Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX Vs. Presonus StudioLive 1602: 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 ZEDi 10FX vs. Presonus StudioLive 1602.

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 ZEDi 10FX and Presonus StudioLive 1602. 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 ZEDi-10FX

Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB

After having a little play around with the Studio Live 16 from PreSonus, here's my verdict:

Setup and Software Integration

Straight out of the box, the setup was a breeze. There are tons of YouTube tutorials available that make configuring individual channels for various inputs like mics, drums, and guitars pretty straightforward. The recording software, Studio One, is a gem – intuitive and powerful. I even upgraded to the professional version because of a sweet 50% off deal they were running, and I'm glad I did.

Sound Quality and Recording Capabilities

The sound quality, both live and recorded, is top-notch. There's a certain accuracy in playback that makes the live music sound just as it's being played. The mixer does a great job in capturing the essence of live performance without any loss in sound quality.

Customer Support: A Mixed Bag

While I personally didn't run into major issues, I've heard some chatter about PreSonus' customer support being a hit or miss. One user mentioned an issue with warranty support on a unit just 45 days old, which is concerning. It seems like your experience might vary depending on the problem at hand.

User-Friendliness and Learning Curve

For beginners, this board and the accompanying DAW are a godsend. They're easy to learn and use. Even if you're at an intermediate level, like me, you'll find the Studio Live 16 to be quite adaptable. You can record jam sessions, concerts, and even phone calls with ease.

Remote Access and Portability

A standout feature is the ability to control the mixer remotely via a laptop and router, which adds a layer of convenience, especially in live settings. However, some users might find this setup a bit cumbersome, as it requires extra gear (laptop and router) for remote access.

Overall Experience

Overall, the Studio Live 16 is a great piece of equipment for semi-pro studios, small churches, and clubs. Its integration with Studio One DAW is seamless, and the mixer itself offers a great range of features. However, the learning curve can be a bit steep, especially if you're transitioning from analog to digital, and the remote access setup might not be ideal for everyone.

In short, if you're looking for a digital mixer that feels somewhat analog, has scene-saving capabilities, and offers remote access (with a bit of setup), the Studio Live 16 could be a solid choice. Just keep in mind the potential support issues and the learning curve involved.

Head 2 Head: Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX or Presonus StudioLive 1602

Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX: A Sound Investment

Step right up, folks! Allow me to introduce you to the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX. This audio interface doubles as a USB mixer and will have your home studio recording sounding better than ever. Let's talk sound quality. The ZEDi-10FX is the Beyoncé of mixers; it'll leave your jaw on the floor with its performance. It's like the difference between listening to music on your phone's speaker versus a high-end sound system.

The connectivity options are nothing short of impressive, whether you're running a podcast, doing voice-over work, or producing videos. You'll find it has enough inputs/outputs for all your devices. Notably, this digital mixer shines in its 4×4 USB connectivity – something that elevates it from the competition.

ZEDi-10FX: A Solid Choice for Home Studios

Despite its small stature, this analog mixer can punch way above its weight class thanks to its built-in effects/plugins and mixing capabilities. However, like every superhero with their quirks (looking at you, Hulk), the ZEDi-10FX has some hiccups when it comes to USB routing on iOS devices. But hey, no one is perfect!

A Peek at Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB

Now let's shift gears and take a gander at Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB – another heavyweight contender in the mixing console arena.

Straight out of the box, this digital mixer wins points for ease of setup and software integration with Studio One DAW – an intuitive recording interface that makes even beginners feel like seasoned pros. The sound quality of StudioLive 16.0.2 is top-tier, accurately capturing the essence of live performances for live sound reinforcement.

Presonus: A Mixed Bag of Features

While the Presonus shines in many areas, it's a bit like a chocolate box; you never know what you're going to get. Some users have had less than stellar experiences with customer support, and the learning curve can be steep if you're transitioning from an analog setup.

And the Winner Is…

*Drumroll please*… The winner in this head-to-head comparison between the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX and Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB is Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX.

Despite its few quirks, the ZEDi-10FX delivers exceptional sound quality, versatility, and user-friendly features that make it a standout choice for home studios and personal use alike. It offers solid preamps, low noise levels, and handy connectivity options that seal its position as numero uno.

Don't get me wrong; the Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB is a solid piece of kit too – especially with its remote access feature – but when it comes to overall value for money and performance, Allen & Heath takes home the gold this time around.

So there you have it! Whether you're podcasting from your bedroom or recording your band's next big hit, remember: with great power (and an awesome mixer) comes great responsibility (to make some seriously good audio).