I have a PC/Mac, laptop, tablet, and MP3 player set up on a multi-port desktop mixer box. (Several brands to choose from: Maker Hart, Moukey, Behringer, Mackie Mix, etc.) I choose not to go USB or Bluetooth to avoid programming glitches, incompatibilities, and the inevitable software upgrades of external devices that render a unit unusable—no, I’m sticking with 3.5mm / 1/4” / etc. jacks.
Now that I’m teleworking from home, I have to answer calls on my cellphone and landline and connect my company laptop to my monitors, keyboard and mouse. [Got a KVM switch for those last three.] But KVMs don’t play nicely with audio or mics. So I got an external mic switch to use along with my headphones—but I have to split the 4-plug into separate mic jacks and headphone jacks.
Fine. It works. But it’s not ideal. The mixer I have doesn’t have a mute, nor does the mic switch. That’s why I’m asking if anyone has recommendations.
The ideal teleworking box would have: 1) headset input jack for landline telephone, 2) headset input jack for cellphone, 3) 2-4x audio input jacks for PC/Mac/laptop, 4) 2-4x mic input jacks for PC/Mac/laptop, 5) separate channel volume adjusters or gains for audio and mic inputs, 6) separate mutes for each channel, 7) master volume, 8) master mic mute (cough button), 9) input and output jacks can be any mix of 2.5mm, 3.5mm, 1/4”, XLR (mic connector).
I’ve searched for mixers, switchboards, DJ boxes, telecommuting, webcasting, and other such equipment. I’ve seen price ranges of sub-$50 for individual bare-bones mixers and switches (my current setup is a couple of such items, plus the cables/adapters required to connect them). Prices ranged based on number of inputs & outputs, so I get that. Since I’m looking for a combo, all-in-one audio hub, I’d expect to pay more, of course. $100-500 would be the sweet spot; whereas, the $1k or more range begins to rub against the cost-for-convenience curve and how much I can settle with turning knobs and switches on three separate boxes.