PreSonus StudioLive AR8c vs Behringer Xenyx 802: In-Depth Mixer Comparison and Buying Guide (2024)

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c and the Behringer Xenyx 802.

Trust me, I know how difficult that decision is… especially if you have no plans on whipping out that dreaded return postage label!

You know how the saying goes, buy right, buy once! Or something like that…

Either way, I've got you covered!

I've broken down the good, the bad and the ugly of these babies, so providing you have a clear idea of exactly what you plan on doing with it, you will have a clear idea on which one is best for you, by the end of this article.

Let get into it…

PreSonus StudioLive AR8c vs Behringer Xenyx 802: In-Depth Mixer Comparison and Buying Guide (2024)

At A Glance:

PreSonus StudioLive AR8c


PreSonus StudioLive AR8c Pros & Cons

  • Pros:
    • Has great features like SD recording and bluetooth.
    • Comes with a free multi-track software.
    • Has nice inputs and outputs.
    • Good for recording and live sound.
    • Software has lots of digital patches for guitar effects.
  • Cons:
    • More expensive than other mixers.
    • The microphone preamps don't seem to have a lot of gain.
    • SD card lacks a display for recording information.
    • No unbalanced output.
    • Presonus products have unreliable components and short lifespan.
    • Presonus tech support is unhelpful and charges a $250 bench fee.
    • Unit did not work as expected and only recorded a quarter of the time.
    • Presonus' customer support is difficult to reach and only provides automated responses.
    • Long waiting time for equipment repair.
    • Poor handling of customer issues by Presonus and Amazon.


Behringer Xenyx 802

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Behringer Xenyx 802 Pros & Cons

  • Pros:
    • Good value for the price.
    • Comes with a comprehensive manual in several languages.
    • Most controls work flawlessly.
    • EQs work well, especially the middle function.
    • Phantom power works well.
    • Good for educational purposes, small bands, starting DJs, low budget community theaters, etc.
    • Durable and well-built.
    • Does not affect sound quality when used with a good quality amp/home theater system.
    • Compact size.
  • Cons:
    • The light indicating the device is on is too bright and can be distracting.
    • High distortion, especially when used with an MP3 player.
    • Treble EQ makes high frequency audio sound metallic and cuts off some at the top.
    • 3/4 and 5/6 inputs should not be considered 6 input.
    • Lack of individual controls.
    • No EQ bypass feature.
    • Digital I/O is USB, which is slower than Firewire for data transfers.
    • No on/off switch.
    • Produces heat over time and lacks ventilation.

Key Differences Between The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c And The Behringer Xenyx 802

The main differences between PreSonus StudioLive AR8c and Behringer Xenyx 802 are primarily down to the number of channels, sound quality, interface functionality, connectivity options and price.

PreSonus StudioLive AR8c, a hybrid digital/analog mixer, is known for its premium sound quality and user-friendly design. Key features include:

  • An eight-channel configuration that caters to more complex audio setups.
  • A higher-end sound quality that makes it suitable for professional use.
  • A dual role as a high-quality audio interface, adding versatility.
  • The presence of USB-C connection makes it compatible with a wide range of devices.

On the other hand, the Behringer Xenyx 802 is an affordable yet solid choice for beginners setting up their home studios. Its highlights include:

  • A lower price point at around $95, which is budget friendly for starters.
  • The provision of two XENYX mic preamps with +48 V phantom power capable of handling dynamic or condenser microphones.
  • The inclusion of four input channels (two mono and two stereo) offers flexibility when managing audio signals. It also allows assignment of 2-track and USB inputs to main mix or phones' output.

In choosing between the two, you should consider your specific needs in terms of sound quality, number of inputs/channels required and budget constraints.

The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c might be more appropriate if you require multiple channels and higher-end sound quality whereas the Behringer Xenyx 802 would be a good option if you have tighter budget constraints but still want some flexibility in input/output options.

SpecificationsPreSonus StudioLive AR8cBehringer Xenyx 802
ColorNot specifiedSilver/Gray
Audio Recording Interface8×4 24-bit/96 kHz, USB 2.0 (over USB-C connection)Built-In Stereo USB/Audio Interface
SD Recorder2×2 SD recorder (record main mix); supports SD and SDHC formats up to 32 GBNot specified
Mixer Channels8-channel analog mixerPremium Ultra-Low Noise, High Headroom Analog Mixer
Mic Inputs4 balanced mic inputs with XMAX mic preamps, 2 instrument/line inputs, 2 pairs of stereo balanced line inputs2 State-Of-The-Art Xenyx Mic Preamps Comparable To Stand-Alone Boutique Preamps
Wireless ConnectivityStereo Super Channel with Bluetooth 5.0 wirelessNot specified
Effects ProcessorStereo effects processor with 16 presets, dedicated send and return, and bypass footswitch jackStudio-Grade Compressors With Super-Easy “One-Knob” Functionality And Control Led For Professional Vocal And Instrumental Sound
Recording SoftwareCapture live-recording software and Studio One Artist DAW for Mac and WindowsFree Audio Recording, Editing And Podcasting Software Plus 150 Instrument/Effect Plug-Ins Downloadable At Behringer.Com
Phantom PowerGlobal +48V phantom powerNot specified

