If you’re a streamer yourself or you plan on getting into streaming, you must invest in equipment that lets you create the ideal viewing experience. This includes investing in the best audio mixer for streaming that you can afford.
After all, how many times have you personally immersed yourself in a gameplay stream only for the streamer to switch windows just so they can turn down their music or change it?
This can take no more than a few seconds. However, it can totally ruin the experience and make you want to switch steams right there and then.
With that said, if you need help looking for the right audio mixer for streaming, then you’ve come to the right place.
Why Do Streamers Use Mixers?
Not all streamers use a mixer for streaming. In most cases, an audio interface is enough. However, a mixer comes in handy in far more scenarios.
For example, using a mixer for streaming gives you independent control of the sound levels of multiple audio sources. This is not something that other hardware and software alternatives can provide.
In addition to this, using a mixer also lets you remix or change sound live without affecting the viewer’s streaming experience. As explained earlier, using an audio interface requires you to open the software first. Not to mention, it opens you up to the risk of program crashes, which can interrupt your stream.
So, basically, some streamers use mixers because they want total control of the sound levels of multiple audio inputs so that they can create the ultimate viewing experience.
Do You need an Audio Mixer for Streaming?
Unless your stream setup involves multiple audio inputs from two consoles or gaming PCs, as well as several microphones, all of which require individual sound level adjustments, then you definitely don’t need a USB audio mixer for streaming.
The truth is, getting an audio mixer for streaming is a luxury that most streamers can do without, especially those who are just starting out.
How to Choose an Audio Mixer for Streaming
To choose the best audio mixer for streaming, you need to know the different factors involved in choosing, which includes:
There are two types of mixers used for streaming: analog and digital.
Analog mixers are considered superior because of their simple interface. It comes with physical knobs and dials that let you control and tune channels, as well as adjust sound levels easily even in the middle of a live stream. They are ideal for most streamers, especially for those who stream podcasts.
However, while analog mixers have simpler interfaces, they’re not exactly easier to use. In this regard, digital mixers are better. They’re easier to learn how to use and master. They also support apps that give you convenient access to multiple audio channels and set-up sound profiles.
Number of Channels
The more channels that a mixer supports, the more audio devices that you can set-up with it, but that also means that the cost goes up. However, this is a slight premium that you might as well pay for so that you have some future allowance in terms of the number of input devices that you can plug into the mixer.
In general, you shouldn’t need to use more than three channels simultaneously for live streaming.
The ideal mixer for streaming is the one that lets you control compression, EQ, and the channels again. Although more tuning knobs are always welcome, these three alone are more than enough for streaming.
If it’s your first time using an audio mixer, we suggest playing around with it before starting your stream.
This way, you’ve found settings that you are comfortable with and you won’t have to spend as much time tuning the audio during a live stream.
Compact and lightweight mixers are the best mixers streaming as they don’t take away too much space from your set-up.
Now let’s have a look at our recommended audio mixer for streaming.
The GOXLR is what he’d single out if we had to choose the best mixer for Twitch streaming. It’s specifically designed with game streams in mind. It comes with 4 different channels, +48V phantom power, and perhaps more importantly, multiple voice effects that let you customize your stream even further.
The GoXLR also has a very user-friendly interface that lets you do seamless audio mixing and adjusting for your console or PC gaming stream with little to no practice.
Although the GoXLR is definitely on the pricier side of things, it’s a high-quality mixer that’s also lightweight and compact.
For the more technical types who’ve done audio mixing before and desperately need to upgrade their equipment, the Behringer Xenyx X1204USB Premium is a good choice.
This premium offering allows for up to 4 different inputs with several settings and options for you to choose from. It’s also easy to use.
All you need to do is to plug it into your PC via the USB port and that’s it. In return, you get a mixer that looks like it was taken straight out of the 60s and 70s but with features that belong to modern times.
Among these many features include high headroom preamps, which, in basic terms, is what makes your voice on stream sound clearer and sexier than it is in real life.
Not to mention, it has a 24-bit Multi-FX processor that lets you enjoy all of the good stuff, including adjusting the chorus, reverb, echo, delay, and more.
The Yamaha MG10XU is a compact and versatile 10-channel mixer with +48V Phantom Power, as well as gain control, compressor, and 3-band EQs. This combination of features lets you minimize if not completely eliminate any background noise.
