Pioneer DJ has announced that it is going to remove the headphone jack from its DJ mixers.
Known for consistently breaking new ground, Pioneer DJ's first jack-free model was unveiled earlier today and is likely to cause controversy among industry heads and consumers alike.
The DJM-2000 N+ is the next mixer in the company’s popular 2000 series and will be in clubs and available to buy this summer. It’s closely related to its predecessor, the DJM-2000 NXS but with one massive difference: there’s nowhere to plug in your ‘phones.
In a statement, lead Pioneer DJ designer Eamonn Francis said: “We are committed to making the art of DJing more seamless and streamlined than ever before. The future of the DJ mixer is here.”
Pioneer DJ's announcement comes hot on the heels of Apple removing the headphone jack from the latest iPhone in favour of Bluetooth, and Richie Hawtin’s decision to get rid of the crossfader on his Model 1 mixer.
Francis said his team had factored in recent trends in music technology and believes a minimal approach is the way forward for a music scene he feels is drowning in its own levels of excess.
“Headphone wires are one of dance music’s most pressing issues in 2017,” Francis said. “At every conference we attend, we have issues with DJs trialing our products and getting tangled up in their headphone cords.”
“So to stay ahead of the curve and be, to borrow a term from Apple, ‘courageous’, we have decided to bypass the hazard completely. Connecting headphones to the mixer via Bluetooth is the first step in our journey to making all of our products cable-free.”
On the DJM-2000 N+ and all its future mixers, Pioneer DJ has opted for built-in Bluetooth technology that will only be compatible with Pioneer’s range of wireless headphones.
The company hopes to eventually have a DJ set-up featuring a mixer, CDJs and turntables fully connected via Bluetooth.
Francis added that the release of the DJM-2000 N+ was an example of the company's new minimalist direction.
“We understand that as technology has continued to advance, we’ve been guilty of trying to squeeze too many features and too many buttons on to our recent products. That’s what the DJM-2000 N+ represents. We’re also looking at lowering the amount of channels on future mixers, as two is all any self-respecting DJ needs.”
“I took the philosophy of minimalism to my team and said, ‘hey, what if there is actually more joy in owning less?’ There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little. We opted for the second of those options.”
Francis also quelled any fears over a drop in sound quality saying the “majority of present day clubs” that played “256kbps MP3s and YouTube rips” rendered such concerns “irrelevant”.
Dimitri Nordberg is Mixmag's International Tech Reporter