Top 11 Best Mixing Board/Console Brands For Home Studios


When it comes to home studios, project studios or any other “studio” that doesn’t bring in serious cashflow, spending tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars on a mixing console likely isn’t the best investment.

The truth is that, for the vast majority of studios, SSLs, APIs, Neves and Tridents are out of the question. Luckily, though, there are plenty of companies that produce affordable console options for the home studio that are worth knowing about.

In this article, we’ll discuss the top brands for “budget” studio consoles, focusing on value and consoles that cost below $10,000 (and even under $1,000 when possible).

For an article on the best studio console brands when money is out of the equation, check out my article The Top Best Studio Recording/Mixing Console Brands.

For this article, we’ll stick to the options that won’t break the bank (as much).

Before we get started, I should also note that we’re discussing mixing consoles that can act as standalone units and with digital audio workstations.

For an article focused exclusively on DAW control surfaces, check out my Top Best DAW Control Surface Brands In The World.

The top 11 best mixing board/console brands for home studios are:

  1. Soundcraft
  2. Allen & Heath
  3. Behringer
  4. Yamaha
  5. Alto Professional
  6. Mackie
  7. Midas
  8. PreSonus
  9. Tascam
  10. Zoom
  11. Peavey

Of course, any “best of” list is subjective by nature. There are plenty of high-end console manufacturers in the world. I’ve done my best to make this as objective as possible. I’ve included not only my own bias but also the opinions of others (in real life; in online forums, and by which brands are generally affordable for the typical home studio owner).

We’ll get into each of these brands in greater detail to explain why they made this list. I’ll also include examples of consoles from each of the brands along with a link to their official websites and info on the companies’ histories.


Click here to return to My New Microphone’s articles on musical equipment brands/manufacturers.


Soundcraft

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Soundcraft is a company best-known for its live sound mixing consoles. Many mixing boards found in home studios are designed for live use as well and Soundcraft has a few superb options that won’t break the bank.

Soundcraft has been building a solid reputation as a top console brand since its inception in 1973. Today, the company is owned by Harman, which means its new products and mixing boards can draw not only upon Soundcraft’s innovative history but also the designs and research of other superb audio companies owned by Harmon (notably Studer).

Though the company’s boards are primarily designed for professional live sound engineers and the touring market, many Soundcraft boards (and especially the more affordable options) will excel in home studios for mixing and recording.

Notable Consoles Under $1000 USD:
Signature 22 MTK (link to check the price on Amazon)
Signature 12 MTK (link to check the price on Amazon)
FX16ii (link to check the price on Amazon)

Soundcraft Signature 22 MTK

Soundcraft was founded in 1973 by Phil Dudderidge and Graham Blyth in England. Harman acquired Soundcraft in 1988 and was purchased, itself, by Samsung in 2016. Soundcraft is headquartered in Potters Bar, United Kingdom.

Official Website: soundcraft.com

Parent Company: Harman International (Samsung Electronics)

Soundcraft is also featured in the following My New Microphone article:
Top Best Live Sound Mixing Board/Console Brands


Allen & Heath

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Allen & Heath is a big name in the audio mixer market and the audio industry at large. Its high-end boards are found in some of the best venues in the world and are used in some of the most successful tours.

In addition to world-class live sound consoles, Allen & Heath also produces high-quality mixing boards for the “prosumer” market and the company has multiple options for the home studio.

Whether you’re looking for a digital or analog board for your home mixes and recordings, the company will have something for you.

Founded in 1969, Allen & Heath has a long history of successful products to base their new and affordable designs on. This quality and expert know-how can be heard even in the brand’s affordable line of mixers.

Notable Consoles Under $2000 USD:
Qu-16 (link to check the price on Amazon)
ZED-24 (link to check the price on Amazon)
MixWizard WZ4 16:2 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Allen & Heath Qu-16

Allen & Heath was founded in 1969 by Steve Batiste and Andy Bereza in London, England. A&H was acquired by Harman International in 1991; A&M Holdings Inc. in 2008, and Electra Partners in 2013. The company is headquartered in Penryn, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom.

Official Website: allen-heath.com

Parent Company: Audiotonix (a company formed by merger of DiGiCo and Epiris (Electra Partners) in 2014).

Allen & Heath is also featured in the following My New Microphone article:
Top Best Live Sound Mixing Board/Console Brands


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Behringer

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When it comes to affordable yet high-value gear, Behringer is a household name. This major company has a massive amount of resources to draw from and the manufacturing facilities to mass produce home studio mixers at affordable prices.

Love it or hate it, Behringer has some great mixing consoles at budget prices.

