TRAKTOR KONTROL S4: Redefining the DJ Controller Game

Traktor Kontrol S4 review

This in-depth TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 review is a thorough examination of one of the most noteworthy DJ controllers in the market today. We’ll meticulously explore the nuances of this outstanding piece of hardware, dissecting its features, performance, and overall value. Strap in as we embark on this detailed exploration, providing insights that will help you understand why the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 is so special.


  • Controller Level: Advanced

  • 4-channel DJ controller 

  • Compatible Software: TRAKTOR PRO 3

  • Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.7 x 2.6 in / 51.6 x 32.3 x 6.6 cm

  • Weight: 7.5 lbs / 3.4 kg

From ‎$999


Just like any piece of tech equipment, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 has its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s delve into the key pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.


  • High-Quality Build: The TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 boasts a robust build designed to withstand the rigors of gigging and touring.
  • Impressive Software Integration: The seamless integration with TRAKTOR PRO 3 and other popular software platforms like Ableton Live, Logic Pro, and Garageband is a significant advantage.
  • Feature-Packed: With the RGB performance pads, large touch-sensitive jog wheels, a comprehensive mixer section, and a built-in high-quality audio interface, it offers everything a DJ needs for professional mixing.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Despite its advanced features, the S4 maintains an intuitive and user-friendly layout, ensuring that DJs can maximize its functionalities with ease.


  • Price Point: Although the S4 offers excellent value given its features, the price tag might be high for those just starting in the DJ world.
  • Dependence on TRAKTOR Software: The S4’s full potential is unlocked when used with TRAKTOR PRO 3, which may be a downside for DJs accustomed to other DJ software.
  • Lack of Standalone Mixer Functionality: Unlike some competitors, the S4 can’t function as a standalone mixer without a connected computer.
Traktor Kontrol S4 layout


From the moment you begin unboxing the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4, you’re immediately enveloped in the sense of anticipation and excitement that only the most committed DJs can fully appreciate. This isn’t just any piece of DJ equipment—it’s an all-encompassing, professional-grade controller designed with the detailed needs of the modern DJ at its core.

As you remove the controller from its packaging, you notice the meticulous care and attention given to ensuring its protection. Upon lifting the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 from its box, you find a power adapter equipped with multiple plug options catering to international DJs who travel globally for performances. You also discover a USB cable for easy connectivity and a coveted TRAKTOR PRO 3 software license. Together, these items make up a full DJ setup straight out of the box, eliminating the need for additional purchases or inconvenient last-minute runs to the music store.

As you finally lay your hands on the controller, you can’t help but be impressed by the professional-grade build quality. It’s solid, substantial, and speaks volumes about the product’s value. The materials feel premium to the touch, perfectly matching the premium performance the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 promises to deliver.

Dimensions20.3 x 12.7 x 2.6 inches
Weight3.4 kg
InputsRCA Aux, Mic Input (1/4″ TS), 2 x Stereo Line (RCA), 2 x Stereo Phono/Line (RCA)
USB1 x Type B
Soundcard24-bit / 96kHz
Frequency Range20Hz – 20kHz
Signal-to-Noise Ratio96dB
Distortion<0.01% THD

The Core Features of the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4

In terms of its fundamental attributes, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 boasts an impressive array of features that are intricately designed to meet and exceed the demands of DJs at every level. The myriad functionalities it offers are carefully selected and engineered, reflecting a comprehensive understanding of the diverse needs and requirements inherent to DJing. 

Performance Pads

Eight RGB performance pads per deck make up the capabilities of the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4. These are not just regular pads; rather, they stand in for a crucial element that gives your DJ setup an additional degree of adaptability. The performance pads on the S4 offer a wealth of creative options, from launching samples and loops to cue points to launching cue points.

These pads are made to be very responsive, mirroring the rapid-fire activity of your thoughts and creativity. Due to their exceptional sensitivity, DJs are able to keep a rhythm with pinpoint accuracy and react quickly to changes in the musical environment.

Additionally, these performance pads give a visually appealing element to your DJ setup in addition to being a useful tool. The pads’ brilliant RGB backlighting creates a lively light display that alters in real time as you utilize various features, adding a dynamic visual aspect to your performance. You can use the colors as visual cues to help you recall what each pad is programmed to activate.

Traktor Kontrol S4 performance pads

Jog Wheels

Equally noteworthy on the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 are its jog wheels, a true testament to the ingenuity of the controller’s design. These aren’t your average jog wheels—they are generously sized, touch-sensitive, and intricately designed to provide an optimal DJing experience.

The large surface of these wheels accommodates the complete range of DJ techniques, from scratching to beatmatching and track navigation. Their size, combined with their high sensitivity, facilitates precision in control, making even the most intricate adjustments feel seamless and intuitive.

