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Top Of The Best Mixers Reviewed In 2018Last Updated November 1, 2018
№1 – MURENKING Stand Mixer MK36 500W 5-Qt 6-Speed Tilt-Head Kitchen Food Mixer with Accessories (Champagne)
№2 – Sunbeam FPSBHS0302 250-Watt 5-Speed Stand Mixer, Black
№3 – KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red
The Insider Pick
The best KitchenAid mixers serve as an indispensable tool as you bake cakes, pies, bread, cookies, and other delicious treats. They can knead the toughest dough for long periods of time, and they are versatile enough to make pasta and sausage. The KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield tops our list because it does all of these things and more.
Aside from the satisfaction of a job well done, making your own baked goods from scratch tastes better, is better for you, and it generally costs much less than buying products from the store. KitchenAid mixers make home baking a cinch.
Even if baking isn’t your thing, there are plenty of secondary uses for these mixers that make them well worth your money. If you have ever watched one of those prime-time cooking shows, you have likely noticed a KitchenAid mixer in the kitchen. They are the standard in the industry. Here are some things to consider when you are ready to ramp up your culinary experience.
Accessories and attachments
One of the aspects of KitchenAid mixers that sets them apart from the competition is the array of optional attachments and accessories available. Most of the attachments work with any of the company’s stand mixers. Here are a few of the most popular accessories:
In 20 to 30 minutes, this attachment will make up to two quarts of gelato, sorbet, or ice cream. Stainless steel cutters and rollers produce six-inch sheets of pasta with eight thickness settings and can be cut for fettuccine, spaghetti, and more. make sausage This attachment will shred, dice, julienne, and slice any vegetables, cheeses, and fruits.
Although there are a lot of similarities between models — including high-quality construction and a one-year warranty — not all KitchenAid mixers are the same. Based on our assessment of the reviews and ratings of thousands of buyers and experts, we have come up with recommendations that will guide you in choosing the best KitchenAid mixer for your needs.
Although the KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield is our top pick, for various reasons laid out in the slides below, you should also consider the KitchenAid K45SSOB 4.5-Quart Classic Series Stand Mixer, the KitchenAid Professional Plus Series Stand Mixer, the KitchenAid KP26M1XER Qt. Professional 600 Series Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer, and the KitchenAid KSM155GBSA 5-Qt. Artisan Design Series with Glass Bowl.
Why you’ll love it: The KitchenAid K45SSOB 4.5-Quart Classic Series Stand Mixer is the ideal mixer for beginner bakers since it is affordable and can handle most mixing tasks.
KitchenAid mixers are not cheap. Yet, the K45SS is the least expensive option available. It comes with a 4.5-quart bowl, a coated dough hook, 10-speed settings powered by a 250-watt motor, a wire whip, and a coated flat beater. And, as with other KitchenAid units, it has a multi purpose attachment hub that takes more than a dozen optional attachments that can be used to make pasta, grind meat, and much more.
Since the mixer has a relatively small motor, it is one of the quietest mixers you will find. You can control the speed using a shifting knob on the side of the unit. The K45SS does not have a slow start mixing option, so if you are mixing dry ingredients, such as flour, the fast start could send ingredients flying. You can combat this with a pouring shield, which this model does not come with, but you can
All of the expert reviews we looked at for this guide were positive.
Food processors are generally quite large in size but smaller than a stand mixer, and are available in different size capacities. They’re easy to use: simply feed food through the opening at the top of the machine and choose your speed setting.
Ideal for: chopping and slicing vegetables, particularly into small pieces for soups and sauces. A stand mixer may be more suitable if you’re looking to buy an appliance for mainly baking tasks.
Basic, cheaper hand blenders will only include the chopping blade while more advanced models may come with attachments for tasks such as whisking, chopping and mashing.
Ideal for: blending soup, sauces, smoothies and baby food. Whisk attachment can be used for whipping cream and beating egg while chopper blades are useful for shredding herbs, garlic, vegetables and nuts. Smaller than food processors and greater control when blending.
A hand mixer is a compact handheld appliance for mixing, whipping or whisking. It features twin beaters, and sometimes a dough hook and balloon whisk, which rotate to blend, stir, knead and whip ingredients.
