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Mackie is a company that makes speakers and audio equipment, and these are their CR3 audio monitor speakers. A pair of speakers that deliver professional-grade sound at a more affordable and friendly price.

Design

The design of the speaker is simple and understated, with a black design with green accent colours. The speaker cabinet itself is made of wood but looks like it is covered with vinyl to keep it protected, the front of the speaker is made of plastic.

The speaker isn’t exactly small but it isn’t too big either, and that’s due to the woofer being 3-inches, hence the 3 in the CR3 name. The tweeter is 0.75-inches.

Out of the two speakers, one of them is an active speaker (or powered speaker) and another is a passive speaker which is powered by the active speaker. The active speaker has the main inputs and connectivity options. On the front, you have the volume knob, which also allows you to turn on and off the speaker. There’s also an AUX in and headphone jack on the front of the speaker.

On the back, there’s an RCA input as well as a 1/4 jack connector. This means the speaker should be able to connect to pretty much any device. The speakers also come with a 3.5mm to RCA cable, AUX cable and also speaker cable to connect both speakers.

I did end up getting a longer speaker cable as the one that comes in the box was a little too short to be cable routed through my desk.

The back of the active speaker is also where the non-removable power cable goes, which I would have liked it to be removable, as well as the main power switch for the speaker power supply and also a channel selector for where the active speaker will be on your desk.

I have had a few problems with this switch where one speaker would be silent or audio wouldn’t be coming through properly. I’ve reached out to Mackie to ask about this and their solution is to spray contact cleaner into the switch, I haven’t gotten around to doing this yet but I will do it eventually. But it would’ve been even better if it worked properly in the first place.

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The passive speaker simply has the speaker connectors on it and nothing else.

Sound Quality

Mackie CR3 Close-Up

I have been very impressed with these speakers and happy with them since I bought them a few years ago. Just so you know what I’m judging these against, previously to buying these I was using a Logitech 2.1 system. I’ve also used some Adam A5 monitor speakers when I studied Music Tech and my headphones of choice are Audio-Technica M50X.

The balance of sound on these speakers is great, as they really should be with monitor speakers. Everything sounds balanced, there isn’t too much bass or too much treble. I personally listen to a lot of electronic music, so that is what I’ve heard most through them but they sound exceptional with all genres.

These speakers are also good for content creation, whether that be mixing audio or editing it for video – I much prefer using speakers for creation than headphones and the clarity and quality that these speakers deliver for me to do that I am very happy with.

The speakers are also 50-watts, so they get really loud if you need them to. Most of the time I will have my speakers on 25% volume as otherwise, it’s overkill for how loud I need them to be.

The speakers also come with sound isolation foam which can be placed underneath the speakers to reduce booming bass sounds that may pass through furniture to help improve the clarity of the audio.

So, to summarise sound quality, the quality of the monitors is exceptional for the price point and affordability that they come in at and I couldn’t be happier with them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Mackie CR3 Speakers are a great buy if you’re on a budget but need high quality and accurate audio for under £100. I can’t really fault them apart from two things, the channel switch on the back and the power cable not being removable – but apart from that, I am a happy customer.

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