Allen & Heath earlier this year announced the successor to their Xone:42, the Xone:43. One month later, they announced the Xone:43c with a built-in sound card. A few years back, we tried the Xone:42 in the studio and were very curious about its successor. We were also curious because of the USB sound card, as a mixer with built-in sound card is a must nowadays.
The Xone:43c not only lends the format but also the build of its predecessor, though it has a new paint job from the Xone:DB series, which gives it a nice, tight 2015 look (that extra lick of orange makes it look extra cool, if you ask us). The Xone:43c makes use of clear LEDs in different colours, so it’s easy to see what is going on, as it enables you to use it in the darkest areas. With just the VU light, you get a nice glow on the white lines of the mixer. All in all, an easy-to-use good looking 4-channel mixer with built-in sound card. What more do you want?
The Xone:43c feels just like its predecessor, which is very good! You will notice that Allen&Heath build all their mixers like a tank!! A sturdy metal housing, decent connectors, solid buttons and faders and of course a very neat finish. It is really an example to the competitors. If it was up to us, we would classify this as a benchmark.
Not just the build quality but also the layout is very good on this mixer. Traditionally arranged and clearly indicated where filter, send and return are and how to use it. Super easy but also super effective. Every DJ would be able to use this mixer blindfolded. Even the beginners should not have too much trouble with it.
Per channel you get a switch that allows you to choose between Phono, Line/USB input, four Rotary knobs that lets you adjust gain, high, mid and low and a large send and return button. There’s a cross fader assignment slider you can turn off as well (which is a very fine option), along with a filter and cue button and a smooth feeling line fader. In addition, you also get a clear traditional VU meter to see your output levels.
To the top right, next to the Master VU, theres an adjust button together with the volume button for your booth output. In the lower left corner you will find the headphone section, where you find the two inputs with each a gain knob. Not only volume but you also can adjust cue/mix in combination with a split.
Allen&Heath is known for very good sounding mixers and this applies to the Xone:43c as well. No matter if you use the analog outputs or the built-in sound card, the mixer just sounds great! Add to this great headroom (where overloading the input is quite difficult) and you know you have a winner on your hands.
Of course, an analog filter section does not lack on a mixer of Allen&Heath because the company has a long tradition of building analog mixers along with the enormously good filters they produce, which of course you hear at the Xone:43c. That warm analog sound which you can adjust hands-on the way you want with two simple rotary knobs. One for the frequency and one for the intensity of the filter. You also have the ability to filter the high, medium or low of your track. Please note, you only have one filter section, which you can assign per channel or on multiple channels at the same time.
Send & Return
Here it gets a little tricky as to how Allen&Heath applied this option. There’s a dial that allows you to set the amount of send and return (and they’ve done so for years), but you get a small delay in the sound. When use an external effects units, you need to pay attention to turn the source totally down, otherwise you’ll hear a slight delay, resulting in a doubled sound source.
Of course, this can also be a cool effect, especially in combination with a delay pedal by Roland for example. This will be a Tech and Deep lovers for generating very oily effects for their mix!
Push to talk
The Xone:43c is Serato ready, meaning you simply can use the mixer together with Serato software. When you use it with a controller and the internal sound card, you can get started and create mixes without having to use Seratos own external sound card. If you would like to do this with your turntables, you can, but you have to purchase Seratos Club Kit and your mixer changes into a DVS device with time code vinyl.
You can also use the internal sound card mixer with Traktor but cannot use the scratch option. However, you can use it in combination with a Kontrol X1.
Fortunately, the Xone:43c has no lack of them. So you get a line, phone and USB input per channel. A send and return, a record, booth, and Master out (XLR). A USB connection that allows you to use four in and four outputs. X-link to the mixer to pair with Allen&Heath own controller series K1. Finally, a microphone and additional line input on top of the mixer which you can turn into a fifth channel if need be. You’ll get buttons with which you can gain, high and low if you so desire.
You can also adjust the cross fader of the mixer and can be easily replaced and even is innofader compatible. Ideal for the scratchers among us!
- Build quality
- Sound quality
- Built-in sound card
- Push to talk option
- Filter section
- Only one filter
- No Traktor Scratch support
Allen&Heath delivers with the Xone:43c a worthy successor for the Xone:42. Anyone looking for an easy-to-use four-channel mixer, certainly would have to consider the 43. We would recommend to choose the ‘c’ variant instead of the normal 43 even though you may not use the built-in sound card, it can come in handy. This mixer gets (despite its high price tag), a high recommendation!
Allen&Heath Xone:43c is available at a retail price of: 1099,-