Behringer XR18 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 XR18 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 XR18 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 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.

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 XR18 or Mackie 1402VLZ4

Both the Behringer XR18 and Mackie 1402VLZ4 are solid choices in the realm of audio mixers, each packing its own punch. However, when it comes to an audio mixer comparison, especially between digital mixers and analog mixers like these two, one has to delve into the nitty-gritty. So put on your audio-nerd glasses and let's dive deep into this Behringer vs Mackie showdown.

Behringer XR18: The Digital Powerhouse

The Behringer XR18 is a beast in sheep’s clothing. Don't let its modest price tag fool you; this little box packs a wallop. The sound quality is top-notch, with extensive control options. This baby is perfect for those who need comprehensive control whether in a live setting or studio environment. However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. The XR18 lacks time-alignment, a feature available in its elder sibling X32 – which could be a deal-breaker for some audio aficionados. And while it does have built-in Wi-Fi, don't bet your gig on it – it can be as fickle as a cat on bath day. Despite these minor hiccups, the software is sturdy like an oak tree and offers comprehensive control over every nook and cranny of this unit.

Mackie 1402VLZ4: The Analog Contender

The Mackie 1402VLZ4 makes one hell of an entrance with its sleek design that's more compact than a hipster's apartment. It's ideal for smaller spaces or those who just don't want their mixer to dominate their desk like an overgrown bonsai. This mixer is straightforward to use with intuitive monitor setups that even my grandma could manage (no offense, granny). The sound it pumps out is quiet and clean – just the way we like it. However, the 1402VLZ4 seems to have taken a step back in terms of build quality. The move from metal to plastic casing might leave some worrying about its durability. Plus, there have been a few complaints about scratchy volume pots, which can be as annoying as a mosquito in your room at night.

The Verdict: XR18 vs 1402VLZ4

So, who's the winner in this soundboard comparison? Well, after weighing all factors and doing my best imitation of a wise sage, I would crown the Behringer XR18 as the champion of this audio equipment comparison. The XR18 delivers unbeatable value for money with its extensive features and top-notch audio quality. Yes, it has minor downsides like the fussy Wi-Fi and lack of time-alignment – but considering its price bracket, these are minor quibbles that can be overlooked. That’s not to say that the Mackie 1402VLZ4 doesn't have its merits. It's a good choice for those who prefer analog mixers with simple functionality and compact design. However, concerns over build quality and longevity give the Behringer XR18 an edge. In short, whether you're setting up for live gigs or working in a studio environment — or even if you're just podcasting from your basement — the Behringer XR18 is an investment that will pay dividends in reliability and performance. So go on and get yourself one — you won't regret it!