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Allen & Heath SQ-5 48-Channel / 36-Bus Digital Mixer with 16+1 Motorized Faders

Allen & Heath SQ-5 48-Channel / 36-Bus Digital Mixer with 16+1 Motorized Faders
Key Features
  • 16 Microphone Preamps
  • 7" Capacitive Touchscreen
  • 96 kHz FPGA Processing
  • Eight Stereo FX Engines with Returns
The Allen & Heath SQ-5 is a 48-channel, 36-bus digital mixing console well suited for live sound, corporate A/V, recording studios, and houses of worship. The SQ-5 features 16+1 motorized faders and 16 professional-quality microphone preamps. There are also eight stereo FX engines with dedicated return channels and access to the RackExtra FX library. The mixer's 12 stereo outputs (configurable as groups or auxes) are well suited for in-ear-monitor setups, while the Auto Mic Mixing function offers quick and easy operation over multiple microphones for conferences, panel talks, and more.
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Allen & Heath SQ-5 Overview

The Allen & Heath SQ-5 is a 48-channel, 36-bus digital mixing console well suited for live sound, corporate A/V, recording studios, and houses of worship. The SQ-5 features 16+1 motorized faders and 16 professional-quality microphone preamps. There are also eight stereo FX engines with dedicated return channels and access to the RackExtra FX library. The mixer's 12 stereo outputs (configurable as groups or auxes) are well suited for in-ear-monitor setups, while the Auto Mic Mixing function offers quick and easy operation over multiple microphones for conferences, panel talks, and more.

At the heart of the SQ-5 lies the 96 kHz XCVI Core FPGA engine, which delivers professional, high-resolution audio quality, ultra-low latency (less than 0.7 ms), variable bit depth for precision and noise performance, mix coherency down to the sample, and the power to handle high channel / mix counts and ample FX processing. The SQ's DEEP processing architecture allows you to hand-pick boutique compressor and preamp emulations and embed them directly within the mixer's inputs and mix channels, all without adding system latency or setup hassles.

The front panel is centered around the mixer's 7" capacitive touchscreen and framed by an array of high-grip, illuminated encoders, which offer clear visual feedback and quick, hands-on control. You can drag-and-drop channels and mixes to any strip with custom naming and color coding on the strip display, allowing you to build a mix environment that mirrors your workflow. The SQ-5 offers softkeys, which can be freely assigned to any function for a customized and advanced workflow. The on-board recorder uses a USB Type-A port to record stereo and multitrack sessions to a flash drive. The recorder can also playback stereo and multitrack files, making it well suited for virtual sound checks and studio mixing.

The SQ-5 offers expansion options via Allen & Heath's stage box expanders, or install an optional Dante or Waves card to adapt and expand using the latest digital technologies. SQ is fully compatible with the ME Personal Mixing System, allowing performers to take control of their own monitor mixes. Any number of ME-1 and ME-500 personal mixers can be daisy-chained from the mixer's SLink port, or from a connected remote expander. The Allen & Heath SQ-5 ships with a power cord.

  • Compact digital mixer for live, studio, and installation
  • 48 input channels
  • 16 local mic inputs (XLR)
  • Two 1/4” stereo inputs (TRS)
  • One 1/8" stereo input
  • 36 total busses
  • 12 stereo mixes (Aux or Group) + Main
  • PAFL bus
  • 14 assignable local outputs (12 XLR + two 1/4” TRS)
  • AES digital output
  • Dedicated talkback mic input (XLR)
  • 1/4" TRS headphone out with dedicated control
  • SLink EtherCON connection for remote audio using dSnake, DX, or gigaACE protocol (64x64 channels)
  • I/O port for option card (including 3rd party protocols – Dante/Waves)
  • 8 mute groups
  • 8 DCA groups
  • 8 stereo FX with dedicated FX returns
  • DEEP processing ready
  • RackFX effects suite
  • 7" color touchscreen
  • 8 assignable SoftKeys
  • Dedicated physical controls for channel processing (Gain, HPF Frequency, Gate Threshold, Compressor Threshold, Pan, EQ Gain/Frequency/Width)
  • 16+1 faders with 6 layers for 96 assignable channel strips
  • Motorized faders for sends on faders, GEQ fader flip, and mix recall
  • 16 backlit LCD channel-strip displays
  • Single-point metering
  • Integrated surface illumination
  • Single/dual footswitch control
  • Input channel linking for stereo sources
  • Patchable insert points
  • Input processing – Preamp, HPF, Gate, PEQ, Compressor, Delay
  • Output processing – PEQ, Graphic EQ, Compressor, Delay
  • Automatic mic mixing
  • 31-band, real-time analyzer (RTA)
  • Quick copy/paste/reset for parameters
  • User permissions to restrict operator access
  • 300 scene memories per show
  • Channel safes, global and per-scene recall filters
  • FX, processing, and channel libraries
  • SQ-Drive for stereo and multitrack recording/playback direct to USB drive
  • USB transfer of scenes, libraries, shows
  • 32x32 channel USB streaming to/from Mac/Windows
  • DAW control driver for MIDI control via USB or TCP/IP
  • Wireless remote mixing apps for iPad and Android
  • Compatible with ME personal-monitoring range

