Best Mixer for Podcasting


Best mixer for podcasting

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Welcome to the best mixer for podcasting rundown! If you are wondering “do I need a mixer for podcasting?”, let me answer that right away: no, you do not. Will your podcast sound better with a mixer between your microphone and your computer? Most probably yes.

The list of my picks you’ll find at the bottom of this post took me a long time to collate. I put a lot of thought into it and carefully selected from each size and kind, for the ones I thought were the best. Let’s break down the answer to the initial question in two different segments:

I went through many years of successfully podcasting without a mixer and once I finally brought one into the equation, all I could think was: why didn’t I do it before? The sound quality improved massively and since then, I have been through many models and learned a thing or two, which I think can be very useful.

I decided to create this post to help those who are about to take that step into a different way of podcasting, so that they can avoid making the same rookie mistakes. For those who already own one, you might find in this list a different model that could fulfill your needs where you think your current mixer is lacking.

Do you need an audio mixer for podcasting?

Closeup of Silver Podcast Audio Mixer

You might be using your index finger to scratch the top of your head, looking at the microphone, the script and the headphones all set to start and wondering why you need a mixer for a podcast. This is a common result after surfing the web and finding someone saying that it is an absolute must to have a mixer before you start.

I’ve been podcasting for a long time now and can say that a mixer is something that can help you make your podcast sound better and to be better organized, but it is not a must. So, this sounds a little confusing, you don´t really need one, but it would be good to keep stuff sounding better… so “why should I get a mixer for podcasting?” Let´s go through some further questions so you understand better what I mean.

How do I record a podcast with a mixer?

Man Standing at Podcast Mixer Setup

Let’s start with the basics; do you know what a mixer is? In case you have no idea what this bunch of knobs and faders is for, let me do a spoiler for you; it is not the command of The Enterprise. It is a sound-manipulation electronic device. What a mixer does is exactly what its name implies, it features multiple inputs and outputs and sound-modifying stages. Hence, what you can do with it is to mix different sound sources and modify them before recording. This is a major difference between a mixer and a multi-track program. The fact that it changes the sound before hitting your computer gives a different audio quality to your sound that is highly sought-after.

So, to record with a mixer there are several options that depend on the mixer itself. You´ll plug all the sound sources to your mixer and from it, you can go straight to the computer (USB) or to an audio interface (DAC). This way, you can do live mixing without much effort and record your podcast in a way that it´ll need just a little tweaking here and there in post-production.

If you are a beginner, it might mean more harm than good because, in podcasting, less means more most of the time. That being said, if you are an intermediate to advanced podcaster, you´ll benefit hugely in terms of options, sound quality and reducing post-production times.

Can I use mixer instead of audio interface?

Large Podcast Mixer

This is a question I get a lot because these terms are easily confused; let’s make them clear.

  • Mixer – A mixer, as its name implies, is an electronic device to mix sound sources.
  • Audio Interface – Commonly known as DAC (Digital Audio Converter), is another electronic device that converts electric current into zeros and ones for your computer to “understand”.

Now, confusion sometimes stems from the fact that some mixers have an integrated DAC and work as an audio interface as well as a mixer. This is something you have to look for in the product you like.

Let me tell you that if you are a beginner that will only need a microphone to get started with the podcast, there is no need to buy a mixer and to use it only as a DAC. It would be similar to buying a Lamborghini Diablo and using it on city streets at 30 miles per hour.

How many mixer channels do I need?

Podcast Mixer With Cables

This is another major question because options on the web are virtually limitless and prices don’t vary much between six, eight, ten or 12 channels. Remember that most of the time, less is more. You want to focus on creating the best content you possibly can instead of worrying about the technicalities of it. You should get a mixer that accommodates what you need at the moment and what you might need in the immediate future and not more than that.

For example, if you are going to plug several microphones, sound sources for music, special effects and Skype/phone lines, you can go for eight to 12 channels. If your setup is going to be two mics and a music source, you are okay with just six channels. Remember to leave some room for growth, but not too much, in order to keep it simple, cheap and light.

What should I look for when buying a mixer?

Man at Podcast Mixer Computer Setup

Now that you know what it is for and what you should be focusing on, it is time to go shopping and you have to make a written list (yes, write it down so you aren’t tempted by sophisticated bells and whistles you don´t necessarily need) of what to look for when buying a podcast mixer. Don’t be scared with the jargon everyone uses, you are not trying to become a sound engineer, just to buy a piece of good podcasting equipment.

