Allen & Heath XONE:96 Review: the best guide before buying!

All across the world, studios and DJ booths have relied on Allen & Heath gear for years. Here we discuss the XONE:96, the top-of-the-line DJ mixer from the firm that aims to preserve the analog warmth and versatility of its forerunner, which is the XONE:92, all while including modern digital features.

But first, let’s get to know more about XONE:96.


As promised by the company, the 96 is a 6+2 Channel mixer. It has a four-band EQ instead of the standard three (found in most DJ mixers) and a “mid” knob instead of a single “mid” knob, giving you more control.

Although the XONE:96 doesn’t come with any FX, it has a very flexible Send/Return system that lets you add any FX, sound processors, synths, or anything else you can think of. 

It also has the famous A&H filters that everyone loves about the XONE:92.

Somewhat industrial-looking, the top of the mixer is finished in a standard silver color, giving you that “rich” feeling you get from everything you touch, and those smooth 60mm faders. This mixer doesn’t feel cheap or flashy, and the finish and build quality are exactly what you’d expect from a top-tier Allen & Heath device.

Mixing Section

The main Mixing Section is made up of the four main mixing tracks, numbered 1 through 4. Almost everything here is pretty easy to understand, but two things might somewhat throw you off.

Firstly, there are two Send knobs above the source selector. Secondly, it has a four-band equalizer.

Normally, there are three bands: low, mid, and high. But on the XONE:96 (and 92), the middle band is split in half, giving you more power. Everything on this mixer sounds very smooth and clear, including the EQs. 

You can choose the source for that channel above the EQs. It can be audio, line, or one of the built-in USB sound cards. You can use the close peak indicator if you start to clip and aren’t paying enough attention to your meters.

There is a set of mechanical switches below the EQs that let you set the filter and crossfader. You might not be used to assignable filter systems on Allen & Heath mixers if you haven’t used one before. Each channel doesn’t just have a single dial.

Below this are our 60mm line faders and assignable cue buttons for our headphones’ monitoring channels. These are very smooth, and the LED meters are bright and have nice colors. That’s followed by the crossfader, which is an Innofader Mini. This XONE is now ready to be scratched and cut. This mixer really can do almost anything.


You can connect up to four digital players or even four turntables to the RCA jacks because there are enough preamps.

It also has two USB ports on the back that can be used to connect a computer to either of the soundcards that are built in. You can use this for handovers, B2B sets, or to add digital software like Ableton or MASCHINE to your mixer.

The mixer has Main Outs that are both XLR and ¼”, as well as a Booth Out and a Record Out. An extra 3.5mm jack called “Audio Sync Out” works as a second Record Out and could be useful for live streams.

This back panel’s other parts are used to connect external equipment, such as:

  • Send 1 and 2
  • Return A, B, C, and D
  • Master Insert
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Filter System

One or two separate filter systems are set up for each channel on an XONE mixer (the XONE:96 has two). The zero setting is not at noon like it is on single-knob filters. It is to the left. You can choose which filter to use by flipping a Filter toggle switch to either Filter 1 or Filter 2. This also lets you apply the same filter to more than one channel.

A high-pass filter lets sound go above a certain frequency, a low-pass filter lets sound go below it, and a band-pass filter lets a “strip” of sound with the top and bottom cut off.

It’s probably safe to say that most DJs won’t use the bandpass filter very often. Instead, we’ll stick to the more common high-pass and low-pass filters. There is a Radar knob above this that can be set to Mild, Wild, or Other. Which “squelchiness” of your audio filter you want to choose is here. 

The “Mild” setting gives you clear, crisp filters that are almost unnoticeable. The “Wild” setting, on the other hand, boosts the sound around the chosen frequency, making it sound “swooshy.”

Cue Arrangement 

Because there are two separate CUE systems, each DJ can listen to something different through their headphones. Though they do some things differently, CUE1 is the “main” method you’ll use most of the time.

Main Cue

A CUE button is located above each line control, as we already said, and pick the station you want to listen to through your headphones. Many buttons can be pressed at once to hear more than one station. Toggle off all other CUE buttons by pressing one.

By putting it in Latch Mode, you can change how it acts. When this mode is on, the CUE buttons add or remove channels one at a time. There are three filter buttons on each side. To do this, press any of them for three seconds (LPF, BPF, or HPF). That will make the MIDI lights on top flash like crazy, which means you’ve changed modes.

By putting it in Latch Mode, you can change how it acts. When this mode is on, the CUE buttons add or remove channels one at a time. There are three filter buttons on each side. To do this, press any of them for three seconds (LPF, BPF, or HPF). That will make the MIDI lights on top flash like crazy, which means you’ve changed modes.

Keep in mind, though, that the latch mode works more like how you might be used to it. If the next DJ on the list likes it the other way, they can make the change. This setting will stay in place until you change it. We turned off the mixer for five minutes and then checked it again. 

You can change how you watch things on the right. There are both small and big jacks for your headphones, and there is a volume knob right on top of them. This is a mix dial for what you hear in your headphones. You can turn it up to hear more of the cued track or the main output. When you use headphones with Split Cue, you can hear the CUE and MASTER in different ears. 

Last, there is a button that lets you listen to the sound after the EQ. This only means that you can pick whether to listen to the original track or one that has been changed by your EQ.

Secondary Cue

When one DJ hands off to the next or when two DJs mix, the backup cue system works great. The main cue system is more complex, while this one is much easier to use.

The Volume and CUE/MST settings are the same for both of you. There aren’t as many cue buttons, though. Instead, you use a dial to choose which station you want to hear. That could be any of the music channels, from 1 to 4 and A to D, or it could just be the Master Output. You can only choose one CUE channel at a time, and you’ll always be Post-EQ (you’ll hear the EQ changes in your headphones). Note that you can’t use Split Cue.

Send/Return Arrangement

You can “send” any audio signal to something that can process it, like a guitar pedal, and then “return” that signal back from the processor and add it to your final mix.

You can send sound to either Send 1 or Send 2 with the dial on each mixing channel. It has a “Pre” button that lets you send the full signal before the slider. The audio will only be sent if the fader is up if this is not checked.


Therefore, Allen & Heath’s XONE:96 is great in almost every way: sound quality, durability, connectivity—it does it all.

If you’re a DJ who’s been looking for a mixer that is guaranteed to last for a lifetime, then this is a perfect match for you! It looks good, sounds great, can be used, and feels like it can be expanded indefinitely. Just make sure to determine first what your needs are before jumping on the ship of buying XONE:96. Have fun shopping!

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