- To store your music collection, a portable USB flash drive is a must-have for your DJing success.
- You’ll find these USBs reliable, portable, and lightweight.
- Find the right USB storage device, and never worry about your music files again.
Every DJ and music enthusiast needs an external storage drive to store music, and working DJs know how valuable a good USB drive is.
Though USB sticks may seem trivial, having a reliable USB storage solution in your setup means you have one less worry weighing you down as you perform.
Will These USBs Work With All CDJs?
The USBs mentioned in this article will work with modern CDJs that you’ll find in most clubs and venues. However, some high storage (above 32GB) USB 3.0 (and above) sticks may run into issues with older CDJ models.
If you are receiving the dreaded “E-3806” error with your USB, this is likely due to you using an older CDJ version manufactured before USB 3.0 became a thing. Unfortunately, backward compatibility is an issue with very old CDJ models.
Pioneer clarifies this in a forum post:
“Manufacturers are known to change the memory controller chip per availability or cost, and as a result, there is always a chance that a drive may not be compatible with the player host chipset.”
If you are using old CDJs, such as the CDJ-350, or foresee yourself playing at a gig that only has old CDJs available, stick to something like the SanDisk 32GB.
What Are The Best USB Sticks/Storage For DJs?
Here are our recommendations for the best USBs for DJs:
- SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO (Our Pick)
- Corsair CMFSS3B-64GB Flash Survivor Stealth
- Samsung BAR Plus 64GB
- SanDisk Extreme Go 64GB
- SanDisk 32GB Cruzer Force Flash Drive (Best For Older CDJ Models)
- Samsung MUF-BA 64 GB 3.0 Memory Bar USB Flash Drive
- Kingston Technology 64 GB DataTraveler
Please note that some DJ gear may not support USB sticks over 32GB, so check the manual before buying one.
1. SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO (Our Pick)
The SanDisk Extreme Go drive lets you access and move huge files fast so you don’t have to slow down.
- Super-fast solid state performance
- Aluminum metal casing prevents wear and tear
- Sophisticated design
- Fast transfer of music and 4k video
- The aluminum metal casing prevents wear and tear
- SanDisk SecureAccess encryption software protects critical files
- Easily recover deleted files with RescuePRO Deluxe data recovery software
- Backward-compatibility USB 2.0 and 3.0
The SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO Solid State Flash Drive delivers super-fast solid state performance. This is arguably the best USB stick for DJs.
Its dark aluminum casing and recessed SanDisk logo are attractive. The stick’s connector is a black strip running through the middle, and the drive features a lever action on the top that extends and retracts.
Although this drive is intended for USB 3.1 Gen 1, it also works in older USB 2.0 ports.
The SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO is a hard-shelled USB stick that offers the same storage space as a Solid State Drive.
Its fast read and write speeds (up to 380 MB/s) make it easy to manage large files, including 4K videos and music. Its backward compatibility means it will work on a wide range of devices.
2. Corsair CMFSS3B-64GB Flash Survivor Stealth
The Flash Survivor Stealth USB 3.0 flash drives help keep your music safe, with its anodized, aircraft-grade aluminum housing that is waterproof to 200 meters, vibration-resistant, and shock-resistant.
- Military-style data transfer
- 64 GB Storage Capacity
- Rugged and protective
- Storage capacity: 64 GB
- Hardware interface: USB 3.0
- Compatible with major OS, no driver or software installation needed.
- Military-style data transfer
If you’re looking for a rugged and protective USB flash drive, you’ve come to the right place.
The Corsair CMFSS3B-64GB Flash Survivor Stealth USB 3.0 flash drive is a great way to protect important files. This rugged, aircraft-grade aluminum drive is water-resistant to 200 meters, and is shock and vibration resistant.
It also features an integrated USB charging port and is very easy to operate, even in busy club environments when the pressure is on.
The Flash Survivor Stealth is equipped with a military-style housing made from aircraft-grade aluminum.
It features a USB 3.0 interface and is backward compatible with USB 2.0. It’s available in 64GB and 32GB capacities. It’s compatible with the latest versions of Windows, Mac OS, and Linux Kernel 2.4.2.
It’s a perfect option for DJs who want a hard drive with extreme capabilities.
