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The Original pocket size audio mixer and amplifier.
Hear it all: radar detector, talking GPS, MP3, CD, CB, Satellite radio... ANY four devices with a headphone jack, simultaneously!

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Last Updated:
January 2017

 

 

Mix-It2 Frequently Asked Questions:

1.) Is the Mix-It2 waterproof?
2.) Will XM satellite receivers work with the Mix-It2?
3.) What devices work with the Mix-It2?
4.) What devices will NOT work with the Mix-It2?
5.) How is the Mix-It2 powered?
6.) Does the Mix-It2 require a noise filter when running off bike power?
7.) Why do Escort detectors require a different cable than the Valentine One?
8.) Why do the Garmin GPS units require a special cable?
9.) What kinds of earphones or speakers do you recommend?
10.) What are the issues using a Passport 8500 and X50 with the Mix-It2?
11.) Can I use my Garmin 276C with the Mix-It2?
12.) How do the ER-6i earphones compare o the ER-6 earphones?
13.) What is a priority override?
14.) What is a noise gate and why doesn't the Mix-It2 have one?
15.) Is the belt clip removeable?
16.) Can I use a Garmin Zumo with the Mix-It2?
17.) Will Bluetooth(tm) be an added feature to the Mix-It2?
18.) Will I hear mono signals in one ear, or both?

Answers:

1.) Is the Mix-It2 waterproof?

When I am asked this, to me it is asking "can water enter the unit?" The simple answer to this question is no. With the number of jacks in the unit (five 3.5mm jacks and one power jack) it is not possible to prevent water from entering the unit. However, the circuit board is acrylic coated which prevents water from affecting it's operation, so in that respect the Mix-It2 is what I consider weatherproof. I have tested the unit for corrosion resistance, and water entering the unit will not corrode or damage any internal parts. I have seen the heads of some screws turn rusty, but that is the extent of any affect water has upon the Mix-It2.
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2.) Will XM satellite receivers work with the Mix-It2?

Yes! This is a very popular use for the Mix-It2. Due to design limitations of satellite radio receivers, the output from these devices is not great enough to hear on a motorcycle. Indeed, people using them at home find they have to turn up the volume on their stereos much higher than they normally have to for other components such as CD, MP3 and DVD players. Many satellite radio receivers do not have volume controls built in! They do offer limited volume settings via a menu, but even the maximum output level is not sufficient for motorocycle use. Even though the satellite radio receivers are line-output devices, they work great with the Mix-It2.
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3.) What devices work with the Mix-It2?

The Mix-It2 has been used with numerous devices, really too many to list. The most popular items, and those I have used personally include: Apple iPod, Lyra MP3 player, Personal Music Jukebox, iRiver CD player, Sony cassette walkman, Sangean AM/FM radio, Valentine 1 radar detector, Escort Passport radar detector, Garmin StreetPilot III, Garmin 2610/2620 GPS, etc.
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4.) What devices will work NOT with the Mix-It2?

Certain FM radios don't work with the Mix-It2 when the Mix-It2 is operating off of bike power due to interference by the oscillator in the DC converter of the Mix-It2. I have not found a way to shield this though the problem has only been reported twice, so I presume FM radios are not a common device used with the Mix-It2. Helmet speakers, unless they are rated at 16 ohms or higher, typically will not work with the Mix-It2. Other products require an isolation cable for use with earlier Garmin GPS units (those that do not have MP3 playback nor satellite radio capability), Escort/Bell/Cobra radar detectors but the Mix-It2 does not since it has isolation built into two jacks - all that is required is a mono patch cord. 4G LTE phones are known to cause "static bursts" when in close proximity to the Mix-It2 (and most other electronics, including computer speakers). An easy solution is to just move the two devices apart, 12" is usually enough to eliminate the static noise.
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5.) How is the Mix-It2 powered?

The Mix-It2 operates of a standard 9 volt battery, for approximately 24 hours of continuous use. It can also be plugged into bike power using the included power cord. The external power jack of the Mix-It2 is noise filtered and does not require an external power filter. The power jack can accept a voltage input of 9v to 18v without the need for a voltage converter! To hard wire the Mix-It2 into your bike, connect the black wire to a fused +12 volt source, and the black wire with white trace to ground, and you're done!
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6.) Does the Mix-It2 require a noise filter when running off bike power?

