An in-depth preview of the brand new Behringer XENYX 502S and XENYX 802S.
It’s that time of year again. Where the deluge of announcements, proclamations and murmurings of new products hits our inboxes. One of the first to genuinely pique the interest of the team here at Mixdown was the new 502s and 802s mixer/Interfaces from industry stalwart Behringer.
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Whereas previous incarnations provided a cost effective, small scale mixer, the new 502s and 802s take this premise and reimagine it for the crossover streaming crowd.
The same two premium analogue mixers with USB streaming, with five and eight inputs respectively. These units are the latest incarnations of Behringer’s XENYX range of utilitarian small scale mixers.
For those new to recording the small scale mixer/interface has always been something of a life hack for home recordists with a penchant for nailing it on the way in. With onboard in line processing and preamps that punch above their weight. Expanding their reach, with the XENYX 502S and XENYX 802S, Behringer is bringing this same streamlined approach and reimagining it for some of the more ubiquitous content creation types within the modern media landscape – gaming and streaming.
Now let’s get down to business and talk specs. Having been prototyped and designed with a priority placed on live-content creation, we would be remiss not to highlight the ‘Stream to Mix’ and ‘Stream to Monitor’ functions that both of these units boast. RCA inputs will allow users to take a line out from a TV in order to expertly stream audio directly from your gaming platform of choice. The routing flexibility and convenient portability of these units means that regardless of where and what you choose to live-stream from, you will be easily accommodated.
As mentioned earlier, traditionally one of the biggest draw cards for mixers of this type is the USB connectivity which allows it to operate as an interface. It’s a two speed economy-on the one hand you have a small scale mixer, ideal for ensemble jamming or busking, while the other side of the coin is the interface component, which is perfect for allowing for onboard tonal sculpting prior to commitment. This means you will be able to tailor your sounds on the front end to your liking well before you dive into your trusty go-to plugins and compressors, a godsend in terms of streamlining your recording workflow, and CPU power.
These aforementioned features are indicative of just why these units will be expressly suited to creatives operating live content workflows. The ability to forgo software mixing entirely, processing all of your audio on the XENYX itself and casting directly from the USB port to your audience, is an undoubtedly efficient solution for professionals and hobbyists in the realtime online entertainment space. Spontaneous clipping won’t even disrupt your workflow when operating these mixers, with convenient onboard metres, clear visual stimuli to alert you to any clipping amidst a busy session. The myriad features that these mixers come equipped with won’t just enhance your experience of streaming audio either, but your audience’s too – with the pan knobs on all channels of these units meaning you can place your viewers/listeners in the stereo field to boost the immersive-ness of the content you’re putting out.
The discrete size and portability of both of these XENYX offerings will also be indispensable to streamers and content creators working from modest desk spaces, and dually, those who like a change of scenery from session to session. Behringer’s foresight to include rotary gain pots over faders also contributes to its compactness. Conserving desk space will increase your mobility and allow you the full range of expressivity required of live entertainment.
The Behringer XENYX 502S and XENYX 802S will undoubtedly provide audio practitioners of the live content creation variety with a flexible, convenient and all encompassing solution to streamline workflow. These mixers will allow you to remain present – shortening the gap between you and the content you make and your audience.