3. Samsung BAR Plus 64GB
A modern take on a classic. The next generation Bar Plus elevates the flash drive to an everyday essential, offering impressive speeds in a striking design.
- The perfect blend of style, reliability, and speed
- Designed for easy portability
- Packed with great features
- File transfer speeds: up to 300MB/s
- Store your videos, music, and files
- Metal casing with key ring protects the device
- Waterproof, shockproof, x-ray proof, etc.
- USB 3.1 with backward compatibility (3.0, 2.0)
- Storage capacity: 64 GB
The next-generation Samsung BAR Plus elevates the flash drive to a modern essential with blazing speed and striking design.
Designed to fit your hand perfectly, the sleek, metal unibody is a perfect blend of style, reliability, and speed. It’s packed with great features, which might qualify it as the best USB drive for DJs who don’t mind paying a bit more.
The Bar Plus is an impressive USB 3.1 flash drive with 300 MB/s of read speed. It supports the latest USB 3.1 standard, which allows for maximum file transfer speeds. This read speed makes it great for transferring files to and from computers.
This means that you can send a 3GB/4K UHD video file within 10 seconds, no matter how large the file. Designed for easy portability, the BAR+ is an excellent choice for those who need a high-speed drive. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just need a quick storage solution, the BAR+ is the perfect companion.
4. SanDisk Extreme Go 64GB
With write speeds of up to 150MB/s, the SanDisk Extreme Go USB 3.1 Flash Drive lets you quickly copy and go.
- Can transfer 5 gigabytes per second!
- 64GB storage capacity
- Super-fast USB 3.2 interface with backward-compatibility
- Protect critical files with SanDisk SecureAccess encryption software.
- Premium metal design makes it portable
- Storage capacity: 64 GB
The SanDisk Extreme Go USB 3.1 Flash Drive comes with a respectable 150MB/s write speed. That’s 18X faster than standard USB 2.0 drives! Keep in mind that the best USB for DJs doesn’t need to be fancy – as long as it can serve you, then you should go for it.
So if you’re doing a lot of recording or working with multichannel audio, this drive will be able to handle a lot of instruments recording at once.
This drive will work with Windows, and Mac OS and comes with a software suite called SecureAccess. The SanDisk Extreme Go is backward compatible with both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports.
The drive’s read and write speeds are similar to those of the benchmark, and
5. SanDisk 32GB Cruzer Force Flash Drive (Best For Older CDJ Models)
The SanDisk Glide USB 2.0 Flash Drive moves your files fast. Spend less time waiting to transfer files and enjoy high-speed performance.
- Portable and lightweight
- Sleek design
- Portable and lightweight for easy transportation
- USB 3.0 read speed – 130MB/s with backward-compatibility
- USB drive supports Windows OS and Mac.
- Reliable Five Pack USB flash drives
- Storage capacity: 32 GB
You can store and access all your files quickly and easily with this SanDisk USB storage device.
The Cruzer Force USB flash drive is a stylish, large storage device with sturdy metal housing. If you’re looking for the best USB drive for DJs, you may want to consider this.
The drive is safe and reliable in sizes ranging from 8 to 64 GB. It also includes SanDisk’s Secure Folders software, which lets you create and access encrypted folders to keep sensitive information secure.
This durable USB flash drive is perfect for securing important files. Its large storage capacity and metal casing make it an ideal choice for storing large files.
The device also comes with SanDisk SecureAccess software, which lets you create password-protected and encrypted folders.
The drive’s sleek design makes it a perfect choice for everyday use and is great for travelers. Whether you’re looking to store music and other files, this drive is built to last.
6. Samsung MUF-BA 64 GB 3.0 Memory Bar USB Flash Drive
The Samsung USB 3.0 Flash Drive features a high-quality metal casing for added durability, and a streamlined, ergonomically designed body for easier, more natural use and grip.
- Made from high-quality metal
- Super-fast USB 3.0
- X-ray proof and shockproof
- USB flash uses the NAND Flash Technology
- It’s waterproof, shockproof, temp proof, etc.
- Super-fast USB 3.0 for quick file transfer
- 0 to 60 degrees Celsius operating temp.
- Storage capacity: 32 GB
- Durable metal casing with a key ring prevents loss
The Bar Plus is the next-generation USB stick from Samsung.
