Mackie Reach Portable PA System REVIEW

by | Apr 28, 2016 | Best Portable PA Systems, Live Sound

Mackie Reach Portable PA System

PROS: plenty of volume, works with Android and iOS devices, excellent size-to-features ratio!
CONS: none.
PRICE: $999

Mackie has been in the PA business for years, and while their systems have been getting smaller, they seem to get better at the same time.

The Reach system is under three feet tall, and has two 6.5” drivers on the top and bottom, and two 4” drivers located below, and are angled out, across 150 degrees, allowing the audience as well as the performer to hear themselves, without the need for separate monitor systems.


With 4 TRS/XLR inputs, and the 1/4” Aux input, it should handle most small band or performer’s needs. There is a headphone out that makes it a great silent mixer, for playing along with backing tracks and such, or checking a mix before it goes live. Connect a footswitch and it can act as a master FX mute switch. For DJs or bands looking to use a computer for backing tracks, it can connect to your tunes via Bluetooth, and stream audio with plenty of clarity and no special adapters or connectors.

A simple control system is located on the side, which for users that like to “set and forget” makes setting up easy. But to really unlock its features there is a dedicated Reach app, which is available for iOS and Android formats. With the app, there is extensive control of the overall mixes, effects and outputs, without a lot of parameters and editing capabilities. It connects via Bluetooth, and responded very quickly in our tests. A tablet works best, due to the larger size, but smartphone users should have no problems. The ability to walk the room and tune the Reach’s mix for the venue is key.

mackie reach paFor sound shaping there are 16 digital effects, a 3-band EQ, as well as a feedback suppressor. With EQ presets tailored for DJ, voice, solo singer/songwriter or flat responses, it can make tuning the Reach for any format ridiculously easy. There’s also the ability to save settings for different venues, so the levels and effects can be recalled for the coffee shop or your regular club gig, and then when playing that large function hall, settings can be called up for that, as well. If there is a need for more than the 720 watts this puts out, a second Reach can be connected for more power and sound delivery.

Reach is a pretty simple choice. Considering it could fit in the trunk of a Fiat 500, and have plenty of room left over, it means you don’t need that sound guy/friend with the van/pickup truck anymore. Performers looking to have an expandable, portable PA system with all the bells and whistles should look no further!


Powered: Yes
Power Configuration: Bi-amped + Full range side fills
LF Driver Size: 2 x 6.5″ (LF), 2 x 4″ (Full range)
HF Driver Size: 3 x 1″ dome compression drivers, radial curve design
Total Power: 720W Peak
Inputs: 4 x XLR-1/4″ combo, 1 x 1/4″ (Link in), 1 x 1/8″ (Aux in), Bluetooth
Outputs: 1 x 1/4″ (Link Out), 1 x 1/4″ (headphone), 1 x 1/4″ (footswitch)
Maximum Peak SPL: 126dB
Weight : 30.8 lbs.