Side by Side: Compact Mixers

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Radio is all about mobility. We’re finding new ways to deliver audio from the field via smaller and smaller connected devices, but we still need to attach more than a single microphone. You need a compact mixer.

For our comparison, we looked at models that had two microphone inputs, although we found units that only had one. (One manufacturer’s smallest model started at four mic inputs.) The mixers below also have larger brothers in their series.

All the mixers have stereo outputs. Some have effects or monitor sends. The models with sends could be set up to provide a main feed on one channel and a mix-minus on the other. All models offer some EQ. The two-band choices have sweeps at 80Hz and 12kHz. When a third midrange band is offered it is centered at 2.5kHz.

All these models have external power supplies. In another installment of Side by Side we’ll look at battery-powered options for total mobility.

ModelAlesis MultiMix 4 USBBehringer Xenyx 802Mackie 402-VLZ3Samson MDR624Peavey PV 6 USB
Inputs1 mic/line/guitar,1 mic/line, 1 stereo line2 mic/line, 2 stereo line, stereo tape2 mic/line, stereo line in, stereo tape in2 mic/line, 2 stereo line, stereo tape in2 mic/line, 2 stereo line
Phantom power?yesyesyesyesyes
Input pan control?yesyeshard switch for input 1 left & 2 rightyesyes
Outputsstereo line TRSstereo main TRS, stereo control room TRS, stereo tape RCAstereo line out, stereo tape outstereo control room out, stereo main out, tape outstereo control room out, stereo main out
Headphone out1/4" TRS1/4" TRS1/4" TRS1/4" TRS1/4" TRS
EQ2-band on inputs 1&23-band on all channels2-band on inputs 1&2, low-cut switch on inputs 1&23-band on all channels3-band inputs 1&2, 2-band inputs 3/4 & 5/6, 80Hz low-cut on main output
Sendsnone1 post-fader per channel, TRS outputnone1 pre-fader per channel, TRS output1 post-fader per channel, TRS output
Returnsnonestereo TRS inputsnonestereo TRS inputsstereo TRS inputs
Special FeaturesUSB audio I/O-Mounting holes for Atlas AD-11B mic stand adapter, instrument input setting on inputs 1&2-USB audio I/O
Power10Vac, 500mA±18.5Vac, 300mA±18.5Vac, 410mA±18Vac, 600mA15Vdc, 500mA
Weight (lbs)
Size (w x l x h) 6" x 7.75" x 2"7.4" x 8.7" x 1.9"5.8" x 7.3" x 1.6"7.36" x 10" x 2"7.55" x 9.717" x 2.7"
Other modelsMultiMix 6 USB, MultiMix 8 USBXenyx 502, Xenyx 1002, Xenyx 1202802-VLZ3, 1202-VLZ3MDR1064PV 6, PV 8, PV 8 USB, PV 10, PV 10 USB
List price$129$130$130$110$170

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