Behringer Xenyx X1204USB Vs. Mackie 1402VLZ4: 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. 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 Xenyx X1204USB 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 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.

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 Xenyx X1204USB or Mackie 1402VLZ4

Behringer Xenyx X1204USB: A Survivor in the Studio

This audio mixer has seen me through seven years of endless jam sessions and late-night calls. The Behringer Xenyx X1204USB is like that reliable old friend who's always got your back. It's had its fair share of scratches, fader crackles, and button nudges, but it's held up like a champ. This USB mixer has served as a seamless XLR to USB interface for my calls.

A Word on Behringer Drivers

Here's a pro tip: If you're still running Windows 7 (yes, some of us are retro like that), steer clear of the Behringer drivers. It was like trying to navigate through a tech horror movie—blue screens galore and reduced recording modes. I ended up reverting to the default Windows 7 drivers. Trust me; they're more reliable and offer way more options.

Navigating the USB Interface

The USB input on this mixing console is good but could use some improvements. It doesn't have volume control or EQ adjustments—not ideal if you're meticulous about your sound quality like me. Using the USB out limits you to 44.1K or 48K output based on the main bus—a bit restrictive if you want to use both main mix out and USB output simultaneously.

Taking a Tour of this Mixing Console's Features

This audio mixer brings some good stuff to the table with its quality microphone preamps that add a warm touch to your sound (perfect for those acoustic sessions). The built-in compressors and EQ do an adequate job for the price. The AUX channel's integration with the master mix, however, can be a little restrictive. But hey, it has an FX channel with a variety of sound effects.

Mackie 1402VLZ4: A Compact Powerhouse

On to the Mackie 1402VLZ4. This 14-channel compact mixer is like a sleek sports car—it looks good and fits well in small spaces. Compared to older models, though, its construction feels different. The glide knobs seemed slightly on the cheaper side.

Usability and Features of the Mackie Mixer

This analog mixer does its job well—the monitor mix setup is simple and intuitive. The distinction between the first monitor mix working with the monitor master and the second with slider control is excellent for managing different vocalists or instruments.

Durability Concerns of this Live Sound Mixer

Mackie made a shift from metal to plastic casing for this model—a move that could raise some eyebrows concerning durability. Frequent transportation or heavy use might take a toll on this mixing console.

The Longevity Question of this Studio Equipment

The overall performance of this digital recording interface may be commendable, but there have been some hiccups along the way—like volume trim pots becoming scratchy or cutting out prematurely. It seems like Mackie has taken a step down from their legendary durability.

The Winner?
After closely scrutinizing both these pieces of studio equipment, I'd say the [Behringer Xenyx X1204USB]( edges out as my top pick. Why? Despite some minor flaws, it offers better value for money and has proven to be a reliable companion for a variety of audio needs. Whether you're hosting small-scale live events or setting up your home studio, this USB mixer packs more punch than its price suggests. So, there you have it. With its surprising resilience and decent features, the Behringer Xenyx X1204USB wins this round!