10 Best Small Mixers For Live Performance [2024]

Choosing the best home studio mixer or mixing desk is a challenge, but it’s not because they come in different shapes and sizes.

We’ve seen musicians and performers using mixers personally in different applications. Some buy it for their home studio setup, and other DJs or musicians who perform live regularly need a mixer to connect thier different equipment.

When it comes to choosing a small mixer for live performance, you must choose one that fits on your needs.

Such as it has to be portable, and durable along with all the features that you need for your recording studio or live setup.

You may need some built-in effects, faders and other basic mixer features.


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That’s why I have researched and compared the 10 best small mixers for live performance that I think will best fit to you.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommended. Read more about Affiliate disclosure here.

So, without wasting any more time, let’s jump into the comparison.

#1 Allen & Heath ZED & ZEDi Series (Premium Mixer)

Allen & Heath ZEDi best small mixers

Allen & Heath ZED & ZEDi are definitely one of the best mixer series you in the audio recording industry, the Zed series mixers give you all the benefits of analog mixing with a dedicated high audio quality interface within.

The only difference between the ZED and ZEDi series is that the ZEDi comes with an onboard USB interface that you can use to connect with your Mac or PC.

This mixer family has some common features, with very robust construction that you would often see in high-end mixers.

Along with the great-looking design, these mixers come with a state of the art preamp as well as the guitar DI to connect high-impedance jack inputs on channels 1 & 2 which makes it a first choice for guitar players.

These 2 models are equipped with onboard effects processing, the Zed 6 effects, and Zi 10 effects, which include 94 presets and reverb, delays, flangers, choruses, and more, you could add them on the the channels individually in your mix.

Its versatility, features and build make it one of my top choices when it comes to choosing a small mixer for live performing or a home studio setup

Feature Highlights

  • High-Quality Preamps: If you want a crystal clear sound then the ZED and ZEDi mixers deliver just that with their high-quality preamps. Its preamps transform your vocals and instruments inputs to pro level sound.
  • Multiple Inputs: Whether you’re a singer-songwriter, a renowned studio owner, or part of a big band with multiple instruments and vocalists, ZEDi mixer fits all your needs. It comes with XLR and TRS jacks, that you can use to connect a variety of instruments and microphones.
  • EQ and Dynamics Control: If you are a live performer you definitely know how important it is to have control over your sound. It has EQ and dynamics control individually on each channel that allows you to fine-tune your sound and make sure every instrument and vocal is clear.
  • Flexible Routing Options: With flexible routing options you can send your sound to different places in the mixing setup. Aux sends allows you to create monitor mixes for your bandmates or listen to yourself.
  • Built-in Effects: If you want to add some depth and character to your sound, the ZEDi mixers are amazing to do. They come with built-in effects like reverbs, delays, and choruses. You can adjust just the right amount of effect to your vocals, instruments, and other inputs.
  • Compact and Portable: The compact and sleek design makes it one of the first choices for live performers.


  • High-Quality Audio
  • Solid build quality
  • Advanced but easy-to-use features
  • Built-in audio interface
  • USB connectivity available


  • Channel count is limited
  • No dedicated mute buttons for individual tracks

#2 Behringer Xenyx Q502USB (Budget Mixer)

Behringer Xenyx Q502USB mixer

The Xenyx is a very small and compact mixer.

It is great for a touring musician or singer-songwriter who is looking for a small mixer to easily fit into their backpack.

This 5-input and 2-bus analog mixer comes with a built-in USB/Audio Interface to connect your computer for recording and playback.

You can also use an analog RCA connector to connect your 2 track recorder to record your mix.

Its British style 2 band EQ on channel one gives you the ability to tweak your sound, but there are no gain knobs on the 2 stereo channels.

The Xenyx comes with a common compressor for all the channels, which is something you will hardly find on such a small mixer like this.

I personally have one of these mixers myself and I found the compressor sounds great to me, and its easy to use.

Feature Highlights

  • One-Knob Compression: Xenyx Q502USB mixer features a one-knob compressor on the microphone input that makes it easy to get that perfect level of compression.
  • Built-in USB Audio Interface: It comes with a built-in USB audio interface that lets you connect the mixer directly to your computer and make it easy to record your shows or stream them live on platforms like Twitch or YouTube.
  • Xenyx Mic Preamp: The Xenyx Q502USB mixer features a high-quality Xenyx mic preamp that ensures your vocals sound warm and clear.
  • British EQ: Xenyx Q502USB mixer comes with British-style EQ that allows you to shape your sound like a pro mixer. Whether boosting the bass or cutting the mids, this mixer helps you control it.
  • Compact and Portable Design: Xenyx Q502USB mixer is compact and lightweight, so you can carry it with you wherever you go.
  • Easy to Use: Xenyx Q502USB mixer is user-friendly and has intuitive controls that make it easy to operate.


