Behringer Xenyx X1204USB Vs. PreSonus StudioLive AR12c: 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 AR12c.

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 AR12c. 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 AR12c

Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer: In-Depth Review After Extensive Use

Initial Impressions and Functionality

After over two years of using the Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer, I've got a lot to share. Initially, this mixer impressed with its robust features – SD recording, Bluetooth connectivity, and the abundance of free software it comes with. The multi-track software, particularly useful for recording and editing, adds significant value. Its form factor and features like the microphone preamps and USB-C connectivity seemed promising for a range of applications – from music production to podcasting.

Performance and Reliability Issues

Short Lifespan and Quality Concerns

The major downside, however, has been the mixer's reliability. It worked flawlessly for a period, but after 2.5 years, it abruptly stopped working. This was particularly frustrating as the mixer was handled with care and never subjected to any rough use. The lack of durability for a high-end piece of equipment is a significant drawback, especially considering the cost of repair, which can run into hundreds of dollars.

Customer Service Experience

Lack of Support and Warranty Concerns

My experience with customer service was less than satisfactory. When the mixer failed, I reached out, only to be told that it was out of warranty. While this is technically true, the expectation for a quality mixer to last beyond 2.5 years is reasonable. The company's approach to customer service and their unwillingness to provide support or reasonable repair options is a major red flag.

Sound Quality and Features

Excellent Audio but Some Limitations

On the positive side, the mixer's sound quality is excellent when it works. The microphone preamps, while needing to be turned up high for certain mics, provide clear and crisp audio. The multi-track capabilities are user-friendly and the mixer is fairly easy to navigate, even for those new to audio equipment. The inclusion of SD card recording and Bluetooth adds to its versatility, although the SD recording could benefit from more informative display features.

Form Factor and Build

Good Design with Some Build Quality Issues

The mixer's form factor is appealing – it's compact and fits well in various setups. However, the build quality seems to be a concern given the longevity issues I've experienced. The unit feels sturdy initially, but the internal components may not be as reliable.

Overall Experience

Mixed Feelings Due to Reliability Issues

In summary, while the Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer offers a range of impressive features and excellent sound quality, its reliability is a major concern. The poor customer service and the mixer's short lifespan significantly overshadow its initial appeal. For those considering this mixer, it's crucial to weigh these factors. The possibility of encountering similar issues and the lack of support from Presonus might be deal-breakers for many potential buyers.

Head 2 Head: Behringer Xenyx X1204USB or PreSonus StudioLive AR12c

Behringer Xenyx X1204USB: The Reliable Workhorse

Long-lasting and Dependable
Let's talk about the Behringer Xenyx X1204USB. This audio mixer has proven itself to be a trusty companion over a seven-year stint. It's been a workhorse, handling tasks from acting as an XLR to USB interface for calls to being at the heart of many live sound mixing sessions. Sure, some faders might crackle, and a button or two might be stubborn, but let’s be honest, we've all seen worse after seven years.

Drivers: A Tale of Woe

Stick with the Default
Here's where things get dicey. The Behringer drivers for Windows 7 were more like unruly teenagers than obedient servants. They played havoc with my system stability (hello blue screens) and put a damper on recording modes. After much ado about nothing good, I went back to the default Windows 7 drivers – much smoother sailing there! So if you're still rocking Windows 7 (no judgment), do yourself a favor and stick with the default drivers.

USB Interface: Room for Improvement

Limited but Functional
The USB interface on this audio mixer is like that one friend who’s fun but doesn't always read the room well – it lacks volume control and EQ adjustments. And you're locked into 44.1K or 48K output if you're using the USB out based on the main bus – not ideal if you need both main mix out and USB output simultaneously.

Mixer Features: Some Hits & Misses

Quality Preamps with a Flavor
Now here's where the Behringer Xenyx X1204USB shines. The preamps are quite impressive, adding a warm touch to your audio (think cozy winter fireplace). The built-in compressors and EQ? Pretty solid for the price tag. The AUX channel's integration with the master mix can be a bit limiting, but hey, life’s all about trade-offs! And let's not forget about the FX channel – it's like a spice rack full of sound effects.

PreSonus StudioLive AR12c: A Rollercoaster Ride

Impressive Features but Short Lived
Let's switch gears and talk about the Presonus StudioLive AR12c. This digital mixer made quite the first impression with its robust features. SD recording? Check. Bluetooth connectivity? Double-check. Free software galore? Absolutely. The form factor was appealing, and features like microphone preamps and USB-C connectivity seemed promising for uses from music production to podcasting.

Performance: An Unexpected Downfall

Quality Concerns
However, this recording console had an unexpected plot twist – after 2.5 years of perfect behavior, it suddenly gave up the ghost. Considering its price point and careful use, this was quite disappointing – like seeing your favorite superhero turn villain.

Customer Service: Leaves Much to Be Desired

Lackluster Support
Contacting customer service was akin to shouting into a void – I was told my mixer was out of warranty with no further assistance offered. Not exactly what you'd expect from a high-end studio recording equipment manufacturer.

Sound Quality and Features: A Silver Lining

Impressive Audio Quality
Let's not be all doom and gloom – the Presonus StudioLive AR12c delivers excellent sound quality when it's not pulling a disappearing act. The microphone preamps provide clear and crisp audio, although some mics might need a boost. The multi-track capabilities are easy to navigate, even for newbies to the audio mixer world.

In the End: One Mixer Stands Tall

And the Winner Is…
After a thorough audio interface comparison between these two contenders, it’s time to declare a winner. Drumroll, please…the Behringer Xenyx X1204USB takes the crown! Why? It was a close call, but in the end, what set the Behringer Xenyx X1204USB apart was its reliability and longevity. Sure, it has its quirks (looking at you, drivers), but for its price point and durability over time, it offers solid value. The customer service experience and quality concerns with the Presonus Studiolive AR12c were significant drawbacks that couldn't be overlooked. So whether you're running live sound mixing gigs or setting up your home studio recording equipment – the Behringer Xenyx X1204USB is your trusty sidekick.