Best USB Drives for DJing:Reliable & High-Performance Storage

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Want a quick answer? here are the best USB drives for Djing in 2024:

Samsung BAR Plus

This compact flash drive offers up to 256GB of storage and impressive read speeds of up to 400MB/s, significantly reducing the time you spend waiting on file transfers. With a tough metal body designed to resist water, shock, and extreme temperatures.
best price

corsair flash voyager gtx 3.1 premium

Designed to meet the rigorous demands of avid data users and tech enthusiasts, this high-end flash drive provides up to 1TB of storage and boasts extraordinary read and write speeds of up to 440MB/s and 440MB/s, respectively, making it one of the fastest USB drives on the market
Best quality

SanDisk 128GB Extreme

Built for speed and crafted for durability, the SanDisk 128GB Extreme drive boasts exceptional read and write speeds up to 420MB/s and 380MB/s, respectively, enabling rapid file transfers and efficient workflow.
Best speed

People are always asking us which USB drives to use for CDJs/Rekordbox, as well as which SSDs to purchase, and we have some insights to share on that.

Today in DJ Techvibe we’ve observed that young DJs often focus on the Read speed of USB sticks, which might not seem like an essential factor to worry about. Reading WAVs to four separate media players doesn’t typically max out USB drives, unless they are quite outdated.

Write speed, however, is crucial. If you need to add a few last-minute songs to your set, or if your USB drive was unsafely removed and you need to rewrite it quickly, every second counts.

In this article, we will discuss USB drives (and some SSDs) that we know operate smoothly and at high speeds in Rekordbox and on most, if not all, CDJs.

We conducted research online (primarily on Reddit) to determine which USB drives DJs commonly use.

Best USB Drives for DJing

We discovered 128 people discussing USBs for CDJs and Rekordbox.

Our picks for 5 of the best USB sticks for DJs:
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro.
  • Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth
  •  Kingston DataTraveler
  •  Corsair flash voyager gtx 3.1 premium
  •  Samsung BAR Plus 

1. Kingston DataTraveler

Product Overview:

The Kingston DataTraveler is a renowned USB flash drive that offers a reliable and convenient solution for data storage and transfer.

It features a compact design with a durable metal casing that protects it from physical damage, ensuring your data remains safe in various environments. With capacities ranging from 16GB to 2TB, the DataTraveler provides ample space for documents, media files, and backup applications.


  • High-Speed Transfers: Equipped with USB 3.2 technology, the Kingston DataTraveler offers quick read and write speeds, making file transfers efficient and time-saving.
  • Robust Design: The solid metal casing not only gives it a sleek, professional look but also makes it highly durable and resistant to everyday wear and tear.
  • Versatile Capacity Options: Available in a wide range of capacities, allowing users to choose the perfect size for their specific storage needs.


  • Size and Design: While compact, the metallic casing can be slippery, which might make it easy to drop.
  • Performance Variation: Speeds may vary based on the USB port and the operating system used, which could affect performance expectations.

The Kingston DataTraveler is more than just a USB drive; it is a dependable tool for managing and transferring digital data efficiently. Ideal for users who need fast access to their files without compromising on security or durability, this flash drive delivers high performance packaged in a sleek, durable design.

2. Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 3.1 Premium

Product Overview:

The Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 3.1 Premium is a high-performance USB flash drive designed for tech enthusiasts and professionals who demand the best in speed and durability.

Equipped with USB 3.1 technology, the Flash Voyager GTX offers blazing-fast read and write speeds of up to 440MB/s, dramatically reducing transfer times and enhancing productivity. It is compatible with both USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB 3.0 ports, providing broad system compatibility. Available in capacities up to 1TB, it offers ample space for everything from detailed graphics files to expansive video collections.


  • Exceptional Speed: With read and write speeds up to 440MB/s, the Flash Voyager GTX significantly cuts down on file transfer times.
  • High Capacity Storage: Offers up to 1TB of storage, making it perfect for large files and comprehensive backups.
  • Durable Construction: Features a durable zinc-alloy casing that protects the drive from physical damage and data loss.


  • Premium Price: The high-performance specifications and durability come at a premium price, making it an investment compared to standard USB drives.
  • Size: Slightly larger and bulkier than typical USB flash drives, which might be a consideration for users with limited space or those who prefer a more compact device.
  • Power Consumption: High transfer speeds may require more power, possibly draining laptop batteries faster when used extensively.


The Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 3.1 Premium USB drive is more than just a storage device; it is a powerful tool for those who need to move large amounts of data quickly and securely. Ideal for professionals in fields like video production, photography, and software development, this drive provides not only top-tier performance but also reliability and durability

3. SanDisk Extreme Pro

Product Overview:

The SanDisk Extreme Pro USB drive is engineered for speed and performance, catering to professionals who need quick and reliable data transfer.

his USB 3.2 Gen 1 drive stands out for its outstanding speed, high durability, and sleek design, making it a top choice for those who require efficient workflow capabilities. With transfer speeds reaching up to 420MB/s read and 380MB/s write, the SanDisk Extreme Pro ensures that large files, such as high-resolution photos, 4K videos, and large databases, are transferred swiftly and securely.


  • Blazing Fast Speeds: With up to 420MB/s read and 380MB/s write speeds, the SanDisk Extreme Pro dramatically reduces waiting times, enhancing productivity.
  • Robust Security Features: Includes encryption and password protection to secure your files, making it ideal for transporting sensitive information.
  • High Durability: The tough aluminum casing ensures the drive can handle everyday wear and tear, making it suitable for demanding environments.


  • Premium Pricing: The high speed and security features come with a higher price tag, which may be a consideration for budget-conscious users.
  • Limited Compatibility: While it works excellently with newer systems, older computers with USB 2.0 ports may not take full advantage of the drive’s speed capabilities.


The SanDisk Extreme Pro USB drive is an essential tool for professionals and tech enthusiasts who demand the highest standards in speed, security, and storage capacity. Its exceptional performance is particularly advantageous for DJs, who require rapid access to large music files and seamless playback. The robust security features also provide peace of mind, as DJs often travel with their music libraries and need assurance that their work is protected.

4. Samsung BAR Plus

Product Overview:

The Samsung BAR Plus USB drive is a standout in the realm of portable data storage, offering impressive speeds and exceptional durability in a sleek package. Ideal for professionals and consumers alike, this drive features advanced V-NAND technology, allowing for fast read speeds up to 400MB/s, significantly reducing the time you spend transferring files. Its compact form factor is encased in a sturdy, metal body designed to withstand the elements.


  • High-Speed Data Transfer: Achieves read speeds of up to 400MB/s, enabling quick file access and efficient workflow.
  • Durability: The metal casing is water, shock, temperature, and magnet proof, offering reliable protection against environmental factors.
  • Compact and Stylish: The sleek, streamlined design not only looks good but also includes practical features like a key ring hole for enhanced portability.


  • Write Speeds: While read speeds are excellent, write speeds might not match up, which could be a slight drawback for users needing equally fast write operations.
  • Limited Color Options: Available primarily in standard metallic colors, which might not appeal to users looking for more personalization.
  • Pricing: Given its high performance and durability, the Samsung BAR Plus is priced higher than some other USB drives, which might be a consideration for budget-sensitive buyers.


The Samsung BAR Plus USB drive is a superb choice for professionals who demand top performance, especially DJs who need to manage extensive music files swiftly and reliably. Its quick data access is crucial for seamless performance during live DJ sets, and the robust build ensures that the drive can handle the rigors of travel and frequent use

5. Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 128GB

Product Overview:

The Corsair Flash Survivor USB drive is a marvel of durability and performance, designed specifically for users who need rugged, secure data storage that can withstand extreme conditions.

Whether you’re a field researcher, adventurer, or a professional DJ, the Flash Survivor stands up to the challenges of environmental hazards and physical stress.

It supports USB 3.0 technology, allowing for high-speed data transfer with read speeds up to 130MB/s and write speeds up to 115MB/s.


  • Extreme Durability: Crafted from hard-anodized aircraft-grade aluminum, it offers exceptional toughness and water resistance up to 200 meters.
  • Fast Data Transfer: Supports USB 3.0 for quick file access and efficient data management.
  • Large Storage Capacity: Available in sizes up to 256GB, making it suitable for substantial data needs.


  • Bulkier Design: The protective casing makes it larger and heavier than typical USB flash drives, which might not be ideal for those preferring a more compact device.
  • Price Point: Due to its specialized construction and features, it is priced higher than standard USB drives.
  • Limited Speed Compared to Latest Models: While fast, its speeds are not as high as some newer USB 3.1 drives on the market.


