Traktor Kontrol S4 Review

So, you’re considering adding the Traktor S4 to your DJ setup. You’ve probably heard a lot about its capabilities and features, but how does it really stack up in the real world?

Well, let’s just say that there’s a lot to unpack when it comes to the Traktor S4. From its design and build quality to its performance and functionality, there’s a wide range of factors to consider when evaluating this controller.

Whether it lives up to the hype or falls short in some areas is something you’ll want to explore further. Also check out our other top picks for best DJ controller.

Key Takeaways

  • Compact and sleek design with high-quality buttons and knobs
  • Impressive sound quality and haptic feedback for a remarkable turntable performance
  • Versatile deck control and intuitive loop and sample decks for seamless mixing and manipulation
  • Seamless integration with Traktor Pro software and compatibility with other software, including Ableton Live support

Design and Build Quality

The Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3 features a compact and sleek design that’s widely regarded as the ultimate Traktor controller. The Native Instruments Kontrol S series has always been at the forefront of innovation, and the S4 MK3 is no exception. The controller’s design seamlessly integrates a mixer with high-quality buttons and knobs, offering a professional and intuitive user experience.

However, concerns have been raised about the build quality, with issues such as damage to the flight case foam and worries about the durability of the controls. Despite this, the S4 MK3 offers impressive sound quality and haptic feedback that enhances the overall performance.

In terms of design, the S4 MK3 incorporates peak meters and illuminated channel designations, which significantly improve visibility and control. The inclusion of various I/O options, such as headphone jack, MIDI connectors, USB connector, and microphone input, caters to diverse needs, enhancing the controller’s versatility. Additionally, the pressure-sensitive jog wheels provide an accurate and natural feel for scratching, although some users have reported stiffness impacting spinbacks.

Performance and Functionality

Amplify your DJ skills with the dynamic performance and functionality of the Traktor Kontrol S4. The new version of the S4, the S4 MK3, offers an impressive range of features designed to elevate your performances to new heights.

Here’s what makes the Traktor Kontrol S4 a game-changer in the world of DJ controllers:

  • Versatile Deck Control: The S4 provides comprehensive deck control, allowing you to seamlessly mix and manipulate tracks with precision.
  • Intuitive Loop and Sample Decks: Access and trigger loops and samples effortlessly, adding depth and creativity to your sets.
  • Innovative Controllers: The S4’s haptic drive jog wheels and mixer FX controls offer a tactile and responsive experience, enhancing your ability to craft unique sounds and effects.
  • Enhanced Functionality: With its powerful audio interface, timecode control, and MIDI capabilities, the S4 is adaptable to various setups and applications, making it an essential tool for both live performances and studio work.

The Traktor Kontrol S4 delivers unparalleled performance and functionality, empowering DJs to push the boundaries of their creativity and craft unforgettable experiences for their audiences.

Comparison With Competing Controllers

When comparing the Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3 with its competitors, you’ll notice its haptic system, spinning jog wheels, and updated sound card set it apart in terms of performance and sound quality.

The haptic system delivers remarkable turntable performance, offering a tactile feel that’s not commonly found in competing controllers.

Native Instruments has integrated spinning jog wheels on the S4 MK3, a feature that emphasizes industry standard workflows and DJ fundamentals, giving it an edge over other controllers.

Additionally, the updated sound card of the S4 MK3 provides notable improvements, ensuring superior sound quality compared to its competitors.

The new mixer FX engine on the S4 MK3 offers simple delay, reverb, and bit crusher effects combined with a low or high pass filter, further distinguishing it from other controllers.

With high-resolution displays, large motorized haptic drive jog wheels with LED needle indicators, and over 40 beat-synced effects, the Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3 provides an innovative and comprehensive feature set that sets it apart from competing controllers.

Software Integration and Compatibility

You can seamlessly integrate the Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3 with a variety of software applications and equipment, expanding its functionality beyond just Traktor. Its compatibility with Native Instruments’ Traktor Pro software ensures a smooth and optimized experience, while its Remix Deck capabilities allow for creative and dynamic mixing.

The S4’s flexible MIDI mode enables it to work with other software, broadening its potential applications. Additionally, it supports Ableton Live when paired with an APC20, making it an excellent choice for diverse music production setups.

The S4’s integration with time-coded vinyl and CD control systems further enhances its versatility, catering to both traditional and digital DJ setups. Its mixer section and performance pads are seamlessly compatible with Traktor Kontrol S4, offering an intuitive and responsive interface for control and manipulation.

This broad software integration and compatibility make the Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3 a forward-thinking and adaptable choice for DJs and music producers seeking innovative solutions.

Value for Money

Expanding on the Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3’s impressive software integration and compatibility, its exceptional value for money is evident in its extensive features and functionality for its price, making it a high-value option for DJs on a budget.

The table below highlights some of the key features that contribute to the outstanding value provided by the Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3.

Haptic DriveProvides tactile feedback on cue points and loops, enhancing performance and creativity.Enhanced control and immersive experience
Sound CardUpgraded 24-bit/96kHz audio interface for pristine sound quality and seamless connectivity.Professional audio output and flexibility
Mixer FXIntegrated one-knob effect control, offering creative manipulation of tracks in real-time.Effortless and dynamic effects control
Loop Length DisplayVisual representation of loop length on the displays for precise looping and performance.Accurate and seamless loop adjustments
Deck Select ButtonsStreamlined deck selection for quick access, allowing seamless transitions and performance flow.Smooth and efficient deck management

The Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3’s value for money is further amplified by the inclusion of the brand new Traktor Pro 3 software, which brings a host of advanced features and updates to complement the controller’s capabilities.

This combination of hardware and software makes the Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3 a compelling choice for DJs seeking innovation and performance at an exceptional value.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Traktor S4 Worth It?

Is the Traktor S4 worth it? Performance quality, sound output, and user experience make it a top choice. Price comparison, compatibility issues, and portability factor should be considered. The controller features and durability factor enhance user interface and DJ software.

Can You Use Traktor S4 Without a Laptop?

Yes, you can use the Traktor S4 without a laptop, thanks to its standalone use capability. It offers diverse controller options, impressive performance capabilities, and excellent portability factor. With its extensive connectivity options, users experience efficient workflow and high audio quality, making it a versatile DJ solution.

What Is the Difference Between S3 and S4 Traktor?

The S4 and S3 Traktor controllers differ in features, performance, price, user interface, software capabilities, connectivity, build quality, size, compatibility, and sound quality. The S4 offers more advanced options and a more professional experience.

When Did Traktor S4 Come Out?

The Traktor S4 came out in 2010. Its innovative features, compatibility, and performance set it apart. The design, connectivity, and user experience make it a top choice. Keep an eye out for software updates.


Overall, the Traktor S4 is a top-notch controller with a compact design and versatile I/O options. It was very interesting to do this Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4 review.

Despite some concerns about durability and control placement, it offers high-quality performance and functionality for Traktor DJs.

Considering its features and software integration, the S4 provides great value for money.

If you’re looking for a feature-rich and reliable Traktor controller, the S4 is definitely worth considering.