Best Audio Mixer Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide
If you’ve gotten tired of searching the internet and analyzing all the audio mixers reviews, this quick guide will help you find the best audio mixer out there. Our team took the time to have a look at all the most popular models and after intense consideration, we found out the TCHelicon GoXLR Mini Mixer & USB Audio Interface is the device that would help you in any situation. It comes with some great preamps that will give you an additional 70dB of sound boost when needed. Furthermore, it’s a great device to record live audio while streaming. It’s hard to find something as easier to install as this one, and this will cost you precious moments, especially when you’re getting ready for a live performance. If you are unable to find our first mentioned mixer, have a look for the Behringer Xenyx 1202fx Ultravoice Xm8500.
Our Top Choice
This model features some impressive preamps that are capable of offering good sound volume. It has all the features needed for performant live streaming. It is one of the easiest mixers to set up - in a couple of minutes you have it installed and ready to go.
The mixer freezes and it may have some issues with certain types of software.
A highly versatile device, this one will be able to let you perform admirably whether you’re a streamer or a person looking to play some live music with a band. This mixer offers you everything you need.
The preamps used for this mixer have high headroom and they can give an impressive dynamic range of 130dB. The bandwidth is from 10hZ to 200 kHz, which is more than enough for most applications. With this mixer, you will feel that the microphones sound great.
It would have been nicer for this mixer to come with instructions that are easier to understand.
With 4 onboard microphone preamps and the British EQ that many desire, this mixer is great for live performances and for helping you in your process of music editing. It comes with many useful effects for that purpose.
Also To Consider
The design of this product is an intuitive one and that proves useful for beginners. It offers plenty of options for any application that you might have, as you can redirect the Aux to improve the sound or blend all the signals together. 48V of phantom power make it a great tool.
Plugging all the inputs and mixing them together produces a humming sound.
Capable of delivering the analog experience you would want from a product like this, this mixer comes with a rugged build and an impressive number of features that provide you with a flexible sound.
10 Best Audio Mixers (Updated Reviews) in 2021
Looking through all the best audio mixers we realized that it’s a hard task to pick one specific one. They all come with different functions, and many of them are good at what they do. In every audio mixers review there is a piece of subjectivity, but here are our top preferred mixers.
- 1. TCHelicon GoXLR Mini Mixer & USB Audio Interface
- 2. Behringer Xenyx 1202fx Ultravoice Xm8500
- 3. Mackie Mix Series Mix8 8Channel Mixer
- 4. Pyle Pmxu88bt 8Channel Bluetooth Studio Audio Mixer
- 5. Maker Hart Loop Mixer
- 6. Yamaha Mg10xu 10Input Stereo Mixer
- 7. Behringer Xenyx 802 Premium 8Input 2Bus Mixer
- 8. Audio2000’S Amx7303 Professional Four Channel Audio Mixer
- 9. Yamaha Mg06x 6Input Compact Stereo Mixer
- 10. Xtuga A4 4Channels Audio Mixer
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions:
1. TCHelicon GoXLR Mini Mixer & USB Audio Interface
If you are looking for a product made by a company with a long history in creating professional audio equipment, this mixer from TC-Helicon is right on your alley. This product has been designed for streamers that wanted to have something easy to use, a mixer that can combine the sound coming from the game audio, the chat, and mic monitoring, and something that can be set up without any hassle.
More than that, this mixer can give you the confidence to sound good in front of a live audience. The reason for that is based on some great MIDAS preamps, renowned in the industry for how silent they are and the performance they can deliver.
Because preamps are the ingredient that connects the interface with the software of the PC, it is important that they are as good as possible. Otherwise, they hiss and the sound is annoying.
With the preamps present in this device, you can also get additional 70dB of sound boost.
You can use this mixer to record live audio that has a quality of 24-bit/96kHz, which is more than you would ever need for live gaming performances.
What’s interesting about this mixer is that it offers the user the possibility to individually split each output. You can wire the Mic, Chat, Music, Game, System, and others independently.
Even if the device you’re using with the mixer (PC or Mac) crushes, the mix itself will still be there on the mixer.
Setting this thing up takes almost no time. Plugging in a mic and then setting the dials is an easy task that most people should be able to do.
