In a sea of options, finding the perfect studio mixer can be tricky.
But breathe easy, this guide is crafted specially for you - whether you're a beginner on a budget or an experienced audio professional looking for an upgrade.
We've got you covered!
Our carefully curated list includes top-notch mixers that cater to all budgets and use-cases.
By the end of this read, we assure you that you'll have all the knowledge needed to make an informed decision.
- 1. Yamaha MG10XU: Best All-Rounder
- 2. Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX: Best Mixer For Traveling
- 3. Behringer Xenyx 1204USB: Best For Price Conscious Folks Who Love Quality
- 4. Mackie Mix Series Mix8
- 5. PreSonus StudioLive AR8c
- 6. Soundcraft Signature 10 Mixer
- 7. Behringer Xenyx 802
- 8. Mackie ProFXv3 Series
- 9. Tascam Model 12
- 10. Zoom LiveTrak L-8
1. Yamaha MG10XU: Best All-Rounder
YAMAHA MG10XU 10-Input Stereo Mixer with Effects
- 10 channel mixer with USB and SPX digital effects
- Featuring studio grade discrete class A D PRE amps with inverted Darlington circuit providing fat, natural sounding bass and smooth, soaring highs
- 3 band EQ and high pass filters give you maximum control and eliminate unwanted noise, resulting in
Imagine having a compact, high-quality mixer at your fingertips. With the Yamaha MG10XU, that's exactly what you get. This little gem has studio grade discrete class A D PRE amps. They deliver a rich, natural bass and soaring highs that sink into your ears like honey.
Precision Control Features
Not only does it have amazing sound quality, but it also gives you maximum control over your audio. With its handy 3-band EQ and high pass filters, you can easily eliminate unwanted noise for a cleaner mix.
The Yamaha MG10XU is designed to withstand the rigours of use with its rugged metal chassis. It's compact too! At just 244mm x 71mm x 294mm (9.6x2.8x11.6 inches), it can easily fit in most spaces.
Experience User-Friendly Functionality
This mixer comes with one-knob compressors that make it easy to control the sound levels of different instruments and vocals. Whether you need livelier guitars or punchier bass lines, adjusting the sound is as simple as turning a knob.
From my own experience doing voice work for radio networks and making DVD-Audio disks from remastered LPs and reel-to-reels, I've found the audio preamps and phantom power for microphones to be top-notch on this device.
In essence, if you're an amateur musician looking for tools to enhance your sound or a professional needing reliable equipment for work or travel - this mixer's versatility makes it quite suitable for both scenarios without being overly complicated.
2. Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX: Best Mixer For Traveling
Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX - Compact Hybrid Audio Mixer/4x4 USB Interface with 61 Studio Quality FX (AH-ZEDi-10FX),Black
- The compact ZED range of mixers feature the same high-level audio and build quality as A&H’s large format touring consoles, with separate internal channel boards, Neutrik connectors and every pot fixed to the chassis.
- GS-Pre XLR microphone preamps, developed from those featured in the highly acclaimed GS-R24 studio
After using and testing the ZED compact mixer, I must say, it's a fantastic piece of equipment. From its high-level audio to build quality, it's as good as top-tier touring consoles.
Exceptional preamps are at the heart of it, giving low noise and more-than-adequate headroom. It brought out the best in my microphone! Even my electric guitar could be connected directly without a separate DI box.
The 100Hz High Pass Filter is terrific! It wipes out unneeded low frequencies effortlessly. And with the 3-band MusiQ EQ? Sound sculpting becomes child's play!
A highlight for me is definitely its studio quality multi-FX unit. With 61 adjustable FX types including delay and modulation with tap tempo, you can make sure everything stays in time. The FX were anything but ordinary - developed internally based on flagship digital console algorithms.
Adding to its brilliance is an easy-to-use 96kHz 4x4 USB interface. Whether you want to capture your mix or individual channels, this has got you covered.
And guess what? It doesn't even need drivers! Just plug into most computers or mobile devices - yes, even smartphones!
With its 4 x Mic/Line Inputs and other versatile features, this mixer is ideal for musicians seeking studio-grade sound from their home setup.
3. Behringer Xenyx 1204USB: Best For Price Conscious Folks Who Love Quality
The Behringer Xenyx 1204USB is a great fit for folks who are conscious of price but don't want to skimp out on features. This 8-channel USB mixer doesn't play around! It packs in a lot with its one-knob compression feature.
Each channel gets its own 3-band EQ which is quite handy. You also get two aux sends and built-in effects to experiment with. But what really stands out are the two busses that make it stand apart.
The USB interface? Well, it's okay, not mind-blowing but does the job. The board offers single knob compressors, EQ's channel-wise, and AUX/FX sends thrown in with an decent on board FX processor.
If you're curious about the price - let's just say it leaves you satisfied without feeling like your pocket's been picked. Had I paid over $300 for this gadget though, I would have wanted more for my money.
So if you've been considering USB preamps or similar gear - why not give this a shot instead? The Behringer Xenyx 1204USB definitely gives you more bang for your buck.
4. Mackie Mix Series Mix8
I've had my hands on this mixer and let me tell you, it's a heck of a device. Basically, you can plug in and mix together 3 devices for monitoring or output. No audio noise whatsoever. Yeah, the price might make you raise an eyebrow, but trust me, it's worth every penny.