No. The Mix-It2 has noise filtering built in, so it does not require an external filter.
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7.) Why do Escort/Bell/Cobra detectors require a different cable than the Valentine One?

The Valentine One audio break-out box has a headphone jack that is a stereo output and uses a 3.5mm stereo jack. Other detectors are monaural output and thus require a mono cable. Most others (notably Escort, Bell, and Cobra) also have ungrounded outputs and require isolation. Other products sell isolation cables at ridiculous prices, while the Mix-It2 has the isolation built into two mono inputs.
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8.) Why do the Garmin GPS units require a special cable?

Earlier Garmin GPS units (mono ouputs, typically those without MP3 or satellite radio capability) use an ungrounded amplifier output. Other products require a special isolation cable, the Mix-It2 does not. The GPS just needs the proper cable to plug into an isolated input on the Mix-It2 (either a PC-GPS2 for 2610/2620 models). Later models (28xx, Zumo, Nuvi, etc) with stereo jacks can be plugged into a stereo input on the Mix-It2.
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9.) What kinds of earphones or speakers do you recommend?

I have tried numerous types of helmet speakers and earbuds and have found three that are worth considering: "The Plug" by Koss, Etymotic ER-6's and custom made earphones.

The Plug is a nice, inexpensive earphone with excellent sound and decent isolation from environmental noise. Some riders complain about it's bulk, however, and that their helmet cushions push against it's body and into their ears causing pain after some time. I used these for about a year before being told about the Etymotic earphones..

Etymotic earphones are more expensive, have excellent frequency response, and superior comfort. They began with the ER6's, which are now discontinued, and currently offer the ER6i's. These and Shure E3C's were the first commercially available insert earphones and provide excellent music reproduction in addition to excellent noise isolation comparable to foam earplugs. They are definitely worth the expense. The newer ER6i earphones offer the same features as the ER6, but offer greater (28dB) noise reduction and were designed to have greater bass reponse (though in my trials the sound overall just seems a little louder). There are now dozens of earphones in this category, the key is finding something comfortable that eliminates environmental noise. For me, its been the ER6. More recently, Etymotic began to offer the HF5's which have dual speaker drivers in them compared to the single driver of the ER6 line. The dual speakers provide better bass/trebel separation and are, again, a leap ahead of anything else I've tried. The HF5 is my current earphone of choice though I still keep a pair of ER6's around.

Custom earphones are THE Rolls Royce of earphones for riders. They require an impression be made of your ear by a hearing professsional which is then sent in to be made into custom earphones. They are the most expensive solution, running typically $160 plus audiologist fees, but are certain to be THE solution for comfort, sound quality, and durability. For those with sensitive ear canals, oddly shaped, or small ear canals, this may be the ONLY solution.

Helmet speakers: I've tried three kinds of helmet speakers and have always been disappointed with the sound quality from them. I do not recommend them. I know riders who swear by them, but if you want the highest quality audio from your music sources, like I do, then earphones are the only option to consider. Even good helmet speakers will require the use of earplugs, which diminishes the frequency response of the audio. In addition, using earplugs will require additional amplification to the speakers, which typically results in distortion.
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10.) What are the issues using a Passport 8500 and X50 with the Mix-It2?

None, the Mix-It2 offers two isolation mono inputs and all that is needed is a mono patch cord from the Escort detector to the Mix-It2.
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11.) Can I use my Garmin 276C with the Mix-It2?

Yes! Garmin now makes a motorcycle kit for the 276C which provides power and a 2.5mm female headphone jack. The PC-GPS2 cable is all that is needed to use it with the Mix-It2. The cable that comes with the Garmin 276C can also be used by connecting the Audio + wire to the tip and ring connection of a standard 3.5mm stereo plug, available from Radio Shack. To the Audio - wire, connect a non-polarized .1uF capacitor (a tantalum capacitor works great) and then solder the other lead of the capacitor to the shield of the 3.5mm plug. That's it!
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12.) How do the ER-6i earphones compare to the ER-6 earphones?

The ER6 earphones are no longer available as of summer 2009. The ER6i's have been upgraded with a new tip that I have found much more comfortable than the previous tip design.
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13.) What is a priority over-ride?

