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The Xenyx Control1 USB from Behringer is a desktop monitor switcher and input selector. It's also USB audio interface and rudimentary mixer with input source select and more.
With a metal case and large volume knob at it's centre, the purpose is clear - to be the main monitoring section for your setup.
Two stereo inputs (1+2) switchable between -10dB and +4dB with variable gain,
One USB audio return plus additional stereo return
One RCA input switchable between Phono preamp and line level.
One Stereo return (DAW) for summing to monitor Mix
Inputs 1, 2 and 4 can be summed to feed the USB recording inputs - the USB audio interface is a class compliant 2x2 with 44.1 and 48kHz sample rates. Input 3 is the USB return and can be sent to the monitors only to prevent feedback.
Three stereo pairs for monitors (A/B/C) bal/unbal with trim control on each pair of outs for volume matching. These would typcally be sent to your active monitors or amplifier inputs. These again can be summed, allowing you to listen to all three sets at once if you desire.
Additionally, there are studio, phones, record and DAW outputs - plenty to route. You also get two headphone outs with discrete level control for each.
At the centre of the unit lies the large volume control, which is surrounded by orange volume scale. It would have been lovely to have the lights follow the volume, but I guess at this price point, thats asking a lot. One thing about the knob though, the mark showing where you are in terms of volume is on the outer edge, which does mean that you cant actually see it when sat at your desk.
You also get buttons for MONO, MUTE and DIM - all useful functions at the push of a button.
One thing I also noticed at the extreme start of the volume was that my unit pulled the volume balance to the left at the first couple of notches, after that it balanced up fine.
In use, the Control-1 just worked, the class compliant USB was happy in my Macbook, and even worked when hooked up to the iPad - though it's not bus powered, the unit has an internal power supply.
I integrated it into my active monitors with ease, the ability to trim all input and outputs meant it was easy to get setup how I preferred. I also recorded a few old synths on inputs 1+2 in mono, inserting a left only source into these inputs put the signal right down the middle, perhaps a dual mono input would have been cool too, but it's not real biggie. At this price, it's hard to criticise the Control 1, though perhaps a USB hub would've been a nice addition.
Overall, as a budget audio interface come monitor switcher, I'd say yes and would be happy to find a use for it with my studio for a simple setup.
Available now at £149/175/$199