Midas M32 vs Behringer X32

In the days of old, when you compared products with different brand names, it was safe to assume they came from different companies. Not anymore. Corporate consolidation has put an end to that.

So just for the record, when we compare the Midas M32 with the Behringer X32, we’re actually comparing the Music Tribe M32 with the Music Tribe X32. As Music Tribe owns both imprimaturs. 

That said, these two have been dueling it out for the affection of audiophiles since the M32 hit the market about 6 years ago. And opinions regarding the superiority of one over the other tend to focus on which is actually the better value.

Rather than which is the more capable mixer. In this guide, we’re going to look at both aspects of these digital consoles and try to determine which is the smarter purchase.

You Get More But You Pay More 

Midas M32 

Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The M32 was late to the ball, but they made a power entrance that has turned a lot of heads. When most people think of Midas boards, they envision the $100,000 consoles they have at Abbey Road Studios. But is this “discount” Midas console capable of vanquishing the X32?

More Than a Sentimental Favorite 

Behringer X32 

Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Feature-rich and affordable, the Behringer X32 is arguably the most popular mixing console there has ever been. With 32 mic preamps (hence the name), 16 XLR outputs and half a dozen aux inputs, it’s ready for anything.

Midas M32 vs Behringer X32

The most common argument in favor of the X32 is that it’s such an exceptional value. And that’s true. It is. But does that mean it’s the best digital mixer for your recording studio, theater or club? Or will you wind up banging your head against the wall due to its limitations?

There’s only one way to find out. Test those limitations.

What We Wanted to Know

When it comes to determining which console would make a better addition to your recording studio, “value” is a potentially problematic consideration. After all, you’re not buying disposable razors. You’re looking for a board that will empower your creativity.

As such, compromises for the sake of value could end up holding you back. So, when we looked at these boards, these are some of the things we wanted to know:

The Specs

First a quick breakdown of the technical specs of both digital mixers:

M32’s Reasonable Price

Something we neglected to mention above is that the reason Midas can afford to offer their M32 at what is (for them anyway) the very reasonable price of $5,000 is that it’s built almost entirely on X32 technology. So they didn’t have to do most of the R&D.

Once Music Tribe acquired both companies, they took the basic components of the X32 to create the foundation for the M32. And they then expanded on that foundation with real Midas Pro preamps, carbon fiber construction, and other features.

So the fact is, the two boards share a host of common features. Too many in fact to list here. But we’ll take a look at one for the sake of probity.

Common Features: 0.8 ms Latency

 

Midas M32

We had to pick something, so why not the fact that both digital consoles produce the same 0.8 ms latency? Since both share the same acceptable level of latency it comes down to what audio product sounds better? That would be the M32.

Behringer X32 

The reason the two boards share the same 0.8 ms latency is because they share most of the same firmware. Where the rubber hits the road is with the Midas preamps. Which the X32 doesn’t have.

Winner: Midas M32 

They may share the same 0.8 ms latency, but the sound that finally reaches your ears just doesn’t sound as warm and natural coming out of the X32.

Which one are you leaning towards?

Midas Digital Console for Live and Studio with 40 Input Channels, 32...
  • Live performance and studio recording digital console with up to 40 simultaneous input channels
  • 32 award-winning Midas PRO microphone preamplifiers
  • 25 time-aligned and phase-coherent mix buses

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

BEHRINGER, 32 40-Input 25-Bus Digital Mixing Console, Black (X32)
  • 40-input channel, 25-bus digital mixing console for Studio and Live application
  • 32 MIDAS-designed, fully programmable mic preamps for audiophile sound quality
  • 25 Fully automated motorized 100 mm faders allow for instant overview, powerful scene management and DAW

Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Unique Features: Midas M32

Midas Pro Preamps 

Although they share a lot of the same software and other characteristics, one thing that truly sets the two boards apart are the preamps.

The M32 features 32 Midas preamps. They produce a wonderfully precise sound with just the right amount of warmth. The “Midas inspired” preamps in the X32 can’t compete.

Console Design

This didn’t get into our feature list above, but it’s actually a pretty big deal. The M32 console angles up sharply about halfway back. This makes access to things like the equalizer and bus controls much, much easier. This can potentially save you a lot of headaches and a lot of retakes.

Unique Features: Behringer X32

X-USB Interface Card 

This feature allows the X32 to be fully compatible with many of the most popular DAWs out there today, including Studio One, Pro Tools, DP and many more.

The Weight 

The X32 weighs only about one-third as much as the Midas M32. Physically, it’s also quite a bit smaller. This makes the X32 a truly portable, rack-mountable board you can slip under your arm and take anywhere. Something you wouldn’t think of doing with the M32.

Winner: Midas M32

Sorry X32 fans, but this just isn’t a fair fight. The M32 blows the X32 out of the water with the quality of its preamps and its much more user-friendly design. And we didn’t even mention the superior materials.

Midas M32 vs Behringer X32: Pros and Cons

Each of these consoles have their pros and cons. Check them out below to decide which one is the better choice for you.

Pros of the Midas M32

Cons of the Midas M32

Pros of the Behringer X32

Cons of the Behringer X32

Final Verdict

If you are intent on setting up a professional recording studio, it only makes sense to do it right. And the Midas M32 is clearly the superior machine.

So instead of buying something now that will only need to be upgraded a year from now, it makes sense to bite the financial bullet and get the M32.

If, however, your aspirations are more modest, the X32 will answer the call for you and then some.