When it comes to combining some sounds to create beautiful masterpieces for others (and yourself, of course) to enjoy, grabbing one of the Best Audio Mixers is always a wise investment. We have seen that a large number of musicians and artists use mixers for a large number of applications. Some DJs and MCs, other musicians are performing live (who might as well try to build their PA system).
Not to mention those in a studio (at home or professionally) that contributes to their arsenal of recording equipment. Even if they are not digital like many today, analog mixers are also a popular choice.
Best Audio Mixers List
The Best Audio Mixers have grown up, from the traditional analog mixers to the new digital mixers that can control everything in music production. Digital mixers offer versatility and many new functions by pressing a few buttons. However, analog mixers still have tasks that are enjoyed by young and old alike. On the other hand, if you press physical buttons to adjust the sound and other aspects, you can look cool. With digital mixers, you can also save disc mixes that you have performed elsewhere and reuse.
Yamaha MG20 20-Input 6-Bus
The Yamaha MG20 is a stand-alone mixer. It has 20 inputs with 3-band EQ for tone control on the mixer. What sets the MG20 apart from many other mixers are the discrete A D PRE preamps with a reverse Darlington circuit that provides sound quality that is formidable. With the MG20, you can produce an impeccable mix. The MG20 includes high-pass filters in the EQ section that eliminate unwanted hum from low-end frequencies. In addition, the compressor knobs allow you to nuance the attack of specific instruments as needed. That means you can create extraordinary dynamics directly at the mixing board.
Basically, all the necessary controls are present directly on the board. Each balanced line has its own gain control and compressor. There are four separate aux knobs and pan knobs to direct each line to different directions. You connect to your computer via the USB connection. If you want a 20-input recorder that can handle all your basic needs, along with powerful effects processors, the MG20 is an excellent option.
Soundcraft GB8 48 48-Channel
The Soundcraft GB8 is a live mixer that can handle a huge workload. It is designed to be used in just about any venue and handle a huge amount of instruments and microphones. It is suitable to be used as a main mixer or as a monitor mixer to send accurate audio directly to the musicians. It includes four mute groups where you can house different instruments that you want to mute together at specific times. The meter bridge includes LED lights that display your levels and provide a unique visual aspect. The angled rear panel makes the inputs easier to access from the operator position.
It has a sturdy and rugged construction and is designed to handle any type of road use. Although it works best as a stationary mixer, you can also take this baby on the road for more consistent tour acts. With all the inputs, outputs, phantom power, effects processing and EQ options you can imagine, this is no entry-level audio mixer. It has an incredible amount of built-in options for XLR and 1/4″ jacks. It’s made to be the workhorse of your music stage, so your listeners are always captivated.
Soundcraft EPM6 6-channel
The Soundcraft EPM6 mixer is a smaller or mid-range option for those on a bit of a budget with fewer needs in terms of sound, and is one of the best for the price. It includes 48V phantom power to help you get the most out of your condenser microphones. It has six mono inputs and two stereo channels to choose from. Each line has its own faders, gain, 4-band EQ, two auxiliary sends, and master switches across the line. It’s a super intuitive mixer that’s easy to figure out and a lot of fun to use.
With the ten segment LED metering, you’ll be able to see your peaks and valleys right on your board. That gives you a little more guidance on where to add or take away some on individual instruments. It offers excellent sound quality and fits into a fairly compact space. It’s one of the best options you can find for simplicity and price.
Alto Professional ZMX122FX
In terms of functionality, the Alto Professional ZMX122FX is very similar to some of the other music mixers we’ve reviewed. It’s a six-channel mixer with lots of effects, aux and main outputs, 3-band EQ, and more. It’s compact enough and is also moderately priced, so anyone on a budget will find this a suitable option. Included are 16 professional effects ranging from different types of reverbs, chorus effects, flanger, and much more to choose from. The effects all have excellently tuned tones and capabilities that will add a lot of character to your mixes.
It comes with four XLR inputs that are balanced and also function as 1/4″ jacks on each channel. It is also compatible with external music sources such as CD players, MP3s, and more. Compared to other audio mixers, this mixer offers plenty of headroom for the high frequencies, so you can make a lot of tone.
Yamaha MG10XU 10-Input
The Yamaha MG10XU is a suitable audio mixer for portable performances and small home recording sessions. It stands out for its audio quality and the range of options it offers audio mixers. The built-in preamps are designed to give mixers the highest quality options of blisteringly clear highs and unobstructed low frequencies. It has four XLR lines that also function as 1/4″ jacks, and each line has its own useful functionality.
Two of them have compression knobs, and two have phantom power included for condenser microphones. The mixer comes with 24 digital effects that basically cover all the sounds you would want from a mixer. USB audio jacks, as well as tape, CD and RCA jacks, give you plenty of options for listening to external audio. The interface features a 3-band EQ and LED metering and is super easy to understand and operate.
