TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 Review: Unleashing the Power of Advanced DJ Mixing

Traktor Kontrol S3 DJ controller review

In this in-depth TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 review, we explore the features and capabilities of this advanced DJ controller. This meticulously crafted piece of DJ equipment is designed to cater to the needs of seasoned professionals, offering seamless control and integration. Let’s delve into the specifics and find out what this controller brings to the table.


  • 4-channel performance DJ controller

  • Extra-long Pitch Faders

  • Jog Wheel Modes


  • Compatible Software: Serato DJ, Rekordbox DJ

  • Supported DJ Applications: djay, WeDJ, edjing


When it comes to purchasing a DJ controller, it’s essential to consider both the strengths and weaknesses of the equipment. With that in mind, let’s weigh the pros and cons of the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3.


  • Comprehensive features: The TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 has a wide range of features designed to enhance your DJing experience, including performance pads, jog wheels, and an integrated 4-channel mixer.
  • Seamless software integration: The controller integrates effortlessly with TRAKTOR PRO 3 and other TRAKTOR DJ applications, making setup quick and straightforward.
  • User-friendly: Despite its advanced features, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 maintains an intuitive layout that’s easy to understand and operate, even for less experienced DJs.
  • Durable construction: Built to last, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 boasts a solid build quality that can withstand the rigors of regular use.


  • Price: While its features justify the cost, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 might be considered expensive by some, particularly beginners.
  • Limited compatibility: The controller is primarily designed to work with TRAKTOR software, which may limit its utility for DJs who prefer other DJ software.
  • Lack of standalone mixer functionality: Unlike some competitors, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 does not function as a standalone mixer, which could be a drawback for some users.


Unboxing a new piece of equipment is always thrilling, but the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 takes this experience to a new level. The excitement is palpable from the moment you lay eyes on the sleek packaging. Its minimalistic design, accentuated by the brand’s logo, oozes professionalism, giving you the impression that you’re about to unveil a high-quality DJ controller.

As you carefully unbox the TRAKTOR S3, your anticipation grows. The DJ controller is snuggly packed and securely protected by foam inserts that prevent any damage during transit. Inside the box, you’ll find the controller, the power cable, a USB cable for connecting the controller to your PC or laptop, and an essential quick-start guide. 

The controller’s compact yet sturdy design strikes you immediately. Its hardy build offers reassurance about its durability and promises a long-lasting piece of DJ equipment. A closer look reveals the well-lit buttons and knob caps, their vibrant colors adding a touch of aesthetic appeal to the controller. From this unboxing experience alone, you’re already eager to explore its capabilities further and test it out in your next DJ session.

Dimensions19.13 x 11.81 x 2.56 in
Weight2.8 kg
Inputs2x Mic Input (1/4″ TRS), 2x Main Input (RCA)
USBUSB 2.0 Type B
Soundcard24-bit / 44.1 or 48 kHz
Frequency Range20 Hz – 20 kHz
Signal-to-Noise Ratio111 dB (A-weighted)
Distortion< 0.002%

The Core Features of the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3

As you hold the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3, you can feel its quality. The knobs turn smoothly, the faders glide effortlessly, and the pads respond quickly to your touch, reflecting the controller’s high manufacturing standards. So now, it’s time to dive into what the TRAKTOR S3 offers as a DJ controller.

TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 performance

Performance Pads

The KONTROL S3’s eight multi-color pads per deck offer a responsive and tactile approach to DJing, ensuring you have ultimate control at your fingertips. These pads are ultra-responsive, which allows you to engage with your mix in real time. Whether you’re triggering hot cues, loops, or samples, the immediacy of these performance pads lets you deliver intricate and nuanced performances. This tactile connection creates an intimate and immersive experience, bridging the gap between you and your audience.

Complementing their functional role, the pads’ RGB backlighting offers a vibrant visual aspect to your performance. This isn’t just for aesthetics – the various colors provide helpful feedback about your mix, helping you keep track of your loops and cues. In a live performance setting, these pads become a beacon in a dark DJ booth, guiding you through your set effortlessly. The result is an intuitive and dynamic mixing experience, whether you’re honing your skills at home or entertaining crowds.

TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 performance pads

Jog Wheels

One of the standout features of the KONTROL S3 is undoubtedly the size of its jog wheels. Larger than average, these jog wheels provide a comfortable and spacious touch interface that enhances your connection with the music. You can cue, scratch, and nudge tracks with pinpoint precision, making it a fantastic tool for both live performances and studio sessions.

Furthermore, the jog wheels’ comfortable touch ensures a seamless user experience. This isn’t just about the texture but the weight and resistance the wheels offer when you’re using them. The feedback is excellent, which is particularly important when operating them for beatmatching.

