The Best Compact Audio Mixer For 2023

Tim Powers By, Tim Powers
Updated
YAMAHA MG06X 6-Input Compact Stereo Mixer with Effects
Image credit: Amazon.com

The Rundown

1. Best Overall: YAMAHA MG06X 6-Input Compact Stereo Mixer with Effects

The MG06X is a compact mixer with one mono channel and six mono inputs, which can be used for live sound mixing or as an effects return mixer. It also offers a high-pass filter, EQ, and 1-Knob compressors for each channel. In addition to these features, the MG06X adds digital effects to the mix with its built-in SPX Digital Reverb (MG06X) processor. Read Review

2. Best Bang For The Buck: Mackie Mix8 8-Channel Compact Mixer with Studio-Level Audio Quality

The Mackie Mix8 8-Channel Compact Mixer with Studio-Level Audio Quality is a perfect investment for any musician, artist and producer. This mixer brings high-sound quality and the right features to your project at an affordable price. Read Review

3. Best Connectivity: Alesis MultiMix 4 USB FX | 4 Channel Compact Studio Mixer

The Alesis MultiMix 4 USB FX Compact Studio Mixer is a four-channel mixer for recording, live performance and dj mixing. This mixer features a USB input that allows you to record audio directly to your PC or Mac computer without the need for any other external hardware. It also has a powerful effects section with 16 high quality studio effects including reverb, delay, chorus and more. Read Review

4. Best Sound Quality: Pyle Professional Audio Mixer Sound Board Console

The Pyle Professional Audio Mixer Sound Board Console is a must-have tool for music, film and TV production. This mixer comes with Bluetooth wireless streaming to connect your device wirelessly, as well as mic and stereo line inputs. It also has a new multi-voltage power supply, so you can use it anywhere in the world. Read Review

Compact mixing consoles can be a great solution for smaller recording studios, project studios, or home studio setups where space is at a premium. They offer many of the same features as their larger counterparts but in a smaller package—ideal for smaller rooms or tighter budget studios.

There are many compact audio mixers on the market, from simple 2-channel models to more advanced models with additional features such as built-in FX and onboard DAW control. It’s worth noting that although almost every compact mixer has a limited number of channels and auxiliary sends, some have much more limited routing capabilities than others. In this article we’ll look at some of the top compact audio mixers that are currently available. These include both general-purpose compact mixers as well as models which have specific features that make them more suitable for certain applications.

We will help you choose the best products. With our YAMAHA MG06X 6-Input Compact Stereo Mixer with Effects and Mackie Mix8 8-Channel Compact Mixer with Studio-Level Audio Quality, you will surely have a great audio experience.

Our Top Picks

Featuring studio grade discrete class A D PRE amps with inverted Darlington circuit providing fat, natural sounding bass and smooth, soaring highs

3 band EQ and high pass filters give you maximum control and eliminate unwanted noise, resulting in a cleaner mix

MG Series mixers feature a rugged, impact resistant, powder coated metal chassis; LED level metering

1 Knob compressors allow easy control resulting in livelier guitars, punchier bass lines, a tighter snare and a cleaner vocal sound

6 channel stand-alone mixer with onboard SPX digital effects (no USB); 48V phantom power

8 Channel Compact Effects Mixer with Proven High-Headroom, Low-Noise Performance

1 aux send with stereo 1/4'' returns

2 mic/line inputs with studio-level audio quality, pan, level and overload indication and phantom power for studio condenser mics

3-band EQ on all channels with clean, precise tone shaping

2 stereo 1/4" line inputs

TOP Choice #3 Alesis MultiMix 4 USB FX | 4 Channel Compact Studio Mixer
Our Score:
9.5
Alesis

Portable, Feature-Packed Mixing Desk - 4-channel mixer with 1/4" line level inputs, a high impedance input / switch for electric guitar and bass (DI), plus XLR inputs with 48V phantom power

Perfect Capture - Class compliant (Mac & PC) USB audio interface records at 16-bit, 44.1/48 kHz resolution and sends computer audio to powered loudspeakers and headphones

Professional Software Suite - Includes AKAI Professional MPC Beats

Connects to all Your Studio Equipment - Stereo (2) 1/4" outputs connect to active monitors, amplifiers and recording devices; headphone output with independent level control

Built in Studio Effects - 15 DSP effects with channel FX Sends and Master FX return level to adjust the volume of MultiMix 4 USB FX’s internal FX processor

Home Studio Recording Essentials - XLR inputs with gain trim and switchable high-pass filters; Dual-band EQ on channels 1-4; Multicolor LED metering for real-time, visual level feedback

USB/FLASH READER/MP3 COMPATIBILITY - Connect your external USB, computer PC, flash drive or Bluetooth device to mix & record. Use the built-in controls to play/pause, skip tracks and switch between modes.