If you are looking for the best USB drive for DJs or a USB stick, you should consider the Samsung MUF-BA 64 GB 3.0-Memory Bar. This flash drive is capable of fast read and write speeds and offers a stunning design.
You will appreciate its durability, which is made of high-quality plastic. In addition, it features an IP68 rating, making it waterproof, shockproof, and temperature-proof. It’s also X-ray proof, reassuring for DJs who travel a lot.
This flash drive is made from high-quality metal. Its design makes it easy to carry around and fits in your hand. It has impressive read and write speeds and supports the latest USB 3.1 standard. It can transfer a 3GB 4K UHD video file in 14 seconds!
7. Kingston Technology 64 GB DataTraveler
- The ultra-small metal case protects from wear and tear
- Storage capacity: 64 GB
- USB 3.1 speeds with backward-compatibility
- Expanded storage for tablets, notebooks, etc.
- Read Speed: 100 Megabytes Per Second.
The DataTraveler SE9 is a small, stylish USB flash drive from Kingston Technology.
The USB 3.0 compliant DT100G3 by Kingston Technology offers convenient, sleek storage and transfer solution and is compatible with digital devices, newer notebooks, and desktop PCs.
The device features a compact, cost-effective design and a large 64GB capacity. Users can expect to use the DT100G3 for a long time to come. It features a capless design and ultra-compact form factor. Its compact design makes for easy storage in a bag or pocket, making it an ideal travel accessory.
Whether you’re looking for a USB 3.0 flash drive for personal use, or to backup your files for travel, the DataTraveler SE9 G2 is a perfect choice.
Here, we’ll answer some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) relevant to USBs for DJs. This will help you narrow down the best USB drive for your setup.
Is USB 3.0 Best?
USB 3.0 is better than 2.0 because it allows for faster transfer speeds. However, not every drive will utilize this. That’s why other key factors like the speed of the flash memory inside the drive matter.
What Size (MB/GB) USB do You Need for DJing?
The USB drive storage space required solely depends on the needs of the DJ. A 16 GB flash drive can hold 1500 – 1700 songs. If you largely work within one genre, then you may not need more space than 16 GB. But if you’re into wedding/mobile DJ, you may need at least 64 GB just to be safe.
What Speed USB Do You Need for DJing?
Most MP3 files are less than 10MB, meaning that even a USB 2.0 transfer speed of 60MB/s will have you covered easily. If you are having trouble reading files off your USB drive in time, then it’s quite possible faulty and in need of replacement.
What Are the Major Challenges With USBs for DJs?
USB storage drives aren’t perfect. They can have issues along the way – such as software incompatibilities, formatting errors, and even hardware and file malfunctioning.
You should be careful when choosing a USB flash drive as a DJ. Since USB drives can break down or develop faults when you most need them, choosing the right ones is essential.
Overheating is a major factor, and even some popular USB flash drive brands experience overheating. To some DJs, overheating is commonplace. Because they may be playing in the hot DJ booth and warm club environments. But you need to make sure your USB drive can take the heat!
What To Look For In A USB For DJing?
Here are some key factors to look out for when choosing a DJ USB storage device:
- Storage: Make sure you choose a USB drive with adequate storage space. If you need to have a lot of songs on have, you’re looking at a drive that’s at least 64GB in size.
- DJ software access: How easily the drive fits into your RekordBox, Traktor, or Serato DJ setup. If the drive shows up in these programs and works well, it’s a good sign.
- CDJ Compatible: The best USB stick for DJs should be CDJ compatible. Most DJs can’t do without a CDJ system. If that’s the case, a USB flash drive can easily house your RekordBox playlists and your music library.
Do All USBs Work With CDJs?
Not all USB flash drives are suitable for use with CDJs. Hence, it’s essential to choose a USB storage device that supports your digital music player for DJing, and it should offer more than enough storage to fit your entire set.
Generally speaking, a USB formatted for Mac or Windows operating systems should work fine on most CDJs. If you encounter a USB drive that doesn’t work, try formatting it on your computer or the CDJs if possible. Even though you will lose whatever is on there, once it’s formatted, it should work fine in the future, assuming the drive itself isn’t faulty.