Audio mixers, along with audio interfaces, are indispensable devices if you create your own music or play music as a DJ. Many modern audio mixers have a built-in USB port. This allows you to play music directly from a flash drive or your computer. Some models even have Bluetooth, making this process completely wireless.
These are the features that make some models stand out from the crowd. However, in our review, we looked at all the features of each model. So you can definitely choose one of these audio mixers.
This item has the best price and quality:
|Our Top Pick|
|See Best Price|
The list of the other great portable audio mixers with a comparison of the main characteristics:
|19 ounces||14.3 x 7.1 x 2 inches||3||See Best Price|
|2 pounds||10.5 x 11.6 x 5.7 inches||6||See Best Price|
|13 pounds||14.25 x 13 x 3.56 inches||8||See Best Price|
Allen & Heath ZED-6
|2.8 pounds||9.3 x 9.8 x 3.5 inches||6||See Best Price|
Allen & Heath ZED-6FX
|3 pounds||9.3 x 9.8 x 3.5 inches||6||See Best Price|
Allen & Heath ZEDi-8
|3 pounds||9.3 x 9.8 x 3.5 inches||8||See Best Price|
|7.9 pounds||19 x 7 x 4.3 inches||16||See Best Price|
Allen & Heath ZEDi-10
|4.85 pounds||10.8 x 13.1 x 3.8 inches||10||See Best Price|
Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX
|5.1 pounds||10.8 x 13.1 x 3.8 inches||10||See Best Price|
|18.9 pounds||16.4 x 19.5 x 9.2 inches||4||See Best Price|
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Opens the view of the simplest three-channel analog ProMIX mixer. It is a well-known international brand of music equipment ART.
The model is notable primarily for its portability and autonomous power supply.
Despite the modesty of functionality, this miniature mixer is able to solve important tasks quickly and easily.
The mixer has a simple rectangular black body without any hint of any design. On the upper side, there is an infographic with all controls signed.
The size of the body of the device is 143x45x92mm. Weight without packing – 680g, together with packing – 900g. This device works either from the network through a standard complete 12V adapter.
Working with sound, this model demonstrates such characteristics. The incoming and outgoing resistance is 600 Ohm. The nonlinear distortion coefficient is not more than 0.02%. The output level is not more than +14dB, the input level is -14. Input and output levels may vary from -14 to +14dB.
The largest sensitivity is 60 dB. All three microphone inputs provide phantom power and have a Low cut filter. Simple mechanical manipulators individually for each channel help to adjust its level. There is a balanced output to the XLR connector. Each channel also has symmetrical XLR outputs.
You can activate it via DIP switches. There is an AUX output on the front panel. You can connect headphones or a studio track to this output. The same panel has power and overload indicators. There is also a power switch and the same level regulators on the channels. In fact, that’s almost all you can say about this model.
Thanks to its simplicity, the device behaves as predictable as possible, and you can always rely on it.
We continue the review with a Japanese manufacturer who does not need any special presentations. This is YAMAHA and its compact mixer MG06X. Even after 6 years, this device remains relevant and in demand.
Visually it resembles a “remote control”, although the dimensions are quite compact. MG06X model differs from the extreme minimalism of the previous version.
Thus it keeps a rather narrow specialization. It is an analog remote of passive-type with wide possibilities of sound processing. The dimensions of this audio mixer are 14.9×6.2×20.2cm. Weight is 0.9 kg.
It has two mono inputs, two XLR / 1/4″ stereo inputs, two XLR, TRS stereo outputs, and a separate headphone output.
A two-way equalizer is for mono channels. Almost all connectors and controls are on the top panel. There’s also a seven-segment LED indicator on the top panel. The device is able to recognize the sound in the range of 20 to 20 thousand Hz.
Many new mixer consoles feature non-standard sensitivity on the line inputs. To avoid overloading the inputs, you should use the PAD buttons to reduce this and to connect a higher signal. The balanced outputs of the panel are capable of producing a high-amplitude signal.
It is much higher than the studio standard in +4 dBu – up to +18 dBu. You will need DiBOX to connect the guitar, as all inputs are linear only. The real range of headphone output is much wider than 24+24 mW.
The volume reserve far exceeds the reasonable capacity of the human ear. In this model, the professional level is pleasantly surprised in every detail.
