The 10 Best DJ Laptop Stands
This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in February of 2016. If you're a touring DJ, getting your equipment securely in place for a gig is half the battle. If you want to be ready to rock the house, take a look at these laptop stands. For those who travel light, smaller models will hold just your computer, while bigger options have room for turntables or CDJs, and more. No matter what venue you're working in, this list has you covered. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 17, 2021:
It was a relatively effortless round of updates for us, as all of our previous picks still looked to be great choices for this category, leaving us with no real need to make any new inclusions or omissions. We noticed that the Pyle PLPTS25 was ranked higher than its upgraded pick, the Pyle PLPTS35, which seemed counterintuitive, so we thought of switching their placements up, but after noting that the only major differentiator separating them was an additional bracket for a tablet, which we didn’t view as being particularly useful in context, we decided to leave things as they were, favoring the PLPTS25 for its rock-bottom price.
For further DJ gear, you might be interested in checking out our lists headphones, mixers and controllers. And, for further stage-show solutions, you might be interested in checking out our rankings for DJ lights, laser stage lighting and fog machines.
February 05, 2020:
During this round of updates, we replaced the Onstage LPT5000 with the affordably-priced Pyle PLPTS25, and we added the Sound Town Road Case STMR-14UWT as a heavy-duty option, recognizing that many deejays double as light and audio professionals that are responsible for hauling a lot of gear to the party. We also eliminated the Pyle Pro PLPTS3 and Ultimate Support JSLPT400S, since our selections already featured superior options of similar styles, and added the Fat Toad Double – a unit with a tandem design that works well for situations that require two deejays to share the stage.
A few things to look for as you shop:
Portability: While this consideration might be a low priority for club and venue owners, for the travelling deejay it’s paramount. Most of our selections for this category feature some sort of collapsing design, which is helpful when it comes to transportation, but some take things a step further – like the Pyle PLPTS35 and Crane Hardware Plus Universal that come with their own travel bag, or the Sound Town Road Case STMR-14UWT that has four castors integrated into its design, so you can pack up and roll it right to your next gig.
Capacity: This consideration is twofold.
Firstly, the width of a given model's computer platform is worth taking note of. While options that use forks to support laptops dominate this category, the way larger computers hang an inch or two over the edge on either side has always made me nervous. Sure, intoxicated patrons shouldn’t be crowding you while you work, but we all know that isn’t always the case, and it only takes one perfect-storm accident for somebody to tip that laptop off its perch and send it plummeting to its peril. All this goes to say that you should take the time to pick a stand with properly-spaced forks that’ll adequately support your computer. Or, choose an offering like the Samson LTS50 that features a sufficiently-wide, slip-resistant silicone platform.
Secondly, if you’re shopping for a stand that’s supposed to support your laptop plus some additional gear – say a mixer, controller or decks – make sure you pick one with an adequate maximum-load rating. The last thing you want is wobbly gear. The Fat Toad Double has a notable 75-pound maximum load, while others like the Pyle PLPTS38 and Pyle PLPTS25 can handle considerably less weight – 33 pounds and 44 pounds, respectively.
Versatility: If this stand's only purpose in life is to hold up that laptop while it’s running Serato, then order an inexpensive option like the Pyle PLPTS25 and call it a day. But if your road kit’s a bit more elaborate, and you’re transporting your own decks and even additional audio equipment, check out options like the Odyssey FZF3336BL Deluxe that can support a coffin case and features a built-in facade, or the Sound Town Road Case STMR-14UWT that packs up into a neat road case but expands to feature a sizeable side table.
A Brief History Of The Art Of Mixing
Before then, parties were soundtracked exclusively by live music, or not at all.
The term "disc jockey" dates back to the early days of radio, when it was used to describe the role of on-air music selectors. While it didn't appear in print until 1941, the phrase was commonly used on-air in the 1930s, most notably by American radio personality Walter Winchell in describing his fellow announcer Martin Block, who rose to fame for playing popular tunes over the airwaves.
Though early DJs were simply those who played recorded music to an audience, the term evolved over the course of the 20th century to describe a more specific art and style. While one can still get away with identifying as a DJ simply by playing multiple songs of any recorded format back to back, the term is most often used today to describe those who can mix one track into the next.
