Thursday, October 11, 2018

Radial Engineering Presenter Compact Mixer Review

Aloha!

I saw the Radial Engineering Presenter at the Winter NAMM show earlier this year and thought it was a pretty neat solution for people who conduct training classes or hold a lot of meetings. This product is a small mixer that provides mic, 3.5mm and USB inputs, as well as a couple of speaker outs.

According to Radial: “The USB input on the Presenter allows for direct connection to a laptop for high quality audio playback, perfect for presentations that include digital audio files, or for DJ applications. This connection also provides power for the Presenter, eliminating the need to carry around a separate power adaptor. For connection to mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets, a 3.5mm stereo input jack is included on the front of the unit, and can be adjusted using the program level control. The XLR microphone input is paired with low and high EQ controls to tailor the frequency response, along with a low cut filter that rolls off excessive low end.

Both the microphone and the playback signals are mixed to stereo XLR balanced outputs, which can be connected directly to a PA system or a pair of powered speakers. A mono switch is provided if only one speaker is needed, and a ground lift ensures that the output signal is clean and free of buzz or hum from ground loops.”

Well, they are not lying. The Presenter is small and packed with features in its 14-gauge steel box. Pretty much everything you need to do can be accomplished with the single XLR , USB type-B and 3.5 mm TRS inputs, and there are a pair of XLR outs. There is even a port where you can install a laptop lock so it is harder for this mixer to disappear.

To use it, both the microphone and the playback signals are mixed to stereo XLR balanced outputs, which can be connected directly to a PA system or a pair of powered speakers. A mono switch is provided if only one speaker is needed, and a ground lift ensures that the output signal is clean and free of buzz or hum from ground loops. The presenter can be powered with a power supply (not included), or by a laptop over USB. One downside is that only laptop or a 3.5mm input at any one time, which seems like a pretty major disadvantage when giving a presentation. On the plus side, the Presenter can be used as a USB recording interface, so lectures can be recorded for later use.

Radial Engineering is a quality company that makes good stuff, and their products are priced accordingly, meaning that the Presenter comes in at $299 (street price). This is a lot of cash for a small mixing board, and if you look around there are a lot of mixers under $100 that have all of these features (including the USB) and more. This one would be a hard sale for me…

Mahalo!

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