The future of music

10 Best Audio Mixers

December 29, 2023
best audio mixers

If you want to make music at home, getting a good audio mixer should be on your list.

An audio mixer allows you to take audio from multiple sources, and producers and engineers use it to combine, mix, and balance sounds and audio signals. 

That said, an audio mixer is an essential piece of audio equipment for every professional.

But this handy device will enrich your music-making process even if you’re just starting out.

To help you find a device that meets your needs, we compiled a list of the best audio mixers in the market right now.

Let’s dive in!

1. SSL BiG SiX – Best audio mixer 

SSL BiG SiX

If you’re looking for a reliable audio mixer that is close to a professional console, you should consider the SSL Big SiX

This well-designed mixer provides everything you need to step up your game – quality SSL preamps, a user-friendly 16-channel interface, and a top-notch compressor.

And that’s the best thing about the Big SiX – it’s based on the features of SSL’s iconic large-format studio consoles, yet it fits any home recording studio.

With an analog mixer, you can use four mono channels (featuring SSL’s SuperAnalogue mic preamps with mic/line/Hi-Z inputs), a high-pass filter, SSL Channel Dynamics, an updated three-band EQ, and a fully balanced insert point.

There are also four stereo inputs with dual mono switching that join these elements.

In other words, everything about this audio mixer is so practical and efficient – the built quality is obviously excellent, and the bus compressor is second to none. 

Plus, you can easily use it with your DAW, as the device.

The only disadvantage of the SSL Big SiX is its hefty price tag – you’ll need to spend more than $2,500 unless you come across a discount.

But if you’re ready to invest in a top piece of audio equipment, the BiG SiX won’t disappoint you.

2. Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX – Best value for money 

Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX

If you’re looking for something more affordable, the Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX mixer is reasonably priced.

It features boutique amps and a 4×4 USB interface, four mono mic/line channels (with phantom power), and three stereo inputs. 

The first two channels also include a high-impedance DI mode, and the four mono channels feature separate balanced/unbalanced TRS and XLR inputs (with the stereo inputs on TRS jacks).

For beginners who don’t understand the technical language of audio mixers just yet: the Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX is well-built and well-designed, and with its excellent feature set, it offers great value for money.

Plus, it’s compact and portable, so it’s suitable for any kind of situation and lifestyle. 

So, it’s no wonder the Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX mixer is often included in the list of the top audio mixers in the market.

When it comes to affordable audio mixers suitable for different applications, it doesn’t get better than this.

3. Roland Go: Mixer Pro X – Best for smartphone connectivity 

Roland Go: Mixer Pro X

If you’re looking for something different, you should check out Roland’s smartphone/tablet mixer.

The Roland Go: Mixer Pro X features 11 analog inputs and 3 analog outputs.

There’s no digital or MIDI connectivity, and if you’re searching for multichannel audio support from the interface, this tiny mixer isn’t for you.

But if you need a device with good smartphone compatibility, Roland’s Pro X is probably the best option for you. 

It’s great for both iOS and Android mobile devices, and it comes with all the necessary cables to connect everything. 

In terms of sound, the Pro X provides studio quality.

And it works well with streaming services like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

That being said, the Pro X is ideal for podcasting, online lessons, live streams, and similar online and audio projects. 

But it’s also suitable for recording at home, as it has all the inputs you need for your voice, a musical instrument, or both.

It’s a versatile and useful audio mixer that won’t let you down. 

4. Yamaha MG12 – Best for sound shaping

Yamaha MG12

Yamaha MG12 is a 12-input 4-bus mixer with a great reputation.

After all, we’re talking about Yamaha, one of the most widely known brands in the world.

The MG12 is special because it’s portable, yet it provides excellent connectivity.

This way, you can easily expand it if necessary.

But with 12 inputs and multiple outputs for headphone amps, PAs, and monitors, you will do just fine, especially if you intend to use it for personal purposes.

