The Podcast Mixer: A Comprehensive Guide

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Mixers are the beating heart of any business podcast. With one, you can streamline recording workflows, consolidate audio sources, and ultimately simplify your post-production process.

The question is, which mixers are best for business podcasting?

We rounded up seven options based on our years of experience serving clients.

The best podcast mixers for businesses are:

  1. TASCAM Mixcast 4: Best podcast mixer for beginners
  2. ZOOM PodTrak P8: Best podcast mixer for large shows
  3. Maonocaster E2: Best podcast mixer for all-inclusive bundling
  4. Maonocaster Lite: Best podcast mixer for solo hosts
  5. Behringer Xenyx: Best podcast mixer for SFX
  6. Mackie ProFX: Best podcast mixer for software bundling
  7. PreSonus StudioLive AR8: Best podcast mixer for hybrid audio interfacing

Once we describe the basics of each mixer, we outline its relevant pros and cons. Then, we cover key features and prices so you can make a more informed decision.

Want to compare multiple mixers? You can check out our guides at the end of each section.

But first, let’s determine whether you need a podcast mixer in the first place.

Do You Need a Podcast Mixer?

You don’t need a podcast mixer to start recording your show. But having one on hand could provide some indispensable benefits.

You may want to consider a podcast mixer if:

  • You need to simplify or consolidate multiple audio sources
  • You want stronger preamps for lower-volume mics
  • You want to improve the audio quality of your podcast

In contrast, you may want to wait on a podcast mixer if:

  • You’re working with a leaner budget
  • You’re not hosting live podcasts
  • You’re not as concerned about multichannel control

What about recorders or audio interfaces? Can those take the place of a podcast mixer? 

The short answer is ‘no.’

Podcast Mixers vs. Recorders vs. Audio Interfaces

If you’re not a professional podcaster yet, audio jargon can be difficult to navigate. 

Mixers, recorders, and interfaces may have similar functions, but they’re not exactly the same.

So what’s the difference?

The simplest answer is that all podcast mixers consolidate multiple audio sources, while only some podcast recorders can record multiple sources. While audio interfaces have multiple inputs and outputs like mixers, they can’t mix audio without the help of a DAW.

If you’re still confused, it may be easier to understand what a podcast mixer is not.

Podcast mixers do not:

  • Focus on capturing only a single audio input
  • Need a computer 100% of the time (if they have onboard SD cards)
  • Usually include podcast editing software or a DAW with your purchase

In contrast, a podcast mixer does:

  • Capture and mix multiple audio sources
  • Come with a built-in audio interface in some cases
  • Capture audio directly to an onboard SD card (depending on the model)

In some ways, mixers function somewhere in between recorders and audio interfaces. You might take your podcast mixer into the field to help capture audio from multiple sources, but you’re not going to capture street interviews like you would with a mobile recorder for instance. Audio interfaces usually plug directly into your computer, which means you’re unlikely to take them into the field like a compact audio recorder.

With our definitions now out of the way, let’s dive into the best podcast mixers below.

The Best Podcast Mixers at a Glance

Here’s what the top podcast mixers look like side by side:

Download the Podcast Launch Guide by The Podcast Consultant
Recording MediaUSB ConnectorSampling RateRecording FormatMicrophone Inputs Included ItemsPrice
TASCAM Mixcast 4SD cards (64 MB to 2 GB), SDHC cards (4 GB to 32 GB), SDXC cards (48 GB to 512 GB)USB Type-C48 kHz24-bit / 48kHz WAV4
AC adapter, USB Type-C to Type-C cable, Owner’s manual and warranty, TASCAM ID registration guide$399.00 USD
ZOOM PodTrak P8SD cards up to 512GBUSB Type-C (sold separately)44.1 kHz16-bit/44.1kHz 6
PodTrak P8;AD-14 AC Adapter; and aQuick Guide$549.99 USD
Maonocaster E2Not compatible with SD cards – requires a direct connection to your laptop, tablet, or desktopUSB Type-C48kHz / 16bit24-bit / 48kHz WAV2
Earphones, shock mount, metal pop filter, USB A-C charging cable, 2 TRRS audio cables, user manual,  12-month warranty, PM320T microphone, mic stand$169.99 USD
Maonocaster LiteNot compatible with SD cards – requires a direct connection to your laptop, tablet, phone, or desktopUSB Type-C48kHz / 16bit24-bit / 48kHz WAV2
Condenser microphone, mic cable, mic tripod, windscreen muff, audio interface, charging cable, user manual, 3.5 mm TRRS audio cables (2)$79.99 USD
Behringer XENYXYou must connect to an external deviceUSB Type-B48kHz / 16bit24-bit / 48kHz WAV4
The mixer, the user manual, the power adapter$139.99 USD
Mackie ProFXYou must connect to an external device via USBUSB Type-B192kHz / 24-bit192kHz / 24-bit7The mixer, Waveform OEM DAW, user manual, power cable, USB cable$359.99 USD
PreSonus StudioLive AR8Onboard SD card recorderUSB 2.024-bit/96kHz24-bit/96kHz4The mixer itselfVaries

