Best Audio Mixer Reviews 2018

No party can be complete without the input of an audio mix. Everyone gets tired of hearing the same songs all the time, and having the ability to create new content is indispensable. It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional music producer or singer; the audio mixer would come in handy. To make your life easier, we’ve scoured the web and come up with five of the best audio mixers brands. Enjoy!
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Channels
Size
Input
Extras
Our Top Choice
Behringer X32 Mixer
Behringer is known to manufacture audio mixers you would do anything to own, what with its Midas programmable preamps on each input channel and friendly user interface.
Powerful. Multiple iPads connectable. Simple Scene navigation controls. Simple layout.
No input pad
Digital
40
7.9 x 35.4 x 20.8 inches/45.4lbs
USB Input
25 motorized faders
Best Value
Rane Sixty-Two Performance Mixer
Rane brought turntablism to life, enabling it to be more creative than ever as showcased in the creativity that went into the innovation of the Sixty-Two Mixer.
Improved cue buttons. Dual USB ports. Backlit controls
No intuitive FX controls
Analog and digital
24
20 x 17 x 9 inches / 15lbs
Mic/line Input
2-deck digital vinyl simulation
Pioneer Audio/Video Mixer
Pioneer has hit the market with a bang with the SVM-1000, thanks to its audio and video synchronization that connects up to four sources at once.
Mixes 4 videos at once. Touch screen. Can apply effects to both audio and video at once. Can beam out any jpeg picture.
Takes time to learn the controls.
Digital
12
21.1 x 24.2 x 12.7 inches/30lbs
USB input
4 full stereo channels
Peavey Digital Powered Audio Mixer
Peavey is renowned for using innovative technology. This is evident with their XR 8600 Audio Mixer, with dual 7-band EQ 600 watt amplifiers and digital effects.
Digital effects. Smart cabinet design. An all-in-one mixer. Easy operation. Dependable sound
Troublesome channels sometimes
Digital
8
5 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches/31lbs
Mic/line
48 Phantom power
Mackie ProFX12 Digital Mixer
For solo performers, smaller performing arts or small venues that do not have the space of budget for a whole lot of outboard gear, the PROFX12 is a perfect fit.
Ideal for live performance. Serviceable LED indicators. High quality mic preamps. 
High-pitched whine from the USB
Digital
12
14 x 3.6 x 14.5 inches/ 9lbs
USB input
Onboard effects

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Audio Mixer?

The mixer is the core of your Public Address (PA) system since it enables routing, combining sounds, and changing the timbre, volume, and dynamics of various audio signals. Reading this detailed Buying Guide will equip you with the information on how to choose an audio mixer that matches your needs.

Also known as a mixing console, the audio mixer works by combining audio signals, processing them, and routing them to the speakers. Today, many devices have mixing capabilities, including tablets and smartphones, if they have the right interfaces and necessary applications installed. All Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software offer mixing capabilities.

If these software mixers fascinate you, think about what the real knobs, buttons and faders of a hardware mixer will do. Amazing, right? Nothing can replace the great experience of a real audio mixer, especially to home studio owners and performing musicians. Read on to find out if the solution to your situation is an audio mixer.

There two main types of audio mixers: Live and Studio Mixers. Studio and live sound mixers are used to consolidate signals and route audio to wherever it is supposed to go. The quantity of I/O needed is determined by the application you use. If you use a live sound mixer, it provides several monitor mixes and feeds several main speakers through quality audio cables. On the other hand, studio mixers need to have direct inputs on each channel for multi-track recording.

However, distinguishing the two has become difficult nowadays, therefore, you should use the various parts of a mixer to choose the right one for you.

To complete the musical experience, ensure you find yourself a decent audiophile headphone and start your journey to becoming a professional mix master. With that appreciation, it’s time to delve deeper into the critical features to look for in an audio mixer, and then you’ll be ready to make a choice.
Price
The price of an audio mixer ranges between $250 and $7,000 depending on the quality of its components. In mixers, durability is not determined by the specs but by the reliability of its construction. Mixers have many moving parts, and therefore, if you are planning on getting one, you should consider a pretty solid structure.

When purchasing a mixing consoler, you only get what you are willing to pay for. Decide to go with a cheap audio mixer and you will get a low-quality mixer with more hisses, less headroom, and high susceptibility to picking hums. Such inexpensive audio mixers are very likely to pose danger whenever they are overloaded or wired. Most old and used mixers auctioned online tend to display such defects.

