Behringer Xenyx 1204USB vs PreSonus StudioLive AR8c: Detailed Comparison and Buyer’s Guide (2023)

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the Behringer Xenyx 1204USB and the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c.

Trust me, I know how difficult that decision is... especially if you have no plans on whipping out that dreaded return postage label!

You know how the saying goes, buy right, buy once! Or something like that...

Either way, I've got you covered!

I've broken down the good, the bad and the ugly of these babies, so providing you have a clear idea of exactly what you plan on doing with it, you will have a clear idea on which one is best for you, by the end of this article.

Let get into it...

Behringer Xenyx 1204USB vs PreSonus StudioLive AR8c: Detailed Comparison and Buyer's Guide (2023)

At A Glance:

Behringer Xenyx 1204USB

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Behringer Xenyx 1204USB Pros & Cons

  • Pros:
    • Functions perfectly even when powered on 24/7
    • Great price for its features
    • Preamps in the board are better than expected
    • Built-in compressors work well
    • EQ is decent for a board of this price
    • AUX and FX channels are wonderful
    • Has the ability to mute and use pre-fader listen to set levels correctly
    • USB interface is a major selling point
    • For its price, the board is outstanding
    • Features single knob compressors, EQ's for each channel, and AUX/FX sends with a decent on board FX processor
    • Current model comes with built-in USB and compressors on the mic channels
    • One knob compressors seem to work okay
    • Internal USB works well
    • Has a better 12 step VU meter
  • Cons:
    • Faders crackle when being used
    • Mute/unmute buttons can keep a channel muted until bumped
    • Installing the Behringer drivers for Windows 7 can cause system instability and reduce the number of recording and playback modes over USB
    • USB input is not easy to control and lacks volume controls, EQ, and FX/AUX
    • Unable to support 96khz on the USB bus
    • AUX channel is attached to the master mix
    • Double sliders for the main mix and alt 3-4 can be annoying
    • Inadequate gain on the preamps for voice over work
    • Inconsistent performance, each channel requires different settings with the same mic
    • Unbalanced, need to pan a mic to center the stereo image
    • Windows keeps resetting to the internal sound card
    • Lack of adequate preamplifier gain
    • Preamps are a bit weak and noisy

 

PreSonus StudioLive AR8c

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PreSonus StudioLive AR8c Pros & Cons

  • Pros:
    • Has great features like SD recording and bluetooth.
    • Comes with free multi-track software.
    • Inputs and outputs are nice.
    • Good for recording and live sound.
    • Software has lots of digital patches for guitar effects.
  • Cons:
    • More expensive than other mixers.
    • Microphone preamps don't seem to have a lot of gain.
    • SD card could use a display for recording information.
    • Lacks unbalanced output.
    • Unreliable components in their hardware.
    • Poor customer service.
    • Doesn't work as expected, only records about a quarter of the time.
    • Difficult to contact customer support, only automated responses received.
    • Long wait times for equipment repairs.

Key Differences Between The Behringer Xenyx 1204USB And The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c

The main differences between Behringer Xenyx 1204USB and PreSonus StudioLive AR8c are primarily on the basis of their use, features, complexity, and price range.

Xenyx 1204USB, manufactured by Behringer, is well-regarded as an excellent audio mixer for beginners or entry-level podcasters.

It is equipped with four Xenyx mic preamps along with two additional input sources, hence providing a flexibility that suits various setups.

On the other hand, the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c isn't just a regular audio mixer.

It serves as an advanced audio interface that cleverly combines analog and digital features into a compact package.

This model showcases eight line inputs coupled with +48V phantom power which are similar to 1204USB but it also incorporates channel EQ.

However, one crucial distinction to consider is that while both models exhibit significant strengths individually, some users have noted that Behringer tends to offer more sophisticated effects and routing capabilities than PreSonus.

Consequently, this might indicate a steeper learning curve as users may need more time to grasp how they can fully capitalize on these offerings.

For smaller live performances or home studios set-ups, both these mixers are indeed ideal choices due to their:

  • Highly commendable sound performance
  • Multitude of input channels available
  • Incorporation of USB connections for simple recording and mixing processes.

Their price range does slightly differ as well though; the PreSonus StudioLive AR8C generally comes in at a slightly higher price point than the Behringer Xenyx 1204USB.

However, it's important to note that when purchasing between these two products you should evaluate them based on your individual requirements - whether you prioritize ease-of-use or advanced functionalities - all within your budget constraints.

 

  Behringer Xenyx 1204USB PreSonus StudioLive AR8c
Channels 8-channel USB Mixer 8-channel analog mixer
Compression One-knob Compression Not specified
EQ Per Channel 3-b EQ Not specified
Aux Sends 2 Aux Sends Not specified
Built-in FX Yes Stereo effects processor with 16 presets
Busses 2 Busses Not specified
Recording Interface Not specified 8x4 24-bit/96 kHz, USB 2.0 (over USB-C connection)
SD Recorder Not specified 2x2 SD recorder (record main mix); supports SD and SDHC formats up to 32 GB
Inputs Not specified 4 balanced mic inputs with XMAX mic preamps, 2 instrument/line inputs, 2 pairs of stereo balanced line inputs, Stereo Super Channel with Bluetooth 5.0 wireless, RCA inputs, 1/8-inch stereo input, switchable SD/USB stereo playback
Recording Software Not specified Includes Capture live-recording software and Studio One Artist DAW for Mac and Windows
Phantom Power Not specified Global +48V phantom power

What You Need To Know About Behringer Xenyx 1204USB


The Behringer Xenyx 1204USB is a compact and efficient 8-channel USB Mixer. It's perfect for those who love creating their own unique sound!

With One-knob Compression, you'll have total control over your music's dynamics.

This means you can adjust the loudness of different sounds to give your music the perfect balance.

What's super cool about this mixer is that it has a 3-b EQ on each channel.

You can play around with the lows, mids and highs to get just the sound you want! You don’t need any special tech skills because it’s as simple as twisting a few knobs.

And there's more! The Xenyx 1204USB also has two Aux Sends which let you route individual channels to stage monitors or external effects—and two busses for even more routing options.

But guess what? You might not even need external effects because this mixer comes with its very own built-in FX processor! This means less gear to carry around and less setup time.

It's hard to believe all these amazing features are packed into one small piece of equipment, right?

To learn more about this star-studded mixer, visit the official Behringer Xenyx 1204USB page.

Considering its top-notch features and affordable price, it’s easy to see why so many people choose Behringer for their audio needs!

My 1 Month Review Of The Behringer Xenyx 1204USB

Initial Impression

Right off the bat, the Behringer Xenyx 1204USB won me over with its compactness and sleek design.

It fit perfectly on my small home studio table without consuming too much space.

The knobs and faders felt sturdy which gave a reassuring first impression about the longevity of this mixer.

Sound Quality

The sound quality was top-notch for this price point.

I've been using it for about a month now, and I must tell you, it did not let me down.

Being an audio enthusiast, I can say that this thing sounds pretty clean with low noise levels.

Surely, it cannot be compared to some high-end mixers but for its price point, I think it does an excellent job.

User Experience

This mixer is quite user-friendly.

I found the interface pretty intuitive; even if you're new to mixing boards, you'd find your way around quickly. The buttons are clearly labeled and easy to understand.

• Built-in effects: The built-in effects were decent enough but could have been better. A little more variety wouldn’t hurt.

• USB interface: The USB interface was a breeze to use - plug and play with no need for additional drivers.

• Connecting mics: Connecting mics was super easy with the very straightforward XLR inputs.

Durability

In my month-long usage, this mixer showed no signs of any wear or tear.

The build quality seems robust enough to withstand regular use in small or home studios. However, only time will tell how long it lasts really.

Bang for Buck

If you're on a budget but still want good quality sound mixing,
this is a great option.

In terms of value-for-money proposition, in my opinion Behringer Xenyx 1204USB is hard to beat in its price segment.

In summary:

  • Great build quality
  • Excellent sound output
  • Intuitive user interface
  • The USB interface makes life easy
  • Could do with more built-in effects

Do keep in mind that this review reflects my own experience and opinions after using this product for a month only.

If longevity is your top concern or if you have specific requirements from your gear that may not be within this unit’s capabilities then please do further research before making a purchase!

What You Need To Know About PreSonus StudioLive AR8c


The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c is a powerful audio recording interface designed to deliver high-quality sound.

It can record audio at 24-bit/96 kHz using a USB 2.0 connection over USB-C, allowing you to capture every channel plus the main mix.

It comes with a handy 2x2 SD recorder that lets you record the main mix easily.

The SD recorder supports both SD and SDHC formats up to 32 GB, providing ample space for storing your recordings.

For mixing, it features an 8-channel analog mixer equipped with various inputs such as four balanced mic inputs with XMAX mic preamps for pristine sound quality, two instrument/line inputs, and two pairs of stereo balanced line inputs.

Additionally, it includes a Stereo Super Channel that boasts Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity allowing you to play music from your phone or tablet wirelessly.

The Stereo Super Channel also offers RCA inputs and a 1/8-inch stereo input.

Adding more versatility, there's also an option for switchable SD/USB stereo playback on this mixer. To craft your sound further, it has an onboard stereo effects processor having 16 presets along with dedicated send and return options.

You'll love the convenience of toggling effects on/off instantaneously via its bypass footswitch jack - great for live performances!

Boosting your mics properly won't be a problem since it also provides Global +48V phantom power.

In terms of software package included, the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c offers Capture live-recording software and Studio One Artist DAW compatible with Mac and Windows OS - all in all making this mixer not only versatile but also a complete recording solution right out of the box!

My 1 Month Review Of The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c

After a month of testing the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c, here are my thoughts:

Design and Build Quality

Compact yet robustly built, the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c is a workhorse. It sports a sleek black finish which gives it an undeniably professional aesthetic.

All the knobs are firmly attached and provide smooth resistance when adjusting. It feels durable and made to last, even in more challenging environments like live shows.

Interface and Usability

The interface of the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c is intuitive and uncluttered. The well-spaced out controls make on-the-fly adjustments a breeze.

Even with limited prior knowledge, I managed to quickly familiarize myself with all its functions. After just one week, I was comfortably navigating my way around.

The eight-track recording functionality.
This feature really stood out for me - it's so easy to simultaneously record multiple instruments in high-quality sound.

The integrated SD card slot.
I love this feature as it allows direct recording without needing other equipment. Just insert an SD card, press record and you're good to go!

The stereo options.
There are various ways to fine-tune your stereo mix; through faders, pan knobs or the level knob for each channel.

Sound Quality

The sound quality produced by the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c is something that really blew me away. The preamps deliver crystal-clear sound with virtually no noise. Its ability to capture such authentic sound profiles from each instrument completely surpassed my expectations.

Built-In Effects

Whilst not overkill on effects, what's available is quite impressive: Reverb, delay and chorus options provide that extra versatility when mixing live sound or while recording in studio sessions.

Overall, the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c has been an excellent investment.

For both live gigs or studio work, this compact but capable mixer delivers on all fronts – Easy usability combined with high-quality performance makes it an absolute gem!

Who The Behringer Xenyx 1204USB Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c

The Behringer Xenyx 1204USB is designed for individuals who need a reliable and affordable solution for audio mixing.

You might find this product particularly appealing if you require a mixer that functions effectively as an XLR to USB interface, such as for conference calls or live events.

Key features of the Behringer Xenyx 1204USB:

  • Built-in USB interface
  • Single knob compressors
  • AUX/FX sends with a decent on-board FX processor
  • Mute and pre-fader listen capabilities for precise level setting

If you're looking for a device with impressive longevity, the Behringer Xenyx 1204USB could be your best bet.

Based on user experience, it seems to function perfectly well even when powered on continuously.

However, like any piece of equipment, the Behringer Xenyx 1204USB does require care and maintenance.

For instance, some users report minor issues with faders crackling or mute/unmute buttons behaving erratically if not cleaned regularly.

A significant point to note is that the Behringer Xenyx 1204USB can interact unpredictably with certain drivers.

One user reported system instability after installing official Behringer drivers on Windows 7.

The default Windows drivers seem to work better in this regard and offer more configuration options.

With these factors in mind, the Behringer Xenyx 1204USB is a top contender amongst studio mixers.

The device features include preamps offering plenty of headroom even for naturally quiet mics; built-in compressors suitable for live events; solid EQ expected from this price range; AUX channel handy but tied to master mix; FX channel providing decent onboard sound effects.

Despite its strengths, there are potential cons to consider.

The USB input might prove tricky due to limited control options such as volume controls or EQ settings and inability to send it into an ALT submix.

Finally, while this model has much going for it including onboard USB feature and single knob compressors on mic channels at an attractive price point - some aspects such as gain-on-pres could have been improved according to buyer reviews.

This might lead some users needing something more performance-oriented into choosing another brand offering similar features at higher prices.

 

Who The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Behringer Xenyx 1204USB

Who is the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c for?

The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c is ideally suited for those who value advanced features like SD recording and Bluetooth connectivity in their mixers.

If you are someone who leans more towards a comprehensive suite of features rather than just the basics, this mixer could be a suitable fit.