Each interaction with these wheels contributes to an overall satisfying and intuitive DJing experience. Regarding functionality and feel, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3’s jog wheels are more than just a feature; they’re a testament to the manufacturer’s commitment to delivering the highest quality DJ controller to its users. 


Mixer Section and Effects

At the core of the TRAKTOR S3 lies its integral component—-the mixer section. It boasts dedicated controls for EQ, gain, and filter, granting you total authority over your sound. You can adjust the bass, mid, and treble frequencies with precision using the EQ knobs. The gain controls help you perfectly match the levels of different tracks, ensuring smooth transitions and a consistent output level. The dedicated filter knobs enable you to add texture and variation to your mix, providing that extra touch of flair to your sets.

The effects section is another impressive feature of the mixer. Offering a wide array of effects, you have the flexibility to shape your sound and add a unique twist to your performance. Whether you want to apply a crisp delay, a dramatic reverb, or a funky flanger, the options are virtually endless. Key features include:

  • 4-channel mixer
  • Integrated FX units with one-knob Macro FX
  • Pro-grade EQs and filters
  • Mixer effects for instant, high-grade effects.
TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 mixer section

Setting Up and Using the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3

Getting started with the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 is a breeze thanks to its user-friendly interface.

Setup and Software Integration

This DJ controller offers a near-effortless setup experience thanks to its seamless integration with TRAKTOR PRO 3, an advanced DJ software renowned for its robust features and intuitive design. This integration transforms the controller into a comprehensive DJ system that caters to both beginners and professional DJs alike.

One of the standout aspects of this integration is its plug-and-play compatibility. This means that after a straightforward installation process, you’ll be ready to dive into the world of DJing in no time. You can quickly start exploring the rich features and powerful capabilities of the TRAKTOR PRO 3 software right from your DJ equipment. The high-quality hardware of the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 and the flexible software of the TRAKTOR PRO 3 come together to create a DJ system that is not only extremely powerful but also incredibly user-friendly. 

TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 software integration


When it comes to usability, the TRAKTOR S3 excels, having a simple interface that promotes a pleasant DJing experience. DJs of all skill levels may easily use and navigate this finely designed interface, maximizing all of its capabilities. Usability is prioritized in TRAKTOR S3’s design philosophy. While still providing the accuracy and cutting-edge functionality that seasoned professionals expect, it is intended to be friendly and approachable for beginners. This makes it not just a piece of DJ equipment but a versatile tool that adapts to the user’s skill level, enhancing their DJing journey at every step.


How Much Is TRAKTOR S3?

The TRAKTOR KONTROL S3, with its myriad of advanced features and impressive performance, is priced at $549. This price point presents a compelling value proposition, as it carefully strikes a balance between affordability and high-end capabilities. Investing in this DJ controller is a statement of dedication to one’s craft while still being accessible to those on a tighter budget. For both budding DJs and seasoned professionals, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 offers a feature-rich, quality experience that more than justifies its price, delivering value for every dollar spent.

TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 v.s. Alternatives

In the market for DJ controllers, several alternatives compete with the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3. Here are three of them:

AlternativeMain Features
Pioneer DDJ-800Two-channel, four-deck controller
Integrated feedback reducer for microphones
Compatible with Rekordbox software
Denon DJ MC70004-channel DJ controller
Two USB interfaces for simultaneous DJ transitions
Serato DJ Pro compatible
Roland DJ-707M4-channel, 4-deck Serato DJ Pro Controller
Integrated 24-bit/48 kHz audio interface
Scene preset feature for different gig settings

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 offers an impressive array of features, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned DJ. It strikes a balance between affordability and quality, making it a worthy consideration for your DJ setup. We hope this TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 review has provided valuable insights into what to expect from this exceptional DJ controller.


Is the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 Portable?

Certainly, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 is engineered with portability in mind. Its sleek, compact form factor, coupled with its relatively lightweight, ensures effortless transportation, positioning it as the perfect companion for mobile DJs.

What Software Is Compatible With the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3?

The TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 is designed to work in tandem with the TRAKTOR PRO 3 software. It’s a potent blend that results in a natural and rich DJing experience.

Is the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 Suitable for Beginners?

No, the TRAKTOR S3 is a high-end controller. While its user-friendly style and extensive feature set are appealing, it was created with the requirements and desires of professional or expert DJs in mind.

What Is the Price of the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3?

Retailing at $549, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S3 embodies the harmonious coexistence of high-end capabilities and cost-effectiveness. This DJ controller provides a competitively priced gateway to advanced mixing features.


Indeed, the TRAKTOR S3 stands out with its rich functionalities, flawless synergy with TRAKTOR PRO 3 software, and sturdy construction. It’s a DJ controller that truly offers substantial value for its cost. Equally at home in a bedroom setup, a bustling live venue, or a professional studio, this investment promises a superior DJing journey, regardless of the environment.


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