Behringer XR18 Vs. Zoom LiveTrak L 8: 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. Zoom LiveTrak L 8.

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 Zoom LiveTrak L 8. 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.

Zoom LiveTrak L-8

Zoom LiveTrak L-8: The Portable Powerhouse

I got my hands on the Zoom LiveTrak L-8, and let me tell you, it's like having a field recorder on steroids. This thing's versatile and solid – despite some calling it cheap, my experience says otherwise. I've got two of these, and they've held up well.

Professional Features, Battery-Powered Convenience

The L-8 packs features you'd expect from a pro-level unit – backlighted buttons, effects, presets, recording options, and even a battery backup. After 12 months of use, not a single hiccup. It's got a very robust feel to it. Beginners, intermediates, pros – this mixer's a solid buy for all. David Shanhun on YouTube showcases its capabilities well, so check him out for some real-world usage.

Mac Compatibility and Customer Service Woes

Now, it's not all perfect. I've had issues with my Mac Mini M1 – the mixer doesn't always stay connected after a power cycle. Customer service hasn't been a great help either. Bypassing my USB hub with a direct connection seemed to improve things, though.

Pre-Amps and Recording Excellence

What really stands out are the six high-performance pre-amps, each with phantom power. It's tough finding a portable recorder with this quality. The board's layered menu-driven controls can be overwhelming at first, but they open up a world of great recording possibilities. Those 6 assignable Sound Pads with 13 preset sounds are a blast, adding an extra dimension, especially for podcasters.

Great for Podcasting and Mixing

It's not just for recording; the L-8 is a fantastic tool for podcasting and mixing. The phone integration is a nice touch too. As an audio interface, it's a winner – plug it into a USB power bank, and you're set for high-quality recordings anywhere.

Live Streaming and Solo Acts

For church livestreaming or solo acts, it's a breeze to use. It's got way more features than I've tapped into yet, but it's been smooth sailing so far. The effects are usable, unlike many other mixers I've encountered, which is a major plus for live performances.

Recording and Interface Capabilities

As an audio interface, it's top-notch. You can record at 48/32, which is a step up from most interfaces offering a fixed 24-bit rate. The digital recorder is simple to use – just record your gig, pop the SD card into your computer, and drag and drop the audio files into your DAW.
Final Verdict

This mixer is a dream device for podcasters and small bands. It combines mixing and recording in a portable package that runs on batteries or power banks. The preamps sound amazing, making mics like the Shure Beta 58 sound fuller and richer. The only downside? You can use only one effect for all tracks, so no combining effects or using different ones on different tracks. But overall, highly recommended!

Head 2 Head: Behringer XR18 or Zoom LiveTrak L 8

Behringer XR18: The Shining Star of Audio Mixers

Get ready to dive into the world of digital mixing consoles with the Behringer XR18. This bad boy delivers quality sound that puts it ahead of other audio mixer comparisons. It's a bonafide beast that'll handle anything from a live sound recording to a studio jam session.

Features? Behold!

The XR18 is jam-packed with features, making it a serious heavy hitter in its price range. Its multitrack recording capabilities are top-notch, and there are generous channel inputs and outputs. Its onboard effects processors are also pretty nifty, providing an extensive control that'll make you feel like a sound wizard in both live and studio settings.

Minor Drawbacks

But hey, no mixer is perfect. The XR18 could use some time-alignment capabilities and the built-in Wi-Fi can be a tad unreliable – the struggle is real during live gigs! It's best to keep your connections wired when it matters most.

Tough as Nails

Don't let any woes deter you though, because this unit is as robust as they come. The software provides comprehensive control over the unit with just minor platform-specific quirks. And hardware-wise? Solid as a rock.

The Verdict on Behringer XR18

To sum things up for our German-engineered friend here, if you're after an audio mixer that's feature-rich and reliable, the Behringer XR18 is your go-to choice.

The Zoom LiveTrak L-8: The Swiss Army Knife of Portable Mixers

Next up is the Zoom LiveTrak L-8, a portable mixer that's like a field recorder with superpowers. Despite what some may say about its build, this unit has proven to be a reliable workhorse.

A Powerhouse in Your Hand

The L-8 is loaded with professional features like backlighted buttons, presets, and even a battery backup. It's got XLR connectors and USB audio interface compatibility – it's practically begging you to take it on the road.

Great for Podcasting and Mixing

Besides recording, this mixer doubles as an excellent tool for podcasting and mixing. Its phone integration is a handy feature for those on-the-go interviews. As an audio interface, just plug it into a USB power bank, and you're good to record anywhere.

The Final Word on Zoom LiveTrak L-8

The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 is a dream device for podcasters and small bands looking for mixing and recording in one portable package. Its only downside? You can only use one effect for all tracks.

So Who's The Winner?

After careful consideration (and several cups of coffee), the winner of this audio mixer comparison is… *drumroll*… the Behringer XR18! Why? It simply offers more control options that are vital in both live settings and studio environments. And let's face it, reliability issues are far less common with the XR18. While the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 is a solid mixer, the Behringer XR18 just brings more to the table in terms of overall performance. So, cheers to the Behringer XR18 – you've earned it!