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DJ Equipment Rental: How Much Does It Cost?

Get pro gear without paying thousands of dollars upfront.

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If you're planning an event or celebrating a birthday or wedding, making sure you have the right equipment in the right places is essential.

Renting quality DJ equipment can be a great way of lowering expenses and also give you total control of what music is played.

If you've ever looked at purchasing DJ equipment new - or even used - you know that an industry standard digital CD/MP3 player costs thousands of dollars. Maybe you don't really intend on starting your own mobile DJ service but want to be the DJ at an upcomming event? Renting equipment can be a much less expensive option, but you'll still get all the advantages of using top quality equipment.

Let's take a look at the best DJ equipment to rent and what it typically costs for a day or two using the equipment.

What DJ Equipment Do I Need?

There are tons of different types of DJ equipment brands and models. Before we get into the specific prices, you should know what the absolutely essential DJ equipment is and what the lesser important...but nice to have equipment is.

Audio Mixer

Behringer DX626 3-Channel DJ Mixer

At it's most basic level, you'll need to rent an audio mixer. It's purpose is to control the volume of the music coming through the speakers and enables  you to preview the next track. 

There's a huge variety of mixers available, but they all serve the same purpose. Just be sure it's a DJ mixer and not one that's for studio or live performances like bands and you should be okay. I wouldn't worry about all the effects and fancy things some of the more professional mixers have onboard. Chances are good you won't need them.

Just be sure it's a minimum of 2 channels and has a microphone input. Be sure to note if the microphone uses a 1/4" input or an XLR input. Some mixers have both.

Headphones

To preview the next track, you'll need a good pair of headphones - preferably over the ear so the music that's playing out of the speakers is dampened and it's easier to hear.

Earbuds that you use with your phone typically won't cut it. 

You have a lot of choice when it comes to headphones. If you don't have any over-the-ear headphones at home and don't really plan on DJ'ing after the event you're planning, you can just use a basic pair from a local store ($15 - $25). 

Audio rental stores will probably rent you headphones, but it's likely that you'll pay the same amount as buying a cheap pair. 

CD Players or MP3 Players

Next you'll definitely need some way of playing music. Some DJ's use MP3s and an all-in-one controller that doubles as a mixer and "decks". For this you'll have to have a laptop that's setup with software and an interface to physically control the audio.

For a one or two night event, I don't recommend you go down this route. It'll be expensive and if you haven't used a digital controller paired with a laptop before, you'll have a steep learning curve to tackle before you DJ at your event.

The option that i'd honestly go for - if you haven't ever DJ'ed before or it's been a while - is to use CDs. It's easy to burn the music you want to play onto CD disk and you can carry hundreds of songs in a wallet.

Sometimes simpler is better, but it's not what modern DJ's do.

If that's too old school, you can buy two USB flash drives and load your MP3s onto them. You'll have to rent two DJ MP3 players that can accept a USB flash drive and then search through your music using the MP3 players digital display.

Something else to think about is how you'll find the right song for the right moment.

If you don't have a laptop setup, it will be a pain trying to locate a specific song on a USB drive - unless you DJ regularly and are really familiar with your music.

You could print out a track list of the music that's on each USB drive as a helper sheet, or you could go the CD route and have a tracklist written on the CDs in sharpie. Oldschool, but it worked for years before MP3 players became affordable and popular.

What kind of event are you playing? Will it be a formal wedding recption or a 3 hour DJ set that needs seamless mixing to keep the energy up?

If you're going to be playing mixed genres - a bit of pop, them some old rock, a fun dance track and then some more pop music, a $2000+ Pioneer Nexus multi-player is way, way overkill.

However, if you're a seasoned DJ, you might already be familiar with Pioneer's products - the basic layout of controls like play, cue and eject buttons haven't changed much in 10 years.

Head down to your local DJ or music store and check out the different players they have. They can look intimidating to someone that hasn't ever used them but all of the buttons have clear labels and you should be able to figure them out pretty quick.

Chances are good that you won't need half of the features that the super high end CD/MP3 players boast.

Amplifier And Speakers

Once you've got your audio sources and mixer figured out, you will need a way to amplify the signal and play it through speakers.

I'd recommend you look for powered speakers, unless the venue you're planning on holding your event is huge and you need some serious volume. 

Powered speakers have a built in amplifier so you don't have to worry about figuring out how to connect them (in series? parallel?). You'll just take a cable from your mixer and plug it directly into the speaker. 

Just be sure the speakers are matching (same brand and model) so your audio sounds even and balanced.

Lighting

If you'll need some effects lights too, there's a wide variety to choose from. You should know some of the basic terms so you can pick the right light for the event you'll be holding.

  • Wash - Think of this like a flood light. It "washes" the entire dancefloor, wall or ceiling in the same color.
  • Derby Effect - It looks like a ray of sunshine beaming through the window
  • GOBO - These are projected patterns or designs
  • Laser - Super sharp direct beams of bright light
  • Strobe - A blinding, quick flashing light

Now we know what type of equipment you'll need for your event, lets look at some costs in renting DJ gear.

DJ Equipment Rental Costs

Depending on where you live and the amount of pro audio / music stores around you, you'll find that the prices do vary.

Even the time of year can make DJ equipment rental prices vary - renting DJ equipment New Year's Eve will cost you more than renting the same equipment in September.

