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Mackie XR824 Professional Studio Monitor, 8"
- Logarithmic waveguide provides acoustic alignment for balanced sound across the entire frequency spectrum
- ELP Bass Reflex System engineered for zero turbulence, providing greatly increased output capability and extended low-frequency response
- 8" Kevlar woofer offers fast transient recovery for incredibly accurate bass response
- 160W Class-D amplification and 36Hz - 22 kHz frequency response
- Optimize the XR824 for your mixing space with dedicated acoustic space controls and HF/LF filters
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From the manufacturer
Reveal Your True Mix
Professional Accuracy and Performance
The Performance and Clarity Your Project Deserves
Mackie XR Series monitors deliver the performance and accuracy that modern, professional studios rely on. Featuring a logarithmic waveguide, XR provides acoustic alignment for a perfect balance between articulate highs and midrange clarity.
Deep. Accurate. Bass.
With the tight response of a Kevlar woofer and new ELP Bass Reflex System, you can count on precise, deep low end. Plus, each XR Series monitor includes a custom acoustic isolation pad in the box to help keep the bass projecting forward and not into your desk.
Optimized For YOUR Workspace
Since no two rooms are the same, adjustable acoustic space filters provide sonic optimization for your specific mix environment. Whether your studio is world-class or home project, XR monitors bring you closer to your mix than ever before.
- Logarithmic Waveguide
- ELP Bass Reflex System
- 1" Black Anodized Aluminum Tweeter
- 8" Kevlar Woofer
- Custom Internal Bracing
- 160W Bi-Amplified Class-D Amplification
- Frequency Response: 36 Hz – 22 kHz
- Adjustable Acoustic Space Filters
- Auto Turn Off / On
- Included Acoustic Isolation Pad
The XR logarithmic waveguide matches the high-frequency dispersion pattern to that of the woofer for a seamless midrange transition. It also recesses the tweeter so that its active area is on the same axis with the woofer, providing acoustic alignment of high and low frequencies for the perfect balance between articulate highs and midrange clarity.
ELP Bass Reflex System
The ELP Bass Reflex System utilizes an extended length, internally curved design and an elliptical, zero-turbulence exit providing extended low frequency response and greatly increased output capability. This design enables you to hear all the deep low end in every mix, even at high volumes without any "air noise" that plagues typical ports.
XR series monitors are equipped with an extremely rigid, ultra-low distortion Kevlar woofer which maintains its shape even under a high amount of stress. This provides fast recovery from transients and incredibly accurate, detailed low-end compared to typical woofer types.
Acoustic Space Filters
XR monitors are easily adaptable to suit your mixing environment to ensure a flat frequency response with three adjustable filters.
Acoustic Space - Changes overall response to match most configurations.
HF filter - Helps match the monitor your particular room.
LF filter - Rolls off the low-end to simulate smaller desktop speakers.
|Woofer||6.5" Kevlar||8" Kevlar|
|Tweeter||1" Black Anodized Aluminum Dome||1" Black Anodized Aluminum Dome|
|Low Frequency Extension||ELP Bass Reflex System||ELP Bass Reflex System|
|Frequency Response||45 Hz – 22 kHz||36 Hz – 22 kHz|
|Power||160W Bi-Amped Class-D Amplification||160W Bi-Amped Class-D Amplification|
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Precision Audio||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||13.3 x 14.4 x 19.4 in||5.5 x 6.2 x 8.2 in||17 x 21 x 14 in||7.1 x 8.7 x 11.1 in||28 x 28 x 28 in||12.1 x 10 x 16.5 in|
|Item Weight||22.2 lbs||9.4 lbs||38.55 lbs||10.2 lbs||53.45 lbs||18.9 lbs|
Mackie XR824 monitors deliver the performance and accuracy that modern, professional studios rely on. Featuring a logarithmic waveguide, XR provides acoustic alignment for a perfect balance between articulate highs and midrange clarity. Plus, with the tight response of an 8” Kevlar woofer and new ELP Bass Reflex System, you can count on precise, deep low end. And, since no two rooms are the same, adjustable acoustic space filters provide sonic optimization for your specific mix environment. Whether your studio is world-class or home project, XR monitors bring your closer to your mix than ever before. It’s time to discover your true mix - Mackie XR824 Professional Studio Monitors.