It seems that the mixer has some issues with some types of software. It sometimes freezes, it doesn’t show a blue screen, but it just doesn’t respond anymore.Buy from Amazon.com
2. Behringer Xenyx 1202fx Ultravoice Xm8500
Allowing you to achieve premium-quality sound without any effort, this compact mixer comes with 4 onboard microphone preamps. It offers you the classic British channel EQ that has been popular for a while. It also comes with the performant Behringer FX processor that has a dual engine and offers 100 different presets.
You can have reverb, delay, pitch shifts, flanger, chorus effects, and many others. For that reason, this one is a versatile mixer, and it’s a great choice for live performances where you need all of those effects. If you don’t want all those effects you can bypass them when you connect an external source.
Because the British consoles of the ‘60s and ‘70s changed the world forever, it is almost a must that a mixer like this has that sound into it. Based on the same circuitry, the channel EQ present on this device should give you the warmth and musical character of those decades.
The microphone preamps that come with a high headroom can be praised by any audio engineer working with them.
You get an impressive 130dB of dynamic range with this mixer and its preamps, and a bandwidth extending from below 10hZ to over 200kHz. That’s a lot of room for any kind of application.
Behringer audio mixers can give one the impression that the microphones are better than they actually are, that’s how clear the sound is.
You can apply the multitude of effects to any channel, as well as any kind of output or monitor.
The built-in FX processor can be bypassed if you have some other effects of your own that you want to use.
The instructions on how to use the device aren’t clear at all, and you will have to do a thorough search on the internet to find out how to operate it.Buy from Amazon.com
3. Mackie Mix Series Mix8 8Channel Mixer
Much like many other Mackie mixers, this one is a device that can give you a reliable analog experience and will be able to deliver great sonics, in a rugged build. This specific mixer has been created with the intention to help those that want something convenient and low profile to mix a few signals.
It’s a basic mixer that can be used in live or studio situations, and it offers versatility through simplicity. You will be able to have eight channels through a mono out and stereo return auxiliary. Although not up to the level of premium Mackie mixers, the mic preamps are still studio quality and capable of giving a good sound.
In terms of design, this device is a straightforward one, with the channel configuration featuring two mic strips and two line stereo strips. The mixer offers 3-band EQ on all of the channels, although input gain is only available on 2 of the inputs.
You have a straightforward design with this device and it’s all intuitive.
Despite being so simple and fast, the mixer offers enough flexibility.
You can choose to redirect the Aux to improve the sound of a solo device or you can blend it in a mono mic signal.
The mixer comes with its own phantom power of 48V, so you don’t have to worry about that.
It works well with headphones as it can augment the stereo output going to them via separate controls.
The mic preamps are of good enough quality to make a good impression in the studio.
You get 3-band EQ on all of the channels, and that allows for even more control over the end sound.
When you plug in more inputs and then listen to all of them through headphones, you hear some distortion that appears when all the sounds are combined.Buy from Amazon.com
4. Pyle Pmxu88bt 8Channel Bluetooth Studio Audio Mixer
The PMXU88BT mixer from Pyle is the kind of device that you can use for any kind of professional applications, from studio recording to live performances. It’s got a soundcard that can be accessed via USB and the audio interface it provides will allow you to connect the device to a PC or Mac.
Furthermore, it’s the device you want to have if you need universal audio file compatibility. Beginners should be able to get the hang of how to use this mixer once they experiment a bit. The device also comes with Bluetooth that can be used for wireless streaming, or as an input method. With 15 feet of range, it’s enough to let you control it from across the room.
To make things more intuitive to use, the mixer has rotary knobs that give you a better feel of how they work, but the device also comes with LED indicator lights to show you what’s going on.
Because it operates on phantom power, the mixer comes with its own 48V of power supply, including a power adapter cable.
You can connect multiple devices to this one, as it has 8 channels that can be used separately, or mixed between them when the user wants it.
Giving you the possibility to connect to it via Bluetooth, this mixer gives you a bit of freedom of movement. That’s great when you are in the studio and need to hear the sounds from a certain spot.
With 4 XLR microphone inputs, this mixer is great for live vocal performances, or for many other activities where more mics are needed.
It also comes with a headphone jack that can make things a lot easier for you when you’re in the studio.
