Pioneer S-DJ80X Active Reference Monitor Review

By | Posted December 26, 2013


Pioneer has recently released the new S-DJ X monitor lineup that is affordable and squarely aimed at DJ’s who want good performance speakers with a small form factor. The Pioneer S-DJ X range comes in either the five-inch (S-DJ50X), the six-inch (S-DJ60X), or the eight-inch (S-DJ80X) woofer configurations and have an auto on/off mode to save on power when not in use. These speakers are powered internally by an AB amplifier and Pioneer says that the technology in the woofer design and front port found on these speakers improve air flow with “Groove Technology” for deep and vibrant bass. We now have a pair of S-DJ80X monitor speakers in the DJbooth Lab for the full review treatment so check out how they held up during our tests in the review below.

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Review Video & Demo

Setup & First Impressions

The original Pioneer SDJ speaker range was a bit overpriced for most DJ's wallets and the new S-DJX range is more affordable and aimed at DJ's who don't want to spend so much money on a set of compact loudspeakers for small performances and bedroom or studio use.

The first impressions of the Pioneer S-DJ80X speakers are really good. The large-sized cabinets are made of pressure-treated wood around the top, sides, and bottom while the front mounting section has a polymer face and the rear panel is all metal reinforced. The S-DJ80X speakers really feel solid and sturdy and I don’t see any issues in any way in terms of construction. The 8-inch woofers have a silver cone with a nice stippled texture which gives the speakers a unique look. Below the woofer is the front-facing air-port which allows the bass to move air quickly. Above the woofer, there is a tweeter with a small LED indicator that lets the user know if the speakers are on or off at a glance.

These speakers are powered by a Bi-Amp 160watt Class A-B lightweight internal amplifier that requires a power connection directly to the speaker. On the rear of the speaker is the standard AC-Input power connector, a voltage switch selector (for regional power needs), and an on-off switch. Towards the top rear of the speaker there is a Level adjustment knob to get volume levels just right, and there is a HF Level Adjustment knob that allows the user to change the cut-off point of the high frequencies in the sound. Below the knobs is the Auto-Standby switch. When the Auto-Standby switch is selected, the speaker reduces power consumption by switching power to stand-by if there is no input over a set period of time. Also on the rear there are the three inputs which include RCA, TRS, and XLR. My only minor gripe with these monitors is that there is no real way to switch between the inputs on the fly as you will have to unplug and plug in the correct device when you are ready to use it. The original Pioneer SDJ speaker models actually have a remote control that users can switch between inputs on the fly but they are a bit more costly than these.

Unboxing Video


The Pioneer S-DJ80X active reference monitors really sound like a mix between studio monitors and professional Loud Speakers. The reason for this description is that the Pioneer S-DJ80X speakers don’t really give you an exact reproduction of the original flat source material, but rather gives the user a “full” sound that is more suitable for DJ use with a little light production thrown in. The Highs and Mids really sound clean and legible, but the bass is the real story here. The 8-inch woofer on the S-DJ80X really thumps and they provide a bass-heavy listening experience that will rock and vibrate everything that isn’t tied down. The highs were nice and sharp while not being shrill or harsh while the bass was really booming throughout the entire test run. We didn’t have any issues with popping, hissing, interference, or humming during our two hour stress test.

The speakers really performed flawlessly during my time with the setup and I’m sure the S-DJ80X speakers will last for a long time as long as we aren’t pounding them to the limit during our sessions. These speakers are not meant to be used as Loudspeakers for parties or clubs and such as they aren’t quite made to carry sound for long distances and through crowds. The user will ultimately end up pushing these speakers to the limit which will wear them down much quicker than normal if they are used in performance environments. These are definitely best used in a studio or bedroom setting where they aren’t being used at 90%+ volumes for hours on end.

Conclusion / Recommended For

In conclusion, The Pioneer S-DJ80X active reference monitors are a very well-built and affordable high-quality powered speaker that provides DJ’s and producers with great “full” sound quality with deep and punchy bass. The S-DJ80X monitors have an auto-standby feature to save energy when not in use while there are three separate inputs (XLR, TRS, & RCA) to connect most popular devices. On the downside, the S-DJ80X monitors don’t have a way to allow the user to select between the three different inputs, so the user will have to connect and disconnect the device they are currently using. The Pioneer SDJ monitors, however, do have a remote control feature to switch the input, so check out those speakers if this is a deal-breaker for you. Other than this minor gripe, we are going to recommend the S-DJ80X active monitors to any DJ or Producer who wants a solid and well-built monitor speaker that exudes deep bass and vibrant sound for a bedroom or studio style environment.


    -Solid & Sturdy Construction -Great “Full” Sound Quality with DEEP & Punchy Bass -Auto-Standby Feature -Three Separate Inputs XLR, TRS, & RCA


    -Cannot Select/Switch Inputs on the fly
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