Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX vs. Roland VR 1HD AV: 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. Roland VR 1HD AV.

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 Roland VR 1HD AV. 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

Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer

I tested the Roland Video Switcher with audio capabilities for about a month, and here's my verdict: it's a compact powerhouse perfect for those tight on space but needing a robust video and audio solution.

Set-Up and Input Flexibility

Setting it up was a bit of a learning curve, but once I got the hang of it, the switcher's functionality was impressive. I connected a DSLR, a camcorder, and my laptop as input devices, alongside a 32GB storage device for still images and wave files. The lack of internal storage is a minor drawback, as all images and audio are stored on the external drive. Another minor hiccup is the need for images to be in Windows Bitmap File (.bmp) format, which requires a bit of extra work in conversion.

File Compatibility and Storage Tips

I encountered issues with a 128GB stick, but resizing BMP files to smaller than the maximum 1920 x 1200 pixels helped. Also, converting MP3 or MP4 files to wave format using Audacity or iTunes was necessary – a bit outdated, but manageable. It's a bit odd to still be using wave files in today's digital age, but overall, it didn't hamper the experience too much.

Streaming Capabilities and Support

A notable downside is that Roland doesn't include the USB A to B 3.0 cable needed for streaming, so be prepared to buy one separately. The setup is excellent for enhancing Zoom meetings or similar applications. However, don't expect to master it immediately – it requires some practice before using it for critical projects.

Reliability in Various Settings

The switcher has proven itself in different environments. From church services to educational settings, it's been reliable and easy to use. The build quality is solid, and the ease of streaming video and sound is commendable. However, there have been some issues post-software update, with the mixer crashing during live streams, which is something to watch out for.

Customer Support and Overall Satisfaction

When I faced connectivity issues with my iMac, product support was helpful in resolving them. Despite a few initial hurdles, I'm enjoying the switcher a lot. The ability to upload custom sound files and music adds a personal touch to the output.

Overall, this Roland Video Switcher is a great tool for anyone needing a compact, yet feature-rich, video and audio mixing solution. It's versatile, though it comes with a few quirks that require some workaround. But once you're past the learning curve, it opens up a world of creative possibilities.

Head 2 Head: Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX or Roland VR 1HD AV

Spinning the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX

With the ZEDi-10FX, Allen & Heath have delivered an audio mixer that's a champ in sound quality, with support for 24-bit audio, a low noise floor, and clean preamps. Live streaming your band's performance or recording voice-overs for your YouTube channel? The ZEDi-10FX has got you covered. I mean, who doesn't love a bit of echo-free conference call action in their home office, right? The USB interface is solid too – although it can be a tad quirky with iOS devices and throws some confusing curves with its audio output routing into the FX channel. But hey, nobody said audio recording was straightforward!

The Jack-of-all-trades: Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer

Now let's talk about the Roland VR-1HD AV. This video mixer might seem compact but don't let its compact design fool you – it's like the Swiss Army knife of video and audio mixing solutions! The setup may give you a bit of an initial headache but once you've got it down pat, it'll transform your studio setup into a live performance powerhouse. The only minor bummer is that it doesn't include the necessary USB A to B 3.0 cable for streaming.

It also seems to be stuck in a bit of an old-school rut when it comes to file compatibility and storage – requiring wave files and .bmp images on an external drive isn't exactly what I'd call “cutting edge”. Nonetheless, once you've figured out these quirks (and there are plenty of online tutorials to help), there are oceans of creative possibilities at your fingertips.

So Who Takes Home the Gold?

While both mixers are fantastic in their own right, there can only be one winner. Drumroll please…the winner is the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX.

The ZEDi-10FX's exceptional sound quality, versatility and user-friendly nature make it the clear choice for a range of applications – from podcasting and voice-over to video production work. It may lack some high-end features such as individual channel mutes and faders, but these are minor drawbacks when considering its stellar performance in other areas. The ZEDi-10FX delivers tremendous value with great features making it a perfect choice for home studios, small live setups, podcasting or streaming.

The Roland VR-1HD AV is no slouch either. Its video mixing capabilities make it a robust offering for live streaming. However, its quirks with file compatibility and storage combined with the additional purchase of a USB cable give the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX the edge in this head-to-head.

So whether you're gearing up for your next live performance or setting up your home studio for some serious audio recording sessions, you won't go wrong with our champ – the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX.