Behringer Xenyx X1204USB Vs. Behringer XR18: 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 Xenyx X1204USB vs. Behringer XR18.

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 Xenyx X1204USB and Behringer XR18. 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 Xenyx X1204USB

I want to focus on the things the sales page doesn't tell you. And that's the good, bad, and the ugly.

I test and play around with mixer's all day, and the Xenyx is one of those ones you keep around. It's a good price for pretty much anybody to get their hands on, and if you're grabbing one second hand, you're all set.

So, I've know this mixer for seven years, and on some personal projects, I'm still using it almost 24/7. Some faders crackle, and a few buttons need a nudge now and then, but that's expected without regular maintenance.

Honestly, it's been a flawless experience for my needs, mainly as an XLR to USB interface.

The USB Interface

Good, But With Limitations

The USB input's a bit tricky; it lacks volume control and EQ adjustments. And if you're using the USB out, you're stuck with just 44.1K or 48K output, based on the main bus. This can be a bit limiting if you need to use both the main mix out and the USB output simultaneously.

Board Features: Hits and Misses

Quality Preamps with a Warm Touch ✅🔥

The preamps are surprisingly good, though they add a warm coloration to the audio. So that's either a positive or negative depending on your preference.

The built-in compressors and EQ are decent for the price.

The AUX channel's integration with the master mix, however, can be a bit limiting.

The FX channel, with its variety of sound effects, is a nice touch.

Final Verdict: Great Value, But Not Without Flaws

For its price, this board is a fantastic deal. No doubt about it!

It's not perfect, though – the USB interface could be more versatile, and the preamps, while good, have their quirks.

But considering the price, it's a solid choice for a range of audio needs, from small-scale live events to home studios.

Behringer XR18

This is another mixer I got hold of just to review. It has a semi-hefty price-tag but what I will say is this: the Behringer XR18 is a unit that delivers far more than its price suggests. After several months of continuous use, I've faced zero reliability issues, making it a standout in its category.

Unbeatable Feature Set for the Price

The XR18's feature set is its biggest selling point. There's a wealth of options here that you'd struggle to find in other mixers within this price range. The audio quality is top-notch, and the control options are extensive. It's particularly great for those who need comprehensive control in a live setting or a studio environment.

Minor Downsides

Despite its strengths, there are a few areas where the XR18 could improve. One noticeable absence is the ability to do time-alignment, a feature available in the higher-class X32. There's also the matter of the built-in Wi-Fi, which can be a bit unreliable in live situations. I always ensure a hard-wired connection during critical events to avoid any potential connectivity issues. Lastly, there's a bit of a learning curve when switching between the software interfaces on different platforms, like iPad and computer.

Robust Software and Solid Hardware

The software is robust, offering comprehensive control over the unit, albeit with some platform-specific quirks. Hardware-wise, the unit feels solid and well-built, suitable for regular gigging.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, if you need a feature-rich mixer and the XR18 ticks all your boxes, go for it. It's an excellent investment, especially considering its price point. Sure, it has a couple of minor drawbacks, but these are easily outweighed by its overall performance and reliability. Whether for live use, studio work, or even podcasting, the XR18 is a versatile choice that won't disappoint.

Head 2 Head: Behringer Xenyx X1204USB or Behringer XR18

Behringer Xenyx X1204USB: A Longstanding Companion

When it comes to the Behringer Xenyx X1204USB, my experience has been akin to a seven-year journey with an old friend. Durability and reliability are the first words that come to mind when describing this mixer. Sure, some faders might crackle, and a few buttons might need some cajoling, but these are minor niggles in what is essentially a very dependable live sound mixer.

The Woes of Behringer Drivers on Windows 7

Here's where I need to inject a word of caution: if you're still using Windows 7 (I know, I know), the Behringer drivers can be as temperamental as a diva on a bad day. They caused my system to take on the stability of jelly, and my recording modes plummeted faster than an unwanted DJ's playlist. My advice? Stick with the default drivers – they're like that reliable drummer who always keeps time.

USB Interface: Not Quite Plug and Play

The USB interface on this studio mixer is like that mysterious guitarist in your band – tricky at times but immensely valuable nonetheless. Unfortunately, it lacks volume control and EQ adjustments which can be like playing an audio interface without strings. Another potential drawback is being stuck with just 44.1K or 48K output when using the USB out.

The Board Features: A Mixed Bag

If you're looking for quality preamps in an analog mixer, then you'll find them here – they lend a warm coloration to your audio that's just right for those soulful numbers. The built-in compressors and EQ are decent for the price but don't expect them to hit high notes of premium stage mixers. The FX channel, however, is like that surprise encore that leaves you smiling.

Behringer XR18: A Powerhouse in Disguise

On the other hand, the Behringer XR18 is like that new band member that immediately impresses with their talent. This digital mixer's feature set is its biggest selling point; it's like a treasure trove of options that you seldom find in other mixers within this price range. The audio quality is spot-on, and the control options are as extensive as a prog rock song.

The XR18's Learning Curve and Wi-Fi Issues

Despite its strengths, the XR18 can be as challenging to master as a complex guitar solo. Switching between software interfaces on different platforms can feel like swapping instruments mid-gig – doable but tricky. Plus, its built-in Wi-Fi has the reliability of an unpredictable vocalist during live performances – having a wired connection on standby is always a smart move.

Robust Software and Sturdy Hardware

This USB mixer has robust software that offers comprehensive control over the unit. As for the hardware – it's solid and well-built – perfect for those grueling gig schedules. Drumroll Please…The Winner Is…

After careful consideration (and several jam sessions), it's clear that while the Xenyx X1204USB is an old reliable workhorse, our clear winner here has to be the Behringer XR18. It not only delivers exceptional audio quality but also comes packed with features usually found in higher-priced mixers. Yes, it has some minor downsides (Wi-Fi reliability being one), but these are eclipsed by its overall performance and versatility. Whether you're rocking out live, laying down tracks in a studio, or podcasting your heart out, the XR18 is the equivalent of your band's breakout hit. It's a soundboard that won’t let you down.