Mixing is the skill the separates the DJs from the regular folk, especially now that almost everyone has their own music library, whether digital or physical. Mixing itself is thought to have been invented by the British radio DJ Jimmy Savile in 1947, when he used two turntables at once to enable continuous playback from one record to the next. He is also credited with inventing the DJ dance party in 1943. Before then, parties were soundtracked exclusively by live music, or not at all.
The same year Savile developed a mixing technique with two turntables, the world's first discotheque, called Whiskey á Go-Go, opened in Paris. A profitable alternative to live music venues, the trend spread quickly across Europe and throughout the rest of the world, necessitating the proliferation of local DJs everywhere.
A pair of DJ turntables is usually connected to a machine called a channel mixer. These allow you to start and stop a record, fine-tune playback speed, and adjust the pitch and volume levels of various elements of each input signal. While the ability to mix vinyl records on turntables is still considered the mark of a skilled DJ, the musical formats-of-choice have changed over time, and new mixing technologies have come into play.
Of course, it is possible to DJ without a mixer, but most setups, including those contained entirely within a computer, rely on them for precision and accuracy. The mixers available for use today with more contemporary formats like CDs and digital files often have a breadth of advanced features built-in, though their function remains largely the same. With such sophisticated technologies available at many jockeys' fingertips, the art of mixing has evolved to include techniques like live-looping, sampling, and more. External mixers used with laptop setups are typically called controllers.
How To Incorporate A Laptop Into Your DJ Setup
There are a variety of roles that computers can play in any given DJ ecosystem. For today's beginners in the field, a laptop is often the starting point for their setup. Conveniently, there are a wealth of options to make computers self-sufficient in this arena, so that those just starting out don't need to commit to buying additional equipment right away.
Once you get great at using a controller, the next step is to learn how to remove the laptop from your setup altogether.
The key to DJing off a laptop lies in software. Whether you choose Serato, Virtual DJ, Traktor, Ableton Live, Rekordbox, or any one of the many other options, what works best is different for everyone. When choosing a software for your live setup, consider your comfort level, the features you need, and, of course, the price point. These programs range in price considerably, so your final decision is likely to have a lot to do with your budget.
A good pair of headphones will also help you improve both your look and your mixing abilities. Your headphones act as your in-booth monitors when DJing live by allowing you to hear each channel of your mix separately, even as they play through the speakers together in real time.
Standalone laptop DJ setups tend to appear amateurish, though some skilled technicians can do just as much with a good piece of software as they can with much more elaborate equipment. That being said, if you're trying to appear more professional or need more tactical control than your computer's trackpad and keyboard allow, it's a good idea to invest in a controller. These devices connect to your laptop and usually act as the direct input for a PA system. A controller allows you to use physical knobs, sliders, and buttons to fine-tune your tracks and blends with precision, and many incorporate sampling pads, hot cues, and looping functions, as well.
Once you get great at using a controller, the next step is to learn how to remove the laptop from your setup altogether. It seems counterintuitive, I know, but the prejudice against laptop DJs is real. Once you've mastered CDJs, the equipment regarded as standard in most clubs and venues today, the only thing you'll need your laptop for is selecting tracks for your next set.
What To Look For In A DJ Laptop Stand
What kind of stand you need for your laptop depends heavily on how you like to DJ. If, for example, you do most of your work on the laptop itself, you should look for a stand that can support the weight of your computer with the added pressure from your fingers as you perform.
And of course, if you're constantly moving between environments, it's a good idea to invest in a stand that's adaptable to a wide range of positions.
If using a controller, you probably won't be touching your laptop all that much during your set. As a result, the most important quality of a laptop stand should be its ability to keep your computer elevated and out of the way, as well as in the right position so you have access to the information you need as you go.
It's also important to consider how a given stand will work in a variety of performance environments. If you're mostly DJing off of low tables at weddings and picnics, you'll benefit from a stand with a good amount of height to it. If you're mostly using proper DJ booths, something shorter may suit you just fine. And of course, if you're constantly moving between environments, it's a good idea to invest in a stand that's adaptable to a wide range of positions.