Allen & Heath SQ-5 Specs

Number of Analog Input Channels
Number of Mic Preamps
Number of Analog Output Channels
Max I/O Capacity
48 x Input / 36 x Output
Mix Routing
8 x Stereo FX Return
8 x Mute Group
8 x DCA Group
7" Touchscreen
Display Resolution/Color
Main Display:
800 x 480 8-Bit RGB
Faders & Level Adjustment
17 x 3.9" / 100 mm
Main Meter:
2 x 12-Segment LED
Channel Meter:
Single LED
Meter Range
-3 dBFS Peak/Clip (+19 dBu at XLR Output)
Meter Calibration
0 dB on Meter = -18 dBFS (+4 dBu at XLR Output)
Signal Processing
Gain/Trim Range
±24 dB (Stereo Channels)
0 dB to +60 dB (in 1 dB Steps)
Input Pad
-20 dB
Input Polarity
Dynamic Processing
Input Channels:
Compressor, Gate
Compressor, Limiter
Gate Parameters
Threshold: -72 to +18 dBu
Depth: 0 to 60 dB
Attack: 50 μs to 300 ms
Hold: 10 ms to 5 sec
Release: 10 ms to 1 sec
Compressor Parameters
Threshold: -46 to +18 dBu
Ratio: 1:1 to ∞:1
Attack: 30 μs to 300 ms
Release: 50 ms to 2 sec
Knee: Soft / Hard
Blend: Yes
Sidechain Filters
High-Pass: 20 to 5 kHz
Band-Pass: 120 Hz to 10 kHz
Low-Pass: 120 Hz to 20 kHz
High-Pass: 20 Hz to 5 kHz
Band-Pass: 120 Hz to 10 kHz
Low-Pass: 120 Hz to 20 kHz
FX Returns:
4-Band Parametric
EQ Parameters
1 x HF Shelf:
±15 dB at 20 Hz to 20 kHz (Shelf or Bell Selectable)
2 x MF Notch/Peak:
±15 dB at 20 Hz to 20 kHz
1 x LF Shelf:
±15 dB at 20 Hz to 20 kHz (Shelf or Bell Selectable)
Graphic EQ
28-Band 1/3 Octave, ±12 dB 31 Hz to 16 kHz
High-Pass: 20 Hz to 2 kHz, 12 dB/Octave
Mute, PFL per Input Channel, Bus, Master
Channel Output/Source Monitoring
AFL, PFL, Post-Preamp, Post-HPF, Post-Gate, Post-EQ, Post-Compressor, Post-FX, Insert Return
Built-In Effects
Stereo Delay (Tap)
Reverb (Gated)
2 x Chorus
Real Time Analyzer
31-Band 1/3 Octave, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
Audio Delay
Adjustable Up to 682 ms
Automatic Mic Mixing
Digital Audio
Sample Rates
96 kHz
AES3 Output:
44.1 / 48 / 88.2 / 96 kHz
Stereo Record:
96 kHz
Stereo Playback:
44.1 / 48 / 96 kHz
Multitrack Playback/Multitrack Record:
96 kHz
Bit Depth
Up to 96-Bit
Stereo Record:
Stereo Playback:
16 / 24-Bit
Multitrack Playback, Multitrack Record:
< 0.7 ms (Mic Input to Main Output)
dBFS Reference Level
+18 dBu = 0 dBFS
+18 dB
Frequency Response
20 Hz to 20 kHz +0/-0.5 dB
Max Input Level
Mic/Line Input:
+30 dBu
Aux Input:
+22 dBu (+4 dBu)
+18 dBu (0 dBu)
Output Level
Analog Output:
+4 dBu (2901653169)
+22 dBu (2901653168)
Analog Dynamic Range
112 dB
I/O Impedance
1/4", XLR Output:
< 75 Ohms
AES3 Output:
110 Ohms
Aux Input:
> 7 Kilohms
Line/Mic Input:
> 5 Kilohms
Noise Floor
-90 dBu (with Inputs Muted)
0.006% at Unity Gain
Mic/Line Input to AES3 Output:
0.002% at Unity Gain
0.003% at +30 dB Gain
Signal Generator
Sine, White, Pink, or Band-Pass Noise (Assignable to Any Mix)
Analog Inputs
1 x XLR Talkback Input
16 x XLR Balanced Mic/Line Input
4 x 1/4" TRS Balanced Aux Input (2 Stereo Pair, Half-Normalled)
1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm Unbalanced Aux Input
Analog Outputs
12 x XLR Balanced Output
2 x 1/4" TRS Balanced Output
Phantom Power
+48 V
Digital I/O
1 x RJ45 (Network)
1 x XLR AES3 Output
1 x etherCON (I/O)
1 x USB-A (External Memory)
1 x USB-B 2.0 (Audio Streaming)
Expansion Ports
1 x I/O Card
Mobile App Compatible
Yes: Android & iOS
App Name: SQ MixPad
Functionality: Access Stored Files, Adjust Settings, Firmware Update, Remote Control, Setup
Max Multitrack Recording
16 Tracks
Media Support
USB Drive
File Format Support
OS Compatibility
Windows 10 (64-Bit Only)
macOS 10.14 to 11 (64-Bit Only)
*As of November, 2022: Check with manufacturer for the most up-to-date compatibility
Mobile Device Compatibility
Android Smartphone
Android Tablet
AC Input Power
100 to 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz
AC Power I/O
1 x IEC Input
Power Consumption
75 W
Rack Mountable
Operating Temperature
32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C
17.3 x 20.3 x 7.8" / 440 x 514.9 x 198 mm
23.1 lb / 10.5 kg
Packaging Info
Package Weight
30.3 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)
27 x 24 x 14.5"

