I am a bass player who is considering purchasing one of these. At a first sight, the Xenyx is just like a better U2, with more channels a controls. Is there any reason why it would be better to get the U2 instead?


pre-existing material:

  • two passive bass guitars
  • a Laney RBW200 amp, with a D.I. XLR out and an effects loop, but no headphones out.
  • a VOX AC1 Rhythmbox Bass mini amp, with a noisy output an with a very low volume headphones-out.
  • my cellphone, from which I use to play backing tracks and rhythm loops

I plan to use the new acquisition for the following use cases:

  • the new acquisition as stand-alone headphone amp with backing track, with bass directly plugged in into one input and backing track into the other;

  • the same as before, but with my bass-amp (which has a XLR D.I. out) in between the bass and the new acquisition through an XLR cable.

  • recording the result of the last setup with few noise a good enough tone, without requiring pro quality tone

  • foreseeable future setups involving effects-pedals, with or without the amp (which has an effects loop)

I know that the U2 will limit my backing tracks to a mono input. The main thing I want to know is what do I get in exchange for abiding the stereo of the backing track; the physical EQ knobs and the additional inputs, namely:

  • Will I get less noise with the U2?
  • Will I get a louder headphone out with the U2?

On Sweetwater the difference is about $30. Seems like you get a lot of bang for your 30 bucks in this case. The second stereo channel and playback eq are nice options. In this price range they probably have very similar internal electronics so I wouldn’t expect a big difference in sound quality. Here are some things to consider:

Mini headphone jack on 302, full size on U2

There are phono inputs on the stereo input channel of the 302, 1/4” jack on the U2. This would make recording an instrument and a mic simultaneously on the U2 easier.

The U2 has 2 separate recording inputs. The 302 has a mic/line and a stereo input but doesn’t seem to specify if the stereo input is a separate recording input. I would recommend calling Sweetwater and finding out, they have great customer service and buying advice.

I am also a bass player and have a Steinberg UR12, their equivalent to the U2 and I’m happy with it. I do also have an external mixer but I usually run all my audio through my DAW and the Steinberg. As far as backing tracks go you can always import them into your DAW and play them through there if you decide on the U2.

In the end I would focus on functionality and what features would best serve you. Finding out if the 302’s stereo channel serves as a second independent recording input would be a good thing to know as I mentioned before.

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