Behringer Wing Vs. Mackie 1402VLZ4: 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: Behringer Wing vs. Mackie 1402VLZ4.

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 Behringer Wing and Mackie 1402VLZ4. 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.

Behringer Wing

Coming from a traditional manual mixing background, the initial setup of this digital beast was a bit overwhelming. It's a whole different ballgame, but thanks to some helpful online resources (shoutout to Drew Brashler on YouTube), I managed to navigate through most of its functionalities.

Transition from Analog to Digital

Transitioning from an analog mixer like the Behringer Xenyx 2442 to the WING was like stepping into the future. The digital scribble strip is a game-changer – say goodbye to masking tape and markers. And the ability to save settings on a USB stick is pure gold. No more panicking over messed-up settings; just reboot and you're back in business.

Connectivity and Remote Control

Pairing it with the Behringer SD16 stagebox expanded our setup, making it perfect for our medium-sized church. The mixer's wifi control capability is super handy, though I'd recommend using a tablet over a phone for a better experience. It's a lifesaver for live mixing or for bands wanting to make demos without breaking the bank.

Recording and Expansion Options

The USB interface for DAW integration is slick. But, if you're serious about multi-track recording, consider getting the X-Live SD expansion card. Yes, it's an extra expense, but being able to record all 32 channels simultaneously for virtual soundchecks is invaluable, especially for fine-tuning mixes.

Learning Curve and User Experience

There's definitely a steep learning curve, especially if digital mixers are new to you. But the control and convenience you get with digital are unmatched. The mixer's flexibility in routing, multiple outputs, and sound shaping tools like EQ, gates, and compressors are just mind-blowing.

Build and Portability

The mixer feels sturdy and reliable. It's surprisingly portable for its capabilities, making it a great choice for on-the-road gigs or permanent installation. I do recommend getting a solid flight case for it if you're traveling, or a Decksaver cover for permanent setups – it's worth the investment for protection.
Final Thoughts

Overall, the Behringer WING is an absolute beast that offers outstanding value for its price. The flexibility, sound quality, and range of features it packs are phenomenal for a mixer in this price range. Whether you're running a church service, a small band, or even a home studio, this mixer has got you covered. Just be prepared to invest some time in learning its ins and outs.

Mackie 1402VLZ4

I'll be honest, I only bought the Mackie 1402VLZ4, a 14-channel compact mixer, to test it out and review, but here's what I think…

First Impressions

Right out of the box, the mixer's design caught my eye. It's sleek and not as bulky as some of its counterparts, making it a good fit for smaller spaces. The build, however, felt a bit different compared to the older VLZ3 models. The glide knobs, for instance, seemed a bit on the cheaper side. Despite this, the sound quality didn't disappoint. It's that clear, crisp Mackie output I've come to expect from their mixers.

Usability and Features

Functionally, this mixer does its job well. The monitor mix setup is simple and intuitive. Especially useful was the way the first monitor mix worked with the monitor master and the second with the slider control. This distinction is great for managing different vocalists or instruments. The mixer’s sound is good and quiet, which is a plus for recording or live settings.

Durability Concerns

A notable change from previous models is the move from a metal to a plastic case. This shift might raise some durability concerns. I can't shake off the feeling that it might not withstand the rigors of frequent transportation or heavy use.

Quality and Longevity

While the overall performance of the Mackie 1402VLZ4 is commendable, it's hard to ignore the change in quality over the years. There have been some issues with the volume trim pots becoming scratchy or cutting out prematurely, which can be frustrating. It seems like a step down from the legendary durability Mackie mixers used to boast.

Head 2 Head: Behringer Wing or Mackie 1402VLZ4

The Behringer Wing: A Digital Delight

Transitioning from an analog mixer like the Behringer Xenyx 2442 to the Behringer Wing feels like upgrading from a bicycle to a rocket ship. This professional audio equipment is packed with features that would make any sound engineer's eyes light up. The digital scribble strip alone is a game-changer, letting you bid farewell to the old school masking tape and marker method of yesteryears. Notably, it offers the ability to save settings on a USB stick – a feature that could potentially be a lifeline in situations where your carefully crafted settings get accidentally jumbled. This digital mixer really shines when paired with the Behringer SD16 stagebox. It expands your setup, making it perfect for medium-sized venues like churches or small concert halls. One standout feature is its wifi control capability – an absolute godsend for live sound mixing. However, I'd use a tablet over a phone for better visibility and control. When it comes to recording and expansion options, this mixing console offers slick DAW integration via its USB interface. If you're serious about multi-track recording and studio recording though, consider investing in the X-Live SD expansion card. It's worth every penny if you're keen on recording all 32 channels simultaneously for virtual soundchecks. While there's no denying that there's quite the learning curve when moving from an analog mixer to this digital beast, once you get the hang of it, it’s all gravy from there. The flexibility in routing, multiple outputs and sound shaping tools such as EQs, gates and compressors are just mind-blowing.

Mackie 1402VLZ4: The Compact Competitor

While not as technologically advanced as its counterpart, the Mackie 1402VLZ4 holds its own in the audio mixer market. The compact size of this 14-channel mixer makes it a good fit for smaller spaces or for those who prefer a less complicated setup. However, some users have noted that the knobs seem a bit on the cheaper side compared to their older models. Functionally, this analog mixer does its job well, and it's pretty straightforward to use. The monitor mix setup is simple and intuitive, making it great for managing different vocalists or instruments during live performances. However, durability could be an issue with this model. Mackie has shifted from a metal to a plastic case with this version of their mixing console, which doesn't exactly inspire confidence in terms of longevity. Plus, there have been reports of volume trim pots becoming scratchy or cutting out prematurely.

Final Verdict

After reviewing both mixers, I'd say the Behringer Wing takes the crown here. It's an absolute beast that offers stunning value for its price tag. The sheer flexibility and range of features it provides are something that you won't find in many mixers within this price range. The Mackie 1402VLZ4 is no slouch either; it's still a reliable workhorse that delivers quality sound output and user-friendly interface. However, when weighed against the Behringer Wing's superior feature set and digital capabilities, it falls just short of bagging the top spot. If you're running church services, small gigs or even a home studio recording setup and ready to step into the future with digital mixers – then the Behringer Wing is your mixer of choice. Just be prepared to invest some time learning its ins and outs.