Best Audio Mixer for Streaming
Today we’re counting down our top picks for the best audio mixer for streaming.
If you’re trying to create a name for yourself as a live streamer, then having the right equipment can ensure you start on the right foot.
While a good camera or microphone doesn’t make a good streamer, without them you will limit the quality of your streams which affects the viewer experience.
One piece of equipment that could be of use is an audio mixer.
With an audio mixer you can switch between multiple microphones on the fly, and even record different sound sources if you’re trying to create a dynamic music piece.
Here’s what to expect in this article:
- Reviews of the best audio mixers for streaming
- A detailed selection guide
- Your burning questions answered in a FAQ
Without further ado, here are our top picks…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Top Picks for Audio Mixers
- Best of the Best: Pyle Professional Audio Mixer
- Runner Up: GoXLR Mixer
- Best on a Budget: Behringer Xenyx 502
Best Audio Mixer Reviews
Pyle Professional Audio Mixer (👑 Best of the Best)
The Pyle Professional audio mixer is our top pick for streaming-suitable audio mixers.
This reasonably-priced audio mixer is just about as good as it gets, and its status as a well-loved Amazon’s Choice product confirms this. This device gives off a striking first impression with its vividly colorful array of knobs which are color-coordinated in an extremely satisfying way. If visuals count for anything with audio mixers, then this one from Pyle would surely sit at the top of the pile. As for what you get, you can either opt for the 4 channel or 6 channel version, depending on how many channels of audio you think you’ll need to switch between.
As for features, there’s plenty to get your teeth stuck into with this audio mixer, so we’ll get straight to the point. First there are the various forms of compatibility, which include USB, MP3, Flash reader and Bluetooth. This means you can easily connect anything from a mobile device to a computer or keyboard, and when they are plugged in you can play around with the devices’ audio however you want. You have the option to start and stop audio tracks, skip them, and switch between different modes.
There’s also Bluetooth wireless streaming, which gives you the ability to stream directly to the console unit free from cables and hassle. It can stream music from all kinds of devices. But aside from recording and mixing audio tracks, you can also play around with microphones on this device with the mic and stereo line inputs. This device supports XLR and unbalanced ¼ inch plugs with a Phantom button and has a highly accurate LED Peak Level Indicator and Ultra-musical 3-band EQ across all channels.
As you can imagine from the ‘Professional’ in the name, this device from Pyle is intended for high-level audio experimentation. It is for the aspiring DJ, the audiophile, and the avid streamer.
- USB, Flash Reader, and MP3 compatibility
- Bluetooth wireless streaming
- XLR and unbalanced ¼ inch plug
- 48V Phantom button
- 4 XLR/TRS combined channels
- LED Peak Level indicator
- Ultra-musical 3-band EQ across all channels
- Multi-voltage power supply 100V-240V
GoXLR Mixer (🥈 Runner Up)
The GoXLR Mixer is an excellent alternative to the Pyle Professional, if you have a large budget and are looking for even more features to play around with.
If you’re looking to stand out in the seemingly endless sea of live streams, you need an audio mixer that can do just about anything. The GoXLR Mixer is that device. Yes, while this audio mixer might be a significant investment, you’ll get your money’s worth and more. We’re so confident you wouldn’t regret this purchase primarily because the product is a #1 Best Seller in the DJ Mixers category on Amazon and has a flawless five star rating from thousands of reviews at the time of writing. Given how critical customers tend to be with products they’ve spent their hard-earned cash on, we’re willing to go out on a limb and say that this audio mixer is worth every last dime.
First, let’s discuss the buying options. With this audio mixer, you have several variations to decide between. There’s the standard GoXLR device, but if you need extra equipment then you can buy a package with the device and a 6 feet or 10 feet-long cable, or the device with a microphone, or the device with a desk stand. There’s even a GoXLR Mixer Mini, in case you want to save a little money or have an audio mixer that’s travel-friendly. The aesthetic of this audio mixer is sleek and stylish and looks every bit as professional as you’d expect from a product in this premium price range.
This audio mixer is a multi-channel mixer with motorized faders which let you control everything from a microphone and a game to music or chat and so much more. The MIDAS preamp is studio-quality and your XLR mic will sound amazing with the 48V Phantom power, equalizer, compressor, limiter, de-esser, and Gate. There’s even a sampler function that allows you to record samples on the fly and use your own audio files to keep your streaming audience engaged and entertained.
There are also a few features that the non-audiophile would understand at first glance, such as voice FX. You can add reverb, pitch shifts and echo, and you can hard tune your voice in real time. You can even turn your voice into a robotic one, or speak as if you were talking into a megaphone. All of this can be controlled within the GoXLR app, too, which gives you basic and advanced audio parameters, sample import, and a preset library of popular voice FX. Plus, if you enjoy recording late-night gaming streams, what better way to up the entertainment value than by customizing the RGB lighting of your GoXLR audio mixer?
- Multi-channel mixer
- Multiple buying options
- MIDAS preamp
- 48V phantom power
- Audio sampler
- Various voice FX
- Compatible with GoXLR app
- Customizable RGB lighting
Behringer Xenyx 502 (💰 Best on a Budget)
If you’re looking to become a pro streamer but your budget isn’t quite up to the premium devices yet, no need to worry, the Behringer Xenyx 502 is an excellent budget-friendly option that’ll do the job perfectly well.
The Behringer Xenyx 502 is the best option for those just starting out with streaming looking for a basic audio mixer to play around with. If you want to improve the audio experience for your audience, an audio mixer can be a highly valuable tool to have by your side. While the device is primarily marketed towards musicians, it is also suitable for streaming, and there are many features that make it a great choice for that purpose.
