Mackie’s high-quality audio products are designed to equip you with the tools you need for an unforgettable listening experience. Whether you’re someone who has made a career out of music-making, creating, and gaming or someone who enjoys these as a hobby, we have what you need to be set up for audio greatness.
For over 30 years, we’ve been committed to creating professional audio equipment that everyone can afford. Sure, our selection of products has changed over the years, but the carefully-crafted, innovative, and high-quality result that we produce has remained. As your go-to brand for all things audio, we’re always looking to develop new and exciting ways for you to experience sound. Our new additions to the CR-X Series — the CR2-X Cube, CR2-X Bar Pro, and CR6S-X Subwoofer — are no different.
We’re answering your questions to give you a better understanding of what makes the addition of the new CR2-X Cube, CR2-X Bar Pro, and CR6S-X Subwoofer so special. Matt Redmon, our Director of Product Management, gives you all of the information you need to know about the creation of these new models, the technology that makes them so great, and more.
Keep reading for the inside scoop!
Mackie has been on a mission to bring studio-quality sound to your home for well over a decade. Starting back in the late 90s with our HR824 studio monitors, Mackie established itself in the lexicon of commercial and home studios alike with an award-winning, affordable alternative to the multi-thousand dollar other options out there.
Fast forward to today, we wanted to go one step further by expanding our bestselling Creative Reference / CR-X multimedia speaker product line to add models that are not only ultra desktop (or bookshelf) friendly, but that bring the studio-monitor benefits of unmatched clarity and ultra-wide dispersion into your home setup. Whether used for gaming, content creation, just listening, video chats/meetings, media consumption, and so on, this expansion of products will help you do it all.
We’re solving the problem of low-quality audio experiences that computer speakers create. Today’s computer speaker customer has a choice between two primary categories: the traditional single- or dual-driver “computer speaker,” brought to you most frequently by brands that make computers and other non-audio peripherals, and the more up-market “studio monitor” or “multimedia monitor” category. As you can imagine, the gap in the market between these two product types is that computer speakers by non-audio brands simply don’t sound that great, whereas studio monitors or multimedia monitors from pro audio brands are often larger than the traditional home desktop allows for.
As such, one of the primary goals of this CR-X expansion — and the CR2-X CUBE in particular — was to offer a no-compromise audio solution that meets both goals: unmatched clarity and dispersion in a package less than half the size of our current best-selling studio monitor, the CR3-X.
We knew going in that traditional drivers weren’t going to get us where we needed to go. Traditional drivers of any size tend to cover only a portion of the full 20Hz – 20kHz human hearing range. In fact, that’s why most of the studio monitor or computer speaker designs you see that sound good have both a larger woofer that handles low and mid-low frequencies and a smaller tweeter that handles the mid-high and high frequencies. Moreover, computer speakers that only offer a single traditional driver for “full-range sound” in actuality offer less “full range” than their 2-way counterparts. This is because, again, traditional driver designs simply don’t provide full-range audio that’s even close to our 20Hz – 20kHz hearing range. And that problem is exactly what our Balanced Mode Radiator technology was born out of.
BMR drivers are sort of a hybrid between a traditional LF woofer and HF tweeter, and most frequently fit between them in size (hence the 2 — meaning 2-inch — reference in our model names). Where most high-frequency drivers’ low-end rolls off in the mid-range of human hearing, these BMRs, outside of a traditional headphone driver, are about as close to a 20Hz – 20kHz frequency response as the available technology on the market can offer us today. Not to mention, they get much louder than hi-fi headphone drivers.
The primary technology underlying the benefits of BMR is twofold:
First, with all 2-way designs, these speakers have crossovers placed somewhere in the mid-range (often between 2kHz-4kHz), which is where all our perceived midrange intelligibility and clarity live. With a single full-range “driver” (or radiator), however, the frequency response of the BMR is flat from the lows, through the mids to the highs, all without introducing any phasing or other unwanted artifacts that can be the bane of traditional 2-way designs.
Second, unlike 2-way designs, which require horns, waveguides, or other physical design elements that help direct the audio to where it needs to go in a smooth, even manner, BMRs naturally have a smooth, seamless, ultra-wide dispersion zone. Engineers would call this an ultra-wide sweet spot, and audiophiles or other listeners might think of it as “room-filling sound.”
The voicing curves are actually quite subtle, but these definitions may give you an idea of the thinking that went into each one:
Music - Optimized for high-fidelity personnel listening. Listen to your favorite tracks sparkle, boom, and pop with accentuated low and high frequencies.
Game - Gives you the upper hand in multiplayer gaming by punching up the high-mids and providing clear detail of all in-game audio. This also gives the gamer a more immersive gaming experience with bigger explosions by extended low frequencies and crunchier footsteps by focusing around the mid-highs.
Voice - Get lost in your favorite books on tape or podcasts. This mode focuses on the details emitted by the human voice and provides the illusion of sitting in the same room as the person in the recording. This is achieved by rolling off unneeded low-frequency content and focusing more on the mid to mid-high range.
Let’s start by saying that even though the CR2-X desktop models are full-range speakers, nothing is going to freshen up your listening experience on the low-frequency side better than the addition of a sub — even a compact, floor-standing sub like our CR6S-X. But one extra cool and unique thing we did with this product line was design it such that the Cube and Bar Pro boxes “re-tune” themselves when you plug in our CR6S-X. By which I mean, not only is more low frequency sent to the subwoofer than when Cube and Bar Pro are in standalone mode, but this also allows the Cube, Bar, and therefore your whole CR-X system to both get louder and go lower than when no sub is installed. It’s the sort of benefit you will only get from a pro audio brand with decades of experience in the space — something you can only get from Mackie.
Starting with your choice of which desktop monitoring solution is right for you, the selection of “Cube vs. Bar Pro” comes down to two factors:
Consider what you have space for and what fits with your setup’s aesthetic. Do you have enough space on your desktop to fit the CR2-X Cubes, or does your setup only allow for the slim CR2-X Bar Pro in front of the monitor? Plus, do you have a good spot for adding the subwoofer?
If lower frequencies are your priority, consider the CR2-X Bar Pro, as it offers better extension than the Cubes thanks to its larger enclosure size and large, integrated J-Port. Of course, if you are counting on those low frequencies — don’t skip the subwoofer.
I’ll tell you this: If I was looking to flesh out a gaming PC with a nice 2.1 system, I’d say goodbye to whatever computer speaker brands you’re looking at, and consider putting our CR2-X Bar Pro with CR6S-X in your space. You’ll get truly full-range game audio — kind of like you would be wearing a set of really great headphones. Except, instead of just being in your ears, the audio benefits of extra clarity, dispersion, and low-frequency extension in compact enclosures fill your entire room.
On the contrary, if I wanted a really portable, compact, multipurpose setup, I’d grab a set of CR2-X Cubes. There’s simply no other speaker this size that sounds this good. So, where space is limited but audio expectations are not, Cubes are definitely the way to go.
Everyone deserves to love the audio they’re listening to, including you. With Mackie equipment in your toolkit, dull listening experiences are a thing of the past. We offer everything you need, from microphones and earphones to speakers and mixers so that your audio session from start to finish is of the highest quality at the most affordable price.