If you’re a podcast enthusiast who is looking to help elevate their quality, then now might be the time for you to upgrade to a high-quality multiple-input mixer.
Although you can still achieve a decent sound with a simple DIY mic and computer podcast setup, introducing a mixer into your setup can bring a whole nother level of flexibility to your home studio, and will help to elevate your podcast’s sound even more.
With a good quality mixer, you’ll be able to introduce multiple guests to your podcast, include live music into your podcast, or even just make use of an extra microphone to help capture some of the ambient sound in your studio.
Introducing a mixer is a great way to help you achieve all of this!
Trying to choose a quality mixer nowadays that is both affordable for the user, as well as being powerful enough to help you to achieve you the sound you want, is a difficult task, however one of the most popular options on the market at the moment is the Behringer Xenyx Q802USB.
So whether you’re a seasoned podcaster professional, or a complete beginner on the hunt for a good quality mixer, here’s our review of the Behringer Xenyx Q802USB!
Behringer Xenyx Q802USB Review
If you don’t have much knowledge about audio equipment, you might be wondering what exactly a Behringer Xenyx Q802USB is exactly, so allow us to explain a little more in-depth about what it is.
It’s a mixer, and is essentially a USB interface, so you simply plug it into your computer by using a USB cable.
From there, you’ll be able to plug in multiple different devices, such as microphones, or even other audio input devices, such as instruments, and it allows you to blend in the sounds all into one handy mix.
This little interface actually offers a great range of more advanced features too, including frequency equalization, and reverb effects, which you might not need to use for your at home podcast, but the possibility is always nice!
There’s also the possibility for you to change the route of the main signal output in several different ways, so whether you choose to send the overall mix to a set of headphones (as you usually would for a podcast), to a set of speakers (great if you happen to have a live audience), or to speakers for monitoring, or even all of the above if you so wish!
Despite its size, the compressors on this little mixer are actually studio grade, which means that you’ll have more control over the mix in comparison the amount you usually would when simply using a standalone USB mic, and what’s great is that for all of this flexibility and additional control, you still won’t break the bank!
So, if you really want to make a difference to the sound of your podcast, but you’re getting bored of having to rely on passing a singular mic around multiple guests then you should definitely consider investing in a mixer like this.
Behringer Xenyx Q802USB Specs
Despite its small size, you shouldn’t estimate the power of this tiny mixer! As you’ll see, it is a force to be reckoned with.
First and foremost, it comes with a power switch and a power supply, which is convenient. There are a total of eight inputs across its four channels, and the first two of these inputs offer XLR mic inputs, or unbalanced ¼” inputs.
These two inputs also happen to feature Behringer’s XENYX mic preamps too, which is neat.
These XENYX preamps are wonderful additions and for good reason, they contain an impressive 130dB dynamic range, as well as a bandwidth between 100Hz and 20kHz.
The separate two stereo input channels then offer you ¼” inputs, and although they are separable into both a left and a right channel, they share a volume fader.
There’s a dedicated equalizer section for each of the four channels, each having a low, mid and high band, and both the first and second channel provide you with onboard compression as well, which can be an especially useful feature if you use a condenser microphone, and an especially convenient feature if you happen to have one guest on your podcast that tends to speak louder than others.
If you’re new to podcasting, it is worth noting that most condenser microphones require an external power source in order to work, which is sometimes known as “phantom power”.
Ready To Go
Another great thing about the Behringer Xenyx Q802USB is that by using just a simple USB connection, you can plug it instantly into most computers and will be ready to play!
Your unit will typically be a copy of their very own audio recording software known as Tracktion, and you can also make use of the editing software that they have available to download from their website too, which will help you to ensure a smooth integration of your new mixer into your current podcast setup.
Traktion is an excellent piece of software, and provides a simplistic and easy-to-use feeling software that is packed with a ton of advanced features, including the likes of dynamic track automation, MIDI compatibility, unlimited track count, and support for various effect plug-ins too.
Once you initially register your mixer, you’ll then receive your unique registration key to grant you full access to this software.