But one of the best things about this popular audio mixer is its one-knob compression tool that allows fast sound shaping.

All things considered, the MG12 really offers a lot for a good price – from connectivity and flexibility to appealing sound shaping options. 

5. Korg SoundLink MW-1608 – Best affordable Korg mixer

Korg SoundLink MW-1608

Korg is one of the most reputable companies in the world of recording equipment and electronic musical instruments.

And its SoundLink MW-1608 is one of the best audio mixers you can find.

Apart from a great reputation, notable heritage, and iconic brand, the SoundLink MW-1608 won’t let you down with its performance and quality.

It’s relatively affordable too – it’s currently available for less than $1000, which is cheap compared to some other options.  

In terms of sound and effects, its quality is top-notch, and along with excellent quality preamps and A/D converters, it’s suitable for pro engineers and beginner producers alike. 

Moreover, the SoundLink MW-1608 provides USB connectivity, and it generally managed to strike the right balance between analog and digital. 

That said, this is arguably one of the top audio mixers in this price range.

6. Behringer Xenyx 502 – Best for portability

Behringer Xenyx 502

If you’re searching for an affordable premium mixer with a USB streaming interface, you should check out Behringer Xenyx 502.

The Xenyx 502 is very compact and easily portable, so it’s ideal for people who travel a lot.

This also makes it perfect for podcasting and streaming, but it’s also a great device for recording.

Thanks to its award-winning XENYX microphone preamp, it provides a warm and ultra-musical sound.

And since it can be connected to computers or mobile devices via USB, it’s very easy to integrate digital sources with analog equipment. 

It has one mono and 2 stereo channels and a total of 9 audio signals for monitoring via headphones or the high-quality TRS Main outputs. 

It’s all you need for quality recording sessions or streaming and podcasting. 

7. Art Pro Audio Tube Mix – Best stylish audio mixer 

Art Pro Audio Tube Mix

If you prefer buying a unique, stylish audio mixer, Art Pro Audio Tube MIx is for you. 

Besides great looks, this compact mixer comes with many benefits.

For instance, it features a selectable valve stage, and it can be assigned to act as a dual channel tube mic preamp, or stacked and applied to the Instrument input for added warmth and tone with guitar or bass.

High impedance instrument input has an amp simulation function, and a flexible Control Room/Headphone section allows routing to monitor the main mix, USB input, and aux sends.

In other words, The Tube Mix is an all-in-one solution for small home studios, and it’s an ideal piece of gear for anyone looking for a reliable mixer. 

The unique look is just the cherry on top. 

8. SSL SiX – Best compact SSL mixer 

SSL SiX

SSL SiX is a 6-channel analog studio mixer ideal for smaller professional recording setups, podcasts, and post-production.

So, if you’re looking for a condensed professional console, and a more compact version than the other SSL mixer we introduced you to today, the SiX might be for you.

Although it’s small enough to use on the go, the SiX provides that big console sound needed in professional studio environments. 

It offers two recording channels with SuperAnalogueTM mic pres, two-band EQ, a knob version of the classic SSL Channel Compressor, and a new two-band Channel EQ, inserts, and 100mm faders.

It’s everything you need to add depth, width, and character to your mixes. 

Considering its value, excellent build, and reputation, the SSL SiX will certainly meet your needs. 

9. TC-Helicon GoXLR Mini – Best mini audio mixer 

TC-Helicon GoXLR Mini

When it comes to small audio mixers, the TC-Helicon GoXLR Mini is definitely worthy of consideration.

This stylish mixer might look tiny, but it offers everything you need for streaming gaming, and content creation. 

It has a simple interface with easy-to-use controls, so you can use it for your projects without hassle. 

It also features built-in digital signal processing, offering compression, EQ, and noise gating

And its phantom-powered microphone input accommodates condenser and dynamic microphones.

So if you’re looking for a small streaming mixer that won’t let you down, you can count on the TC-Helicon GoXLR Mini.

