Buyer's guide - Which Allen & Heath XONE mixer suits you best?

Allen & Heath’s Xone mixers have come a long way since their first model, the 464, which was a pretty big deal for club owners back in the days, as it allowed a lot of flexibility with its 6+4 channels. Xone mixers always had a different approach to DJ mixer technology.

For most of the time, they chose to make their mixers analogue, which resulted in fantastic sound quality, pleasantly warm even when slightly distorting. Instead of relying on built-in effects, even the entry level mixers give you the option to bring external effects units to your mix, so you can get creative with many types of guitar pedals or other effects.

Luckily, today we have a wide range of mixers to choose from, so no matter if you are a casual bedroom spinner, or a professional, Allen & Heath definitely has something for you.

Xone 23

Allen & Heat XONE 23 DJ Mixer

The Xone 23 is the entry-level Xone series mixer, with no-nonsense, just two channels with Phono and Line inputs, and a send/return channel. Although not a separate channel dedicated for effects such as on higher end models, it can be activated with the filter knob on each channel when the external effects channel is enabled.

Although an entry-level category, in terms of sound quality it surpasses many other high-end digital mixers, so if you are intending to go Xone, it is a highly viable option, and it also has a magnificent VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter) with resonance control, so you get the best features of a Xone mixer in a small package.

It is recommended especially for home users, but it is totally capable of rocking a party as well with the its 20 dB master output which is only 2 dB less than the Xone 92. It is a fantastic starting point to get into the Xone ecosystem with a minimum investment.

Xone 23C

Allen & Heat XONE 23 DJ Mixer

The 23C is the solution if the two-channel mixer is enough for you, but want to use it with software, like Traktor. It is also the way to go if you want a simple DVS setup, although be aware that in case you want to use it with timecode vinyl, you will have to install the DVS mod, and for this you will need to open up the top of the mixer.

The Xone 23C works plug & play with Traktor if you run it an Mac, on Windows you will have to install a driver to make it work (same applies for every Xone mixer with a soundcard).

Xone 43

Allen & Heat XONE 43DJ Mixer

If two channels are just not enough, the Xone 43 can serve you well with its 4 channels. As long as you have enough turntables or Dj Players. An additional feature is the DRY/WET knob on each channel which allows you to send the “Dry” signal to the external FX unit via the send channel, and bring back the “Wet” signal via the return channel. It has the same stunning VCF filter as the other Xone mixers, and it can be routed to each of the four channels.

Xone PX5

Allen & Heat XONE PX5 DJ Mixer

Mixing with software allows you to easily blend tracks on 3 or even 4 channels, so a 4 channel mixer with a built-in soundcard can make perfect sense, especially when it has the perfect sound quality as the Xone PX5. The PX5 intended to be an alternative to the 92, not only for those who want a built-in soundcard at the same price tag, but also some built in digital effects. These two features came at the expense of the 4-band EQ and the two filters per channel, so the PX5 is a 4-channel club mixer with 3-band EQ, and one filter which can be routed for each channel. 

It is rather an upgraded 43C, with a more professional look, than a serious alternative to the 92. The internal FX were inherited from the DB series, but were not too successful, DJs never really used it, and some of them, like the TAPE ECHO could easily blow your ears if it got into a feedback loop.

So instead of a serious alternative for clubs it ended up as a professional mixer for home use.

Xone 92

Allen & Heat XONE 92 DJ Mixer

The Xone 92 probably needs no introduction as it has been around for almost 20 years and it is still thriving in DJ booths around the world. With its 4-band EQ, 2x Send/Return channels, and two assignable VCF filters it is one of the very few DJ mixers on the market that made it without an upgrade for this much time. 

The only thing it does not have is the built-in soundcard, and this can give a hard time for software DJs who need to plug in with their laptops, but even with all the inconvenience, it was a favorite amongst software DJs for many years.

Even today with the Xone 96 available, some DJs still prefer to use an external soundcard. The Xone 92 is capable of doing super-smooth mixes if you learn how to use 4-band EQ properly. It is one of the most legendary DJ gear ever invented, alongside the Technics SL-1210 turntables, and the Sennheiser HD25 headphones.

Xone 96

Allen & Heat XONE 96 DJ Mixer

It took 15 years to make the courageous step of upgrading the Xone 92 with a built-in soundcard and a few extra features, such as the Dual Cue system, Crunch effect and Booth EQ. Not adding any extra gimmicks was a wise move from its manufacturers as it mostly maintained the feel of the 92, with a huge amount of convenience for DJs who use their laptops. 

The Xone 96 blends the best-in-class digital connectivity with Allen & Heath's signature analogue sound, making it the best Xone mixer you can get today, especially if you are mixing with software.

Due to its extensive connectivity, club owners and stage managers will love the 96 as it will keep the DJ booth clean from all the cables and other external gear.


As you can see, the Xone mixer line-up covers most of the different types of DJs, the only thing they never managed to deal with are scratch mixers, Xone mixers have a particularly bad reputation in the scratch community. Having said that, currently there are no other analogue mixers that stood the test of time as much as the Xone series did, and all of them from the 23 to the 96 have bulletproof build quality; no matter which one you buy, it will most likely serve you for many years as long as you treat it properly.

Choosing the right one will mostly depend on your budget, your needs as a DJ in terms of connectivity and your level of commitment to DJ-ing (probably the most important factor). Go for the lower end of the range (23 or 23C) if you are just starting out, or just want to mess around a bit with the Xone workflow and VCF filter.

If you feel like you are very committed to mixing and you want to do this long term, you might want to skip the mid-range (43 and PX5) and go for the 92 or 96. Even if they come at a higher price tag, you can count on these mixers for a very long time. If they fulfill your needs now, they will most likely do in the next 5 years as well.