However, most of today’s mixers have very high sound qualities including the budget models. This makes it almost impossible to distinguish them from mixers which costs twice or thrice as much. Most inexpensive mixers are characterized by sticky or wobbly faders and knobs. It is important to compare the warranty and repair policies with the set price. Remember that a mixer is a mechanical structure with complex wiring and circuit system which are expensive and difficult to fix if they break down.
Features
Audio mixers have several components that determine the overall performance and durability. When shopping for one, here are the features to look out for:
  • Channels – Do you want to hook up more stuff into your mixer? Well, consider trying a mixer with more channels. Channels can either be monaural (with one input) or stereo with two inputs. Channels normally accept preamplifier, which amplifies the audio signal, line level signals and a fader which controls the sound volume. Normally, each channel has an equalizer, pan control and auxiliary sends; although some can be simple with many rudimentary channels plus a master output.
  • Buses – The purpose of each bus is to receive the signal passed onto it by the channels in the mixer. The central output of the mixer is linked to the master bus. Auxiliary sends can either be post-fader or pre-fader. Pre-fader aux sends are independent of the channel’s volume while the post-fader aux sends are dependent on the output fader. It is important to consider them when choosing a mixer since these outputs are used in monitoring mixes, recording mixes, and relaying headphone mixes.
  • Groups – Some higher-end mixers use channel grouping called Voltage-Controller Amplifier (VCA) groups, which enable the operator to manage multiple channels. The output of every channel is assigned to a bus which feeds a group fader. This allows you to manage the entire sections of your mix using very few faders.
  • Mute Groups and Scenes – What happens if you want to mute a band and let a speaker perform? Some mixers have mute groups which allow you to quickly mute and unmute many channels at once. High-end mixing consoles allow you to store many mute and unmuted scenes or channels for future use. This feature is very crucial, especially in theatre and worship sound. Your mixing needs will lead you into choosing or ignoring the feature.
  • Inserts and Direct Outputs – Channel inserts are used in adding outboard processors like equalizers and compressors to each specific channel. A channel’s insert plug is usually right after its preamplifier when it comes to the signal flow and uses send and return jacks which use a special insert cable. On the contrary, direct outputs send the preamplifier signal out of the board, making it useful in sending individual feeds.
Construction and Design
In terms of design and construction, audio mixers fall under five main categories:

Analog Mixers

In an analog mixer, all components including the channels, EQ, preamplifier, and bus exist in physical circuit systems such as wires, switches, potentiometers and resistors. They are simple with all controls for each function and routing operation done practically. Some people prefer this since it is easy to master and reach out to grab a setting.

Digital Mixers

Shortly after the preamp stage, the analog signal in a digital mixer is immediately changed to digital data for easy processing and routing. A digital mixer is essentially a complex computer with special control surface attached to it and with AD/DA converters too. Unlike analog mixers, in digital mixers, the DSP chips are smaller and less expensive. With digital mixers, you’ll not need an outboard gear since they have advanced dynamics processing, EQs and effects. Digital mixers require great skills to operate and all the channels are configured by a single master control. However, they have large screens, in-built layouts, and advanced features like Ethernet audio integration, tablet PC control, and Wi-Fi networking, all making up for this limitation. They also offer very high sound quality compared to analog mixers.

Line Mixers

Line mixers are mostly analog mixers which operate solely with line-level signals. They are always simple, with only one volume control for each channel. With line mixers, you can easily pool multiple sources together, allowing you to free up channels or preamplifiers on the main board.

Summing Mixers

Summing mixers are usually highly advanced mixers used by many engineers to combine their final mixes.

Powered Mixers

Powered mixers compress the mixer and the power amplifier into one unit. They are suitable for portable PA systems. Sometimes, they are integrated with loudspeakers to create very convenient all-in-one PA systems with small formats.
Performance and Ease of Use
So, with such a wide variety of audio mixers on the market, how can you manage to settle on the one that will serve you best? It is overwhelming, but by creating a checklist of the parameters of the mixer in mind, it becomes very easy to narrow down to that very kind of mixer.

How many channels and inputs do you need? How many microphones are you intending to connect? Well, remember to include direct inputs for guitar and bass, including stereo types of inputs for keyboards.

Do you expect your mixer to have low or high sound-shaping capability? Mixers offer different sound-shaping capabilities. Some have the typical low or high frequencies while advanced models offer multi-band parametric EQ with high or low shelving on each channel.

In some mixers, the input channels are routed to recording systems or an external processing gear and others to the main mixer output. Your choice determines the type of mixer you select.

With onboard processing, you won’t have to suffer the hustle of transporting or adding the outboard gear. However, onboard processing is not necessary in case your rig has an outboard processing gear already.

What are your signal routing needs? Are you planning to send out monitor mixes, record feeds, or relay external effects mixes? If so, you’ll need auxiliary sends which are enough to handle the demand.

