Different people may need different setup inside their home studio and one of the most versatile equipment to have is mixer such as Behringer Xenyx 302USB vs Q502USB. They are not only useful for practicing or live performance but also useful to help transfer your input signal to the computer. In the past standard mixer are all but USB model like these two will be the better options for many musicians. Before you shop for any of them, see which model will fit your application the most below.
In this article, we are going to give you information about:
- What is an Audio Mixer
- Why do we need an Audio Mixer
- What are Behringer Xenyx 302USB and Q502USB
- What Behringer Xenyx 302USB and Q502USB Look Like
- How many I/O do we have in Behringer Xenyx 302USB and Q502USB
- What Controls do we have in Behringer Xenyx 302USB and Q502USB
- Behringer Xenyx 302USB vs Q502USB
Audio peripherals can be very confusing because there are so many of them and while it is not impossible to learn what each one of them do and will benefit in your setup, it is worth considering that many of them are replaceable by another equipment. This makes each setup unique to the musician or user because not all of us are going to have the same needs and even it is not the case, our preference about the best options may not always the same.
One equipment that you may want to consider having inside the setup is a mixer or some people also called as console. As many people already know, its main function is to accept, combine, process, and monitor audio, a bit similar to the small interface box. Despite being similar, audio interface is another equipment and its main function is to connect the input to computer and its goal is to get better sound quality by replacing the performance of your computer’s sound card.
From this simple comparison, we can conclude that mixer is the more capable brother since it also does more. This useful equipment is native in many setups and not only being used for a live performance, we may also need it in recording studio, broadcasting audio or podcasting, as well as for film and television. In the past there were only analog mixer but today, digital mixers are widely available and complementing the user whose activity is centered in the computer.
Audio Mixer Benefit
The question often asked when someone is interested in audio mixer is whether they actually need one. Just like everything else, there is always a substitute and the reason on why we should have one is because it provides more control over the audio that we sent and in this article we are talking about the usage with computers. A mixer is not only made with a set of inputs, outputs, and gain knobs because here we have many more in an attempt to further tailor your sound.
For example, most if not all mixers have equalizers and faders for each individual input channel so we can gain more control over the sound which goes into the computer. Some high-end or more capable board can even provide a set of onboard effects like delay, reverb, and chorus that we can use on individual tracks. In addition, there are also those mixers made with Dynamic area but most of them are expensive and it is very useful when you need to make the voice or instrument more evenly sound.
About Behringer Xenyx 302USB and Q502USB
If you already making up the mind and decide to get an audio mixer, now is the time to see what the market is offering because there are so many of them out there. The amount can be overwhelming at first but it is good to let us shop with ease since knowing there are almost unlimited amount of options to look at. If you want to shop quickly, however, we can see what that other users are using on their setup because the one that satisfy more people will also be more promising.
For those who are looking for options that won’t ask much from the pocket but will still give a reliable performance, Behringer is one of the best companies to look at. If you often stroll on different section in the music equipment store, this brand will be very familiar because they do have a wide range of products to choose for your setup such as Behringer UMC404HD vs UMC204HD audio interface which are both affordable and sounds good.
As for the mixer, we have lots of models to go but if you are recording or working with computers, rather than getting the older models which require some cable management to connect with computers, an analog model like Xenyx 302USB and Q502USB will be a very ideal pick to carry home. Both of them are very similar because they equally have 5 inputs on the board and while they are identical in a glance, the fact is not quite the same.
These two mixers are basic level and probably more often being chosen for hobbyist or for a home studio setup but compared to the original more traditional brother, they are indeed more capable with an ability to connect directly to a computer. What you may want to pay attention when considering them is the I/O because it seems they are quite different in this side and it probably will affect how they will be convenient later when being used in the setup with your other equipment.
Behringer Xenyx 302USB and Q502USB Design
Since Behringer Xenyx 302USB and Q502USB are coming with the same amount of inputs, the dimension and overall height are very similar to each other and they are small, even not as big as some of our notebooks. The body seems solid and while it is not as thick as some mid-ends interfaces we used to have out there, this chassis is better than most plastic casing which not only more prone to break but also flimsy and not sturdy enough especially when you often transport the board.
Behringer Xenyx 302USB and Q502USB Input and Output
Before shopping any audio equipment including a mixer, what you may want to check first is what they can offer to you because while the basic idea is to accept, process, and send your input signals, not all of them are exactly the same. As you can see on the sample picture above, the solid difference between these two models is on the type of input they have come with because Behringer Xenyx Q502USB is equipped with ¼ TRS port while the first one is RCA type.
This difference doesn’t change the amount of ports available but will definitely affect how many inputs you can use because RCA will need an adapter to work with TRS male jack for example from guitar or from microphone as opposed if each one of them are ¼-inch port. In addition, the main XLR channel is also different because Xenyx 302USB is featured with a combo XLR/TRS port so it saves space to place TRS jack for dynamic mic which we can find on the QQ502USB and many other similar mixers.
However, this doesn’t change the fact that only one condenser microphone can be used at once because once we plug both XLR and TRS with microphone, only one of them will work. As for the TRS combo in 302USB, this port is also capable of carrying your guitar signal but we have to sacrifice the condenser mic when using one unlike when using the latter mixer. On the output portion they also retain the same port; TRS on Q502USB and RCA on 302USB.
But, if you are using headphones with a microphone, do plug both cables to avoid unwanted noise and with regular headphones we can just use the bottom port on the latter mixer. Besides guitar and bass guitar, we can put almost anything on the line input such as drum machine and keyboard in either of them.
Behringer Xenyx 302USB and Q502USB Control
Moving below, now we can see the control part and the first part we always see when checking this panel is its gain knob for we have one powerful knob for your microphone up to +60dB on both mixers. If you see closely, the Q502USB is providing the control function from EQ and Pan with knob in which the first choose to utilize slider. Both are easy to use and in our opinion knob is more familiar to many of us but then again, it is only a matter of taste.
What’s not available in Xenyx 302USB is the two line channel controls because the other is providing each section for the available line inputs and this one only comes with one. In addition, what’s not present in 302USB is another set of 2-track input and output to bring external signal source into the console and carry the main mix signal yet, it already have the set combined with line input and output above.
Comparing these two brothers does seem complicated because not all of us will have the same needs and some people will prefer one over the other. The prominent difference in our opinion that will affect their ease of use is because Xenyx 302USB use RCA line for the input in case you have nothing in between so it will be less convenient. This mixer also only have one section for controlling line input in which the latter have two and combine the 2-track input/output with the line section.
Behringer Xenyx 302USB vs Q502USB
We are sure readers can already decide which mixer to go because while these two are indeed very similar, there are also some differences worth noting. If we are to choose, however, Behringer Q502USB is more convenient to use.