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Connect Your Devices with the Best Patchbay

  1. Behringer Powerplay P16-I 16-Channel 19'' Input Patchbay
  2. ART P16 Patchbay
  3. Samson S-patch Plus 48-Point Fully Balanced Single Patch Bay
  4. dbx PB-48 48-Point 1/4" Patchbay
  5. Hosa Technology PDR-369 Patch Module
  6. Buyer's Guide

Consider the patchbay as the traffic controller in the world of audio engineering. When working with multiple outboard gear, it can get a little complicated to connect everything to your console in an orderly fashion and that’s where the patchbay comes into play. These devises route and organize what can be an extremely convoluted setup into something more streamlined and self-contained. If you’ve ever seen a picture from when telephones were first introduced and someone had to sit in a room connecting lines into ports in order to make calls happen, it’s the same concept. So needless to say, the patchbay’s role in a recording studio is of extreme importance. We've selected the best patchbays in 2022 available today, with each one listed here offering at least 12 connections to link cables through, they're rack mountable for easy integration into studio or live rigs, and they also feature adjustable operating modes or configurations which allow you to calibrate each patchbay to best fit your routing needs.

Here are the best patchbays of 2022

Behringer Powerplay P16-I 16-Channel 19'' Input Patchbay - Best Patchbay Overall

The Behringer Ultrapatch Pro PX3000 patchbay has 48 fully-balanced patch points on TRS connectors, giving users a quick and organized way to keep their equipment rigged up via 1/4 inch connections. The unit has three different switches to choose from: Normal, which interconnects the two rear jacks of one channel; Thru, which interconnects each rear jack with its corresponding front jack; and Half Normal, which interconnects the two rear jacks of one channel. This flexibility allows for a system that you can cater to your specific cabling needs. Sporting an all-metal design to provide extreme durability, the PX3000 is a patchbay that's not only impervious to wear and tear, but also wards off messy and/or cluttered cables.

ART P16 Patchbay - Runner Up

ART’s P16 patchbay features 32 XLR connectors (16 female on the front, and 16 male on the rear), making it a great addition for those in need of some cable organization in both live and studio settings. All of the connectors are made with PCB wiring, which is a reliable way to ensure that you won’t lose signal. The P16 is also quite affordable, making it ideal for those working within a budget as well as those who are looking to purchase their first patchbay. The unit’s reversible rack ears also give you more flexibility when you’re installing it in tight or constrained spaces. The P16 also comes with a three-year warranty, so you can rest assured that if anything does go wrong, you’ll be covered.

best single patchbay

Samson S-patch Plus 48-Point Fully Balanced Single Patch Bay - Honorable Mention

The Samson S-Patch Plus provides a clear and organized way to keep all of your equipment connected together as well as to your console. With 48 points available, you can pick and choose just how you want to run your cables. Three modes (normal, half-normal, and through) also give you the option to choose how you want to connect things via the 48 patches. The unit is also built to be extremely durable, so you can take it on the road or use it in the recording studio without worrying about doing any significant damage to the build of the patchbay.

best 48 point patchbay

dbx PB-48 48-Point 1/4" Patchbay - Consider

Like many of its peers, the dbx PB48 offers 48 patch points to connect outboard gear to and from your console. It splits 24 pairs up onto 24 cards. Each card or pair can be set to one of three configurations (normal, half-normal, or de-normalled/thru). Unlike many of the other patchbays available on the market, the PB48 also has pure nickel/silver alloy self-cleaning contacts, which ensure both the signal and the actual surface of the patchbay will remain tidy. Now you can route a large number of cables without the headaches and hassles that typically accompanies such a large amount of wiring.

Hosa Technology PDR-369 Patch Module - Best Patchbay

The Hosa PDR-369 patchbay offers a simple and convenient way to connect and organize up to 12 XLR cables. The unit comes with female XLR connections on the front and male XLR connections on the back, but its reversible design means that you can set it whatever way you’d like. The unit’s tough metal chassis makes it a great candidate to take on the road, but this unit is also good for studio use. The PDR-369’s shielded, oxygen-free copper conductors also help to boost signal clarity. Meanwhile, the gold-plated contacts have been put into place to prevent corrosion as well as to increase the fidelity of the signal.

Buyer's Guide

If you're looking for a new patch bay, then this guide will help you find the right one for your needs.

What Should You Consider While Buying the Best Patchbays?