MIC AND STEREO LINE INPUTS - Supporting XLR and unbalanced 1/4" Plug with plus 48V Phantom button, highly accurate LED Peak Level Indicator and Ultra-musical 3-band EQ on all channels. Ultra-low noise, high headroom mixer with super easy functionality.

BLUETOOTH WIRELESS STREAMING - Hassle and cable-free audio streaming ability directly to the console unit. This audio mixer can wirelessly stream music tunes from iPad, iPhone and Android Smart Phone with mixing board from Pandora or Spotify.

Included components: Power Cable

RUGGED STEEL CHASSIS - With sealed rotary controls to resist dust and grime, this compact DJ Mixer will provide total dynamic control. This incredibly versatile mixer is great for high quality on stage performance, live gigs and Karaoke.

NEW MULTI-VOLTAGE POWER SUPPLY - 100V-240V (+/-15V DC power adapter) ideal for worldwide usage. Enjoy a value packed mixing solution today with performances that sound great each time.

4-channel mixer featuring Mackie signature high-headroom/low-noise design

2 boutique-quality Onyx mic preamps

Improved RF rejection perfect for broadcast applications

Brand: Mackie

Product Code: 402VLZ4

Low-Noise Discrete Mic Pre amplifiers on all Microphone Input, XLR mic connectors on all mono channels.

USB Interface for U-disk / MP3 compatibility. Separate Stereo Tape Channel. 4 Channel mixing console with two stereo channels.

3-Band EQs per channel,5 paragraphs effect level monitor instruction.

90-240V, US Plug. More Lightweight & More Convenient to take it anywhere. Dimension:24cm*19.5cm .

For Home Audio, Self-made Music, Studio, Concert, Party, Bars, KTV, Meeting, Speech, etc. You can use any kind of speakers, plz kindly understand that Mixer has no function of power amplification. But of course, there will be better effect if you use power speaker.

GS-Pre XLR microphone preamps, developed from those featured in the highly acclaimed GS-R24 studio console, these provide exceptionally low noise, massive headroom and plenty of clean gain for a full, warm sound that brings the best out of any microphone. Two HiZ connections also allow direct connection of high impedance sources such as electric, electro-acoustic or bass guitars and most clip or stick-on pickups for acoustic instruments, without the need for a separate DI box.

A built-in, studio quality multi-FX unit provides 61 different, tweakable FX types including reverbs, delays and modulation with tap tempo to keep everything in time. These are not your average compact mixer FX either, using algorithms developed entirely in-house by our DSP experts and derived from those found in our flagship digital consoles.

A built-in, high quality, 96kHz 4x4 USB interface makes it easy to capture or stream the whole mix or individual channels with ease. With options to route Aux and FX sends it can even be used to add FX and processing from a computer. It’s also class compliant and does not require drivers, meaning not just Mac and Windows computers can be connected, but also many mobile devices such as tablets or even smart phones.

4 x Mic/Line Inputs, 2 x Stereo ( 2 Left, 2 Right), 2 USB Audio

The compact ZED range of mixers feature the same high-level audio and build quality as A&H’s large format touring consoles, with separate internal channel boards, Neutrik connectors and every pot fixed to the chassis.

A 100Hz High Pass Filter on every mono input allows unneeded low frequencies to be removed, then the 3-band MusiQ EQ uses carefully selected frequencies to ensure your sound sculpting is always musical. Cut or boost high, mids and lows to get the tone you’re after without the fear of going wrong!

Road proven, high-quality Neutrik XLR sockets used on all microphone inputs and main outputs.

2 Mic, 2 Line/Inst, 2 Stereo (2 Left, 2 Right)

A 100Hz High Pass Filter on every mono input allows unneeded low frequencies to be removed, then the 3-band MusiQ EQ uses carefully selected frequencies to ensure your sound sculpting is always musical. Cut or boost high, mids and lows to get the tone you’re after without the fear of going wrong!