The Behringer X32 is one of the most reliable digital mixers on our list. It has tons of features and has a rugged and sturdy enclosure that will get it through some harsh winters on the road. It comes with Midas designed mic preamps that sound great and offer crystal clear sound. When you’re not taking it on the road, it’s also perfect for use in the recording studio. It features 40 channels on 16 different buses, giving you great flexibility for mixing.
It is perfectly compatible with all primary digital audio workstations and can handle high octane levels. There are effects built into the processor that you can choose from to add some character to your recordings or live sound. In terms of workability, this is one of the best digital mixers you can find. It is reasonably priced for the amount of firepower you get and is incredibly capable and fun to operate.
Mackie is a brand within the audio world with many high-quality features. Mackie’s PPM mixers are incredibly lightweight for the level of capability they offer. It has two separate power amplifiers to give you all the power you need for live performances and for recording in the studio. An 800-watt amplifier feeds the mains, and another equally powerful amplifier sends directly to the monitors. Mackie has built in Class D amplifiers, which produce tremendous power at a lower temperature, which improves the life of the mixer.
An automatic limiter is also built in to protect the speakers from overloading, so your entire system will last much longer. The Mackie PPM1012 comes with eight input channels with XLR and 1/4′ jacks and 48V phantom power, 3-band EQ, line compressors, graphic EQ for mains and monitors, and a rugged metal chassis to protect it all. It’s perfect for a decent gig or is perfect as one of the last mixers you’ll ever have to buy for a home recording studio.
First of all, we have one of the best audio mixers on the market when it comes to overall affordability, channels, ins/outs, and other features that are considered essential in one of these components. The v2 is a part of their ProFX series that came out just a little bit ago, and it already has quite a lot of highly rated reviews on different channels around the net. With the v2, you get options from 4 channels up to 30 (the price naturally goes up), a few high-quality microphone preamps to connect your microphones there. Excellent FX engine (16 of them, ranging from reverberation to delays and more) ), as well as a 7-band graphic EQ to help you monitor your sound.
When it comes to the best audio mixers, Mackie comes up time and time again (they are, of course, also famous in the DJ mixer lake). What’s cool about this series is that you can choose from a range of channel numbers, so you’re not limited to what we have here and can decide what is best for you (or what falls within your budget). The Mackie ProFXv2 is the best option for those looking for a mixer with the highest specifications and not for breaking their wallets completely.
Allen & Heath ZED-10FX
When it comes to music stuff, especially consoles for mixing in the DJ and the realm, it is Allen & Heath’s turn. This specific audio mixer is excellent for both live sound and recording, and when it comes to affordability, we’re still within the affordable price range (at least when it comes to mixers). With the ZED-10FX, you have an excellent and stable portable build, configurable USB in/out, two stereo inputs, 4 microphone, and line inputs. Two of which are equipped with a Class A FET input. 2 XLRs, great surveillance section, and, of course, some handy FX to add to your tracks.
Another mixer with just the essentials and a few extra functions to start up. There are not as many channels (there are 10) as some others, but most will call that more than adequate for most applications (for both recording and studio). The Allen & Heath ZED-10FX is another one of the best audio mixers out there, especially if you wanted something affordable, and you didn’t feel the Mackie as mentioned earlier. Overall, this is one of the best audio mixers right now.
This is when the price of audio mixers starts to rise considerably, but for good reasons, if you have the money to invest. It is also when we start seeing some more advanced features that, once you learn to use them, will separate your mix from others. You get no less than 14 inputs, 10 channels (one button compressor on the first 6), stereo master faders (with AFL and PFL monitor buttons), 80 Hz high pass filters (helps with rumble). A Feedback Channel Locator system (helps you with locating and eliminating feedback) and high power with its amplifiers (500W, 200W, or 75W per channel).
What stands out with the Yamaha EMX5014C are the single button compressors, which help you to control the vocals or keep the bass tight. The interface is also user-friendly and advanced to be able to monitor audio (9-band graphic representation is assignable) accurately. Overall, this is one of the best audio mixers that you can buy right now on the market.
Behringer XENYX 1202
We love Behringer for the super budget-friendly audio device that they offer to the market. This specific audio mixer is one of the cheapest we found worth watching, and if you wanted a simple solution without bells and whistles that would give you some of the functions needed to get your mixing experiences going, give it a try. There are 12 inputs, 4 microphone preamps, a post-fader FX per channel, 3-band EQs for great sound (they call them “British,” but we don’t know exactly why), CD inputs and some great high headroom and low-noise sound.
