- Band Management
- Home Recording
- Live Sound
- Best Instruments
- New Music & Video
We’ve tested out a number of Mackie studio monitors in the past, and for our money, they make some of the best affordable speakers you can get for a budget-conscious home studio build. Shortly before NAMM, we got our hands on some of the new MR Series monitors, namely the 6.5 inch MR624’s.
Running MR624 monitors through a standard battery of DAW stress-tests yielded pretty excellent results. We like to give studio monitors a workout with a variety of material, including pre-recorded Moog Sub Phatty stems to test bass response, lossless FLAC files from a variety of genres to see how the tweeter and woofer interact together, as well as newly-recorded DAW multi-track demos specifically recorded with the monitors to see how they perform under normal (and sometimes extreme) circumstances.
The MR624’s passed every test we could throw at them with flying colors. Our Sub Phatty challenge is, admittedly, a tough one for any woofer under 6-inches, so it was good to see (or rather, hear), that the new MR series’ 6.5-inch driver could handle extremely low synth bass lines with ease: no clipping or enclosure rumbling that we’ve experienced with other units in a similar price point. We suspect the internal bracing of the new MR Series is partially responsible for this. Hip-hop and electronic producers will be pleased.
Stereo imaging was another pleasant surprise here. Sometimes you really have to spend a considerable amount of time, especially in less-than-ideal recording spaces, setting up the positioning of your studio monitors for that “sweet spot.” The MR series features Mackie’s logarithmic waveguide system, which takes care of a lot of the unwanted reflections and diffractions one might experience. This also contributes to the wider-than-normal sweet spot, meaning you can spend less time futzing with setup, and more time recording.
Lastly, the MR624 studio monitors are pretty flexible when it comes to controls and inputs. The rear of the units feature XLR, RCA and 1/4” inputs, as well as useful “acoustic space” and high-frequency filter settings. What this means is that in seconds, you can optimize your speakers for your specific space, which means a more accurate response and clearer picture of what’s going on in your tracking and mixing sessions. You can also hook up line-level sources like stereos and laptops for additional applications.
There’s not much more to say; the new MR Series is accurate, flexible, affordable and rugged enough for just about any home studio or mobile recording application we can imagine. Highly recommended.