Behringer Xenyx Q802USB Mixer Overview

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The Behringer Q802USB mixer* is a great choice if you are looking for a mixer that can handle most podcasting applications for less than $100.

A good preamp is where a good mixer starts. The Q802USB has Behringer’s Xenyx preamps and they perform very well in this mixer. With plus 60DB of gain, the preamps in this mixer are enough to power most dynamic microphones including the Heil PR40 and the ATR2100, two of my microphones that require the most gain. Even at the top range of this preamp, I was able to get clean audio.


The build quality is not the best in the sub one-hundred dollar category but I’m sure it would hold up just fine in most podcast studio setups. I did have one issue, when I turned on phantom power, I could not get the phantom power light to go out without unplugging the mixer. Not sure if this is indicative of the build quality or I just got a bad button on my demo unit.

I only tested this mixer with a Mac using Adobe Audition. The setup was very easy with no required drivers. Windows may perform differently especially if drivers are required.

This mixer also has an aux send, labeled FX send, which would allow a podcaster to create a mix-minus setup for recording and mixing audio back to Skype or Google Plus Hangouts.

You also get one-knob compression which you’ll see on most Behringer mixers and can be quite handy if you want to add some extra punch and leveling to your audio in realtime.

Overall, I enjoyed this mixer more than I thought I would. At the relatively cheap price you get a lot of features out of this little mixer. The only question is whether or not it will hold up over time?

Links mentioned

How to Gain Stage Any Mixer

Audio samples from the Q802USB and other sub-$100 mixers

Mackie Mix8 mixer and all mixers featured in this review

Music licensed from premiumbeat.com
Track: “Stomp” by Gyom
Track: “5 AM” by Senbei

*Gear used in the making of this video:

Behringer Xenyx Q802USB 
Canon EOS 60D DSLR Camera 
Tokina 11-16mm (Canon mount, APS-C)
Sigma 30mm 1.4 ART APS-C Canon (new, better version) via Amazon: http://podhelp.me/S30mm1-4ArtAmazon
Roland R-05 Audio Recorder (newer version, mine is discontinued)
ATR2100 microphone (used in the VO during the mixer walkthrough)
HQ-S Stereo Lavalier microphone (into the Roland and used in talking-head intro and outro)
F&V R-300 LED Ring Light
Transcend SD card 16 and 32GB Class 10
Manfrotto 701 HDV Tripod (discontinued)
Manfrotto 394 Quick Release Plate and Base 

*all links should be considered affiliate links. Using these links helps support this content. I always encourage you to shop around for the best prices at the time you are viewing this. You can read my ethics statement via http://thepodcastersstudio.com/ethics. Thanks for the support!

About Ray Ortega

Full-time podcast producer and host of The Podcasters' Studio and Podcasters' Roundtable, I enjoy sharing my ten years of experience making podcasts to help others improve or start their own show.

Comments

  1. I started podcasting with a very cheap powered amp console with a noisy AUX output and after a couple months moved to the 802USB.

    – Build quality is OK. I scratched the plastic housing here and there. I’ve had it for two years without problems.
    – The preamps are good, as Ray says. I’ve had very good comments and reviews with my podcast on the sound quality.
    – It works with Linux! I use Linux for all my production process and this works without a flaw. Being standad usb-audio, it might work with other devices.
    – Because I use Linux, I’ve never needed the aux send for mix-minus, but it does work.
    – I’d love a third XLR input, but for the price, the mixer is a winner. 60 episodes and counting!

    • Great feedback, thanks Hugo! So cool to hear that it’s been a workhorse for you. All the people I’ve heard from who have this mixer have great things to say. Small compromises due to price but it does what you need it to do…well. Thanks again for listening and sharing your experience with the 802, great info re: Linux. What is it about Linux that allows you to not need the Aux send or is it that you just aren’t doing a mix-minus?

  2. I purchased this mixer a couple of months ago for my podcast and it is working great! The build quality isn’t the highest, but once I had it set up there really wan’t an issue with that. Sure, I would like faders instead of knobs, but for Sub $100 it is hard to beat. I have a Heil PR40 connected with my iPhone acting as a sound board and it is all running into my MacBook Pro via the Main Out. Sound quality is great and I am super pleased! I would definitely recommend!

    • Thanks Derek, great feedback! Happy to hear the mixer is working well in your setup. I definitely think it can get the job done well and if it holds up, which I suspect it will, it’s a fantastic option/deal. Thanks for listening!

  3. emmanuel stokes says:

    If there is only one headphone jack on my macbook can i just buy a headphone splitter for the sound input and output? *This is the newest macbook pro 15″

  4. If I wanted to add more XLR microphones to the Q802USB could I just get XLR to TRS adapters and go through the line ins?

  5. Joshua Williams says:

    I have a question on the cords I would get for this mixer?

  6. Hi Ray,

    I’m a complete newbie to podcasting and have bought a Behringer 802usb. I would like to use Zoom as my recording software and set up a mix minus. I’d also like to use an iPhone as a backup recorder and a second iPhone to Facebook Live some of my session, using audio from the mixer to make sure they get good sound as well.

    Is all this possible on the little Behringer 802usb and is there any chance you might do a tutorial on it?

    Thanks,

    Ben

    • Maybe. You’d have to dig in and try it. That’s asking a lot but you can do a mix-minus using the aux send to your computer and then use the USB to send to Zoom. You can use the main output to send to one iPhone and maybe the control room output to send to the other iphone but that mixer is quirky and you might run into some issues. All you can do is set it up and start turning some knobs and do lots of testing. I’ve seen countless hours trying out weird stuff like that;) Here is a quirk with that mixer that may give you an issue, if you are running into problems, this might be the cause http://thepodcastersstudio.com/whats-wrong-with-the-behringer-q802usb-and-how-to-fix-it/

  7. Guys – can someone help me. I’m a total newb and I have just picked up a Rode Procaster and Q802USB mixer. I am only getting very feint sounds from the microphone and am not sure if I’ve set it up correctly.

    I didn’t get a cloudlifter or any other phantom power, I thought the mixer would pack enough punch based on my review of reviews, if that makes sense?!

    Would someone be willing to walk me through the setup step by step ?

    • Hi Alistair, it’s just me here;) The Procaster is a dynamic mic (no phantom power) so it will need most, almost all, of the gain that the Q802USB has. And you’ll still need to be really close to the mic. Check out my gain staging video and see if this helps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRa26Xxe1EM. Make sure your gain is right at all stages and then work with the gain in whatever device or software you are recording into.

  8. S.O.S. Ray! You’re my only hope. I’ve spent hours trying to find the answer to this question and I am desperate. I bought the above USB mixer and I am trying to record two ATR2100 mics into Garageband with it. My problem is I can’t figure out how to record the mics on separate tracks? I want to be able to record a conversation with the two mics, but have them on separate tracks for editing purposes. Can you please help??

    • Hi Andy, this mixer, like most, are two output only and it’s a stereo channel. So, you can hack two channels by panning one mic all the way left and the other all the way right. Then in editing you split these into their own mono channels however, you can’t do that in GB. So you’ll need to use some free software like Audacity to split the channels then edit them in GB.

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