Last week I purchased a set of Mackie CR-3 monitors from Absolute Music, the reasons for buying these were simple… I wanted a pair of speakers at a low price that wouldn’t sound like a wasp in a jam jar. Thankfully I did my research and came across these Mackies that had numerous glowing reviews, and now I can add to that list.
Firstly, I set myself the budget of £100, which anyone that works in a professional studio might scoff at, but it’s what I had set to one side. Furthermore, I told myself that most people don’t listen to music through Abbey Road-quality monitors costing thousands of pounds, so if I can get my music sounding good on a set of £100 speakers then I should be on to a winner.
Budget to one side, I should say what I was upgrading from. A set of Creative computer speakers with a sub-woofer that cost about £35 a couple of years ago. My initial impressions from the new set of Mackie CR-3 speakers was that I missed the oomph that I got from the designated sub-woofer, which was probably more down to air movement, rather than sound delivery. Once I got over that I started to realise that the low end is there and actually really clear.
The Mackie CR-3s cope well at all volumes and deliver brilliant clarity (they also look cool as fudge with the green detailing). The headphone and aux sockets on the front of the powered speaker probably won’t get much use because I have an interface for that stuff but it certainly would be handy for a lot of people, and could also prove useful if you wanted a decent set of portable speakers to plug your phone into. There’s 50 watts of power going through 3-inch drivers on these little beauts, I can clearly hear bass guitar lines and even when I push fuzzy power chord guitars through them, I can still hear every note.
Yes, there are much better options out there for small studios, but not at under £100 for a pair. I am very pleased with these speakers!
Now listening: DZ Deathrays – ‘Black Rat‘