Behringer XR18 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 XR18 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 XR18 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 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.

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 XR18 or PreSonus StudioLive AR12c

Behringer XR18: A Value-Packed Powerhouse

Don't let the semi-hefty price tag fool you. This dark horse in the world of digital mixers offers a bang for your buck, that's hard to beat. The Behringer XR18 has been gracing my studio for several months now, and I'm yet to encounter any reliability issues – a testimony to its sturdy and dependable nature.

Behringer's Feature Fiesta

The XR18 is much like a Swiss army knife, packed with a wealth of features that are hard to find in other mixers within this price range. The audio quality is top-notch, perfect for audiophiles who crave crystal-clear sound reproduction. I've found it particularly useful in live settings where comprehensive control over live sound equipment is crucial.

Room for Improvement?

Every rose has its thorn, and the Behringer is no exception. There are some areas where this mixer could do better. For instance, it lacks time-alignment – a feature available in its higher-end cousin – the X32.

Sure, the built-in Wi-Fi can be temperamental at times (especially in live situations), but that's nothing a good old-fashioned wired connection can't fix. Plus, expect a bit of boot camp when switching between software interfaces on different platforms – an iPad interface may feel like learning Portuguese after mastering Spanish on a computer.

Software and Hardware: An Enduring Relationship

The software is robust and provides comprehensive control over the unit – think of it as your personal audio puppeteer. On the hardware front, this unit feels solid and well-built – ready to join you on countless gigs without throwing a tantrum.

Verdict on the XR18

The Behringer XR18 is like that reliable friend who always shows up when you need them. It might have a few quirks, but its overall performance, versatility, and reliability make it an excellent investment for studio work, live use or podcasting.

Presonus StudioLive AR12C: A Promising Contender with Some Hiccups

Now let's turn our attention to the Presonus StudioLive AR12C. Right out of the box, this mixer is like a candy store for audio enthusiasts. It comes with some impressive features – SD recording, Bluetooth connectivity, and a plethora of free software.

AR12C: A Rollercoaster Ride of Performance and Reliability

Quality Concerns and Lifespan Woes

The Presonus StudioLive AR12C is like a promising novel with an unexpected plot twist. After 2.5 years of use, my unit abruptly decided to take an early retirement. The lack of durability in such high-end recording consoles raises some serious eyebrows.

Customer Service: A Bumpy Road Ahead

You know what they say about first impressions – well, my experience with Presonus customer service was anything but impressive. Their approach to warranty issues felt like getting served a cold coffee – not exactly what you'd expect after investing in top-tier studio equipment.

Sound Quality and Features: A Mixed Bag

On the bright side, the sound quality doesn't disappoint when it's working properly. The preamps provide clear audio while its multi-track capabilities are user-friendly – perfect for beginners dipping their toes into the world of audio interfaces.

The Final Verdict on the AR12C

The Presonus StudioLive AR12C comes with a mixed bag of pros and cons. While its impressive features and excellent sound quality might tempt you, the mixer's lifespan and customer service experience could be potential deal-breakers. After thorough consideration and a detailed mixer comparison, it's time to crown the winner. So, drumroll please… The Behringer XR18 takes the crown! This unit delivers an unbeatable feature set, top-notch audio quality, and most importantly – reliable performance. The Behringer XR18 is a clear cut above the Presonus StudioLive AR12C in this studio equipment comparison.