They’re usually quite lightweight, easy to store away and relatively inexpensive compared to stand mixers.
Ideal for: gentle baking jobs like whipping cream, whisking egg whites and blending cake ingredients.
Jug blender and smoothie maker
Some blenders have a larger capacity, around 1.5-litres, making them an ideal choice for families. Personal blenders feature a smaller blending jug for one or two portions, which can also be used as a drinking cup when you’re on-the-go. These blenders may also have the ability to blend seeds, nuts and stalks as well as crushing ice.
Prices differ depending on power, speed and material and typically range from £20-£300. Plastic jugs are lighter for lifting and storing away, whilst glass jugs are heavier, more solid and less likely to get scratched. Blenders and smoothie makers take up less room than food processors and are generally easy to store away, if you don’t want to keep it on show.
Alesis MultiMix USB FX Audio Mixer
This fits your.
to make sure this fits.
4-channel mixer with stereo (2) 1/4″ inputs and stereo (2) 1/4″ outputs; 16-bit, 44.1/4kHz signal stereo in …
Focusrite Scarlett Solo Compact (1st GENERATION) USB Audio Interface • CHECK OUT THE NEW 2ND GENERATION MODEL BELOW
• Precision digital converters capture performance with studio-quality 24-bit resolution at sample rates of …
TASCAM US-364-In/6-Out or 6-In/4-Out USB Audio Interface • High-Quality HDDA (High Definition Discrete Architecture) Mic Pre-amps
• Up to 24bit/192kHz Recording Supported
• Two XLR/TRS (MIC/LINE) Inputs with Full …
Yamaha MG06X 6-Input Compact Stereo Mixer with Effects • “D-PRE” Mic preamps with an inverted Darlington circuit
• Metal chassis with XLR balanced outputs
• Built-in SPX digital effects
QSC TouchMix-Compact Digital Mixer with Bag • 1Full Function Inputs: Mic, Mic/Line (XLR/TRS Combo), Stereo line (TRS), USB 2-track
• Outputs: Aux (XLR), Stereo (TRS), Main R/L (XLR), …
Rolls MX4Stereo Mini Mixer
Mackie ProFX1Compact 4-Bus Mixer with USB & Effects • low-noise, high-headroom Mackie mic preamps with +50dB gain range
• Dedicated inline compression for critical inputs (Ch. 5-8)
• 32-bit RMFX processor …
Mackie Mix Series Mix5-Channel Mixer • 5‐channel compact mixer with proven high headroom
• mic/line input with studio‐level audio quality
• Dedicated stereo RCA inputs/outputs for playback or …
Mackie Mix Series Mix8-Channel Mixer • 8-channel compact mixer with proven high-headroom, low-noise performance
• mic/line inputs with studio-level audio quality, pan, level and overload …
Pyle PMX7BU Bluetooth 3-Channel DJ MPMixer, Mic-Talkover, USB Flash Reader, Dual RCA & Microphone Inputs, Headphone Jack • Built-in Bluetooth for Wireless Music Streaming, Works with All of Your Favorite Devices
• Works with iPhone, Android, Smartphones, iPad, Tablet, PC, …
Nady MM-24Stereo / Mono Channel Mini Mixer with mono/stereo mode, ¼” Inputs and outputs – battery powered, or use optional AC adapter • Eight mono ¼” inputs with individual volume control and two ¼” outputs with Master Volume Controls.
• Two modes of operation: In stereo mode, inputs …
BEHRINGER XENYX 50• Premium ultra-low noise, high headroom analog mixer
• State-of-the-art, phantom powered XENYX Mic Preamp comparable to stand-alone boutique …
Pyle 5-CHANNEL professional compact audio mixer with USB interface • 5-Channel DJ Console Controller Mixer with Audio USB Interface
• Built-in Rechargeable Battery – Independent Channel 2-Band Audio EQ & …
Hamilton Beach 6322All-Metal Stand Mixer
This Hamilton mixer is more powerful than the Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer with 400 watts of power and a 12-speed setting. It is built entirely of metal (aside from the pour shield), making it the most durable machine in our lineup.
A 4.qt locking stainless steel mixing bowl is paired with a locking mixer head which spins in one direction as it rotates in the opposite direction around the bowl, just like the Kitchenaid Artisan and other far more expensive commercial stand mixers.
