The Best Audio Mixers for Streaming, Podcasts, Twitch and More

The Best Audio Mixers for Streaming, Podcasts, Twitch and More (Review & Comparison) Of 2020 – Our Top Picks Reviewed

Streaming is something anyone can get into, but when it comes to producing the best quality content, you’re going to need some seriously reliable tools.  Whether you choose to stream video, game play or are a podcaster, you must look for a solid audio mixer to hone your output.

In this article we cover The Best Audio Mixers for Streaming, Podcasts, Twitch and More. Our experts have put together this list covering all budgets and needs. 

The goal of these reviews are to guide and educate you making your next purchase the right one. 

3 Audio Mixers You Must See – Our Winning Picks

Behringer Xenyx X1222USB
#1 Top Rated

Behringer Xenyx X1222USB

The #1 Audio Mixer we reviewed. An excellent all-rounder.

Features

Premium ultra-low noise
Inputs: 16
EQ: 3-band EQ

Read Reviews On Amazon

Alto Professional ZMX52
Best Value

Alto Professional ZMX52

The best value for money Audio Mixer we reviewed.

Features

Inputs: 5
Channels: 5
2-band EQ

Read Reviews On Amazon

Rode RODECaster Pro Podcast Production Studio
Premium Pick

Rode RODECaster Pro Podcast Production Studio

Our premium pick on the higher end of the price range.

Features

Podcast Studio in a Box
8 Programmable Pads
8 Faders

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The Best Audio Mixers For Streaming And More

1. Behringer X1222USB Xenyx (#1 Top Audio Mixer)

front facing Behringer X1222USB Xenyx

Key Specifications:

Dimensions: 12.99 x 14.57 x 3.54 in- Weight: 9.3 lbs – Inputs: 16 – Premium ultra-low noise – EQ: 3-band EQ

Behringer is a name that many mixers have probably come across before.  The X1222USB could be the best choice for home recorders and streamers looking for that elusive, professional output.  The number of sliders and dials on-board here is truly boggling, however, you might find this all the more to your tastes.

The processor on board allows you to use up to 16 different studio preset standards, which means home users could achieve professional quality audio without much tweaking around.  This mixer is also built to offer complete ease of use with a ‘one touch approach’. It looks imposing, but with four inputs and a decent graphic EQ, it could offer beginners the support they need in their journey towards high quality audio.

Connectability
10/10 100%
Design & Build
10/10 100%
Value For Money
10/10 100%
Overall Rating
10/10 100%

Want to know more about this mixer? Read the reviews on amazon

2. Alto Professional ZMX52 (#1 Best Value Audio Mixer)

front facing ALTO Professional ZMX52

 

 

 

Key Specifications:

Dimensions: 10.98 x 10.39 x 2.8 in – Weight: 1.98 lbs – Inputs: 5 – Channels: 5 – EQ: 2-band EQ

This compact little mixer is probably going to appeal to anyone who’s streaming from home.  Six inputs should be enough for most users, whether streaming or podcasting. The versatility in this mixer’s design is probably going to appeal to most pro users.

However, we also think it’s a good choice for beginners.  It’s very much a plug-and-play system, with a handful of knobs and inputs.  There’s not too much here to confuse. What’s more, it offers up good sound quality from the get-go.  You can tweak and fine-tune your output however you like, however, it’s always good to have decent quality sound right off the bat.

At the end of budgets, it’s likely to be a good choice for any home podcasters in need of something lightweight and unimposing.  It’s also probably a good shout for home musicians, too.

Connectability
9.2/10 92%
Design & Build
8.8/10 88%
Value For Money
10/10 100%
Overall Rating
9/10 90%

Want to know more about this mixer? Read the reviews on amazon

3. Rode RODECaster Pro (#1 Premium Pick Audio Mixer)

front facing Rode RODECaster Pro

Key Specifications:

Dimensions: 13.8 x 9.8 x 2.6 inches – Weight: 8.35 lbs – Podcast Studio in a Box – 8 Programmable Pads 

At a premium price tag, Rode’s landmark ‘podcast production studio’ could be a hefty ask for many home recorders and users.  However, this multi-track behemoth is lightweight and appealing, and should help most beginner streamers and recorders fine-tune their outputs.  If you’ve already invested in Rode microphones and inputs elsewhere, this is obviously going to be a likely choice for you.