  • Compact and portable size
  • USB connectivity available for computer
  • Dedicated XENYX mic preamps
  • Affordable price


  • Limited input channels
  • The signal quality is a bit low-quality then other mixers
  • No advanced features

#3 Yamaha Mg10XU (Budget Mixer)

Yamaha is a really great brand that needs no introduction.

Their products have great sound quality, easy to use, and durable. MG series mixers coe with 6, 12 16, and 20 channels to choose from.

Each one of those has 2 different flavors, with effects and without effects and some of them also have a USB interface.

As, we are discussing small mixers for today’s topic, I think the 6 channel mixers will be fitted into this category.

The MG series has exceptionally clean preamps, and there are many more features that you want in a mixer like the high pass filter, 26db pad, 3 band EQ, phantom power on the mic channels, XLR out, one-knob compression on the channel 1 & 2, effects.

Even you will get a mic-standing mounting at the back which you would rarely see on a small mixer.

You will get 24 FX effects to choose from, so you can rely on it without an additional effect pedal.

One thing that I wish they could fix is that when you are recording anything to your computer, the signal will be significantly decreased.

I find many people come across the same issues on Amazon adn other online shopping websites and talk about them as well.

It will work fine if you are just using it to record guitar or vocals at home, or performing live with a Daw-less setup.

But if you are playing a live set with your DAW, you would have to manually turn up the gain every time after pressing the recording button.

Feature Highlights

  • Exceptional quality preamps
  • Onboard effects including reverb, delay, and chorus
  • USB connectivity to easily connect to your computer and use as an audio interface
  • User-friendly interface with clearly labeled knobs and faders
  • Compact and portable design for easy transport


  • Excellent sound quality
  • Built-in Effects such as SPX digital effects including reverb, delay etc.
  • MG10XU comes with a USB audio interface
  • Durable build quality
  • Compact and portable size


  • Only 10 input channels
  • Weak USB output volume
  • Small and basic screen

#4 Yamaha AG 06 (Budget Mixer)

Yamaha AG 06 portable mixer

Now let’s discuss another series of Yamaha mixers. The AG series has some similar features to the MG family.

Although they are in the same category they are different with different applications, technology, benefits, and pros & cons.

In AG series mixers there’s only one phantom power on channel 1. There is a guitar mode on the 2nd channel that sets the impedance appropriately for that input and also you will find an amp synth button on that channel.

The Yamaha AG06 has a digital compression EQ and effect mode that is controlled by the software when you connect this to your computer.

It’s bus-powered by the USB cable.

The USB section is one of the main reasons that sets it apart from the others.

You will get a couple of different modes here for you to send the dry channels 1 & 2, input mix, or loopback.

Feature Highlights

  • Multi-purpose mixer with USB audio interface: AG 06 is a perfect mixer for live performances, as well as a USB audio interface for recording and editing in your favorite DAW software.
  • High-quality sound: With a 192 kHz/24-bit sound quality, D-PRE mic preamps, and the same technology used in Yamaha’s high-end professional mixers, the AG 06 delivers exceptional sound quality.
  • Loopback function: AG 06 features a loopback function that allows you to easily record your computer’s audio output along with your microphone or instrument input which makes it perfect for podcasters, live streamers, and content creators.
  • Onboard DSP effects: This mixer includes onboard DSP effects such as reverb, chorus, and distortion and gives you the ability to add depth and analog character to your sound without any external effects processors.
  • AG 06 is designed with a user-friendly interface with clear labeling and intuitive controls and easy to adjust settings on the fly.


  • AG06 mixer is known for its excellent sound quality
  • Can be used for various audio applications
  • Onboard DSP effects like reverb, delay and chorus


  • Phantom power is limited to only 1 channel
  • High price

#5 RCF F 6X (Budget Mixer)

RCF F 6X live mixer

RCF is an Italian brand. They are also one of the leading hi-tech brands in professional audio.

The RCF F6x has 2 microphone inputs, 2 stereo inputs, an onboard Pro DSP FX processor with 16 studio-quality effects, a balanced signal path from input to output, a mono channel with 3-band EQ, stereo channels with 2-band EQ, 1 Aux/FX, high-quality preamp with phantom power.