TASCAM Mixcast 4: Best podcast mixer for beginners

Here’s why the TASCAM Mixcast 4 is one of the best podcast mixers
LCD touchscreenFree editing software is somewhat limited
Free podcast editing software included

The TASCAM Mixcast 4 can be flexible in a variety of applications. You can plug XLR mics into the four available inputs, then use Bluetooth connectivity to host a fifth call-in guest.

You can also mix internal audio using the LCD touchscreen. With it, you can find and adjust audio settings, menu controls, and more.

Since the Mixcast 4 comes with free editing software, you can start recording, editing, and publishing your episodes relatively quickly. That said, the free software may feel limited to more experienced podcasters. This won’t be a problem if you already have Adobe Audition (or a similar podcast recording software).

Learn more about the TASCAM Mixcast 4 in our detailed guide.

TASCAM Mixcast 4 features

  • 4 mic inputs
  • 8 soundpads
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Call-in support

TASCAM Mixcast 4 pricing

ZOOM PodTrak P8: Best podcast mixer for large shows

Here’s why the ZOOM PodTrak P8 is one of the best podcast mixers
Extra-large onboard SD cardAbove-average price tag
Up to six mic inputs for large showsLimited recording formats
Sound banks for plug-and-play audio

The ZOOM PodTrak P8 was uniquely designed for large or growing podcasts. Offering six mic inputs and two simultaneous call-ins, you can host a total of eight separate guests on your show.

The PodTrak P8 also comes with a touchscreen so you can make simple edits on the go. This includes splitting, trimming, or adjusting audio without the need for a DAW.

Keep in mind the ZOOM PodTrak P8 comes with an audio interface mode so you can livestream your podcast if desired. Just know these features come at a price — this is one of the most expensive mixers on our list.

You can read our full breakdown of the ZOOM PodTrak P8 here.

ZOOM PodTrak P8 features

  • Touchscreen for simple editing purposes
  • Phantom power for compatible mics
  • 6 mic inputs
  • Built-in editing tools

ZOOM PodTrak P8 pricing

Maonocaster E2: Best podcast mixer for all-inclusive bundling

Maono Podcast Bundles may be suitable alternatives to Squarock Podcast Equipment Bundles.
Includes mic, mic stand, and pop filterCan’t record directly to the mixer
Warranty and money-back guaranteePlugging an iPhone into the mixer with an OTG adapter may result in poor audio
Denoise to get rid of room tone

It’s hard to argue with the value of the Maonocaster E2: each purchase comes with a mixer, a mic, earphones, and a pop filter. If you already have the right editing software, you can start publishing and promoting your podcast right away.

This mixer comes with two mic inputs and an aux-in port for playing back music. It lends itself well to podcast livestreaming, especially due to its 11 customizable sound pads.

But you should know the E2 doesn’t come with an onboard SD card, so you need to plug it directly into a computer, phone, or tablet. If you’re only planning on livestreaming your podcast, this may not pose much of an issue.

You can read our full breakdown of the Maonocaster E2 here.

Maonocaster E2 features

  • 2 mic inputs
  • 1 INST port
  • 11 adjustable sound pads
  • Ones with 1 mic, 1 mic stand, and 1 pop filter.

Maonocaster E2 pricing

Maonocaster Lite: Best podcast mixer for solo hosts

Here’s why the Maonocaster Lite is one of the best podcast mixers
Warranty and money-back guaranteeRequires a direct connection to your phone, tablet, or computer
8-hour battery life for remote useNo phantom power
Comes with the AU-PM360TRNo ability to host remote call-ins

The Maonocaster Lite is a cost-effective alternative to the Maonocaster E2. It still comes with two mic inputs and a Bluetooth connection for streaming music, as well as an all-in-one bundle with a microphone, stand, and pop filter.

Unlike the Maonocaster E2, you get 12 soundpads instead of 11. It also doesn’t support phantom power like the E2, which means mics with active componentry are off-limits.

The biggest drawback is that you can’t record audio directly to the mixer (since there’s no onboard SD card). You need to connect with a compatible device to stream, record, and edit your audio.

