Audio recording may be getting easier each day thanks to the advanced in technology and cheaper tools we can afford today. For those who need to deal with various sound source at once, a mixer is a must have but if you don’t want to spend much yet, Behringer Xenyx 502 vs Q502USB are two good, basic model to help you connect various inputs and tailor the mix. Go check our article below to see what they can offer so we can choose one with better capabilities.
In this article, we are going to give you information about:
– Which do you need between Audio Interface and Mixer
– What are Behringer Xenyx 502 and Q502USB
– What Behringer Xenyx 502 and Q502USB Look Like
– How many Inputs and Outputs in Behringer Xenyx 502 and Q502USB
– Can we connect Behringer Xenyx 502 and Q502USB with a computer
– Behringer Xenyx 502 vs Q502USB
Audio Interface and Mixer
For many of us, audio recording is an interesting activity to do whether you are a content maker or an artist who currently make a path to be professional. All simpler things can be done in your computer from recording to editing and then publishing the result thanks to the various software we can count on today. However, we must ot forget that to get a better quality that meant to catch others attention, we also need tools or additional equipment to support the final result.
Talking about audio recording and live performance, the first thing comes to our mind is the input or equipment used to produce the sound such as microphone and musical instrument for artists then we will also need an output which is used to send the input for a wider audience or for ourselves to monitor and enjoy. However, between both of these opposite part, there is one that should bridge the gap and it is an audio interface including the one that already present in our computer.
Audio interface is made so we can connect the input and maintain the quality so it stays good when listened as well as helping the user to plug more than one input at once to computer for most of the time an audio interface has 2 plugs for microphone and instrument. If you are an artist, it is a crucial tool to have in your desk. Another similar tool that often confused and asked for those who never used one before is audio mixer or more often called only as mixer.
Mixer is very similar to an audio interface but it also providing more because if the goal of the previous equipment is to retain audio quality and plugging both mic and instrument to a computer, our goal with a mixer is to tailor the sound or input we have connected. As opposed to 2 or 3 inputs, most mixer has 5 and above amount of inputs as well as more than 2 output so we can put more than one mic and instrument at once.
In addition to more ports to connect your input, a mixer also has more than just a gain and volume knobs or control because as it has been said, the goal is to tailor various input at once so we will get EQ, Pan control and in some model also the compressor. Overall, it is very useful when you need more port and a manual adjustment for each line.
About Behringer Xenyx 502 and Q502USB
Before looking for the most suitable model to accompany our journey, it is important to decide whether it is an audio interface or a mixer we need. But, if you are here, chances are mixer caught your attention the most and since there are so many of them, we can choose more freely but will probably require more time since we need to see what each one of them can offer so we can get a reliable item after shopping.
Audio mixer is widely available and with audio recording getting easier to do and afford, we do have lots of option from brands and a vast collection of their models. One of the best and friendlier option for a wider range of user today is Behringer from Music Tribe because this manufacturer has been known to provide the market with not only various models for different level of user but also affordable enough for beginner to start their simple setup; many are even cheaper than $100.
If your setup is very basic with one microphone and the rest are instruments, two of the most affordable model we can pick today are Behringer Xenyx 502 and Q502USB which is similar yet also different. For familiar user you must know that this brand tend to named their products alike with each other and virtually the same but those with additional alphabet mostly mentioned the additional capabilities as well including what happens here. To put things simple, USB model has USB port while the regular model is not.
This difference also make the Xenyx Q502USB being an audio interface because it allows user to connect the inputs and send digital signal to your computer while at the other side Xenyx 502 is a pure mixer that sends an analog signal. We can actually connect it to a computer as well but we need to use additional RCA cables with ¼-inch jack extension. Read also: Behringer HPS3000 Vs HPS5000 here.
Behringer Xenyx 502 and Q502USB Design
While both of them are equally 5-input model, as you can see from the sample picture above, these two mixers are quite different from each other thanks to the different choice of layout so we can set them apart quickly beside reading the model name above. It is simple and compact so both of Behringer Xenyx 502 and Q502USB are not going to require much space to sit. The housing or chassis itself are made of steel which give sturdy and firm feeling when hold.
Behringer Xenyx 502 and Q502USB Input and Output
Just like with an audio interface, all the things we see on board are the feature we get from these mixers and for the input, both of them are featured with one XLR connector to plug your microphone. These two are the regular XLR connector and not the combination type so we can’t also use it with a ¼-inch. But, in case you need them to set a home karaoke system, we can still use a wireless mic with the ¼-inch jack below the XLR.
Behringer Xenyx 502 and Q502USB are Xenyx preamp and also coming with phantom power that we can see instantly whenever a mixer has 48V written in it and here we can see several LED indicator light to indicate the stats. What’s different is Xenyx 502 has no additional button to activate/deactivate the power in which the latter has a dedicated button for the phantom power. However, the capability stays the same since we can use either dynamic or condenser mic.
Moving to the rest of the panel, we can find the next input combined with output on the right part. Here we have line level input, main out for unbalanced jack and the phone connector where we can plug a headphone for a monitoring session. Overall the top part from both mixers are the same without any additional port to go. The last port is located in the second part below; the input is used to bring an external signal source into the console while the output is for the main mix.
Behringer Xenyx 502 and Q502USB Control
Moving on into the second panel below, here we find the whole controls for Behringer Xenyx 502 and Q502USB which looks rather similar yet also different with the latter being richer. As you can see, the console for XLR or microphone input stays the same between two mixers because they are equally featured with gain, 2-band EQ, Pan control and level or volume to adjust the output of the mic. The gain is already up to 60dB so we can use various microphone with still a reliable sound quality.
Moving aside, now we can see the line level control and similar with the first microphone line, the adjustment and knobs are still the same between two mixers with two balance knob and two volume level knobs. The last panel is however, different because if you pay attention, we have additional knob here above the phantom power button on Xenyx Q502USB which is not present in the 502 model and it is a compressor knob to narrow the dynamic range of the channel.
Behringer Xenyx 502 and Q502USB Connectivity
The last difference and what set these mixer apart the most is their connectivity itself located on top of the panel because as a USB mixer, we can also use Q502USB as an audio interface when you need to record something on the computer then enhance them further with a software we have without needing any additional cables. At the other hand, while there is a way to connect analog mixer to a computer with RCA cables and a help of ¼-inch jack, a USB is far simpler.
Now, let’s compare Behringer Xenyx 502 with Q502USB. As it has been stated earlier, the prominent difference between both mixers is on the connection since Q502USB give us a USB plug to instantly connect with your computer and an additional phantom power button as well as a compressor to make sure whatever you put don’t have an annoying jump.
Behringer Xenyx 502 vs Q502USB
- Premium ultra-low noise, high headroom analog mixer
- 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
- Neo-classic "British" 2-band EQ for warm and musical sound
- Studio-grade compressor with super-easy “one-knob” functionality and control LED for professional vocal and instrumental sound
- Built-in stereo USB/Audio Interface to connect directly to your computer. Free audio recording, editing and podcasting software plus 150 instrument/effect plug-ins downloadable at behringer.com
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All in all, the decision is all yours to make because we may have different things to consider including what we need and how many budget to spend. Both are offering almost the exact same features but if we are to choose, we do pick the Behringer Xenyx Q502USB because we just don’t want to fiddle with additional cables.