The best mixer for podcasting should have:

  • Phantom Power – You might want to plug in one or more condenser mics to your mixer. If not now, maybe in the future. This means that the best mixer for podcasting needs to offer you the ability to provide them phantom power. In case you didn’t know, phantom power is 48 volts of electric current that most condenser mics need in order to work. You can always buy a separate source of phantom power, but it is much better if you can get it inside the mixer.
  • The channels you need and then some – Here I have to give you an extra tip: when you think of channels, think of XLR inputs for microphones rather than the number of channels that the manufacturer tells you that the mixer has. For example, some mixers will tell you “six channels” and then you´ll find only two of them have XLR inputs. XLR inputs translate into quality microphones; hence, that is what you should be focusing on.
Podcast Audio Recording Mixer
  • AUX – The AUX in a mixer can mean that you can either plug in some cool effects like reverb or delay or that you can use that RCA input to play some music from your record or CD or even cassette player if you have one. Believe me; playing vinyl records on your live show is something that can get you quite a following.
  • Effects – The AUX can be to input some effects or the mixer itself can have a multi-effect unit built into the circuit. If this is the case, it is going to be super handy to make your voice sound deeper and more epic. You should play with the effects until you find the one that convinces you and then go with it.
  • Faders or knobs? – There are pros and cons to both. Personally, I prefer faders for the simple fact that I can know whether a channel´s volume is up or down at first sight. In short, the best mixer for podcasting in my mind has faders. On the other hand, small mixers with no faders are way cheaper and can get the job done anyways. It is up to you to go for practicality or saving some money.
  • Three-band EQ and gain controls – Most of the mixers you´ll find in the market will feature both: three-band EQ and gain controls. You might wonder why you should care about equalizers if you can apply it later on in the software. Well, they sound different and you can make changes on the fly as well. The most important thing about a mixer is always the sound you can get from it. Finding that the preamp part of a podcasting mixer is an all-analog tone-shaping circuit means that it is exactly what you need to enhance warmth and tone. Definitely go for EQ and gain controls; everything will sound better.

The Mixers

Podcast Mixer Closeup

Here we are, ready to start the rundown for the best mixer for podcasting. I hope you read and enjoyed all the information above and that you´ve learned things you didn’t know. Let’s go through each of the mixers I think are good choices for podcasting today. You´ll find all kinds of different ones from old-school rugged metal mixers to iPad-controlled digital ones.

Without further ado, let´s get right down to business with this list for the best mixer for podcasting.

Rode Rodecaster Pro

I have to say that along with this Rode Rodecaster ProOpens in a new tab. podcast mixer, I also love their microphone on the same series. RodeOpens in a new tab. is one of the legendary “big brands” in audio that really took time and spent some money in developing the right podcast equipment.

This is a mixer designed and built specifically for podcasting and has everything you need. The four dedicated mic channels work perfectly and have larger-than-life faders, which let you dial exactly the volume needed. You can turn every channel on and off with just the press of a button (which is conveniently retro illuminated). You also have three conveniently-labeled faders for Bluetooth, USB, and cellphones that are great for making calls (instant mix-minus with zero echo or latency), streaming music or anything else you need.

I absolutely love the eight programmable pads to put some clapping, bells and sound effects to trigger with one hand and (hopefully) make people laugh. You can record any kind of sound to them directly and trigger it from there.

The list of features goes on and on, but to make a long story short, this mixer is also a very good DAC that can go into your computer through a simple USB cable. The only thing I don´t like about it is the lack of on-board options like EQ, panning and more. If it would have those to do quick fixes on the fly, it would be absolutely perfect. Even without them, it is a great piece of podcasting equipment and a serious contender for the best mixer for podcasting.

Channels: 7

XLR Inputs: 4

Mix Minus: Yes

Aux Out: No

FX Send: No, built-in multi FX

Faders/Knobs: Faders only

What I Like

  • Ease of use.
  • Dedicated trigger pads for effects.
  • Light-weight.
  • Bluetooth capability.
  • Good quality DAC.

Not so much

  • Lacks any kind of on-board tweaking options like EQ and panning.