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Just in case you are not familiar what a studio reference monitor is, it a speaker intended for accurate audio reproduction – usually in a professional recording studio or film making and the likes. Of course, you can use it for a home theater, too. A studio monitor speaker is intended to have a flat accurate frequency response that covers the entire range of human hearing. Even though you may have a big powered subwoofer, it is usually boosted to high levels for entertainment purposes. Nothing wrong with that, but in a professional studio, you want to know exactly what you just produced.
The quoted frequency range of this speaker is 36 Hz to 22,000 Hz. The specification of -3dB variation over this range is impressive. It does not say +/-3 db, just -3db. This SR824 speaker has separate amplifiers for the 8 inch speaker and the tweeter. The crossover frequency is 2200 Hz. I don’t know if they are using active Butterworth crossover filters, but whatever the case, the transition is virtually seamless. I used an online sweep sound generator recording to test the low frequency range and the full range from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. My hearing is gone after 8 KHz, but astonishingly my wife can hear all the way to 20 KHz I purposely shut off the signal right before it got to 20 KHz a few time and she caught it every time.
I compared this reference speaker with a Pioneer reference speaker I happen to already own. The Pioneer Bulit6 speaker has a Class AB amplifier, which is the type amplifier I’d normally expect to find in a reference speaker. The Pioneer speaker is surprisingly heavy for its size. It is noticeably smaller than the XR824 and only a half pound less in weight. I weighed this XR824 speaker to be 19.2 pounds. The Pioneer was 18.8 pounds. So that’s probably attributable to the difference in weight between a Class AB amplifier and a Class D amplifier and power supplies. A Class AB amplifier and power supply are considerably less efficient and produce more heat than a Class D powered speaker. Usually all battery powered speakers are Class D for that reason. You can do some Google searches to learn more about amplifier classes and their pros and cons.
To make it a fair comparison test, I had to find a way to set the volume of each powered speaker exactly the same. So I used a condenser microphone I recently purchased. Next I recorded a 1 kHz tone for each speaker alternately using a software application called Audacity for recording level. I set the output volume as equally as I could for each speaker. I had to use a screwdriver to adjust the speaker volume on this XR824, but I understand the reason. After you set up your reference speakers, you don’t want anyone tinkering with the volume. I don’t much like the way Pioneer did their volume control. The volume knob has detents and changes the volume in increments instead of being continuously variable like this XR824 speaker. About 2 dB is the least sound level change anyone can detect and even that depends upon which frequency or tone it is. The human ear is not linear. Increasing the power by 3 dB means doubling the electrical power, but that doesn’t mean the sound pressure is doubled. It’s more like 1.4 times the acoustical energy. Perceived volume by a human involves a complex set of parameters interpreted by our brain, such as the tone, exposure time and lots of other parameters. You can’t even hear very low frequency tones until they get above a certain level. So don’t get too excited about the absolute numerical parameters because the human ear's frequency response varies with sound intensity. Louder sound results in the best hearing response. (But don't make it too loud or it can result in permanent hearing loss - usually the very high tones.) This XR824 speaker has no audible resonant frequencies even down to 20 Hz and that's very good. I didn't depend upon my ears either. I used the condenser microphone and watched the waveform intensity. So they have done quite a good design with the tuned port in the first image.
I recorded several tests from 20 to 20,000 Hz using a condenser microphone. I did not include them because I do not have a response curve for my condenser microphone. The sound spectrum response between the two speakers is close, but the XR824 is clearly better. Even though my condenser microphone is not a world class microphone, it is still useful for comparisons, just not absolute calibrated sound levels. The Pioneer speaker is quite good, but this XR824 is better.
There are two things that I especially like about the XR824: The logarithmic sound dispersion for high frequencies and the 8 inch Kevlar woofer speaker. High frequency tones are very directional, so unless you treat the higher frequencies with a good dispersion method, only the person in the direct path will get to hear the full upper frequency spectrum. The Pioneer uses a concave structure for high frequency sound and it’s much smaller than this XR824 speaker.
The Pioneer uses a small long throw woofer and you can easily see it in motion at very low frequencies. This XR824 makes it look effortless and produces the exact same sound intensity. For a low throw speaker at low frequency, you'll need a very strong big permanent magnet. A short coil in a long magnetic gap is best. So I'd much rather have large diameter woofers than small ones that have to work harder to produce the low frequency tones. Magnet strength is very important to reduce harmonic distortion. You just cannot beat a larger diameter woofer without compromising distortion and fidelity. Personally, for a $100 difference, I would purchase the 8 inch version versus the 6.5 inch version. But if space is an issue, it still has a very good specification.