Notable Consoles Under $2000 USD:
X32 Producer (link to check the price on Amazon)
Xenyx QX2222USB (link to check the price on Amazon)
Eurodesk SX2442FX (link to check the price on Amazon)

X32 Producer

Behringer was founded in 1989 by Uli Behringer in Willich, Germany. The company is owned by Music Tribe (also founded and chaired by Uli Behringer), which is based in the British Virgin Islands.

Official Website: behringer.com

Parent Company: Music Tribe

Behringer is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top Best Modular Synth/Eurorack Brands In The World
Top Best Synthesizer Brands In The World
Top Best DAW Control Surface Brands In The World
Top Best MIDI Controller Brands In The World


Yamaha

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Yamaha is another huge company. This Japanese multinational corporation and conglomerate is involved in several industries and is well-known in the audio and musical instruments worlds. This household name offers both high-end and prosumer level mixers for all types of studios.

Regardless of your live sound application and challenges, Yamaha will have a board that’s perfect for you!

Yamaha’s mixing consoles are notably intuitive and functional. They are superb choices for the home studio.

Notable Consoles Under $3000 USD:
01V96i (link to check the price on Amazon)
MG20XU (link to check the price on Amazon)
MG16XU (link to check the price on Amazon)

Yamaha 01V96i

Yamaha Corporation was founded in 1887 as Nippon Gakki Co by Torakusu Yamaha. Today, Yamaha’s headquarters is located in Nakazawacho, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan.

Official Website: yamaha.com

Yamaha is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top Best Synthesizer Brands In The World

Top Best Live Sound Mixing Board/Console Brands
Top Best DAW Control Surface Brands In The World

Top Best AV Receiver Brands In The World
Top Best Studio Monitor Brands You Should Know And Use
Top Best Subwoofer Brands (Car, PA, Home & Studio)
Top Best PA Loudspeaker Brands You Should Know And Use

Top Best Acoustic Guitar Brands In The World
Top Best Bass Guitar Brands In The World


Alto Professional

Alto Professional is an inMusic brand that is best-known as a live performance reinforcement company. It produces superb loudspeakers for live sound and PA systems and also have several affordable mixing boards that work well in live situations and home studios alike.

This company produces high-value products aimed at musicians and audio professionals alike. Their dedication to these two customer bases has brought fourth several boards that excel in home studios (which are often built by those interested in both music and pro audio).

With modern manufacturing techniques and mixers that won’t break the bank, Alto Professional is a brand to look out for when choosing your home studio mixing console on a budget.

Notable Consoles Under $1000 USD:
Live 2404 (link to check the price on Amazon)
Live 1604 (link to check the price on Amazon)
ZMX122FX (link to check the price on Amazon)

Alto Professional was founded in 2000 by a team of audio engineers. inMusic Brands (founded by Jack O’Donnell) acquired Alto Professional in 2010. Today, the company is headquartered in Cumberland, Rhode Island, USA.

Official Website: altoprofessional.com

Parent Company: inMusic Brands

Alto Professional is also featured in the following My New Microphone article:
Top Best PA Loudspeaker Brands You Should Know And Use
Top Best Subwoofer Brands (Car, PA, Home & Studio)


Mackie

When it comes to affordable audio equipment that outperforms its equally priced counterparts, Mackie is the first name that comes to mind. This household name has been in business since the late 80s and has established a reputation as a reliable and high-value brand.

Mackie got started with audio mixers and still produces superb models to this day. When it comes to “budget” home studio consoles, Mackie should have what you’re looking for at a price that’s reasonable for you.

Offering both quality and quantity (of channels, effects, etc.), Mackie gets a certain spot on this list.

Notable Consoles Under $1000 USD:
ProFX30v3 (link to check the price on Amazon)
ProFX22v3 (link to check the price on Amazon)
1604VLZ4 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Mackie ProFX30v3

Mackie was founded in 1988 by Greg Mackie in Seattle, Washington, USA. In 2003, Mackie developed into and became a subsidiary brand of LOUD Technologies (new LOUD Audio). The company is headquartered in Woodinville, Washington, USA.

Official Website: mackie.com

Parent Company: LOUD Audio

Mackie is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top Best DAW Control Surface Brands In The World
Top Best PA Loudspeaker Brands You Should Know And Use


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Midas

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Since the 1970s, Midas has been making a name for itself as a reputable manufacturer of high-end mixing consoles. Today, the brand is revered and used in live sound situations across the planet and has models that would fit perfectly into home studios (in addition to live venues).

This company is innovative and dedicated to providing the best value consoles on the live sound market. With a rich heritage to draw from, Midas is able to produce affordable mixing boards that would benefit home studios of all sizes.