Ships with mixing arms.
It is slightly larger than the other mixers reviewed here, and though it does have legs to stand on, customers report it can vibrate under certain conditions you aren’t holding it steady.
It is very well-priced for the build quality and features set, while perhaps not as versatile as the Kitchenaid Artisan mixer.
Pros: Crazy low price, proper mixer design and operation.
Bosch MUM6N10UC Universal Plus Stand Mixer, 800 watt, 6.5-Quarts
It looks like it would be more at home in a chemistry lab than a kitchen, but do not let the looks deceive you. Bosch Appliance has created a unique design, and this little machine can run circles around the competition.
The Bosch comes with two types of mixing arms, and many optional accessories.
This is the mixer you want if you are looking to do some heavy duty mixing. Especially if bread is your baking preference.
With its high power motor offering 800 watts, you can knead really large quantities of dough at a time free of worry.
Aside from the high wattage, this Bosch model is quite light (12.pounds), and won’t rock back and forth when you leave it alone. With this machine, the work will come when it is time to clean it.
Because of its unique design, there is more parts to clean requiring a little extra clean-up time after each use. Overall, this is the most capable machine in the line-up, and by far the most expensive.
A stand mixer is a great way to take your baking game to the next level, and for the third year running we’ve found that the 5-quart KitchenAid Artisan is the best mixer for the home baker. Not only did it cream butter and sugar for cookies and whip up a genoise cake batter more effectively than nearly every other model we tried, but it also effortlessly kneaded whole-wheat bread dough without straining or walking around on the countertop (a common issue with other mixers). For this update we looked for new models that could compete with the Artisan, but ultimately we found that it’s still the absolute best for its performance, versatility, and price.
In an earlier version of this guide, we said KitchenAid offered an S-shaped hook for the Artisan mixer. This was a mistake. The S-hook, or the PowerKnead Spiral Dough Hook, is available only for our runner-up pick, the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series, and other bowl-lift models.
Although we weren’t completely surprised to see a KitchenAid mixer come out on top, we did think the competition would fare a little better. But after going through more than 1hours of research, consulting mixing experts, performing 30 hours of side-by-side testing on six stand mixers and two hand mixers, and doing two years of long-term testing, we can definitively say that the brand that rolled out the first tabletop mixer in 191is still the best. Sometimes you really can’t beat a classic.
Why you should trust me
I have worked with stand mixers during the course of my 18-year career in restaurants, catering kitchens, and test kitchens. Even though large Hobart mixers are common in commercial kitchens, many kitchens also use a countertop mixer for smaller jobs. Restaurants and catering kitchens commonly use a KitchenAid for grinding meat, rolling pasta, or mixing test batches of dough for recipe development. I’ve used mixers in every condition—from brand-new to on its last legs—and I’ve even had to work with one that would shock you if your hands were the least bit moist.
For the right person, a good mixer can be a total game changer in the kitchen.
A good stand mixer will make your baking (and cooking) life a lot easier. If you bake regularly and have been struggling with a low-grade stand mixer, an aging hand-me-down from a relative, or a hand mixer, you might want to consider upgrading. For the right person, a good mixer can be a total game changer in the kitchen. A well-made stand mixer can turn out loaves of rustic bread, moist cake layers, and dozens upon dozens of cookies. It can make quick work of whipping egg whites into meringue and heavy cream into an airy dessert topping. Great mixers have power hubs for extra accessories that can roll out pasta dough, grind meat, and even churn ice cream.
If you’re going to invest in one of these babies, you should be looking to use it two or three times a week, but that shouldn’t be difficult given how versatile a good mixer can be. A stand mixer also frees up time in the kitchen because you can turn it on and step away to prep for the next step in your recipe.
For bigger batches
With a bigger mixing bowl and footprint, this mixer is best left on the countertop. It isn’t as good as the Artisan at smaller jobs, but it is excellent at mixing heavy doughs and batters.
Although we think the Artisan is the best mixer for home use, the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer is a formidable appliance, particularly if you bake hearty batches of bread. A big mixer with a big footprint, it’s significantly louder than our top pick, and it’s the kind of machine that permanently lives on the countertop.
