Allen & Heath ZED 12FX Vs. Behringer X Air XR12: Compared And Rated

Choosing the right mixer when there are so many on the market these days isn't easy.
Especially when many of them are built for one specific need but being marketed as an all-rounder 🙄
But not to worry, I've got ya!
I have taken a deep dive into two beasts in the audio-mixing game and gone head to head with them: Allen & Heath ZED 12FX vs. Behringer X Air XR12.

We're looking at things like:

  • Sound Quality: This is the heart of the matter, right? How each mixer holds up in delivering crisp, clear audio. Are we talking about a mixer that makes your tracks sound like they're live from the garage, or are we hitting studio-quality sound?
  • Ease of Use: Nobody wants to spend hours figuring out which button does what. I’ll break down the user interface of both Allen & Heath ZED 12FX and Behringer X Air XR12. Are they plug-and-play easy, or will you need a PhD in mixology to use them?
  • Features and Functions: Ie. What's under the hood? Let's find out what sets them apart.
  • Durability: No matter your reason for buying, you want something that's gonna last, not fall apart after a few light sessions.
  • Price Point: Yep, money talks. When it comes to prices, we need to see which mixer gives us more bang for our buck. Is the higher price of one justified by its features, or is the other a hidden gem at a bargain price?
  • Customer Reviews and Feedback: What's the word on the street? Sometimes real-world use tells a different story than what the sales page says.

Allen & Heath ZED-12FX

After using the Allen & Heath ZED12FX for about six months, I think it's a solid piece of gear, especially for those transitioning from basic to more advanced mixing needs. The sound quality is notably clean and clear, making it a reliable choice for both studio and live environments. Working with it, I've found that the preamps deliver a crystal-clear sound, and there’s an impressive amount of gain available, which is a step up from some lower-priced mixers I've used in the past.

Learning Curve and Usability

Although the mixer is fairly user-friendly, I believe beginners might find it a bit challenging at first, mainly due to the underwhelming instruction manual. It's more about trial and error unless you're already familiar with mixers. However, once you get the hang of it, the layout and controls become intuitive. The faders and knobs are smooth and responsive, adding to the overall ease of use.

Effects and Features

The ZED12FX stands out for its effects. The range and quality are commendable for a mixer in this class. It adds significant value, especially if you're into experimenting with different sound textures. However, the dedicated send and returns being 1/8 jacks is a bit puzzling. It's an odd choice considering the rest of the board adheres to industry standards. This might limit some traditional uses, but it's not a deal-breaker.

Reliability Concerns

One of the downsides I've noticed is the question of long-term reliability. I've heard about issues like pre-amps failing just after the warranty period, which can be a major concern if you're planning to use this mixer heavily. While I haven't faced this issue personally, it's something to keep in mind.

Overall Experience

In terms of overall experience, the Allen & Heath ZED12FX has mostly been a positive journey. The sound quality, ease of use (once you get past the learning curve), and the additional effects make it a worthy investment for someone looking to upgrade from a basic setup. Just be wary of the potential long-term reliability issues and ensure you have a backup plan in place.

Behringer X Air XR12

From Basic to Advanced: A User's Transition

I think the Behringer XR12 is a game-changer, especially for those who are transitioning from basic mixers like the Behringer Q802USB to a more advanced digital format. There's definitely a learning curve, but plenty of online tutorials and resources help smooth the transition.

Device Compatibility and App Integration

In my experience, the XR12's compatibility with various platforms is a huge plus. The XAIR app works seamlessly on both Linux and Android, which I find super convenient. It's great to have versatile control options across different devices.

Enhanced Sound Quality and Features

One aspect I absolutely love about the XR12 is the superior sound quality. The built-in stereo effects, gates, compression, and EQ significantly enhance the audio output. I think the MIDAS Preamp contributes a lot to this improvement. Also, the USB recording capability is top-notch, perfect for rehearsals or live performance reviews.