If you want to better understand loudspeaker design and what is important, perform a Google search on: The Design and Development of High Performance Loudspeakers by W. J. Woodman. It's somewhat technical in places, but it is still readable. You should be able to grasp an general overview by reading through the main points. Professional Studio Monitors are not simple to design.
They included two wedge shaped pieces of foam that exactly fit the bottom on the speaker so you can angle and aim the speaker toward the listener or audience. That's a really nice thing to have. You usually have to buy that separately. The designers did a very good job of making this a fully inclusive product.
They are using a pair of Class D amplifiers in the XR824 speaker, which are highly efficient. There are multiple variations for Class D amps, but basically a Class D amplifier is a pulse width modulated digital signal with low pass filters to pass the audio spectrum. You can produce a lot of sound energy without dissipating a lot of energy in the output stage and the power supply. They don’t provide any technical details and it’s probably proprietary anyway. I’d like to see the specification for third harmonic distortion, signal to noise ratio and few other specifications, but no speaker manufacturer supplies it.
If high power is your goal, then this is the reference speaker for you. It says it can output up to 109 dB peak sound intensity, which is in a harmful range up close. Don’t let your ears get close at high power. Keep the volume at a reasonable level. I turned the volume way up briefly and it still sounds fantastic. If you need to project sound across an audience, this has plenty of power with sufficient line input signal level. I suppose it depends upon how big a space you need to project the sound. When I turned the volume up - and not to full power - it was way too loud for a 36X18 foot room with acoustical absorbency.
I have been delaying buying another Pioneer speaker for quite a while and literally had it in my shopping cart recently when I became aware of this XR824 reference speaker. Now I’m planning to buy a second XR824 speaker instead. But first I’ll sell my other speaker and a couple more speakers to pay for it. I would rather pay more now than regret it a couple of years from now. Of course, we have to live within our means.
Impressive design and build quality. Real wood veneer on MDF, metal plate, solid plastics. Firm switches, balanced inputs, great looks. If you aren’t already aware, a studio monitor is engineered to produce flat, uncolored sound at all audible frequencies. This allows a recording engineer to tailor his mixes according to musical material and not the equipment, with the resulting mix sounding good when played back on a variety of equipment. Being a precision device, there is cost involved in both R&D and quality materials, reflected in its price.
A professional review requires a noise generator and spectrum analyzer but I’ll take it on faith that the response curve is as flat as promised by Mackie. Connected to my home studio DAW, the XR824 had no problem revealing individual tracks that were part of a recording project. The 160-watt bi-amplification is clearly powerful beyond my relatively mediocre powered monitors.
You'll find a wide range of features on the rear panel. Input choices include balanced TRS and XLR. There’s an input sensitivity pot, 36/80Hz low-frequency cutoff switch, high frequency -2/0/+2dB switch, and finally Acoustic Space settings of quarter/half/whole. The latter adjusts low frequency response according to speaker position, be it in a corner, against a wall or in open space.
A power switch and voltage selector are present, however there’s a switchable ‘Auto-On’ function that responds immediately to signal input. Its coupled with an LED on the front panel, sof white in color and in no way distracting. In all this is a wonderfully performing monitor deserving of five stars.
This speaker extends ultra clarity across the full range. Normally I don't like aluminum dome tweeters for pure listening, I like silk dome tweeters. But for mixing the aluminum dome brings out detail that could otherwise be missed, and then reveal on someone's metal dome tweeters.. you never know what kind of tweeters the audience is using. The XR824 doesn't sound harsh, but rather with extended clarity. I compared these listening to KRKs and Yamahas side by side, and the KRK VXT8 and Mackie XR824 sounded the best, while I didn't like the Yamaha HS8 (many people are crazy about the Yamaha HS series, but I feel they are lacking on the low end). The XR824s have Kevlar woofers (this material sounds best), unique J shaped oval ports that extend the deep bass, and the crossover region between the tweeter retains nicely off axis. These are wonderful monitors for professional mixing when you need to hear every little detail in the deep bass and super highs, not just the mid range.
Most recent customer reviews
For backstory, I was a full time professional mix engineer for over ten years. These speakers are truly excellent.Read more