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This model of the British company Soundcraft is very well-proven in professional circles. Now it is a part of Harman Pro Group.
In the Soundcraft EPM series, it is the most affordable model. It is almost the same as the previous generation Soundcraft Spirit E.
The size of the body is relatively compact. It is 330×90.5x362mm. The average power consumption is less than 20W.
The case is metal, strong, high-quality materials. Optimal installation – on a flat horizontal surface.
You can also install it on a 19-inch rack. Of the ten active channels, eight are monophonic, two are stereo. There are also 60mm faders for the new model. They are more accurate, reliable, and compact. It’s made it possible to keep the size of the console to the smallest.
Each mono channel has a separate XLR input. You can connect stereo channels via three-pole 1/4″ jack connectors. This way you can connect the keys, dram-machine, any signal processing device. Input symmetrical, support high-frequency signal.
Unbalanced signals are possible with special wiring, but only with the shortest possible cable length. Mono channels have a three-way equalizer to control high mid and low frequencies. The midrange here is between 150 and 3500 Hz.
Use this feature to manually adjust the frequencies to achieve better speech intelligibility. It also helps to achieve the expressiveness of the sound of a particular instrument. For stereo channels, it has its own high-precision two-band EQ with balance control.
Also, this device has PFL and MUTE buttons, special control, and other interesting functions.
Allen & Heath ZED-6, ZED-6FX and ZEDi-8 comparison
We’re talking about three models here – ZED-6, ZED-6FX, and ZEDi-8. There are minimal differences between them, which we will describe.
Each model in the series is a six-channel analog active-type remote control. The body of ZED6FX is relatively compact – 9.3 x 9.8 x 3.5 inches.
Its weight is really small – only 1.36 kg. Modification of ZED6FX, among other things, has an effect processor. ZEDi-8 has its own advantage. It has a two-channel audio interface adapted for USB.
The key and simultaneously unifying features of each model are as follows. Each has two line inputs for microphones with separate TRS and XLR connection interfaces. They also have a pair of stereo inputs on “jacks”.
The manufacturer has equipped these models with monophonic inputs on TRS. It is for direct connection of guitar without a direct box.
Two mono channels have a trimmed filter with the ability to turn off. The condenser microphones have a phantom power supply of 48V.
The mixer panel includes GSPre microphone preamplifiers with a good margin and minimal noise.
Furthermore, they contribute to the characteristic “warm” sound. Each mono and stereo channel in the mixer comes with a two-way equalizer.
The Main Mix 60mm fader has a pleasant smooth running.
The master outputs in this model are also based on XLR connectors.
It gives you a wide range of possibilities for comprehensive monitoring.
The remote control is powered from the mains via the integrated power supply. The robust steel chassis ensures stability.
Separately, it is worth mentioning the mentioned effect processor. 100 ready-made presets are available in ZED6FX through this processor.
Here you will find everything of high studio quality. It includes reverb, dealerships, and all kinds of combinations.
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This is a 12-channel digital mixing console of the popular Ui Series from Soundcraft. The British company has released similar models Ui12 and Ui16.
They differ only by the number of inputs and outputs. Here we see such innovations as a wired LAN Ethernet port and even a Wi-Fi module.
This equipment is to enable remote control using specialized software. You can do it on popular operating systems, including mobile ones.
Moreover, it supports control from several devices at once.
Out of 12 channels, 8 are connected to the remote control via TRS Jack connectors. You can connect the other 4 via XLR. The master section contains controls for the outgoing signal and signal level per headphone.
There are also two 1/4″ TRS Jacks for headphones and four master outputs. They have different connectors. Two XLR and two 1/4” TRS Jacks. There are also line outputs on RCA sockets, four AUX outputs on XLR sockets. Import and export files are available.
You can do this directly via one of the two USB interfaces. It is also possible to write to an external drive. The device contains an integrated USB media player. The electronics have Lexicon, Digitech, and DBX signal handlers. Manual change of frequencies can be done with the built-in four-band equalizer.
This device has specialized cross-platform software for detailed sound change. Moreover, you can use a 31-band software digital equalizer for this purpose. There are also noise gate and compressor functions. Remote control Soundcraft Ui-16 also includes the ability to control microphone preamplifiers.
The inputs and outputs support RTA purity analysis. The outputs have extra low-pass filters. As an extra function, you can connect a pedal. A full system reset function is also available for emergencies.