Inputs & Outputs

First, consider how many inputs and outputs you'll need. If you're a professional musician or producer, it's likely that you have multiple instruments which all need to be plugged into the system at once. A patchbay is a perfect solution for this. On the other hand, if your needs are more modest, you may only need a couple of inputs and outputs.

Suitable Form Factor

Next comes the form factor for your studio setup: do you want rack-mountable units, or perhaps something more compact so it can fit easily into your backpack when on tour with no trouble at all. There are several options you can choose from depending on your needs.


You need to pay special attention to the connection types you'll need, too. Are your instruments balanced or unbalanced? If they're all balanced, then a single TRS input will be enough for them to connect in any combination. However, if some of your equipment is unbalanced, you need to ensure that the patch bay has enough unbalanced connections for all your instruments.


Finally, consider what each side (inputs or outputs) needs to be labeled. Do you need a legend printed on the case or clear labeling alongside each connection so that it's easy to see which instrument is plugged in when you look at the patch bay?

Once you've thought about all of these factors, have a look at the options and choose the best one for your needs.

What are the Benefits of Using Patchbays?

Patchbays are a key part of any audio engineer's setup. Whether you're just starting as a sound technician or an experienced professional with decades of experience in the industry, patch bays have many benefits that can serve your needs.

Neat & Clean

Using the best patchbays can make your cable setup as clean and organized as possible. No matter the kind of studio or work area you have, nothing is more frustrating than a whole bunch of cables that are strewn everywhere. After spending hours working on an audio project, the last thing anyone wants to do is untangle all the cables.

Flawless Connectivity

If you have a digital audio interface, it's important to make sure everything is connected properly. Using the best patchbays allows you to test out your connections before powering the system and beginning your work. This can help save both time and money by making sure there are no issues.

No Need of Extra Help

Having an extra set of hands can be a real time-saver when it comes to setting up your studio. Patchbays make it much easier as you can easily connect and disconnect cables without needing help.

Easy Backup

It's always a good idea to back up your projects. A good patchbay can allow you to do this much more quickly and efficiently as they make the process of moving cables around so fast. This is especially helpful if you're working with multiple people on an audio project since it means only one person needs to be able to take the time out of their schedule for backups.

Good Results

Having a professional setup makes your audio projects sound much better. It ensures that everything runs smoothly, meaning there are no issues with latency or static in your system. It's also easier to make changes or move around equipment if and when you require.

Save Your Money

Using the patchbays can save both time and money. Even upgrading your system with a cheap patchbay is beneficial for both your workflow and wallet. You'll also find that these cost savings are multiplied when you consider the time savings that come with using them.

What are the Types of Connections That can be Used With Patchbays?

There are 3 types of connections that can be used with your patchbay, and each has its unique benefits and functions.

  1. Tip-Ring-Sleeve (TRS): This connection uses three wires and is the most commonly used type.
  2. Tip-Sleeve (TS): Uses two wires and has a male plug on both ends.
  3. Banana (BNC): This connection is commonly found in studio and broadcast gear and uses two wires.

You can also get a patchbay that has all these types of connections on it. It will allow you to use them with different pieces of equipment, making your life easier when moving around signal paths for needing to change a cable or adding a new piece of equipment.

Where Should You Place Your Patchbay?

You can place your patchbay according to your studio settings and available space.

  • Floor: The most common place for a patchbay is on the floor as it can take up quite a bit of room, and some people do not have enough desk space.
  • Table: This would depend on how much desk space you have, but some people prefer not having wires all over their studio, so they use one that slides under their desk or sits on top of a table.
  • Rack: This can be a good option if you have a lot of equipment and need it to take up as little space as possible, but the downside is they are expensive.

The best place for your patchbay depends on where your equipment is set up since that will determine how much signal path is needed.

Best Patchbays FAQs

Q: Which one is better among passive patchbay and active patchbay?

A: A passive patchbay is cheaper and easier to set up but requires you to use special cables. On the other hand, an active patchbay can handle longer cable runs (up to 100m) with no degradation in audio quality. Hence using an active patchbay can save time and money, but it is more expensive.

Q: How much does a patchbay cost?

A: The price of a good quality passive patchbay is around $100 - 250. If you buy an active patchbay, it is likely to have additional features, so the price may go up.

Q: How to set up a patchbay?

A: Each patchbay is different, so you should follow the instructions that came with yours. Before setting up a new one, always make sure it works by connecting your cables and testing them on another system first.

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