The addition of a D-PRE Cl-ass A microphone preamp is also very welcome. It’s the same preamp used by Yamaha in their more expensive offerings.
Also, thanks to its 2-channel recording and playback capability, you’ll be getting plenty of functionality from this audio mixer. This is especially on iOS devices, which have an extensive range of recording apps available.
Lastly, any good streamer would love to have the built-in SPX digital effects processor. This lets you play around with as many as 24 different effects.
You can also slightly program each effect, as well as enable or disable them, either via the button near the return knob or by installing an optional footswitch.
Low price usually means low quality, unless we’re talking about the Behringer Xenyx 502, in which case, only the low price part holds true.
True, the Behringer Xenyx 502 doesn’t really offer too many features. It’s a five-channel analog mixer that has a phantom-powered Xenyx Mic preamp with 2-band EQ, as well as stereo, CD, and tape inputs and outputs with relatively low power consumption.
That’s not really a lot. However, while the Xenyx 502 does not have a laundry list of features, it’s actually a good thing in this case.
It’s because it’s packed with all the essentials, as we’ve already mentioned. Paired with its affordable price, and it’s an excellent starter audio mixer for streaming until you start to figure out what you really need down the line.
Streaming has come a long way. It’s no longer always just one person or a couple. It can include entire groups of people coming together to produce music. Thus, if you’re an amateur band looking to put on an online show for your intimate but growing fanbase, the Mackie PROFX8 V2 won’t disappoint.
This audio mixer comes with 8 different channels that you can use with real-time monitoring tools, including a 7-band graphic EQ, and build-in sound effects for audio mixing and adjustments in real-time.
The best part here is that, despite being great for live performances, the PROFX8 VIA is quite small and portable.
It’s also very well built, with a rugged exterior that’s not built out of plastic unlike others in its price range. Not to mention, the sound quality is transparent. This means that the mic is supposed to sound like how it should until you start adding color to it.
High audio quality
Advanced monitoring capabilities
Real-time mixing with built-in effects
Numerous user reports of non-functioning LED monitoring lights
Possible audio feedback depending on the device used
The Pyle Professional Audio Mixer isn’t for everybody, but it’s for all uses. It’s not just for gaming, podcasts, live music, events, and more. It’s for everything.
The best part?
It doesn’t cost like how much it should, and with eight channels available, it’s perfect for multi-audio streams.
In addition to being a budget-friendly 8-channel audio mixer, this unit has Bluetooth wireless capabilities, with support for XLR, as well as a balanced 1/4-inch plug with its 48V phantom button and a LED indicator for peak levels.
It’s also very low noise and gives you plenty of headroom to work with for both instruments and vocals.
Despite its relatively affordable price, this mixer comes with a rugged steel chassis that helps it resist grime and dirt.
The only problem is the lack of customization options. However, if you know what you’re doing and all you need is an admittedly basic mixer for everything, it’s hard to beat the value of this mixer.
All the audio mixers we’ve recommended so far are small and compact, but the smallest and most compact of them all has got to be the Alto Professional ZMX52 Mixer.
However, you shouldn’t let its small size fool you. It’s packed full of the necessary features, including a 2-band EQ and 5 channels, as well as a high headroom with multiple inputs and output options.
If you stream pretty much everywhere all the time and you need something that will let you have a professional quality audio set-up in just a few minutes, this mixer is a great choice.
It’s only an added bonus that it comes at a price point that won’t make you regret stashing it soon after you realize that it’s not for you.
However, if it’s any consolation, this particular mixer does have an 8-channel configuration version that’s admittedly a bit more expensive but not a whole lot larger.
Adobe Audition is widely considered the best audio mixer software for streaming because it combines beginner-friendly tools and advanced features, as well as an interface that was designed to cater to streamers of all levels. However, it’s not exactly cheap, so a lot of streamers resort to using the free software Voicemeeter Banana.
Which is the Best Audio Mixer for Twitch Streaming?
There’s a good reason why the GoXLR appears as the best audio mixer for streaming in many lists, including ours. The thing is, it’s hard to beat what it brings at its price point. It’s a high-quality mixer with just the right amount of channels, as well as support, for both starters and even long-time streamers.
There you have it, a list detailing the 7 best audio mixers you’ll want to get for streaming.
Whether you’re just starting out and need a basic mixer for streaming on Twitch or someone who needs help with their more specific needs, our audio mixer recommendations for streaming has got you covered.