Presonus StudioLive 1602 Vs. Soundcraft Ui16: Reviewed & Compared

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: Presonus StudioLive 1602 vs. Soundcraft Ui16.

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 Presonus StudioLive 1602 and Soundcraft Ui16. 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.

Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB

After having a little play around with the Studio Live 16 from PreSonus, here's my verdict:

Setup and Software Integration

Straight out of the box, the setup was a breeze. There are tons of YouTube tutorials available that make configuring individual channels for various inputs like mics, drums, and guitars pretty straightforward. The recording software, Studio One, is a gem – intuitive and powerful. I even upgraded to the professional version because of a sweet 50% off deal they were running, and I'm glad I did.

Sound Quality and Recording Capabilities

The sound quality, both live and recorded, is top-notch. There's a certain accuracy in playback that makes the live music sound just as it's being played. The mixer does a great job in capturing the essence of live performance without any loss in sound quality.

Customer Support: A Mixed Bag

While I personally didn't run into major issues, I've heard some chatter about PreSonus' customer support being a hit or miss. One user mentioned an issue with warranty support on a unit just 45 days old, which is concerning. It seems like your experience might vary depending on the problem at hand.

User-Friendliness and Learning Curve

For beginners, this board and the accompanying DAW are a godsend. They're easy to learn and use. Even if you're at an intermediate level, like me, you'll find the Studio Live 16 to be quite adaptable. You can record jam sessions, concerts, and even phone calls with ease.

Remote Access and Portability

A standout feature is the ability to control the mixer remotely via a laptop and router, which adds a layer of convenience, especially in live settings. However, some users might find this setup a bit cumbersome, as it requires extra gear (laptop and router) for remote access.

Overall Experience

Overall, the Studio Live 16 is a great piece of equipment for semi-pro studios, small churches, and clubs. Its integration with Studio One DAW is seamless, and the mixer itself offers a great range of features. However, the learning curve can be a bit steep, especially if you're transitioning from analog to digital, and the remote access setup might not be ideal for everyone.

In short, if you're looking for a digital mixer that feels somewhat analog, has scene-saving capabilities, and offers remote access (with a bit of setup), the Studio Live 16 could be a solid choice. Just keep in mind the potential support issues and the learning curve involved.

Soundcraft Ui16 Remote-Controlled Digital Mixer

I got my hands on the Soundcraft Ui16 Remote-Controlled 16-Input Digital Mixer about a month or two ago, and let me tell you, it's been an interesting ride. This mixer has its highs and lows, and I'm here to give you the full scoop.

The Good: Features and Flexibility

The Ui16 is packed with features that can make any tech-savvy sound person drool. First off, the ability to control it from a tablet or phone is a total game-changer. It makes sound checks a breeze, especially if you're running solo. The mixer comes with a range of inputs and outputs, offering ample flexibility for various setups. The built-in effects, including Lexicon reverbs and dbx dynamics, are top-notch, giving your sound that professional edge.
The mixer's wireless functionality is a big selling point. Although I did encounter some range issues, these were easily fixed with an external router or booster antenna. And hey, the built-in WiFi works decently enough for most situations.

User Experience: A Mixed Bag

Now, the interface… it's HTML-5 based, responsive, and packed with features. But, there's a learning curve, especially if you're new to digital mixers. The navigation can be a bit quirky, often redirecting you to the bootup screen, which can be annoying. And the manual? It's got some errors, so don't rely on it too heavily.

I did try connecting it to various devices. It worked seamlessly with my Android and iOS gadgets, but older computers might struggle. A tablet is definitely the way to go for the best control experience, as phone screens can feel cramped.

Performance and Sound Quality

Sound-wise, the Ui16 delivers. It's quiet, efficient, and the sound quality is impressive for its price range. I've used it in a church setting and for small events, and it's been great in both contexts. It's also surprisingly easy to use once you get past the initial setup.

WiFi Woes and Workarounds

The WiFi issues some users have reported are real. If you're planning to use this mixer actively during a performance, be prepared for potential dropouts. However, if you set your levels and leave them be, like I do, you might not even notice. And yes, investing in a better antenna or positioning the mixer wisely can mitigate these issues.


Overall, the Soundcraft Ui16 is a solid piece of equipment with a few quirks. It's not perfect – the WiFi can be finicky, and the interface has its idiosyncrasies – but the quality and flexibility you get at this price point are hard to beat. If you're willing to tackle a slight learning curve and can handle the occasional WiFi hiccup, this mixer could be a great addition to your audio setup. Just remember, it's more suited for scenarios where constant tweaking isn't necessary.

Head 2 Head: Presonus StudioLive 1602 or Soundcraft Ui16

Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB – Straight to the Stage

First off, let's talk about the Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB. This beast comes out of the box roaring and ready to rock, with an easy setup that's as smooth as a well-tuned guitar riff. It's like Christmas morning for audio techies; you'll be recording your own “Jingle Bells” remix in no time. Software Integration and Sound Quality – Music to Your Ears

Presonus' own recording software, Studio One, is like that band member who just gets it. It knows what you want and delivers without any drama. The sound quality? It's like listening to a live concert…because that's exactly what it captures – live sound with an uncanny accuracy.

Customer Support – Not Always on Cue

The only time this mixer hits a sour note is when it comes to customer support. There are some whispers out there about inconsistent support experiences, especially concerning warranty issues. Let's just say Presonus might need to fine-tune their customer service strings a bit. User-Friendliness – A Smooth Groove

For beginners or someone at an intermediate level (like your truly), this board is like a friendly guitar teacher – patient, adaptable and easy to get along with. It doesn't matter if you're recording a garage band jam session or a conference call with corporate; this mixer can handle it all.

Remote Access and Portability – Going Wireless

One of the standout features of the Studio Live 16 is its remote access via laptop and router setup, allowing you to control the mixer from the comfort of… well, anywhere. But this might not be everyone's jam, especially if you're not keen on lugging around extra gear for remote access.

Soundcraft Ui16 – The Wireless Maestro

Now let's riff about the Soundcraft Ui16. This digital mixer comes with a bunch of features that will have tech-savvy sound hounds drooling like a bass player at a Fender sale. Features and Flexibility – Tune In Anywhere

The Ui16’s ability to be controlled from a tablet or phone is like having a roadie in your pocket. It's flexible with its range of inputs and outputs and comes loaded with built-in effects that will give your sound an encore-worthy finish.

User Experience – Some Off Beats

The interface has more quirks than an indie band. The navigation can feel like trying to find your way backstage without a pass, and the manual isn't exactly Billboard-chart material. But once you get past these hiccups, it's pretty straightforward. Performance and Sound Quality – Hitting High Notes

When it comes to performance, the Ui16 is like that reliable drummer who always keeps time – quiet, efficient, and delivering high-quality sound. Whether you're in a church choir or playing small gigs, this mixer can keep up with the rhythm.

WiFi Woes – Losing Connection Mid-Solo

The built-in WiFi feature can be as unpredictable as a rockstar's lifestyle, occasionally dropping out when you need it most. But hey, just like dealing with diva-like behavior in bands, there are workarounds that can help keep things in harmony. The Final Note – And the Winner is…

After jamming with both mixers, I'm going to have to give the crown to the Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB. It's like a seasoned musician that delivers a solid performance every time. Its sound quality, ease of use, and integration with Studio One software makes it a standout in the band. The Soundcraft Ui16, while packed with features and flexibility, hits a few bum notes with its quirky interface and unpredictable WiFi. It’s not quite ready for the big stage yet. So if you're looking for a digital mixer that can keep the beat while delivering high-quality sound, then Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB is your headliner.