This premium 5-input 2-bus mixer has Xenyx mic preamp and British EQ, which should be everything you need to achieve the exact sound you’re looking for in your streams or musical performances. It’s also an ultra-compact device, which means that you can record your live streams wherever you are without any issues with transportation. Its five inputs include one for the mic and two for the stereo, and allow you to pump out high-quality audio.
- Ultra-compact design
- British EQ
- 5 inputs
- Xenyx mic preamp
Finding the perfect audio mixer for your streaming setup isn’t easy.
It can be even more challenging if you consider yourself an audiophile or have high standards for your streams.
Whatever the case, there should be a great device out there that is perfect for your needs.
First, we’ll discuss what exactly an audio mixer is and why streamers should consider investing in one, and they’ll we’ll get into technical details that separate one device from another so you can make an informed decision.
What is an Audio Mixer?
An audio mixer is quite simply the best device to have if you want to take control of the audio experience for your streams.
It provides a simple and straightforward way to hook up any device you might want to extract audio from, such as a phone or a computer.
Often times it will provide various ways of connecting these devices, too, like Bluetooth and USB.
If you’re serious about creating high-quality streams that stand out from all the others, then an investment in an audio mixer can be a wise one.
On a basic level, it will allow you to adjust the audio levels to keep your audience satisfied, and on a deeper level it will give you a wide variety of tools like audio effects and voice FX to play around with.
Some audio mixers will also let you hard tune your voice on the fly, or throw in your own audio samples so that you can inject your personality into the audio experience of the stream.
Basically, if you want a measure of control over the sound of your streams then you should strongly consider getting an audio mixer.
The need to be on top of stream audio is huge.
While it might seem like image quality is the most important for the audience, a lot of times the viewer will just have the stream on in the background while they do other things in which case the audio is the only thing that counts.
So once you have a decent camera setup and a quality microphone, an audio mixer should arguably be your next streaming-related purchase to improve the quality.
Analog vs Digital
The first factor you’ll need to consider is whether you want to invest in an analog or digital audio mixer.
There are a few key differences between each type of device, and each one will be better for a different purpose.
An analog audio mixer is the best type if you want to use it for live streaming. This is due to the user-friendly interface which allows you to take control of every aspect of the audio using intuitive dials and knobs.
You can use the simple dials and knobs to about the audio levels on the fly, which will ensure the optimal sound experience for your streaming audience.
With a digital mixer, you can further fine-tune the audio, using all kinds of personal sound profiles.
If you want an even more in-depth audio adjusting experience, then the digital audio mixers is the best pick.
It’s a solid pick for those just starting out with audio mixing.
Another factor you’ll want to pay attention to when it comes to picking out the best audio mixer for you is the number of channels the device has.
The more input channels you have, the more devices you will be able to manage at the same time. So if you want a more complete control over the sound experience for the audience, in which you use a microphone along with other audio devices, then you should go for a device with more channels.
For live streaming, it’s highly recommended that you have at least two channels, but if you want even more control then you can get as many as six channels with some devices. More channels will give you more flexibility in how you play around with the audio.
On the other hand, if you go for the audio mixer with a bunch of different channels but don’t end up using them, you might feel like you’ve needlessly spent more money than you had to.
The other thing to bear in mind when choosing an audio mixer is the features it has.
In fact, this is arguably the most important factor in the decision-making process, since it is what determines what you are able to do with your audio.
If you are interested in playing around with your voice on stream, then you want to find an audio mixer that has various voice FX options.
For example, our runner up pick the GoXLR Mixer has a variety of voice FX which vary from sounding like a robot or speaking through a megaphone to the ability to hard tune your voice on the fly.
Messing around with your voice is a fun thing to do to add some humor and entertainment value to your streams and keeping things from being monotone.
As well as voice FX, you also want to make sure you get an audio mixer with many audio effects.
Examples of audio effects include an equalizer, compressor, limiter, and de-esser, which can each be used to change how your audio sounds for a more engaging listening experience.
The other main feature you can benefit from is app compatibility.
If the audio mixer is compatible with an app, like the GoXLR Mixer, then you should be able to take control of the sound with your phone.
This can be useful in certain situations in which you want to be able to control the audio experience from afar and get everything how it should be without having to fiddle around with the mixer’s controls.
Frequently Asked Questions About Audio Mixers for Streaming
What is the best audio mixer?
In our view, the best audio mixer is the Pyle Professional audio mixer.
Pyle has pulled off the perfect blend for its audio mixer by creating a device that is budget-friendly and beginner-friendly, but of such a high quality that it’s favored by many pro streamers.
There’s a lot of connectivity options with this device and many audio effects to play around with across the various XLR channels.
Do you need an audio mixer for streaming?
No, not everyone needs an audio mixer for streaming, as it isn’t as important as say a good microphone or camera.
However, if you want your streams to have excellent audio quality then it’s in your best interest to invest in one.
If you plan on using multiple microphones or audio sources in your streams then an audio mixer becomes an essential piece of equipment.
What is the best budget audio mixer for streaming?
We believe that the best budget audio mixer for streaming is the Behringer Xenyx 502.
This audio mixer offers a no-frills experience that’s perfect for those looking to give audio mixing a go for their streams.
The compact design makes it easy to travel with, too, in case you want to be able to stream wherever you are.
A Final Word From Run Gun Shoot
Investing in an audio mixer for streaming could be one of the best things you do for your streaming setup.
If you take the time to pick out the perfect device, you can seamlessly manage your audio and elevate the quality for the audience.