Allen & Heath SQ-5 Reviews

Small format digital mixer is a gem.

By Ira
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2022-03-29

I've owned a Behringer X32 large format mixer since its inception, and I thought it was reasonably designed and fairly intuitive and certainly cost effective. But it was too large and heavy for me to tote around on my own. The more diminutive A&H SQ-5, knocks it out of the ballpark. It doesn't have the bugs and design issues of the X32. Menus are straightforward and are far more intuitive. And though the compact design does not permit every input or mix channel to be present on the same layer, the use of mix, EFX bus and group recall buttons makes getting to those faders pain free. Software layout of the touch screen menus is outstanding. Routing is far more intuitive. A routing touch screen is laid out in an XY matrix permitting any channel or bus to be cross connected to any output be it a local physical socket or a remote stage box or a virtual AoIP channel feed to another A&H board! It doesn't have the network routing restrictions or the unintuitive routing lists of the X32. You can design your own layout for any of the six layers, place any fader in any position for amazing customization. The motorized faders are very fast. In fact I have a hard time keeping my fingers out of the way! Build is very impressive as is audio quality. While there are fewer buses and the LCD scribble strips are smaller and have no room for graphics, their background colors and text are fully programmable. And the LCD contrast is excellent. Headphone power is substantial. You can program any output to provide monitor audio from the PAFL bus which will default to the main LF mix bus when no other source is selected and you can set its gain to your taste. And, of course, you have PEQ and delay capability to taylor it to your needs against the ambient sound from FOH PA, etc. Saving and loading shows is intuitive and bug free. You can safe out settings globally or by input channel or by show cue. But each saved cue will still capture all the setting parameters. You won't lose them and can always re-enable them by turning off the safeties. In comparison safeties on the X32 would prevent those parameters from being recorded and thus lost forever. X32 firmware updates had the nasty habit of making previous saved shows unrestorable. The SQ-5 seems to be far more accurate and precise, including its channel PEQ's and dynamics control. EFX sound very good and come with many factory presets. You can create your own and save them to a separate list, again very intuitively laid out menus. As is the case with every brand of digital mixer, there is a learning curve. I did have to invest a few hours into learning each board. The instructions for the A&H are better. And the PDF version has embedded links that takes you to the appropriate sections of the manual. I've had to write my own maps or flow charts in Excel to provide a quick lookup for what the inputs and outputs, sends and receives are available for each channel mix bus, etc. Too bad neither manufacturer provides a quick lookup cheat sheet. Finally, A&H after sale tech support is responsive albeit from Britain. To be fair, you get half the mixer at 1/3 greater cost but its in a much higher league. So, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Really nice board

