My friend was looking for a small mixer on a budget to work with his vocal chain and synth live. He ended up buying a Xenyx 802 piece from Behringer, I had the opportunity to use now and then.
The two mic pres on this unit are pretty solid. Clean, transparent, with more headroom than I expected. Not comparable to anything found in good external gear built for that purpose, but had pretty decent results with both vocal and acoustic guitar. Mics can be phantom powered, unfortunately either both or none at all.
Two mono channels with mic pres have their own eq chain, whereas line inputs 3/4 and 5/6 are paired in stereo and cannot be operated independently. The eq is basic, with three knobs for lows, mids and highs (lows and mids are shelving filters, whereas mids is a peak filter centered at 2.5k) – I like the sound, but it certainly lacks flexibility. Most of the time I was eq-ing later.
There is a basic FX send functionality with AUX returns to send signal from the mixer to the external equipment, the functionality is very basic though. There is a single mono FX send output derived from all channels post-fader, which can be in turn brought back using AUX returns. No per-channel inserts, unfortunately – not this tier of hardware.
Mains and control room outs can be controlled independently. There is also headphones out, controlled via the same pot as the control room outs. A nice additional feature are unbalanced RCA inputs to connect additional sound source, such as a CD player, as well as unbalanced RCA outputs sync’d with mains outs to connect an additional recording device.
The build quality is ok, but nothing special. Front plate is metal, everything else is plastic. Knobs work fine and are not loose, though the unit never had been used very heavily. I certainly dislike the lack of power switch, and kind of wobbly power connector.
Heavy duty? No. Feature rich? No. Bang for a buck? Yes, would buy it again.