Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX Vs. PreSonus StudioLive AR12c: 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 AR12c.

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 AR12c. 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 AR12c

Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer: In-Depth Review After Extensive Use

Initial Impressions and Functionality

After over two years of using the Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer, I've got a lot to share. Initially, this mixer impressed with its robust features – SD recording, Bluetooth connectivity, and the abundance of free software it comes with. The multi-track software, particularly useful for recording and editing, adds significant value. Its form factor and features like the microphone preamps and USB-C connectivity seemed promising for a range of applications – from music production to podcasting.

Performance and Reliability Issues

Short Lifespan and Quality Concerns

The major downside, however, has been the mixer's reliability. It worked flawlessly for a period, but after 2.5 years, it abruptly stopped working. This was particularly frustrating as the mixer was handled with care and never subjected to any rough use. The lack of durability for a high-end piece of equipment is a significant drawback, especially considering the cost of repair, which can run into hundreds of dollars.

Customer Service Experience

Lack of Support and Warranty Concerns

My experience with customer service was less than satisfactory. When the mixer failed, I reached out, only to be told that it was out of warranty. While this is technically true, the expectation for a quality mixer to last beyond 2.5 years is reasonable. The company's approach to customer service and their unwillingness to provide support or reasonable repair options is a major red flag.

Sound Quality and Features

Excellent Audio but Some Limitations

On the positive side, the mixer's sound quality is excellent when it works. The microphone preamps, while needing to be turned up high for certain mics, provide clear and crisp audio. The multi-track capabilities are user-friendly and the mixer is fairly easy to navigate, even for those new to audio equipment. The inclusion of SD card recording and Bluetooth adds to its versatility, although the SD recording could benefit from more informative display features.

Form Factor and Build

Good Design with Some Build Quality Issues

The mixer's form factor is appealing – it's compact and fits well in various setups. However, the build quality seems to be a concern given the longevity issues I've experienced. The unit feels sturdy initially, but the internal components may not be as reliable.

Overall Experience

Mixed Feelings Due to Reliability Issues

In summary, while the Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer offers a range of impressive features and excellent sound quality, its reliability is a major concern. The poor customer service and the mixer's short lifespan significantly overshadow its initial appeal. For those considering this mixer, it's crucial to weigh these factors. The possibility of encountering similar issues and the lack of support from Presonus might be deal-breakers for many potential buyers.

Head 2 Head: Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX or PreSonus StudioLive AR12c

Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX: A Sonic Triumph

Unbelievable Sound Quality, Unmatched Versatility
The Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX is a standout audio interface, delivering sound quality that'll have you grinning from ear to ear. It shines in its versatility, proving itself to be an ideal sidekick for podcasting, voice-over work, and video production. The 24-bit audio support ensures a low noise floor and a broad dynamic range, which is music to any audiophile's ears.

A Workhorse With Extra Horsepower
The ZEDi-10FX is not just your regular workhorse; it's a workhorse with extra horsepower under the hood. Its 4×4 USB connectivity feature is worth every penny. However, it does fall short in areas like individual channel mutes and channel faders. But let's be honest here – for home studios and small live setups, those are more like ‘nice-to-haves' than ‘must-haves'.

Presonus StudioLive AR12C: A Mixed Bag of Surprises

Promising On Paper But Lacks Durability In Practice
The Presonus StudioLive AR12C comes across as a promising digital mixer on paper – robust features, SD recording capability, Bluetooth connectivity. However, it seems the mixer has been more of an unreliable accomplice than a trusty sidekick. The lifespan complaints are particularly concerning for anyone who views their mixing console as a long-term investment.

Customer Service Experience Left Much To Be Desired
It seems the AR12C might not be the best choice for those who appreciate a good customer service experience. The lack of support and warranty concerns could be significant deal-breakers for potential buyers. However, it's worth noting that not all experiences are created equal, and your mileage may vary.

Great Sound Quality But Marred By Longevity Issues
When it comes to sound quality, the Presonus StudioLive AR12C certainly holds its ground. The audio quality is top-notch, with clear and crisp audio from the microphone preamps. But a live sound setup or studio recording session can quickly turn sour if reliability issues surface.

Drum Roll, Please…The Winner Is…

The Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX!
When push comes to shove, the Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX takes the crown in this faceoff. This compact audio interface emerges as the clear winner thanks to its exceptional sound quality and versatility. It might have some quirks with USB routing and subjective sound quality experiences but it more than makes up for these with its superb performance in various applications.

The ZEDi-10FX is best suited for anyone who values high-quality audio equipment that delivers reliable performance in home studios, small live setups, podcasting or streaming scenarios.

The Presonus StudioLive AR12C puts up a good fight with its impressive features and excellent sound quality but unfortunately falls short due to reliability issues and less-than-stellar customer service experiences. It may still be a viable option for those willing to gamble on their luck with longevity or those who don't foresee needing much customer support.

In this battle of mixing console titans, remember – your specific needs and preferences will ultimately dictate your choice. After all, audio equipment is as personal as the music you make with it!