The compact ZED range of mixers feature the same high-level audio and build quality as A&H’s large format touring consoles, with separate internal channel boards, Neutrik connectors and every pot fixed to the chassis.

GS-Pre XLR microphone preamps, developed from those featured in the highly acclaimed GS-R24 studio console, these provide exceptionally low noise, massive headroom and plenty of clean gain for a full, warm sound that brings the best out of any microphone. Two HiZ connections also allow direct connection of high impedance sources such as electric, electro-acoustic or bass guitars and most clip or stick-on pickups for acoustic instruments, without the need for a separate DI box.

A 60mm main level fader provides complete control over the master output.

FULL CONTROL ON MUSIC: A Professional Ultra-Low Noise Design with 12 Channels, Three-Band Equalizer, and a Dedicated FX Delay Control in a User-Friendly Interface. Comes with a State-of-the-Art Mic Preamp for Premium Sound Quality on Stage.

COMPACT AND TRAVEL-SIZED: This Professional Mixer Measures 9.06” inches L x 9.65” inches W x 2.17” inches H and Weighs 4.84 lbs. Compact in Size that Easily Fits in a Backpack for Travel, Gigs, and Tours.

ENJOY GREAT SOUND: Features a Rugged Chassis Suited for Stage Performance. This Compact Professional Mixer with a Dedicated Volume Control that Allows Full Control of Audio. Suited for Professional Use in Stage Performances, Karaokes, and Live Gigs.

PLAY WIRELESSLY: This Mixer has Bluetooth Capability That Allows Effortless Direct Streaming of Music to the Console From iPhone, iPad and Android Smartphones. Just Do a Quick Setup and Play from Your Phone or Apple Device.

MASTER CONTROL ANYWHERE: This Gemini GEM-12USB Compact Professional Mixer has Lightweight and Travel-Sized Dimensions Featuring 12 Channels, a User-Friendly Interface, and USB Playback and Bluetooth Streaming Capabilities.

Each mono channel also features a 3-band EQ and highpass filtering

4 stereo channels offer a choice of balanced and unbalance line input for

Mackie MIX12FX Mixer + EMB XLR Cable (2) + Gravity Phone Holder Bundle

12 onboard effects let you add space, depth, and dimension to your mix

4 mic/line input channels includes switchable phantom power

Product Images, Product Titles, Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Look For in a best compact audio mixer?

Sometimes, purchasing a product can draw some difficulties for shoppers, and that's why you shouldn't waste your time on unreliable sources of information. A variety of variables impact the best compact audio mixer, along with all of the ones listed below. The formative assessment varies depending on the types and functions of the product. 

We will give you some purchase guides to help you with your selection proc in the following sectors. Continue reading to learn about what you should look for when looking for the best compact audio mixer: 

Connection Types

It's not enough to be able to identify the sources that you will connect to your mixer. A mixer that has enough preamps for microphones is a good choice if you intend to connect them primarily. To reduce the number of direct boxes, ensure that your mixer includes at least one line input if you intend to connect line-level sources.

Portability

If you are looking to bring your mixers with you, portable mixers will be the best choice. Mixers that are too small may not be the most efficient. Larger mixers are also more portable. Mixers are often required to transport large shows between venues. You probably know exactly what mixer you require if you are looking for large and portable mixers.
A smaller mixer is more convenient and portable in most situations. A mixer that has less than 16 channels is best if you are concerned about portability. While 16 channels are not an exact rule, they represent the compromise between small and large mixers. Make sure your mixer is protected and has a strong chassis. Mixers can even come with knobs or faders that have very delicate settings. This is important!

Buses

Mixers can transmit at most one mix to the stage. Auxiliary buses, also known as "aux buses", are used to do this. Every channel has a level controller for each aux send. By setting individual aux-send levels on any channel you wish to hear in your mix, you can build your own monitor mix. An aux bus output can be used to connect an in-ear or stage monitor. You can make a number of different monitor mixes if you only use aux busses for monitoring. Aux buses can be mono so two aux buses will be required to create a stereo mix of monitors for your in-ear system. Consider your requirements.

