We just received a nice set of SDJ05 active monitor speakers from Pioneer for a full review. We had our sound specialist DJ D-Mac perform the full written review, while I was able to open up the boxes for an unboxing and first impressions video. Check out what DJ D-Mac thinks of these solid powered monitor speakers and if it's something you could use in your setup. Video and Review inside.
Setup & First Impressions
Pioneer SDJ-05 Pioneer Monitor Speakers Review By: DJ D-Mac
The S-DJ05 Active Reference Speakers are Pioneer's 5 inch sub monitors, which are sold in a set of two speakers along with a wired remote. According to Pioneer the S-DJ05 speakers are meant for DJs and Producers as well as non-professional listeners simply looking for quality sound in a home or office setting. In our testing we found that they do a very good job of satisfying the varying needs of all 3 consumer groups.
Pioneer is known for making DJ equipment that looks modern yet professional and the S-DJ05s continue that trend. The speaker cabinets are all black but the 5-inch sub-woofers are surrounded by a chrome bezel. On the front of the unit are small lights that indicate if the unit is off, on (blue), or in standby (red) as well as a set of lights that indicate which input is selected.
Setup was very easy and intuitive. I simply plugged each of the speakers in (both speakers have independent power sources), connected my mixed, and turned the unit on. The S-DJ05s have a power switch which channels power to the unit as well as an on button that takes the unit from standby mode into ready mode.
As I mentioned earlier, the Pioneer S-DJ05 is marketed as Reference Speakers / Monitors for DJs, Producers, and non-professionals looking for high-quality sound for their office, living room, etc. Other products such as the KRK VXT4 have claimed to do this, but come up short when it comes to meeting the needs of the non-professional consumer. However, Pioneer has done an excellent job of including features that make the S-DJ05 an ideal choice casual users as well as DJs and producers.
First of all each speaker has its own EQ where you can adjust the highs and lows. Many DJs and producers would find this to be redundant as they would probably prefer to adjust the sound on their mixer than the speakers themselves. However, in a non-professional setting this can be a very useful feature as it gives the casual user more flexibility when they hook the speakers up to an MP3 player or computer.
As I mentioned earlier, even though the S-DJ05 is sold in a set, each speaker has its own power source and control switches. This enables a producer or DJ to fine tweak the volume on each unit. However, the casual user may just want an easy way to adjust the volume on both speakers without having to reach behind each of them. This is where the nifty wired remote control comes into play. Connecting the remove overrides on-unit volume controls and instead allows the levels to be adjust via a smooth-feeling rotating knob. Furthermore, the remote allows you to change the selected input of BOTH speakers with a simple push of a button. Lastly, the speakers can be muted or the EQ can be bypassed via a second button on the remote. The remote just feels great in your hand and gives you full control over both speakers.
Our only gripe with the S-DJ05 is that we believe it should have included a headphone output and 1/8 inch input on the unit. While DJs and Producers would most likely not be interested in these additions, they would be very useful for non-professionals. Not everyone owns an eigth-inch to RCA cable, but unfortunately this would be required to hook up a MP3 player to theese speakers.
The Pioneer S-DJ05 speakers provide great sound quality. I tested them using a quarter-inch connection and 3 songs – Musiq - “Just Friends”, Nas - “It Aint Hard to Tell” and Bob Marley “Three Little Birds”. Each songs played very well on the S-DJ05s, which provided very crisp highs and no distortion even at high volume levels. The bass is more punchy than deep and reverberating which is ideal for mixing and mastering. I prefer the sound of the S-DJ05s to the Alesis 520s, but I believe the KRK VXT4s offered a slightly fuller sound.
Conclusion / Recommended For
The Pioneer S-DJ05 come highly recommended for their chameleon-like ability to adapt to studio, club and home use. Often when companies try to please everybody they end up pleasing noone, but in this case Pioneer has created a product that should appeal to professionals and non professionals alike. The remote enables you to get the high quality sound of individually-powered speakers without the need to independently adjust volumes on each. In addition the fact that they are sold as a set as a competitive price makes them very appealing.
- Sold as a set, yet each speaker is individually powered
- Remote allows you to adjust volume and input on both speakers simultaneously
- High-quality and sleek-looking build
- Lacks eight-inch input
- Lacks headphone output
- Only can play one input at a time (can be a pro or con depending on your needs)