Although it is connectable to PCs and Macs, you will have to purchase the USB chords yourself. Furthermore, make sure you’re getting the right ones.Buy from Amazon.com
5. Maker Hart Loop Mixer
Multi-taskers that like to use multiple devices at the same time will be pleased to work with this device as it offers the precise settings needed for that whether you use it at home or in the studio. It’s the kind of device that you can use for many purposes, from playing music on it to using it for video games, to watch TV, or even have it reproduce the notifications that come from your laptop or phone.
There are 5 plugins that you can use for connecting this mixer to as many devices as possible and having 3.5mm jacks for input and output, you can do that with almost any device. It’s a mixer compatible with headphones, but you can also connect it to a sound system or a recording device.
This device can help you whether you’re a professional looking for something lightweight, or a beginner DJ that wants to use something simple.
This mixer will come with the versatility you need in any situation. With the Loop Bus Cables, it allows you to link up to multiple devices and loop each of them for an awesome sound.
It is a great solution for bands and groups as it can allow for the sound to be mixed with minimum feedback and echo.
You can use the mixer for almost any purpose, from live performances to studio mixing, or even for conference calls, radio stations or webcasts.
The device comes with a 9V AC adapter which you can use to amplify the signal level. You don’t have to fear that the Mic or Line levels have to suffer from reduced volume.
With this mixer, you can record, output, and monitor everything at the same time.
When the sounds get quiet or the volume is reduced, you get a constant humming. This might be caused by faulty wirings.Buy from Amazon.com
6. Yamaha Mg10xu 10Input Stereo Mixer
Being one of the best-known brands in the industry, Yamaha is always capable of producing the greatest equipment, and the quality in this device is proof of that. This model is part of the third mixer series created by the brand and it has been created with the purpose of having an excellent design.
Incorporating some of the same technologies found in high-end expensive models, it comes with professional studio-quality preamps, rugged construction, and a powerful digital processing system. Thanks to Yamaha’s experience in the music gear segment, the device benefits from 3-band equalizers on all the mono channels.
Using this machine is an intuitive thing to do thanks to the easy-to-use interface. Because the quality of the sound is given by the preamps, the preamps in this model use an inverted Darlington circuit with 2 cascading transistors. This should give more power and lower impedance.
To allow for more precise control over your sound, this mixer offers 3-band EQ on all the mono channels.
What’s interesting is that you also get a high-pass filter that allows users to eliminate the unwanted low-frequency sounds that cause noises. The result is a smooth sound.
Usually, mastering compression units is a difficult task, but with this one, you can alter the level of dynamics and improve the audio with relative ease.
Yamaha audio mixers can be used for a variety of functions, from live performance to non-musical applications, and that is partially thanks to the performant effects processing unit.
With so many effects to choose from thanks to the SPX digital processor, you can enhance your mix by adding depth to it in different ways.
The setup of this device is rather complicated and the same can be said about most aspects of the interface.Buy from Amazon.com
7. Behringer Xenyx 802 Premium 8Input 2Bus Mixer
This premium model from Behringer has everything needed to transform a small venue in an amazing show. It’s a good tool for solo gigs in small bars, but it’s also versatile enough to be used in other applications such as public announcements where you need some mics with good sound.
The mixer comes with 8 inputs – 2 for mics, 2 stereos, and the rest of them Aux returns. These will allow you to achieve premium-quality sounds, but most importantly, the phantom-powered mic preamps will make sure everything sounds crisp clear. You also get the classic British channel EQ, which brings the old voice of the 1960s and ‘70s.
These XENYX preamps are capable of offering 130dB of dynamic range and a bandwidth that gets from as low as 10 Hz to above 200 kHz. This is why the sounds are so pure and for the inexperienced listener, it may seem like you are using the most performant microphones.
The high-headroom XENYX mic preamps are good for everyone looking for something that delivers a great, crystal clear sound.
British consoles of the ‘60s and ‘70s can be heard thanks to the channel EQ on this mixer, which is based on the same circuitry.
Even if you decide to pump the volume to the max and play with the equalizers a lot, the mixer will still provide great audio quality.
The station comes with 48V phantom power of itself, and that means you can use up to 2 condenser microphones at the same time.
You get a total of 8 inputs, 2 of which are used for microphones. This should give you the flexibility to do anything you want.
