The team at Mackie are no strangers to delivering quality audio at all volumes. Over the years they have proven themselves with both powered PA speakers and studio monitors alike, so it makes sense that the XR Series of powered studio monitors continues to go from strength to strength with modern-day improvements that make these a very real contender when you are looking for your next monitoring option. The XR824 monitors found their way into my listening space this month and showed just how Mackie is set to deliver quality audio reproduction for home and professional studio use.
Certainly there was no mistaking these monitors when they came out of the box. The design is reminiscent of Mackie studio monitors of years gone past, but with a smooth, slick look. The front panel is finished in a classy satin coating, with black wood laminate on the top and sides. There is very little going on on the front panel. Aside from the Mackie logo and LED to indicate operation, the design team at Mackie has kept these very minimal, so the one-inch tweeter and eight inch Kevlar woofer stand boldly in the forefront. There will be no clashing with décor in any room with these speakers, nor should there be any issues with their acoustic fit to any space. A selection of tone adjustments on the rear of the box allows you to shape the sound to suit any room.
Mackie’s design with these speakers means they spread the sound evenly in a directional manner that opens up the area in which the sweet spot is located. Whilst they still send the sound in one direction, they are not so focused that you have to sit within a very tight space to hear a true stereo spread from these monitors. It was nice to be able to lean forward over the desk when working and still hear what was needed, so too was the case when sitting back in the chair for more relaxed listening.
The cleverly designed rear porting on these boxes features an elliptical design that moves a maximum amount of air out of the cabinet when running at high SPLs, without audible chuffing from the ports. It can be commonplace with smaller, round ports to hear air movement, which is why slotted ports have become more apparent from many manufacturers in recent years, but these elliptical ports certainly appear to achieve the desired result, especially at high listening levels, which the XR824 monitors are very capable of achieving. These are ideal for a room with a bit of space. Being the larger monitor in the range from Mackie, they will work in a larger control room, but still feel right at home in a smaller studio operating at lower volumes.
Hits and Misses
ECO On/Off Feature for power saving
Elliptical rear porting for maximum SPL without noise
Exceptional clarity at all levels
Foam isolation pads included