Allen & Heath’s xone:23c is the xone:23 with a bit more stuff. The just announced x0ne:K1 controller however is the original xone:K2 without stuff, and that stuff being the audio interface. Essentially via the x-link, the xone:K1 brings a lot of vital MIDI control to a basic mixer.
A short press release from A&H’s Cornwall HQ:
ALLEN & HEATH ADDS XONE:K1 TO DJ RANGE
Allen & Heath has introduced the Xone:K1 to extend the MIDI controller range of its elite Xone DJ line, joining the successful Xone:K2 controller. The K1 has a flexible layout allowing users to define and customise an individual workflow and mixing experience, and works with all leading DJ software. The Xone:K1 is easily configurable to allow fast access for setting levels, triggering hot cues, adding effects and instant looping to relieve the DJ from focusing on the computer screen.
Featuring 6 endless rotary encoders with push switch, 12 analogue pots, 4 linear faders, and 30 backlit performance switches with three-colour illumination, the Xone:K1 allows comprehensive mapping to leading DJ and production software, such as Traktor Pro, Ableton, Virtual DJ and MixVibes, offering a total of 52 assignable hardware controls, more than any controller of its type.
Powered over USB so that a separate power cable is not needed, Xone:K1 can be mixed n’ matched with other Xone:K series controllers and daisy-chained using Allen & Heath’s proprietary X:LINK protocol without the need to carry a separate USB hub. X:LINK also enables DJs to expand their set-up by connecting directly to Allen & Heath’s Xone 23C, DB2 and DB4 mixers.
Xone:K1 is both lightweight and hard-wearing, with a steel front panel and employing Allen & Heath’s nutted pot construction. A black padded case is available as an accessory, which doubles as a stand, bringing the K1 up to the same height as most pro DJ mixers.
“Xone:K1 is a valuable and key addition to the Xone family, providing vast control of popular software programs, slotting into multiple DJ hardware set ups across the range with simple plug ‘n play connection, and constructed to withstand life with the travelling DJ,” comments Xone product specialist, Greg Ibbotson.
As pointed out before, the xone:K1 does seem to be a K2 without the audio interface, but that doesn’t make it any less desirable or relevant. It does however make it cheaper at £159 — only ten quid, but cheaper nonetheless.
But this definitely an exercise in making the xone:23C into a more useful mixer. The regular xone:23 has no link or USB, but with the K1 and USB, software like Mixvibes Cross can deliver a powerful package for a reasonable amount of money.
Out of the box, there’s a lot of support for key software, including Traktor Remix Decks, something that wasn’t possible when we pitted the Kontrol F1 against the K2 a couple of years ago. But while the audio interface has gone, the use case is slightly different as the comparison included having the audio ins and outs against the lack of them on the NI unit.
We are lucky enough to have the xone:23C and a factory fresh K1 in the worxlab right now, so expect a review pretty quickly.
Summing up, the Allen & Heath xone:K1 comes in at £159 and is available in August.