10. Behringer XAIR X18 – Best digital audio mixer 

Behringer XAIR X18

This unique-looking mixing console will bring your music-making process to the next level.

Behringer is a German brand known for manufacturing quality equipment including synthesizers, mixers, audio interfaces, and amplifiers.

And their XAIR X18 is a top choice for anyone looking for a digital mixer. 

It’s an 18-channel, 12-bus desktop digital mixer for iPads, Androids, and tablets, featuring 16 preamps, a tablet tray, and an integrated Wi-Fi Module.

The mixer’s USB connectivity allows it to function as an interface, which is another characteristic that makes it worthy of consideration.

But unlike other audio interfaces, the X18’s relies on a tablet app so it has some limitations in terms of the ability to control it directly via computer. 

Nevertheless, the XAIR X18 stands out from its competitors for its digital features and WiFi and tablet compatibility.

It’s all you need for a flexible, seamless workflow.  

Do You Need an Audio Mixer?

Some of the audio mixers we reviewed today are a serious investment.

So it’s normal if you’re asking yourself: do I really need an audio mixer?

Well, to answer that question, you need to think about your goals and needs.

If you want to dive into professional waters, getting a proper mixing deck is a must.

Audio Mixer

Audio mixers are used in different types of environments, including:

  • Live shows
  • In a recording studio
  • For broadcast audio
  • For film/television 

Performance venues wouldn’t function without some form of audio mixer – they are at the center of their amplification system.

The same goes for professional recording studios – an audio mixer is an integral part of the gear, and studios would be limited to a single microphone otherwise.

That said, modern production studios and concert venues can’t do without audio mixers.

So if you want to learn how audio mixers work and if you want to become a producer or sound engineer, the answer is simple: yes, you need an audio mixer.

Luckily, there are many beginner-friendly audio mixers out there, and you don’t even have to break the bank to get one.

The best audio mixers for beginners are easy to use, yet they provide all the basic functions of professional mixing decks.

If you’re just starting out, an audio mixer will allow you to have a good start.

It will introduce you to the world of EQ areas, faders, auxes, filters, and track busses. 

But don’t let that intimidate you – you’ll figure it out with some practice.

If you get an entry-level mixer and take your time to get comfortable with it, you’ll be mixing and balancing in no time.

However, there are some other things you need to consider when buying your first audio mixer.

How to Pick an Audio Mixer 

Browsing audio mixers online and choosing the right device is not an easy task for newcomers.

Even experienced audio engineers need to take some time to research audio mixers and find the perfect one.

One of the most important factors you should think about include:

  • Equipment compatibility
  • Portability
  • USB Connectivity
  • Number of channels 

All good audio mixers should have easy-to-access controls – this is crucial both for beginners and professionals. 

Besides practicality and functionality, they should be compatible with microphones, line-level audio sources, and instrument connections. 

That said, make sure that your potential mixer includes a suitable number of inputs and types of connectors that match your equipment.

USB Connectivity is another important factor – this makes audio routing easier for home studios as well as bigger venues. 

And a number of channels will dictate what you’ll be able to use it for. 

Dj and audio Mixer

At the end of the day, it all depends on your goals, budget, priorities, and personal preferences.

For average-sized venues and production studios, a twelve-channel audio mixer is usually a good choice.

And if portability is your priority, you should consider getting a USB-compatible audio mixer. 

Then there are also amazing digital audio mixers that are based on cutting-edge technology…

Of course, if you know what you’re looking for, everything will be easier.

Best Audio Mixers – Final Thoughts 

There are many great options out there when it comes to quality audio mixers.

And we hope our reviews of the best audio mixers helped you narrow down your search.

Whether you’re an experienced producer or a newcomer, an audio mixer will make things easier and add uniqueness to your sound. 

So, take your time to make the final decision – but we’re sure you won’t regret it once you do. 

You may also like: Best Free DAWs

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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