A sound mixer is one of those gadgets you’d imagine to cost a bomb. Well, not anymore, when you can find them on Taobao. I would presume not many people need a sound mixer for use in a home setting, and the two use cases i can think of are music production and hosting of events. My use case is the latter.
Being a complete newbie to sound mixers, and i learned some important concepts while researching sound mixers on Taobao. A mixer is called 调音台 and channels are enumerated by the term 路. Reverberation or effects (delay and repeat) is called 混响. Each channel is mono. Most mixers have just one stereo input and it is counted as two channels. Except the most basic mixers, most mixers come with a USB input that allows you to play tracks from a USB storage device. Some also come with Bluetooth input to allow you to play audio from your mobile devices.
The mixer with the most bang for buck that met my requirements is the EAROBE F8, costing 359 Yuan (S$72). It has ten channels – 6 mono channels and 2 stereo. I like the fact that it has 2 instead of just a single stereo channel, which is the case for all other mixers. This is the deciding factor for me. It gives the flexibility of plugging in two AV audio sources at the same time, which i might need. This mixer also comes with USB and Bluetooth, and even provides a remote control for the USB/Bluetooth volume control and to select the USB playback track.
The other two mixers i have considered are the CT6 (upgraded version) (380 Yuan or S$76) and the F7 (Bluetooth version) (298 Yuan or S$60). They both have almost identical features, except the CT6 also comes with a 5 band equalizer. Not a big deal to me, and not worth the additional S$16 in my opinion. Interestingly, the F7 uses a logo which says “Soundcraft” (which is a reputable brand for mixers), but i doubt it’s the real deal.
In any case, i think either of these two mixers are also well worth getting. Compared to the EAROBE F8, they have the additional feature of AUX Send and Effect outputs as one would expect of a typical mixer. Not that i know how to make use of these (likely the case for most people too), though.
I have not yet gotten hold of the mixer, but once i do, i will provide a review update here.
Update 8 Feb 2019: Okay, i have just set up the mixer, and everything works as advertised (except i did not try playback from USB). For someone who is not an audiophile like myself, there is no discernible degradation to the sound quality. Happy.