This information is enough to help you find the best audio mixer that you can operate without hassles while giving out optimum performance. By now, it should be clear to you which mixer matches your budget and needs depending on the consideration factors mentioned.

What is the Best Audio Mixer?

Have you been wondering how a single DJ can bring out a combination of sounds at the drop of a hat? Well, wonder no more – the audio mixer does all the magic. This is a revolutionary device that combines different voices, changing the pitch, level of audio and picking different background audios. However, you need to be careful when buying these devices since there are low-quality mixers that can lead to misbalance in your audio. Take a look at our shortlist of five great audio mixers with a variety of prices and features, and grab a model that suits your needs and budget.
Our Top Choice
The Behringer X32 is a great audio mixer for enthusiasts or professionals. Its 32 channel audio interface is perfect even for the most avid audiophile. However, if you are operating small scale and do not have too many instruments to connect to the mixer, you can opt for the compact X1204USB mixer, which has 12 channels.
Behringer X32 Digital Audio Mixer with 32 Programmable MIDAS Preamps

Behringer Audio Mixer X32


Features
Beringher’s renown boils down to manufacturing cost effective products without compromising on quality. It appears they have achieved this yet again with the introduction of the x32 live mixer. The Behringer X32 has proved a game changer by challenging what is possible from a digital mixer. This has seen highly enjoyable results. Its interactive interface coupled with a fluid workflow has seen users attain immediate familiarity and instill confidence.

The mixer’s internal structure has seen it belie true power and potential. It boasts of the X32 interface card with selectable USB2 and firewire 400 connectivity. You’ll appreciate the well featured DSP signal path for the 32 main input channels. Retailing at $2,799.99, this mixer is part of a company with one the lowest product failure rates in the industry. You’re paying for their personal effort, as they manufacture all their components within their own factory. It even has a three year warranty program.

Other notable features we found include the following-
  • 32 fully programmable MIDAS mic preamps for superior sound quality
  • Twenty-five 100 mm faders to provide instant overview and DAW control, fully motorized and automated
  • All buses and channels are equipped with LCD Scribble Strips
  • Apple Device apps for convenient remote control available– no PC required
  • Control section is user-definable, giving you control over parameters and adjustments
  • Connectible to the PC through Ethernet: this allows you to edit through your computer using their software
Best Value
Rane saw a gap in the turntable industry and made the right move with the Sixty-Two mixer. This is the ultimate plug and play package, thanks to its two-deck digital vinyl simulation and easy DJ transitions. If you need a mixer with a higher max phono input however, it would be best to go for the Sixty-Eight Club Mixer that boasts of 115mV Max phono input.
Rane Sixty-Two Digital Mixer with 24 Channels and Two-Deck Digital Vinyl Simulation

Rane Audio Mixer - Sixty-Two


Features
We all love our DJing and mixer process to be as simple as possible. Now you can sit back and do what you do best with the simple layout of the Rane Sixty-Two. Rane actively seeks to stay in tune with the wishes of its clients and thus saw the need to replace the earlier popular versions of the TTM 56/57 lines with Sixty-Two mixers.

The Sixty-Two is a two channel battle mixer and features Serato DJ and Scratch live controls, an effects unit and dual USB ports to enable it seamlessly switch between two DJs. The improved buttons from the 57SL and 68 mixers are notable. The great layout only means that you take few sessions to get used to.

Retailing at $1,794.70, the mixer includes:
  • An Internal Effects Engine with a variety of effects like Robot, Echo and Reverb
  • Reverse and contour controls contained within noise, contact and bleed free magnetic faders and crossfaders
  • Accommodates two DJs running different software for smooth scene changes
  • Continuous control signal on vinyl to allow smooth accurate scratching
  • Control Library, Loops Cues and Samples with over 40 software controls and easily accessible sample triggers
  • External analog and USB inserts, providing access to various effects processors
  • HP/LP Filter with adjustable resonance to ensure easier operation
  • Magnetic fader featuring contour and reverse controls
Getting a piece of hardware that can mix both audio and visual in a traditional DJ format has hitherto been a tall order. However, this is now a thing of the past since the SVM-100 makes this possible. If you desire a mixer that has more phono inputs however, feel free to go for the DJM-700 which features 3 phono inputs and is equally well-rounded.
Pioneer SVM-1000 Digital Video/Audio Mixer with 12 Channels and 11 Inch LED Touchscreen

Pioneer Audio Mixer SVM-1000


Features
This has been a long time coming! Integrated audio-visual mixing is now more readily available, thanks to the SVM-1000. Pioneer is a world-renowned company when it comes to leading the way in manufacturing revolutionary products.