Soundcraft Notepad 8-FX Mixing Desk with USB and FX

This SoundcraftOpens in a new tab. is a small miracle and, despite its size, makes a great contestant for the run of best mixer for podcasting. It has everything you need in a small package and is great for taking everywhere with you. The thing I like the most about it, besides the size, is that it features LexiconOpens in a new tab. effects. In case you don’t know, Lexicon is one of the pioneers and most sought-after brands for digital reverb and delay in the world. Both brands are a part of the Harman GroupOpens in a new tab. (also including DigitechOpens in a new tab., if you are a musician you have surely heard of them) and hence, this tiny mixer features state of the art sound processing.

On the other hand, there are some things I didn’t like. First, the USB input takes at least two seconds to start. Second, it took me forever to get WindowsOpens in a new tab. to understand what it was because drivers are awful. I had to go looking for them online and it was kind of a messy situation. Finally, when I got my computer to read the mixer, it wasn’t able to split each of the channels for the software and hence I couldn’t do anything with it.

In conclusion, it is a great small mixer for podcasting on a budget and is great for coloring and going straight into an audio interface and then to the computer.

Channels: 6

XLR Inputs: 2

Mix Minus: No

Aux Out: Yes

FX Send: Yes

Faders/Knobs: Knobs only

What I Like

  • Lexicon quality effects.
  • Small, portable size.

Not so much

· USB takes seconds to work.

· No faders.

· Windows drivers are hard to find.

· Doesn´t split in channels when plugged into the computer.

Mackie PROFX8 V2

The Mackie PROFX8 V2Opens in a new tab. mixer could very well fit the bill for the best cheap mixer for home studio, as well as the best mixer for podcasting. In case you don’t know, MackieOpens in a new tab. is one of the most famous mixer brands in the world. They also manufacture audio interfaces, monitors and other gear, but are best known for their mixers.

First of all, what I like the most about this mixer is the sound. The preamps are top-notch. It is more of a live mixer because it has all kinds of features to make changes on the fly but it can be an awesome podcasting one too. The three-band EQ also features a Low-cut to take away all the frequencies we don’t want or need. You have AUX out, FX send, a built-in multi-FX processor, a general 7-band graphic EQ, phantom power, USB input and even the input for a footswitch.

The only bad thing about it is that the USB connection is noisy and overall poor quality. I got a terrible hiss out of it which wasn’t at all what I expected from Mackie, given all the great features it has. A bit disappointed with that, but the analog side of it works amazing.

Channels: 8

XLR Inputs: 4

Mix Minus: No

Aux Out: Yes

FX Send: Yes

Faders/Knobs: Plenty of both

What I Like

  • Sounds amazing, will bring analog warmth to your spoken sound.
  • Low-cut filter, three-band EQ and graphic EQ.
  • Built-in multi-FX processor.

Not so much

  • The USB connection is not good, it generates a hissing sound.

Yamaha MG10XU

If you get the Mackie PROFX8, put it to a shrinking machine and take out some features you get the Yamaha MG10Opens in a new tab., a 10-channel mixer from legendary Japanese giant YamahaOpens in a new tab..

One of the things that I love about this mixer is the single-knob compressor for the first two channels. When you are working with high-end condenser microphones and other equipment that suffers from proximity issues, a compressor is crucial to maintain volume and power. I also like the size of it because it is a powerhouse in a small package.

On the other hand, it is not the most powerful mixer in the world and the FX is nothing to write home about. I seriously missed Mackie´s faders and Soundcraft´s audio quality. The USB, though, works much better than Mackie´s. Finally, I also missed the graphic EQ a lot.

It is a good piece of gear to enhance the sound of your equipment but maybe not my first choice.

Channels: 10

XLR Inputs: 4

Mix Minus: No

Aux Out: Yes

FX Send: Yes

Faders/Knobs: Only knobs.

What I Like

  • The size is great for 10 channels.
  • One-knob compressors.
  • USB connection.

Not so much

  • Very low power.
  • No faders.
  • FX is not impressive.

Behringer Xenyx Q502USB

If you are asking yourself if you should get an audio interface or mixer for podcasting, this is the perfect answer: get both in a single package. Believe it or not, the Behringer Xenyx Q502USBOpens in a new tab. mixer can sit in the palm of your hand and is equipped with an awesome preamp for the microphone you plugin, that sounds great. Not to mention it is also the cheapest mixer for podcasting in the list.

