Audio recording is getting easier nowadays thanks to the advanced in technology and cheaper equipment to purchase. If besides recording you also need to maintain a lot of sound sources at once, using a good mixer like Behringer Xenyx 502 vs Mackie Mix5 will be a huge help. Not only they are reliable and have all the necessities, these two are also friendly for beginner who are not ready to up their game yet so, check what they can offer below to see which the better option.
In this article, we are going to give you information about:
– Which Equipment to Choose
– What are Behringer Xenyx 502 and Mackie Mix5
– What Behringer Xenyx 502 and Mackie Mix5 Look Like
– How many Input/Output available in Behringer Xenyx 502 and Mackie Mix5
– What Controls available in Behringer Xenyx 502 and Mackie Mix5
– Behringer Xenyx 502 vs Mackie Mix5
Choosing an Audio Equipment
There are so many artists and creators among us and it is getting easier to start our journey nowadays with the help of our home computer, available instrument and reliable software widely used. The digital world may change our method a lot in creating art but it is such a good upgrade because more and more people can reach them easier compared to the past. For example, artists used to spend more time to get themselves known by people but today we can utilize many platforms to introduce our work easier.
Similar to everything which is getting more convenience, we are also faced with options and method to do something which most of the time related to how we like things done and what we actually need for the activity. Recording audio and live performance are the same, we require the sound source or input and then an output to send the signal out for the audience or wider listener to enjoy but, before being sent, we have to manage them first to match certain result.
The seemingly eternal dilemma many of us have faced in the past or even now is to pick which device or tool between the input and output because in general, we are going to need something to connect them together. The choice is between an audio interface and a mixer that have almost the same function but are also different when you check and compared them side by side. The problem is some of us may confuse about which the most suitable item for their setup.
The answer to this question can be very simple, since each device or tool is made for different main purpose. An audio interface is fairly new and popular with the more artists who use their computer as the digital audio station because the device is helping us connecting live source of input, maintaining the sound quality and sending them into the computer for record/further processing. At the other hand, Mixer is made to combine audio signals from various source.
A mixer has many inputs and several outputs as well as sound adjustment like the basic EQ parameters for each channel of incoming audio to help us tailoring the mix. Depend on how many source you have, the inputs will need to follow the amount and in the past, Mixer is not equipped with USB cable or FireWire so it is used on live activity yet, we can find many of them now featured with one so literally they can also act as an audio interface.
Just like with any product, we have to choose which will give us the best benefit and between the two, if you prefer working with computer, an audio interface should be enough already especially those who do the mixing with a software but if you need to control various sounds live, a mixer is a the better option yet, if you are both of them, looking for a mixer with a USB will be a great help.
About Behringer Xenyx 502
If you already know what to purchase, now is the time to see what the market has to offer and if you are here, we are sure you are aiming for a mixer to help controlling the various sounds from your inputs. For those who don’t want to spend much, one of the best mixer manufacturer we can opt today is Behringer. This Music Tribe brand is offering a huge range of audio equipment including affordable mixer for your need with all the necessary features on board.
One of their entry-level mixer is the Xenyx 502 which is a 5 input mixer model, similar with their Xenyx 302 but this one don’t have the USB plug. This mixer is a good option for those with more than one instrument and one microphone to use at once and already have all the necessary features on board to let the user tailor their sounds. Read also: Behringer Xenyx 502 vs Q502USB here.
Behringer Xenyx 502 Design
As you can see from the sample picture above, this mixer is looking like any other similar models out there and due to the simpler inputs and outputs, it is not going to take much space in your desk. Its housing may look like plastic, but it is a thin metal which we actually prefer better but hope to see at least thicker material for sturdier built. It has two parts mainly the input and output then control panels right below each channels.
Behringer Xenyx 502 Input and Output
Looking for a mixer is the same when looking for an audio interface, the inputs and output we found on their board are the features combined with the controls. Behringer Xenyx 502 has 5 inputs in which one of them is a pure XLR plug to connect your microphone to the preamp and since this is no combination XLR/TRS, if you have the wireless type we can use the ¼-inch one below in case it is used to set a home karaoke or similar setup.
