Behringer XR18 Vs. Mackie Mix12FX: 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 Mix12FX.

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 Mix12FX. 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 Mix12FX 12-Channel Compact Mixer

After getting the Mackie Mix12FX 12-Channel Compact Mixer for personal use, I've had some time to really dive into what it offers. This mixer isn't in my studio setup; it's more for my personal, smaller-scale audio projects. Let's break down my experience with it.

Initial Impressions and Build Quality

First off, the mixer feels sturdy. Mackie is known for their solid construction, and this mixer is no exception. It's compact, which is perfect for my needs, fitting nicely into my personal workspace without taking up too much room.

Input and Output Options

The 4 Mic/Line Inputs with 3-Band EQ & HPF are quite handy. They provide enough flexibility for most of my projects, which typically involve a couple of microphones and some line-level devices. The addition of Stereo RCA Tape Inputs & Outputs is a nice touch, allowing for more connectivity options.

Sound Quality and Features

Sound-wise, the Mix12FX delivers. The 3-Band EQ on each channel gives me enough control to tweak the sound to my liking. The built-in effects are a bonus, although I wouldn't say they're studio-grade. They're more than sufficient for adding a bit of flavor to the mix during practices or casual recording sessions.

Additional Accessories

The G-MIXERBAG-1212 Padded Nylon Mixer Bag is a lifesaver. It's great for keeping the mixer safe during transport. As for the PB-S3410 3.5 mm Stereo Breakout Cable, it's been essential for connecting my laptop or phone to the mixer, especially when I want to play along with tracks or incorporate other media into my sessions.

User Experience

For personal use, this mixer hits the sweet spot. It's uncomplicated, making it easy to set up and start using without a steep learning curve. The pan, level, and overload indications on each channel are clear and straightforward, helping me avoid any mishaps during use.

Powering Condenser Mics

The availability of 48V phantom power is a big plus, as it allows me to use condenser mics without needing an external power source. This feature is particularly useful for higher-quality vocal recordings.

Overall Thoughts

In conclusion, the Mackie Mix12FX is a reliable, compact mixer that's perfect for personal use. It offers a good balance of features and sound quality for its size and price. While it might not have the bells and whistles of more expensive studio mixers, it's more than adequate for small-scale projects and practice sessions. The additional accessories like the padded bag and breakout cable only add to its value. For anyone looking for a straightforward, effective mixer for personal use, I'd definitely recommend the Mackie Mix12FX.

Head 2 Head: Behringer XR18 or Mackie Mix12FX

Let's dive headfirst into the deep end with the Behringer XR18. This audio mixer isn't just another kid in the playground; it's a seasoned pro on a class field trip. It's an all-in-one digital mixer, soundboard, and audio interface that won't break your bank account or your back. I mean, seriously, for the price point, this stage recording and live mixing console is a little too good to be true.

Feature-Loaded and Reliable

This bad boy comes loaded with features that you'd likely expect from a mixer twice its price. The Behringer XR18 offers high-quality audio along with comprehensive control options. Perfect for anyone looking to take command of their sound in live or studio recording situations.

Points of Improvement

In true “you can't have everything” style though, there are a few things Behringer could improve upon. For starters, it lacks time-alignment (although you'll find this feature in its cousin, the X32). The built-in Wi-Fi can also be a bit temperamental at times – not ideal when you're knee-deep in a live situation. And there is definitely an adjustment period when transitioning between different software interfaces like iPad and computer.

A Solid Performer

Hardware-wise, it's sturdy enough to survive regular gigging while the software offers robust control over the unit. All things considered, if you're looking for an audio mixer that ticks all your boxes without leaving your wallet sobbing in a dark corner, then the Behringer XR18 is worth flirting with.

Now let's saunter over to our second contender: Mackie Mix12FX. This compact mixer may be small in size, but it's certainly not shy when it comes to delivering on performance. It's the perfect portable mixer for smaller-scale audio projects.

Compact and Durable

The build quality is solid. Mackie hasn't cut corners here, which makes this USB mixer perfect for those who need a compact yet sturdy companion for their audio adventures.

Connectivity Options

With 4 Mic/Line Inputs equipped with a 3-Band EQ & HPF, and Stereo RCA Tape Inputs & Outputs, this little beast has versatility written all over it.

Quality Sound and Features

Sound-wise, the Mackie Mix12FX delivers. The built-in effects aren't exactly studio-grade but they're more than sufficient for adding some magic to your mix during practice or casual recording sessions.

Essential Accessories

The inclusion of a G-MIXERBAG-1212 Padded Nylon Mixer Bag is a nice touch – no one wants their new toy getting battered in transit. And the PB-S3410 3.5 mm Stereo Breakout Cable is super handy for connecting your laptop or phone to the mixer.

A User-Friendly Experience

There isn't a steep learning curve with this mixer – it's pretty much plug and play. Its straightforward interface, clear indications on each channel and the availability of 48V phantom power (for those condenser mics) makes it an attractive choice for personal use.

After weighing up both contenders, we have to crown a winner. And that winner is… drumroll please… the Behringer XR18! This audio mixer is the heavyweight champion in a featherweight's body. It offers more features, better control options and exceptional sound quality, which makes it the ideal choice for professional live or studio use. The Mackie Mix12FX, while solid for personal use and smaller projects, simply can't compete with the Behringer XR18's knockout combo of price point and performance. And so, in this battle of the mixers, the Behringer XR18 stands tall as our clear winner.