The F6x is different than other 6-channel mixing consoles. The rugged construction of this mixer features a durable metal chassis with a protective plastic bumper on each side, which makes it portable.

Feature Highlights

  • 6 channel inputs with balanced XLR and TRS inputs on each channel
  • Gain control, three-band EQ, and FX send on each channel
  • 2 stereo inputs with level control
  • Built-in digital effects processor with 16 presets
  • Perfect for your live sound applications such as concerts and events
  • Durable construction with a metal chassis
  • Compact and easy to transport
  • High-quality sound and low noise floor


  • Sturdy metal chassis makes it durable
  • Fully balanced audio path from input to output
  • Comes with ntegrated PRO DSP FX processor which offers 16 professional effects presets
  • 6 channels, including 2 mic/line inputs and 2 stereo line inputs
  • Dedicated headphone output


  • Complex interface for beginners
  • High price point
  • Gets noise when using amp simulation

#6 Art Pro Audio Tube Mix (Premium Mixer)

Art Pro Audio Tube Mix

This is a very well-built 5-channel small mixer with USB out. It has a very classic look with the old-school view meters and the wood panel sides.

It has a button for amp simulation to make it sound more natural. You’ll notice that there are 2 auxiliaries which are not very common for a small format mixer of this size.

Auxiliary 1 is marked left and auxiliary 2 is marked right, you can also assign them to the main mix out which gives you better separation of left and right out.

It also has a tube assign button so you assign the tubes to either channels 1 & 2 or channel 5 to get a warm sound of the instruments that you’re about to record.

Feature Highlights

  • 8 input channels
  • 2 tube mic preamps for warm, vintage-style sound
  • 3-band EQ and individual channel mute switches
  • Multiple outputs, including main mix, control room, and headphone outputs
  • Built-in digital effects processor
  • Aux send and return to connect to external effects or processing
  • 60mm faders and rotary controls for precise adjustments
  • LED level meters for monitoring signal levels
  • Durable metal construction with a rugged carrying handle


  • Art Pro Audio Tube Mix is a compact mixer built with a sturdy, long-lasting construction
  • You will get an in-built audio interface with 2 mic inputs, 1 instrument in, and 2 line ins
  • The tube (valve) circuitry gives the analog warmth and character to your audio
  • If you love analog tone then this mixer is built for you


  • Due to tube circuitry, you will get a slight amount of noise
  • This mixer may lack depth and volume with analog recording sources
  • High price

#7 XTUGA AM6 Audio Mixer (Budget Mixer) 

XTUGA AM6 Audio Mixer

This professional 6-channel mixing console is very compact and lightweight. It is just made of hard plastic, not metal, but it feels quite solid.

It features 4 XLR inputs at the top as well as 2 more TRS inputs which makes it a 6-channel mixer., Each channel features a gain knob, a high and low EQ, and a send-to effect channel.

You can use anything from the condenser mic or line microphones to line-level instruments like a keyboard or guitar.

AM6 is bus powered by USB and another very cool feature is the Bluetooth capabilities, which allow you to control your phone or device with your mixer. 

Feature Highlights

  • 6 input channels. 2 mono channels with XLR and 1/4″ TRS inputs, and 2 stereo channels with 1/4″ TRS inputs
  • 3-band EQ on each channel for precise sound shaping
  • Individual gain control, pan control, and level control on each channel
  • Aux send and return for external effects processing
  • Built-in digital effects processor with 12 presets
  • Main mix and headphone outputs with separate level controls
  • Easy to use and ideal for a wide range of audio applications, including live sound, recording, and podcasting.


  • 3-band EQ makes it easy to equalize your mixes
  • Individual gain and pan controls for each channel
  • Built-in presets


  • A limited number of input channels
  • Small screen size

#8 Mackie ProFX4V3 (Budget Mixer) 

Mackie ProFX4V2 analog portable mixer

The Pro-FX series from Mackie is primarily designed for live sound applications and not so much for recording.

They have versions ranging from 4 channels to 30 channels, the 4-channel version that we’re looking at is the most basic one and doesn’t have a USB interface. If USB is important for you, you have to get the 8 channels and above.

There are Vita mic preamp and low cut buttons on channels 1 and 2, but the Hi-Z switch is only available on channel 1.

One interesting thing about this mixer is that it does not have a pan control, the same as the Mackie 402VLZ4 above.

However, you can engage the stereo pan to switch located in the middle of channels 1 and 2 that will pan channel 1 left and channel 2 to the right so that it allows you to record both channels with the mic line input on your PC or laptop.