I’ve used this mixer for more than 1years in restaurant and test kitchens, and it’s a taskmaster designed to tackle big jobs. The bowl clips into the sides and back and lifts into the head attachment instead of twisting into the base as with the other models. The heavy-duty motor easily made quick work of almost all the test batches we put this model through, but the larger bowl proved to be a liability on our test with a single egg white, where the whip didn’t even make contact. But this mixer isn’t for whipping one egg white—it’s best for large batches of dough. The spacious 6-quart bowl yields more loaves per batch, and the S-shaped PowerKnead hook is better at keeping dough in the bowl and not up around the gear and spring.
I will say the biggest fault of the Professional 600 Series is the noise. I’ve been working with this model for years, and I never realized how loud it was until I used it in the quiet serenity of my own home. Consumer Reports docked it for excessive noise, and until I used it I couldn’t understand why. It was by far and away the loudest, highest-pitched mixer in the testing lineup, so much so that my cat stood up and took notice. That being said, this machine is a beast, in a good way. If you’re making lots of bread and thick doughs, say, four or five times a week, get this thing. If not, it’s too much mixer for you.
In 2016, KitchenAid unveiled the Artisan Mini stand mixer. We tested this smaller version of the classic Artisan and found its size restrictive. The Mini’s 3½-quart bowl was too small for us to finish a batch of Kitchen Sink Cookies. The bowl also doesn’t have a handle, so tasks like scooping cookie dough, or dividing cake batter between pans (if you can make enough batter for more than one layer) are precarious. Although the Mini is about 20 percent smaller than the full-size Artisan, it didn’t save a significant amount of space on our counter. The Mini Artisan measures 11¾ by 7⅜ by 1inches (deep, wide, tall). By contrast, the classic Artisan mixer measures 13¼ by 8⅜ by 13¾ inches.
The Artisan Mini is super cute, and the aesthetic appeal isn’t lost on us. If looks are important to you, and you don’t mind the limitations of the bowl, get this teacup version of the popular Artisan. But if you have a small kitchen and need to do some serious baking from time to time, we suggest clearing some space for a regular Artisan or just getting a powerful hand mixer.
We found the 3½-quart bowl on the Artisan Mini (left) restrictive. It doesn’t hold a full batch of cookies, like the the 5-quart handled bowl on the regular Artisan (right) does.
The Artisan Mini (bottom) is about 20 percent smaller than the full-size Artisan (top). But we didn’t find it saved a significant amount of countertop space.
The 3½-quart bowl couldn’t accommodate the cookie recipe we used to test all the mixers in this guide.
With no handle to grip, I had to hold the bowl close to my body, which resulted in cookie dough on my shirt.
The Cuisinart SM-55½-Quart Stand Mixer held its own with the bread test and made a lofty cake and cups of fluffy white frosting. What it couldn’t handle was the thick, chunky cookie dough. Once we added the mix-ins, the paddle pushed all the dough up the sides. Since the splash guard snaps in, instead of the rogue dough spinning the plastic disc around as with other models, the dough lodged itself in the hole of the pouring guide. The small handles attached to the lip of the bowl aren’t ideal either. While the placement makes for a snug fit in a double boiler (and the thin, tapered bowl makes for easy whisking), the handles are pretty much useless when you’re pouring cake batter or scooping cookie dough. A high note for this mixer, though, is that it was the only mixer in the lineup, aside from our pick, the Artisan, that whipped one egg white and ½ cup of cream. It has three power hubs for extra accessories and a built-in timer, which is nice.
I really wanted the Kenmore Elite Stand Mixer to be better than it turned out to be. It looked so good on paper! It has two bowls, a 3-quart and a 5-quart, plus all of the usual attachments. It comes with a five-year warranty, and its power hub accepts KitchenAid accessories. But the automatic head-locking mechanism drove me batty because raising and lowering the head took two hands. Even worse, this model strained and rocked back and forth while kneading bread, and when it tried to turn thick cookie dough, the paddle pushed the dough up the sides, sending the splash guard spinning around the bowl.