A priority over-ride is a special circuit associated with one of the inputs of a mixer which, when a signal on that input is present, mutes the other inputs giving this signal "priority". In some systems, the other signals are completely muted, some simply reduce the volume making the priority signal more prominent. Here is how it works: let's say you have a MP3 player, talking GPS and radar detector plugged into a priority mixer. The radar detector is plugged into the prioritized input. Normally, you would be listening to music, your GPS might announce directions once in a while, but when the detector produces an alert signal, the music and GPS are muted so you only hear the radar signal. When the radar signal stops, the music and GPS function again. Many customers requested the feature, so it was added to the Mix-It2.
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14.) What is a noise gate and why doesn't the Mix-It2 have one?

A noise gate is another special circuit that really acts as a filter. When an audio input contains a constant low level noise like a buzz, hum, or whatever, it can grow irritating to listen to. A noise gate mutes a noisy input at a preset threshhold level - just above the normal noise. When the incoming signal exceeds the threshhold, the gate opens and allows the signal AND noise to pass through. As an example, lets say you were playing a cassette tape and didn't like the background hiss. With a noise gate, during quiet passages or blank spots between songs, the noise gate would be "closed" and not allow sound to pass to your earphones. When a new song begins, the gate "opens" and allows the music and noise through. It's a cheap way of curing a noise problem without having to tackle why there is a noise problem! The Mix-It2 does not use noise gates simply because it does NOT have noise problems with the inputs! The amplifier itself produces some white noise, but that is the nature of amplifcation and cannot be eliminated without a more expensive amp design and added bulk.
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15.) Is the belt clip removeable?

The beltclip is a separate piece ultrasonically welded to the main body of the Mix-It2. As such, it is not removeable. Should the beltclip interfere with installing the Mix-It2 in your particular setup, it can be permanently removed fairly easily. First, lift up on the end of the clip and break it off. The main body of the clip will remain intact. With a pair of needlenose pliers, grip either end of the clip and lift up and towards the center to break it off. Usually the whole body will come off. If not, repeat the process on the other side of the clip. If both sides are now broken off but the main portion remains, use the needlenose to grip it and give it a twist. This should break it free. When the clip is removed, there will be slight marks left on the case where the two parts were welded together, but they are minimal.
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16.) Can I use a Garmin Zumo with the Mix-It2?

Yes! The Garmin Zumo and the 28xx series GPS units finally use standard 3.5mm stereo headphone jacks and have a standard line-out signal level which can be used with earphones, or to connect the Garmin unit to another device, such as the Mix-It2. When using the satellite radio or MP3 feature of these GPS units (those so equipped) the GPS will prioritize the GPS prompts over the music for you. So how do you use them with the Mix-It2? There are three scenarios:

Scenario 1: You want to hear only the GPS voice prompts and over-ride anything else plugged into the Mix-It2. This is easy, and only requires plugging the the GPS into the isolated mono input with either a mono or stereo cable. Since the GPS output is a mono signal and its jack is stereo, either a mono or stereo cord will work just fine. The Mix-It2 mono inputs are also stereo jacks, but wired for mono.

Scenario 2: You want to hear your GPS voice prompts and listen to music. The only option for this configuration is to plug the GPS into a stereo input on the Mix-It2. You cannot have the GPS plugged into the mono priority input because the music (which is stereo) will sound terrible plugged into the Mix-It2 mono input.

Scenario 3: You want to use the GPS with or without music, but want another device to override it (a radar detector for example). In this case, you would plug the GPS input a stereo input on the Mix-It2 using a stereo cord, then plug the device you want as priority into the mono priority input.
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17.) Will Bluetooth(tm) be an added feature to the Mix-It2?

I don't feel Bluetooth has really matured to offer what people expect from it. It suffers from poor sound quality (as far as music is concerned), incompatibility issues between various headsets and mics, and battery life could be longer. Most Bluetooth options require helmet speaker use, and if you refer to FAQ #9, you'll know I'm not a fan of speakers. I continue to monitor discussions and advancements in Bluetooth technology and one day, it may become a viable option.

18.) Will I hear mono signals in only one ear or both?

Most people think of a single speaker or earphone when they think of "monaural" sounds, but it chiefly refers to a single (mono) signal source, even if that single signal is presented to two speakers as in a stereo setup. A stereo signal provides two different signals to the left and right channels. The Mix-It2 presents the mono signal to both ears.