The preamps are not groundbreaking or anything (we don’t expect much because of the costs), but they get the job done, especially if you are focused on performances in smaller environments. The 48-volt phantom power helps with every microphone you have, and the EQ (again, “British” says they are a little “warm” and “detailed”) will give you a sound that is worth being shown to others. The Behringer XENYX 1202 is one of the best audio mixers for those who want a straightforward solution for smaller applications.
If you want one of the best audio mixers on the market that are super digital (connects to your iPad with Lightning connector), offers 16 channels, and high-quality 24-bit sound quality, here’s another Mackie model to keep in mind. It has no less than 16 mic preamps (their “Onyx” build), wireless mixing function, and some essential effects (compression, reverb, delay). Oh, it also has a 4-band parametric, 31-band graphic master bus.
As you can see in the photo, it has a beautiful appearance and an elegant design for excellent portability for those traveling to record or play. What is also impressive is that you can connect up to 10 wireless iPad connections to its 6 aux sends in one go (we don’t know correctly who would do that and why – we might see a few, but 10?). This is a reasonably accurate mixer for a specific group of performers or recorders, but if it sounds like it fits in your studio or performs a rig, the Mackie DL1608L might be the perfect mixer to buy.
PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2AI
Now we are talking about top-of-the-line. If there was no money, this is by far one of the best audio mixers on the market. If you have the money to invest in something big to separate your mixes from the rest of the world of music recording and performance, the StudioLive series from PreSonus should be taken seriously. With this specific model (and there are others in this series that offer more functions, but we found these the best for most), you are equipped with 16 channels, a FireWire 800 audio interface, 16 microphone preamps.
There is also a wireless remote control and “Fat Channel” processing (4-band fully parametric EQ, many dynamics, etc.). It also comes with their Studio One 2 Artist DAW software, so if you were interested in getting some help when it comes to recording and performing, it would help you. For some extra channels, you can also view the 24.4.2AI or 32.4.2AI (of course, for more money). The PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2AI mixer is for those who take their sounds seriously.
Soundcraft Si Expression 1
This is one of the best audio mixers that dominate others when it comes to the overall quality of sound and capabilities that it brings. It’s great whether you’re recording live or recording in a studio (at home or professionally). The Express 1 has 16 channels and microphone preamps (can be called up), 4 line-ins, 4 internal stereo FX returns, and the possibility to use a maximum of 66 processing channels (with the 64 x 64 expansion slot).
Each channel also has its unique processing (high pass, delay, gate, compressor, and 4-band EQ). What justifies the advanced manners and overall price of this mixer is the fact that the processors are very advanced (Lexicon FX processor and an EMMA DSP processor for sound quality. In other words, a costly digital processor that stands out when it comes to quality versus normally priced mixers).
They indicate that it is recommended for broadcasts, churches, music locations of most formats, band exercises, recordings in the studio, and theaters – so basically any application that you can see yourself tripping – this is very versatile. The only thing that leads you away from the Soundcraft Si Expression 1 is a price tag, or if you are starting, the inflated functions might be too much for you.
Behringer XR18 X Air
Then we have a much appreciated Behringer mixer that is not necessarily budget-friendly, but a model that might be perfect for your needs. The XR18 has a slightly different look as you can see, and it’s 18 channels, 12 buses, and 16 gain-programmable preamps (‘Midas’ build) are more than enough for many musicians and artists out there. It has an integrated Wi-Fi module (see that antenna?) To connect seamlessly to your smart devices or laptops, a built-in multi-channel USB audio interface, and six aux input.
The construction is also excellent because it has rack ears and protection bumpers, which is excellent for stage boxes and rack-mount chassis. The channel processing is of high quality, and you have 100-band RTA for all channels and bus EQs. The Behringer XR18 X Air is excellent for those on location, not only because of the handy construction but also because of the many features it has focused on the back stairs to make their work a lot easier. You get a full remote about many of the functions that a mixer usually has, which is never bad behind the scenes. Overall, this is one of the best audio mixers right now.
Finally, and certainly not least, we have one of the most famous and one of the best audio mixers out there – the Mackie VLZ4. There is a reason why they have made more than one appearance in this best audio mixer shopping guide – they not only give us countless options in different shapes, sizes, and channel counts, but have also received great feedback about their builds and quality. The 1604VLZ4 is a reliable mixer to check out because it has 16 channels, 4 buses, 16x Onyx preamps, 3-band EQ, an LED meter and a super-compact format to help with portability and travel.
It has a high headroom and low noise design, and quite a few extra features that you can steer in this direction: things like improved RF rejection (for broadcast). The microphone pre-amplification setup, 4 stereo returns, 4 aux sends level, pan, and solo overload, as well as dampening LEDs on each channel, and rack mount design if that’s how you plan it to fit into your repertoire. The Mackie 1604VLZ4 has stood the test of time when it comes to longevity and user reviews, where a backup of the mixer is more than worth the money.