What truly sets these jog wheels apart is the incorporation of visual feedback through LED rings. This real-time visual aid significantly enhances user experience by providing essential tracking information at a glance. You can quickly discern the track playback status, cue points, and loops, significantly simplifying the DJing process.

In terms of feel, the S4’s jog wheels strike an impeccable balance between weight and sensitivity. They have just enough heft to offer a tactile, grounded sensation, yet they’re light enough to respond swiftly to even the slightest touch. 

Traktor Kontrol S4 jog wheel

Mixer Section and Effects

A significant strength of the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 lies in its superior capabilities for DJ mixing. The mixer section of the controller is expertly crafted. Each control is meticulously designed to offer intuitive and precise handling, allowing you to mold and shape your sound with absolute ease and accuracy.

The mixer section boasts:

  • Three-band EQs for Each Channel: This feature provides comprehensive control over your sound’s tonal balance. The ability to adjust the low, mid, and high frequencies for each channel individually allows for unparalleled sound shaping and a more dynamic mixing experience.
  • Gain Controls and Filter Knobs: These dedicated knobs allow for precise volume control and sound filtering, enabling you to manage your mix’s dynamics and sonic characteristics effectively.
  • A Built-in 24-bit / 96kHz Audio Interface: The S4 doesn’t just control your music, it ensures it sounds spectacular. With a high-quality built-in audio interface, the S4 guarantees professional-grade sound resolution for your mixes.
  • TRAKTOR’s Exceptional Range of Effects: With two separate effect units at your disposal, you have the freedom to get creative with your mixes. TRAKTOR’s comprehensive effect suite lets you add unique textures and layers to your tracks, turning each mix into a distinct, personalized creation.
Traktor Kontrol S4 mixer section

Setting Up and Using the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4

The setup process of the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 is as seamless as its design, ensuring you can swiftly transition from unboxing the unit to delivering a breathtaking performance in no time at all.

Setup and Software Integration

The integration with the included TRAKTOR DJ software, namely the PRO 3 version, is not only quick but also remarkably user-friendly, enabling DJs to dive headfirst into their creative endeavors with minimal delay. The controller’s layout and the software interface are harmoniously aligned, providing a coherent, streamlined workflow. This perfect harmony extends beyond mere functionality—it enhances the intuitive nature of the unit, allowing you to focus less on the technical aspects and more on the art of DJing, making your experience both effortless and inspiring.

Traktor Kontrol S4 display


Scoring remarkably high on the usability scale, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 demonstrates a thoughtful design aimed at an effortless DJing experience. The layout is meticulously organized with knobs, faders, and buttons strategically placed for ease of access and fluid maneuvering. The bright and legible LED displays further enhance usability, offering crucial real-time feedback at a glance. This synergy of well-designed control elements fosters an intuitive workflow, making it easy to tap into your creativity and keep the mix flowing without interruption.

Traktor Kontrol S4 faders


As we tread into the mid-year of 2023, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 is priced around the $980 mark. While this might seem like a substantial investment, when considering the professional-grade capabilities, state-of-the-art features, and robust performance the unit delivers, it presents an exceptional value. It’s an investment not just in a piece of hardware, but in a tool that can elevate your DJing skills and performances to a professional standard.

TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 v.s. Alternatives

Absolutely, it’s essential to consider various options before settling on your choice of DJ controller. Let’s take a look at how the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 stacks up against some of its popular alternatives in the market.

AlternativeMain Features
Pioneer DDJ-10004-channel mixerIntegrated LCD screens on jog wheels16 performance pads
Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX4-deck layering6 quick-launch effectsLarge 6-inch jog wheels with a display
Denon DJ MC7000Dual USB connections16 velocity-sensitive performance padsDedicated XLR Zone output

Final Thoughts

The TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 proves to be a game-changer in the DJ controller market, offering a perfect blend of advanced features, intuitive design, and excellent value for money. Whether you’re an experienced DJ looking to upgrade your setup or a beginner wanting to kick-start your DJing journey, the S4 is a compelling choice.


Is the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 Portable?

Yes, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 is portable. Although it is a robust piece of equipment, it’s designed with an optimal balance between size and functionality, making it convenient for transportation.

What Software Is Compatible With the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4?

The TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 is primarily designed to work seamlessly with Native Instruments’ TRAKTOR PRO 3 DJ software, which is included with the controller. However, it can also work with other MIDI-compatible DJ software.

Is the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 Suitable for Beginners?

While the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 is designed with professional features and capabilities, beginners shouldn’t be daunted. The controller’s user-friendly layout and straightforward controls make it approachable for those new to DJing.

What Is the Price of the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4?

As of 2023, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 is retailing at approximately $980. This price point represents the controller’s value proposition, considering its top-tier features and professional-grade performance.


Given its professional-grade features, exceptional build quality, and inclusion of TRAKTOR PRO 3 DJ software, the TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 offers excellent value for its price, making it a worthy investment for both budding and experienced DJs.


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