from portable devices ... the XDJ-AERO.
Pioneer has created a dedicated (and free) mobile app to help facilitate a wireless connection between smartphones, tablets and laptops and the XDJ-AERO over Wi-Fi. The DJ system can source MP3/AAC audio tracks from up to four different WLAN-enabled devices at any one time and, usefully, there's no need to worry about venues having decent Wi-Fi as the unit can create its own wireless access point.
The 24.5 x 11.4 x 2.5 inches (622.3 x 289.5 x 63.5 mm), 8.15 pounds (3.69 kg) XDJ-AERO features low-profile jog platters and control buttons, comes with built-in Scratch, Horn, Siren and Laser sounds to add some zing to the party, and each channel also includes the company's Sound Color Filter. Trans, Flanger, Echo and Roll effects can be added to music while it's being played, and two auto mix functions are included for ease of use. Beat Sync matches the beats per minute of tracks loaded into each of the system's two digital players, while Auto Mix mode cross-fades or fades in/out music from a playlist stored on an external device.
The Wi-Fi DJ system (which can also be used as a standalone 2-channel mixer) benefits from a 24-bit analog-to-digital/digital-to-analog converter, total harmonic distortion of just 0.003 percent, 44.1 kHz sampling rate, 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response and 19 dB head room. There's a 6.4 mm audio jack and an RCA out for master outputs, two 6.4 mm headphone out ports, two RCA inputs and one 6.4 mm microphone jack.
WAV and AIFF format files are also available for use via physical (USB) connection and the system can grab and use audio tracks stored on a computer, too, using the included proprietary rekordbox music management software for PC or Mac. Conveniently, mix creations can be recorded directly to a USB pen drive in WAV format for safe storage and transport.
The XDJ-AERO will be available shortly for a suggested retail price of US$1,399.