The KitchenAid Architect Series 9-Speed Hand Mixer was in the running as our occasional-use option. It surpassed my admittedly low expectations while making bread dough, and it turned thick cookie dough fairly well. But its weak spot is whipping: The genoise cake sank in the middle, and the frosting recipe that was supposed to yield cups yielded only 4.
The accompanying accessories
A good stand mixer should come complete with the necessary accessories such as the bowls, the grinders, the whipping sticks among others. The bowl is particularly very important. Apart from its obvious use of holding the output dripping out from the mixer, it can also be used to store the mixture in the refrigerator. It is common knowledge that food that is left in the open for long hours can easily go bad.
The other why you should be sure that the accompanying accessories are actually available as part of the package is because purchasing the accessories separately, such as the meat grinder, can be costly.
Mode of operation
You should be able to do other things within the house even while your mixer is busy slapping your fruit salad into a delicious cocktail. This is can only happen if the mixer has the auto time feature. This feature is very essential for the caregivers who have a knack for multitasking. In short, you should decide whether you like it when your gadget is working on auto pilot or you would rather watch as the transformation happens with food. However how you look at it, an auto timer gives you convenience, standardised mixtures and a safety measure all within a single functionality.
User friendliness is a critical consideration no matter the home electronic gadget in question. So, a good stand mixer should be user friendly in order for its full potential to be realised. Even though many mixers produce low sound when in use, many low standard mixers produce a lot of noise that irritates. In fact, in certain instances, people will take a small break off their work due to the uncontrollable noise made by these kinds of mixers.
Sometimes, the mixers do vibrate so vigorously that they might slide off the counter top to the floor. Even though the vigorous shaking might be construed to be a sign of great power, it might actually be a danger to the users. Moreover, the frequent falls due to the vibrations might shorten the mixers life span. In view of the above reasons, user friendliness is a factor that cannot be brushed away that lightly.
Functions & Accessories
There are three different areas to consider within this criterion.
Firstly, what mixing attachments does it come with? All machines will come with an egg whisk, a dough hook and a metal beater, but a flexible beater with a rubber edge will come in very handy for dealing with sticky mixtures. A removable splash guard that covers the whole of the bowl is also a useful feature to reduce mess and for ease of cleaning.
These extras greatly add to the overall performance of your mixer. The kind of attachments you’ll want depends on what functions your hand mixer will be doing most. For example, if you’re baking bread a lot, dough hooks are a must. The basic beaters usually do the simplest mixing tasks well enough. Look for attachments with long arms, to prevent splattering and to make sure you can mix all ingredients thoroughly.
A Strong Motor
You will want a mixer with a minimum wattage power of 17However, where it comes to wattage, it’s best to rely on testimonies of those who have used your particular model before. A good hand mixer should be strong enough to handle bread dough or thick cookie batter without whining, straining or smoking.
KitchenAid Classic Tilt-Head Stand Mixers
The details on this model: This unit has a 4.5-quart capacity and offers a tilt-up top that allows for easy access.
Why a KitchenAid tilt-head stand mixer?: Easy-to-use design, the durability that makes these stand mixers long-lasting, and a more accessible price than the other models.
This stand mixer is the direct descendant of the Model K, the model that introduced the world to that patented design. It comes with a great price that makes it an affordable entry into the world of KitchenAid mixers.
A heavy base anchors the unit to the counter, while the motor sits above in the head. The top part of this mixer tilts up, allowing for access to the beater for easy cleaning, loading, or removal of the bowl, and plenty of room for adding ingredients. The head can then be locked back into place when you’re ready to crank the motor up.
This model comes standard with a 4.5-quart stainless steel bowl, while the Artisan and Artisan Design mixers come with 5-quart bowls. All the bowls lock into place to help you achieve consistent mixing.
To ensure complete mixing action, KitchenAid designed these with a planetary mixing action rotated by a powerful motor that has speed controls, spinning the beater clockwise as the shaft moves counterclockwise. That allows the beater to spiral to 5touch points within the bowl, ensuring full incorporation of all ingredients.
Classic tilt-head stand mixer bowls, beaters, and dough hooks are all dishwasher safe, while included whips must be hand washed.
KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixers
The details on these models: Five-quart stainless bowls with handles, powerful high-performance motors, and a rainbow of colors make the Artisan stand mixers an attractive option.