These are ballpark figures, check with your local stores for actual costs. You might want to call some mobile DJ companies and see if they are wiling to let you rent their equipment for a day or two. They might be reluctant to do that unless you rent a DJ too!

Average DJ Mixer Rental Costs

Photo

Make / Model

Approximate Cost

Pioneer DJM 800 DJ Mixer

$100 / Day

Pioneer DJM-900 Nexus DJ Mixer

$125 / Day

Pioneer DJM909 DJ Mixe

$95 / Day

Rane Sixty-Eight Serato DJ Mixer

$190 / Day

Rane Sixty-Two Serato DJ Mixer Rental

$200 / Day


Average DJ Player (CD/MP3)  Rental Costs

Photo

Make / Model

Approximate Cost

Pioneer CDJ-2000 NEXUS 

$140 / Day

Pioneer CDJ 2000

$125 / Day

Pioneer CDJ1000MK3 

$75 / Day


Average DJ Player, Mixer & Speaker Package  Rental Costs

Photo

Make / Model

Approximate Cost

Pioneer Package

(2) High End 12" Powered Speakers (MACKIE, EV, JBL)


(2) Pioneer CDJ2000 Digital Turntable Players


(1) Pioneer DJM900 DJ Mixer (4 Channel DJ Mixer)


(2) Speaker Stands


All Cables to connect from the DJ Mixer to the Speakers

$495 / Day

Technics Turntable Package

(2) Technic SL1200MK2 Turntables


(1) High Quality 2 or 3 Channel DJ Mixer (Ecler, Rane, Vestax, Technics)


(2) 12" Powered Speakers (EV, JBL, MACKIE)
(2) Speaker Stands


All cables to properly connect everything.

$325 / Day

Serato Digital DJ Package

(2) High End 12" Powered Speakers (MACKIE, EV, JBL)


(1) Rane TTM57SL Serato DJ Mixer


(2) Speaker Stands


All Cables to connect from the DJ Mixer to the Speakers

$250 / Day

Serato Digital DJ Package

(2) High End 12" Powered Speakers (MACKIE, EV, JBL)


(1) Rane TTM57SL Serato DJ Mixer


(2) Speaker Stands


All Cables to connect from the DJ Mixer to the Speakers

$550 / Day


Average Speaker Rental Costs

Photo

Make / Model

Approximate Cost

Speaker Package

(2) Peavey PVX12 Speakers


(2) Speaker Stands


(1) QSC RMX 850 Power Amplifier


$95 / Day

JBL PRX715 Powered Speaker (Pair)

1500 Watt peak (750W LF + 750W HF)


15″ 2-Way powered main/monitor with 1″ HF driver


90 x 50 degree horn

$55 / Day

QSC HPR-122i (Pair)


QSC HPR-122i 500 Watt RMS (400W LF + 100W HF)


12″ 2-Way powered main/monitor with 1.4″ HF driver


75 degree conical horn

$45 / Day

Mackie SRM450 (Pair)


Mackie SRM450 400 Watt (300W LF + 100W HF)


12” 2-Way powered main/monitor with 1.75” HF driver


90 x 45 degree horn, adjustable mic or line level XLR input

$45 / Day


Average Effects Lighting Rental Costs

Photo

Make / Model

Approximate Cost

Basic Light Package

(4) Par 38 halogen color wash lights & stand


(1) T-4 Par 38 light chaser & syncopating controller


(1) LED mirror ball effect light


(1) LED multi pattern /changing color light effect


(1) 4-switch light effects controller


$50/ Day

Medium Light Package

(4) Par 38 halogen color wash lights & stand


(1) T-4 Par 38 light chaser & syncopating controller


(2) LED mirror ball effect lights


(1) LED classic Mushroom effect light


(1) LED classic Derby effect light


(1) 4-switch light effects controller

$75 / Day

Large Light Package

(4) Deluxe LED medium brightness color wash lights with stand


(1) Foot controller for LED par can lights


(2) LED mirror ball effect lights


(1) LED premium dynamic Quad Gem effect light


(1) LED premium dynamic Quest effect light


(2) LED high quality Sn
ap Shot strobe lights


(1) 4-switch light effects controller


(1) 10 foot stand for all LED effect light

$125 / Day

Super Light Package

(4) Premium LED high brightness color wash lights withstand


(1) Foot controller and separate stand for LED par can lights


(2) LED mirror ball effect lights


(1) LED premium dynamic O-Beast effect light


(1) LED premium dynamic Quad Gem effect light


(1) LED premium dynamic Triple Flex effect light


(1) LED premium dynamic Quest effect light


(1) Effects switch controller


(1) 12 foot crank up stand for LED effect lights

$175 / Day

Conclusion

By now you should have a good idea of what type of DJ equipment you're going to need to rent and how much the DJ equipment is going to cost you to rent per day.

Most places will give you a discount if you rent the equipment for multiple days, so don't be afraid to ask.

The above prices are just an estimate, but you shouldn't be paying much more than $10-$30 above the costs I've shown you in the tables above.

You'll more than likely need to provide a credit card to whichever company you decide to rent your DJ equipment from and some might offer you additional insurance.

Think about this and your event, it's usually good bet to get the extra insurance. A spilled drink on a DJ mixer will completely ruin it and you'll be responsible for 100% of the replacement cost. It can add up quick!

If you have any questions about renting DJ equipment, let us know in the comments and we'll be happy to help you out.

I hope your event is amazing and be sure to send us some photos or videos :).

Written by Staff

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