Mackie CR3 review

Affordable monitors pack a punch

  • £99
  • €143
  • $129
The 50W powered monitors deliver large sound through the 3-inch polypropylene-coated woofer

MusicRadar Verdict

With powerful, detailed sounds and great value for money, the CR3s might surprise you.

Pros

  • +

    Big sounds from small speakers. Affordable pricing.

Cons

  • -

    No attenuation controls.

Why you can trust MusicRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

There are some things in this world that belie their diminutive stature: the Apple Watch, Creme Eggs, Dark Matter... although the jury's still out on that one. Now Mackie's new CR monitors can be added to the list. We took a look at the CR3s and were impressed from the start.

"The sound is detailed but the top-end can get a bit swallowed up by the bass extension"

The 50W powered monitors deliver large sound through the 3-inch polypropylene-coated woofer and .75-inch ferrofluid-cooled silk-dome tweeter, with a frequency crossover of 3kHz.

They are arranged in the standard active/passive arrangement for monitors of this size and price bracket, with the added bonus of powered side being switched to either the left or right.

The sound is detailed but the top-end can get a bit swallowed up by the bass extension courtesy of the rear-facing ports. There are no attenuation controls to cope with EQing and room placement, but at this price it's a small grumble.

Also included are foam isolation pads complete with angled wedges for listening accuracy - not as dense as Auralex MoPads but still effective with such a small, lightweight enclosure.

Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.