We have tested the Mackie CR3 studio monitor!

The American audio and hi-fi company Mackie was founded in 1988 in Seattle. The CR3 model is one of the affordable studio monitors.

Quick overview of the Mackie C3:

Mackie-CR3-studio-monitor-reviewThis studio speaker is a great choice for recording sound, it does an excellent job in smaller studios. Can also be used for audio editing and video editing jobs. It can also be connected to a multimedia system and is also suitable for DJ work. This type is one of the best priced studio monitors currently on the market. The inputs are located on the front of the speaker for easier access, yet despite its compact size, it is capable of serious volume.

Unfortunately, however, it also has drawbacks, the most prominent of which is perhaps the manufacturing quality, which lags slightly behind other, more expensive studio monitors. The sound quality is not bad, but it is not the best compared to other brands of speakers. Basses are not enough.

Other information:

The C3 studio speaker provides a professional level experience when used in a small studio. The speakers offer an extremely wide frequency. The frequency is between 80 Hz and 20 kHz. This is the ideal frequency to ensure an optimal sound experience. The speaker is located on the front of the speaker system and has two input ports on the front of the speaker. This makes it easy to connect the speakers to a headphone or other device. The volume control on the front of the speaker also acts as a power button. The illuminated power ring is used to indicate the current power status of the speaker.

The CR3 also acts as a speaker system that can be connected to both a multimedia system and a smartphone. These speakers are also great for watching movies and playing games.

Considerations for selecting studio monitors

Studio monitors play an important role in recording and processing sound. Therefore, we need to carefully consider what kind of studio monitor we are buying. Some studio monitors consist of two speakers, while others have only one speaker. If you want to use it in a studio, the two speakers are much more advantageous. You should also consider the types and quantities of inputs offered by the speakers. There are studio monitors that offer a more universal solution. This expands the possibilities for transmitting audio files through speakers. Nor is it a negligible consideration where the speaker ports are located? If all the ports are on the back of the monitor, it may cause discomfort during use. The input inputs on the front panel are great for connecting smartphones and headphones.

We also look at the frequency response range offered by studio monitors for accuracy and dynamics. Of course, the quality of the production also matters. Better quality design means monitors last longer.


The Mackie CR3, according to the manufacturer, offers high quality neutral sound at an affordable price. The compact 3-inch subwoofer is a good choice for a small studio or for those who don’t need exploding volume and wall-shattering bass. This studio monitor is ideal for both beginners and professionals.

During our testing, we tested the Mackie C3 speaker pair in a very small studio. The acoustic handling of the studio went pretty well, the acoustics became practically perfect. The smaller a room, the more acoustic problems we may encounter if we do not improve acoustics with sound-absorbing and diffuser panels. Everything was thought of in this studio, so the echo was eliminated, the bass range did not prevail and sound problems due to over-attenuation thanks to QRD diffusers were also eliminated.

Sound quality


The mids and peaks were firm and lively, but the bass was sadly missing. Given the size of the monitor, this is not surprising. If someone insists on low frequencies, it is advisable to invest in a subwoofer as well.

Ensuring good, even, neutral sound is critical for studio monitors. The C3 speakers are capable of surprising volume compared to their size. The clarity was good at all volume levels, although it may not be satisfactory for those with carved ears.


The exterior design of the Mackie CR3 is acceptable, but not comparable to some of the more expensive monitors. They are rugged and offer decent performance, but their workmanship leaves something to be desired, but at this price we can’t expect more than that. We would like to point out that it is unlikely that these monitors will serve us for many decades…

The CR3 box is covered with a matte vinyl coating, the green color around the tweeter and subwoofer gives a pleasant, vibrant colour. The volume button is constantly lit, thankfully not too bright, so not disturbing even in the dark.


The 3-inch subwoofer is great for listening in smaller studios or nearby terrain. The 80 Hz and 20 kHz (-3 dB) frequency response allows them to offer a good frequency range for clear sound. At 97 dB, they are quite loud, especially considering their size. All necessary cables are included with the speakers. The speaker housing is made of MDF and weighs just over just over 3.5 kg.

Tuning options

There is no tuning option on the Mackie CR3-X speakers. Any changes to the sound profile must be handled through the audio software.

Connection options


The front also offers a headphone input and an AUX input. Quickly connect your smartphone to the front of the speaker, a convenient solution.

The back cover offers both balanced and unbalanced connection options. The left and right selector switches are also located here. (Unfortunately, based on user experience, these two selector switches often go wrong.) These make it edible to set whether the main speaker is on the left or right. This provides maximum flexibility in placement.


There is no denying that these speakers sound quite decent and also have some smart features. It’s hard to find another studio monitor at this price that offers as much as Mackie CR3 monitors offer.

Its compact size allows it to be easily placed in small rooms. A small room doesn’t need a huge speaker to fill the space. However, if it is a large studio, it is better to get larger studio monitors. Sound with small monitors can be immediately lost in a large space. If you want to fill the room at a decent volume, choose a larger monitor. Small monitors will quickly fail if you listen at maximum volume for extended periods of time. When setting up your sound system, you should also make sure that most studio monitors are designed for listening in nearby terrain. (Usually within one meter.) This does not mean that the studio monitor cannot produce serious volume to fill a room. If you still want a better sounding speaker, one of the best alternatives is the KRK Rokit 5 G4 studio monitor.

Unfortunately, the C3 studio monitor does not excel in the deeper ranges, so if you want percussion bass, you might want to get a subwoofer as well.

Written by Róbert Polgár