The Corsair Flash Survivor USB drive is an exceptional choice for professionals and enthusiasts who require a robust storage solution that can endure extreme conditions. Its sturdy build and efficient performance make it especially suitable for DJs who often work in challenging environments and need to rely on their equipment to perform without fail. With its high-capacity storage and speedy data transfer capabilities, the Flash Survivor is more than just a USB drive; it’s a critical piece of equipment for anyone who values data security and durability in the toughest situations.

What to Consider When Buying a USB for DJing?

Is there anything other than capacity that differentiates one USB drive from another?

Speed is the most crucial aspect of USB drives, though it’s often misunderstood.

Why is speed so important?

Interestingly, it’s not just for playback. Playing WAV or AIF files simultaneously on three media players from one USB drive requires less than 1 MB per second read speed, which virtually any USB stick can handle.

However, a faster read speed significantly enhances the responsiveness of CDJs or XDJs when scanning and searching for songs.

Furthermore, efficient USB processing speed is critical if you want to avoid spending hours transferring tracks from Rekordbox to your drive.

As of 2022, there are four USB standards you’ll encounter: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1, and USB 3.2. Each has a theoretical maximum speed, but labeling alone doesn’t accurately reflect real-world performance.

For instance, when we first tested the XDJ-XZ with some USB 3.0 drives, thinking that pairing them with a laptop with USB 3.0 ports would yield fast results, we were mistaken. They were slower than an older, cheaper USB 2.0 SanDisk previously used for general purposes, which was quite surprising.

So, how do you determine which USB drive is truly fast? We typically recommend purchasing USB and SSD drives directly from Amazon and not from third-party sellers. On the product pages, you can often find CrystalDiskMark tests in the reviews, providing a rough indication of the USB drive’s actual speed. CrystalDiskMark is a free program for Windows if you want to check your existing media, and for MacBook users, the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test is available.

SD card is also an option to consider

SD cards are also an option to consider for CDJs and XDJs. The best SD cards typically start with at least Class 10 or UHS-I Speed Class 1. While these might be slightly more expensive, they are often worth the investment because they are not only faster but also safer.

While 128GB is generally sufficient, we decided to test a SanDisk 256GB SD card. The speeds are decent, and we were pleased to find that most CDJs handle a large number of tracks well, accommodating up to 20,000 mp3 files. Although we typically use SanDisk, this card impressed us with its durability, lasting over two years of regular use.

Devices like the CDJ-2000 Nexus and XDJ-XZ feature SD card slots, which adds convenience. An SD card’s direct insertion into the device makes it more secure against theft or accidental dislodging. Additionally, during DJ changeovers, SD card slots are often available, which simplifies the process.

We still carry USB drives as not all CDJs support SD cards. However, given the choice, we prefer using an SD card.

It’s worth considering SD cards if you frequently use high-end CDJs, as they offer both performance and practical benefits.

Last thoughts

In conclusion, whether you choose USB drives or SD cards, selecting the right storage device is crucial for DJs who demand quick access and reliable performance. Speed, durability, and security are key factors when choosing media that can handle extensive libraries and ensure smooth playback during live sets.

USB drives and SD cards both offer unique advantages, but understanding their specifications and how they match with your equipment is vital.

With the right product, you can enhance your DJing experience, reduce setup times, and ensure your music is always ready when you are.

For those looking to optimize their performance setups, researching the best USB for DJing is an essential step.


Opt for reputable brands like SanDisk, Corsair, Kingston, and Samsung, which offer fast read/write speeds to ensure that exporting your Rekordbox playlists is as smooth and efficient as possible. Avoid novelty thumb drives from promotional campaigns, as they often do not meet the performance requirements needed for DJ use.

Format your USB drive to FAT32 before your session to ensure compatibility across all Pioneer CDJs. Remember, formatting will erase all data on the USB, so be sure to back up everything first! FAT32 is the only file system universally supported by Pioneer CDJs. After backing up, export your tracks from your laptop to the USB stick using Rekordbox.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced DJ, USB drives are essential! Even if you primarily use a laptop for your sets, having a USB loaded with tunes is invaluable as a backup. We strongly recommend investing in high-speed USB 3.0 memory sticks for their fast transfer capabilities and reliability.

About the author

Karl Schuster
Karl Schuster

An esteemed figure in the DJ and technology realm, based in Berlin, Germany. Armed with extensive experience on the decks and a deep-rooted passion for innovation, Karl is a co-founder of DJ Techvibe. His visionary leadership aims to redefine the DJ equipment landscape, offering cutting-edge solutions for discerning DJs. With a wealth of expertise and an unwavering dedication to the craft.