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Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair

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Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors are designed for multimedia creation and entertainment, delivering studio-quality design and per...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Studio-quality design, sound and performance ideal for multimedia creation and entertainment.

Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors are designed for multimedia creation and entertainment, delivering studio-quality design and performance in sleek, small-footprint designs. Featuring 50 watts of power and premium components like a sound-enhancing high-frequency waveguide, Creative Reference monitors ensure pristine, accurate sound for any application. Choose which side of your desk gets the volume knob with CR's speaker placement switch and take advantage of convenient front-panel features like a dedicated input for smartphone playback. Plus, you get all the cables you need to get started right out of the box. With Mackie Creative Reference monitors, you get professional sound quality and features in compact desk-friendly designs perfect for work, play and everything in between.

FEATURES
  • Professional-grade components for optimized sonic performance
  • 50 watts of clean, articulate stereo sound
  • 3" polypropylene-coated woofer
  • .75" ferrofluid-cooled silk-dome tweeter
  • Ultra-wide frequency range perfect for full-range multimedia (80Hz - 20kHz)
  • Choose which side of your desk gets the volume knob with CR3's convenient speaker placement switch
  • Convenient front panel volume knob with lit power ring gives you on/off/volume control and power indication where you need it
  • Plug your smartphone or other source right into the front of the speakers and listen instantly
  • Front-facing headphone jack auto-defeats speaker output and provides tactile headphone volume control
  • A choice of inputs for simple connection to almost any audio source (1/4", 1/8", RCA)
  • Smooth waveguide design delivers unmatched clarity and sound dispersion at all listening levels
  • Custom-tuned rear ports for smooth, even bass extension
  • All-wood cabinet provides a natural sonic character superior to low-grade plastic designs
  • Included accessories
  • Acoustic isolation pads minimize boomy bass build-up and provide up/down tilt control for more focused listening
  • 1/8" to stereo RCA cable to connect computer output to speakers
  • 1/8" to 1/8" cable to connect a smartphone or media player to front panel of speakers

High-performance multimedia monitors are a phone call or click away. Order some today!

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
MackieCR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair
 
4.3

(based on 28 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

92%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (23)
  • Compact (21)
  • Good audio (19)
  • Lightweight (17)
  • Versatile (13)

Cons

  • Poor sound quality (3)

Best Uses

  • Home studio (24)
  • Amateur recording (16)
  • Pro audio / DJ / mixing (4)
  • Professional recording (4)
  • Performances (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (17), Professional musician (7), Novice (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

No brainer. They work.

Needed to replace near field monitors for my home recording. I figured the Mackie name would give me more reliability over the ones I had before. I don't need anything expensive and the price...Read complete review

Needed to replace near field monitors for my home recording. I figured the Mackie name would give me more reliability over the ones I had before. I don't need anything expensive and the price was right. I am pleasantly surprised at the sound quality, even at low volumes. I am an amateur, so these suit me just fine.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Nice looks, tubby sound

At this price point I wasn't expecting stellar high fidelity, but I figured this powered monitor pair would have to sound at least as good as the small "computer" speakers they were...Read complete review

At this price point I wasn't expecting stellar high fidelity, but I figured this powered monitor pair would have to sound at least as good as the small "computer" speakers they were replacing. I was disappointed. Granted, the upper midrange and highs are OK, but what's with the lower midrange/upper bass? A rough measurement with a calibrated microphone shows a remarkable +17 dB hump between 100 Hz and 180 Hz relative to the 800-1000 Hz level. That would account for the colored, tubby sound. Blocking the bass reflex port on the back of each speaker with a rag shaves about 3 dB off the hump, which is not much help. There does not appear to be any damping material inside the enclosures. The only rationale I can think of for this design is an attempt to get faux deep bass from the little 80 mm woofer, whose suspension seems very stiff with little available travel. This kind of sound doesn't work for me, alas.

It's a shame, really, because they do look good, with a lighted volume control/power switch and convenient front jacks on the powered unit, which can be placed on either side. There may be some applications where the boomy resonance won't matter as much, so I give them two stars.

Reviewed by 28 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(14 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Nice looks, tubby sound

By Technical Muse

from New Jersey

About Me Experienced

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Compact
  • Cool Appearance
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Poor Sound Quality

Best Uses

  • Home Studio

Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

At this price point I wasn't expecting stellar high fidelity, but I figured this powered monitor pair would have to sound at least as good as the small "computer" speakers they were replacing. I was disappointed. Granted, the upper midrange and highs are OK, but what's with the lower midrange/upper bass? A rough measurement with a calibrated microphone shows a remarkable +17 dB hump between 100 Hz and 180 Hz relative to the 800-1000 Hz level. That would account for the colored, tubby sound. Blocking the bass reflex port on the back of each speaker with a rag shaves about 3 dB off the hump, which is not much help. There does not appear to be any damping material inside the enclosures. The only rationale I can think of for this design is an attempt to get faux deep bass from the little 80 mm woofer, whose suspension seems very stiff with little available travel. This kind of sound doesn't work for me, alas.

