Behringer XR18 Vs. IK Multimedia iRig Pro: 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 XR18 vs. IK Multimedia iRig Pro.

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 XR18 and IK Multimedia iRig Pro. 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 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.

IK Multimedia iRig Pro

Unboxing and First Impressions

The IK Multimedia Quattro I/O is a compact yet feature-rich audio interface that stands out in its class. It's impressively lightweight and efficient, making it a versatile choice for musicians and audio engineers alike. When I first unpacked it, its intuitive control surface, reminiscent of other IK Multimedia devices, immediately struck a chord with me.

Recording and Input Quality

Crystal Clear Recordings with Zero Lag

My initial tests involved recording simple tracks into Logic using a microphone and guitar direct line. The input levels were a breeze to set, resulting in crystal clear recordings with no noticeable lag. The device was instantly recognized by Logic, offering seamless integration. The onboard phantom power efficiently powered my condenser mic, though it required some fine-tuning to achieve the perfect level.

Build and Connectivity

Sturdy Design with Versatile Connection Options

The build quality of the Quattro I/O feels durable, and its provision of MIDI in and out, high-end XLR output, and a variety of power options (battery or USB) add to its versatility. Its compatibility with computers and mobile devices is a significant advantage, making it a great choice for both studio and mobile use. The inclusion of all necessary cables and a tripod attachment is a thoughtful addition, enhancing its usability in live settings.

Standalone Mixer Functionality

Limited EQ Controls, but Stellar Sound Output

As a standalone mixer, the Quattro I/O performs admirably. While it lacks EQ controls on the surface, the quality of sound output when paired with external mic preamps or effect pedals is outstanding. This capability makes it a valuable tool for live performances.

Portability and Power Efficiency

Battery Life and Mobile Device Compatibility

The device's portability is enhanced by its ability to run on battery power when used standalone or with mobile devices. While I haven't fully tested the battery life limits, its performance in this mode has been reliable. The quick response from IK Multimedia support regarding a missing serial number/registration card was impressive and speaks volumes about their customer service.

Pros and Cons

Deep Feature Set with Room for Improvement

Pros: The Quattro I/O excels in its compact and lightweight design, making it easy to transport. Its deep feature set, including excellent mic pres, flexible input/output options, and compatibility across devices, sets it apart. Its functionality as a standalone mixer and inclusion of 48-volt phantom power are also noteworthy.
Cons: Despite its many strengths, there are some limitations, particularly for specific uses such as DJ'ing streaming, as some users have reported issues with sound quality and device freezing. Additionally, some users have found difficulties in processing effects on iPads.

Head 2 Head: Behringer XR18 or IK Multimedia iRig Pro

Behringer XR18 – A Goliath in the Live Sound Mixer Scene

Right out of the gate, it's clear that the Behringer XR18 is a beast of a digital mixing console. This compact audio interface has proven its mettle with months of consistent use and zero reliability issues. It’s like that friend who always shows up on time, rain or shine. You know the one.

A Wealth of Features Within Your Grasp

The XR18's feature set makes it a heartthrob in its price range. There's more here than you'd find in your grandma's attic! Top-notch audio quality and an extensive array of control options make this a perfect choice for those seeking comprehensive control, whether for live sound mixing or studio use.

A Few Wrinkles to Iron Out

But, as with any piece of music production gear, there are some areas where the XR18 could brush up its act. The absence of time-alignment is noticeable (like forgetting the cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving). And while we’re at it, the built-in Wi-Fi can be temperamental in live situations – definitely not ideal when you’re trying to rock out and your connection is acting like a moody teenager.

Solid Hardware Meets Robust Software

The Behringer XR18 feels like it could withstand a stampede – solid and well-built for regular gigging. Its software offers comprehensive control over the unit, despite some platform-specific quirks – kind of like trying to switch between driving on either side of the road.

On to the next contender.

IK Multimedia iRig Pro – Portable Recording Equipment at Its Finest

Unboxing this lightweight beauty feels like opening a present on Christmas morning. The IK Multimedia iRig Pro is the Swiss Army knife of USB audio interfaces – compact, efficient, and oozing with features.

Crystal Clear Recordings and Seamless Integration

Whether you're recording tracks into Logic with a microphone or guitar direct line, the iRig Pro delivers clear recordings faster than you can say “Grammy nomination”. And if you’re worried about compatibility, it’s as seamless as silk pajamas.

A Durable Build with Versatile Connectivity Options

The iRig Pro is built to last, with an array of connection options that make it quite the social butterfly. MIDI in and out, high-end XLR output, battery or USB power – this iOS recording interface has got you covered for both studio and mobile use.

A Standalone Mixer with Stellar Sound Output

As a standalone mixer, the iRig Pro packs quite a punch. While it doesn't have EQ controls on its surface (I know – bummer), it makes up for it with outstanding sound output when paired with external mic preamps or effect pedals.

A Portable Powerhouse That's Easy on the Battery

And did I mention its portability? With its ability to run on battery power when used standalone or with mobile devices, this piece of portable recording equipment is ready to hit the road when you are.

The Good and The Not-So-Good

The Upside: Compact and lightweight design (like carrying a feather), excellent mic pres, flexible input/output options – basically everything but the kitchen sink.

The Downside: Some users have reported issues with sound quality and device freezing, especially while DJ'ing or streaming. Processing effects on iPads can also be a bit of a hurdle. And the Winner is…

Drum roll, please! After carefully considering each contender, the clear winner has to be the Behringer XR18. Why, you ask? Well, despite some minor setbacks, it shines for its robustness and reliability. Its extensive control options and top-notch audio quality make it an excellent investment for both live use and studio work. In short, it's like that trusty old pick-up truck that never lets you down – it’s not perfect but it gets the job done every single time.