This preamp also featured with phantom power so user can use any of their microphone whether it is dynamic or condenser. The rest of the inputs and outputs are placed mainly on the right portion including the main out and phone jack for monitoring the sound via stereo headphone.
Behringer Xenyx 502 Control
Moving below, here we can see the whole control of Behringer Xenyx 502 and as you can see, we have gain knob for your microphone, the regular 2-band EQ, Pan control and the last is volume knob which stays the same with the latter channels but the Pan and EQ is replaced with only balance which is the same like Pan to move or place the inputted signal between the right or left speakers.
About Mackie Mix5
Because we have so many good options and reliable models out there, it is wiser to also see what the competitor has to offer because then we can decide which option will suit us better and if you are specifically looking for an affordable mixer, besides Xenyx 502, we also love the Mix5 by Mackie. This model is the lowest from the line so it is a perfect match for a simple setup who only need 5 inputs and similarly, it is a pure mixer with no additional USB jack on board.
Mackie Mix5 Design
This mixer is very plain on design but it should not matter for what we need is the inputs, outputs and control available. However, we are glad to see the rugged build made from metal material to make sure it will stay as long as you need it. Since this is a preamp mixer, it will need powered amp to produce a very loud sound in case you plan to do a gig. Overall, it is a nicely built and compact to be carried around.
Mackie Mix5 Input and Output
The Mix5 by Mackie just like the name has 5 inputs on board as opposed to the older brothers Mix8 and Mix12. One of the input is XLR and similar to Xenyx 502, it is a pure XLR not the TRS combination so if you need to plug a microphone with a ¼-inch jack, we can use the other input below. This preamp is adored by many because it produce fairly low noise level and we also have phantom power for condenser mic users out there.
The rest of the input and output are mainly placed next to the mic input from the main out to the headphone so the upper panel is made especially for plugs with no control since the rest are placed below.
Mackie Mix5 Controls
The controls are also kept simple because the EQ we have here is only 2-band instead of 3 or 4 but is common in compact mixer. Right below the microphone input we have the gain knob to adjust the input volume level being sent to the device, Pan control and level of output volume. The other channels knobs stays the same with only Bal and level to adjust the balance between speakers and to adjust the volume level.
Now, let’s compare Behringer Xenyx 502 with Mackie Mix5. As you may already know, both of these mixers has the same exact features so we can actually do the same thing in either of them but, what makes them difference is on the preamp noise because it seems that people find the Xenyx 502 into the noisier side compared to Mix5 by Mackie.
Behringer Xenyx 502 vs Mackie Mix5
- State-of-the-art, phantom powered XENYX Mic Preamp comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps
- Neo-classic "British" 2-band EQ for warm and musical sound
- Main mix, stereo CD/tape plus separate headphone outputs
- CD/tape inputs assignable to headphone output or main mix outputs. Power consumption 13 W
- PROFESSIONAL STUDIO AUDIO QUALITY - Using quality components throughout, including the proven sonic quality of Mackie mic preamps, the Mackie Mix5 5-channel Portable Mixer delivers high headroom and low noise performance that maintains audio quality from any source and always sounds great.
- RUGGED ROADWORTHY DESIGN - Mackie Mix5 promises you a solid investment with its high level of reliability. With a rugged all metal chassis and protective side cheeks, you can count on Mackie Mix5 to handle the abuse that would destroy most compact mixers.
- CONNECT WITH BLUCOIL CABLE - This 10-foot premium audio Balanced XLR Cable efficiently connects microphones to mixers, audio interfaces, preamps, and recorders. It guarantees protection against RFI and EMI noises thanks to the 92% shield and twin-conductive PVC inner shielding.
- INCLUDES - Mackie Mix5 5-Channel Portable Analog Mixer. Hosa Tech CMP-159 10-Feet Stereo Breakout Cable with 3.5mm TRS to Dual 1/4" TS Connectors. Blucoil Audio 10-Foot Balanced XLR Cable (Male-to-Female). Blucoil 5-Pack of Reusable Velcro Cable Ties.
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All in all, the decision is all yours to make because we may have different things to consider as well as preference and budget to spend. However, if we are to choose we will go with Mackie Mix5 because even though this model is slightly more expensive, it has lower preamp noise to give you a more pleasant experience.