Minimal dials, touch controls and eight sliders should make things nice and easy for most users to manage.  There’s a clear emphasis here on building a compact studio system right out of the box, and this is probably going to appeal to most users who aren’t fussed about fiddling around with too many levels and sliders.  However, it’s well worth considering whether or not the price tag is going to be worth the price of admission. It’s one of the best mixers out there – and very easy to use – but there are cheaper options.

Connectability
10/10 100%
Design & Build
10/10 100%
Value For Money
9.5/10 95%
Overall Rating
9.8/10 98%

Want to know more about this mixer? Read the reviews on amazon

4. Soundcraft EPM6

front facing Soundcraft EPM6

Key Specifications:

Dimensions: 14.25 x 11 x 3.56 in – Weight: 11.2 lbs – Power Consumption – Less than 20W

Moving onto something a little less full-on, Soundcraft’s EPM6 is lighter in weight and in cost.  It should appeal to home studio users and streamers who are looking for halitosis audio without having to invest in too much tech.  The EPM6 offers a three-band EQ, which is less capable than the Behringer model above, but the eight channels available should appeal to most users looking to upgrade their audio experience along the way.

The Soundcraft EPM range appears to suit a variety of purposes, but we think it’s ideal for home streaming and recording.  Beginners should find the simple interface easy to get used to, with there being plenty of room for you to enhance your output as you go along.  If you like learning things as you go along, the EPM6 is probably going to be a solid asset.

Connectability
9.5/10 95%
Design & Build
9.4/10 94%
Value For Money
9.5/10 95%
Overall Rating
9.4/10 94%

Want to know more about this mixer? Read the reviews on amazon

5. Behringer X1204USB Xenyx

front facing Behringer X1204USB Xenyx

Key Specifications:

Dimensions: 12.91 x 10.63 x 3.82 in – Weight: 5.75 lbs – Inputs: 12 – Premium ultra-low noise – EQ: 3 band EQ

Heading back to Behringer, this second Xenyx mixer is a little lighter on the knobs and sliders, but is no less capable than its sister mixer above.  In fact, it should appeal to streamers and podcasters on a tighter budget. 

Streamers and podcasters who have struggled to get rid of background noise might find the audio profiling here to be a breath of fresh air.  Not all mixers are easy to use from the word go. As with the other Xenyx model we’ve looked at above, the ‘one touch’ system is back in full force.  It’s an analogue mixer which is probably going to be more palatable to newbie audio engineers and streamers. Behringer is also a name we feel you can generally trust on most things audio, so don’t feel too awkward giving this one a go.

Connectability
9.2/10 92%
Design & Build
9.5/10 95%
Value For Money
10/10 100%
Overall Rating
9.5/10 95%

Want to know more about this mixer? Read the reviews on amazon

6. Yamaha AG06

front facing Yamaha AG06

Key Specifications:

Dimensions: 9.5 x 9.3 x 4.7 in – Weight: 3.53 lbs – Inputs: 6 – Channels: 6 – EQ: 3-band EQ

Anyone who has already dabbled in audio mixing or even a bit of keyboard play will know Yamaha already.  It’s a solid name, and we think most streamers will find the price tag pretty reasonable. You get six channels to play with here, and it should be nice and easy to plug in and set up thanks to its USB interface.  Even better is the fact that it should work great cross-platform, over PC and Mac.

The AG06 boasts decent audio quality, with up to 24 bit sound available.  For newbies, this means you shouldn’t have too much tweaking to do to get the best clarity in output.  It’s surprisingly mobile and lightweight, and can even connect to some tablets. Home and mobile streamers should find this pretty appealing, as will podcasters who want to record on the go.

