Behringer X Air XR12 Vs. Presonus StudioLive 1602: Head To Head Comparison – READ BEFORE YOU BUY!!

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 X Air XR12 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 Behringer X Air XR12 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.

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.

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: Behringer X Air XR12 or Presonus StudioLive 1602

First up to bat is the Behringer X Air XR12. This portable mixer is a behemoth in a compact package. It's especially appealing if you're transitioning from basic mixers like, let's say, the Behringer Q802USB. You'll feel like you've just jumped from a bicycle to a sports car, but don't sweat it. There are plenty of online resources to help you figure out how to drive this thing.

Device Compatibility and App Integration

So, you're the kind of person who uses Linux or Android? No problem! The XAIR app works flawlessly with both platforms. It's like having the controls of your audio engineering equipment right in your pocket. Now, that's what I call convenience!

Enhanced Sound Quality and Features

The Behringer XR12 isn't just an audio mixer; it's an orchestra conductor making sure every instrument plays its part perfectly. The built-in stereo effects, gates, compression and EQ work together to deliver an impeccable sound quality that would make even Beethoven nod in approval. And let's not forget about the MIDAS Preamp – this bad boy contributes significantly to the superior sound output.

Advanced Sound Routing

Imagine being able to create individual mixes for each band member without disturbing the main mix? Sounds complicated? Well, with the XR12’s advanced sound routing capabilities it’s as easy as pie. Plus, with mobile app integration for on-the-fly mixing, serving up those custom mixes becomes a breeze!

Choosing Between XR12 and XR16

Now here’s where things get tricky; choosing between XR12 and its elder sibling XR16. If budget isn’t a constraint and more flexibility is what you need (especially when it comes to monitor mixes), then consider going for the XR16.

Final Verdict on the Behringer XR12

The Behringer X Air XR12 is truly a formidable contender. With its superior sound quality, flexible routing options, and cross-platform compatibility, it's a digital mixer that would make any audio engineer proud. Now, let's take a look at the Presonus StudioLive 1602.

Setup and Software Integration

This live sound mixer makes setting up feel like a walk in the park. The Studio One recording software is intuitive and powerful, making it an audio engineer’s best friend. Plus, who can resist a sweet 50% off deal on an upgrade?

Sound Quality and Recording Capabilities

The Presonus Studiolive 1602 does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of live performances without compromising on sound quality. It’s like having your own personal recording studio right at your fingertips.

Customer Support: A Mixed Bag

Customer support seems to be a bit of a wildcard with Presonus. While some users have had positive experiences, others have reported issues with warranty support on units just over a month old.

User-Friendliness and Learning Curve

For beginners or intermediate level users, this studio recording mixer can be your faithful companion. The learning curve isn't as steep as Mount Everest; in fact, it's more like climbing a hill.

Remote Access and Portability

Being able to control this rackmount mixer remotely via laptop adds another feather to its cap. However, this setup might not be everyone’s cup of tea as it requires additional gear for remote access.

The Final Say on the Presonus StudioLive 1602

The Presonus StudioLive 1602 is a solid choice for semi-pro studios, small churches, and clubs. It offers seamless integration with Studio One DAW and a range of features that could make any audiophile swoon. However, the learning curve and potential customer support issues are points to consider. Now comes the moment of truth. After careful consideration, I crown the Behringer X Air XR12 as the clear winner in this face-off. It's a digital mixer that deftly balances affordability with top-notch features, making it an excellent choice for both live and studio settings. Presonus StudioLive 1602 put up a good fight but fell short due to its steep learning curve and mixed customer support experiences.