Tired of messing around with digital-based audio filters to get your voice sounding silky smooth? Planning to upgrade to an XLR Microphone? Then it’s time to invest in a good audio mixer for your stream.
The Best Audio Mixers For Streaming On Twitch
Designed with Streaming & Podcasting in mind, the GoXLR is an uncomplicated, future-proof mixer for streaming that won’t need replacing for a long time.
- Compatible with both 1 PC & 2 PC stream setups
- Accompanying app for fine-tuning
- All audio processing is done on the hardware
- Not compatible with MAC
- It’s quite pricey
- A few gimmicks
If you don’t know what you’re looking at, audio mixers appear overly complicated and feature lots of buttons and knobs which you’ll never use nor know what they’re used for, but that’s not the case with the GoXLR.
This USB mixer is a simplified version of a traditional audio mixer you’d see usually used for DJing or other musical setups, whilst retaining the top-notch hardware people look for in a mixer, such as +48V Phantom power and an adjustable equalizer.
On the mixer itself, you’ll be in charge of four faders which can be mapped to whichever audio channel you want to fine-tune. Once plugged in, the GoXLR will install 12 USB sound cards on your PC, enabling you to route your audio channels.
Given its namesake, the GoXLR does require an XLR microphone to get the most out of it, however if you’re using a 3.5mm input you’ll still see improvements over using software like OBS to control the silky-smoothness of your voice.
The mixer has been somewhat gamer-fied in the form of fully customizable RGB lighting, and this does get in the way a little bit as the RGB lights stay on even if your PC isn’t switched on, so for bedroom streamers this can be very intrusive when trying to sleep.
There are also few gimmicks, mainly the megaphone and swearing censor situated on the hardware, which can just as easily be achieved via mixing software and without the need for an actual mixer, but this shouldn’t be the feature you’re looking for in a good mixer for your streaming setup.
Overall, the GoXLR does sit towards the higher-end of the best USB audio mixers for streaming, but for those that are overwhelmed by traditional mixers and want something that just works and won’t need replacing, you can’t go wrong with the GoXLR, it’s super convenient (in both what it can do and how much space you’re going to save on your desk) and it’s also endorsed by top streamers like BikeMan and GoldGloveTV for this very reason.
2. Behringer Xenyx Q802USB Premium 8-Input 2-Bus Mixer with USB/Audio Interface
A reasonably priced mixer for XLR microphone users from a highly reputable brand.
- Doesn’t take up lots of room on your desk
- It’s inexpensive
- Compatible with MAC
- Not as convenient as a GoXLR Mini
- It’s fairly basic
Whilst it’s not as pretty as a GoXLR, this mixer by Behringer is a deeply competitive option to consider if you don’t want to splash out. Look past the utilitarian design of the Q802USB and you’ll find it does everything you need it to do, especially if you only have a smaller streaming setup.
When plugged in, your computer will recognize the mixer as a separate audio device, but won’t install multiple sound cards for you to route like a GoXLR would, if you’re looking to be granular in your audio control.
Whether you’re using a dynamic or condenser microphone, the Behringer Xenyx Q802USB will help you get the most out of it. Those that use a 3.5mm input can use this mixer with the help of a 1/4 inch stereo adapter, however you should really consider upgrading your microphone to something like an AT2020 first instead of purchasing a mixer if you’re just looking to improve your mic quality.
If you plan on purchasing a mixer with the sole intention of improving your microphone quality, you will save some money by opting for the smaller Xenyx Q502USB model instead.
3. Yamaha MG10XU 10-Input Stereo Mixer With Effects
Yamaha’s MG10XU offers more than you’ll ever need for your streaming setup.
- 10 Channels
- Built to last
- Lots of fun to be had with microphone sound FX
- Has a tendency to get warm
- Some users have experienced audio crackling when monitoring through headphones
This 10 channel USB mixer by Yamaha offers +48V Phantom Power, allowing both condenser or dynamic microphone users to up their audio game considerably.
There’s a plethora of options at your disposal to eliminate any extraneous background noise in the form of gain control, 3-band EQs and a compressor for each XLR channel.
As for the special effects, you can play around with the settings to make your voice sound like anything from a chipmunk to some sort of galactic being.
Yamaha also make a 12, 16 and 20 input model of this mixer however the 10 channel variant already offers more than you will ever need. It’s also smaller than it looks, saving precious space in your Twitch stream setup.
Audio Mixer Buyer’s Guide For Live Streamers
What Is An Audio Mixer?
An audio mixer is a piece of hardware that both processes and manages audio channels and merges them together to provide one or more outputs.
Do You Need An Audio Mixer For Streaming?
If you want to achieve the best audio quality for your stream, you will need a mixer to take you to the next level.
If you plan on using an XLR microphone, then you’ll almost certainly require an audio mixer in order to route the microphone to your PC as computers don’t come with XLR sockets.
Additionally, those that stream with a dual-pc setup will need an audio mixer to get their sound working correctly.
What Makes A Mixer Good For Streaming
There are two things that makes a mixer better suited for live streaming, one is the convenience it provides, such as multiple channels (ideally a minimum of 4) with volume faders.
The second is how much control you have over your microphone settings and how much you can fine-tune each channel specific channel, ideally a 3-band EQ and a compressor.
What Are The benefits Of An Audio Mixer For Streaming
An audio mixer for streaming will give you total control over your audio settings. You’ll be able to change volumes on the fly as opposed to tabbing out of your game and changing your settings digitally whilst live.
What Is Phantom Power And Should You Care About it?
If you don’t have a condenser microphone, then you don’t need to worry about Phantom Power. For those that do have a condenser mic, Phantom Power sends the correct voltage (+48V) to charge the plate housed in the top of your microphone, as explained in further detail in this article by Dawsons.