Connectability
9.1/10 91%
Design & Build
9.4/10 94%
Value For Money
9/10 90%
Overall Rating
9.2/10 92%

Want to know more about this mixer? Read the reviews on amazon

7. Behringer Q1202USB Xenyx

front facing Behringer Q1202USB Xenyx

Key Specifications:

Dimensions: 12.17 x 4.17 x 16.02 in – Weight: 3.3 lbs – Channels: 12 – EQ: 3-band EQ

We’re heading back to Behringer for our final choice, and why not?  It’s probably the most reasonable of the brand’s home mixers in terms of budget.  It promotes ultra-low noise control, which is going to be a good thing if you’re recording out in the field.  The ‘one knob’ control method carries through to this simpler cousin of the Xenyx models we’ve already examined.

What might appeal to audio perfectionists is the presence of four different preamps.  These are well worth taking advantage of if you’re not sure how to tweak your audio for the best.  We think mic preamps and presets are worth playing around with if you want to find your way to audio perfection.  This model of Behringer Xenyx may not be as feature-rich as the models listed above, however, it’s impressive enough for its size.

Connectability
9.4/10 94%
Design & Build
9.5/10 95%
Value For Money
9.2/10 92%
Overall Rating
9.3/10 93%

Want to know more about this mixer? Read the reviews on amazon

8. StudioMaster CLUB XS

Studiomaster CLUB XS

 

Key Specifications:

Dimensions: 10″ x 3.5″ x 9.5″ – Weight: 2.5 lbs – Inputs: 5 – Channels: 3 – EQ: N/A

Want more channels for your money?  The StudioMaster CLUB XS is probably going to be a good shout.  Retailing at Just around $150, you get access to ten channels of input and a three-band EQ as standard.  What might appeal to everyday streamers looking for flexibility is the built-in Bluetooth. We’re surprised this isn’t a standard that’s more common.

Users might also find the USB and SD card playback and recording features a plus here, and for beginners, there aren’t too many dials and knobs to handle.  Podcasters will also find the ability to adjust compression on their mics on the go to be a plus point. Another good feature to take away is the presence of a channel mute function, which you might not find across all analogue mixers.  You’ll also get 16 preset effects as standard, which appears to be the competitive landmark.

Currently only available in the UK, but it can be shipped. 

Connectability
9/10 90%
Design & Build
8.5/10 85%
Value For Money
9.5/10 95%
Overall Rating
9/10 90%

Want to know more about this mixer? Read the reviews on amazon

How We Chose The Audio Mixers In Our List

checklist with star rating

There are plenty of different mixers out there, but how many are aimed purely at home recorders and streamers?  You might be surprised. We made sure to find top-rated hardware which offers plenty of flexibility in control as well as portability. 

Pricing, too, was a factor.  We understand that podcasters and streamers aren’t always going to have the money to hand to set up a full studio.  Therefore, we wanted to make sure to list hardware which offers genuine, surprising value. We’re confident the picks above offer great features for beginners and pros alike, with room for newbies to grow into their mixing.

Audio Mixer Buying Guide

In this buying guide, we will run through the very best mixers for streaming, podcasting and more.  However, you should also be aware of what you’re looking for when you compare and contrast our picks.  Not all audio mixers are the same, and that’s not just down to price tags. Here are a few points you should bear in mind while shopping around.

Why Buy an Audio Mixer?

It’s probably pretty tempting to leap straight into streaming.  However, a good audio mixer will likely make all the difference.  Audio mixers take signals from input devices and polish them for quality.  When streaming and podcasting, it’s important that you give your audience audio they can actually hear.  Just as all good video content uses the best camera equipment, if your main output is sound, you are going to need to ensure your content is easy to listen to.

Audio mixers let you control and tweak your audio down to a fine art.  Whether you are narrating gameplay, recording a conversation, or offering live reactions, if your audience can’t hear you properly, they are going to look elsewhere.  Setting up streaming or podcasting without a mixer is going to put you at the mercy of your listeners, and in a bad way.

Choosing the Best Audio Mixer

In this buying guide, we will run through the very best mixers for streaming, podcasting and more.  However, you should also be aware of what you’re looking for when you compare and contrast our picks.  Not all audio mixers are the same, and that’s not just down to price tags. Here are a few points you should bear in mind while shopping around.

