Behringer Xenyx X1204USB Vs. Midas MR18: 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. Midas MR18.

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 Midas MR18. 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.

Midas MR18

After thoroughly testing the Midas MR18 for a few months, I'm ready to spill all the details – the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty. This mixer is a powerhouse in a compact package, perfect for both live sound and recording. Here's the full breakdown for anyone eyeing this mixer.

Sound Quality and Performance

Right off the bat, the sound quality is top-notch. The MR18 delivers a pristine audio experience with impressively low latency. Whether you're mixing live or laying down tracks in a studio, the clarity and warmth of the sound are remarkable. Plus, the variety of outputs offers immense flexibility, making it a versatile choice for various audio setups.

Build and Connectivity

The mixer is built tough with Neutrik connectors, ensuring robust and reliable connections. This is a big plus for anyone who's had to deal with flimsy ports in the past. The MR18's ease of configuration is another high point. It offers numerous signal routing options, catering to both planned and spontaneous audio needs. The price-to-quality ratio is exceptional, putting it ahead of competitors like the X-Air 18, especially with its superior Midas converters.

User Interface and Software

The software is intuitive and musician-friendly, not overly complicated like some gear designed with tech whizzes in mind. There's a wealth of online resources and user communities, which is a godsend for troubleshooting and getting creative with your setup. As an audio interface, it boasts 18 inputs and outputs, offering ample connectivity for most studio and live situations.

Challenges and Considerations

However, it's not all smooth sailing. While the MR18 is user-friendly, there's still a learning curve, especially if you're not used to digital mixers. It might take a bit of time to fully grasp all the features and make the most out of this mixer.

Also, while it works great as an audio interface, those who are looking for more integrated DAW control might find its capabilities a bit limited. It's more suited for live mixing and straightforward recording setups rather than complex studio productions.

Final Verdict

All in all, the Midas MR18 is a solid investment. It's especially great for live sound applications and straightforward recording needs. The sound quality is exceptional, and the flexibility in routing and connectivity is a major win. Just be ready to spend some time getting to know this mixer inside out. For its price point, you're getting a lot of bang for your buck. Just remember, while it excels in many areas, it might not be the perfect fit for those needing advanced studio integration.

Head 2 Head: Behringer Xenyx X1204USB or Midas MR18

Round One: The Behringer Xenyx X1204USB

Durable and Reliable

The Behringer Xenyx X1204USB is like that old pair of jeans you can't bear to part with – reliable, comfortable, and surprisingly resilient. After seven years of near-constant use, this audio mixer has held up remarkably well. A little crackle here, a stubborn button there, but hey! For an analog mixer that's been working overtime as an XLR to USB interface for calls, I'd say it's doing pretty darn well.

Behringer Drivers: More Drama Than a Soap Opera

Windows 7 Users Might Want to Brace Themselves

Installing the Behringer drivers on Windows 7 was like trying to solve a Rubik's cube blindfolded – confusing and frustrating. It led to a drastic reduction in recording modes and an increase in system instability. My advice? Stick with the default drivers – they're more reliable and offer more options than a Swiss army knife.

The USB Interface: A Bit of A Mixed Bag

Good but Could Use Some Tweaking

The USB input on this soundboard is akin to that one family member who always makes things slightly complicated at family gatherings. There's no volume control or EQ adjustments, and if you're using the USB output simultaneously with the main mix out, you're stuck with just 44.1K or 48K output based on the main bus.

A Look Under The Hood: Board Features

Quality Preamps with a Touch of Warmth

This mixing desk boasts some surprisingly good preamps, although they do add a touch of warmth to the audio. The built-in compressors and EQ are decent for the price, but the AUX channel's integration with the master mix can be a bit like trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. The FX channel, however, adds a nice variety of sound effects.

The Final Say on Behringer Xenyx X1204USB

Good Value but Not Without Its Quirks

Like that trusty old pickup truck in your driveway, this board gets you where you need to go without breaking the bank. It's not perfect – the USB interface could use a little polish and the preamps have their quirks. But considering its price tag as an entry-level studio mixer or live sound mixer, it's worth considering for small-scale live events or home studios.

Moving On: The Midas MR18

When it comes to sound quality and performance, the Midas MR18 is like a well-tuned sports car – smooth, powerful, and impressively responsive. Whether you're using it as a digital mixer for live sound or laying down tracks in your studio, this audio interface delivers top-notch clarity and warmth.

Build Quality and Connectivity

Built like a tank with Neutrik connectors, this recording console ensures robust connections that won't fail you in the heat of performance. Plus, its signal routing options are as flexible as an Olympic gymnast.

Software Interface: User-Friendly But Still Packs A Punch

The software interface is intuitive enough that even non-tech-savvy musicians will feel at home. And with 18 inputs and outputs at your disposal, this little digital powerhouse can handle most live and studio situations with ease.

Challenges and Considerations

That said, the Midas MR18 isn't without its challenges. If you're not used to digital mixers, there's a learning curve to conquer. Plus, while it excels as an audio interface for live mixing and straightforward recording setups, those needing advanced studio integration might find its capabilities a tad limited.

The Verdict on Midas MR18

All things considered, the Midas MR18 is like a Swiss Army knife for your audio needs – versatile, reliable, and delivers high-quality sound. It might take some time to fully grasp all its features but once you do, it's a game-changer.

And The Winner Is…

The winner in this comparison is clearly the Midas MR18. While the Behringer Xenyx X1204USB is a good budget choice for small-scale events or home studios, the Midas MR18 offers superior sound quality and flexibility in routing and connectivity. So whether you're a live sound engineer or running a home studio, the Midas MR18 delivers more bang for your buck.