Sony Xross Fade DJ System


Everybody wants to be a DJ. Pop culture loves the iconic image of a zoned-out DJ in the corner of a club or bar with clunky oversized headphones on one ear, working turntables with both hands and bobbing their head to the music. Unfortunately, for most of us, turntables are a complete mystery, vinyl collections take years to build, and those 70-pound speakers won’t even fit in a hatchback.

Sony has set out to solve that problem with the Xross Fade, an all-in-one DJ system that delivers big on DJ mystique, without all the associated problems of the pros. Manageable bookshelf speakers replace stand-mounted bricks, a basic control system replaces a desk-sized mixer, and dual iPod docks replace turntables. No need to be Fatboy Slim to operate this rig, weekend warriors are welcome.

Sony Xcross Fade DJ System
Image Courtesy of Sony

So just what does it do without turntables? While you won’t be able to scratch, the dual-iPod inputs connected to a cross-fader will allow you to transition back and forth between songs at will, and a monitor queue connected to a headphone jack means you’ll be able to preview your line-up before it plays live. Sony also added a Beat Blend feature to lay preprogrammed percussion beats over the top of other music, giving you chance to blend a little something extra into your own party mixes.

Of course, you can’t always be stuck behind a mixing station, so the Fade includes a single-disc CD player as well as an AM/FM tuner to let things go on autopilot for a while. And if you want to save your night’s playlist and mixing for later, the unit will allow you to record as you go via a USB connection.

All those options for output aren’t much good if your guests can’t hear the results, though, so Sony has also endowed the Fade with a fairly substantial set of speakers. The package includes two 150-watt loudspeakers for carrying the tunes up top, along with a massive 150-watt subwoofer for adding a little rumble down below. At 38 pounds, it’s the only piece of equipment that actually approaches the bulk of a real DJ setup, but Sony has added two metal grab handles to make lugging the beast around a bit easier. Since the Fade is supposed to be a complete system, Sony also includes all the cables you need for hookup and standard pigtail connectors, making it easier to add your own longer cables or connect different speakers if need be.

Not surprisingly, the Fade will run you a little more than a comparable mini system that just plays CDs and MP3s. But at $500, it’s still more reasonable than a legitimate DJ rig, and should be able to get most iPod-toting amateurs by. Sony will begin selling the system directly on Sept. 30, but has begun accepting preorders immediately. More information can be found on Sony’s Web site.

Product Review

Audio-Technica's M50xBT headphones bring signature studio sound to the streets

Audio pros may balk at cutting the cord on studio headphones, but it’s hard to argue with these results. Audio-Technica’s wireless ATH-M50xBT offer massive battery life and killer sound you can take anywhere.
Virtual Reality

HTC’s stand-alone Vive Focus Plus will be out in April, and it won’t be cheap

The HTC Vive Focus Plus is set to release on April 15 to commercial businesses and developers. The stand-alone headset features the "six degrees of freedom" system, and includes hazard-tracking protection.
Home Theater

5 gorgeous turntables that spin stacks of wax in style for less than $500

Vinyl records are awesome, but they're also finicky. To get the best out of your stacks of wax, it's best to play them on a quality turntable. Here are the best turntables to be had for under $500.
Smart Home

Looking to safeguard your home? These are the best DIY home security systems

Looking for the best DIY Home security systems? These security kits will help you feel safer in no time. Check out our top pick and full list to see which kit will work best for your home.
Home Theater

Banish the bunny ears (and monthly bills) with these excellent HD antennas

When transitioning away from cable and satellite, finding the best HDTV antenna for your area can be tricky. To aid in your cord-cutting quest, we've compiled our picks of the best indoor HDTV antennas you can buy.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

Yesterday’s Apple event was a whiplash-inducing parade of copycat services

Apple showed off a massive barrage of news, streaming, and gaming bundles at its Showtime event aimed at boosting its services and adding more revenue. But while the services are big on celebrities, they appear short on innovation.
Home Theater

Any night can be a night at the movies with the best home theater projectors

Are you sick and tired of those cumbersome big screen TVs? Don’t want to spend big for a huge TV? These home theater projectors will bring you that big screen experience without breaking the bank.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.
Home Theater

Apple’s show time event: A whiplash-inducing bundle of copycat services

Apple unleashed a barrage of news, streaming, and gaming bundles at its latest event aimed at boosting its services and adding more revenue. But while the services are big on celebrities, they appear short on innovation.
Home Theater

All three of LG’s new soundbars will be available before summer

LG finally announced pricing and availability to the three soundbars it announced at CES 2019. They will come out in April or May of this year (depending on the model) and will retail between $400 and $1,300.
Home Theater

IKEA reveals new photos of its Symfonisk Sonos speakers

Ahead of the official launch scheduled for April 9, IKEA has released two new photos of its upcoming Symfonisk line of wireless home speakers, which the Swedish furniture company has created in cooperation with Sonos.
Home Theater

Samsung’s new soundbars adjust settings to onscreen content in real time

Home theater soundbars may be a dime a dozen these days, but that doesn't mean they can't add something new to the experience. Samsung's new HW-Q70R and Q60R can automatically change settings to match what's happening onscreen.
Home Theater

Need true wireless earbuds? Apple’s last-gen AirPods are discounted on Amazon

Just as anticipated, Apple's last-generation AirPods, which feature much of the same technology as the recently announced model, are getting discounted on Amazon. If you've been looking for a pair, now is the time to buy.