For some reason, if you use a wireless mouse, this will interfere with the mixer and cause a constant humming. Even when you use a normal mouse, some humming may still appear.Buy from Amazon.com
8. Audio2000’S Amx7303 Professional Four Channel Audio Mixer
Professionals looking for something that can do it all should have a serious look at this mixer. It only has 4 channels, but all of them use a three-band equalizer for the best musical performance and sound quality. Thanks to the Digital Signal Proceeding processor built into the mixer, the device is capable of receiving live signals and transforming them instantly into digital information.
Playback is made in an analog format, meaning that the digital signal is transformed again. Coming with 2 microphone inputs, this device allows two people to make themselves heard at the same time. There is also a stereo line input that can be used with any format.
Using the USB input you can connect this mixer to a laptop so you can play your setlist from there. However, there is no output specially made for this purpose, and as a result, you can’t use the USB for recording purposes.
You can control all of this mixer’s 4 channels with separate knobs for effect, peak, auxiliary, and pan. This means you can set each of them to the best configuration for you.
When you get the mixer, everything is sealed so that dust and dirt are kept away and you can use it in pristine shape.
It comes with a strong and flexible steel chassis that will be good against accidents, keeping the components safe.
Despite being so strong, the mixer still manages to maintain a small weight, so you don’t have to put too much pressure on your muscles when carrying it.
The built-in DSP (Digital Signal Proceeding) is something that sets this device apart from others – it will let you do a lot of things with live signals.
You have no output for recording when you are using a USB input, and that means you are limited on only listening to USB connected devices.Buy from Amazon.com
9. Yamaha Mg06x 6Input Compact Stereo Mixer
Yamaha is a brand known for its reliable instruments and the ability to make an impact in the music world, and this mixer from them is something that proves why the brand is so well-known. First of all, the mixer will give you some of the most reliable EQ, at least compared to other similar models.
All mono channels come with 3-band equalizers, which allows for precise control of the music you are producing. You also get a high-pass filter that will make your mix a smoother one as it can get rid of the low-frequency noise.
It is the kind of mixer that can pack a punch and it will help you if you want more powerful guitar sounds, punchier bass lines, snares that feel just right, or simply a clean vocal sound. Making this happen is done with the help of compressors that alter the dynamics levels.
Built for all kinds of purposes, this mixer can be used for musical and non-musical applications, and the effects processor will help you no matter how you use it.
The SPX digital processor is capable of providing multiple effects, from adding more depth to your mix with a series of changes to adding more atmosphere into a live performance.
This mixer comes with newly-designed and custom made high-quality circuitry and op-amps that should provide the best sound possible.
With compressors that let you change the dynamic levels, you can make everything sound more powerful and even clearer.
The mixer has 6 input channels, which allows for enough versatility in most situations.
You get 3-band EQ control over all the mono channels, and this will help you precisely set the sound how you want.
Microphones tend to have too much static noise with this mixer, probably because of faulty circuitry. It’s not the best mixer for recording.Buy from Amazon.com
10. Xtuga A4 4Channels Audio Mixer
Suitable for all kinds of users, this simple mixer can easily be connected to most devices. You can use the USB port to connect it to a laptop or PC, or even a phone. It also comes with an XLR plug for the same purpose. This console has 4 channels, which may not sound like much, but it’s enough for most purposes.
There are two mono channels, one stereo tape one, and there is also an AUX main output. The equalizer is 2-band, allowing for enough customization of the sound. The device can be powered by USB or battery. It has its own 48V phantom power that can be used for condenser mics.
You can record with this mixer using different options, either through your computer directly or by connecting an instrument or microphone. It also has incorporated Bluetooth with a maximum working signal radius of 26 feet.
Being powered either by a power bank or through a USB port, this device is one that allows you to use it where you need it the most.
It’s a compact and lightweight mixer that provides enough control over your mix.
In terms of connectivity, it offers 4 ports (including USB ones), and Bluetooth connectivity that lets you record everything you want.
The mixer even comes with some small effects which should help you add a bit of soul to your mix – delay and repeat.
With the stereo input jack, you can connect line instruments – electronic keyboards or other pieces of equipment.
When using a Mac, the USB connection is a faulty one and that will result in noise, especially when using phantom-powered microphones.
It is mainly made to be used with a computer or a similar device, and that means you will always have to carry a laptop with you, even for the smallest tasks.Buy from Amazon.com
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Professional audio mixers can cost thousands of dollars, and if you’re in the industry you will need to invest in that. However, you can find affordable audio mixers that still do a decent job for a smaller price. This guide will teach you more about the different types of mixers and how to choose the best one for you.