Allen & Heath ZEDi-10 and ZEDi-10FX comparison
Back to the British manufacturer Allen & Heath, and even the ZEDi series. But now we will consider a more interesting product of this line. These are ZEDi-10 and ZEDi-10FX mixing consoles.
These two modifications are almost identical. The only difference is that ZEDi-10FX has an effect processor. The manufacturer positions the models for both concert and studio use.
This is a 10-channel analog mixing console. It has four line microphone inputs, two switchable Hi-Z inputs, two stereo channels. You can connect it to external electronics via USB 4×4 audio interface.
The body of the device is mainly metal. You can use it for desktop installation. Dimensions of the case – 332x274x96mm, the weight of the console – 2.3kg. The construction is strong. The power supply of this device is carried out from a network through the built-in power supply unit.
The remote control has a built-in audio interface. It has qualitative preamplifiers of microphones GSPre of the newest edition. The effect processor contains 100 presets and TapTempo function. There is also a separate output to an external effect processor or pedal.
To power the condenser microphones, a 48V phantom power supply is provided to the outputs. You can perform manual frequency control with a three-way equalizer. There is an option to cut off clear low-frequency noise with a Low-cut filter. There is also a 60mm master fader with smooth running.
This device has a wide variety of ways to connect tools and equipment. The microphone inputs are tied into separate TRS and XLR sockets.
You can connect the guitar or bass directly without a direct box via two DI inputs. Two more stereo line inputs are tied to standard jacks.
A separate innovation is the USB audio interface for 4 channels with 24-bit/96 kHz perception. It works directly with Mac and PC systems, and with iOS.
You can do this through an adapter. Balanced Main Output is into the XLR sockets. The ZEDi10FX provides extensive analysis and monitoring capabilities.
You can connect active monitors or even an entire individual monitoring system via the AUX output. You can get the extension of the console’s functionality by the complete software. There are CubasisLE and CubaseLE applications.
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This is a 4-channel mixing console DJM-750MK2 from a well-known brand PIONEER.
It really was originally designed as a DJ with adaptation for vinyl players. But nobody forbids to use it for other related purposes as well.
It’s a four-channel mixing console, a product of a specialized Pioneer DJ company.
The manufacturer himself positions the DJM-750MK2 as a middle class. You can use it for DJ practice in preparation for club performances.
The model inherited not only all the good things from the previous generation DJM-750. It also took a lot from the flagship DJM-900NXS2. There is a magnetic crossfader Magvel Fader with a huge resource of up to 10 million movements.
The model has dithering technology, 64-bit DSP, 32-bit DAC, and ADC. It is characterized by high sound quality in general. It also has a USB 24-bit audio interface and two high-quality effect modules – Sound Color FX and Beat FX. The PIONEER DJM-750MK2 features an extra USB port for iOS gadgets.
You can use it as extra effect generators or their sources. Among other improvements, this model has a separate microphone section. It comes with a two-way equalizer. There are also two headphone jacks. On the whole, it has very good switching capabilities. This audio mixer also comes with license keys for specialized software.
These are Rekordbox DVS and Rekordbox DJ applications. The value of the software itself is emphasized by the manufacturer. From the flagship DJM-900NXS2, this model also took a well thought out professional layout of controls.
There is a pleasant illumination of important areas and elements. In general, even externally this portable audio mixer makes a respectable impression.
FAQ for portable audio mixers buyers:
Does a mixer improve sound quality?
Both analog and digital mixers are capable of transmitting very high-quality sound. The quality and design of their electronic circuits—especially the mic preamps—and in the case of the digital mixer, its analog to digital converter (ADC), have the biggest influence on sound quality.
How do I choose an audio mixer?
A band should look for a mixer with at least enough input channels for every member of the band. It should also have enough auxiliary outputs for the number of monitor mixes the band wants. An analog mixer with onboard digital effects like reverb and delay works for a lot of bands.
Are digital mixers better than analog?
You can also program a single control to have more than one function, allowing you to have a smaller mixer with greater functionality. Digital mixers are also much more resistant to external sounds compared to their analog counterparts. This can help give you a much cleaner sound.
What should I pay attention to when choosing a portable audio mixer?
Sampling frequency, service communication, operation mode, interfaces.