What You Need To Know About PreSonus StudioLive AR8c

The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c is a handy tool built to make your music and audio recording process a breeze.

It's got a high-quality, 24-bit/96 kHz USB 2.0 audio recording interface that lets you record every channel plus the main mix for premium sound quality.

Need more storage? No problem! With its 2×2 SD recorder, you can record the main mix and save it straight to an SD or SDHC card of up to 32 GB.

This nifty device also doubles as an 8-channel analog mixer.

It's equipped with all the inputs you'll need – 4 balanced mic inputs with XMAX mic preamps, next-generation Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology on its Stereo Super Channel, RCA inputs and even a switchable SD/USB stereo playback.

Better yet, it's got a stereo effects processor with 16 presets so you can experiment till your heart's content.

To top it off, there’s a dedicated send and return as well as a bypass footswitch jack for added flexibility.

Want to edit your recordings on Mac or Windows?

The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c has got you covered thanks to Capture live-recording software and the Studio One Artist Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) included in the box.

And if you're using studio mics, rest easy knowing there’s global +48V phantom power available at just the flip of a switch!

No matter what you're planning to record – from podcasts to songs and more – this powerhouse of an audio interface is ready and waiting!

My 1 Month Review Of The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c

Stellar Sound Quality

Let me just start off by saying, after a month of using the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c, I'm nothing short of impressed.

This little gadget is like having your personal recording studio — right here at home.

The sound quality this mixer delivers is stellar. Whether you're recording vocals or instruments, this mixer seems to capture the true essence and detail of every sound.

– Incredible clarity and detail in sound recording

– Excellent for both vocals and instruments

User-Friendly Interface

The interface on this mixer blew me away. As someone who's not an audio tech genius, I found it incredibly intuitive to use with its simplistic yet effective layout.

– Intuitive user interface

– Simplistic design makes it easy for non-tech savvy users

Connectivity Options

One thing I particularly enjoyed about my experience with the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c was its extensive connectivity options.

It accommodates everything from XLR to USB inputs which makes it extremely versatile and beneficial for a wide range of uses.

– Versatile connectivity options including XLR and USB inputs

Durable Built Quality

Durability is another area where this mixer hits the mark perfectly.

After moonlighting as my coffee table coaster (don't judge!) several times over the past month, it still looks brand new — no dings, no scratches!

– Robust build quality can withstand rigorous usage

Built-In Effects Library

As a cherry atop an already satisfying cake, the built-in effects library on this device is so cool!

Particularly loved playing around with different reverbs – it just adds that extra layer of magic to any track.

– In-built effects library adds depth to recordings

In summing up my hands-on experience over the past month with PreSonus StudioLive AR8c: It's been an absolute pleasure using this compact package that delivers big on performance.

What You Need To Know About Behringer Xenyx 802

The Behringer Xenyx 802, in cool Silver/Gray color, is a top-quality Analog Mixer. It's renowned for its ultra-low noise and high headroom properties.

This means that you get the clarity you want in your sound without any unwanted interference.

If you're a fan of top-notch sound quality, then you'll love the two state-of-the-art Xenyx mic preamps in this mixer.

They are comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps, the kind that professionals love to use.

A great feature of the Xenyx 802 is its studio-grade compressors. These use super-easy “one-knob” functionality and come with a control LED.

This makes it simple to achieve professional vocal and instrumental sound.

Connecting this mixer to your computer couldn't be easier thanks to its built-in stereo USB/Audio interface.

And here's an exciting part – when you purchase this mixer, you also get access to free audio recording, editing and podcasting software!

You can download these from Behringer’s site along with 150 instrument/effect plug-ins for added versatility.

To get more details about this product or make a purchase, visit Behringer's official product page.

My 1 Month Review Of The Behringer Xenyx 802

After a month of testing the Behringer Xenyx 802, here are my thoughts:


The Behringer Xenyx 802 has significantly exceeded my expectations. It's become an essential tool in my audio set-up for its fantastic sound quality and real time adjustments.