Analog Or Digital

There are generally two types of mixers: digital and analog. Analog mixers use electrical circuits and filters. Digital mixers convert the analog signal to digital audio data which is then sent to an onboard processing unit. The signal is then converted back into the analog domain and sent to personal monitor systems or speakers. Both mixers will offer basic levels and pan control. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to each type. An analog mixer is more cost-effective and easier to use, while digital mixers are more complicated but provide more functionality. This will be discussed in greater detail below.

Channel Count

Frame size, also known as channel count, is the number of sources that can be attached to a mixer's input channels simultaneously. A 24-channel mixer, for example, will let you connect 24 sources simultaneously, but there might be other inputs such as Talkback and Tape. A few smaller consoles can provide stereo channels as well as mono channels. Even though they are part of the same channel, stereo channels count as two inputs. It is crucial to remember this when making your choice.

Compatibility

The mixer must be compatible with your software. You will have problems recording or running a live performance if the software is not compatible. To ensure that the mixer is compatible with DAWs, it's important to verify compatibility during the search. It must be connected to a USB port on your computer. Without a USB interface, your DAW might not function. Although it is unlikely, it is better to be safe that sorry.

EQ

A great audio mixer should have an equalizer section. A simple, three-band equalizer is fine. However, there are times when it is helpful to have more precise EQ options, e.g. when working with live music and nuances. A Graphic EQ, however, will help you achieve the best tone possible because it covers a wider range of frequencies.

Inserts And Direct Outputs

Channel inserts can be used to add outboard processors, such as equalizers or compressors, to channels. The channel insert point can be found right after the preamplifier in its signal flow. It may use individual send or return jacks, but only one 1/4" insert jack. This requires an insert cable. Direct outputs, on the other hand, send only a portion of the preamplifier signal from the board. This makes them ideal for individual feeds to external recorders or audio interfaces.

FAQs

What Softwares Work Best With Audio Mixers?

It takes careful planning and consideration to find software that is reliable. The best softwares can be free or they can cost you money. Wondershare Filmore and Adobe Audition are our top picks.

Do I Need A Mixer If I Have An Audio Interface?

A mixer is a great addition to your purchase if you find that you need more audio inputs than your existing interface allows.

Why Are Audio Mixers So Expensive?

They are worth every penny for their quality, functionality, and reliability. Mixers for audio require much effort, labor and are time-consuming. A well-balanced transformer is a costly and time-consuming task. Audio mixers can be a good investment.

Does A Mixer Improve Sound Quality?

An audio mixer's primary purpose is to mix and match sounds, as well as alter the bass, middles, and treble. The sum of all the input channels can be merged to produce better sound. A mixer can optimize sound but also filter it. The mixer improves sound quality at the input.

Can You Get A Mixer With A USB Mic Input?

Professional mixers don't have either a USB input or interface. This is because USB mics don't have as strong a connection as 1/4" or XLR jacks. USB microphones are great options for those on a budget who need to connect directly to the computer. However, audio mixers have a greater capability. Some mixers include a USB interface.

How Long Do Audio Mixers Last?

Audio mixers are expected to last between 3-5 years. They are able to return the money they invested. Audio mixers with a life expectancy of 5+ years are not considered obsolete. These mixers can last for a very long time, and they are easily scaleable to accommodate technological changes.

What Is The Difference Between An Analog And USB Mixer?

A standalone analog mixer can mix audio from multiple sources. You can then output the audio to a PA system or speaker system. An USB mixer can do this same thing but also has an interface. You can also connect the USB mixer to your computer so you can record it in software.

Can A Mixer Replace An Audio Interface?

You can, to a certain extent... however, a stereo mixer will not work the same as a multichannel interfacing which allows you to simultaneously record different audio sources from multiple tracks.

Generally, new information is continuously included into of best compact audio mixer. Visit our sites for revisions and improvements regularly.

You now have a far better knowledge of how to purchase the best compact audio mixer on the market. Hopefully, we've supplied you with enough information to help you make an informed decision. We'll see you in the following article.


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About Tim Powers

Tim Powers

Tim Powers is an audio equipment & home theater gadget reviewer and the editor of TheAudioCritic.com. He has been involved in the home theater hobby since the late 1990s when he purchased his first AV receiver. Tim is also a writer, with articles appearing in various online and print publications.

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