Alongside the one-knobbed compression channel is also the effects loop, which means that the Behringer Xenyx Q802USB allows you to introduce and blend all of your own delays, fader FX, distortions, and modulations.
So, if you want to really experiment with the sound of your podcast, and take things to the next level, you could easily make use of some of these instrumental sounds, which would certainly provide you with some sounds and effects that you wouldn’t hear on any other podcast!
So, if you want to know our ratings on numerous aspects of this incredible little mixer, then keep reading onwards as we delve into awarding this small box of joy some ratings across multiple categories.
Ease Of Use – 4
It might seem bold giving such an advanced piece of equipment such a high rating for its ease of use, but honestly even the most novice of podcasters will be able to make great use of the mixer with just a flick through the pages of the instruction manual, and it’s quite hard to mess it up too!
Features – 3.5
There’s no denying that whilst this mixer does have some quite advanced features for its size and price, there are mixers on the market with many more features that would ultimately make this little guy seem a bit basic.
However, for a beginner, it does mean that things won’t get too confusing, so if you’re looking to introduce a mixer into your set up for the first time, this isn’t a bad choice.
Design – 4.5
The user experience with this mixer is incredibly direct and straightforward, and whilst some things might take a little bit of working out for the less experienced among us, this offering from Behringer is a great design that shouldn’t pose any of its users any problems.
Warranty – 4
When you buy this mixer, Behringer will provide you with a year’s worth of warranty, which will protect you against any factory defects that may occur, but nothing more.
Pros And Cons
It’s now time for our final pros and cons list, so if you’re still undecided as to whether or not the Behringer Xenyx Q802USB is for you, this should help!
- Durable and compact design means the mixer doesn’t take up too much space in your current setup.
- The mic preamps are of a good quality.
- The mixer features onboard compression for two mono channels.
- 2-track inputs available.
- EQ sections are Neo-classic and British-inspired.
- Low noise doesn’t disrupt audio recordings.
- Good for use with a mixing desk in a separate control room too.
- Despite having eight inputs, there are only four channels.
- Some customers and users complain that the mixer will have a tendency to wobble when kept on flat surfaces, so might cause some disruption during a live session.
- Other complaints include that in order to record a live Skype call, an RCA cable is required to be plugged into the headphone jack found on the computer, with the RCA end going into the mixer, only then will you be able to monitor the voices.
- Some users also find the post fader slightly irritating.
Behringer Xenyx Q802 Alternative Mixers
Yamaha MG10XU – This mixer offers a more robust build quality and some superior features compared to the Behringer model, like fader controls, SPX effects, and more I/O. However, it’s also more expensive.
PreSonus StudioLive AR8 USB – This is an 8-channel hybrid performance and production mixer with built-in 4×4 USB 2.0 audio interface. It’s very popular for its high-quality sound and durability.
Mackie ProFXv3 Series – This series offers multiple models, depending on how many inputs you need. The Mackie ProFX8v3, for instance, offers an equivalent number of channels to the Behringer, but with Mackie’s highly-regarded Onyx preamps and the inclusion of their Pro Tools | First software.
Soundcraft Notepad-8FX – This compact mixer comes with USB audio interface and Lexicon effects. It has premium preamps and it is highly portable which makes it a good choice for podcasting.
Zoom LiveTrak L-8 – This portable mixer and recorder are specifically designed for podcasting. It offers six mic preamps, four sound pads for sound effects or music, call-in capabilities via a mobile device, and the ability to run on batteries for remote recording.
Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX – This hybrid mixer offers four mono channels with XLR and 1/4″ jack sockets, along with three stereo channels. It has high-quality preamps and includes Cubase LE and Cubasis LE for recording and editing.
Rode Rodecaster Pro – This is a high-end option specifically designed for podcast production. It provides four high-quality XLR inputs, eight programmable sound effects pads, automatic mix-minus for call-ins, and a host of other features tailored to podcasting.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of the Behringer Xenyx Q802USB, this wonderful mixer is a beginner’s best friend, but will still provide a great sound to a seasoned veteran too, and for the price point you can find this at, it’s worth every cent!