Why KitchenAid Artisan stand mixers?: Innovative planetary action that ensures even mixing, many color options to make it your own, and a bowl handle for easy moving.
KitchenAid Artisan Series models are both rugged and beautiful, with all-metal construction that can stand up to regular usage for years and a palette of colors options. They also include a high-polish, stainless-steel bowl that has an easy-to-grip handle, making moving your mixture a snap.
With a large 5-quart capacity and a high-performance motor, an Artisan Series mixer can handle mixtures that include as much as nine cups of flour. That means it’s capable of producing enough dough for four and a half loaves of bread or dozen cookies in a single batch. Similar to the classic tilt-head stand mixers, these models allow for the top of the unit to lift out of the way for easy access to the bowl, which locks securely into place in the solid base.
KitchenAid Artisan stand mixers have a revolutionary planetary mixing action that sends the beater spinning clockwise while the shaft turns in the opposite direction. That means the entire bowl is involved in the process, leaving no opportunity for unmixed ingredients.
Included with every one of these models are a beater and dough hook, both of which are covered with a white enamel coating that makes them dishwasher safe. An also-included metal-finish whip needs to be washed by hand.
Those three attachments, which come with all KitchenAid stand mixers, enable you to get even, consistent results whether you’re making a meringue with the wire whip, a cake batter with the beater, or the makings of a loaf of bread with the dough hook.
KitchenAid Artisan Design Stand Mixers
The details on these models: Elegant design with a 5-quart glass mixing bowl that is microwave safe.
Why KitchenAid Artisan Design stand mixers?: An innovative glass bowl design that allows you to measure as you go thanks to markings on the side, see your ingredients to ensure even mixing, and move seamlessly from mixer to microwave when needed.
The KitchenAid Artisan Design Series brings all the benefits of the other models and adds a glass bowl that makes it even easier to use. Markings on the side allow for measurement as you go, while the clear glass helps ensure even mixing. This construction also allows the bowl to go in the microwave, which is a big plus if you have butter or chocolate to melt, or cream cheese to soften.
These KitchenAid stand mixers have high-performance motors with speed options, sturdy metal construction, and bowl locks. You also get the planetary mixing action that spins the beaters clockwise as the shaft moves counterclockwise, hitting 5touch points in the bowl.
KitchenAid Artisan Design stand mixers are available from KaTom in several colors, including sugar pearl, raspberry, azure blue, and apple red.
KitchenAid Professional 600 Series Stand Mixers
The details on these models: A super-sized 6-quart bowl, a lift that allows you to easily work with heavy mixtures, and a motor that can power through those.
Why KitchenAid Professional 600 Series stand mixers?: These bowl-lift stand mixers provide professional results at home, for the home chef who really wants to expand the menu.
These are the workhorses of the legendary KitchenAid stand mixer collection. The most obvious difference between them and the other models is the size of the stainless steel mixing bowl – a hefty quarts. That offers room for big recipes, while a super-charged motor can handle mixtures that include as much as 1cups of flour. That enables you to produce enough dough for more than eight loaves of bread or 1dozen cookies at once.
KitchenAid Professional 600 Series stand mixers have, as the name implies, a mechanism that raises the bowl to the level of the beater with the lifting of a lever. The fact the bowl otherwise sits considerably below the mixing arm means it’s not in the way when you’re adding ingredients.
These Professional 600 Series stand mixers have even more impressive features than the other models. They can reach 6touch points within the bowl, still with the planetary action that sends the parts working in different directions for even mixing.
KitchenAid Ultra Power
The details on this model: This series includes a powerful 250-watt motor, and rugged, burnished steel dough hook, flat beater, and wire whip.
Why KitchenAid Ultra Power stand mixers?: The Ultra Power mixer features the same tilt-head design and styling as the Classic series, but with a more powerful motor and the inclusion of heavy-duty burnished steel agitators.
The KitchenAid Ultra Power Line is essentially a beefed-up version of their Classic mixer. It’s built with a more powerful motor that can handle dense ingredients. The included burnished steel attachments feature a smooth finish that facilitates cleaning and makes for a long life.
