A mixer is always a good thing to have.
Whether you are a vocalist or you play any type of instrument, it’s always a good idea to have a small mixer in your collection.
A small, versatile budget mixer can come in handy for building a home studio setup and can also work well for smaller live gigs.
Eventually, you’ll want something more advanced, but as a beginning or intermediate home-recording enthusiast or live performers an mixer like the Behringer Xenyx 1202FX is perfect.
It has far more features than many more expensive models and definitely more than you’d expect given the low price. The integrated preamps obviously aren’t the highest quality, but they get the job done.
Let’s take a close look at all the features and see what makes the 1202FX such a great budget buy.
XENYX 1202FX Review: Overview And Features
The 1202FX is a versatile, yet surprisingly cheap little passive mixer. As you’d assume from the name, it has 12 channels in total.
There are four basic channels with their integrated preamps. Each of these channels has an XLR input and a line input for instruments.
The controls for these channels are pretty detailed. They allow both gain and volume tweaking, and many more additional controls. Each of these four channels has a 3-band EQ, effects level control, pan control, as well as a low cut control that gets rid of anything below 80 Hz.
The rest of the channels, from 5 to 12, are actually grouped by two. Each of these doubles function together as one practical channel. For instance, 6 and 5 are under the same volume, effect, and pan controls. Technically, this mixer gives you eight channels, but the additional channels are for line inputs only.
The main section features the primary controls over all the channels. First, there’s the main volume level. Then you have the effects switch selector, giving you an abundance of effects.
There are a few other useful controls, like control room volume, phantom power, and the main effects level. Combine those with a few outputs options, and you have one very useful little mixer.
- 12-channel passive mixer
- Four channels for microphones with an integrated preamp
- Detailed controls for each channel, including low cut
- Integrated effects processor
- FX Send functionality
As mentioned, this is a very versatile passive mixer. The first four channels are very detailed with their controls.
The low cut option makes it easier to use condenser microphones for vocals. The addition of the 3-band EQ is pretty useful, although a parametric EQ would be more practical for some cases. Nonetheless, it’s surprising to see this at this particular price level.
You also have a pan control, which can be useful if you need to set a certain microphone or an instrument more into the left or right channel.
One of this mixer’s strongest points is the addition of the integrated effects processor. There are a total of 100 different presets: anything from compression, up to combined effects.
On this list of 100 presets, we can find choruses, reverbs, different delays, compression, even combinations of these. The effects levels are controlled by the main FX level knob in the main section, as well as the FX knobs on the individual channel strips.
Even more interesting stuff comes with the mixer’s outputs and some additional inputs. First, we have the main out with two individual 1/4 jacks. However, there’s also the control room output, and the main control room level out is adjusted by one knob on the mixer’s main section.
What’s more, the Xenyx 1202FX has a CD/tape input and CD/tape output, with individual switches in the main section that allow you to add the RCA connector inputs and outputs into the mix.
You also have a headphone output, as well as an FX send. The FX send feature is a useful one, because you can use it as an external send to any source you need. By creating loops, you can connect it to your audio interface, both for input and output.
To put it simply, Behringer made sure to make a very functional small passive mixer for an incredibly affordable price.
Advantages And Disadvantages
- Very versatile mixer
- 12 channels
- Integrated preamps for four channels
- Detailed controls
- FX send feature
- Main output and control output
- Additional RCA inputs and outputs for auxiliary source
- It’s not a very high-end piece and is mostly recommended for beginners and intermediate musicians
Behringer XENYX 1202FX Vs 1204
The Xenyx 1202FX is a fairly versatile mixer, but it definitely has competition, especially from the same line of Behringer products. 1204 has similar features, but also shows some advancements over the 1202FX.
Basically, the 1204 is more than just a simple mixer. Its USB connection makes it a solid audio interface. And although it’s noticeably more expensive than the 1202FX, it’s still very affordable for a mixer with audio interface capabilities.
The 1204 offers four mono channels with the same exact preamps as the 1202FX. Aside from some identical controls on these channels, you get some additional features.
For instance, each channel has its own compression control, as well as the aux output level. Full functionalities come with the mixer’s stereo aux sends and returns. The main output is the same you’d use for the headphones, so there’s slightly less versatility in this regard than the 1202FX.
The mixer has a total of 8 channels, although the second four are paired by two as stereo channels, making it functionally a 6-channel mixer.
You also have the low cut control here, but it’s for anything below 75 Hz, compared to 80 Hz on the 1202FX. But that’s not much of a practical difference. What’s interesting is that we have two separate main output controls for the left and right channels.
If you need both a mixer and an audio interface, then it’s worth paying a bit more and getting the 1204 mixer. If you only need a passive mixer for live gigs or rehearsals, then the 1202FX will do just fine.
Behringer XENYX 1202FX Vs Mackie Mix12FX
In some ways, the Mackie Mix12FX is pretty much similar to the 1202FX. We have the 12-channel configuration, as well as the integrated effects processor. There are also four channels with integrated preamps and pretty much the same controls. The Mackie is a bit less versatile than the 1202FX.
In the end, it would be hard to decide between these two mixers. Functionally, they’re almost identical and they offer all of the same basic features. It just comes down to your personal preferences when it comes to small compact passive mixers.
Behringer XENYX 1202FX Vs Yamaha MG10XU
Once again, we have another mixer with almost the same functionalities. But the Yamaha MG10XU is a 10-channel unit and has some slight differences.
For instance, it has a high-pass filtering option, but with a pad button for each of the main four channels, which cuts 26 decibels from the signal. The first two channels also have compression controls added to them. And just like 1204, this is another example of a mixer with an integrated audio interface.
There are also two options for main outputs, either XLRs or regular 1/4-inch jacks. There’s also the headphone out, the monitor out (same as control room on the 1202FX), as well as the FX send output. What’s also worth noting is that the inputs on the main four channels are the classic combo XLR and line jacks in one.
Overall, the MG10XU is comparable to the 1204 since it features audio interface functionality. It’s also a budget model. Again, as we mentioned with the 1204, this one is a good option for anyone who needs both a mixer for smaller gigs and rehearsals, along with an audio interface.
Behringer XENYX 1202FX: Conclusion And Rating
Behringer has built a reputation for having cheap, but surprisingly functional stuff. It is not uncommon to find more expensive brands with far fewer functions than a similar Behringer model.
And that’s exactly the case with the Behringer Xenyx 1202FX. Once you figure out all the functions, you’ll be able to use it for so many different things.
Whether you’re a vocalist, a guitarist, a home recording producer, or even an analog synth enthusiast, the 1202FX will work great for you. The addition of the control room out and the headphones output make it even more versatile, especially because the signal goes through all of these without muting the main output.
On the other hand, you should be aware that these compact Behringer mixers are not exactly high-end pieces of equipment. You really can’t expect that, given the low price.
You’ll be able to do some elementary stuff, but you can’t expect professional operation and tone from such a mixer. This is mainly for for beginning or intermediate musicians.
If that’s you and you need a good mixer for a budget price, the Xenyx 1202FX is a great choice. That’s why we give it a Musicaroo rating of 4.2 out of 5.