Best Karaoke Mixer
Once you’ve got your Karaoke play-out sorted as per our article on Karaoke gear and Best Karaoke Microphones. The next logical step is to acquire a mixer, to facilitate the connection between your Karaoke system, Microphone(s) and DJ gear if you fancy spinning in-between Karaoke tracks. Finding the best mixer for Karaoke needn’t be difficult, so we have compiled our favourites in this handy blog page. Having personally hosted the odd karaoke party myself, I can tell you my requirements are simple for the best Karaoke mixer:
- Easy Layout: Nothing is more frustrating than juggling between karaoke singers, their backing tracks, mic level and announcing who’s up next – the last thing you want is to have to study the mixer to adjust levels on the fly.
- VFM – everybody loves VFM. Value for money is, let’s be honest, what we want in all things we spend our hard earned money on. The mixer has to perform well in its price range, and I believe these mixers do that perfectly.
- Build quality: If I’m going to buy something I want it to last. I don’t want knobs to fall off in my hand, nor do I want to remove half the mixer when I pull a cable out!
- Reverb: Reverb, delay, echo – You won’t get me doing my best Chesney Hawkes unless I’ve got some FX! In all seriousness, it adds nice warmth, it’s a Karaoke party after all.
Best Mixer for Karaoke Budget Contender
Alto’s most expensive mixer in their budget range, is packed with the handy features that you need at a bargain busting price – also making it a wicked backup option that wont break your bank account. The Alto ZMX122fx is a 8 channel mixer, with 4 channels on XLR input for microphones. A further 2 channels accept Stereo left and right inputs, with 3 band EQ across all channels. The ZMX122fx features a pair of Aux sends which can be used for sending signal for a vocal monitor, for instance or further FX, even though there are 16 Alesis effects onboard already. It’s what the studio pros call a ‘2 bus design’ basically meaning you’ve got two completely independent outputs; one for you main PA and a second pair for a breakout room or ‘in-house sound’ and the like. You also get AUX inputs and outputs on RCA, making connection to iPods and the like a doddle.
Best Karaoke Mixer in the Intermediate category
Alto Live 802
Alto Live 802 is the first step in the Alto Live roster. Offering one of the cheapest ‘full format’ mixers with FX on the market, this little Alto 802 comes with many of the features from the ZMX122 but with 5 XLR inputs for microphones and instruments, 2 of which also feature dynamic compression control (a great feature when mixing singers) as well as 60mm faders and a USB interface. There are 100 Alesis DSP FX and a 9 band EQ; especially handy in venues that offer unwanted feedback. You also get a built-in USB soundcard which works as both an input and output; so you could record your master output mix, or play audio back through the mixer for example if you’re using a software like Karafun (at a far higher quality than using the headphones socket of your laptop – that’s a blog post for a different day!). A handy feature is the 5V 1a USB power output on the front of the Live 802, which is there specifically to charge your mobile device – so whether its an iPad on work duty or a dead phone battery, the Live 802 can certainly streamline your setup.
Is this the best compact karaoke mixer?
Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX
Allen & Heath are one of those companies that only make one type of product: MIXERS. Therefore, when it comes to picking a handy compact mixer for Karaoke, the ZED series comes to mind; especially the ZEDi-10FX. It’s a handy mixer that would suit a whole range of applications like home studio or performing live. I’ll stick to why it made our list for best karaoke mixer for now! So firstly it’s the studio quality and capability. A&H rolls with a 4×4 interface so you can make multitrack recordings with no need for another device. This is handy when recording more than one singer as you can manipulate levels individually in post production (after the gig). The ZEDi-10fx has got vivid, colour coded knobs so you always know where you if you need to change a level mid track. The ZEDi-10FX includes 4 XLR inputs for microphones and a further two stereo line-inputs, as well as an RCA output and monitor out. The ZED’s multi model FX section carries a tasty bunch of reverbs and delays so you can polish even the most ‘tarnished’ performance (if you know what I mean. If you don’t, I’m sorry).
The best Karaoke Mixer in the Pro analogue category?
Allen & Heath ZED60-10FX
As I mentioned above, Allen & Heath don’t mess about with their mixers. In fact, the ZED series is a wide range of mixers offering a plethora of different connectivity and size options. The ZED60-10FX is the 10 channel offering with a 60mm fader (see, the product name actually makes sense!). It hosts 4 XLR mic inputs and 2 stereo inputs but all levels are controlled with the renowned tactile faders. The 3-band EQ is a joy to use with my favourite sweepable mid frequency, so eliminating feedback and extreme equalisation is easy when required. The preamps offer literally no noise and huge amounts of headroom, which is just want you want in a Karaoke mixer. The Allen & Heath gurus deserve a gold star for services to FX, the ZED60-10FX doesn’t disappoint.
Best Karaoke Mixer? The Rolls Royce of Karaoke Mixers! QSC Touchmix 8
QSC TouchMix 8
This. Is. A. Beast.
I don’t really *need* to write more about this mixer, but I will probably get fired if I walked out of my office and into the sunset leaving it this way! The Touchmix 8 is an incredibly powerful mixer in a small form factor – so small you could easily transport it in a rucksack. Clever inner-workings combine with the sexy touch capacitive screen so that the QSC can assist you to premium sound with tools such as wizards and presets; of which there are 120 live sound settings for commonly used instruments and microphones!
There are wizards that assist you with room tuning and anti feedback, as well as a real-time analyser (RTA) and up to 14 channel recording direct to hard-drive. With 8 XLR inputs and 4 Stereo Line inputs, and 6 outputs for zoning and monitors. You can go another step further and control the Touchmix 8 from your iOS or Android device over WIFI, enabling you to tune the sound from where your audience actually is, as opposed to where you’re controlling it from. There’s also a built in MP3 player that can play tracks directly from USB (thumb drive or hard drive) so background music can be played without any additional hardware. It’s also worth mentioning they come in larger variants, but we feel this one is the best Karaoke Mixer thanks to its compact yet powerful form factor.
I hope you appreciated our roundup of best Karaoke Mixers on the market right now. Which Karaoke mixer do you use? Comment below and tell us what you like about it and what feature you wish it had.