Sound Quality

The sound quality is superb. The noise level is extremely low and the EQs work wonderfully, allowing me to tailor the sound exactly how I want it.

Even when cranked up to high levels, distortion is hardly noticeable, if at all.

Real Time Adjustments

The ability to make real-time adjustments on this audio mixer adds a whole new dimension of flexibility to my setup.

Whether I'm recording or just playing around with sounds, those knobs have added some magic that was missing before.

Ease of Use

Behringer Xenyx 802‘s user-friendliness is a major plus point too.

Once connected and powered up, all the dials and switches are pretty intuitive to use even without reference to the manual.

– Super easy set-up

– Conveniently laid out controls

– Intuitive indication lights


After a month of rigorous use, this little thing seems built like a tank – still works just like day one without any perceivable degradation in performance.

To sum it up – The Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer has become one of those pieces of kit that just slots into your workflow effortlessly delivering great results every time.

It's not about flashy features or gimmicks; it does what it's supposed to do reliably well which for me makes it worth every penny!

My verdict? If you need an affordable and reliable audio mixer which delivers exceptional sound quality without too much fuss – pick up the Behringer Xenyx 802!

Who The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Behringer Xenyx 802

The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c is designed for music professionals and enthusiasts seeking advanced recording and mixing capabilities.

If you are in need of a mixer with superior features such as SD recording and Bluetooth, this unit may be a great fit for your needs.

However, it's worth noting that it does come with a higher price tag compared to other mixers.

Key benefits include:

  • SD Recording: This feature enables direct recording onto an SD card.
  • Bluetooth Compatibility: This allows wireless connection to other Bluetooth enabled devices.
  • Free Multi-Track Software: The unit comes with complementary software offering extensive track mixing options.

However, based on user feedback, there are a few potential downsides you may want to consider:

  • The microphone preamps might require the trim to be turned up all or nearly all the way for optimal functionality.
  • The SD card could benefit from improved display features regarding recording data.
  • The unbalanced output may not suit everyone's needs.

Furthermore, while some users have voiced concerns over the longevity of their purchases, others find that the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c is one of the best studio mixers on the market today and appears in our top 10 selection.

It should also be noted that some users reported difficulty with customer service responsiveness when faced with technical issues.

You might want to factor this into your decision-making process if consistent support is crucial for your peace of mind.

In conclusion, if you're looking for advanced features like SD recording and Bluetooth compatibility in a professional mixer despite potential issues with customer service responsiveness or longevity of the product, then exploring PreSonus StudioLive AR8c could well be worth your time.

Who The Behringer Xenyx 802 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c

The Behringer Xenyx 802 is a versatile and affordable mixing board suitable for a variety of audio applications. Based on the review data, this product is ideal for:

– Hobbyists or beginners looking to experiment with audio mixing

– Small bands or DJs starting out

– Educational environments where learning about sound control is important

– Low budget operations such as community theaters

– Venues mainly used for talking, like churches

The product offers clear instructions making it user-friendly even for those who are inexperienced.

However, while the price point makes it an attractive option for beginners, if you require more sophisticated and individual EQ controls or plan on recording professional quality music, you might want to explore other options.

Key Features:

Multichannel Inputs: Xenyx 802 boasts at least six different inputs enabling you to connect multiple devices.

Phantom Power: The feature works well especially with mics.

Durable Build: The mixer has a mostly metal casing which stands up well to wear and tear.

Potential Points of Concern:

Limited EQ Controls: There's no EQ bypass button and each channel doesn't have its own individual EQ controls.

Bright Indicator Light: Some users found the bright light to be distracting.

No on/off switch: You may find the lack of an on/off switch inconvenient.

Based on the review data, some users reported distortion issues when using certain input devices such as MP3 players or headphones.

However, these were less problematic when using microphones or when not needing to use the built-in amplification.

In terms of connectivity options, note that Behringer Xenyx 802 uses USB instead of Firewire which could impact data transfer speeds depending on the devices you're connecting.

Moreover, it's worth mentioning that this mixer does generate some heat over time due to lack of ventilation.

Therefore, it should not be placed over heat releasing electronics or in excessively hot environments.

In conclusion, Behringer Xenyx 802 delivers good performance considering its budget-friendly price tag.

It’s indeed a reliable option if you're looking for a basic mixer for learning or simple mixing tasks with decent sound quality and durable build quality.


If the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c vs Behringer Xenyx 802 comparison doesn't exactly hit the mark for you, no worries.

I've done a few other comparisons that might cater to your specific needs.

