6 Best USB Mixers in 2022

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USB Maintenance – Keep your USB cord in tip top shape when not in use to prevent connection issues. In the event that you misplace your USB cord, keep in mind that some mixers require a proprietary connection. Therefore, you’ll need to order a new cord directly from the manufacturer in order to power your mixer.

Kate Brunotts

Kate Brunotts FOR MUSIC CRITIC

USB Mixer Buyer’s Guide

Whether you’re a professional audio engineer or a hobbyist with a home studio, finding the best USB mixer is important, both for recording or for live performances or broadcasts. To ensure that you choose the best audio mixer then consider this buyer’s guide and breakdown:

Channels

More channels mean more options. The number of channels that the USB mixer provides you with is your most important consideration. If you’re looking for a simple setup for a home studio then two or four channels might suffice, but if you’re looking for a USB mixer that will resemble a complete mixing board then you may need as many as twenty-four channels.

Of course, the price and physical size of the USB mixer will change once you start choosing a mixer with more channels and that needs to be taken into consideration, but if you have space and money then giving yourself the option of having more channels is a good choice.

Effects

Many of the best USB mixers will come with their own effects. These might include DSP effects – such as flange, reverb, chorus, and delay – or they might be more advanced SPX effects.

Connectivity

A USB mixer will connect to your computer or Mac via a USB connection, but the input options can vary from USB mixer to USB mixer. You could fine line inputs, XLR inputs, RCA inputs, and headphone inputs. Always make sure to check that your new USB mixer offers the right connections for the instruments or microphones you intend to run through it.

Software

You will often find that the very best USB mixers come with some form of software as part of their package. Check what features the software offers and if it isn’t suitable for your needs, then make sure that the USB mixer is compatible with a more suitable form of software. The best USB mixer software can be used for mixing, recording, and live performances.

Should you use a USB Mixer or Audio Interface for Recording?

Technically, an audio interface is a better option for recording than a USB mixer, as a USB mixer is designed for mixing live sound. However, most of the best USB mixers will have an audio interface integrated into them, which means that they are versatile and can be used for recording as well as a live performance. Of course, a USB mixer with an in-built audio interface will cost more than a simple audio interface or mixer but you get the best of both worlds.

What’s the Top USB Mixer for Podcasting?

If you’re a podcaster, then it is important to choose a USB mixer that has enough channels for the number of speakers that you will feature in your broadcasts. If you present your podcast alone without any guests then you only need a 2-channel USB mixer, like the Pyle-Pro PAD10MXU, but if there is a group of you or intend to feature lots of guests then you need more channels, the 10-channel Yamaha MG10XU would be a good option in this case.

What is the Greatest USB Mixer for Recording?

If you want to be able to record as well as mix, then you need to choose a USB mixer that doubles up as a recording interface. The Alesis MultiMix 8 is a perfect example of a USB mixer that works perfectly for recording.

What is the Top USB Mixer for Streaming?

It depends on what type of streaming you do, how many channels you need, and if you want the ability to record too. The Pyle-Pro PAD10MXU is a good choice if you only need two channels, but if you’re looking for advanced, professional setup with a huge number of channels then go for the Allen & Heath ZED-24, which has 24 channels.

Expert Tip

Choosing a USB mixer that doubles as an audio interface is imperative if you want the ability to be able to record, as well as mix.

Did you know?

The initials USB stand for Universal Serial Bus. The USB connection was designed in January 1996 and was manufactured for the very first time a few months later in May 1996.

Conclusion

The best USB mixer for you will depend on what you intend to use it for. A compact, the low-priced 2-channel mixer is perfect for a podcast in a home studio but won’t be suitable for a live performance of a rock band, where you’ll want more channels and possibly some effects too.

The budget has to be considered too, but there are some excellent audio mixers on the market that can be found a rock bottom prices, so make sure that you only settle for the best quality.

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