The features are super handy. Once you set things up right, there's barely any need to tinker around afterward. It's a 5-Channel mixer which means only three devices can get plugged in total.
Device one is where your mic goes in - XLR or line in (1/4 or 6.35mm), Device two and three are all about Mono Sound - Left and Right respectively (1/4 or 6.35mm). The Main Out mixes everything above to an L and R Mono output (1/4 or 6.35mm).
You got your headphones slot - that's used for stereo monitoring with (1/4 or 6.35mm). Then there is the Tape Setting which lets you mix out or listen too with White and Red RCA input.
Yep! You guessed it right; we can slot in two tape devices here, but we've no control over the volume levels here.
Now, there's a bit of a snag; it controls both Left and Right audio at the same time on whatever device you slot into so if you’re trying to control the audio levels separately, well…you know what to do.
But don't worry after just a little tweaking here and there everything will be working flawlessly straight outta the box.
So who is this for? Well I'd say anyone looking for an introductory sound mixer might want to take it for a spin. Sure it has its quirks, but overall? Worth giving it some serious thought!
5. PreSonus StudioLive AR8c
PreSonus StudioLive AR8c 8-Channel USB-C Hybrid Digital/Analog Performance Mixer, Unpowered
- 8x4 24-bit/96 kHz, USB 2. 0 (over USB-C connection) audio recording interface; record every channel plus the main mix
- 2x2 SD recorder (record main mix); supports SD and SDHC formats up to 32 GB
- 8-channel analog mixer with 4 balanced mic inputs with XMAX mic preamps, 2 instrument/line
Speaking from my experience, the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c is an extremely adaptable compact hybrid digital/analog mixer. Designed with podcasters, live streamers, musicians, and content creators like you in mind, it's incredibly user-friendly and straightforward to set up.
A key aspect of this mixer is its compatibility with USB-C. This makes it a breeze to connect to your computer for all your recording and mixing needs. I also can't overlook the four high-gain XMAX mic preamps, which consistently deliver top-notch audio input.
Here are some features that truly set this mixer apart:
- SD Card Recording: You can effortlessly record the main mix straight to an SD card, supporting both SD and SDHC formats.
- Onboard Effects: The AR8c is equipped with a range of built-in effects, such as reverbs, echoes, delays, and chorus.
- Three-Band EQ: The precision of the three-band EQ on each channel allows for accurate sound shaping.
- Bluetooth Connectivity: It's easy to wirelessly stream music or backing tracks thanks to Bluetooth 5.0.
- Free Software: Every purchase comes with Capture live-recording software and Studio One Artist DAW for Mac and Windows, transforming your computer into a high-powered production tool.
In my opinion, the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c is an excellent choice for those seeking a high-quality, user-friendly mixer for a variety of applications including podcasting, live streaming, music production, and band rehearsals. Its small size combined with its comprehensive input options makes it suitable for both studio and live environments.
Many users, including myself, have commended the AR8c for its exceptional sound quality, ease of use, and the bonus software. But remember, if you need more inputs, you might want to consider its bigger siblings, the AR12c or AR16c models.
6. Soundcraft Signature 10 Mixer
Soundcraft Signature 12MTK Analog 12-Channel Multi-track Mixer with Onboard Lexicon Effects
- High-performance 12-Input small format analogue mixer with onboard effects and multi-track USB recording and playback
- 14-In/12-out ultra-low latency USB playback and recording interface
- Iconic Soundcraft Ghost mic preamps with ultra-low noise performance
- Renowned Soundcraft sapphire British EQ with sweepable mid-bands per channel
- Lexicon effects engine featuring award-winning reverbs,
7. Behringer Xenyx 802
8. Mackie ProFXv3 Series
Mackie ProFX6v3 6-Channel Sound Reinforcement Mixer
- Equipped with 2 Onyx mic press offering up to 60dB of gain and ultra-low noise performance. Perfect for microphones popular with content creators that require high-gain preamps
- Lay down your tracks in incredible 24-bit/ 192kHz quality for the cleanest recordings possible. 2x4 USB I/O allows you to create
9. Tascam Model 12
Tascam Model 12 All-in-One 12-track Digital Multitrack Mixing and Recording Studio, Mixer, USB Audio Interface and DAW Controller
- 12 in / 10 Out USB Audio Interface for DAW Connectivity
- Click Output with TAP TEMPO
- Onboard MIDI Functionality
- 1-knob compressor and 3 band EQ installed on all input modules
- Dual headphone output with individual volume and source selection
10. Zoom LiveTrak L-8
Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Podcast Recorder, Battery Powered, Digital Mixer and Recorder, Music Mixer, Phone Input, Sound Pads, 4 Headphone Outputs, 12-In/4-Out Audio Interface, Built In EQ and Effects
- 8-Channel digital mixer ( 6 combo, plus 2 TS inputs )
- 12-Track simultaneous recording, 10-track playback
- Mix-minus function preventing audio feedback from dial-in guests
- 6 assignable sound pads, with 13 preset sounds
- Battery operated with four AA batteries or a USB power supply