One of them is the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c vs Mackie ProFXv3 Series post.

You might also find the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c vs Tascam Model 12 comparison useful, which delves into their specific features and usability.

Another handy article could be my comparison of PreSonus StudioLive AR8c vs Zoom LiveTrak L-8.

And hey, if you're considering Behringer mixers, do check out my piece on Soundcraft Signature 10 Mixer vs Behringer Xenyx 802.

As always, I recommend exploring all options before making your final decision. Happy gear hunting!


How easy is it to set up and get started with the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c for a beginner?

The PreSonus StudioLive AR8c is known for its user-friendly design, making it an excellent option for beginners. It features a clear layout, and comes with detailed instructions in the manual, enabling easy setup even if you're new to audio mixing.

Is the sound quality of Behringer Xenyx 802 good despite its affordability?

Indeed, despite being an affordable choice, the Behringer Xenyx 802 offers decent sound quality thanks to its XENYX mic preamps. These preamps ensure that you can capture clean and crisp audio from both dynamic and condenser microphones.

I often record in different locations. Can I carry either of these mixers easily?

Yes, specifically the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c, which is compact enough to be taken on road trips or other locations where you might want to record or perform. It's designed keeping portability in mind without compromising on performance.

If I choose Behringer Xenyx 802 due to my budget constraints, am I missing out on any major functionalities compared to more expensive mixers like PreSonus StudioLive AR8c?

While there are differences between these two models – such as number of channels or hybrid digital/analog design offered by PreSonus – it primarily depends on what your specific needs are. The Behringer Xenyx 802 may have fewer channels but it does come with flexible input/output options and good quality mic preamps. So while there could be some trade-offs based on price point, you would still be getting a solid mixer suitable for podcasting or home studio setups.

I need more than four input channels; does this rule out Behringer Xenyx 802 as an option?

Yes, if your setup requires more than four input channels then the Behringer Xenyx 802 might not be able meet your requirement since it only offers four inputs (two mono and two stereo). In this case you might want consider alternatives like PreSonus StudioLive AR8c, which comes with eight-channel capability.

Buyer's Guide: Important Things To Consider & Look Out For When Buying A Mixer

1. Understand Your Specific Needs

Whether you're a professional DJ or a budding music producer, knowing your specific needs is the first step in buying an audio mixer.

The market has a variety of mixers to cater to different needs, from compact mixer units like the Behringer Xenyx 802, which is perfect for smaller home studio setups, to more comprehensive mixing consoles such as the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c, designed for live performances and larger studio settings.

2. Analog Vs Digital: Make an Informed Decision

Another key factor affecting your choice is whether you should opt for a digital mixer or an analog mixer.

An analog mixer, with its tactile knobs and faders, provides direct control over every sound adjustment – making it ideal for live sound applications.

Conversely, a digital mixer, with its software integration and preset capabilities, offers greater flexibility and precision, making it fitting for studio work.

3. Prioritize Audio Quality and Performance

In any type of studio mixer – be it a home studio mixer or a live sound mixer – audio quality should not be compromised.

Pay attention to the preamps' quality; they should provide clean gain without introducing unwanted noise into your signal path.

Also look out for high-quality converters that provide clear sound reproduction.

4. Does It Have Adequate Inputs/Outputs (I/O)?

The number of inputs and outputs (I/O) on your audio interface ties directly into what you can do with your setup.

For instance, if you plan on recording multiple instruments simultaneously in your home studio, make sure that your chosen mixing console has enough I/O ports to support this.

5. Choose A Mixer With Versatile Connectivity Options

It’s crucial that whatever model you choose supports different connectivity options according to your workflow preferences.

Some mixers offer USB connectivity which doubles up as an audio interface like the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c which serves as an USB audio interface.

This feature provides seamless connection between mixers and computers – saving costs on additional hardware while simplifying the recording process immensely.

6. The Size Factor

You’ve heard people say size doesn’t matter but when it comes to selecting a personal studio gear such as this one – size really does play quite an important part!

If portability is key then definitely consider buying something compact like Behringer Xenyx 802 – commonly referred as a compact mixer.

7. Consider Your Budget Alongside Quality

While high-end products often ensure better performance levels— keeping your budget in mind is essential too!

Not every expensive product guarantees top-notch service so don't worry about breaking the bank; instead focus on obtaining genuine value-for-money equipment that satisfies all of our aforementioned pointers.

While you're at it don't forget also check user reviews before making final decisions- they usually provide helpful insights regarding real-world usage situations thus supporting informed decision-making process.

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

📧 Email Arielle