Advanced Sound Routing

The XR12's sound routing capabilities are seriously impressive. It allows for individualized mixes for each band member, which is a big deal in group settings. The ability to create these mixes through buses and aux channels without affecting the main mix is pretty cool. Plus, the mobile app integration for on-the-fly mixing adds a layer of convenience.

Choosing the Right Model: XR12 vs. XR16

When considering the XR12, I think it's important to assess your specific needs. While the XR12 offers a lot, the XR16 might be a better fit for those needing more flexibility, especially with monitor mixes, despite the higher cost.

Final Assessment

Overall, I'd say the Behringer XR12 is an excellent choice for anyone looking to step up their audio game. The combination of superior sound quality, flexible routing options, and cross-platform compatibility makes it a valuable asset in both live and studio settings.

Head 2 Head: Allen & Heath ZED 12FX or Behringer X Air XR12

Allen & Heath ZED12FX: The Analog Mixing Console for the Aspiring Sound Engineer

The Allen & Heath ZED12FX is a proverbial knight in shining armor for those transitioning from basic to more advanced studio gear. This analog mixer delivers a sound quality that's as pure as freshly fallen snow, making it ideal for both home studio setups and live sound environments. The preamps on this mixing console are like a crystal-clear mountain spring; they deliver an abundant flow of gain that outshines many lower-priced USB mixers.

The Learning Curve and User Experience

As with any sophisticated piece of recording equipment, the ZED12FX requires a bit of patience. The instruction manual is about as useful as a chocolate teapot, so mastering this sound engineering beast is more about trial and error unless you're already familiar with mixers. But don't worry, it's not rocket science! Once you've done your time in the trenches, the layout becomes second nature, and the faders and knobs move smoother than Fred Astaire on a dance floor.

A Symphony of Effects

The ZED12FX doesn't just play in the effects field; it owns it. The range and quality of effects available are akin to an all-you-can-eat buffet for the ears. However, there's an oddball in this symphony: the send and returns being 1/8 jacks instead of sticking to industry standards is like serving caviar with ketchup – just doesn't make sense. But hey, no one's perfect!

Reliability: A Potential Achilles' Heel

There have been whispers in the audio world about long-term reliability concerns with the ZED12FX. Some users have reported preamps failing just after the warranty period, which is as welcome as a porcupine at a balloon party if you're planning to use this mixer heavily. It's like a lottery – you might get lucky, or you might not.

Behringer X Air XR12: A Digital Mixer for the Modern Age

The Behringer X Air XR12 is more than just an upgrade from your basic USB mixer; it's like stepping into a time machine and emerging in an advanced digital audio interface era. This digital mixer serves as a fantastic bridge for those transitioning from analog mixers to the sleek world of digital.

Compatibility and Integration: Welcome to The Future

This recording equipment gets along with devices like they are old pals. The XAIR app plays nice with both Linux and Android, making it a versatile audio companion for your various gadgets.

The Sonic Superpowers

The XR12 uses its built-in stereo effects, gates, compression, and EQ to flex its sonic muscles. The sound quality delivered by this audio interface is so good it could make a seasoned sound engineer weak in the knees. Plus, the USB recording capability is as reliable as a Swiss watch – perfect for capturing those creative sparks during rehearsals or live performances.

Advanced Sound Routing: Personal Mixes for All!

The XR12's routing capabilities are like having your personal sound engineer on hand. You can create individual mixes for each band member without messing up the main mix – no more fighting over who gets more bass!

The Final Showdown: Allen & Heath ZED 12FX vs Behringer X Air XR12

Both the Allen & Heath ZED12FX and Behringer X Air XR12 offer compelling reasons to join their fan clubs. They both provide exceptional sound quality, versatility, and advanced features that make them standout pieces of studio gear.

However, after comparing the two like a judge at a chili cook-off, the clear winner here is the Behringer X Air XR12. This digital mixer steals the limelight, thanks to its superior sound quality, flexible routing options, cross-platform compatibility, and a robust set of features that put it on par with high-end recording equipment. It's like getting a gourmet meal at fast-food prices – seriously good value for money. Whether you're setting up a home studio or managing live sound at gigs, the XR12 is your reliable sidekick for stellar audio results.