One common question asked by DJs is whether or not they should purchase some studio monitors to help them with their mixing. In this Mackie CR3 review we will be exploring how even the best studio monitors can be either very useful or worthless to a DJ, depending on your style.
Typically, when DJs start getting serious about their profession, they begin using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to create transition friendly ‘remixes’ to popular songs. Or, if you are playing at a venue with a blaring sound system, you might prefer a quieter means of monitoring your mix.
These are both very reasonable times to begin considering purchasing some studio monitors.
Remember this Mackie CR3 review is written with a DJ audience in mind, so if you are looking for only the best DJ monitors, or simply just a pair of monitors for DJs, this review will be worth reading.
What Makes These Monitors So Special?
Many professional DJs take upon a second job of being a pack mule before and after the events they manage. For this reason, organization and portability are key concerns for DJs who want to be able to easily transport their equipment from gig to gig.
The Mackie CR3 monitors take upon a humble, 3” subwoofer design and a total weight of 6 pounds for the pair of speakers. Their small size and innovative features are what make these monitors attractive to DJs.
Why the Mackie CR3 Monitors are Innovative
The Mackie CR3 offer portability and support for just about any type of user.
If you are a vinyl DJ who prefers to use bare audio cables, you will be able to use these monitors. If you would prefer to use a Bluetooth connection, XLR, RCA, or even headphones you will also have the capability of connecting to these speakers.
With such a low price tag, these speakers are sure to be a tempting option for any DJ looking for some more support in monitoring their mixes.
Although the price tag and connectivity are attractive, a low range of 80 Hz – 20 KHz may mean you would need an additional sub monitor since they do not pick up some of the lowest bass frequencies.
Basic Rundown of the Mackie CR3 Monitors
- Portable design. 3” subwoofers, 6 pounds of total weight.
- RCA, XLR, Bluetooth, audio cable, and headphone connections.
- 80 Hz – 20 kHz frequency response with 50W power.
- Volume knob which also serves as a power button
- Included cords and adapters for ease of setup.
- Great for a diverse range of users, not necessarily just music professionals.
The Best DJ Monitors?
Let’s be clear here: as a DJ, monitors are only important as long as you don’t have other means of doing their job. Monitor speakers are simply used to make sure your mix is leveled correctly, isn’t clipping, and is EQed correctly.
In reality, all of these things can be accomplished with headphones and a mixer with master output for headphones.
Like many parts of a DJ setup, consider whether or not you actually need it.
Also, be sure not to mistake monitors as being the same of a PA system, they are simply not capable of providing the volume necessary for a live show.
Who should purchase these monitors?
Typically, we would advise against purchasing monitors like these as a DJ unless you have a resident spot where you can store your equipment.
A product such as this is really more of a luxury than a necessity for a DJ.
If you have the extra money, the storage space, and motivation to add another pair of speakers to the list of things you need to put away at the end of the night, go for it! Or, if you are a DJ who produces and/or edits their tracks, this is definitely a great thing for you to consider adding to your home studio.
The Customer’s Point of View: The Reviews Speak
The Mackie CR3 monitors have received mostly great reviews from customers. These reviews come from a diverse range of users, including video editors, audio engineers, and music enthusiasts.
Positive reviews remark on the great sound quality, and capability for using these speakers for various different functions. Some even reported hearing sounds in music that they were not able to hear previously.
DJ reviewers have advised that these monitors are lacking in their bass, which is no surprise given the limited range of frequency response. Simply put, these monitors are great tools for producing the sound in their range, but should not be relied upon as a replica of the sound produced by audio engineers in a studio.
How much do these monitors cost?
The speaker price ranges depending on where you purchase it from, but it is a very affordable piece of equipment.
Where can I get Mackie CR3 monitors?
These monitors are currently available online from several merchants like Amazon.
Is there any type of warranty for these monitors?
There is a three or four year “protection plan” offered to Amazon customers. Note that there are several who have complained that this benefit comes at the cost of a very difficult and strenuous process.
Can I use these monitors to perform a set?
These monitors only have 50W power. If you are wanting to use these monitors for a live show, keep your crowd at around 5-10 people. Any larger number of people will cause problems since these speakers are not meant to be used for live PA.
Can I Use These Monitors to Edit my Tracks?
Absolutely! If you are going to use these monitors to aid in production, consider adding a subwoofer monitor to ensure you have a more accurate sound to work with.