Additionally, the free multi-track software that comes with it might appeal to you if you frequently engage in extensive audio editing or recording.

Why would someone choose to buy PreSonus StudioLive AR8c?

Despite being more expensive than some other mixers on the market, the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c offers advanced features that can significantly enhance your music production process. This includes:

  • SD Card Recording: Allows for easy and flexible recording.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: Lets you wirelessly connect devices for music streaming.
  • Multi-track Software: Facilitates comprehensive editing and mixing of tracks.

Moreover, based on some user experiences, if your microphone setup includes Shure Dynamic or AKG Condenser microphones, this mixer seems to handle them well although at high trim settings.

Potential pain points:

Some things to consider if you're thinking about purchasing the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c include:

  • The unit appears to lack a display indicating important information about SD card recordings (duration, available space etc). If having such information handy is important to your workflow, this could be a drawback.
  • Some users have raised concerns regarding PreSonus' customer service responsiveness and their product's long-term reliability.

Bottom line? If superior digital tools and connectivity options are at the top of your list when choosing a mixer - The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c stands out as a compelling candidate.

If the Behringer Xenyx 1204USB vs PreSonus StudioLive AR8c doesn't quite fit your needs, don't worry! I've got plenty of other comparisons that might help you find just the right gear for your setup.

Why not check out my post on how the Behringer Xenyx 1204USB measures up against the Soundcraft Signature 10 Mixer?

If you're a fan of Behringer, you might also be interested in seeing how the Xenyx 1204USB compares to the Xenyx 802.

Or, if you're considering other brands as well, take a look at my comparison of the Behringer Xenyx 1204USB and Mackie ProFXv3 Series or the Tascam Model 12.

There's a whole world of sound gear out there and I'm here to help you navigate it!

FAQs

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Buyer's Guide: Important Things To Consider & Look Out For When Buying A Mixer

1. Understand Your Needs and Define Your Budget

First thing first, you'll want to determine what you need from your studio mixer and what your budget is.

Do you need a simple analog mixer for live performances? Or are you looking for a digital mixer with advanced features for recording music in your home studio?

The costs can vary significantly, so it's important to identify your needs before starting your search.

Renowned brands like Behringer and PreSonus offer an array of mixers suitable for different budgets and needs.

2. Analog Mixer Vs Digital Mixer

Whether to go for an analog or digital mixer is another significant decision. Both types have their pros and cons.

Analog mixers, like the Behringer Xenyx 1204USB, are often less expensive than digital options but may lack some of the advanced features found in the latter.

A digital mixer like PreSonus StudioLive AR8c offers built-in USB interfaces, data recall functionality, multiple effects options, which can especially be useful in recording scenarios.

3. Consider USB Interface Integration

A studio mixer with a built-in USB interface, such as the 1204USB from Behringer's Xenyx series or PreSonus's StudioLive AR8c adds flexibility when it comes to recording tracks directly into your computer at high audio quality levels.

4. Pay Attention to Input / Output (I/O) Options

The number of inputs/outputs (I/O) on a soundboard determines how many instruments or microphones you can simultaneously plug in directly.

So while considering various mixers- whether it's an analog one like Xenyx 1204USB or something more digitally oriented as StudioLive AR8c- always keep track of their I/O options vis-a-vis your specific requirements.

5.Do a Soundboard Comparison

Comparing soundboards will give you a deeper understanding about their varying functionalities as well as performance standard under different conditions- something crucially required if 'audio precision' matters most in your chosen line of work.

6. Look at Added Features and Extras

Different mixers come packed with special features—EQs, onboard effects, multiple bus channels,- depending largely on brand philosophy & target user base all designed keeping flexibility & ease-of-use factors utmost priority.

The Presonus Studiolive AR8c includes Bluetooth compatibility; plus has recording software integrated within itself.

7. Consider Brand Reputation & Support Services

Eventually what matters most is: 'Peace-of-Mind'! Brands like Presonus & Behringer have been around long enough delivering consistently high-quality studio equipment including sound-mixers which would comfortably suite wide range of user-demands specifically catering from novices through mid-levels up-to professionals.

Alongside check out their customer-support services too - vital factor incase things don't turn out quite expected-way post-purchase.

So folks there they are: Seven powerful tips acting sequentially might just be that magical formula leading towards most appropriate choice satisfying all aspects truly related with buying desired level sound-mixer suiting pocket-pinches too! Happy Buying!

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

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