Being used to blend the audio signals coming from musical instruments, microphones and sometimes other devices, the mixer gets all these signals and sends them in a combined and polished output signal. You can use a mixer to send sounds to a set of loudspeakers or to a recording system.
There are different types of mixers that you need to know about when you want to buy one. A basic PA system works like this: sound travels from microphones and instruments directly to the mixer and then to the speakers. The three types of mixers are the following: analog, powered analog, and digital mixers. Of course, they each come with pros and cons.
Depending on the purpose you have for the mixer, you should choose wisely. Analog models are the best choice for live performances and sound, and they also do well in recording situations. In a mixer like this, there is a control for each of the functions. This allows for elaborate and fast adjustments, but only if you know what you’re doing.
Such an analog mixer will cost less than a digital one, but you don’t get the automatic processes that might help you. Furthermore, cheap audio mixers don’t come with programmability that can give more options in complex shows. Of course, you can’t control them with the help of wireless remotes or anything like that.
You won’t find many analog devices with a myriad of effects. Most of them are basic because effects are hard to reproduce with a device like this. If you want more effects you will have to buy some extra equipment.
The difference between an analog mixer and a powered one is the built-in amplification. While mixers are sometimes heavy devices, powered models are compact and portable. They are also fairly easy to set up and use. Working with non-powered PA speakers, these mixers usually have 2 amp channels.
They don’t have that much power, however, only being able to power two main speakers or a setup formed of a speaker and a monitor. Usually coming with line-level outputs, powered pro audio mixers let you add more powered monitors and speakers to the setup.
The advantage of these mixers is that you don’t have to get around with separate amps every time you perform. On the flip side, you don’t get many features or too much output power.
Thanks to the technology present in them, these mixers are capable of delivering the widest range of control capabilities. These mixers will let you recollect setups, save them, which is an essential part of the work of most musicians and engineers. You don’t want to lose your work. During specific shows, this is also a great tool to quickly make adjustments to your mix.
Furthermore, a digital audio mixer allows for control from afar, and that means it comes with wireless remote controls or Bluetooth connectivity. Mixing on your tablet can always be fun when you’re the kind of person that likes to sit comfortably or walk around the room when creating.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How does an audio mixer work?
The main purpose of an audio mixer is to take two or more signals, mix them together (the reason why it’s called a mixer), and then output the signal in different forms. When somebody uses the mixer it’s like it becomes the audio conductor of an orchestra formed of the inputs coming into the mixer.
Good digital audio mixers will let you control everything in a signal, and that should give you the possibility to transform simple sounds into complex music, or even abstract art if you want that. An audio engineer can take the signal coming into the audio mixer, filter it how he or she wants, adjust its levels, and use effects to obtain the desired end output.
Mixers nowadays are digitally enhanced and they offer many more possibilities. You can now use some small mixers to do the work that some big machines did a while back.
Q: How do I set up an audio mixer?
If it’s the first time you’re in front of a mixer, start by turning down all the volumes and inputs. Connect your audio inputs next – XLR cables are usually used for microphones, while the headphone jack is used for a computer. There are mixers with only 4 sources, and those are a bit limiting, but you can work around that.
If you’re not using a computer, don’t forget to plug a pair of headphones into the corresponding jack. Otherwise, if you’re using speakers, connect those; the important thing is to be able to monitor your audio. Begin everything by slowly rising the volume levels and testing them. If you have a microphone start with that, and try to stay below ¾ of the maximum volume capacity.
Once you have a good level for your first mic or instrument, finish by setting up the others, always checking them against each other.
Q: Is a mixer necessary for recording?
You don’t really need audio mixers for recording purposes. For most people, it’s something that makes things easier, or they’re used doing it this way, but it’s not a necessity. Mixers have a set of functions that they can serve, from receiving signals and combining them, to let you control each individual level, and then outputting that signal.
A mixer doesn’t have a standard number of inputs and outputs, and when working with multiple instruments and voices, you might need to record everything separately to get to a final recorded mix. And where does all that separately recorded information go? Usually on a computer.
But computers can also support DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) that basically do some of the same jobs as the mixer: record, edit, and produce sound files. That being said, if you have a means of recording on a computer, you don’t need a physical mixer.