Behringer Xenyx X1204USB 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 Xenyx X1204USB 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 Xenyx X1204USB 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 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.

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 Xenyx X1204USB or Presonus StudioLive 1602

Behringer Xenyx X1204USB: The Marathon Runner

Durability and Reliability Redefined

Let's kick things off with the Behringer Xenyx X1204USB, a mixing console that has proven itself to be a loyal companion over a span of seven years. Despite constant use, it's still serving faithfully – except for the occasional fader crackle and button nudge. But hey, who doesn't need a little push after seven years? Mainly used as an audio interface for calls, this baby is built to last.

Software Shenanigans: Driver Drama

A Warning for Windows 7 Users

The Behringer drivers for Windows 7 are akin to a cautionary tale. Installation? A nightmare. The aftermath? A drastic decrease in recording modes and an increase in system instability. Blue screens became frequent uninvited guests. Ultimately, I had to perform some serious system surgery (read: file and registry cleanup) to revert back to the default drivers. My advice: Stick with the default drivers – they're like that reliable, boring friend who always has your back.

The USB Interface Enigma

Good But Could Be Better

The USB connectivity of this audio mixing board can be slightly tricky – it lacks volume control and EQ adjustments. And if you're using the USB out, you're forced into either 44.1K or 48K output depending on the main bus. It's like being stuck between rock music and a hard place when you want to use both the main mix out and USB output simultaneously.

Feature Breakdown: Highs and Lows

Impressive Preamps with a Warm Touch

On the brighter side, the preamps on this analog mixer are quite impressive, albeit adding a warm coloration to your audio. The built-in compressors and EQ are decent for the price. However, the AUX channel's integration with the master mix can be limiting. But hey, it does have a FX channel filled with a variety of sound effects, which is like finding an unexpected toy in your cereal box.

Concluding Thoughts

A Solid Choice Despite Shortcomings

The Behringer Xenyx X1204USB doesn't come without its quirks, but for its price, it's like finding a well-aged wine at a yard sale. It offers good value for small-scale live events or as an entry point to setting up your home studio recording console.

Now let's switch gears and talk about its competitor – PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB.

Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB: The Power Player

Smooth Setup and Superior Software Integration

Right off the bat, setting up this digital mixer is as easy as pie (or reheating one if you're not much of a baker). There's an army of YouTube tutorials that can guide you through configuring individual channels for various inputs – mics, drums, guitars – you name it! Plus, its recording software, Studio One, is so intuitive and powerful; it makes recording feel like child's play.

Sound Quality: Music to Your Ears

Recording Capabilities that Impress

This mixing console delivers superior sound quality in both live and recorded settings. It captures the essence of live performance without any loss in sound quality. It's like having your own personal concert right in your studio.

Customer Support: Could Be Better

Hit or Miss

Unfortunately, there have been mixed reviews about PreSonus' customer support. Some users have reported issues with warranty support on a unit just 45 days old, which is concerning. It seems like the customer support experience could be a game of roulette.

User-Friendliness and Learning Curve

Easy to Use and Learn

For beginners, this recording equipment is a godsend – easy to learn and use. Even for those at an intermediate level, it's quite adaptable. Record jam sessions, concerts, even phone calls with ease. It's the Swiss Army knife of audio interfaces.

Remote Access: A Double-Edged Sword?

Convenience at a Cost?

One standout feature is the ability to control this studio recording console remotely via a laptop and router. This could be a massive convenience booster in live settings but could also be cumbersome for some due to the extra gear required.

The Overall Verdict: A Solid Contender with Some Caveats

The PreSonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB offers versatility and quality sound for semi-pro studios, small churches, and clubs. However, keep in mind that there might be a learning curve if you're transitioning from an analog mixer to digital.

After carefully weighing both contenders' pros and cons, it becomes clear that one stands out as the winner – The Behringer Xenyx X1204USB. While it has its quirks, it offers a good balance of features, sound quality, and value for money. This mixing console is perfect for those starting on their audio journey, making it the undisputed champion in this face-off.