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The Best Compact Audio Mixers for Recording and Live Events

Compact audio mixers are very convenient if you don’t need a lot of inputs for recording. They are also great for using as a portable mixer for live gigs. Many times large multi-channel mixers are not needed for certain events. Compact audio mixers work well if you need a few inputs and outputs. They are easy to transport and take up very little space. The compact mixers that we will look at have many options that the bigger mixers have at a fraction of the cost and weight. Each one of these mixers come with a small channel band EQ to help shape your sound quality. These mixers are great for adding extra channels to an existing mixer when you have no more room to expand. Compact audio mixers are also great for a small recording studio or podcast.

The Best Compact Audio Mixers for Recording and Live Events

Behringer Q502USB 5-Channel Mixer

The Behringer Q502USB 5-Channel Mixer will give you a clean and quiet recording. You can use this portable soundboard in combination with a sound system or as a mini recording studio. This 5 channel mixer has 1 mic (XLR) input with phantom power and a shared 1/4 inch balance input, 2 stereo 1/4 inch inputs that can be separated into 4 mono 1/4 inch inputs. It also has one stereo RCA input. The outputs consist of one main 1/4 inch stereo out and one stereo RCA out. It has a dedicated headphone jack for monitoring signal quality. The Behringer Q502USB allows for recording through a USB port on the back of the mixer. Just plug your mixer into a laptop and use the Behringer software to record.

Specifications:

  • Xenyx Mic Preamps
  • Phantom Power: +15V
  • Built-in One-Knob Compressors
  • USB Audio Interface: 2-in/2-out
  • Free Audacity Software Download
  • Free Virtual Instruments & FX Plug-ins
  • British EQ
  • Inputs Total: 5 Mono: 1 Stereo: 2
  • Item Weight: 4 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 3.5 x 9.4 inches

The Best Compact Audio Mixers for Recording and Live Events

Where to Buy:

The Behringer Q502USB 5-Channel Mixer is available from these retailers:

eBay:

Buy It At eBay

Amazon:

Behringer Q502USB 5-Channel Mixer

Mackie Mix Series Mix5 5-Channel Mixer

The Mackie Mix Series Mix5 is another nice compact mixer. Mackie has been making quality soundboards for a very long time. They are a trusted name in the audio industry. This mixer has similar inputs and outputs as the Behringer Q502USB mixer. It is a basic no-frills mixer which is great for small applications and recordings. This mixer does not allow for digital computer USB recording. It is built like a tank and will take some road abuse. If you are looking for a basic compact clean sounding mixer, then the Mackie Mix5 is for you.

The Best Compact Audio Mixers for Recording and Live Events

Specifications:

  • 5 channel inputs
  • 1 mic(XLR)/line input with studio-level audio quality
  • 2 stereo 1/4 ” inputs
  • Dedicated stereo RCA inputs/outputs for playback or recording
  • Headphone out with dedicated volume control
  • 2 band EQ with clean, precise tone shaping
  • Phantom power for studio condenser mics
  • Item Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 6.5 x 11.3 inches

Where to Buy:

The Mackie Mix Series Mix5 is available from these retailers:

eBay:

Buy It At eBay

Amazon:

Mackie Mix Series Mix5

Related: How to Setup an External Microphone to a Computer

Yamaha MG06X 6-Input Compact Stereo Mixer with Effects

The Yamaha MG06X offers six input channels. It has two XLR inputs allowing you to plug in two mics. You can expand this mixer to six 1/4 inch inputs. It also has two left and right 1/4 inch and XLR outputs which will come in handy for different setup requirements. This eliminates the use of adapters to convert your signals. This mixer has a dedicated power switch which the other two do not have. The Yamaha MG06X comes with a basic effects bus good for adding reverb or delay to your recordings or live events needs.

The Best Compact Audio Mixers for Recording and Live Events

Specifications:

  • 6-Channel Mixing Console
  • Max. 2 Mic / 6 Line Inputs (2 mono + 2 stereo)
  • 1 Stereo Bus
  • “D-PRE” mic preamps with an inverted Darlington circuit
  • High-grade effects: SPX with 6 programs
  • XLR balanced outputs
  • PAD switch on mono inputs
  • +48V phantom power
  • Metal chassis
  • Dimensions(W×H×D): 149 mm x 62 mm x 202 mm (5.9″x 2.4″x 7.9″)
  • Net Weight: 0.9 kg (1.98 lbs.)

Where to Buy:

The Yamaha MG06X is available from these retailers:

eBay:

Buy It At eBay

Amazon:

Yamaha MG06X

Related: Best Speaker Placement For a Live Event
Feature image courtesy of phanlop88 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Conclusion

All of these compact audio mixers will give you a simple solution to mixing mics and audio inputs for live events or recordings. If you don’t have the luxury of space, then any of these compact audio mixers are a perfect solution.

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About Johan
I am the author of We Do Tech Reviews website. I have been in the high tech field for over 20 years, dealing with all aspects of technology. I have an extensive computer networking and audio visual background. I have worked on and maintained computers and networks for many large companies. I am a Microsoft Certified Professional and CompTIA Network+ Certified Technician. I am currently working as a freelance Audio Visual/Network technician. I hope you will find my articles and reviews helpful.

1 Comment

  1. I am also in the market for the best compact audio mixer as you can move them from one place to another. I think you have written a good review that I can use to do a comparison.

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