Audio interface or Mixer – that’s one of the most common questions that most beginner podcasters ask. The easy answer is that if you have XLR microphones, then you’ll need mic preamps, which means you’ll need a podcast mixer.
For the best podcast mixer in 2020, it depends on how many people you plan to record and what your budget is. Here’s the summary, along with links to see the latest availability and prices:
- 1-person setup – Go with the Behringer Xenyx 802, since it comes with 2 Xenyx mic preamps. That allows you to bring on a guest if you need it.
- 2, 3, or 4-person podcast setup – Go with the Yamaha MG10 and its 4 XLR inputs.
- If you have a higher budget, go with the RODECaster Pro. That’s going to set you up for 2020 and beyond.
I’ll get into 5 of the top podcast mixers out there in 2020. After discussing each of the podcast mixers, I’ll discuss various factors you’ll need to consider when choosing a podcast mixer for successful podcasting.
Behringer Xenyx 802
Pyle Professional Mixer
BEST FOR LONG TERM
5 Best Audio Mixer for Podcasting
Now that you know how to get the best audio mixer, let’s dive into the list of best mixer for your podcasting.
1. Yamaha MG10 – Best Overall Mixer
The Yamaha MG10 mixer is a best seller and in the field of audio equipment, Yamaha is well-known for its high-quality audio products. Build quality is also top-notch and built-to-last.
If you’re thinking about upgrading your podcast setup then this should be the perfect choice for you. The MG10 is an analog audio mixer that comes with 10 channels and 4 XLR inputs. To simply create a mix-minus audio setup it also offers an Aux Out.
The Yamaha MG10 comes with 3-band EQ and a high-pass filter for a very clean sound. Its Class-A D-PRE preamps help to keep vocals clean and noise-free for your podcast.
When buying, don’t buy the Standard version. Get the USB interface with Effects version. It’s only a little more, but you get much more flexibility.
2. Behringer Xenyx 802 – Best Value
Take your podcast to the next level with the Behringer Xenyx 802 Premium 8-Input 2-BUS Mixeras it offers some great features at a solid price. The Behringer Xenyx offers great value for the 2 Xenyx Mic Preamps that will get great sound quality and +48V phantom power.
Another great feature of this mixer is its portability. It weighs around 2.2 pounds and the size is also quite small which makes it very portable. So, if you’re going to record your podcast outside, you can easily carry this.
It also comes with “British” 3-band eq (equalization) for warm sounds. To connect external FX devices and FX applications it offers 1 post fader FX send per channel and 1 stereo aux return.
This is the best bang for your buck as you’re also getting a top mixer with the Xenyx mic preamps.
3. Pyle Professional Audio Mixer – Best Budget-Friendly
If you are looking for an audio mixer with USB drive, then you should give the Pyle mixer a shot. It also comes at a great price for beginners on a budget.
The Pyle also comes with Bluetooth wireless streaming, so you’re able to stream audio from any Bluetooth device (phones, tablets, computers, etc) to mix in. It has 2 XLR inputs with +48V phantom power. Also has 3-band EQ for great sound.
The compact size also makes it great to travel with. The solid and sturdy build will keep it intact when you do travel with it.
4. Mackie 402VLZ4 Ultra Compact
The compact size of the Mackie 402VLZ4 is the biggest plus and you don’t lose quality either with this mixer. This comes with a 4-channel input that features 2 state of the art Onyx microphone preamps which ensure great audio quality.
Moreover, from beginner to pro everyone can use this mixer easily as it has a user-friendly interface. The build quality is also sturdy with a steel wrap-around chassis to ensure great durability.
5. RODECaster Pro Integrated Podcast Production Studio – Best Mixer+
Not a traditional mixer, but I still needed to add the RODECaster Pro in this list of the best mixers for podcasting.
It’s a mixer+, meaning it does so much more than just a traditional mixer does. You’ll also save lots of headaches in trying to figure out how to do certain things (like connecting Skype and phone calls), along with buying more equipment (backup audio storage devices).
Features include 4 XLR inputs with +48V phantom power, 8 programmable sound effects buttons, simultaneous recording to microSD card and computer via USB, phone connection via TRRS or Bluetooth, and so much more.
It’s not cheap and is hard to get your hands on one, but if you’re serious about podcasting, this is one that you’ll want to have in your recording studio. You’ll be saving lots of money down the road when it comes to other equipment, setting up and breaking down.
The mixer’s interface is clean and simple, making it easy-to-use. You’re able to start a 4-person podcast recording session in minutes.
What to Consider When Looking for The Best Podast Mixer?
If you’ve taken the decision to use a mixer for your podcast then you should keep some key things in mind when buying audio mixer. Otherwise, you may waste time, energy, and money by getting a bad audio mixer.
How Do You Record Your Podcast?
Know how you record podcasts and what your needs are.
How many people do you anticipate recording with? That’ll tell you how many mic preamp line inputs you’ll need. I’d always err on the side of having too many than too few. The extra costs of having more mic preamps is worth it in my opinion, because you never know how your podcast will grow.
Podcast Recording On-The-Go?
Do you need a mixer that’s easily portable because you’re constantly podcasting from different locations?
You’re going to need a nixer that’s built well, without sacrificing sound quality. You probably also don’t want one that’s too heavy. One thing you might consider is buying a compact mixer just for traveling.
Beginners should get a USB mixer, so you’re able to connect the mixer directly to your computer and recording software, similar to a USB interface. Why not just get an audio interface then?
The reasons you’d want to get a USB mixer instead of an audio interface are
- You have an XLR mic
- You want more control over your audio – EQ, gain, levels, etc.
Number of Channels
Checking the number of input and output channels is another essential thing you should keep in mind choosing a podcast mixer.
Channels have different purposes, such as for your microphone, sound effects, music, iPad, Skype or phone guests, co-hosts, instruments, and more.
Mixers can range from 2 to 24 channels. The more channels you have, the more flexibility there is, but as the number of channels increases, so does the price.
Keep in mind that just because you have a 24-channel mixer, that doesn’t mean that you have the best podcast. The best podcast probably won’t use more than 10 channels.
Knobs or Faders?
Mixers have two types of control – Fader or Knob.
Fader audio mixers are usually more costly compared to the Knobs mixers.
Faders usually give you more precision than a knob when adjusting your audio levels. I personally prefer mixers with faders, because I’m able to be more precise with level adjustments.
When it comes to audio mixers to get the best podcast quality, Yamaha MG10 and Behringer Xenyx 802 are the best mixers to consider.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the Best Podcast Mixers?
Finding the best mixer for you will depend on your specific needs, but the Top 5 mixers in general are:
1. Yamaha MG10
2. Behringer Xenyx 802
3. Pyle Professional Mixer
4. Mackie 402VLZ4
5. RODECaster Pro
- What is the Best Mixer for a Solo Podcaster?
The Behringer Xenyx 802 is good for solo podcasting, while also giving you the flexibility to have a guest at times.
- What is the Best Mixer for a 2, 3, or 4-person Podcast?
Get the Yamaha MG10 mixer. The MG10 comes with 4 XLR inputs and is from one of the top brands in audio equipment, so you don’t need to worry about its quality.
- What is the Best Podcast Mixer Without Concern of Price?
The RODECaster Pro is the best Mixer+ out there. In addition to the 4 mic inputs, it comes with features that will allow you to use this mixer for years to come.
- Why Do You Need a Podcast Mixer?
If you have an XLR mic, you need an intermediary that will convert your microphone’s analog signal into a digital signal for the computer and recording software. A mixer also gives you the ability to mix input channels before the audio is outputted to your computer.