This line of KitchenAid stand mixers features a 4.5-quart bowl that can accommodate more than six dozen cookies or three loaves of bread per batch. Its reliable planetary mixing action hits 5touchpoints around the bowl per rotation to create a thorough mixture, while speed controls include optimal settings for stirring, slow mixing, beating, creaming, and whipping.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer Attachments
The thing that made these stand mixers the true standard in kitchens around the world is the attachments. Every model, from classic tilt-head to Professional 600, from Artisan to Artisan Design, includes a hub on the front of the mixer head that can play host to dozens of extremely useful KitchenAid attachments. Those range from meat grinders to juicers to pasta makers.
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In this buyer’s guide we’ll be addressing three basic types of audio mixers:
Since many mixers support both live sound and recording functions, the distinction between these two types isn’t always clear. Today there are numerous audio mixers that will meet both your onstage and recording needs.
Mixer Terminology—The Basics
As you shop for a mixer, you’ll run across terms that may be unfamiliar. To help you decipher the specs and features you’ll be reading about, we offer the following glossary that’ll help you navigate through all that information.
A channel insert allows you to connect external sound processors like compressors and equalizers to specific channels, usually after the preamp stage of the channel. On larger mixers there may be a patch bay that allows connection of numerous external devices.
Using the cue system you can listen in on selected channels without affecting the mixer’s output. Usually the signal is fed to a headphone amplifier or monitor speakers. Cue systems usually allow listening to the signal either before or after the fader has affected it. Pre-fader listening, abbreviated as PFL, lets you hear the original signal without sending it to a signal mix. After-fader listening (AFL) allows you to isolate the fader-affected signal, which is handy for troubleshooting signals. Some larger mixers have a Solo In Place (SIP) function that silences every channel other than the one being sampled, a useful feature when doing sound checks.
For instant changes to signal routing, flexible and extensive signal dynamics, and an amazing array of effects possibilities, a digital mixer is hard to beat. With the touch of a button, preprogrammed routing and effects can be triggered that would be impossible for even a talented octopus to accomplish on an analog audio mixer! Some digital boards are compatible with software plug-ins that extend their tone-shaping capabilities even further. They also can ride herd on dreaded feedback, preventing the howls and squeals before they even start. Another nice feature is automatic gating that silences channels with little or no signal passing through them.
The 16-channel Mackie DL1608L Digital Mixer is equipped with a Lightning connector for iPad control.
The PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2AI digital mixer stores setups for instant recall, includes a bundle of tightly integrated software,and its advanced I/O options will handle just about any recording/performing scenario.
One potential downside of digital mixers grows out of their versatility. Their enormous flexibility comes with a price: The learning curve for mastering all the possibilities your mixer offers can be steep. That said, like any complex digital device, it’s usually not essential to learn every function—the ability to save the settings and configure the interface to your needs can help you cut through its complexity.
Soundcraft’s Si Expression digital mixer uses an intuitive color-coded interface to help navigate its extensive functions and features while delivering classic British EQ and mic preamp technology.
How well the user interface is designed will make a big difference in how quickly you can master the functions you need to know. Talking to fellow mixer users, hanging out on pro audio forums, reading reviews, and checking out demos and tutorials will help you find the mixers that offer a gentler learning curve.
If you’re looking for a mixer to handle your live performances and your main and monitor speakers are unpowered, a powered mixer eliminates the need to transport and set up separate power amplifiers to drive them. Powered audio mixers are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations. They can handle everything from a solo acoustic singer-guitarist using one or two mics, an acoustic-electric guitar, and modestly sized speakers, to a full-blown band with a full array of mics, electric instruments, and hefty main and monitor speakers.
Phonic’s Powerpod 740 Plus 2X220W 7-Channel Powered Mixer has dual 220W amps to drive PA speakers, dual 7-band graphic EQ, 1high-definition digital effects; stereo RCA I/O with trim control for digital media, rumble filters and phantom power supply.
Powered mixers offer most of the bells and whistles you’ll find on unpowered mixers in terms of routing options, effects processing, EQing, and much more. As with any mixer purchase, you’ll need to calculate the total inputs and outputs you need as well as the necessary power to drive your PA speaker cabinets and stage monitors.
The Peavey XR 8600D Powered Mixer has a pair of 600W Class D amps for powering main and monitor speakers, mic preamps, and line inputs.