Fine-Tuning Features

While it doesn’t always follow that the best mixers have more knobs than others, it’s good to look for a system which offers a lot of scope.  A good audio mixer should let you manage gain, compression and EQ. If you’re unsure of what any of these factors are, don’t worry. If you’re new to audio mixing, it is very easy to start playing around with what sounds good.  Most of the time, before you start streaming or recording, you should find it easy enough to listen to your output and tweak your settings. You don’t have to be a master of the mixer right away to get the best results.

Audio Mixer Types

Generally, you’ll find that there are three types of audio mixer on the market.  The main two are, naturally, analogue and digital. However, there are also powered mixers, which give analogue sound a little more in the way of amplification.

Analogue mixers are probably best suited to live streamers, as they are simple to get used to on the go.  These systems often have plenty of knobs and dials, however, while you are streaming, you can easily adjust your levels.  Some people will prefer digital mixers for the convenience, however, those systems are generally better suited to podcasting and pre-recorded programs.

Digital mixers let you create your own sound profiles and setups.  This is a great way to make sure that everything you record and stream is crisp and clear every time.  However, as mentioned, this type of system may not be the best for live streaming applications. There’s massive convenience with digital mixing, however, as you can tweak your sound through apps and minimal control.  However, this can mean that it takes a little more time to get used to.

So – what’s the best mixer type for beginners?  Complete novices will likely find digital mixing easy, however, sound tweaking on the go is arguably easier to manage with analogue systems.

Channels, Channels, Channels

An aspect which will differ from mixer to mixer is the number of channels offered.  But how many will you actually need? That all depends on what you’re going to use a mixer for.  Plenty of input channels will let you set up multiple microphones and audio devices, but you may not need more than two or three at a time.  However, be careful going for too few inputs, as you never know when you need more.

Ease of Control

As established, analogue and digital mixers vary greatly, however, one of the key differences lies in the type of control you are offered.  Most analogue systems will arrive with plenty of knobs, which are easy to use, however, some users may prefer sliders. This is all down to personal taste and convenience, of course.  If you already have some experience in mixing, you probably already know what works best for you.

Mixer Size

This point is fairly obvious, but make sure to look at the size and weight of the mixer you want to buy.  If you’re podcasting or streaming from home, you’re going to want something nice and portable. Anything too heavy or complex is going to be a nightmare to tangle with.  Choose something nice and lightweight.

 

Conclusion

The best audio mixers for home are those which let you tweak your audio on the go.  Whether you’re a podcaster or a streamer, you won’t need to fiddle around too much learning how to use the best equipment.  The picks we’ve listed here offer plenty of flexibility and room for beginners to upgrade and grow – as well as enough portability for podcasters and streamers to easily set up at home or on the move.

FAQ's

How Much Do Home Audio Mixers Cost?

As you can see from our picks, you should probably look at paying around £100-£200 for a good piece of kit.  Some mixers cost a lot more for the convenience, but it doesn’t always follow that you’re going to get the best tech.

Why Do I Need a Home Audio Mixer?

It might seem like mixers are best reserved for studio whizzes.  However, if you’re going to play to a receptive audience, you are going to need to sound good on the other end.  Audio mixing is more accessible than it used to be, so don’t be afraid to start investing.

How Easy is Audio Mixing?

That all depends on what you’re looking for.  We’ve listed mixers here which are generally good entry-level systems.  However, there are some truly mind-boggling units out there which really overdo things.  Mixing is easier than it ever has been thanks to the rise of home musicians and streamers.  Therefore, you shouldn’t find it too hard to find a mixer that lets you take things nice and slow.

Are More Channels Better Than a Few?

The more channels you are working with, the more flexible you can be.  It’s tempting to buy into a system that only has a couple of channels if you are only going to use one microphone.  But what about when you want to add background music, or other speakers? If you’re going to grow as a podcaster or streamer, you’re going to need to look for a system with more than what you think you need.

What is Phantom Power?

Phantom power is a term you may well come across during your shopping around.  This is something that a lot of condenser mics are going to need to function properly.  Not all mixers offer this as standard, however, do shop around, and look for those which split up the power across channels.

What is a High-Pass Filter?

High-pass filters let you control bass noise and external rumble.  This can be a bit of a pain to deal with when you’re aiming for crisp vocals, so make sure to find a mixer that lets you tweak accordingly.

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