You will also get a stereo graphic EQ on the mixer board for eq-ing the main output, and you can switch that between either the main mix or monitor mix or bypass it.

The ready FX effects allow you to switch between 16 different presets. I really like the 16-segment dB meters it has, which is something you do not often find in a small mixer like this. 

Feature Highlights

  • 4-channels
  • Vita preamps
  • ReadyFX effects engine with 16 built-in effects
  • 2-band EQ and 100Hz low-cut filter on each channel for precise sound shaping
  • Hi-Z input
  • 2-in/2-out USB audio interface for recording and playback
  • Main mix, monitor, and headphone outputs with separate level controls
  • Single-knob compression on channels 1 and 2 for dynamic control
  • Durable metal construction with a sleek black finish
  • Ideal for live sound, songwriting, and podcasting applications.


  • USB audio interface lets you record live sound
  • Separate monitor, main mix and headphone outs
  • Durable metal chassis
  • Single knob compression


  • Only 4 input channels
  • EQ has only 2 bands which makes it difficult to price equalization

#9 Pyle PMXU68BT (Entry Level) 

Pyle PMXU68BT 6 channel mixer

The Pyle PMXU68BT features 4 mic inputs, all with separate phantom power and Hi-Z buttons on each channel.

Along with this, you will also get a stereo input on channels 5 and 6.

Something I find special about this mixer is the built-in Bluetooth mp3 player options on this device, that helps you to play music from your phone, computer, or pen drive into this unit.

It comes with some basic built-in effects like repeat, delay, and ratio to the main volume, just like its little brother PMXU48BT as well as the 2-mic pre-version of this series.

It’s a very nice and easy to use mixer that can be used for professional DJ studio applications, Audio Recording, and on-stage performances at a super affordable price.

Feature Highlights

  • 4 input channels
  • Bluetooth wireless connectivity for streaming audio from your phone or other compatible devices
  • XLR and 1/4″ inputs on each channel
  • Three-band EQ and individual channel mute switches
  • Aux send and return
  • USB flash drive and SD card readers for playing MP3 files
  • Built-in digital effects processor with 16 presets
  • Main mix, control room, and headphone outputs with separate level controls
  • LED level meters for monitoring signal levels
  • Durable metal construction with a sleek black finish
  • Ideal mixer for live sound reinforcement, recording, and podcasting applications.


  • Bluetooth wireless connectivity for streaming audio from mobile and other devices
  • USB flash drive and SD card reader compatibility
  • Durable metal construction
  • Lightweight and compact design


  • No audio interface

#10 Alesis Multimix 4 FX (Budget Mixer) 

Alexis Multimix 4 FX mixer

A very standard 4-channel mixer with 2 stereo inputs and outputs.

XLR/line inputs on channels 1 and 2 is nothing very fancy on this mixer, but it does the mixing job well for you. With an affordable price range that comes with a handful of built-in FX effects for you to choose from.

Alesis is known for its high-quality products at a very affordable price just like Behringer, although their product may often give you a plasticky, cheap feeling sometimes.

But I think that’s part of their strategy to aim for the lower-range market. They cut down the cost of the hardware material and give you a decent device at a very cheap price.

Feature Highlights

  • 4 input channels
  • XLR and 1/4″ inputs on each channel
  • Three-band EQ and mute switches on all channels
  • 15 built-in digital effects, including reverbs, delays, and choruses
  • High-resolution 24-bit audio interface for recording and playback
  • Main mix, headphone, and aux outputs with separate level controls
  • Input source selection for easy switching between connected devices
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and iOS devices


  • The compact and portable design makes it easy to transport
  • Onboard effects
  • In-built audio interface that can be connected via USB port
  • Easy-to-use and intuitive controls


  • Only basic mixing and effects capabilities
  • You will find a slight noise issue


All in all, the mixers that I have mentioned in this blog post will be great but only if you really know what you need in a mixer, and what kind of gear or instrument you want to use in your live set.

It also depends on, how much is your budget?

That’s all that really matters.

If this is your first time buying a live small mixer, a round-up like this could really help you save a lot of your time in browsing through the internet doing the research yourself, and avoid spending money on the wrong gear.

I hope you will find this guide useful and found the best mixer for your live performance, all the best! 

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Javen Yap is a music producer, composer and content creator from Malaysia. Making music is his passion, and he writes blog posts to share the knowledge and tips he picks up along the way. He has a website goodnoisemusic.com

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