It is a five-channel mixer with only one XLR input featuring two-band EQ and a single-knob compressor. For all the people wanting good sound and simplicity at its maximum expression, this is the best USB mixer you can get for under $80, no doubt about it. I would only use it as an interface and to embellish the sound of my voice, because if you want to actually “mix” other elements together, it is quite tight in space and impractical as well.

Despite its size, this could be the best mixer for podcasting for you if all you want is to plug one mic, a music source and get a great-sounding preamp for your microphone and a DAC for less than $80.

Channels: 5

XLR Inputs: 1

Mix Minus: No

Aux Out: No

FX Send: No

Faders/Knobs: Knobs only

What I Like

  • Practicality, simplicity, and affordability. It literally fits in the palm of your hand.
  • Top-notch mic preamp.
  • Built-in DAC.
  • Single-knob compressor.

Not so much

  • One-trick pony, not really a mixer but more of a DAC with a preamp.

Roland GO Mixer Pro

If you still question if you need a mixer for a podcast, this tiny gadget, the Roland GO Mixer ProOpens in a new tab., might be the answer you were looking for. With this wonderful creation by RolandOpens in a new tab., you don’t even need a computer to get you started in the podcasting world! This is a straight, no-frills DAC and mixer that needs no podcast mixer software, features phantom power and lets you do everything easily on your smartphone or tablet.

Among all the features I like about it, I think what I like the most is that it is the best mixer for streaming. Roland´s software works wonders enabling the camera on your smartphone as you are recording and even gives you the ability to erase the background.

Sadly, not everything is good news with this tiny apparatus. When plugging in a condenser microphone with the phantom power on, the result was a little weak to my taste although it worked well in proximity. Also, more than the fact that it doesn’t do what most audio mixers do, it is not sturdy or built to last.

It is a nice little gadget to get you by, but if you really want to embellish the sound of your voice you could spend less on a Behringer Xenyx and get a better result.

Channels: 4

XLR Inputs: 1

Mix Minus: No

Aux Out: No

FX Send: No

Faders/Knobs: Knobs only

What I Like

  • Size is super small.
  • Dedicated apps work wonderful for streaming.
  • Great for using with a smartphone/tablet.

Not so much

  • Build quality is doubtful.
  • Not enough power to handle condenser microphones.

Mackie DL806

If you are lucky enough to own an iPad, I can´t think of a better way to use it than getting this device by Mackie. The DL806Opens in a new tab. is a mixer that offers eight Onyx Preamps, which are state of the art in sound quality. On top of the XLR dedicated entrances, there is an analog gain knob for each channel and right beneath those, you have the slot to dock your iPad with an AppleOpens in a new tab. Lightning connector. It features phantom power and can work as a DAC with the dedicated USB out.

The tailor-made Mackie App works great with any version of iPad and this is perhaps the only flaw that I find with it: it has to be used with an iPad (MAC brand, not any other tablet) to work. That being said, once you plug the iPad in, it is like a new world opens up with the app. Besides this, the sound quality is superb and you can undock the iPad and walk around making sound adjustments at will.

It is a great-sounding mixer that allows you to move around and modify the sound in real-time with your iPad.

Channels: 8

XLR Inputs: 8

Mix Minus: No

Aux Out: Yes

FX Send: No

Faders/Knobs: Knobs and virtual faders.

What I Like

  • The sound quality of the Onyx preamps is superb.
  • 8 XLR inputs with individual analog gain.

Not so much

  • You need an iPad to be able to use it.

Conclusion

To buy or not to buy a mixer for your podcasting endeavors, that is the question! Well, after going through all this information, different brands, sizes and prices, you might have a much better idea (I hope) than when you started. Let me tell you my opinion about it; I would say go for a mixer once you have other things established. For example, having an audience should be your main focus when you are starting out. Believe me, I learnt this the hard way. If you are to invest money, invest in the essentials and the rest on creating content and promoting it.

On the other hand, it all depends on your budget because a mixer will definitely improve the sound of your podcast. Will that get you more listeners? Probably, but still way less than paid advertisement and a top-notch guest.

In this list, you´ll find options covering all budgets and needs regardless of if you are very experienced like me or just starting out. Most importantly, I hope these lines give you an extra push and motivation to become a better podcaster.

I hope this information was useful and you have a clear idea of what you want.

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