You can read our full breakdown of the Maonocaster Lite here.

Maonocaster Lite features

  • 2 mic inputs
  • 12 soundpad buttons
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Comes with 1 mic, 1 tripod, and 1 windscreen

Maonocaster Lite pricing

Behringer XENYX: Best podcast mixer for SFX

Here’s why the Behringer XENYX is one of the best podcast mixers
Three-band EQsMust record on an external device
100+ FX presetsOnly one headphone jack
Livestreaming capabilitiesNot specifically designed for podcasting (it may come with features you don’t need)

We recommend two types of Behringer XENYX mixers: the 802S, and the 1202SFX. We’re focusing on the 1202SFX here, but you’re welcome to check out our breakdown of the 802S.

The Behringer XENYX 1202SFX comes with four mic inputs and an additional +60dB of gain. It also comes with 100 adjustable FX, including favorites like chorus, reverb, and more.

Just keep in mind the 1202SFX can’t record audio without an external device. It’s also not specifically designed for podcasting, which means you may have to pay for features you don’t need (like live music outputs, for example).

You can read our full breakdown of the Behringer XENYX here.

Behringer XENYX features

  • 4 mic inputs
  • 12 channels
  • 100 FX presets
  • Phantom power

Behringer XENYX pricing

Download the Top Tips To Grow Your Podcast PDF from The Podcast Consultant.

Mackie ProFX: Best podcast mixer for software bundling

Here’s why the Mackie ProFX is one of the best podcast mixers
Comes with Pro Tools, Waveform, and 23+ pluginsCan’t record direct to device
Call-in supportOnly one headphone output
7 mics (5 XLR and 2 line level ¼ in)

Like the Behringer XENYX, we recommend two different types of Mackie ProFX mixers. We’re going to focus on the ProFX12v3 here, but you can read about the ProFX6v3 in our guide.

The Mackie ProFX6v3 comes with seven mic inputs plus call-in support for your remote guests. It also comes with a software package including a DAW, Pro Tools, and 23 additional plugins.

Just keep in mind you need an external device to record your podcast audio. Plus, there’s only one headphone output built into the device, so you need a headphone splitter or a separate headphone mixer if you want all guests to hear their own audio.

You can read our full breakdown of the Mackie ProFX here.

Mackie ProFX features

  • 7 mics
  • 24 FX options
  • 23 plugins and instruments
  • 2 subgroups

Mackie ProFX pricing

PreSonus StudioLive AR8: Best podcast mixer for hybrid audio interfacing

Here’s why the PreSonus StudioLive AR8 is one of the best podcast mixers
Hybrid between podcast mixer and audio interfaceDiscontinued mixer
Onboard SD cardOnly provides +48dB of gain
Save channel presets for future shows

The PreSonus StudioLive AR8 is both a podcast mixer and an audio interface. You can use its digital interface and analog controls to capture podcast audio to the onboard SD card.

There are four mic inputs to suit most podcast setups, as well as 16 FX presets for making simple tweaks to audio. You can also use the ‘super channel’ as a Bluetooth connection so you can play back music for both live and prerecorded podcasts.

The biggest drawback of this mixer is that it’s discontinued — you can’t purchase it directly from the PreSonus site. Instead, you have to find a gently-used model on sites like Sweetwater, eBay, Reverb, and more.

PreSonus StudioLive AR8 features

  • 4 mic inputs
  • Super channel (stereo 7/8)
  • 32 GB SD card
  • 16 FX

PreSonus StudioLive AR8 pricing

You can read our full breakdown of the PreSonus StudioLive AR8 here.

The Best Podcast Mixer

The best podcast mixer is the one that suits your use case. 

If you’re working with fewer guests, a Maonocaster (E2 or Lite) may be a good fit.

If you travel a lot and need a portable device, you may want to consider the PreSonus StudioLive AR8.

Do you like the utility of an analog mixer? A Behringer XENYX or Mackie ProFX may have what you need.

But if you’d feel more comfortable with a beginner-friendly device, consider the TASCAM Mixcast 4 or the Zoom PodTrak P8.

Narrowing down your options isn’t always easy, so try writing a shortlist and whittling down to the top two or three. From there, you can compare and contrast your needs to find the setup, features, and price range that works for you.

What happens once you’ve picked the best mixer for your needs? It’s time to start upgrading the rest of your podcast. To ensure your podcast is performing at its best, explore our comprehensive guide on podcast metrics.

There’s always space for optimization in your podcast launch, podcast production, and podcast promotion process. And if you’re looking for tools to help you get there, you can use our free resources to make informed decisions.