Gear    Review:                Behringer   Xenyx                               QX 1202 USB


"Swiss   Army   Knife"    Mixer

Looking for an inexpensive mixer for your project-studio? One that crams maximum "bang-for-your-buck"    into a small package? One that includes lots of extras you won't find in competing mixers? Then, the        Behringer Xenyx QX 1202 USB is what you're looking for. 



"Maximum    bang"   for   your   buck !

In my bedroom project-studio, there's not a lot of extra space. Every inch of work space has to "produce". That's why I selected the Behringer QX 1202 USB for my tiny work space. The Xenyx 1202 USB produces big   time results for very little money. What do I mean? Well, consider the following: 

 

The QX 1202 USB has built-in compressors on the first four mic pre/ line inputs. It has a built-in 24-bit/ 40 Khz, ( 100 preset ) Klark Teknik effects processor. The QX 1202 USB also "doubles" as a 48 Khz audio interface ( -via it's rear-panel USB connection ). Want more? 

 

The four Xenyx mic preamps allow +48 Volt phantom powering of studio condenser mics. The unit has CD and tape ins and outs ( -allowing you to run CD players, tape machines or a second QX 1202 USB into it ). Or you can run the QX 1202 USB's output signal -via these RCA jacks -into an outboard consumer recording device ). Nice! 



Compact in size but big in performance and utility, Behringer's Xenyx QX 1202 USB is the perfect project-studio mixer. Especially,   if you have restricted work space.  At a "street price" of $130.00,     the Xenyx QX 1202 USB gives you twelve channels, four mic pre's,     a ( 100 ) preset Klark Teknik multi-effects processor, an easy to use compressor and + 48 V phantom-power ( -on the 4 mic channels ). PLUS the unit can serve as a ( 48 Khz ) audio interface ( -via it's   type B ) USB connection. Talk about "value for your dollar!


How   does   it   sound?   Some   specs:

I've owned several Behringer mixers over the years. And each one has sounded clean, clear and transparent. The signal you put in is the signal you get out ( -with no discernible noise or added distortion ). And that's exactly what you get with the Xenyx QX 1202 USB. Clean, clear sound perfectly suited for high-quality recording and sound reinforcement. Now, I'll wow you with some of it's specs:  The mono channel  Xenyx Mic Preamps:   ( E.I.N. ) 20 hz - 20 Khz, @ 150 Ohms source resistance: -127 dB/ 131 dB A-weighed.

 

OK, what's that at 0 Ohms resistance? Try -133 dB/ 137 dB A-weighed. Impressed? What about the frequency response? Try 10 hz -150 Khz ( -1 dB ). At -3dB that goes from 10 hz - 200 Khz! These mic pre's give you a gain range of +10 dB to +60 dB and the signal-to-noise ratio ( 107 dB/ 110 dB A-Weighed, +22 dB gain ) and dist-ortion specs ( 0.006%/ 0.005% A-weighed ( THD + N ) are equally impressive. I could go on but you get the point.  This mixer is clean and transparent sounding. Nuff said. 


Channels   and   controls....

Here's the channel strip run down:  Channels 1-4:  either ( mono ) balanced XLR mic ins ( -with switchable +48V phantom power ) ( or ) ( mono ) 1/4" balanced or unbalanced line ins ( with +10/-10 dB to +40/+60 dB gain knob, one knob compressor, 3-band "British" EQ   ( with +/- 15 dB boost/ cut at 80 hz ( w/ low cut switch ), 2.5 Khz, 12 Khz ), effects, pan and level knobs. Channels: 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/ 12 are stereo ( L-R ) pairs using balanced or unbalanced 1/4" line ins with effects, balance and level knobs.  

 

On the right side of the mixer you'll find your phones/control room knob and main mix fader. Above there, the effects and USB/2-track routing switches. Above there, the Klark-Teknik effects-to-main knob, "push-to-activate" effects program select knob and it's program number display window ( -with the mixer's 5-segment LED level/ clip display and phantom power switch to the right of there ). You'll find effects send, phones jacks and ( stereo ) mains and control room out jacks ( -on 1/4" L-R jacks ) at the top right of the mixer.  

 

Around back you'll find the proprietary "Behringer" AC  power in connection ( -for use with the included power adapter ). You'll also find a USB type B port ( -for connecting to your computer ). Note, the mixer cannot be powered from computer USB -you have to use the included adapter. 