It's a shame, really, because they do look good, with a lighted volume control/power switch and convenient front jacks on the powered unit, which can be placed on either side. There may be some applications where the boomy resonance won't matter as much, so I give them two stars.

(6 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Lucky

By JOKER

from Pensacola Fl

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Plenty of power

Cons

  • Bass Needs A Control Knob
  • Limited Functions

Best Uses

  • Amateur Recording

Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

I checked on these all around the web & brick & mortar stores but bought them from MF. New to the Mackie line-up but worth the price anyday.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Never go wrong with Mackie

By Drankin

from Delaware,ohio

About Me Novice

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Easy To Use
  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home Studio

    Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

    Just recently started home recording projects. Have been using headphones to mix down but always seem to have to go back and tweak after burning a cd and listening on a stereo. First time I used these to mix down there was no need to go back and tweak. The mix was excellent.

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Okay for what it is.

    By TheC

    from Louisiana

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact
    • Easy To Use
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

        Pros:
        Stereo imaging: The best you're gonna get in this price range.
        Mid & high clarity: The best you're gonna get in this price range.
        Frequencies are pretty darn flat from 200hz up.

        Cons:
        Every frequency below 200hz is a train-wreck. Massive (huge, bonkers) boost at around 140hz. The monitors are rated by Mackie to be -3 db @ 80hz, but honestly 80hz is barely audible. Plugging the ports helps with the boost but not by nearly enough. If you have a spare stereo eq that you could dedicate to these monitors, you could get by with these and a sub.

        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        I'm a pro and these are great!

        By Ethan Hurt

        from New York, New York

        About Me Professional Musician

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Clear Sound
        • Compact
        • Durable
        • Easy To Use
        • Lightweight
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Home Studio

          Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

          I write soundtrack theme songs for films and tv. Honestly, inexpensive and very authetpntuc sound quality. Honestly, better than my more expensive speakers/monitors because more realistic to the actual sound heard by the public digitally. Sometimes less ends up being more. This is one of those instances.

          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          These CANNOT be beat for the PRICE!

          By Chris C.

          from Charlotte, NC

          About Me Professional Musician

          See all my reviews

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Clear Sound
          • Compact
          • Durable
          • Easy To Use
          • Lightweight
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Mobile DJ
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

            I was looking for a small pair of monitors to use for practicing live shows(electronic artists) and the Alesis 3" had many reviews, but not the POWER that I needed. Mackie is a solid company and they include wires AND isolation pads! These little monitors get LOUD! They are not harsh at all, but nothing like my pro JBL's. If you are looking for speakers to listen to music or watch movies these are GREAT!

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Versatile little Heavy-Weight

            By Erik

            from Western North Carolina

            About Me Professional Musician

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Pros

            • Compact
            • Easy To Use
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Home Studio

              Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

              Excellent product with great sound quality/spectrum for such a tiny light weight system with modest cost. Lots of extras-cables and amazingly the deal includes sound proof foam bases to minimize sympathy vibration from contact. As an apartment dweller this is a survival feature allowing greater volume in the room with less transmission to my neighbors! The spectrum is more like home speakers than flat monitors to my ears, which is perfect for me. I have studio monitors which are a great tool, but I need a real world spectrum to check for compatibility with car sound systems and home stereos. When not in use in the studio, these make great TV monitors for music concerts, nature shows, etc.

              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Yes... yes... and furthermore... YES.

              By O B

              from DC Metro

              About Me Professional Musician

              Pros

              • Clear Sound
              • Compact
              • Durable
              • Easy To Use

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Home Studio
                • Mobile DJ

                Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

                Installed these the moment I got 'em and... THESE ARE AWESOME! I was going to buy some Behringers but something said to give these a try. I'm glad I listened because these are definitely worth it. If you have a home studio and you're looking for good desktop monitors, do yourself a favor and cop these.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Yes I would definitely buy this product again.

                By PrimeTimeTEE

                from Opelousas, LA.

                About Me Novice

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Clear Sound
                • Compact
                • Durable
                • Easy To Use
                • Lightweight
                • Versatile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Home Studio
                  • Performances

                  Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

                  Home studio.

                  (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Just what I needed...

                  By Nate4songwriting

                  from Pennsylvania

                  About Me Experienced

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Clear Sound
                  • Compact
                  • Durable
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Lightweight
                  • Versatile

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Amateur Recording
                    • Home Studio
                    • Professional Recording

                    Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

                    I was looking for monitors that were affordable, but did the job of giving a flat, true response, and creating an overall easy experience in mixing and mastering. I found it in this product.