Though perhaps a bit on the expensive side (relative to some of the other brands on this list), Midas mixing consoles are among the best across the price points its products occupy and make for superb home studio consoles.

Notable Consoles Under $3000 USD:
M32R LIVE (link to check the price on Amazon)
DM16 (link to check the price on Amazon)
DM12 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Midas M32R LIVE

Midas was founded in 1970 by Jeff Byers and Charlie Brooke in London, England. After being acquired by Klark Teknik in 1987, the company was purchased by Music Tribe in 2009. The company is headquartered in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Official Website: midasconsoles.com

Parent Company: Music Tribe

Midas is also featured in the following My New Microphone article:
Top Best Live Sound Mixing Board/Console Brands


PreSonus

PreSonus is the brand behind the Studio One digital audio workstation. The brand is well-respected for its high-end DAW controllers and audio interfaces and it also has several quality mixing boards that would work tremendously well in home studio applications.

PreSonus consoles sound great. They’re highly functional yet simple and intuitive. They work well as standalone units and connect via USB for easy integration with computers and DAWs, making them excellent units in digital and analog studios alike.

The company’s StudioLive line of consoles is very impressive and offers pretty much all we’d want from a mixing/recording board in most home studio environments.

Notable Consoles Under $3000 USD:
StudioLive 32SX (link to check the price on Amazon)
StudioLive 16 (link to check the price on Amazon)
StudioLive AR16c (link to check the price on Amazon)

PreSonus StudioLive 32SX

PreSonus was founded in 1995 by Jim Odom and Brian Smith in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA, where the company is still headquartered today.

Official Website: presonus.com

PreSonus is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
Top Best DAW Control Surface Brands In The World
Top Best Audio Interface Brands In The World


Tascam

TASCAM is another well-known brand in the consumer and professional audio market. When it comes to the home studio, the company offers many high quality products at very reasonable prices including, of course, mixing consoles.

The company’s Model 12, 16 and 24 multitrack recorders include USB connectivity and analog mixers. They’re price very competitively for their quality. The boards are easy to use and sound great, making them superb choices for home studios on a budget.

Notable Consoles Under $1000 USD:
Model 24 (link to check the price on Amazon)
Model 16 (link to check the price on Amazon)
Model 12 (link to check the price on Amazon)

TASCAM Model 24

TASCAM (TEAC Audio Systems Corporation – America Corp.) was started in 1971 by Mr. K. Tani and Dr. Abe of the Japanese TEAC Corporation in Los Angeles, California. Today the company is headquartered in Montebello, California, USA.

Official Website: tascam.com

Parent Company: TEAC Corporation (Japan)


Zoom

Zoom Corporation is a Japanese company best-known for its superb field recorders. The these handheld units are popular, the company’s mixing boards are equally as impressive.

For surprisingly low prices, Zoom’s LiveTrak series of digital consoles offer everything creators need to mix, monitor, and record complex productions. This is true of live situations and certainly of home studios, which would benefit greatly from a Zoom board.

Notable Consoles Under $1000 USD:
LiveTrak L-20 (link to check the price on Amazon)
LiveTrak L-12 (link to check the price on Amazon)
LiveTrak L-8 (link to check the price on Amazon)

Zoom LiveTrak L-20

Zoom Corporation was founded in 1983 in Tokyo, Japan, where the company headquarters has remained to this day.

Official Website: zoomcorp.com


Peavey

Though perhaps best-known for its guitar amplifiers, Peavey Electronics is actually one of the largest audio equipment manufacturers in America and the world.

With so many designs and depth of experience, the company can draw upon it own wisdom to produce quality products at affordable prices.

When it comes to mixing consoles that would perform well in home studios without breaking the bank, Peavey’s PV line of mixers certainly comes to mind.

Notable Consoles Under $1000 USD:
PV 14AT (link to check the price on Amazon)
PV 14BT (link to check the price on Amazon)
PV 10AT (link to check the price on Amazon)

Peavey PV 14AT

Peavey Electronics was founded in 1965 by Hartley Peavey. The company is headquartered in Meridian, Mississippi, USA.

Official Website: peavey.com

Peavey is also featured in the following My New Microphone article:
Top Best PA Loudspeaker Brands You Should Know And Use

Arthur

Arthur is the owner of Fox Media Tech and author of My New Microphone. He's an audio engineer by trade and works on contract in his home country of Canada. When not blogging on MNM, he's likely hiking outdoors and blogging at Hikers' Movement (hikersmovement.com) or composing music for media. Check out his Pond5 and AudioJungle accounts.

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