Klark     Teknik    Effects


You'll find a 24-bit Klark-Teknik effects processor built into the QX1202USB. The effects are divided into several categories: Reverb: 00-29, Early Delay: 30-54, Modulation: 55-78, Multi: 79-93, Special: 94-99.  

 

While effects within each category tend to sound similar ( -which makes sense since they're "variations" ), I've always managed to find what I want just by scrolling through them. 

 

Add to that the "one knob" compression on channels 1-4, and you have     the makings of a terrific project-studio mixer! 


A   few   observations:

The Xenyx mic pre's sound good. No, not up to Rupert Nerve console levels but very good for the price. I like the EQ centers ( 80 hz, 2.5 Khz and 12 Khz -they seem well chosen ). The effects are pretty good ( -although at times it's hard to distinguish adjacent programs from one another -but again several "variations" of the same effect are  provided ). However, I've never failed to find the effect I want by just going through them. 

 

I was surprised at how much I liked the one knob compressors ( -on mono channels 1-4 ). They really work well and you can really tell the difference they make ( -in "punching up" the sound ). Nice!  And the two track ( L-R ) RCA inputs and outputs make life easier running consumer level devices into and out of the unit. Overall, I love this thing! A Swiss Army Knife's worth of features for a very small price tag. My kind of product!


When you add up the value of all the "built-in" gadgets you're getting with the Xenyx QX 1202 USB, it's easy to see this mixer is a steal for the price! In fact, just one of these "built-in" gadgets ( -like an outboard compressor for example ) could easily cost more than the QX 1202 USB itself. That's real value for your dollar! 

 

Thus far, the QX 1202 USB has served me very well. If it lasts like my previous Behringer mixers -I'm sure it'll be with me for years to come. 


One    bad    thing....

Well OK, there IS one thing that bugs me about the Xenyx QX 1202 USB:  the AC power connection. It's fragile. The supplied adapter has an AC line cord on one end ( -for plugging into the wall ). On the other side of the adapter box is the cable you plug into the mixer's AC connection. The plug uses Behringer's "proprietary" connector. It's has some very flimsy looking pins which fit into the connector ( -once it's properly oriented ). 

 

These pins don't inspire confidence. In fact, they look easily breakable. The plug doesn't have any kind of locking screw-on collar to assure the plug remains connected. A previous Behringer mixer I owned had this locking screw-on collar arrangement. It's sorely missed on the Xenyx QX 1202 USB. Tucked away, safe on         my project-studio shelf this is probably not a problem. However, if you plan to use this mixer for live sound reinforcement ( -where cables are routinely tugged and stressed ) this could definitely be a problem. And     I'm not sure duct taping it in place would afford much improvement. Behringer has definitely got to return       to the locking screw-on collar arrangement they used previously. Even if it adds a bit to the cost. 


The QX 1202 USB's AC connector can be problematic in rough-and-tumble live sound situations. It can dislodge from       the unit with very little force. Returning   to the locking screw-on collar system       of past models would promptly cure this problem. It might add a bit to the cost -but it's definitely worth it!


Summing Up:

Bottom line:  the Behringer Xenyx QX 1202 USB is a great bargain! It's compact size ( -shoehorning twelve channels into it's compact size ) make it the perfect mixer for cramped project-studios like mine. If you're limited on space and on cash, this is the mixer for you.  As long as you keep it safely tucked away on your project studio shelf -you shouldn't have any problems ( -with it's loosey-goosey AC power connector ).

 

If Behringer returned to the secure locking connector of previous models -the QX 1202USB would be absolutely perfect! This aside, I can heartily recommend the Xenyx QX 1202USB. Especially, for small project-studio use. 

 


Looking for a larger mixer? Consider Behringer's SX 2442 FX. This board     has garnered rave reviews. Bands,     live sound engineers, even volunteer worship audio engineers love them.   The SX 2442 FX's come with two 24-     bit ( dual engine ) stereo effects pro-   cessors built-in. Effects include exotic     ones like" "ultramizer", "panner" and "exciter". The SX 2442 FX also comes with Behringer's proprietary   "FBQ" feedback-detection system ( -for quickly taming venue feedback problems -making engineer's lives     less stressful ).