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Good Product

                    By rook the meatboy

                    from tacma wa

                    About Me Experienced

                    See all my reviews

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Clear Sound
                    • Easy To Use
                    • Versatile

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Amateur Recording
                      • Home Studio

                      Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

                      Good Stuff Would suggest buying monitor isolation pads though. They Come With Some Pretty Cheap Ones but I would upgrade.

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Low cost monitors

                      By 45yearsinaufio

                      from PtoPta, R.D.

                      About Me Experienced

                      See all my reviews

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Compact
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Lightweight

                      Cons

                      • Poor Sound Quality

                      Best Uses

                      • Amateur Recording
                      • Home Studio

                      Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

                      OK for low cost monitors, but the Fostex are better in my opinion.

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Well, at least they're cheap

                      By Just Listen

                      from NYC

                      About Me Experienced

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use

                      Cons

                      • Poor Sound Quality

                      Best Uses

                      • Home Studio

                      Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

                      First listen I was actually very impressed. Like I was going to buy them immediately. Then I did an A/B test in a different setting (albeit less acoustically dampened) with the Bose Companion series and I found quite a few flaws. Even with the individual tweeters these seemed super heavy on the low/mid. Not a ton of brightness at all. Meanwhile my bias against Bose products was quickly eroded when I realized the Companion series is a fantastic value and sound great. They were well balanced (although quite lower in output) and pretty flat through the range. The smaller Bose speakers had a bigger soundstage as well, and for 100 you really can't beat the price. For once Bose wins.

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Good for price but bass low end is wonky

                      By Bob Blah

                      from PA

                      About Me Experienced

                      See all my reviews

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Compact
                      • Lightweight

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

                          I wanted a compact cost effective monitor and I used these for about a year monitoring tracks in Ableton and they are pretty good for the price. Having knobs and buttons on the front is great - "for the price"
                          I'd give it a 4 out of 5. But as I have a lot of tracks nearing completion I wanted to get some better monitors to be sure that what I was hearing was accurate. I still needed a compact solution and bought the slightly larger/heavier Tannoy 402 - the clarity is better, the midrange punchier and the bass is tighter. After doing a side by side comparison I really started to notice how (on the CR3s) the bass gets real loose and over exaggerated (tubby as someone else said.) - On sale the Tannoy's were twice the price but if you can swing it I'd recommend those over these. But I've enjoyed the CR3s for awhile and if you're really on a budget it's not a bad choice.

                          (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          No brainer. They work.

                          By Histogie

                          from Youngsville, LA

                          About Me Novice

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Clear Sound
                          • Compact
                          • Easy To Use
                          • Lightweight

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Amateur Recording
                            • Home Studio

                            Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

                            Needed to replace near field monitors for my home recording. I figured the Mackie name would give me more reliability over the ones I had before. I don't need anything expensive and the price was right. I am pleasantly surprised at the sound quality, even at low volumes. I am an amateur, so these suit me just fine.

                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Dey Work

                            By A.I.A.J

                            from Ga

                            About Me Experienced

                            See all my reviews

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Clear Sound
                            • Compact
                            • Durable
                            • Easy To Use
                            • Lightweight
                            • Versatile

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Amateur Recording
                              • Home Studio
                              • Professional Recording

                              Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

                              I love these along with my 6" monitors

                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Definitely coming back to buy more gear

                              By Rob

                              from Michigan

                              About Me Experienced

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Clear Sound
                              • Compact
                              • Durable
                              • Easy To Use
                              • Lightweight
                              • Versatile

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Amateur Recording
                                • Home Studio
                                • Mobile DJ
                                • Performances
                                • Professional Recording

                                Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

                                I use this for home recording.

                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Good Monitors

                                By Jess

                                from C.C. Tx

                                About Me Experienced

                                See all my reviews

                                Verified Reviewer

                                Pros

                                • Clear Sound
                                • Compact
                                • Easy To Use
                                • Lightweight
                                • Versatile

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Amateur Recording
                                  • Home Studio

                                  Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

                                  I needed some compact speakers for my laptop so I can watch netfix and these worked out good. And I like that I can hook my cell phone and listen to pandora, this is a very good buy

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Really happy with these monitors!

                                  By bobdi76

                                  from Fort Myers. FL.

                                  About Me Professional Musician

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Clear Sound
                                  • Compact
                                  • Durable
                                  • Easy To Use
                                  • Lightweight
                                  • Versatile

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Amateur Recording
                                    • Home Studio

                                    Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

                                    I was very surprised to hear the bass so clearly! I use the monitors
                                    for jazz and small orchestra recording. I'm very satisfied. No cons at this time.

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Solid Monitors for the money

                                    By DJ Tom @BRES

                                    from NH

                                    About Me Experienced

                                    See all my reviews

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Clear Sound
                                    • Compact
                                    • Easy To Use
                                    • Versatile

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Home Studio

                                      Comments about Mackie CR3 3" Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors - Pair:

                                      For the money, these are some decent speakers. I use them to practice mixing with my controller. It beats setting up my "15's". I️ like the weight, size, and quality.

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