Since most solo acts and bands that play in smaller venues must deal with their own sound engineering, ease of use is an important consideration. In recent years, integrated PA systems have entered the market that contain all the elements—speakers, mixer, and power amplifier—in one portable unit.
With their multiple turntables and/or CD players, DJs have a unique set of mixing needs to keep their music flowing seamlessly. DJ mixers are specially configured to meet those needs with the right inputs to handle DJ gear and integrate with PAs and club sound systems.
You’ll find DJ mixers vary considerably in their capabilities. Simple, low-cost units may have just two or three inputs and outputs and offer basic EQ/volume controls and crossfader operations that allow mixing the output of a couple turntables or CD players. More sophisticated DJ mixers add features such as kill switches for instant control over certain frequencies, hamster switches that reverse crossfader channel operation, and metering that displays clipping (distortion) and output levels. Mic inputs and talkover switches allow the DJ to easily communicate with the audience.
The Allen & Heath XONE:4DJ Mixeris a 4+channel DJ mixer that offers the very best of analogue audio quality, including the legendary Xone filter with resonance control, band EQ, crossfader with three curve settings and X:FX for send/return to your favourite FX unit.
The most sophisticated DJ mixers allow connection of laptop computers and integrate with DJ software applications that extend the mixer’s capabilities.Top-end DJ mixers provide sophisticated EQ controls, the addition of dozens of effects, beat slicing and dicing, and even video and light control.
Since the crossfaders on a DJ mixer take a beating, their replaceability is an important consideration.
The TRAKTOR KONTROL ZDJ mixer from Native Instruments is tightly integrated with the company’s TRAKTOR software to offer + channel control delivering standalone mixer channels plus remix deck channels.
As with any other mixer type, choosing the right DJ mixer is a process of considering the I/O you need, the functions that are critical to your show, and your budget.
Things to Look for When Shopping for a Mixer
If you’ve explored Musician’s Friend’s huge selection of mixing gear, you know there are a lot of possibilities out there. Beside the obvious question of your budget, here is a checklist of things to consider as you narrow down that selection of mixers to a short list of those best suited to your situation.
Application: Will you be using your mixer to record, play live, or both? If you want to use it exclusively for recording, mic preamp quality, and the ability to connect external processors are important factors.
For live-sound use, you’ll want to be sure the mixer is compatible with your existing sound system and offers enough connectivity and sound processing to handle your entire band. (See I/O and Channels below for more on this.) Ruggedness is important too—flimsily built mixers won’t handle the rigors of the road for long.
I/O and Channels: Consider how many mics you need to connect. (A miked drum kit can use up five or more inputs all by itself.) If you plan to use condenser mics, you’ll need mic inputs that supply phantom power for them. Also, if your band includes stereo keyboards and other such instruments, you’ll want enough stereo channels to accommodate them. If you plan to connect guitars or basses directly to the mixer, you’ll need sufficient direct inputs for them too. It’s always best to allow headroom by getting more I/O and channels than you currently need. Bands have a habit of growing in terms of both players and gear over time.
Buses and Signal Routing: These functions may be more important where recording is concerned. If you use a lot special-purpose mixes such as feeds to recording gear, monitors, headphones, and external effects mixes, you will need more routing flexibility and signal paths.
EQ Capabilities. How sophisticated are your EQ needs? Generally, studio recording requires finer tweaking of sound to sweeten your mix. Multiband parametric equalizers may be needed to achieve the level of sound quality you want. On the other hand, for simpler live-sound mixing, simple control over bass, mid, and high frequencies is all that’s needed.
Effects and Other Sound Processors: Do you rely on external mic preamps, effects pedals, and other tone tweaking gear to produce the sound you want ahead of the mixer? If so, internal mixer effects and sound processors are less critical. On the other hand, a mixer with onboard effects and sound processing makes for a very portable setup when playing live.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Mixers wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Mixers
- №1 — MURENKING Stand Mixer MK36 500W 5-Qt 6-Speed Tilt-Head Kitchen Food Mixer with Accessories (Champagne)
- №2 — Sunbeam FPSBHS0302 250-Watt 5-Speed Stand Mixer, Black
- №3 — KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red