Behringer MiniMon Mon800 Review:
Mix audio from multiple devices to one set of speakers

Behringer MiniMon Mon800

With all my recent talk of triple-booting, I might be giving the wrong impression. Generally speaking, I am not a fan of multi-booting, and without hardware accelerated OpenGL, virtualization is of limited use to me.

So my solution has been to run multiple computers. This has many well-known downsides. I'm not really going to defend my solution, but merely state it as fact that this is what I tend to do.

One aspect of dealing with multiple computers that is often ignored is audio. For other things, there are gadgets like KVMs, and so forth, but there is very little discussion and even fewer gadgets for audio.

I dislike using a set of speakers per computer because the wiring and power brick situation gets messy. I also have (only) one pair of fairly decent quality (Edirol MA-15D) studio monitors (yes, in that industry, they refer to speakers as monitors, not to be confused with video monitors...I don't know the reasoning/history behind this). So I would like to reuse those when possible.

For many years now, I've been using multiple-input/one-output switch boxes from Radio Shack. This would at least let me reuse my speakers. But I have disliked this solution because I hate remembering to switch source. 

Also, under most circumstances, I find I would like to be able to always hear the audio if being played. For example, often a noise is played to alert you of a problem. If I have a two computers running some processes while working on a third computer, I want to hear audio alerts so I know I need to check the processes. Or more simply, I may have one computer playing music while working on another. I don't necessarily want to give up sound on the computer I'm working on.

I've been looking on and off for an audio mixer that would solve my problem. The problem has been that most inexpensive mixers I've seen have complaints about noise or reliability and seem limited to monaural inputs with very few inputs. And the mixers that don't have these problems seem to get really expensive and very big because they provide volume sliders/knobs for every input plus effects. These seem to be targeted towards DJs or something. (I don't need volume sliders since I can use the computers' built-in software mixers.)

So I finally came across a device that seemed to do exactly what I wanted, has good quality, in a comparatively small form factor, and was relatively inexpensive.

Introducing the Behringer MiniMon Mon800

I found this device for about $40. At first, I couldn't figure out what it actually did. The product description was all gibberish to me. I am obviously not their target market. (I'm not sure exactly what their target market is.) 

I downloaded the online manual. I still didn't really understand it, but it listed an example scenario that was kind of related to what I wanted to do (i.e. multiple inputs).

So I wrote to Behringer asking if this device would do what I wanted, explaining that I am not an audio engineer and couldn't understand the product description. I actually wasn't completely clear on their response either, though they did say yes, after suggesting I look at a different product if I needed volume sliders.

Anyway, I took a chance on the device and made the purchase, and I am very happy I did. This device does in fact do exactly what I need and more.

Its dimensions are approximately 9.5" x 4.5" x 2". While still larger than many gadgets, it is still small enough to be tucked away or stacked.

The device allows for up to 4 stereo input sources. (So I can hook up 4 computers.) There are 4 buttons on the front-left which enable/disable each stereo input. (This allows me to easily mute individual computers as needed.) There is also a global mute button towards the front-middle/right of the device and also a -20dB button if need to quiet things fast.

Behringer MiniMon Mon800 Front

One peculiar aspect of the device is that it also allows for multiple outputs. So if I had multiple speaker sets and wanted to play out to different ones or all of them simultaneously, I could do that too. (Imagine if I had speakers in different rooms, or just wanted to test the sound on different types of speakers.)

There is also stuff for microphone 'talkback'. As I said, I'm not their target market and I don't really know what to do with it.

One thing I don't like so much about the device is that 2 of the stereo input sources are RCA connectors, but the other 2 are 1/4" mono jacks. I don't have anything that is 1/4" jacks, but it's not a big deal though. I found adaptors at for about 50 cents each. They didn't have the exact adaptors I needed so I had to double convert. But it was still cheaper buying the extra adaptors at Monoprice (with shipping no less) than any other place I could find.

Behringer MiniMon Mon800 Back

Anyway, the Mon800 works great. I haven't perceived any noise or any other problems. I highly recommend this device for anybody that needs something simple to mix 2-4 stereo audio sources.

If you would like to buy one, please use my Amazon link here. I appreciate your support.

Copyright © PlayControl Software, LLC / Eric Wing