By David
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-10-22

The SQ-5 is really well laid out. For a 48 input frame (16 local mic inputs, all the rest via digital stage boxes) that fits in a 19" rack space this board is packed. Its on screen features, functionality and software are very similar to the Midas M32. Unlike other rack mount mixers this one has a full 7 inch touch screen. The knobs are laid out symmetrically and the faders are very fast and responsive when switching between layers. The software's intuitive layout makes it easy to navigate complex mixes. I almost bought a Midas, but like the layout, additional channels and the built-in light bar on this unit better. The only issue I've noticed is the screen rotary knob (which adjust the values of the on-screen parameters) isn't as responsive is the rest of the rotaries. For example, if you scroll it too fast, the numbers will hiccup and skew. I've asked around in groups and have found this problem seems to be inherent in other A&H digital boards. It's likely a fix that can be accomplished via firmware upgrade. If you don't want to hard mount in a rack, but prefer a foam lined case like I do, B&H sells a ProX rack case for the M32R that will also fit this board...but you'll have to save the hard packing Styrofoam that comes with the SQ-5 to adapt to the case. I also notice B&H now sells a ProX rack to fit the SQ-5. The cost of this rack case is nearly double the M32R case, so if you have the skillsets to cut foam and fit, you can save some money. I've uploaded a picture guide for the foam conversion in my review of the ProX M32R case (XS-MIDM32R) on B&H. Overall, I am very happy with the SQ-5. Small, lightweight, full size screen, affordable. You won't be unhappy.

Phenomenal Unit!

By Kathleen
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2021-09-08

Can't say enough for this mixer! It takes an investment to learn (I chose some online videos that I paid for that were specific to this mixer through ProAudioEXP). Once you learn the unit, the flexibility is incredible. I used the Cat5 connector with the Allen & Heath stage box (DX168) and highly recommend that set-up. For my initial outdoor live sound applications, I configured the top layer to have everything I needed and then set-up scenes in advance that followed the script of the event. The scene management was priceless for me to allow complete novices to run it while I was speaking and then there was a transition to music after speaking. I programmed some of the soft keys to advance to the next scene and to load the next scene, so these transitions were instant and those novice users didn't even have to understand what they were doing (although I don't recommend that approach for FOH engineers, it just met my needs that day since no one else was familiar with the mixer).

Future proof console

By Ian
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-11-13

This console is by far the best sub $5k console out currently. I own an M32, and take this SQ5 desk out 100% of the time unless a band specifically requested the M or X series. Completely future proof with its DSP power, plugin options, full 96k, all in a 19” rack is very impressive. It’s physical design borrows some things off Digico and it’s user interaction takes some notes from Avid’s S6L line (touch anything on the screen and it moves onto the rotary encoders). Very fast and fluid console with a great option card selection already available, and a great plugin package for those in need. Porter over from the flagship Dlive consoles, Allen & Heath really has a winner with this desk.

See any errors on this page? Let us know


Does this board come with the Dante card ...

Does this board come with the Dante card installed?
Asked by: Adam
The Allen &amp; Heath SQ-5 does not come with a Dante card installed.
Answered by: David
Date published: 2022-03-02

when using the thumb drive for recording or ...

when using the thumb drive for recording or playback of do you access a play / record or fast forward search of a in a standard recorder with buttons for play, record etc...?
Asked by: Mark
Instructions for these operations can be found on page 97 of the Allen &amp; Heath SQ-5 manual located here:
Answered by: calvinm
Date published: 2022-12-28

Will this board interface with a Behringer S16 ...

Will this board interface with a Behringer S16 digital snake?
Asked by: Sean
The SQ mixers are compatible with all of Allen and Heath&rsquo;s current offerings for stage boxes. The DX168 or AB168 would be the same format as the S16; 16 inputs and 8 outputs
Answered by: Allen & Heath Expert
Date published: 2023-03-13
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