I have always wanted the ability to have 2 devices connected to my headphones or speakers at the same time. In the past, you literally had to have a DJ setup or a stereo and neither is very portable. Bluw has a Mini Mixer that is just a tiny bit bigger than an iPod and is just as pocket-able. Now you can mix that funky music almost anywhere.
The mini mixer comes with 3 cables which are all double ended 1/8 inch stereo headphone plugs. Plug 2 cables into 2 mp3 players or phones with the other end being plugged into the mixer. The mixer has a headphone monitor port where you would plug your headphones and a speaker port for plugging in a set of speakers.
The controls are simple. There’s a slider, or as the pros call it, a fader in the middle, a volume control for the headphones and one for the speakers, a switch and a power button.
Once everything is setup, power up the mixer and flip the switch to L and slide the fader to the left. You should now hear player A on the speakers and in your headphones. To get the next song ready, flip the switch to R and find a song on player B using your headphones. No one can hear this but you at this point.
When you are near the end of the song on player A, start player B playing and slide the fader from the left to the right. You will hear the track on player A fade out and the track on player B fade in. This is a classic crossfade that many software mp3 players can do. This eliminates gaps in the music and keeps the music going.
If you have the fader in the middle or somewhere to the left or right of each limit, you will hear a portion of each track. In the middle, you hear both players at the same time. This might be useful for creating a mashup that you may be recording, or to talk over the track if you have microphone.
One other nifty use is to easily switch between a mp3 player and another mp3 player or other device. This could be handy if you have your music on one mp3 player and a podcast on the other. Just use the speaker jack instead of the headphone jack and slide the fader one direction or the other to switch between the players. Since the mixer is portable, this is easy to do. I can even do this while riding the bus.
At only $24.99, this is a handy device to have in your mp3 playing arsenal especially when you are at a party. However, with the low price, there are some limitations. First, I hear a bit of static in the headphone side of the mixer. This is probably ok since this isn’t what your audience would hear. The speaker side is much cleaner with only a slight hiss that you can hardly hear once a track is playing. This is to be expected with a device that is only 25 dollars.
The only other concern that I have is one of quality control. The first device Bluw sent me did not work at all. The power button would not stay down which means you could never keep it on. The second unit Bluw sent out worked fine. If you can’t wait and need one for a gig, go ahead and order 2 just to be sure you have one that works.
Bluw has come out with something I have been waiting for for years. While I won’t be using it for running a party, it has a ton of great uses. Not a bad deal at all for only $25.
What I liked: It’s small size and ok quality makes it a great thing to have when you are running music at a party. It’s also nifty for those who use a bigger mp3 player for music and a smaller one for podcasts. Use this mixer as a glorified switch in this case and you will be happy.
What needs improvement: They need to step up their quality control a hair. Also, I would like to see a dedicated mike port or more ports in general.