There is a notable careful design for every feature and control in this mixer in order to fully integrate video and audio. Its revolutionary touch screen is bright and generally responds well to touch. Each side of the screen features visual representations for the various settings. With a retail price of $6,999.00, this mixer will no doubt empower you to attain your wildest dreams in turntablism.

Other features you can be assured of enjoying from this mixer include-
  • Four AV channels with synchronous and separate control
  • Twelve beat effects: delay, pan, echo, trans, flanger, filter, reverb, phaser, chorus, robot, roll and rev roll
  • 11-inch LCD touch panel to enable better visibility and control
  • Six text effects: random, block, zoom, crush, rotation and slide
  • Two Mic inputs that also double as line inputs (XLR & 1/4-inch)
  • Four master outputs (Component BNC, Composite RCA/BNC, S1/S2)
  • Having both a USB port and SD slot allows you to mix visuals and project them in loops
  • Has Fade, Wipe, Chroma-Key Video fades
  • Twelve AV touch effects: ripple, spot, lens, radiation, drop, block, cube, twist, kaleido, zoom, blur and distortion 
Covering a medium-sized room has never been this simple or quick, but can be thanks to Peavey XR8600. This light-weight powered mixer incorporates a pair of 600-watt amplifiers to give you a full all-in-one package. If you’re looking for something even more affordable, you could check out the PV6 USB mixer, which comes with fewer line inputs but still great quality sound.
Peavey 1200 Watt Powered Mixer with 8 Channels and Dual Graphic Equalizer

Peavey Audio Mixer XR8600D


Features
Are you planning a small or medium gig but worried about getting bulky and complicated audio mixers? Well, worry no more since the XR800 is perfectly suited for such events. It’s all in one features ensure that you get all the tools you need at the touch of a button. Peavey has made a name in the industry with their revolutionary products, gaining trust in the market.

With Peavey’s power amps that can be assigned to use as main/monitor or main/main and the dual graphic equalizer, this audio mixer just oozes creativity. Retailing at $1,099.99 this is one worthy piece of gear.

Other features that make this mixer stand out include-
  • 8 low-noise mic preamps for better sound quality
  • Ability to accommodate for up to 10 input lines
  • Has a mode switch allowing for two settings: dual main or just main/monitor mode
  • Mute switch has control over input channels 1-8
  • Parameter control over 16 presets
  • Each channel is equipped with 3-band equalization
  • Indicators reports signal clipping for each channel
Mackie continues to provide unmatched performance and this is notable in the PROFX12. Right from start to finish, this mixer is designed for live sound. Since the introduction of this mixer, the turntabling industry has never been the same again. However, you may see the need to go for improved portability with the 402VLZ4 4-Channel Ultra-Compact Mixer.
Mackie PROFX12V2 12-Channel Compact Effects Mixer with USB

Mackie Audio Mixer PROFX12V2


Features
A gig is no gig without the right audio mixer. Whether on stage or off, you would love to experience the thrill that comes with the best sound and mixing experience. Mackie has dedicated their efforts just to make your dreams of well-mixed live events come true. Their creativity has seen them manufacture state of the art audio mixers.

To make everything simple, the PRODFX12 features mic preamps with high headroom coupled with awesome sounding effects and a channel equalizer. In order to tune-up the room or monitor mix, the mixer features precision GEQ.

You will also explore these other features-
  • Integrated USB I/O port ends the pain that comes with manual recording
  • Couples a compact mixer with 8-channels and USB I/O with onboard effects
  • A precise seven band graphic equalizer enables you to tweak your Mains and Monitors
  • 4 full stereo channels for external effects from the likes of keyboards and playback devices
  • Headphone output has its own distinct control settings
  • FX mute comes with a footswitch remote control to improve efficiency during operation
  • Equipped with a break switch that mutes everything, perfectly supporting playback in-between sets
  • Available for Macs and PCs, the system uses Tracktion 3 Music Production Software

Get the Best Audio Mixer of 2018!

Having gone through these reviews, we hope you have a better sense of the wonderfully wide range of options out there. Some of the best audio mixers featured here have been presented to you in hopes of broadening your horizons and helping you take your first steps into testing out the powers of audio mixers for yourself. So, hopefully, you found an ideal choice from our picks. If you didn’t, you can still browse through a myriad of options by these same brands.

Our Top Choice
Behringer X32 Mixer
Best Value
Rane Sixty-Two Performance Mixer
Pioneer Audio/Video Mixer
Peavey Digital Powered Audio Mixer
Mackie ProFX12 Digital Mixer